At the Library: Consider taking a literary road trip

At the Library: Consider taking a literary road trip



Having just seen the film “Book Club” with my book club last night, I remain lost in the reminiscence of the company of good friends. This reminds me that the best book clubs do more than challenge us to stretch ourselves as readers (who hasn’t persevered through a tome we are most definitely NOT enjoying, or experienced the joy of a book we would never have selected had it not been assigned at book club?). One of my book clubs has fallen happenstance into field trips. My imagination running away, I began to curate a list of places we have or will have visited by the time you, dear reader, pick up your newspaper to see what the Westerly Library reference staff is up to.

Read any (or all!) of Mark Twain’s masterpieces, and then head off to Hartford, Conn., for a tour of his magnificent American High Gothic style home. You could continue to the Harriet Beecher Stowe Home to see where the author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” lived. She was also a supporter of the Wadsworth Athenaeum, a premier gem of American art museums.

Fans of historical fiction will be mesmerized by Caroline Ferriday’s lilacs at the Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden. Miss Ferriday worked tirelessly during World War II providing assistance to French war orphans, and then to provide medical help and restitution for the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp survivors. Martha Hall Kelly’s novel “Lilac Girls” chronicles her efforts. Tours of this Bethlehem, Conn, home and garden are available May through October!

Head off to New York state for a visit to Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown New York after reading “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” by Washington Irving, or any other text by this prolific American author. You can visit his grave and homestead, perhaps during this spooky Halloween season!

Move on south to New York City. While there are so many options regarding books set in the Big Apple, consider these more recent efforts by contemporary authors: Stop into the dysfunctional Plumb family’s favorite lunch haunt, The Oyster Bar, described by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney in “The Nest.” Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art to view “Christiana’s World,” a lovely painting by Andrew Wyeth (her story is told by Christina Baker Kline in “A Piece of the World”). You might just pass by the former Barbizon Hotel or The Dakota (John Lennon’s former residence), the settings of Fiona Davis’s “The Doll House” and “The Address,” respectively.

After reading “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer, spend an afternoon paying homage to those lost in one of America’s greatest catastrophes at the National September 11th Memorial and Museum. For me, the most moving part is the art installation of blue tiles, each one a different shade for every life lost in both the 1993 and 2001 attacks.

Just as every novel begins with a real or imagined event, person, or thing, so too can our field trips enrich our friendships while cultivating our intellectual and artistic palates.

Top-requested books■1. “The Perfect Couple” Elin Hilderbrand■2. “The President is Missing” by Bill Clinton & James Patterson■3. “All We Ever Wanted” by Emily Giffin■4. “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah■5. “The Other Woman” by Daniel Silva■6. “The Summer Wives” by Beatriz Williams■7. “Clock Dance” by Anne Tyler■8. “The Death of Mrs. Westaway” by Ruth Ware■9. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover■10. “Cottage by the Sea” by Debbie Macomber

Top-requested movies■1. “Book Club”■2. “A Quiet Place”■3. “The Leisure Seeker”■4. “Rampage”■5. “Chappaquiddick”■6. “Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War”■7. “Life of the Party”■8. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”■9. “Ready Player One”■10. “Tully”

Top billingFor all ages■MONDAY –– The library is closed today for Victory Day■TUESDAY –– 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Animation Nation Club (Ages 8-12) – Preregistration is required; 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Free Summer Lunches – Free meal for any child under 18; 1-2 p.m., Afternoon Book Discussion – This month, we are discussing A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline. New members are always welcome to join; 2:30-3:30 p.m., Art Therapy with Teens – Experiential therapy session with Katie Ziskind; 3:30-4:30 p.m., Bwana Iguana: Live Animal Experience – Meet a learn about a variety of reptiles; 5:30-7:30, Knit & Crochet Club – Bring your project, work on a project with others, or swap yarn and ideas with fellow yarnies; 6-7:30 p.m., Renaissance Toastmasters of Westerly – Work on your public speaking skills; 7-8:30 p.m., Italy: A Cultural Slideshow, Talk and Discussion – Presented by the Dante Society and Ashley Turney.■WEDNESDAY –– 9:15-10 a.m., Storytime at the Watch Hill Library – For parents and children ages 3+; 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Dungeons and Dragons – A Teen-led program! No experience with the game necessary11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Free Summer Lunches – Free meal for any child under 18; 1-3/6-7 p.m., Wirework Wednesday – Stop by the Makerspace during the afternoon or evening session, and learn to craft with wire; 2-3 p.m., Teen Poetry Walk – We will take in the beauty of nature while reflecting on poetry and prose; 6-7 p.m., Russ DeSimone: Magician (ages 5-12) – Enjoy a high energy magic show on the third floor!■THURSDAY –– 10-11 a.m., Joe Theroux: Interactive Storytelling @ Cimalore Field (ages 4-12) – Storyteller Joe Theroux presents stories about our universal language: music!; 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Storytime and Craft with Children’s Workshop – A fun time for children aged 3 and up; 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Free Summer Lunches – Free meal for any child under 18; 3-5:30 p.m., Learn to bake delicious, vegan treats. Registration is full; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome, no sign-up required.■FRIDAY –– 2-3 p.m., Indeed Workshop – Learn about this job searching database, and sign up for an account; 8-10 p.m., Movies in the Park: Grease – Bring a blanket, some snacks, and the family to watch this classic musical in Wilcox Park; 3-5 p.m., Teen Summer Party – Celebrate the end of Summer Reading in the Teen Space! Enjoy pizza, M&M’s, a musical jam session, and prizes!■SATURDAY –– 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Adult Writers Workshop – A group-led prose writing workshop.

Marilyn Russo is a reference associate at the Westerly Library.


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