Oliver Wolcott Library - Programs

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Thursday, August 23
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Antique Button Roadshow
with Acorn Button Club of Central Connecticut

Click Here to Register 

 

 

 

Remember going through Grandma’s button box? Remember playing “Button, button, who’s got the button?” Join the Acorn Button Club of Central Connecticut as we revisit the art, history, and beauty of antique buttons. We’ll take a trip together down memory lane to discuss and view buttons as they were meant to be - miniature works of art. If you have any old buttons, bring them along, and we’ll help you learn about their age and history.

The Acorn Button Club was established in 1942. Members come from various backgrounds and share a love of history. Acorn currently has 14 adult and 3 junior members ranging in age from 10 to 95 years old. The roadshow program is designed for the novice button enthusiast.

About the presenters:
Arlene Creswell was given her grandmother’s button collection by her father. Arlene never knew her grandmother but was able to connect with her by playing with the buttons as a child. Arlene has been a member of the Acorn Button Club for over 30 years and served as the Acorn Club secretary for many years.

Laurel Durso was introduced to button collecting about 25 years ago. A retired Fashion Technology teacher from W.F. Kaynor Technical High School, Laurel now has a craft business, Laurel Accessories. At present she is president of the Acorn Button Club as well as the Connecticut State Button Society. She is one of three state directors for the Northeast Regional Button Society.

Registration is Required

 


 

Mondays: September 10 through November 5*
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

Monday Scholars:
Plagues, Witches & War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction

Click Here to Register 

*no meeting Oct. 8


Monday Scholars is a weekly series that combines the best of online learning with classroom discussion. Each week a new lecture topic is watched and discussed. All you need to do is come ready to engage your mind and participate in the discussion. Join Patricia Moore as she facilitates this course.

In this course, we will explore the genre and craft of historical fiction. We’ll learn about the history of the historical fiction novel through the 18th and 19th centuries. This will include a review of major works and authors from that period including The Leatherstocking Tales, William Wells Brown, Charles Dickens, and Anne Katharine Green. Author Geraldine Brooks, Mary Beth Keane, Yangsze Choo will be featured interacting on video with the seminar class students to discuss their books, Year of Wonders (Brooks) Fever (Keane) and The Ghost Bride (Choo). We will also watch a series of interviews with contemporary historical fiction authors including Michael McKeon, David Robbins and Andrew Taylor.


On video, Bruce Holsinger will be the professor who leads the online lectures. He teaches in the Department of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He is the author of A Burnable Book, a historical novel set in London in 1835. His work has been recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and he is the recipient of research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Council of Learned Societies.
 

After watching a lecture together, we will then discuss what we have learned! This series is perfect for aspiring writers, lovers of historical fiction, and anyone who enjoys reading about the past.

Registration is Required
 

 


 

Thursday, September 6
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Ballad of  the Anarchist Bandits
with Author John Merriman

Click Here to Register 

 

 

 

 

A fast-paced and gripping historical account, Ballad of the Anarchist Bandits is a true tale of idealists and lost causes -- and a vivid evocation of Paris in the dizzying years before the horrors of World War I were unleashed.

For six terrifying months in 1911-1912, the citizens of Paris were gripped by a violent crime streak. A group of anarchists, motivated by the rampant inequality and poverty in Paris, went on a rampage throughout the city and its suburbs, robbing banks and wealthy Parisians, killing anyone who got in their way, and always managing to stay one step ahead of the police.

John Merriman tells this story through the eyes of two young, idealistic lovers: Victor Kibaltchiche (later the famed Russian revolutionary and writer Victor Serge) and Rirette Maîtrejean, who chronicled the Bonnot crime spree in the radical newspaper L’Anarchie. Victor and Rirette rejected the violence of Bonnot and his cronies, but to the police it made no difference.

John Merriman received his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. He teaches French and Modern European history at YaleUniversity. In 2018, Merriman received the American Historical Association award for career “Distinguished Scholarship.” He has authored and edited numerous books including The Agony of the Republic: The Repression of the Left in Revolutionary France, 1848-1851 and Dynamite Club: How a Café Bombing Ignited the Age of Modern Terror.

 

Registration is Required
A wine & cheese reception will follow.
The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing

 



Wednesday, September 12 
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.


