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Books

Changing Behaviors

Books: ‘Rewire’

It’s a struggle between two parts of us all: The mindful self that can act with discretion, even wisdom, and the automatic self that, well, shoots from the hip, does what it likes to do, even if that’s not a really good idea. 

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On Love and Loss

The Scoville Memorial Library and Noble Horizons are cosponsoring a program by Tara Kelly on Sunday, Sept. 14, at 4 p.m. Writing about love, loss, death and dying Kelly takes on big and emotional subjects. She explores this particular niche in the nonfiction writing of the grief memoir, partly reflective of her own experience.

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Solving a Mystery In Science, And Maybe Righting The World, Too

Books: ‘The Famine of Men’

Here’s the idea: visit a brand new virus on men that renders them impotent. Then see what happens next. That’s the basis of “The Famine of Men,” a science fiction novel by Richard H. Kessin, a retired molecular biologist who lives, now, in Norfolk, CT.
So, what would be the consequences here? Kessin asks.
Would women, particularly women in science, gain advantages that testosterone-fueled males have historically denied them?
Would women in science rectify the situation, so to speak, and restore these soft, beardless, confused men to their former vigor?

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When Slow Is a Fine Thing

Food and Books

Bruce Weinstein is putting together a Paris-Brest, the dessert of champions. Bicycle champions, that is. This large round of pate choux filled with nougatine-laced pastry cream and showered with slivered almonds and powdered sugar once marked the 1,200-kilometer bicycle race from Paris to Brest and back, he tells me.

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A Dog’s Life In the Theater

Books: ‘Broadway Tails’

Bill Berloni got his start training dogs for the role of Sandy in the 1976 Broadway hit “Annie”and has been bringing wagging tails to audiences ever since. These days he has Roxie helping Audra McDonald in “Lady Day,”and Trixie in “Bullets Over Broadway.” Berloni and his wife, Dorothy, find, train and provide a home for their canine stars at their farm near the Connecticut shore as well as negotiate work for other animal actors. With assistance from Jim Hanrahan, and a foreward by Bernadette Peters, Berloni has written about training dogs for work in the theater in “Broadway Tails.”

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Oh, Horrors!

Books: ‘The Bird Eater’

It’s not realistic to hope that you will get the same white-knuckled, stay-up-all-night feeling of reading Stephen King for the first time from any current author in the horror genre.
With that said, I stayed up late into the night reading Ania Ahlborn’s “The Bird Eater.” It wasn’t the best I’ve ever read, but it reminded me enough of King’s work to keep me going and in the end, to be not too disappointed. In fact, I may download a few of her other titles.

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A Plague, a Villain And Then There’s Rome

Books

Jack Hyland is a man of many parts. Harvard MBA, former investment banker and longtime weekend resident of Dutchess County, Hyland has just published his first novel, “The Moses Virus,” a mystery set mostly in Rome.
The idea for the book came to Hyland, then president of the American Academy in Rome, nine years ago when he spent a day with archeologists exploring aqueducts under the ruins of the Roman Forum. What if the archeologists inhaled a deadly virus and died immediately? Hyland’s imagination was off and running.

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Gardens, Plans And Nature

Books: ‘Private Gardens of the Hudson Valley’

Gardens may look mysterious and magical, but according to Jane Garmey they are all about plans and process. She should know. She’s a longtime gardening writer and author of several books about gardening including her latest, “Private Gardens of the Hudson Valley,” a sequel of sorts to “Private Gardens of Connecticut.”
Garmey lives in Connecticut, Cornwall in fact, but she is wide ranging in her love of and interest in gardens.

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Uniting Words And Images, At Last

Books

Robert Kipniss’s new book, “Paintings and Poetry 1950-1964,” is a surprise. Long respected as a painter and master printmaker, Kipniss, a Sharon weekender, is also — or was, since he has written no poems for 50 years — a fine poet.
Before turning 20, Kipniss had resolved to be both artist and poet, and for more than a decade he created colorful, lyrical paintings and dark, pessimistic, often angry poems. The painting flowed easily; the poetry came slowly. Every word was agonizingly considered and reconsidered before a finished piece was filed away.

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Winchester’s Memoir on Madness

Books: Fred Baumgarten

Simon Winchester, the Berkshires-based polymath and best-selling author (“The Professor and the Madman”; “The Map That Changed the World”), has written a slim volume in electronic form only titled “The Man With the Electrified Brain: Adventures in Madness.”
It is a personal, confessional memoir about Winchester’s experience with sudden, incapacitating mental illness in his 20s and treatment with ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy), also called shock treatment.

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