2012-2013 Senior Center Books — Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road Wilton, CT 06897 Tel: 203-762-3950

2012-2013 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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012THE WILD IRIS by Louise Gluck Discussion Leader, Judson ScrutonLouise Gluck, US Poet Laureate from 2003-2004, won the Pulitzer Prize for The Wild Iris in 1993.  She has received many other awards including the Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 2001 and numerous fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations.  In this book Gluck uses a highly symbolic structure placing parallel thoughts between flowers of a garden and the gardener/poet and between the poet/gardener and an unnamed god.  Through this symbolic structure the reader senses the human situation of being caught between the material and spiritual worlds.  Louise Gluck currently teaches at Yale where she is Rosencranz Writer in Residence.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012AND FURTHERMORE by Judi Dench   Discussion Leader, Maureen CanaryAnyone who has seen the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel or watched As Time Goes By on television, will enjoy this warmhearted memoir by Dame Judi Dench.  One of the foremost stage, screen and television actresses of our time, she has been awarded every honor for performances given on stage and screen.  In this book, described in Booklist as a “comfortably chatty memoir,” she reminisces about her personal and professional life as an internationally renowned actress.  Considering the idea of retirement, she says, “You retire to do the things you really want to do.  Well, I am doing things I want to do now.”  Dench was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1988, and, as stated in the UK Daily Mail, “There ain’t nothing like this dame!”
Tuesday, November 27, 2012THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway   Discussion Leader, Ray RauthAwarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1953, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, Hemingway changed the style of American writing with his terse prose and short declarative sentences.  The Sun Also Rises, which first appeared in 1926, tells the story of young American and British expatriates who, disillusioned by World War I, have been called the “lost generation.”  Weary of drinking and dancing in Paris, they go to the Spanish town of Pamplona for a week-long fiesta known for the running of the bulls and brutal bullfighting.  As described in The New York Times, it is “a heart-breaking narrative…a truly gripping story, told in lean, hard, athletic prose…magnificent.”
Tuesday, January 22, 2013THE RECTOR OF JUSTIN by Louis Auchincloss   Discussion Leader, William ZieglerThis novel, published in 1964, is considered by many to be the greatest achievement of Louis Auchincloss.  Set in a prestigious Episcopal boys’ school in New England, it tells the life story of the school’s charismatic founder through the personalities and memories of many observers.  Considered vintage Auchincloss, it is the story of a man’s entire life and a profound analysis of his character from his schoolboy days to the age of eighty-five.   The daily workings of a famous boys’ school are portrayed as well.  To quote The New Yorker, it is “A daring and ambitious book…its poise and taste and intelligence strike one on every page, as do its unerring knowledge and literary skill.”
Tuesday, February 26, 2013THE GREATER JOURNEY:  AMERICANS IN PARIS by David McCullough   Discussion Leader, David OstergrenDavid McCullough has twice won the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and has received numerous other honors and awards.  His latest work The Greater Journey:  Americans in Paris is the story of adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others who went to Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900 to pursue their dreams and excel in their work.  Amongst these people were such famous authors as James Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Henry James, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Oliver Wendell Holmes.  David McCullough maintains that their achievements altered American history and writes, “Not all pioneers went West.”
Tuesday, March 26, 2013AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser    Discussion Leader, Karen TatarkaWhen first published in 1925, this novel became an immediate bestseller.  Dreiser, inspired by a notorious murder in 1906, studied the social background of this case and others like it in preparation for writing this remarkable novel.  The story of an ambitious but immature young man from a poor family, it is a powerful depiction of youthful loneliness in the modern industrial world and a critique of the delusions and inequities of American society, the dark side of the American dream.  The movie, A Place in the Sun, based on the novel is considered one of the finest dramatic productions of the 1950s.  In 2005 Time Magazine included An American Tragedy in a list of the top one hundred novels written in English since 1923.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013THE HOUSEKEEPER AND THE PROFESSOR by Yoko Ogawa   Discussion Leader, Miwako OgasawaraIn this novel written by one of Japan’s most acclaimed authors, a brilliant math professor is assisted by a housekeeper with a ten-year-old son.  Because of a traumatic head injury, the Professor has only eighty minutes of short-term memory; each morning he has to be reintroduced to the Housekeeper.  However, his mind is still alive with equations and through math he and the Housekeeper develop a beautiful relationship.  The New York Times Book Review described the book as “Deceptively elegant….This is one of those books written in such lucid unpretentious language that reading it is like looking into a deep pool of clear water.  Dive into Yogo Ogawa’s world…and you find yourself tugged by forces more felt than seen.”
Tuesday, May 28, 2013THE MAN IN THE WHITE SHARKSKIN SUIT by Lucette Lagnado   Discussion Leader, Barbara JonesIn this beautifully written memoir of her father, Lucette Lagnado recreates the glamour of Cairo in the years between World War II and the rise to power of Gamal Abdel Nasser.  Her father, a “boulevardier” always dressed in a white sharkskin suit, conducted business in the elegant surroundings of Shepheard’s Hotel and the Nile Hilton until he and his family lost everything after the fall of King Farouk and Nasser’s nationalization of Egyptian industry.  With their belongings packed in twenty-six suitcases, the family fled Cairo.   In this memoir the poverty and hardships they encounter in leaving and settling in New York are juxtaposed against the luxury and beauty they left behind.