Mystery of Sleep: Why a Good 
Night's Rest is Vital to a Better Healthier Life
with Author & Physician Meir Kryger

Click Here to Register 

 

 

We spend a third of our lives in bed, but how much do we really understand about how sleep affects us? In the past forty years, scientists have discovered that our sleep (or lack of it) can affect nearly every aspect of our waking lives. Poor sleep could be a sign of a disease, the result of a vitamin or iron deficiency, or the cause of numerous other problems. Yet many people, even medical personnel, are unaware of the dangers of poor sleep.

Enter Dr. Meir Kryger, a world authority on the science of sleep, with a comprehensive guide to the mysteries of slumber that combines detailed case studies and pragmatic advice.

Meir Kryger, MD, FRCPC, joined the Yale School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Health System, in November 2011. Previously he was Professor of Medicine, University of Manitoba where he established the first clinical laboratory studying patients with sleep breathing problems in Canada.

Dr. Kryger was the first to diagnose and report obstructive sleep apnea in North America. His laboratory elucidated the interaction between heart failure and sleep respiration, publishing the first systematic study of oxygen in this condition.


Dr. Kryger has published more than 200 research articles and book chapters. He is the chief editor of the most widely used textbook in sleep medicine, The Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, and is the author of A Woman’s Guide to Sleep Disorders, The Atlas of Clinical Sleep Medicine, and Kryger’s Sleep Medicine Review.

Registration is Required
A wine & cheese reception will follow.
The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing.

 


 


Sunday, September 16
Sunday, October 14
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Oscar Wilde
Discussion with David Rosen

Click Here to Register 
 

 

Join David Rosen as he explores Oscar Wilde’s two classic works.

September 16: The Picture of Dorian Gray
In this work, Wilde forged a devastating portrait of the effects of evil and debauchery on a young aesthete in late-19th-century England. Combining elements of the Gothic horror novel and decadent French fiction, it centers on a striking premise: As Dorian Gray sinks into a life of crime and sensuality, his body retains perfect youth and vigor while his recently painted portrait grow hideously more evil day by day.
 

October 14: The Importance of Being Earnest
Oscar Wilde’s most brilliant tour de force - a witty and buoyant comedy of manners that has delighted millions since its first performance in London’s St. James’ Theatre on February 14, 1895. The Importance of Being Earnest is celebrated not only for the lighthearted ingenuity of its plot, but for its inspired dialogue, rich with scintillating epigrams still savored by all who enjoy artful conversation.

David Rosen is a Professor of English at Trinity College where he teaches modern and contemporary British Literature and poetry. He received his B.A. from Columbia, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. In 2006, he received the Arthur H. Hughes Award for Teaching Achievement. He is the author of two books: The Watchman in Pieces: Surveillance, Literature, and Liberal Personhood; and Power, Plain English, and the Rise of Modern Poetry. He has also authored numerous articles on literature.

Registration is Required
Books will be available 4 weeks prior to the discussion.

 

 


 

Tuesday, September 18
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

 Meet Libby: Download E-Books & E-AudioBooks
with Librians Audra MacLaren & Patricia Moore

Click Here to Register 

 

 

Have you met Libby yet? Libby is the new, intuitive app to download e-books and audiobooks from the library. No more clunky interfaces, or confusing web pages. Libby streamlines the process of borrowing downloadable materials from the OWL. Join librarians Audra MacLaren and Patricia Moore to learn all about the simplest and most enjoyable way to browse, check out, and read (or listen to!) e-books and e-audio.

BYOD--Bring your own device! Whether it’s a smartphone, iPad, or e-reader, bring it along to download and explore Libby in real time with Audra and Patricia. 

Registration is Required




Wednesday, September 19th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Lyme Disease: The Many Paths to Feeling Better
with Dr. Alice Bell

Click Here to Register

 

This presentation will cover Lyme disease - what it is, acute and chronic symptoms of Lyme disease, testing, and what to do if you get a tick bite. We will also explore Lyme controversies, treatment options - both conventional and Naturopathic - and alternative treatments for patients with Lyme disease.

