Oliver Wolcott Library
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Events are updated regularly. Please check back!

Monday, January 26th - Rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 5th 1:00 - 2:00 p.m

Cozy Reads for Winter Nights
A Book Talk with OWL Staff
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“What do I read next?”  “I need a good book”
...are two comments that library staff hear each day. We love helping you find just the right book. Join us for a book talk where we’ll feature some of our favorites so you can settle into cozy winter reading by letting us guide the way.

Librarian Patricia Moore and Library Book Club Liaison Cameron Bove will share their reading recommendations to get your winter    reading off to a great start. Eighteen books will be shared including our recently published favorites as well as some gems you may have missed. For each book, we’ll give a brief story line and then share our thoughts on why this book made it to our favorite list.

After the book talk, join us for some light refreshments. A full book list will be available to take home, as well as copies of the books (and when possible, audio books) to borrow. Space is limited. Registration is required.


Thursday, January 29th - Postponed
Andy will be on assignment covering the Boston Marathon Bombing Trial and we will look to reschedule this Summer

More Cool Justice
with Author Andy Thibault

More Cool Justice is a new collection of hard-hitting essays by investigative reporter Andy Thibault that unmask despicable players in our justice system while also hailing the service of good cops and an occasional prosecutor or judge. New York Times best-selling novelist Wally Lamb calls Thibault “a junkyard dog for justice who bares his teeth at pomposity and institutional unfairness and only bites the truly deserving. Need proof? Read More Cool Justice.”

Thibault’s reporting has tackled police brutality in Hartford in the early 1990s, the Young & Rubicam “Come Back to Jamaica” kickback scandal, the financial irregularities of the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, and the 1996 bombing at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. He is the author of several books, including, History of the Connecticut State Police and Law & Justice in Everyday Life

Thibault is chairman emeritus of the Connecticut Young Writers Trust. He was an adjunct professor for the English and Writing departments at WCSU and taught writing, journalism and public speaking at the University of Hartford. This year he was honored by the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information with the Stephen Collins Award for his “many contributions to the cause of open and accountable government and a free and vigorous press.” His websites include cooljustice.blogspot.com and morecooljustice.com. A wine & cheese reception will follow the event. The author will provide books for sale & signing. Space is limited. Registration is required.

Thursday, February 19th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m

Love Hath Wings: Sounds of Love in Shakespeare’s Time
with Eric & Dee Hansen - Lute & Soprano and Baroque Flute
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When set to music, luscious and provocative Elizabethan poetry come to life. Lutenist Eric Hansen and soprano and Baroque flutist Dee Hansen present historically informed performances of works by Dowland, Campion, Johnson and others. These love songs will make you laugh, cry, and sigh. Love Hath Wings: Sound of Love in Shakespeare’s Time is a perfect way to celebrate love. 

Eric Hansen was a professional bassist and lutenist for more than 12 years. He has performed in concerts and on recordings with nationally known performers. He holds a masters degree in music history and did post graduate work at the University of Chicago with the late Howard Mayer Brown. Today he is Electronic Resources Coordinator with iConn.org, the Connecticut research engine. He continues to regularly perform on the lute as a member of the Lute Society of America,  Amherst Early Music, and Early Music America.

Dr. Dee Hansen is Director of Graduate Studies at The Hartt School, University of Hartford. She regularly performs as a soprano and Baroque Flutist with Amherst Early Music and has sung at the Boston Early Music Festival. She performed for several years with the Chorale Arts Ensemble, a professional group in Kansas City. Dr. Hansen holds a Master’s degree in music history and Doctorate of Music, Music Education degree. She is a member of Amherst Early Music and Early Music America. Space is limited. Registration is required.

Tuesday, February 24th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m

The Gargoyles of Yale University
with Photographer & Author Mathew Duman
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In this presentation, photographer and author Mathew Duman will discuss his book An Education in the Grotesque: the Gargoyles of Yale University. Duman will highlight a selection of gargoyles & grotesques found throughout the buildings of Yale University’s campus in New Haven. Using photographs from his book, Duman explores the artistic, historic, architectural and even humorous significance of these decorative sculptures and their role in communicating the identity of Yale University as a place of learning and enlightenment. 

