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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.

Sunken Gold, The

On Wednesday, April 4 at 7 p.m., Connecticut author Joseph A. Williams will visit the Essex Library to discuss the true story of the HMS Laurentic, which, laden with 44 tons of gold bullion was sunk by German mines off the coast of Ireland during the Great War.  Britain desperately needed that sunken treasure, but any salvage had to be secret since the British government didn’t want to alert the Germans to the presence of the gold. Lieutenant Commander Guybon Damant was the most qualified officer to head the risky mission. As the war raged on, Damant was called off the salvage to lead a team of covert divers to investigate and search through the contents of recently sunk U-boats for ciphers, minefield schematics, and other secrets. The information they obtained, once in the hands of British intelligence, proved critical toward Allied efforts to defeat the U-boats and win the war. Williams, a historian, archivist and librarian brings this exciting, true tale of undersea diving and early 20th century naval operations to life in the Essex Library on Wednesday, April 4 at 7 p.m. Copies of The Sunken Gold will be available for purchase and signing. 

Watch this book trailer about The Sunken Gold on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFwk4sQ-DbA

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is advised. Please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 to register or for more information.

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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.

whenparissizzled

Saturday, February 4th at 1:30 p.m.

When Paris Sizzled vividly portrays the City of Light during the fabulous 1920s, les Annees folles, when Parisians emerged from the horrors of war to find that a new world greeted them one that reverberated with the hard metallic clang of the assembly line, the roar of automobiles, and the beat of jazz. Mary McAuliffe traces a decade that saw seismic change on almost every front, from art and architecture to music, literature, fashion, entertainment, transportation, and, most notably, behavior. The epicenter of all this creativity, as well as of the era s good times, was Montparnasse, where impoverished artists and writers found colleagues and cafes, and tourists discovered the Paris of their dreams. Major figures on the Paris scene such as Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, Picasso, Stravinsky, Diaghilev, and Proust continued to hold sway, while others now came to prominence including Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, Cole Porter, and Josephine Baker, as well as Andre Citroen, Le Corbusier, Man Ray, Sylvia Beach, James Joyce, and the irrepressible Kiki of Montparnasse. Paris of the 1920s unquestionably sizzled. Yet rather than being a decade of unmitigated bliss, les Annees folles also saw an undercurrent of despair as well as the rise of ruthless organizations of the extreme right, aimed at annihilating whatever threatened tradition and order a struggle that would escalate in the years ahead.

We’ll welcome When Paris Sizzled author Mary McAuliffe to the Essex Library on Saturday, February 4th at 1:30 p.m. She’ll describe the unique time in Paris when the famously creative and creatively famous were at their peak of activity. If you enjoyed Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris, you’ll want to hear all the tales from this fabulous time. This event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase & signing.

Friday, January 20th at 7 p.m. at Centerbrook Architects 67 Main St. Centerbrook
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2016 marked the centennial anniversary of the Yale School of Architecture. In recognition of this occasion, Jimmy Stamp, co-author with former YSOA Dean Robert A.M. Stern of the book Pedagogy and Place: 100 Years of Architecture Education at Yale (Yale Press, 2016) will trace the development of the School’s pedagogy alongside a critical overview of the succession of buildings designed to house Yale’s architecture program. Stamp will draw parallels between historic moments in Yale’s history and things that have happened more recently.

Jimmy Stamp is a writer at Robert . M. Stern Architects whose work has appeared in The Guardian, Smithsonian, and the Journal of Architecture Education.

This program is free and open to the public.

robertwyssThursday, January 19, 2017 at 7 p.m.

David Brower (1912–2000) was a central figure in the modern environmental movement. His leadership, vision, and elegant conception of the wilderness forever changed how we approach nature. In many ways, he was a twentieth-century Thoreau. Brower transformed the Sierra Club into a national force that challenged and stopped federally sponsored projects that would have dammed the Grand Canyon and destroyed hundreds of millions of acres of our nation’s wilderness. To admirers, he was tireless, passionate, visionary, and unyielding. To opponents and even some supporters, he was contentious and polarizing.

As a young man growing up in Berkeley, California, Brower proved himself a fearless climber of the Sierra Nevada’s dangerous peaks. After serving in the Tenth Mountain Division during World War II, he became executive director of the Sierra Club. This uncompromising biography explores Brower’s role as steward of the modern environmental movement. His passionate advocacy destroyed lifelong friendships and, at times, threatened his goals. Yet his achievements remain some of the most important triumphs of the conservation movement. What emerges from this unique portrait is a rich and robust profile of a leader who took up the work of John Muir and, along with Rachel Carson, made environmentalism the cause of our time.

Robert Wyss is associate professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut and a journalist who has written for the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Boston Globe, Smithsonian, Yankee, and the Providence Journal. He is the author of Covering the Environment: How Journalists Work the Green Beat (2007).

This program is free and open to the public.

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Co-Sponsored by the Essex Land Trust

Wednesday, October 26th at 7 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects, 67 Main St., Centerbrook

We’re honored to both partner with the Essex Land trust and welcome author Richard Conniff whose latest book is The House Of lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and The Story of Life on Earth, (Yale, 2016). Conniff is a National Magazine Award-winning writer for Smithsonian, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and other publications, and a past Guggenheim Fellow. His other books include: The Species Seekers; Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time; The Natural History of the Rich; and The Ape in the Corner Office. He has been a frequent commentator on NPR’s Marketplace, and is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He has written and presented television shows for the National Geographic Channel, TBS, and the BBC, among others.

Among the many comments praising House Of Lost Worlds: “What a rich history this book tells, and with such enthusiasm, humor, and attention to the oddest details! Richard Conniff makes you want to dive into the collections that have been accumulating for 150 years at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, gathered with loving scholarly attention, transforming our knowledge of the natural world and the human race.”-Frans de Waal, author of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

Copies of The House of Lost Worlds will be available for purchase and signing. Coincidentally, October 26 is the 150th anniversary of the Peabody Museum. There will be a small celebration with refreshments.

For a preview of Wednesday’s fun, here’s a link to an episode of Colin McEnroe’s Science Hour on WNPR with Richard Conniff talking about the history of paleontology: http://wnpr.org/post/live-tape-peabody-0

 

bluemadonna

Thursday, September 29th at 7 p.m. at the Essex Library

We’re honored to welcome back Jim Benn in celebration of the release of his 11th Billy Boyle mystery that Lee Child declares “is a must-read series.” Publishers Weekly says of Blue Madonna: “The suspenseful story line, set on the eve of the Normandy invasion in 1944, will keep readers turning the pages… Benn movingly depicts Nazi cruelties that Boyle and his comrades witness.” Attendees will hear about fascinating details from the real history in the book’s plotlines and more about the upcoming books in the Billy Boyle series.

Benn, a resident of Hadlyme, CT, worked in the library and information technology field for more than thirty-five years before he started writing full-time. One lesson he says that’s helped him greatly as an author is a quote from Oscar Wilde: “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of one’s pants to a chair.” Copies of his books will be available for purchase and signing.