Alice Bell, ND, MS, is a Connecticut-licensed Naturopathic Physician practicing in Litchfield who performs extensive diagnostic testing and treats patients using pharmaceutical grade supplements, botanical medicine, and therapeutic nutrition. She specializes in treating adult patients with Lyme disease and the associated co-infections, and other chronic diseases.

Bell has a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and an MS in Human Nutrition. She has been an Adjunct Professor at Sacred Heart University, Westchester Community College, the University of Bridgeport, College of Mount Saint Vincent and Fairfield University where she taught Anatomy & Physiology, Introduction to Nutrition, and other classes.

Registration is Required

 


 

 

Tuesday, September 25
                 or
Wednesday, September 26
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Letters Home & 13th Floor:
Three Plays written and performed
by Nancy Schuler

September 25th  Click Here to Register    

September 26th  Click Here to Register    



Letters Home is actually two short pieces. The first half is a monologue. Meet Margaret Griffin Carey born in 1883 (Nancy’s Irish grandmother). Margaret tells of leaving Ireland and her days in the U.S. raising a family and then sending her boys off to war. The second half is Teresa Gargiulo Palmento (Nancy’s Italian grandmother) born in Italy in 1888, writing and receiving letters from her son, Gennaro, in the army during WWII.

The 13TH Floor is a much lighter, modern piece, full of dialogue about two ships passing in the night. Nancy’s husband, Ed, once again will be joining her in two pieces. He will play the voice of Gennaro in Letters Home and also Paul in The 13th Floor.

Nancy was born and raised in Waterbury and has lived in Litchfield for the past 20 years with her husband, Ed. After a life of teaching art and painting, she transitioned to writing and acting. Her story about Teresa, her Italian immigrant grandmother, was awarded a place at the New York Public Library Equity Theater’s 2017 new playwrights. She performed Teresa at the Italian American Museum in New York, the Manhattan Repertory Theatre, the New Britain Museum, Shakesperience Productions, the Mattatuck Museum and many community centers and libraries. Her trilogy, Three Women, Three Roads, has also been performed at numerous theatres and libraries.

Registration is Required

 


 

Thursday, September 27 
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.


Outrageous, Alarming, Courageous
& Charming: Randy Newman
A Presentation with Gil Gigliotti

Click Here to Register 

 

If you only know “Short People” and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” then you don’t know Randy Newman.

From his 1968 debut album through the 2017 Grammy-winning Dark Matter (not to mention many of his very popular film soundtracks), Randy Newman has populated his music with characters who reflect the complexities and contradictions of the late 20th and early 21st century United States. 

Often misunderstood due to his forsaking the more confessional approach of pop/rock/folk singer-songwriters, Newman, steeped in our national, musical and cinematic history, offers his listeners unflinching portraits of outcasts, patriots, bigots, loners, lovers, and losers, all struggling to understand our world, even as its very foundation seems to be shifting beneath them.

Gilbert L. Gigliotti is a professor of English and Latin at Central Connecticut State University and the host for more than two decades of “Frank, Gil, and Friends” every Tuesday morning on WFCS 107.7 FM. He earned his PhD in comparative literature at The Catholic University of America.

His books on Frank Sinatra, Eva Gardner and now Randy Newman (The Words & Music of Randy Newman will be out in December 2018) belie his more traditional academic interests in American Puritans like Cotton Mather and the literature of ancient Greece and Rome.

Registration is Required

 


 

Thursday, October 4
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

The Bar Harbor Retirement Home
for Famous Writers
a Conversation with Author Terri-Lynne DeFino

Click Here to Register 




 “A solid hit, perfect for book clubs and readers who love to read about writers, writing, and books; why we love them; and how they make life worth living.” ~ Library Journal  (starred review)

The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers is a whimsical, moving novel about a retirement home for literary legends who spar, conjure up new stories, and almost magically change the lives of the people around them.

Set on the water in one of New England’s most beautiful locales, the Bar Harbor Home was established specifically for elderly writers needing a place to live out their golden years - or final days - in understated luxury and surrounded by congenial literary company. A faithful staff of nurses and orderlies surround the writers, and are drawn into their orbit, as they are forced to reckon with their own life stories…As the edges between story and reality blur, a world within a world is created. It’s a place where the old are made young, the damaged are made whole, and anything is possible….

Join Joseph Montebello as he facilitates this conversation.

