Tag Archive | "one for the books"

Readers Digest, But, Uh, Where?

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Surprise Sag Harbor book dinners return for fifth year to benefit John Jermain Library.

Surprise Sag Harbor book dinners return for fifth year to benefit John Jermain Library.



By Joan Baum

It’s called One For the Books and indeed, as the title suggests, it’s unusual and noteworthy — a series of book-oriented benefit dinners for the John Jermain Library that is like no other book-discussion group. Or gathering of good-food enthusiasts. Unlike most book club moveable feast get-togethers, where people know each other and take turns selecting books and providing fare, and different from Author Nights where readers sign up to have dinner with a writer at a well known person’s home, One for the Books turns on delicious mystery – Who will be hosting the dinner? What will be served? Who will be there? Until the very last minute, only the book that occasioned the dinner is known.

A couple of months before the dinners, each volunteer host picks a book. Later on, the full list is publicized in print and on the library’s website, along with available copies and call numbers. But that’s it until a week before as to who’s doing what and where. This year’s dinners take place on October 15 and October 22, each with a different set of 13 offerings, fiction and nonfiction.

To judge from past years, the One for the Books fund raiser has been a great success, realizing much appreciated money for the library’s capital campaign for restoration and expansion, and serving as a fun-filled social event and opportunity to meet new friends.

It’s amazing, say Ann and Howard Chwatsky, past attendees and hosts – “you live in town 30 years but still keep meeting new people,” especially in an artistic community like Sag Harbor. Rarely is the conversation “superficial chit-chat,” but that doesn’t mean it’s formal or forced. The feedback they’ve had has been “wonderful,” the Chwatskys note. Often a successful night widens the circle, as guests who have had a rewarding evening decide they’d like to be hosts the next year.

Gail Slavin, Chair of the One For the Books Committee points out another meaning of the title, beside playing on the expression that something is memorable because it is unique. She notes that it was the intention of One for the Books’ founders in 2006 (then board members Susan Merrell and Christiane Neuville) that each dinner host and participating guest be understood as “one” in the community who is “for” books — for reading and libraries in general, and John Jermain in particular. The Chwatskys say they are delighted to participate in anything related to the library, which has been a mainstay for them and their kids and grandkids. And Ann made such an “elegant” meal when they hosted a book dinner, Howard sighs.

Community is at the heart of the concept, says Library director Catherine Creedon, who attends both October dinner nights. How wonderful to celebrate “the pleasures of communal reading,” a rather recent development in the ancient history of sharing stories when people sat around a fire and told tales. She is thrilled that the One for the Book series is a chance to inform more people about the library’s outreach activities, including work with the district’s schools and adult programs. Is it generally known that a Suffolk County library card allows John Jermain patrons to get free book downloads? Or that Sag Harbor’s rich diversity is reflected in this year’s choice of books, including Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, originally written in Spanish and available in the library in both Spanish and English?

Of course, secrets do get leaked, though it’s pretty much the case, Slevin says, that until the week before the dinners most guests have no idea where they will be having supper or how to get there. Anonymity rules — “the book and the subject matter should be the draw.” Hosts, too, usually have to wait to see how many guests to expect. Dinner can be anywhere from six to 20 at table, depending on space and preparation — and choice of book. Some selections fill up fast and not until two weeks before the event do guests find out if their first choice (of three) can be accommodated.

It just happens that the fiction / nonfiction mix this year, a list that reflects both quirky and sophisticated literary taste, is close to 50-50. A few local authors are represented, and one (not telling) will be a dinner guest. For sure it won’t be Rudyard Kipling, who, along with two other authors no longer alive, are part of this year’s selections. The unnamed author-dinner guest does say that One for the Books is worth supporting because the library is, and it’s important to be “a good citizen.” It’s also “gratifying” to get to talk with people “who find in a book what you want them to find.” People at these dinners are “honest” and the event is “a great idea.”

Tickets: $100 ea. Dinners run from 7-10. For further info and to reserve a place, call 725-0049, xt. 244 or email johnjermainlibrary@gmail.com.

Readers Digest, But, Uh, Where?

Tags: ,



Surprise Sag Harbor book dinners return for fifth year to benefit John Jermain Library.

Surprise Sag Harbor book dinners return for fifth year to benefit John Jermain Library.



By Joan Baum

It’s called One For the Books and indeed, as the title suggests, it’s unusual and noteworthy — a series of book-oriented benefit dinners for the John Jermain Library that is like no other book-discussion group. Or gathering of good-food enthusiasts. Unlike most book club moveable feast get-togethers, where people know each other and take turns selecting books and providing fare, and different from Author Nights where readers sign up to have dinner with a writer at a well known person’s home, One for the Books turns on delicious mystery – Who will be hosting the dinner? What will be served? Who will be there? Until the very last minute, only the book that occasioned the dinner is known.

A couple of months before the dinners, each volunteer host picks a book. Later on, the full list is publicized in print and on the library’s website, along with available copies and call numbers. But that’s it until a week before as to who’s doing what and where. This year’s dinners take place on October 15 and October 22, each with a different set of 13 offerings, fiction and nonfiction.

