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Author Talk and Book Signing w/ Lisa Taddeo

Tuesday, September 24 @ 6pm

We are pleased to welcome New York Times best selling author Lisa Toddeo for a talk and signing on her runaway best seller Three Women. Over the past eight years, journalist Ms. Taddeo has driven across the country six times to embed herself with ordinary women from different regions and backgrounds. The result, Three Women, is the deepest nonfiction portrait of desire ever written and one of the most anticipated books of the year. Told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is a groundbreaking portrait of erotic longing in today’s America, exposing the fragility, complexity, and inequality of female desire with unprecedented depth and emotional power. It is both a feat of journalism and a triumph of storytelling, brimming with nuance and empathy, that introduces us to three unforgettable women—and one remarkable writer—whose experiences remind us that we are not alone.

Books will be available for sale and signing at the event courtesy of Hickory Stick Bookstore.

Lisa Taddeo is a two-time recipient of the Pushcart Prize (2017, 2019). She received her MFA in fiction as the Saul Bellow Fellow from Boston University. Lisa’s fiction has been published in many publications and has been a frequent contributor to Esquire Magazine, New York Magazine, Elle Magazine, The New York Observer, Glamour Magazine and The Sun Magazine. Her work has been included in Best American Sports Writing and Best American Political Writing. She is the winner of the William Holodnok fiction prize and the winner of the 2017 Florence Engel  Randall Award in fiction. Lisa and her family live in Litchfield.

How Coffee Explains the World

Thursday, September 26 @ 6:30 pm 

Nick Benson, founder of Washington based Zero Prophet Coffee will explain how coffee explains the world. To meet the burgeoning demand for coffee in developed economies, production has increased by 50% in the last 25 years, involving 150 million people worldwide in the coffee economy, from crop to cup. Coffee is now conservatively estimated to be the world’s fourth most-valuable agricultural commodity. Consumers are much more aware of their power of influence, and it is common to find coffee houses with aspirational names as well as a multitude of certifications regarding proper agricultural and labor practices.  This presentation will explore several related questions arising from a deep immersion in strong coffee: beyond do coffee growers, roasters, and cafes serve as catalysts for social change? As the public increasingly expects transparency, and ethical, sustainable practices, does the industry measure up? What can a local micro-roaster do to find out the answers to these questions, and how do local practices on a small scale reflect these broad concerns?



Climate Change Discussion with Professor Esty

Tuesday, October 8 @ 6:30 

Daniel C. Esty, Environmental Law Professor at Yale University, will deliver a talk entitled, Climate Change Progress: Global, National, State, and Local Perspectives. Climate change is real and many feel we must unify to address the ecological crisis our world faces. It would be easy to dwell on the severe impacts of extreme weather events— droughts, wildfires, hurricanes. Or on the unprecedented thawing of the Arctic and the accelerating warming of the oceans. But on the flip side of this is the growing awareness by governments, world leaders and the public in general. We understand that we must solve climate change. Mr. Esty will highlight both climate change progress and challenges – and inspire us as we continue to work towards a sustainable future for all.

Dan Esty is a sought after lecturer on energy, sustainability, and climate change issues, and has been quoted in various publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Scientific American, Forbes, and Fortune. He is a frequent commentator on NPR and has appeared on a number of national TV talk shows, such as The Colbert Report, The O’Reilly Factor, and Glenn Beck, to speak on a wide range of issues including business innovation, sustainable investing, and new directions in environmental protection. From 2011 to 2014, Dan served as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). He is the author or editor of ten books and numerous articles on energy, environmental, and sustainability issues and the relationships between environmental protection and corporate strategy, competitiveness, trade, globalization, metrics, governance, and  development. In 2002, Esty received the American Bar Association Award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy. In addition, Esty played a significant role in the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign as an energy and environmental policy adviser and served as a key member of the Presidential Transition Team. Esty holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard, a Master’s degree from Balliol College at Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a Law degree from Yale Law School. Visit .

Book Discussion- The Good Life?

Tuesday, October 15 @ 6:30 pm 

Local author Betty Krasne of Kent, CT will join Washington resident Diana Varlay in conversation as they discuss Betty’s recently released novel The Good Life? What does it take to lead the good life? All the characters in Krasne’s new novel have carefully crafted plans, but over the course of a year, as their paths cross they are forced to rethink what it is they value most. The Good Life? joins a long tradition of American stories about small towns that contain the world. Set in fictional Lynnfield in Northwest CT against the backdrop of 1980’s excess the story is a blend of characters – some “weekenders” and some locals. They start off as strangers and become connected in unexpected ways as the narrative unfolds.