Terri-Lynne DeFino was born and raised in New Jersey, but escaped to the wilds of Connecticut back in the nineties when her kids were babies and everyone wore flannel. She still lives in rural New England with her cats and husband, spending her days exorcising the people and places living inside her head.

 

Registration is Required
A wine & cheese reception will follow.
The author will provide books for sale & signing.

 


 

Wednesday, October 10
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Spooky & Sweet: Horror Novels & Fall Romances
with Librarians Patricia Moore and Jordan McCorison

Click Here to Register 

 

 

Join librarians Jordan McCorison and Patricia Moore for pizza as we share with you our favorite autumn reading choices!

Whether you’re looking for a scary read in the weeks leading up to Halloween or have more romantic inclinations, we’ve got you covered.

From horror classics like Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes to sweetly sentimental reads like Sarah Addison Allen’s Sugar Queen - there is so much to enjoy about fall and we have the perfect books for the season.

Hear about the books notable enough to make our list while you enjoy a pizza dinner. Afterwards all the books discussed will be available for checkout. We look forward to seeing you at this seasonal celebration of books!

Registration is Required
Pizza will be provided.

 


 

Wednesday, October 17
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.


The Electrification of the 
New Haven Railroad
with Rick Abramson

Click Here to Register 


This presentation will cover the pioneering, hi-voltage AC electrification of the New Haven Railroad (NHRR) from its initial installation in 1907 to where it is today. This will include the power generation, distribution and the development of the NHRR's electric locomotives. The NHRR not only had to deal with its own power system, but also that of the New York Central which used DC over which the NH traveled on 12 miles to gain access to/from Grand Central Terminal.

Rick Abramson is a retired railroader with 44 years of service beginning with the New Haven Railroad in February 1968 and retiring as superintendent of operations for the Housatonic Railroad in September 2012. His career included the NHRR, Penn Central, Amtrak and several short-line railroads where he held many positions including locomotive engineer.

Along with being a professional railroader, he also enjoys HO Scale model railroading and has an extensive HO scale New Haven Railroad layout - complete with all the overhead wires.

Registration is Required


 

Tuesday, October 23
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

The Last Thunk
with Author Gerard Farrell

Click Here to Register 


 

 

THUNK! It’s the sweet sound an ad-packed magazine makes when it’s dropped on a table. At glitzy Carlyle Nash Media, it’s the sound of success. And star publisher Mitch Blake has been happily hearing it for a decade.

But when the heavily hyped debut issue of World Magazine gets panned in the press and advertisers start to flee, Mitch must control the damage. Can he right the ship and protect his reputation? Or will both be sunk by Paul Cavanaugh, a hard-drinking, paranoid, stress-prone staffer who has stolen an item Mitch needs back to avert disaster: a miniature beach ball.

One part pre-recession satire, one part diary of a marketing man coming undone, The Last Thunk is a story of betrayal and friendship, love and survival in the crazy, gritty, glamorous world of magazine advertising...as told by the beach-ball thief himself.

Gerard Farrell has worked in the magazine industry since the late 90s for brands including The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Allure, and the ill-fated business magazine Condé Nast Portfolio. His short humor has appeared in the literary anthology The Man Who Ate His Book, and he is a frequent contributor to the literary webzine Ducts.

Registration is Required
A wine & cheese reception will follow.
The Hickory Stick Bookshop will provide books for sale & signing

 


 

Wednesday, October 24
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

The Cookbook Club
Halloween Appetizer & Dessert Potluck

Click Here to Register 

 

Do you have any recipes that look spooky but taste delicious? “Devilish Eggs?” “Jalapeno Mummies?” How about a “Blue Cheese Brain Bowl?” We are overflowing with fun ideas if you need some recommendations and we will also have a display of Halloween-themed cookbooks beginning a month before the program. 

Join Librarians Jordan McCorison and Patricia Moore for an entertaining potluck dinner of delicious food and delightful conversation. We encourage you to bring a dish to share, but if you run out of time to cook, never fear, just bring yourself - there is always more than enough food to go around. We cannot wait to share a fun, food-filled evening with you. After all, we are just amateur cooks who love books.

Registration is Required
 



 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 




 

 


 

 


 


 



 

 

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