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.



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.









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.


5 Thursdays, 6:30 p.m. March 17, 24, 31, April 7 & 14

We’re very honored to welcome back Prof. Timlin; his seminars have been unanimous crowd pleasers. This seminar will explore the poetry of the 19th century’s two greatest American poets. Together, Whitman and Dickinson created an original American poetic tradition as distinct from Britain and Europe’s traditions. They are two of the most remarkably original poets whose influence still resonates deeply with today’s poets around the world.

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.

whiteghostJames R. Benn’s acclaimed WWII Billy Boyle series has a new entry, the tenth in the series, called The White Ghost. Booklist gave the book a starred review and said “Working with recently declassified documents about the Solomon Islands Campaign, Benn spins an absolute corker of a war story.” The Historical Novel Society praises the book saying “Replete with riveting and beautiful descriptions of the customs, rituals, and geography of these beautiful islands, this makes for great historical fiction for readers who crave a good mystery as well as a good war story.” Crime novelist Lee Child declared “Billy Boyle gets better and better. This is a must-read series.” The Essex Library is excited to welcome author James R. Benn for a talk celebrating the release of “The White Ghost on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 7 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

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 sale and signing.

NobodyHomeCoverThursday, April 23rd at 7-8 p.mat the Essex Library
Jacqueline Masumian will discuss her book, Nobody Home, a portrait of her troubled mother and their relationship, as well as the art and joys of writing memoir. She will talk about what memoir is, how it is different from other literary forms and why it is important for everyone, not just professional writers, to practice this art form and reap the benefits of doing so.

Masumian, a Connecticut resident, has enjoyed careers as an actress, performing arts manager, and landscape designer, and now writes short stories.

Authors As Secret Santas

December 17, 2014

At the risk of appearing to endorse Penguin Books UK, we want to pass along a very amusing video they made of a secret santa event they held amongst some of their authors. It is widely held that books make the best gifts!

The Last Fine Time In Buffalo

November 24, 2014

lastfinetimeAs much of the nation’s attention has been focused on Buffalo recently, we feel it’s the perfect occasion to suggest reading The Last Fine Time by the inimitable Verlyn Klinkenborg. It’s a delightful biography of a Buffalo neighborhood bar and its frequenters with an addition of poignancy that extends to Buffalo itself and all of America’s once-thriving cities that have fallen on tougher times. Portions of the book appeared originally in The New Yorker. If you’re unfamiliar with Klinkenborg, that’s a shame as he is as fine a non-fiction writer as you’ll come across. We hear he’s teaching at Yale currently. Hmmm.

You can place a hold on the book by clicking here Have your LION Library barcode ready at hand.