Items tagged with Book clubs

Books & More

Please see full event listing for date.

Join this new book group for discussing books, meeting with authors and discovering new titles to read over the coming months. 

Connecticut author and writer James King, winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, will join us to discuss how he wrote and published his first novel, Bill Warrington’s Last Chance as well as his long career as a published writer. 

For copies of the book, email Carolyn Karwoski at ckarwoski [at] westportlibrary [dot] org or phone 203.291.4844. 

Room 216 (McCall Room)
Book Groups

Pages Through the Ages Discussion: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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Discuss Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass.

Prepare for David Blight’s visit by reading Frederick Douglass’ dramatic autobiography. (David Blight, 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner for Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, speaks here Thursday, December 5 at 7 pm.) Former slave, impassioned abolitionist, brilliant writer, newspaper editor and eloquent orator whose speeches fired the abolitionist cause, Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) led an astounding life. Physical abuse, deprivation and tragedy plagued his early years, yet through sheer force of character he was able to overcome these obstacles to become a leading spokesman for his people.

In this, the first and most frequently read of his three autobiographies, Douglass provides graphic descriptions of his childhood and horrifying experiences as a slave, as well as a harrowing record of his dramatic escape to the North and eventual freedom. Published in 1845 to quell doubts about his origins — since few slaves of that period could write — the narrative is admired today for its extraordinary passion, sensitive and vivid descriptions and storytelling power.

Community Partner: The Westport Historical Society.

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.

Room 216 (McCall Room)
Book Groups

Pages Through the Ages Discussion: The Woman’s Hour

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Discuss The Woman’s Hour by Elaine Weiss, the WestportREADS selection, just a few days after the author comes to speak (Thursday, October 17 at 7 pm). Soon to be a major television event, the nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote.

Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have approved the Nineteenth Amendment, granting women the right to vote; one last state-Tennessee–is needed for women’s voting rights to be the law of the land. The suffragists face vicious opposition from politicians, clergy, corporations and racists who don’t want black women voting. And then there are the “Antis”–women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the nation’s moral collapse. In one hot summer, they all converge for a confrontation, replete with booze and blackmail, betrayal and courage. Following a handful of remarkable women who led their respective forces into battle, The Woman’s Hour is the gripping story of how America’s women won their own freedom, and of the opening campaign in the great 20th-century battles for civil rights.

Community Partner: The Westport Historical Society.

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.

Room 216 (McCall Room)
Book Groups

Pages Through the Ages Discussion: Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital

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Discuss Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital by David Oshinsky. 

Bellevue Hospital, on New York City’s East Side, occupies a colorful and horrifying place in the public imagination: a den of mangled crime victims, vicious psychopaths, assorted derelicts, lunatics, and exotic-disease sufferers. In its two and a half centuries of service, there was hardly an epidemic or social catastrophe—or groundbreaking scientific advance—that did not touch Bellevue. David Oshinsky chronicles the history of America’s oldest hospital and in so doing also charts the rise of New York to the nation’s preeminent city, the path of American medicine from butchery and quackery to a professional and scientific endeavor, and the growth of a civic institution.

NYT review: "Bellevue Celebrates a Hospital Not Crazy, but Compassionate"

Community Partner: The Westport Historical Society. See the exhibit, Taking the Cure: Public Health 1880-1960, Thursday, August 15 - Sunday, November 17, 2019

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.

Room 216 (McCall Room)
Book Groups

Pages Through the Ages Discussion: "American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell"

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To compliment the Westport Historical Society’s exhibit about George Hand Wright, discuss American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell by Deborah Solomon. George Hand Wright was an illustrator who moved to Westport in 1907 during the Golden Age of Illustration. he was not a part of the Famous Artist School (that's in the 1940s), but he was definitely central to the artist community that was growing at the turn of the century. He worked in pastel and watercolors as well as etching.

As the star illustrator of The Saturday Evening Post for nearly half a century, Norman Rockwell mingled fact and fiction in paintings that reflected the we-the-people, communitarian ideals of American democracy. Freckled Boy Scouts and their mutts, sprightly grandmothers, a young man standing up to speak at a town hall meeting, a little black girl named Ruby Bridges walking into an all-white school―here was an America whose citizens seemed to believe in equality and gladness for all.

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.
Community partner: Westport Historical Society. See the exhibit, Dignified Vision: The Art of George Hand Wright Thursday, August 15 - Sunday, November 17, 2019

Brooks Place
Book Groups

Pages Through the Ages Discussion: "The President Is a Sick Man"

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Discuss The President Is a Sick Man: Wherein the Supposedly Virtuous Grover Cleveland Survives a Secret Surgery at Sea and Vilifies the Courageous Newspaperman Who Dared Expose the Truth by Matthew Algeo.

On July 1, 1893, President Grover Cleveland boarded a friend’s yacht and was not heard from for five days. During that time, a team of doctors removed a cancerous tumor from the president’s palate along with much of his upper jaw. When an enterprising reporter named E. J. Edwards exposed the secret operation, Cleveland denied it and Edwards was consequently dismissed as a disgrace to journalism. Twenty-four years later, one of the president’s doctors finally revealed the incredible truth, but many Americans simply would not believe it. After all, Grover Cleveland’s political career was built upon honesty—his most memorable quote was “Tell the truth”—so it was nearly impossible to believe he was involved in such a brazen cover-up. This is the first full account of the disappearance of Grover Cleveland during that summer more than a century ago.

Location: The McCall Room

Community Partner: The Westport Historical Society. See the exhibit, Taking the Cure: Public Health 1880-1960, Thursday, August 15 - Sunday, November 17, 2019

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821.

Room 216 (McCall Room)
Book Groups

PageTurners Book Discussion

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Discuss Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan. Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she’s shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn’t sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan—a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand.

A New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2017
Washington Post 10 Best Books of 2017
A Harper’s Bazaar Best Book of 2017 

PageTurners Book Club page

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821. New participants always welcome. Information on more Library book groups.

Room 216 (McCall Room)
Book Groups

PageTurners Book Discussion

Please see full event listing for date.

Discuss Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life--until the unthinkable happens. Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell.

"A painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature....Owens here surveys the desolate marshlands of the North Carolina coast through the eyes of an abandoned child. And in her isolation that child makes us open our own eyes to the secret wonders—and dangers—of her private world."—The New York Times Book Review

PageTurners Book Club page

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821. New participants always welcome. Information on more Library book groups.

Room 216 (McCall Room)
Book Groups

PageTurners Book Discussion

Please see full event listing for date.

Discuss The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore. This book fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives. "The glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still."—NPR Books

PageTurners Book Club page

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821. New participants always welcome. Information on more Library book groups.

Room 216 (McCall Room)
Book Groups

PageTurners Book Discussion

Please see full event listing for date.

Discuss Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

PageTurners Book Club page

For copies of the book, phone 203.291.4821. New participants always welcome. Information on more Library book groups.

Room 216 (McCall Room)
Book Groups