In 1889, in “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” Mark Twain wrote: “You see, my kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its office-holders.. . . institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing . . . [T]he citizen who thinks he sees that the commonwealth’s political clothes are worn out, and yet holds his peace and does not agitate for a new suit, is disloyal; he is a traitor.”
On Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. at The Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Ave., Hartford, a University of Connecticut panel will discuss “Mark Twain and Fragile American Democracy,” a debate about the relevance of his ideas today.
Chairing the free discussion will be Davita Silfen Glasberg, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a professor of sociology. Panelists will be David Yalof, professor and head, Department of Political Science; Manisha Desai, professor of Sociology and Asian and Asian American Studies and department head of Sociology; Michael Patrick Lynch, professor of philosophy and director of the Humanities Institute and Micki McElya, associate professor of History. Registration: marktwainhouse.org.
Authors At Hickory Stick
Tomie dePaola, who grew up in Meriden and became the much-honored author and illustrator of award-winning children’s books, including the Strega Nona series, will visit The Hickory Stick Bookshop, 2 Green Hill Road, Washington Depot, on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 2 p.m. to celebrate the release of his new picture book, “The Legend of Old Befana,” in which he retells the Italian Christmas folktale.
Two authors will appear at Hickory Stick on Saturday, Nov. 11. At 2 p.m., Judy E. Byrne will sign copies of her new children’s picture book, “The Adventures of Fireman Frank.” At 4 p.m., humorist and cookbook author Ann Hodgman will discuss and sign copies of “Vegan Food for the Rest of Us: Recipes Even You Will Love.”
Reservations: 860-868-0525 or thehickorystick.com.
Authors At R.J. Julia
R.J. Julia Booksellers of Madison will present a talk by international best-selling author Isabel Allende on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 4 p.m., at First Congregational Church, 26 Meeting House Lane, Madison. Allende’s latest novel, “In the Midst of Winter,” is about a traffic accident that brings together three very different people and moves from Brooklyn to Guatemala to Chile and Brazil, and from the 1970s to the present. Admission is $30 plus tax and includes one signed copy of the book.
On Monday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. at the bookstore, 768 Boston Post Road, Madison, a free Local and Independent Authors Night will present talks with a Veterans’ Day theme by three authors.
Michael Zacchea, who lives in Connecticut, will discuss “The Ragged Edge: A US Marine's Account of Leading the Iraqi Army Fifth Battalion,” which recounts his nearly impossible mission to oversee the first Iraqi army battalion trained by the U.S. military, but without sufficient supplies or cultural and language training. Zacchea won two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, and Iraq’s Order of the Lion of Babylon and is now a veterans’ advocate with VoteVets.org. He is director of the UConn Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities.
Victoria Ventura, author of “Two Stars: Reflections of a Military Wife and Mother,” will discuss how she worked to blend her civilian life with being the wife and mother of three members of the professional military and her concerns about all-volunteer military service.
H. David Brace will discuss his memoir of being a Marine who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, “Generation of the Damned: Baby Boomers and the Vietnam War.”
On Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m., best-selling author and chef David Lebovitz will give a free talk on his book, “L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home,” involving French culture and food and the challenges of revamping your life. Many recipes are included.
All require registration: 203-245-3959 or rjjulia.com.
Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore, 413 Main St, Middletown, will present several free programs.
On Monday, Nov. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m., there will be a “write-in” for people participating in the 2017 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) project, who are attempting to write a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 30. The bookstore will hold “write-ins” each Monday in November, with critiquing and peer-review on Nov. 27.
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m., author Andrea Lawlor will discuss her novel, "Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl," a fantastical story of a shape-shifting gay man who participates in the struggles and pleasures of gay life in the 1990s. Writer Katherine Brewer Ball, who teaches at Wesleyan University, will moderate the discussion. wesleyanrjjulia.com or 860-685-3939
On Thursday, Nov. 9, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Michael Jordan's Steak House at Mohegan Sun, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville, Otis Library in Norwich and Bank Square Books will present a luncheon and talk with Liv Constantine (the pen name of sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine) for their new thriller novel, “The Last Mrs. Parrish,” about an envious woman who insinuates herself into the life of a wealthy Connecticut couple, with disturbing results. The Constantine sisters live in Connecticut and Maryland.
Tickets are $45 and include a copy of the book and a buffet lunch: email@example.com or banksquarebooks.com.
On Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m., the Constantine sisters will give a free talk at R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Road, Madison. Registration: 203-245-3959 or rjjulia.com.
Images Of East Windsor
On Saturday, Nov. 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Museums on the Green, 115 Scantic Road, East Windsor, authors Ceil Donahue and Jessica Bottomley will sign copies of “Images of America, East Windsor.” The book combines photos, maps and postcards from the Society with recollections, family histories and photographs from residents. Proceeds from sales that day will benefit the East Windsor Historical Society. eastwindsorhistory.wordpress.com.
Kent Memorial Library
On Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., at Kent Memorial Library, 61 Ffyler Place, Suffield, local author David Abare will read from his book, “The Swing Over The Ocean,” about a man who rescues a child and changes his own life. Abare also will discuss self-publishing. Registration: suffield-library.org or 860-668-3896.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 77 Forest St., Hartford will present a free talk by Richard Brown, author of “Self-Evident Truths: Contesting Equal Rights from the Revolution to the Civil War,” on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 6 p.m.
Brown, a history professor emeritus at UConn, will discuss “Equal Rights May Be Self-Evident, But Have They Been Realized?” explaining how equality in early America was tested in struggles over race, ethnicity, religious freedom, gender, social class, voting rights and citizenship. Registration: HarrietBeecherStowe.org or 860-522-9258, ext. 317.
Books About India
Avon Free Public Library, 281 Country Club Road, Avon, will offer the first of three free talks about books set in India for its International Book Discussion Series on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. The book is “Teatime for the Firefly” by Shona Patel. 860-673-9712, ext. 225, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Thornton will give a free talk Thursday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. at Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St., Hartford, on his latest book, “Wicked Hartford,” which explores seedy aspects of the city’s history. 860-695-6300 or hplct.org.
Rutherford At Quinnipiac
Award-winning writer Ethan Rutherford, author of “The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories,” will give a free talk at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8, in Hansen Student Center at Quinnipiac University, 275 Mount Carmel Ave., Hamden.
Rutherford, an assistant professor of English at Trinity College, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. His work has appeared in “One Story, American Short Fiction” and “The Best American Short Stories.” 203-582-8652.