Books will be available for sale & signing at the event.

Betty Krasne is the author of poems, articles, and six previous books (not including a collection of literary criticism in which she has an essay). For the greater part of her career she was a professor at Mercy College, in Westchester, N. Y. Known as “Dr. K,” she was Director of the Honors Program and the McNair Scholars Program. She grew up in New York City, raised her family in Westchester, and presently lives in Kent, CT. She often runs book discussions and teaches memoir writing classes in the area.

Growing Your Family Tree

Sunday. October 20 @ 1 pm 

In recognition of National Family History Month, professional and popular Genealogist Toni McKeen will lead a lively and informative talk on digging into your family history. Ancestors have a way of hiding. Understanding the capabilities of the available genealogy websites, knowing what various databases exist, and learning how to use these resources are critical to successfully finding long lost relatives. Learn how and where to begin doing your family research, which important websites to use, and how to establish a system to keep track of your family tree as more
ancestors are added to its branches.
A sought after expert Toni McKeen has taught a multitude of genealogy courses for the last 15 years and has been a popular lecturer at various genealogy societies in the New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Boston and Long Island areas. Visit


Decoding U.S.- China Trade Relations

Tuesday, October 22 @ 6 pm 

Professor, Historian & Author Mark Albertson will deliver a lecture on the trade relationship between the United States and China. The history of trade with China is almost as old as America itself, and today, America and China boast the world’s #1 and #2  largest economies . Trade between the two countries has been massive, yet often contentious. During more than 230 years of trade between the dominant powers China and the United States have witnessed a string of ups and downs, standoffs and reconciliations, trade wars and physical wars. Today, the  relationship is strained , and the two countries are locked in a showdown where goods are viewed as economic weapons as much as they are merchandise to be bought and sold. President Trump insists the trade war has weakened China and strengthened the position of the United States,  but experts say “the measures have disrupted trade, hurt manufacturing, roiled international markets, and slowed the global economy.” Join Professor Alberton as he discusses how the two global giants got to where they are today.

Mark Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine and is the historian for the Army Aviation Association of America. He has authored several books: USS Connecticut: Constitution State Battleship; They’ll Have to Follow You!: The Triumph of the Great White Fleet; and On History. He is presently at work on the second of a two-volume history of Army Aviation. Mark teaches as an adjunct at Norwalk Community College on the topics such as World War 1, World War 11, Vietnam, Iraq, The American Empire, the Nazi Revolution and Jihad! An avid speaker, he travels widely throughout Connecticut presenting topics of history and current events in a variety of venues. In May 2005, Mark was presented with a General Assembly Citation by both houses of Congress in Hartford for his efforts in commemorating the centennial of Battleship Connecticut.


Book Discussion- Where the Crawdads Sing

Tuesday, October 29 @ 6 pm 

Scholar & Professor of English, Aimee Pozorski, PhD will lead a discussion on the New York Times run-away bestseller that everyone is reading, Where the Crawdads Sing. Join us as Aimee explores The Language of Place in Delia Owen’s best-selling novel. Where the Crawdads Sing can be read as a coming-of-age story, a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and a celebration of the South. It can also be read, significantly, as a love letter to language itself. A novel about the written word, Where the Crawdads Sing pays homage to literacy, to poetry, and to the use of dialect in regional works. As Owens writes, “The language of the court was, of course, not as poetic as the language of the marsh.” In celebrating the sounds of the marsh, Owens also turns our attention to how language works overall – not simply the language of the courtroom, and not even the language of the marsh, but rather the language all around us that has a role to play in our relationships with the things that we love. Copies of the book are available at the circulation desk.

Aimee Pozorski holds a Ph.D. in English from Emory University (2003) and is currently Professor of English at Central Connecticut State University, where she also directs the English graduate program and co-directs American Studies. Aimee has authored Roth and Trauma: The Problem of History in the Later Works and Falling After 9/11: Crisis in American Art and Literature. She has edited or co-edited numerous volumes on the topics of Philip Roth and American Modernism. Her areas of expertise include contemporary American literature, trans-Atlantic modernism, and theories of trauma and ethics.



All programs are free and open to the public, but registration is requested.
Please call 860-868-7586 for further information or visit
The Gunn Memorial Library is located at
5 Wykeham Road at Route 47 on the Green, in Washington, CT.