Susan Schoenberger

Susan Schoenberger of West Harford has written her first novel, "A Watershed Year." (Shana Sureck / March 10, 2011)

On Monday July 21, at 7 p.m., The Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Ave., Hartford, and HartBeat Ensemble will present best-selling author and investigative reporter Amy Goodman. Her appearance is part of her lecture series, "The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope," based on her latest book, (Haymarket, $16) written with Denis Moynihan.

Goodman is host and producer of Democracy Now!, a daily, international news program, airing on more than 800 television and radio stations. Moynihan is its co-founder. HartBeat Ensemble creates theater based on stories drawn from contemporary life in Connecticut.

Tickets are $20; $15 for Twain House members: 860-280-3130 or visit

>>Prize-winning local author and Twain House writing instructor Susan Schoenberger will launch her new novel at The Twain House on Tuesday, July 22, at 7 p.m., following a 6:30 p.m. reception.

"The Virtues of Oxygen" (Lake Union, $14.95) is about a young, once-wealthy widow and newspaper editor whose mother suffers a stroke and an older woman who had polio and depends on an iron lung to breathe and how they form an alliance as their town reels under the recent recession.

Schoenberger, a former writer, editor and copy editor at The News and Observer, The Baltimore Sun and The Courant, is director of communications for Hartford Seminary. Her debut novel, "A Watershed Year," won the 2006 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing competition.

The event is free but reservations are required: 860-280-3130 or

>>Free ice cream dishes and sundaes, live music and an appearance by Jessica Lawson, author of the Young Adult novel, "The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher" (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $16.99) are on the menu at the Twain House & Museum patio from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 24.

Cracked Walnuts will play music from the Civil War era to patriotic favorites to hits from the roaring '20s, Western swing and movie and TV music. Horizon Blue, an acoustic folk, country and blue grass) musical group, also will play. Other events include a Becky Thatcher-themed scavenger hunt, lawn games and discounted tours of the first floor of the Mark Twain House ($5 for adults, seniors, and children; under age 6 free).

>>Two Twain creative writing camps for teenagers will held Monday, July 21, through Thursday, July 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. Each costs $120. "Writing Your Identity" (for ages 11-14) will be led by Erin McNamara. "Critiquing Your Writing" (for ages 14-17) will be led by Lauren Baratz-Logsted.

Information: Registration: 860-280-3130.

Connecticut Authors Trail

A group of libraries in Eastern Connecticut is hosting the 6th Annual Connecticut Authors Trail, for which authors who live in the state or write about it give free talks. "Passports" are stamped at each event, offering a chance to win a themed basket. Many of the authors will take part in the closing event on Sept. 4. Information:

On Tuesday, July 22, at 6 p.m., Russ James will speak at Voluntown Public Library, 107 Main St, Voluntown. James, a retired policeman, is an expert in combat handgunnery, Japanese style karate, SCUBA diving, and is a licensed airplane pilot. He is the author of the autobiography, "A New England Lobster Tale" (Russ James, $39). Information: 860-376-0485.

On Thursday, July 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Preston Public Library, 389 Route 2, Preston, Thurman P Banks Jr., author of " The Light Of A Bright Sun" (CreateSpace, $12.99), will speak. Information: 860-887-5581.

RFK And Civil Rights

Philip A. Goduti, Jr., author of "Robert F. Kennedy and the Shaping of Civil Rights, 1960-1964" (McFarland, $45), will give a free talk on Thursday, July 24, at 7 Cromwell Belden Public Library, 39 West St., Cromwell.

The book explores the importance of President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, who was attorney general at the time, to the civil rights movement, along with leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lewis and James Meredith.

The author, a former reporter, is an adjunct assistant professor of history at Quinnipiac University and teaches at Somers High School.

Registration and information: 860-632-3460.