2007-2008 Senior Center Books — Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road Wilton, CT 06897 Tel: 203-762-3950

2007-2008 Senior Center Books

All adult Wilton residents are welcome to join this free book discussion group which meets at the Comstock Community Center from September through May. An optional lunch following the discussion is $3. Extra copies of each title will be available at the Wilton Library in the month the book is to be discussed. Please call the Senior Center at 834-6240 to reserve a place for lunch.

Click Here for Past Senior Center Selections

September 25
at 11 am

Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn, by Donald Spoto
Enchanment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn Discussion Leader: Maureen Canary. Audrey Hepburn, whose very name symbolizes elegance, was known around the world not only as a superb actress but as a tireless ambassadress on behalf of the children of UNICEF. She understoo the suffering of children because she and her mother, a Dutch baroness, spent the years of World War II under Nazi control in Holland. As Audrey recalled, “I knew the cold clutch of human terror . . . I saw it, felt it, heard it . . . and it never goes away.” After leaving her movie career, she became a doting mother. In 1975, she told a journalist, “People always ask me if I’m not bored just being a wife and mother. I’m not–not at all . . . I think you need time to live, to invest in the things you care for the most. For me, that is raising my boys.”
October 23
at 11 am

The Potter’s Field, by Ellis Peters
The Potter's Field Discussion Leader: Michael McEneaney. In this seventeenth chronicle of Brother Cadfael, of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul at Shrewsbury, Ellis Peters had recreated twelfth century monastic life in meticulous detail. Peters brings the world of medieval England wonderfully alive; her books have been described as “history lessons wrapped up in mystery.” Brother Cadfael, a gentle Benedictine monk, is said to be at his most sober and reflective in this mystery but his detective skills are as impressive as ever. To quote the Chicago Sun Times, “Peters’ historical mysteries are vivid standouts . . . an old fashioned joust between good and evil.”
November 27
11 am

Istanbul: Memories and the City, by Orhan Pamuk
Istanbul: Memories and the City Discussion Leader: Ben Van Vechten. Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish author of this work, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in October of 2006. In this book, Pamuk presents a wonderful portrait of a family and of a city. Born in 1952 into a wealthy bourgeois family, all of whom lived in the Pamuk Apartments, Pamuk identified the decline of Istanbul with the decline of his family. He writes, “The city into which I was born was poorer, shabbier, and more isolated than it had ever been before in its two thousand year history. . . . I sometimes think myself unlucky to have been born in an aging and impoverished city buried under the ashes of a ruined empire. But, a voice inside me always insists that this was really a piece of luck.”
January 22
11 am

Sister Carrie, by Theodore Dreiser
Sister Carrie Discussion Leader: William Ziegler. This classic novel which marked the beginnings of the naturalist movement is considered a landmark in American literature. Written in the fall of 1899, it was the twenty eight year-old Dreiser’s first novel. It is the epic story of an innocent young girl who encounters the urban world of Chicago. In 1900, the subject matter was considered so controversial that the novel could only be published in a heavily edited version. As Alfred Kazin writes in his introduction to the fully restored version, “Carrie is innocent in the sense that she is lacking. Naively wrapped up in her own life, she is unable to imagine another’s. This may be the fate of ‘modern’ people whose personalities are constructed for them by ‘want’ and fulfilled by ‘society.’”
February 26
at 11 am

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Friedman
The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the World Discussion Leader: David Ostergren. In this brilliant book, Thomas Friedman, winner of the Pulitzer Prize three times for his work at The New York Times, explains globalization and the effect it has and will continue to have on all of us. Demystifying the bewildering global scene unfolding before our eyes, he helps us make sense of it by explaining complex foreign policy and economic issues. He reasons that the world has become “flat” and in conclusion writes “[t]he flattening of the world, as I have tried to demonstrate in this book, has presented us with new opportunities, new challenges, new partners but also, alas, new dangers, particularly as Americans. It is imperative that we find the right balance among all of these.”
March 25
at 11 am

Behind the Scenes at the Museum, by Kate Atkinson
Behind the Scenes at the Museum Discussion Leader: Kathy Leeds. This distinctive first novel was named the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year in England and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. The protagonist, Ruby Lennox, begins telling her story at the moment of her conception. She then takes the reader through the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of one girl and her family. The author’s ebullient narrative has been compared by Hilary Mantel in The London Review of Books to that of Dickens. And, Ben Macintyre of The New York Times Book Review described it as
“[r]emarkable . . . full of the grimness, grit and grandeur of Yorkshire Life . . . one of the funniest books to come out of Britain in years.”
April 22
at 11 am

The Dubliners, by James Joyce
The Dubliners Discussion Leader: Ben Van Vechten. This collection of short stories, completed in 1905, was found by a series of British and Irish publishers and printers to be “offensive and immoral” and was suppressed. Finally published in London in 1914, it is considered one of the greatest short story collections in the English language. Joyce, referring to this work, stated, “I am trying . . . to give people some kind of intellectual pleasure or spiritual enjoyment by converting the bread of everyday life into something that has a permanent artistic life of its own. . . .” He succeeds brilliantly. As a reviewer in The Atlantic Monthly has written, “Joyce renews our apprehension of reality, strengthens our sympathy with our fellow creatures, leaves us in awe before the mystery of created things.”
May 27
at 11 am

The Space Between Us, by Thrity Umrigar
The Space Between Us Discussion Leader: Barbara Jones. In this novel, the author tells the deeply affecting story of two Indian women in contemporary Bombay. One is a wealthy Parsi woman; the other is her servant. One lives in a fine house in an upper middle class neighborhood; the other in a shanty in the slums. Even though they are separated by blood and class, the lives of these two women are intimately entwined. Through their story, the reader comes to better understand India’s complex struggle with poverty, class and overpopulation. Kirkus Reviews describes this book as, “[h]eartbreaking . . . [a] subtle analysis of class and power . . . that quietly roars against tyranny.”