Archer Mayor is the author of the highly acclaimed Vermont-based series featuring detective Joe Gunther, which the Chicago Tribune describes as “the best police procedurals being written in America.” He is a past winner of the New England Independent Booksellers Association Award for Best Fiction—the first time a writer of crime literature has been so honored. In 2011, Mayor’s 22nd Joe Gunther novel, TAG MAN, earned a place on The New York Times bestseller list for hardback fiction.
Discussion of Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China, by Paul French. Chronicling an incredible unsolved murder, Midnight in Peking captures the aftermath of the brutal killing of a British schoolgirl in January 1937. The mutilated body of Pamela Werner was found at the base of the Fox Tower, which, according to local superstition, is home to the maliciously seductive fox spirits. As British detective Dennis and Chinese detective Han investigate, the mystery only deepens and, in a city on the verge of invasion, rumor and superstition run rampant. Based on seven years of research by historian and China expert Paul French, this true-crime thriller presents readers with a rare and unique portrait of the last days of colonial Peking. Winner of both the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and the CWA Non-Fiction Dagger.
This discussion will take place upstairs in the library.
Film showing of Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, and Emma Watson. A man is appointed by God to carry out a crucial mission of rescue before a calamitous flood destroys the world.
"...Noah" manages to blend the expected with the unexpected and does it with so much gusto and cinematic energy you won't want to divert your eyes from the screen." --Los Angeles Times
"One of the most dazzling and unforgettable Biblical epics ever put on film."--Richard Roeper
"...Noah is a daringly inventive, thoroughly entertaining and ultimately very serious movie." --Newsday
In a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the middle of the night and then set fire to her home. When their lifelong neighbor Akhmed finds Havaa hiding in the forest with a strange blue suitcase, he makes a decision that will forever change their lives. He will seek refuge at the abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded.
For Sonja, the arrival of Akhmed and Havaa is an unwelcome surprise. Weary and overburdened, she has no desire to take on additional risk and responsibility. But over the course of five extraordinary days, Sonja’s world will shift on its axis and reveal the intricate pattern of connections that weaves together the pasts of these three unlikely companions and unexpectedly decides their fate. A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance.
Harlan R. Jessup, a professional genealogist who specializes in researching families from western Connecticut and nearby New York and Massachusetts, will provide information on where to look for information on Civil War soldiers. He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Connecticut Society of Professional Genealogists and editor of the quarterly journal Connecticut Ancestry.
Learn where to look for information on Civil War soldiers, including service records, pension, census and burial records, and published unit and personal histories.
Film showing of Bad Words, Jason Bateman's directorial debut in which he also stars. Guy Trilby is a 40-year-old who finds a loophole in the rules of the Golden Quill national spelling bee and decides to cause trouble by hijacking the competition. While reporter Jenny Widgeon attempts to discover his true motivation, Guy finds himself forging an unlikely alliance with a competitor: awkward ten-year-old Chaitanya Chopra, who is completely unfazed by Guy's take-no-prisoners approach to life.
"The performances are funny, appealing and, in the case of Allison Janney, as a spelling bee official, wonderful." --New York Times
"In this profanely funny comedy of bad manners and hurts that won't heal, Bateman shows the same skill as a filmmaker that he does as an actor. And that's something to see." --Rolling Stone
Rated R, 89 minutes. Feel free to bring your lunch for this midday showing. Popcorn and beverages will be provided.