To judge from past years, the One for the Books fund raiser has been a great success, realizing much appreciated money for the library’s capital campaign for restoration and expansion, and serving as a fun-filled social event and opportunity to meet new friends.

It’s amazing, say Ann and Howard Chwatsky, past attendees and hosts – “you live in town 30 years but still keep meeting new people,” especially in an artistic community like Sag Harbor. Rarely is the conversation “superficial chit-chat,” but that doesn’t mean it’s formal or forced. The feedback they’ve had has been “wonderful,” the Chwatskys note. Often a successful night widens the circle, as guests who have had a rewarding evening decide they’d like to be hosts the next year.

Gail Slavin, Chair of the One For the Books Committee points out another meaning of the title, beside playing on the expression that something is memorable because it is unique. She notes that it was the intention of One for the Books’ founders in 2006 (then board members Susan Merrell and Christiane Neuville) that each dinner host and participating guest be understood as “one” in the community who is “for” books — for reading and libraries in general, and John Jermain in particular. The Chwatskys say they are delighted to participate in anything related to the library, which has been a mainstay for them and their kids and grandkids. And Ann made such an “elegant” meal when they hosted a book dinner, Howard sighs.

Community is at the heart of the concept, says Library director Catherine Creedon, who attends both October dinner nights. How wonderful to celebrate “the pleasures of communal reading,” a rather recent development in the ancient history of sharing stories when people sat around a fire and told tales. She is thrilled that the One for the Book series is a chance to inform more people about the library’s outreach activities, including work with the district’s schools and adult programs. Is it generally known that a Suffolk County library card allows John Jermain patrons to get free book downloads? Or that Sag Harbor’s rich diversity is reflected in this year’s choice of books, including Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, originally written in Spanish and available in the library in both Spanish and English?

Of course, secrets do get leaked, though it’s pretty much the case, Slevin says, that until the week before the dinners most guests have no idea where they will be having supper or how to get there. Anonymity rules — “the book and the subject matter should be the draw.” Hosts, too, usually have to wait to see how many guests to expect. Dinner can be anywhere from six to 20 at table, depending on space and preparation — and choice of book. Some selections fill up fast and not until two weeks before the event do guests find out if their first choice (of three) can be accommodated.

It just happens that the fiction / nonfiction mix this year, a list that reflects both quirky and sophisticated literary taste, is close to 50-50. A few local authors are represented, and one (not telling) will be a dinner guest. For sure it won’t be Rudyard Kipling, who, along with two other authors no longer alive, are part of this year’s selections. The unnamed author-dinner guest does say that One for the Books is worth supporting because the library is, and it’s important to be “a good citizen.” It’s also “gratifying” to get to talk with people “who find in a book what you want them to find.” People at these dinners are “honest” and the event is “a great idea.”

Tickets: $100 ea. Dinners run from 7-10. For further i

Dining With A Good Book for a Companion

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web One for Books

Starting Saturday night, nearly two dozen intimate dinner parties will be thrown around Sag Harbor. People will hoist glasses of wine and dine — more likely than not  — with people they’ve never met, at a home they’ve never been to. In fact they probably won’t even know the evening’s host.

Confused?

Saturday, and the following two Saturday’s, marks the fourth year the John Jermain Memorial Library has organized One For the Books, a series of dinners to raise funds for the library’s capital budget. Binding the dinners together are, appropriately, books. And each dinner has at its heart a book selected by the host that will be the subject — or at least one of the subjects — of the evening’s conversation. Guests, in fact, know nothing about the dinner itself; only that they have chosen to dine with others who have an interest in a given title.

And, with a recently approved bond that will put the library well on its way to a restored and expanded building, guests this year will have good reason to celebrate. In TK, residents in the Sag Harbor school district voted to approve a TK bond which will pay for the restoration of the 100-year-old building that is sorely in need of rehabilitation. Its roof leaks and is crumbling to the point where scaffolding now stands above the entrance so patrons are not threatened with falling concrete. The bond will also allow the library to double in size, creating more room for the collection, and provide space for public programming.

“The first year we did this in 2006 it was a significant decision for the library to do a fundraiser,” said Gail Slevin, who is helping to organize the evenings. Noting that, at the time, the future of the library was far from clear, with the community divided over whether to build a new facility at a site adjacent to Mashashimuet Park, or to expand on site. “It was a decision to bring the community together over the library as an institution.”

That series of dinners, and subsequent ones in 2007 and 2008, brought people together in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.

“I think it helped open up the dialogue,” said Slevin. “It brought people together who did not agree with the future plans of the library, but agreed on the importance of the library in the community.”

Those dinners also helped raise about $70,000 to help the library meet a propsed $2 million in additional funding that library director Catherine Creedon said will augment bond money to provide furnishings and other necessities for the new facility.

There is a broad selection of books around which the dinners are planned this month: Colson Whitehead’s “Sag Harbor” and Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice;” Julia Child’s “My Life in France” and Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight.” Even Nancy Drew is on the menu.

