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Sunday, September 16th at 3 p.m.

Author and gardening expert Tovah Martin tells us our gardens could be so fulfilling, if we plugged in. Created to coincide with the publication of Martin’s latest book, The Garden in Every Sense and Season, this lecture explores the garden on all levels. Learn to garden with eyes wide open, ears to the ground, and hands outstretched. Tailored to the current season to make the experience dynamic, this lecture will lead attendees through an odyssey of exploration to awaken the senses and arouse their abilities of perception. Sharing advice and ideas to deeply enhance the gardening experience while also incorporating a “Smellathon” to help get nostrils in gear, this lecture is beautiful and fun as well as highly practical.

An accredited Organic Land Care Professional through NOFA, Tovah gardens fanatically and organically both indoors and throughout her seven-acre Connecticut garden. People, Places, Plants magazine called her “one of the top 10 most influential educators in gardening” and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society honored her with its Gold Medal “for extraordinary service to horticulture, especially greenhouses and indoor plants.” Martin has written more than a dozen gardening books and served as garden editor for Victoria Magazine. In addition, her articles appear in a broad range of magazines and periodicals. She is a repeat guest on the CBS Sunday Early Show. She also teaches houseplant cultivation to Master Gardeners and lectures extensively throughout the country.

Copies of The Garden In Every Sense and Season will be available for purchase and signing.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

sunkencathedralwalbertNew York Times bestselling author Kate Walbert will read from and discuss her latest bestseller, “The Sunken Cathedral” with Sam Tanenhaus, former editor of The New York Times Book Review at the Essex Library on Tuesday, October 13th at 7 P.M. The duo is certain to provide a memorable evening of literary conversation.

“The Sunken Cathedral” has earned starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. Ron Charles of The Washington Post wrote: “Walbert’s narrative method is a gentle lesson in empathy, a reminder that it’s only artifice and egotism that give us the misimpression that we’re the central protagonist of the life we’re composing.” Library Journal also gave Sunken Cathedral a starred review calling it “An unconventional and unsettling novel with vivid imagery and passages of pure poetry.” “Kate Walbert sees in a manner that exalts the everyday into poetry and gives our deepest desires an unexpected and brilliant expression. She is among our very best writers.” says author Ann Packer.

Kate Walbert is the author of: A Short History of Women, chosen by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2009 and a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize; Our Kind, a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction in 2004; and The Gardens of Kyoto, winner of the 2002 Connecticut Book Award in Fiction in 2002. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fiction fellowship and a Connecticut Commission on the Arts fiction fellowship. Her short fiction has been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize stories. From 1990 to 2005, she lectured in fiction writing at Yale University. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

Sam Tanenhaus was the editor of the New York Times Book Review from 2004 to 2013. He is also a prize-winning author, and his essays and reviews have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and The Atlantic. He is currently writing a biography of William F. Buckley Jr.

This program is free and open to all though advance registration is suggested for this special event. To register, or for more information, please call the Library at (860) 767-1560.

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Thursday, May 7 at 7 p.m.  
The fog of war hides many secrets, but rarely a good one. The Fourth Rule tells the story of one secret born when a Green Beret returns from Vietnam and disappears. Two decades later, the CIA approaches the soldier’s younger brother to uncover what happened. Thus begins an intense struggle between the CIA, hell-bent on protecting its own and continuing its illicit clandestine activities, and a not-so-ordinary citizen, who has to risk it all to protect his secret and right a terrible wrong from the past.

Seaver is the author of the highly praised nonfiction book, Four Across the Atlantic, and the award winning short story, The Auction. He was one of five debut thriller authors selected by the International Thriller Writers to join New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline recently at the Palm Beach Peril to discuss and sign copies of his book. He is a graduate of the two-year online Stanford Certificate Program in Creative writing. This event is free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.