Events

Victoria Redel Author Talk and Book Signing

Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Main Program Room
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

A luminous and richly layered novel evoking The Big Chill–the story of a group of lifetime friends who gather together to confront life, love, and now, mortality Before Everything is a celebration of friendship and love between a group of women who have known one another since they were girls. They’ve faced everything together, from youthful sprees and scrapes to mid-life turning points. Now, as Anna, the group’s trailblazer and brightest spark, enters hospice, they gather to do what they’ve always done–talk and laugh and help each other make choices and plans, this time in Anna’s rural Massachusetts home. Helen, Anna’s best friend and a celebrated painter, is about to remarry. The others face their own challenges–Caroline with her sister’s mental health crisis; Molly with a teenage daughter’s rebellion; Ming with her law practice–dilemmas with kids and work and love. Before Everything is as funny as it is bittersweet, as the friends revel in the hilarious mistakes they’ve seen one another through, the secrets kept and adventures shared. But now all sense of time has shifted, and the pattern of their lives together takes on new meaning. The novel offers a brilliant, emotionally charged portrait, deftly conveying the sweep of time over everyday lives, and showing how even in difficult endings, gifts can unfold. Above all it is an ode to friendship, and to how one person shapes the journeys of those around her.

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Rich Cohen Author Talk and Book Signing

Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Main Program Room
Thursday, October 26, 2017
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

When Rich Cohen was eight years old, his father took him to see a Cubs game. On the way out of the park, his father asked him to make a promise. “Promise me you will never be a Cubs fan. The Cubs do not win,” he explained, “and because of that, a Cubs fan will have a diminished life determined by low expectations. That team will screw up your life.” As a result, Cohen became not just a Cubs fan but one of the biggest Cubs fans in the world. In this book, he captures the story of the team, its players and crazy days. He searches for the cause of the famous curse. Was it the billy goat, kicked out of Wrigley Field in Game 5 of the 1945 World Series, or does it go back further, to the very origins of the franchise? Driven mad with futility, he went on the road with the team in search of answers, interviewed great players present and past, researched in libraries but also in the bleachers, double-fisted, a frosty malt in each hand, demanding answers. He came to see the curse as a burden but also as a blessing. Cubs fans are unique, emissaries from a higher realm, warning of hubris and vanity. The blue cap with the red C said, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” He interviewed the architects of the 2016 Cubs, the team that broke the curse. Here’s what he asked: How the hell did you do it? He was at (almost) every game of the 2016 playoff run – a run that culminated in (maybe) the single greatest baseball game ever played. He was excited but also terrified. Losing is easy. What would it mean to win?  A mix of memoir, reporting, history and baseball theology, this book, forty years in the making, has never been written because it never could be — only with the 2016 World Series can the true arc of the story finally be understood.

New York Times bestselling author Rich Cohen is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone and the author of Israel Is Real, Tough Jews, The Avengers, Monsters, The Sun & the Moon & the Rolling Stones.  and the widely acclaimed memoir Sweet and Low. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine and Best American Essays. Cohen has won the Great Lakes Book Award, the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, and the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for outstanding coverage of music. He lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut with his wife, three sons and dog.

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Michael Korda Author Talk and Book Signing

Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Main Program Room
Thursday, November 2, 2017
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

An epic of remarkable originality, Alone captures the heroism of World War II as movingly as any book in recent memory. Bringing to vivid life the world leaders, generals, and ordinary citizens who fought on both sides of the war, Michael Korda, the best-selling author of Clouds of Glory, chronicles the outbreak of hostilities, recalling as a prescient young boy the enveloping tension that defined pre-Blitz London, and then as a military historian the great events that would alter the course of the twentieth century.

For indeed, May 1940 was a month like no other. The superior German war machine blazed into France, as the Maginot Line, supposedly “as firmly fixed in place as the Pyramids,” crumbled in days. With the fall of Holland and Belgium, the imminent fall of Paris, the British Army stranded at Dunkirk, and Neville Chamberlain’s government in political freefall, Winston Churchill became prime minister on this historical nadir of May 10, 1941. Britain, diplomatically isolated, was suddenly the only nation with the courage and the resolve to defy Hitler.

Against this vast historical canvas, Korda relates what happened and why. We first meet him at the age of six, surrounded by his glamorous movie family: his stage actress mother; his elegant father, Vincent, soon to receive an Academy Award; and his devoted Nanny Low, with whom he cites his evening prayers. Even the cheery BBC bulletins that Michael listened to every night could not mask the impending catastrophe, the German invasion so certain that the young boy, carrying his passport on a string around his neck, was evacuated to Canada on an ocean liner full of children.

