huckleberry-finn

5 consecutive Tuesday evenings (January 10, 17, 24, 31 and February 7) from 6:30-8 p.m.  
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is the quintessentially American novel. It has also become one of the most controversial works in the American literary canon. Indeed, many, many schools do not assign it any longer. In this seminar with Professor Chuck Timlin, we will do a close reading of the novel over five meetings. We will discuss its many themes, enjoy its humor and biting social criticism, and face head on the problems many Americans have with reading it today.

University of New Haven faculty member and former English teacher at Choate Rosemary Hall, Chuck Timlin, has already brought his excellent teaching skills to the Essex Library community on topics such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Beowulf, American poets and short story writers. Now, back by popular demand, he turns his talents to an examination of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This program is free and open to the public.

For more information on this and our other programs see our Adults Featured Events page:
http://www.youressexlibrary.org/adult-services/adults-featured-events/

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Friday, June 10 at 7 p.m. to be held at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St. Centerbrook

Novelist, essayist, humorist, critic, magazine editor and memoirist, Christopher Buckley, whose books have been translated into sixteen foreign languages will chat with former New York Times Book Review Editor Sam Tanenhaus about his latest novel, The Relic Master. Buckley has worked as a merchant seaman and White House speechwriter. He has written for many newspapers and magazines and has lectured in over 70 cities around the world. The Seattle Times has called Christopher Buckley “America’s greatest living political satirist.” Christian Science Monitor says Buckley “is the Nation’s best humor novelist.” Tom Wolfe says Buckley’s “one of the funniest writers in the English language.” He was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor and the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence. Sam Tanenhaus is currently writing a biography of Christopher Buckley’s father, William F. Buckley, Jr. Seating is limited, please call the Library to register.

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Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m.

Susan Strecker’s debut novel, Night Blindness was released by Thomas Dunne Books in 2014 and garnered rave reviews: “Strecker builds fine portraits.” ―Kirkus Reviews; “the characters will pull you in.” ―Booklist; “a powerful beginning and characters who are easy to connect with.” ―Library Journal. Nowhere Girl, Strecker’s next novel with Thomas Dunne Books, seems destined to make her a household name for thriller readers who enjoy strongly-detailed characters and page-turning plotlines. Kirkus Reviews praised Nowhere Girl as “compulsively readable.” Join John Valeri, Hartford Books Examiner, in a conversation with Strecker about her latest psychological thriller. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. Buy your copy ahead of time for $19 at the Library, beginning March 1. Refreshments will be served. This program is free and open to all.

3 More Quick-Read Titles

December 23, 2015

You can read any of these in an evening, or less. They’ll stick in your memory for a long time though.

Suggested by Librarian Ann Thompson:

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The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
A beautifully-written novella about the pleasure of reading with Bennett’s inimitable manner of sending up both royalty and commoners but especially commoners around royalty.

The End Of The Alphabet by C. S. Richardson
What would you do if you had only a month to live and you were deeply, hopelessly, in love with your spouse? Sorry, cue the tissue box.

Three Men In A Boat: to say nothing of the dog by Jerome K. Jerome
A classic of English humor unscathed by time.

3 Quick, And Good, Reads

December 22, 2015

The Staff’s theme this week are titles for busy folks without a lot of time to read. Today’s titles are provided by Librarian Amy Kilkenny.

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I read this book in high school, but the passage about the imagined fate of a woman with Shakespeare’s genius in Shakespeare’s day has remained with me ever since.
 
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit.
I read this book after my daughter finished it for an elementary school assignment. It raises the telling question concerning whether we truly want to live forever.
 
Academy Street by Mary Costello.
I am looking forward to reading this character study describing the thoughts and emotions of a quiet woman who moves from Ireland to New York City.

It’s a short work week at the paying job, for most of us, so we thought we’d throw out suggestions for some great quick reads because we know you’re busy too. Essex Library Staff were challenged to come up with 3 books that can be enjoyed when you don’t have time for a longer novel.

Librarian Emily Boucher’s suggestions:

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84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff:
It all began with a letter inquiring about second-hand books, written by Helene Hanff in New York, and posted to a bookshop at 84, Charing Cross Road in London. As Helene’s sarcastic and witty letters are responded to by the stodgy and proper Frank Doel of 84, Charing Cross Road, a relationship blossoms into a warm, charming, feisty love affair.

We Were Liars: E Lockhart:
A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf:
A spare yet eloquent, bittersweet yet inspiring story of a man and a woman who, in advanced age, come together to wrestle with the events of their lives and their hopes for the imminent future.

You asked for more…5 Books To Get You Through A Long Winter, this time

by Library Staffer Valerie Grabek:

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1)The Darkest Part of the Forest– Holly Black -Warm weather, love, a mystery, and a faerie prince keeps you enthralled in this modern fairy tale.

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2) A Court of Thorns And Roses – Sarah J. Maas –
Lovers of Beauty and the Beast rejoice for an epic revision that makes you forget the world around you.

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3) Raven Boys Series– Maggie Stievfater –
Steeped in Welsh lore and myths, the series really leaves the reader wondering what will happen next.

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4) All Souls Trilogy– Deborah Harkness – So many layers are involved in this series for romance fanatics, supernatural lovers, and historical fiction readers; makes one forget about the raging blizzards!

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 5) Iron Druid Series– Kevin Hearne – A laugh out loud and inviting universe to escape to, and the best part is there are many in the series to get lost in.

 

EugeneOneillhorizontalJoin us Thursday evening, December 3rd at 7 p.m. as the Essex Library hosts O’Neill biographer Professor Robert M. Dowling. The Irish Times calls his biography “a powerful narrative”, and it has also won praise from The Sunday Times, The Washington Post, Booklist, Provincetown Arts, and Publishers Weekly.

Dowling’s extensively researched biography recounts O’Neill’s tumultuous life and highlights how the stories told for the stage are interwoven with the events in the playwright’s life.

This program is free and open to all. Books will be available for sale and signing through Essex Books.

Essex Library Director Richard Conroy’s suggestions:

The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor
One of the best things about short stories is that you generally don’t have to invest a lot of time to read them. That can come in handy when you have to put down your book in order to pick up a snow shovel. No one wrote better stories than Flannery O’Connor.

11/22/63 by Stephen King.
The master of the horror genre goes into a different, not quite sci-fi, direction in this intriguing and thought provoking “what if” story about the Kennedy assassination.

The Cloud Atlas by Leo Callanan (not to be confused with Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, though that one’s pretty good, too).
Familiar themes of love and redemption are explored against the backdrop of a little known aspect of World War II. Fair warning – it’s set in Alaska.

All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren.
Although this excellent book is lengthy, it’s also considered to be one of the best American novels ever written and draws you into it from the first paragraph. The action takes place in steamy Louisiana, which makes it perfect for a day when you’re snowed in and are trying to remember what summer is like.

Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey.
Sadly, this second novel by the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is not widely known, but is in many ways superior to Kesey’s first effort.

by Essex Children’s Librarian Heather Delouchry

1. Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani.
It’s always better to read the book before the movie comes out!

2 and 3. Looking for Alaska by John Greene (or any other book by John Greene) and I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda.
Why not read what the teens are reading these days? Good to be in touch with kids!

4. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.
Who doesn’t want to escape reality sometimes? These books never get old and are good even on the second or third time.

5. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.
A 1986 Caldecott Medal Winner that keeps the holiday spirit alive! Always better with a child, pajamas, and hot chocolate.