Duman began photographing the decoration on Yale’s buildings as a hobby and ended up discovering many gargoyles around the campus that he had never seen before. He particularly enjoyed the sense of humor and irony with which they are imbued. Soon he had hundreds of photos. In order to understand more about them, he began to research Yale’s history and traditions.

Mathew Duman is a photographer and graphic designer who grew up in Bethany, Connecticut. While studying abroad, he developed a fascination with the grotesque sculptures of the cathedrals of Britain. In addition to England, Matt has made photographic trips to Italy, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. A wine & cheese reception will follow the event. The author will provide books for sale & signing. Space is limited. Registration is required.

Wednesday, March 11th
7:00 - 8:00 p.m

OWL Cookbook Club
with OWL Staff
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When in doubt, eat a cupcake! 

Join Audra MacLaren and Patricia Moore as we discuss and celebrate food and cookbooks with the OWL Cookbook Club. At our March meeting we will be discussing - and eating- cupcakes! From red velvet to peanut butter cup to maple bacon, we’ll explore and sample traditional favorites as well as new innovations.

Beginning a month before the discussion date we will have an assortment of themed cookbooks available for check out—select the one that most interests you. 

Over the course of the month we encourage you to make recipes from your selected cookbook and come ready to chat about what worked, what didn’t, and what you cannot wait to make again. 

Audra and Patricia will be bringing some of their favorites to the discussion and if you are feeling adventurous we encourage you to do the same—don’t be intimidated, we are all just amateur cooks who love books. Cupcakes will be served! Registration is required.



Sundays - Jan. 25th, Feb. 22nd & Mar. 29th
1:00 - 2:00 p.m

Southern Writers Book Discussion
with Author Todd Johnson
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Our Sunday Book Discussion Series with author Todd Johnson focuses on three award-winning Southern writers, two of whom are still working today. The selected novels represent a variety of landscapes - New Orleans, Charleston, South Carolina, and the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina - and were published in 1961, 1984, and 2008, respectively. Considered together, these works provide a range of insight into the uniqueness of the Southern voice in fiction as it has evolved through decades of social and cultural change.

Books are available at the library to borrow four weeks in advance of each discussion. Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited. Registration is required.

Todd Johnson, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, grew up performing in choirs, bands, and orchestras. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with honors in history and receiving his master’s from Yale Divinity School, Johnson moved to New York City where he became one of the most sought-after studio singers in the business. He has recorded a myriad of national jingles for television and radio, as well as having performed with such renowned artists as Garth Brooks, Celine Dion, Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow, and Sarah Brightman. Turning his energies to his longstanding love of theatre, he received a 2006 Tony Award nomination as a producer of The Color Purple on Broadway.

Johnson’s first novel, The Sweet By and By, won the 2010 Connecticut Book Award for Fiction and has been adapted for the stage by the Touring Theatre of North Carolina with a grant from the NC Arts Council. Johnson is currently co-writing the screenplay adaptation of the novel with Academy Award-winning screenwriter Ron Bass. 

Sunday, January 25 - The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
Winner of the 1961 National Book Award, The Moviegoer is the dazzling novel that established Walker Percy as one of the major voices in Southern literature. In it, Binx Bolling, a young New Orleans stockbroker, yearns for a spiritual redemption he cannot bring himself to believe in. On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, he   embarks on a hare-brained quest that outrages his family, endangers his fragile cousin Kate, and sends him reeling through the chaos of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Wry and wrenching, rich in irony and romance, The Moviegoer is a genuine American classic. 

Sunday, February 22 - Dreams of Sleep by Josephine Humphreys
Dreams of Sleep won the 1985 Hemingway Foundation Award for a first work of fiction. In it, Alice Reese knows that the cheerful sounds of her family eating breakfast mask a ten-year marriage falling apart. As Alice and her husband, Will, struggle to understand - and perhaps recapture - the feelings that drew them together in the first place, their interior lives are sensitively and      convincingly explored.

Sunday, March 29 - Serena by Ron Rash
A New York Times bestseller and PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist, Serena is a remarkable novel that “recalls both John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy” (The New Yorker). Rash’s chilling gothic tale of greed, corruption, and revenge set against the background of the 1930s   wilderness and America’s burgeoning environmental movement was named a Best Book of the Year by more than a dozen national publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and San Francisco Chronicle. Serena is brilliant contemporary fiction that exquisitely balances beauty and violence, passion and rage, cruelty and love.


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