Such alarm was hardly exaggerated. No one, after all, could have ever imagined that the most unlikely flotilla of destroyers–Dutch barges, fishing boats, yachts, and even rowboats– would rescue over 300,000 men off the beach at Dunkirk and home to England. The miraculous return of the army was greeted with a renewed call for courage, and in the months that followed, the lives of tens of millions would be inexorably transformed, often tragically so, by these epochal weeks of May 1940.

It is this pivotal turning point in world history that Korda captures with such immediacy in Alone, a work that triumphantly demonstrates that even the most calamitous defeats can become the most legendary victories.

Michael Korda is the best-selling author of Hero, Clouds of Glory, and Charmed Lives. The former editor-in-chief of Simon and Schuster, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary for his participation in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and makes his hcme in Dutchess County, New York.

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Dr. Jess Shatkin Author Talk and Book Signing

Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Main Program Room
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

As part of the Parenting the #Selfie Generation: Resilience for Life series, acclaimed adolescent psychiatrist Jess Shatkin, M.D., of the NYU Child Study Center, will give an talk about a groundbreaking, research-based guide that sheds new light on why young people make dangerous choices – and offers solutions that work.

Parenting the #Selfie Generation is a community-wide collaboration with Ridgefield Public Schools, Ridgefield Council of PTAs, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield Youth Commission, Books on the Common, Project Resilience, Town Vibe, and Silver Hill Hospital.

Copies of Born to Be Wild will be available for sale and signing at the event.

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Roz Chast Author Talk and Book Signing

Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Main Program Room
Friday, November 10, 2017
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

From the #1 NYT bestselling author of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast’s new graphic memoir–a hilarious illustrated ode/guide/thank-you note to Manhattan as only she could write it.
For native Brooklynite Roz Chast, adjusting to life in the suburbs (where people own trees!?) was surreal. But she recognized that for her kids, the reverse was true. On trips into town, they would marvel at the strange world of Manhattan: its gum-wad-dotted sidewalks, honey-combed streets, and “those West Side Story-things” (fire escapes). Their wonder inspired Going into Town, part playful guide, part New York stories, and part love letter to the city, told through Chast’s laugh-out-loud, touching, and true cartoons.
Roz Chast grew up in Brooklyn. Her cartoons began appearing in the New Yorker in 1978. Since then, she has published more than one thousand cartoons in the magazine. She has written and illustrated many books, including Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant,What I Hate: From A to Z, and the collections of her own cartoons The Party After You Left and Theories of Everything. She is the editor of The Best American Comics 2016 and the illustrator of Calvin Trillin’s No Fair! No Fair! and Daniel Menaker’s The African Svelte, all published in Fall 2016.
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Poetry Coffeehouse Featuring Gail Carson Levine

Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Main Program Room
Friday, December 7, 2017
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Ridgefield Library and Books on the Common present an evening of poetry. Some local poets will read from their work and then the evening will conclude with a reading by featured poet Gale Carson Levine. Wine and Cheese (and coffee) will be served!

Gail Carson Levine’s first poetry collection for adults, Transient, came out in July, 2016, from Nightshade Press. Her poems have appeared in: The Louisville Review; The Sugar House Review; Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems; xxx and the second anthology of the Cancer Poetry Project. Two poems are forthcoming in the Lullwater Review. In 2016, she completed her MFA in poetry at NYU. She’s best known for her books for children, in particular,Ella Enchanted, which won a Newbery honor award in 1998 and was made into a major motion picture in 2004. Her other books for children include a historical novel, two picture books, a poetry collection, two nonfiction books about writing, and more fantasy novels.

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Jon Bonné Author Talk and Book Signing
Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Main Program Room
Monday, December 11, 2017
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The Library and Books on the Common welcome Jon Bonné to discuss his new book The New Wine Rules: A Genuinely Helpful Guide to Everything You Need to Know. (Ten Speed Press | Penguin Random House, November 14).

There are few greater pleasures in life than enjoying a wonderful glass of wine. So why does finding and choosing one you like seem so stressful? Now, becoming a happier, more confident wine drinker is easy. The first step is to forget all the needlessly complicated stuff the “experts” have been telling you. In The New Wine Rules, acclaimed wine writer Jon Bonné explains everything you need to know in simple, beautifully illustrated, easy-to-digest tidbits. And the news is good! For example: Nearly every pairing ‘rule’ can be disproven. You can drink rosé any time of year. Don’t save a great bottle for anything more than a rainy day.

See, things are better already. With information about buying, storing, sharing, and – of course – drinking wine, The New Wine Rulesis the ultimate gift for all wine lovers, including yourself.

Jon Bonné is one of the leading American voices writing on wine today. He is the senior contributing editor at Punch, author of The New California Wine, winner of the Roederer International Wine Book of the Year, and the wine consultant for JetBlue Airways. For nearly a decade, he served as the wine editor and chief wine critic of the San Francisco Chronicle, where he won two James Beard Awards and numerous other accolades.

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See a selection of our past events.