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137 Old Ridgefield Road Wilton, CT 06897 Tel: 203-762-3950

Senior Center Book Discussions

All adult Wilton residents are welcome to join this free book discussion group which meets at the Comstock Community Center from September through May. The book discussions are from 11 am to noon followed by an optional lunch for $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 203-834-6240 to reserve a place for lunch.

Upcoming meetings:

January 23, 2018: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Michael Hess will lead a discussion of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited which tells the story of middle-class narrator Charles Ryder’s involvement with and observations of the aristocratic, Catholic, and somewhat dysfunctional Flytes family between the world wars. Brideshead Castle is the setting for a nostalgic story that is not so much a commentary on class relations but is more about the conflicts of religious faith and societal values in our daily lives. Although it takes place almost a century ago, there are many parallels with our changing social mores and personal etiquette in the 21st century. Waugh deploys the razor-sharp dialogue characteristic of his more satirical writing, but the novel is more a meditation on the nature of grace and an elegy for the aristocratic lifestyle that was destined to fade along with the British Empire. And several of the leading characters are unforgettable, especially Aloysius, Sebastian's Teddy bear. In a double review in The Atlantic, Ben Heineman said: 'Downton Abbey is entertainment…Brideshead Revisited is art.'
 
This group meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month from September through May, excluding December. Call the Senior Center for details and to register at (203) 834-6240. Comstock Community Center, 180 School Road, Wilton.

February 27, 2018: John Adams by David McCullough

Carol Kaelin will lead a discussion of David McCullough’s Pulitzer Price-winning biography John Adams which has taken its well-deserved place among the literary monuments commemorating the Founding Fathers of the United States. The extraordinary events of Adams’ life cannot possibly be summarized in a few sentences: from his role in the Revolution, the Continental Congress, the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, dangerous diplomatic dealings overseas, the Vice Presidency, the Presidency and more. And then there’s the intensely loving relationship with his wife and partner Abigail as well as his lifelong contentious relationship with Thomas Jefferson. From the Kirkus review: 'Despite the whopping length, there's not a wasted word in this superb, swiftly moving narrative, which brings new and overdue honor to a Founding Father.'  In addition to winning four Golden Globes, an HBO miniseries based on the book won 13 Emmy Awards, more than any other miniseries in history.
 
This group meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month from September through May, excluding December. Call the Senior Center for details and to register at (203) 834-6240. Comstock Community Center, 180 School Road, Wilton.

March 27, 2018: Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Janet Krauss will lead a discussion of Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf. The novel begins when widow Addie Moore suddenly decides to pay a visit to her neighbor Louis Waters, himself a widower. Living in the familiar, fictional, small town of Holt Colorado, the setting for all of Kent Haruf’s stories, the two have known of each other for years but have never really known each other. Addie proposes that they begin to sleep together, not for sexual intimacy, but just to talk. The visit commences a relationship through which the two seek an antidote to the loneliness they feel in their lives, especially in the dark at night. The Philadelphia Enquirer said: '[Haruf] has given us a powerful, pared-down story of two characters who refuse to go gentle into that good night.'
 
This group meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month from September through May, excluding December. Call the Senior Center for details and to register at (203) 834-6240. Comstock Community Center, 180 School Road, Wilton.

April 24, 2018: The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen

Miwako Ogasawara will lead a discussion of The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen. The novel is a social satire of the dying Anglo-Irish Protestant Ascendency set around 1920, the period of violent uprisings of the ultimately successful Irish War of Independence against the ruling class which had dominated Ireland for about 300 years. It is also the story of a young woman coming of age against the ominous backdrop of brutal political violence by both the Irish Republican Army and the British security forces. In a discussion thread focusing on the 'luxurious beauty of the sentences and the flashes of unsuspecting dry humor,' Rohan Maitzen called it a 'combination of highly aestheticized language and social comedy, as if you are being batted around by [Virginia] Woolf on one side and [Jane] Austen on the other!'
 
This group meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month from September through May, excluding December. Call the Senior Center for details and to register at (203) 834-6240. Comstock Community Center, 180 School Road, Wilton.

May 22, 2018: Reckless Endangerment by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner

Michael Bellacosa will lead a discussion of Reckless Endangerment by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times business reporter Gretchen Morgenson and housing finance expert Joshua Rosner which provides one of the best explanations of the causes of the 2008 financial crisis. With facts and data from previously untapped sources as well as Rosner’s original research, this accessible analysis takes the reader behind the curtain at mortgage-finance behemoth Fannie Mae as well as the Federal Reserve, HUD, Congress, two presidents, and some of the biggest players on Wall Street. Reviewing the book, Stanford economics professor John Taylor wrote: 'In a series of clearly written narratives with many names, dates and figures, [the authors] show that government officials took actions that benefited well-connected individuals, who in turn helped the government officials. This mutual support system thwarted good economic policies and encouraged reckless ones. It thereby brought on the crisis, sending the economy into a tailspin.'
 
This group meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month from September through May, excluding December. Call the Senior Center for details and to register at (203) 834-6240. Comstock Community Center, 180 School Road, Wilton.

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