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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.

Senior Center Book Discussion: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Tuesday, January 28, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Please join us as Michael Hess leads a discussion of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

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.

Have you ever wondered where the concept of “paradigm shift” came from? Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is the book that coined the phrase. Based on years of research on how scientific progress actually takes place, Kuhn’s controversial book became a landmark event in the history, philosophy, and sociology of scientific knowledge. It challenged the prevailing view of scientific progress as the accumulation of accepted facts and theories. He argued that periods of continuity in “normal science” were interrupted by periods of “revolutionary science” in which anomalies are discovered that cannot be explained by the existing paradigm. Hence the shift to a new paradigm which then asks new questions of old data, changes the rules of the game, and suggests directions for new research. Scientific American said the book “may be the most influential treatise ever written on how science does (or does not) proceed.”

Senior Center Book Discussion: American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

Tuesday, February 25, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Please join us as Carol Kaelin leads a discussion of Jon Meacham's American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.

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.

Following our last three great discussions of Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson we now move on to Andrew Jackson. Award-winning writer Jon Meacham’s definitive biography of the seventh American president won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. Upon his ascent to the presidency, “Old Hickory” championed the rights of the common man against the corrupt elites. If you think today’s politics are dramatic, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Walter Isaacson said it is “a book that explains our nation's most enigmatic hero, a man who was revered and reviled and little understood…It's a vivid, fascinating human drama, and Meacham shows how the personal was interwoven with the political. Jackson presided over the birth of modern politics, and this book's brew of patriotism and religion and populism tastes very familiar. In helping us understand Jackson, Meacham helps us understand America.”

Senior Center Book Discussion: Where the Crawdads Sing

Tuesday, March 24, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Please join us as Janet Krauss leads a discussion of Delia Owens's Where the Crawdads Sing.

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.

This blockbuster debut novel by wildlife scientist Delia Owens landed on The New York Times Best Seller list just a few weeks after its publication in August 2018, reaching Number One by January 2019 and then spending over 20 weeks in the top spot during 2019. Its two plots are an intertwining of a coming-of-age story and a murder mystery in the context of naturalist writing centered on the marshes and swamps of North Carolina. Chris Schluep wrote in Amazon Book Review: “This novel has a mystery at its core, but it can be read on a variety of levels. There is great nature writing; there is coming of age; and there is literature. Crawdads is a story lovingly told…You’ll want to relax and take your time as well, and when you’re done you will want to talk about it with another reader.”

Senior Center Book Discussion: Old New York: Four Novellas

Tuesday, April 28, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Please join us as Miwako Ogasawara leads a discussion of Edith Wharton's Old New York: Four Novellas.

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.

Edith Wharton followed up her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Age of Innocence with Old New York: a set of four novellas set in that novel’s same time and place. Indeed, some of the characters from the earlier novel overlap in these stories. Each novella corresponds to a decade with the set spanning the 1840s through the 1870s. In contrast to the full-blown novel, these are more like character studies in which the characters and their relationships to each other and to society at large are brought under the scrutiny of Wharton’s acute social-critical sense. One of the novellas, “The Old Maid,” was adapted as a 1939 film starring Betty Davis. Gore Vidal has said that “there are only three or four American novelists who can be thought of as ‘major’ -- and Edith Wharton is one.”

Senior Center Book Discussion: Five Days in London: May 1940

Tuesday, May 26, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Please join us as Michael Bellacosa leads a discussion of John Lukacs's Five Days in London: May 1940.

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.

The five days in 1940 from May 24 through May 28 in London were among the most consequential in world history. Just two weeks after Winston Churchill became Prime Minister, and with the British Army bottled up backs against the English Channel at Dunkirk, the fate of Western Civilization hung in the balance. Historian John Lukacs takes us through a fascinating, behind-the-scenes account of the struggle inside Britain’s War Cabinet between Winston Churchill and Lord Halifax: Churchill advocating standing alone against Hitler even unto death; and Halifax arguing for a negotiated settlement with the Nazi dictator. Even though we know the outcome, the book reads like a tense political thriller. The Boston Globe said that it “is a relatively compact book, but it has the power and sweep of Shakespeare's chronicle plays….One of Lukacs' impressive strengths is a gripping narrative drive. He is lucid and splendidly readable, and furthermore, commands a host of dramatic characters.”

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