2011-2012 Senior Center Books — Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road Wilton, CT 06897 Tel: 203-762-3950

2011-2012 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 27
at 11 am
Selected Poems by Amy Clampitt
Discussion Leader: Judson Scruton

Amy Clampitt published her first book of poetry, The Kingfisher , at the age of sixty-three. Four major collections were produced by her over the next eleven years. This book brings together poems from all five volumes. Born in the Midwest, a descendent of pioneers, Amy Clampitt left Iowa after her graduation from Grinnell College and moved to New York City where she lived until her death in 1994. A traveler, who was intensely interested in people and ideas, she was also an impassioned observer of the natural world who wrote about subjects as varied as prairies and subways. Her poetry encompasses everything from the experiences of modern life to the movement of wildflowers.

October 25
at 11 am
I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron
Discussion Leader: Maureen Canary

“I have been forgetting things for years—at least since I was in my thirties…but now I forget in a new way. I used to believe I could eventually retrieve whatever was lost and then commit it to memory. Now I know I can’t possibly. Whatever is gone is hopelessly gone. And what’s new doesn’t stick.” Thus begins this humorous book by Nora Ephron. From the vantage point of age sixty-nine, she takes a look at the past, the present, and the future Her witty insights and observations regarding such diverse topics as marriage, divorce, diet, and email will ring true with anyone of a certain age. In addition to her books, Nora Ephron recently wrote and directed the movie Julie and Julia and has won awards for many of her screenplays.

November 22
at 11 am
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Discussion Leader: Ray Rauth

According to Ernest Hemingway, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. It’s the best book we’ve had.” A complex masterpiece, it has been called “The Great American Novel.” The Penguin Classics edition describes the story as “Intended at first as a simple story of a boy’s adventures in the Mississippi Valley—a sequel to Tom Sawyer—the book grew and matured under Twain’s hand into a work of immeasurable richness and complexity.” Banned from the Concord Library shelves in 1885, the book raised controversy right from the start. The controversy continues to this day particularly over the recent decision of a publisher to change the word “nigger” to “slave” in a new edition.

January 24
at 11 am
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Discussion Leader: Bill Zeigler

This Side of Paradise is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first novel. Upon leaving Princeton in 1917, Fitzgerald joined the army and set about to write a great novel. The completed manuscript entitled The Romantic Egotist was rejected but contained the skeleton of what would later become This Side of Paradise. When finally published in 1920, the novel received outstanding reviews and sold spectacularly. It is said to have been the first serious American novel to capture the feel of America’s “youth culture.” As the Victorian mores of the nineteenth century faded, the young became more liberal. Dancing and alcohol became the signs of a new desire for freedom in what Fitzgerald would call “the Jazz Age.”

February 28
at 11 am
Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
Discussion Leader: David Ostergren

In this meticulously researched third volume of the life of Theodore Roosevelt Edmund Morris tells the story of the final years of this extraordinary man. The first book, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt , covering TR’s boyhood to his presidency, was published in 1979. The second, Theodore Rex, published in 2001, covers the White House years from 1901-1909. Colonel Roosevelt (the title by which Roosevelt chose to be called during his post-presidential years) examines the final years of Roosevelt’s life and the waning of his political and physical powers. A critic for The Wall Street Journal considered Colonel Roosevelt “ a poignant and factual account of the 26th President’s post-White House years.”

March 27
at 11 am
The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle
Discussion Leader: Kathy Leeds

In this powerful novel, T. C. Boyle examines two parallel lives—one that of a wealthy, suburban, politically correct American couple and the other that of an illegal immigrant Mexican couple. It is a harrowing tale describing the distance between the lives of the haves and have-nots in America today. An initial car accident briefly connects the two couples. The issues of immigration, discrimination, unemployment, and social responsibility are all brought forward in this tragic tale. Ultimately, the desperate Mexican couple appears to have more passion, endurance, and humanity than the materialistic American couple who in spite of their political correctness show little sympathy for the difficult makeshift life of the illegal Mexican immigrants.

April 24
at 11 am
Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
Discussion Leader: Miwako Ogasawara

Scoop is a comedy about the British newspaper business in the 1930s. In a case of mistaken identity, William Boot, an innocent country gentleman who writes essays about the habits of wildlife, is hired as a foreign correspondent for a Fleet Street newspaper. Boot is sent to a fictional African country to cover an expected revolution. Although he has no idea about what he is doing, he eventually gets the big story. The New York Times Book Review states “With this book England’s wittiest novelist sets a new standard for comic extravaganza….The real message about Scoop is that it is thoroughly enjoyable, uproariously funny, and everyone should get a copy at once.”

May 22
at 11 am
Every Day by the Sun: A Memoir of the Faulkners of Mississippi by Dean Faulkner Wells
Discussion Leader: Barbara Jones

In this memoir Dean Faulkner Wells tells the story of the Faulkners of Mississippi whose family included pioneers, war veterans, murderers, the builder of the first railroad in north Mississippi, the founding president of a bank, four pilots (all brothers) and the Nobel Prize winner, William Faulkner. She examines the close relationship between William Faulkner and her father, Dean Swift Faulkner, a barnstormer who was killed in an airplane accident four months before she was born. After the tragedy, William Faulkner (who had given his brother the airplane) helped to raise his niece. The book offers a rare glimpse into a very private family and into the culture and society of Oxford, Mississippi, from the 1920s to the civil rights era.