UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: Six "Book Chats" from the Carnegie Medal Shortlist at Pequot Library

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Six "Book Chats" from the Carnegie Medal Shortlist at Pequot Library

Book Chat Leaders - Back row (l to r): Lynne Laukhuf, Marianne Pysarchyk, 
Adair Heitmann 
Front row (l to r): Dianne Schlosser, Victoria Konopka, Martha Lord

six “book chats” from the carnegie medal shortlist 
at pequot library
Southport, CT – The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction recognize the best of the best in fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. the previous year. The awards serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material. A shortlist of finalists is announced each spring from 50 titles drawn from the previous year’s Booklist Editors’ Choice and RUSA Notable Books lists.

Pequot Library hosts a series of six “Book Chats” in the Reading Room of Pequot Library, from the Carnegie Medal Shortlist. The book chats are on Wednesdays from 11:30 – 12:30pm starting on May 21, and will run for six consecutive weeks. The Book Chats are informal conversations about the book, led by a facilitator.

May 21 - On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History by Nicholas A. Basbanes
May 28 - Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
June 4 - The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin
June 11 - Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat
June 18 - Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
June 25  - The Goldfinch: A Novel by Donna Tartt

On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History by Nicholas A. Basbanes will be discussed on May 21.  A Best Book of the Year: Mother Jones, Bloomberg News, National Post, Kirkus Reviews. A consideration of all things paper—its invention that revolutionized human civilization; its thousand-fold uses (and misuses), proliferation, and sweeping influence on society; its makers, shapers, collectors, and pulpers—written by the admired cultural historian and author of the trilogy on all things book-related: A Gentle Madness; Patience and Fortitude (“How could any intelligent, literate person not just love this book?”—Simon Winchester); and A Splendor of Letters (“Elegant, wry, and humane”—André Bernard, New York Observer). Led by Victoria Konopka, who is a Communications and Library Services specialist at Pequot Library. She is a Fairfield University graduate.

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink will be discussed on May 28.
Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina – and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice. In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amid chaos. Led by Dianne Schlosser who was Head Librarian at Pequot Library. Previously, she was Director of Information Services at Greens Farms Academy and lived in New Orleans for 35 years before moving to Connecticut two years before Katrina. 

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns
Goodwin, will be discussed on June 4. One of the Best Books of the Year as chosen by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Time, USA TODAY, and the Christian Science Monitor. “A tale so gripping that one questions the need for fiction when real life is so plump with drama and intrigue” (Associated Press).

The gap between rich and poor has never been wider…legislative stalemate paralyzes the country…corporations resist federal regulations…spectacular mergers produce giant companies…the influence of money in politics deepens…bombs explode in crowded streets…small wars proliferate far from our shores…a dizzying array of inventions speeds the pace of daily life. Led by Marianne Pysarchyk, MSLIS, MA, who is the Technical Services and Teen Librarian at Pequot Library. She is a graduate of Pratt Institute and recent graduate of SCSU Women's Studies Graduate program.

Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat, will be discussed on June 11. From the best-selling author of Brother, I’m Dying and The Dew Breaker: a stunning new work of fiction that brings us deep into the intertwined lives of a small seaside town where a little girl, the daughter of a fisherman, has gone missing.

Claire Limyè Lanmè—Claire of the Sea Light—is an enchanting child born into love and tragedy in Ville Rose, Haiti. Claire’s mother died in childbirth, and on each of her birthdays Claire is taken by her father, Nozias, to visit her mother’s grave. Nozias wonders if he should give away his young daughter to a local shopkeeper, who lost a child of her own, so that Claire can have a better life. But on the night of Claire’s seventh birthday, when at last he makes the wrenching decision to do so, she disappears. Led by Adair Heitmann, Director of Communications at Pequot Library.  She is an award-winning artist and writer, Heitmann also leads creative writing workshops at Fairfield Public Library.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will be discussed on June 18. One of The New York Times's Ten Best Books of the Year and Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. An NPR "Great Reads" Book, a Chicago Tribune Best Book, a Washington Post Notable Book, a Seattle Times Best Book, an Entertainment Weekly Top Fiction Book, a Newsday Top 10 Book, and a Goodreads Best of the Year pick.

A powerful, tender story of race and identity. Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland. Led by Pequot Library volunteer Lynne Laukhuf. She recently retired as Assistant Head of School at Greens Farms Academy and during her earlier career Laukhuf was a librarian as well as an English and history teacher.

The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) by Donna Tartt, will be discussed on June 25. "The Goldfinch is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind....Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction."--Stephen King, The New York Times Book Review

Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love--and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle. Led by Martha Gates Lord, EdD, Executive Director of Pequot Library. She was the Associate Head of School at Greens Farms Academy, and the Head of School at two private secondary institutions.

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