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Saturday, September 29 at 4 p.m.

Alex Prud’homme, Julia Child’s grandnephew, will present an illustrated talk on his two recent books. The French Chef In America: Julia Child’s Second Act, recounts the enchanting story of Julia Child’s years as a TV personality and beloved cookbook author and vividly describes the myriad ways in which she profoundly shaped how we eat today. Child was in her 60’s when she turned away from classical cooking and began to use recipes from around the world. It was then that she began to write in the first person instead of as The French Chef. France Is A Feast documents how Julia Child first discovered French cooking and the French way of life via intimate and compelling photographs taken by her husband Paul Child in France in 1948-1954.

Journalist and non-fiction author Alex Prud’homme began his writing career in 1988 after joining New York magazine as a fact-checker. He wrote many short articles there, and freelanced on the side, producing stories like “Slave,” a New Yorker piece about an irascible soup maven (later made famous by Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi”). In the 1990s he moved to Business Month, where he profiled business leaders, to Time, where he covered national affairs, and to People, where he wrote crime stories. His articles have also appeared in The New York Times and Vanity Fair. He has written books about terrorism, the ImClone scandal, and the environment.

Copies of The French Chef In America and France Is A Feast will be available for purchase and signing. This event is FREE and open to the public. Please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 for more information or to register.

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Thursday, September 13th at 7 p.m.

The Essex Library is honored to welcome back James Benn in celebration of the release of his 13th Billy Boyle mystery, Solemn Graves.

In Benn’s latest Billy Boyle WWII mystery, US Army detective Billy Boyle is called to investigate a mysterious murder in a Normandy farmhouse that threatens Allied operations.

July, 1944, a full month after D-Day. Billy, Kaz, and Big Mike are assigned to investigate a murder close to the front lines in Normandy. An American officer has been found dead in a manor house serving as an advance headquarters outside the town of Trévières. Major Jerome was far from his own unit, arrived unexpectedly, and was murdered in the dark of night.

Copies of his books will be available for purchase and signing.

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Wednesday, August 15th at 7 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects  

Christopher Buckley’s father, an avid sailor, once owned a wooden sloop named Panic. In describing a few of William F. Buckley’s adventures at sea in the memoir “Losing Mum and Pup” he adds that his Mum often commented, “Bill, why are you trying to kill us?” In a special Essex Library event, Christopher Buckley will share details about a lifetime of sailing with his father: on Long Island Sound, across the Atlantic twice and Pacific once. Expect tears, laughter, the whole schmear.

Christopher Buckley is a novelist, essayist, humorist, critic, magazine editor and memoirist. His books include Thank You for Smoking, The Judge Hunter, and The Relic Master. He worked as a merchant seaman and White House speechwriter. He has written for many newspapers and magazines and has lectured in over seventy cities around the world. He was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor and the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence.  Copies of The Judge Hunter will be available for purchase and signing.

This event is free and open to the public. Please call (860) 767-1560 to register.

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David Handler will appear for an author talk for the first time at the Essex Library on  Saturday, September 16th at 4 p.m.!

We are honored to host Edgar and American Mystery Award-winning author David Handler, who will discuss his latest book, The Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes. The novel was published recently by William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins Publishers. The book is a madcap mystery about an eccentric family of influential artists, and how Hollywood’s obsession with the spotlight can sometimes turn deadly—full of delicious LA folklore and 90s nostalgia. This is the ninth entry in the Hoagy and Lulu mystery series that Harlan Coben calls “One of my all-time favorite series! …David Handler is so good at writing one smart, funny page-turner after another that he makes it look easy.” Handler has also written eleven novels in the bestselling Berger & Mitry series. He lives in a 230-year-old carriage house in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the event with thanks to R. J. Julia for their help.

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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.