And tickets are hot. As of press time, about half the dinners had been filled.

“The one I wanted to go to was Nancy Drew,” laughed Slevin. “But it was already sold out. I had even bought a new copy of ‘The Secret of the Old Clock’.”

A group of women who had been out to lunch together started talking about Nancy Drew and decided they wanted to go, said Slevin.

“They bought seven tickets,” she said.

While many dinners are already spoken for, plenty still have open seats. Among those this weekend are Brooks Hansen’s novel “John the Baptizer,” a fictionalization of eth lie of John the Baptist, and Malcolm Gladwell’s political manifesto “Outliers: The Story of Success,” and Bernard Schlink’s “The Reader,” the novel from which the Academy-award winning film starring Kate Winslet was made.

All of the dinners for October 17 are sold out, but on October 24 guests can choose from Jose Saramago’s Nobel Prize-winning “Blindness,” Charles W. Thayer’s “Bear’s in the Caviar;” “Sum: Forty Tales From the Afterlives” by David Eagleman; “The Cost of Living: The Early and Uncollected Stories” by Mavis Gallant; “Rogues’ Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money that Made the Metropolitan Museum” by Michael Gross; “Shanghai Girls” by Lisa See, and Fritz Haeg’s “Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn,” among several others.

“It’s a little bit of a surprise,” said Slevin of the formula that has made the dinners so successful. “You meet people you don’t know, but you have something in common — a particular type of book.”

To make reservations for One For the Books, call 725-0049, extension 44.

One for the Books

Tags: , ,


web One for Books

Starting Saturday night, nearly two dozen intimate dinner parties will be thrown around Sag Harbor. People will hoist glasses of wine and dine — more likely than not — with people they’ve never met, at a home they’ve never been to. In fact they probably won’t even know the evening’s host.
Confused?
Saturday, and the following two Saturday’s, marks the fourth year the John Jermain Memorial Library has organized One For the Books, a series of dinners to raise funds for the library’s capital budget. Binding the dinners together are, appropriately, books. And each dinner has at its heart a book selected by the host that will be the subject — or at least one of the subjects — of the evening’s conversation. Guests, in fact, know nothing about the dinner itself; only that they have chosen to dine with others who have an interest in a given title.
And, with a recently approved bond that will put the library well on its way to a restored and expanded building, guests this year will have good reason to celebrate. In TK, residents in the Sag Harbor school district voted to approve a TK bond which will pay for the restoration of the 100-year-old building that is sorely in need of rehabilitation. Its roof leaks and is crumbling to the point where scaffolding now stands above the entrance so patrons are not threatened with falling concrete. The bond will also allow the library to double in size, creating more room for the collection, and provide space for public programming.
“The first year we did this in 2006 it was a significant decision for the library to do a fundraiser,” said Gail Slevin, who is helping to organize the evenings. Noting that, at the time, the future of the library was far from clear, with the community divided over whether to build a new facility at a site adjacent to Mashashimuet Park, or to expand on site. “It was a decision to bring the community together over the library as an institution.”
That series of dinners, and subsequent ones in 2007 and 2008, brought people together in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.
“I think it helped open up the dialogue,” said Slevin. “It brought people together who did not agree with the future plans of the library, but agreed on the importance of the library in the community.”
Those dinners also helped raise about $70,000 to help the library meet a propsed $2 million in additional funding that library director Catherine Creedon said will augment bond money to provide furnishings and other necessities for the new facility.
There is a broad selection of books around which the dinners are planned this month: Colson Whitehead’s “Sag Harbor” and Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice;” Julia Child’s “My Life in France” and Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight.” Even Nancy Drew is on the menu.
And tickets are hot. As of press time, about half the dinners had been filled.
“The one I wanted to go to was Nancy Drew,” laughed Slevin. “But it was already sold out. I had even bought a new copy of ‘The Secret of the Old Clock’.”
A group of women who had been out to lunch together started talking about Nancy Drew and decided they wanted to go, said Slevin.
“They bought seven tickets,” she said.
While many dinners are already spoken for, plenty still have open seats. Among those this weekend are Brooks Hansen’s novel “John the Baptizer,” a fictionalization of eth lie of John the Baptist, and Malcolm Gladwell’s political manifesto “Outliers: The Story of Success,” and Bernard Schlink’s “The Reader,” the novel from which the Academy-award winning film starring Kate Winslet was made.
All of the dinners for October 17 are sold out, but on October 24 guests can choose from Jose Saramago’s Nobel Prize-winning “Blindness,” Charles W. Thayer’s “Bear’s in the Caviar;” “Sum: Forty Tales From the Afterlives” by David Eagleman; “The Cost of Living: The Early and Uncollected Stories” by Mavis Gallant; “Rogues’ Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money that Made the Metropolitan Museum” by Michael Gross; “Shanghai Girls” by Lisa See, and Fritz Haeg’s “Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn,” among several others.
“It’s a little bit of a surprise,” said Slevin of the formula that has made the dinners so successful. “You meet people you don’t know, but you have something in common — a particular type of book.”
To make reservations for One For the Books, call 725-0049, extension 44.