Christopher Cox, "The Deadline Effect"
Friday July 30, 2021 | 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Join us IN PERSON for an exploration into the motivating power of deadlines
In the tradition of Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, Christopher Cox’s The Deadline Effect is a wise and counterintuitive book that explores the power of deadlines as uniquely effective tools of motivation and empowerment.
Perfectionists and procrastinators alike agree—it’s natural to dread a deadline. Whether your goal is to complete a masterpiece or just check off an overwhelming to-do list, the ticking clock signals despair. Christopher Cox knows the panic of the looming deadline all too well—as a magazine editor, he has spent years overseeing writers and journalists who couldn’t meet a deadline to save their lives. After putting in a few too many late nights in the newsroom, he became determined to learn the secret of managing deadlines. He set off to observe nine different organizations as they approached a high-pressure deadline. Along the way, Cox made an ever greater discovery: these experts didn’t just meet their big deadlines—they became more focused, productive, and creative in the process.
In The Deadline Effect, Cox shares the strategies these teams used to guarantee success while staying on schedule: a restaurant opening for the first time, a ski resort covering an entire mountain in snow, a farm growing enough lilies in time for Easter, and more. Cox explains how readers can understand the psychological underpinnings of expectations and time, the dynamics of teams and customers, and techniques for using deadlines to make better, more assured decisions.
Christopher Cox has written about politics, business, books, and science for The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Harper’s, Wired, and Slate. In 2020, he was named a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT and a visiting scholar at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He was formerly the chief editor of Harper’s Magazine and executive editor of GQ, where he worked on stories that won the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN Literary Award for Journalism, and multiple National Magazine Awards. Cox was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and went to college at Harvard University and graduate school at the University of Cambridge. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Georgia, and their two daughters, Carson and Alice.
Saturday July 31, 2021 | 10:00AM - 11:00AM
Join us on the patio at Swyft for some fun, games, and of course some exciting storytelling!
This week we're mixing classic and contemporary with Stellaluna, written and illustrated by Janell Cannon, and Amara and the Bats written and illustrated by Emma Reynolds.
Our storytime is fun, casual, and free. Tell your friends! And please RSVP here if you'd like to join.
Mary Dixie Carter, "The Photographer" in conversation with Deborah Goodrich Royce, "Ruby Falls"
Tuesday August 03, 2021 | 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Join us for an IN-PERSON event with
two phenomenal thriller authors!
Mary Dixie Carter's The Photographer is a slyly observed, suspenseful story of envy and obsession, told in the mesmerizing, irresistible voice of a character who will make you doubt that seeing is ever believing.
WHEN PERFECT IMAGES
As a photographer, Delta Dawn observes the seemingly perfect lives of New York City’s elite: snapping photos of their children’s birthday parties, transforming images of stiff hugs and tearstained faces into visions of pure joy, and creating moments these parents long for.
ARE MADE OF BEAUTIFUL LIES
But when Delta is hired for Natalie Straub’s eleventh birthday, she finds herself wishing she wasn’t behind the lens but a part of the scene—in the Straub family’s gorgeous home and elegant life.
THE TRUTH WILL BE EXPOSED
That’s when Delta puts her plan in place, by babysitting for Natalie; befriending her mother, Amelia; finding chances to listen to her father, Fritz. Soon she’s bathing in the master bathtub, drinking their expensive wine, and eyeing the beautifully finished garden apartment in their townhouse. It seems she can never get close enough, until she discovers that photos aren’t all she can manipulate.
Mary Dixie Carter’s writing has appeared in TIME, The Economist, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Sun, The New York Observer and other print and online publications. She worked at The Observer for five years, where she served as the publishing director. In addition to writing, she also has a background as a professional actor. Mary Dixie graduated from Harvard College with an honors degree in English Literature and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young children. The Photographer is her first novel.
Named one of the most riveting books of Spring 2021 by Veranda Magazine!
Named one of 30 books to read in May 2021 by Zibby Owens for Good Morning America!
Named one of the best books for Mother's Day by Zibby Owens for The Washington Post!
Like the chilling psychological thriller The Silent Patient, Deborah Goodrich Royce’s Ruby Falls is a nail-biting tale of a fragile young actress, the new husband she barely knows, and her growing suspicion that the secrets he harbors may eclipse her own.
On a brilliantly sunny July day, six-year-old Ruby is abandoned by her father in the suffocating dark of a Tennessee cave. Twenty years later, transformed into soap opera star Eleanor Russell, she is fired under dubious circumstances. Fleeing to Europe, she marries a glamorous stranger named Orlando Montague and keeps her past closely hidden.
Together, Eleanor and Orlando start afresh in LA. Setting up house in a storybook cottage in the Hollywood Hills, Eleanor is cast in a dream role—the lead in a remake of Rebecca. As she immerses herself in that eerie gothic tale, Orlando’s personality changes, ghosts of her past re-emerge, and Eleanor fears she is not the only person in her marriage with a secret.
In this thrilling and twisty homage to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, the story ricochets through the streets of Los Angeles, a dangerous marriage to an exotic stranger, and the mind of a young woman whose past may not release her.
Deborah Goodrich Royce’s first novel, Finding Mrs. Ford, debuted in 2019 to rave reviews. She divides her time between the Northeast and Florida, where she writes, reads, watches lots of movies, and spends time with her family.
Deborah serves on the governing and/or advisory boards of the Avon Theatre, the American Film Institute, New York Botanical Garden, the Greenwich International Film Festival, the Greenwich Historical Society, the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach, the Preservation Society of Newport, and the PRASAD Project. She and her husband have restored more buildings than she can count, including the Ocean House Hotel and the Deer Mountain Inn.
Deborah holds a BA in French and Italian from Lake Erie College and an honorary doctorate from the same institution. In an earlier life, she was an actress in film and television and a story editor at Miramax Films. Ruby Falls is her second psychological thriller, and she owes a debt of gratitude for its inspiration to Daphne du Maurier and Alfred Hitchcock.
Ethan Rutherford, "Farthest South"
Saturday August 07, 2021 | 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Join us IN PERSON for an event with
celebrated writer Ethan Rutherford!
"Boldly original, these stories blend realism, horror, and myth to create a style all Rutherford's own. Plus, he's local!" —Ben
A baby is born with gills. Foxes raise and then lose a human child. A man, in the final throes of his deathbed fever-dream, experiences a cross-Antarctic voyage. The stories in Farthest South, the second story collection from renowned writer Ethan Rutherford, find characters in the most unexpectedly menacing of circumstances, in which their sanity, happiness, and safety are put to the test. Formally ambitious, with an eye toward the strange, with an inimitable style all Rutherford's own, each story is nonetheless firmly grounded by a deep, human concern: the anxiety of family connection and humanity.
Ethan Rutherford’s fiction has appeared in BOMB, Tin House, Ploughshares, One Story, American Short Fiction, Post Road, Esopus, Conjunctions, and The Best American Short Stories. His first book, The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, a finalist for the John Leonard Award, received honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and was the winner of a Minnesota Book Award. Born in Seattle, Washington, he received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota and now teaches Creative Writing at Trinity College. He lives in Hartford, Connecticut with his wife and two children. Farthest South, his second collection of stories, was published by A Strange Object in spring 2021.
Mark Kurlansky, "The Unreasonable Virtue of Fly Fishing"
Thursday August 12, 2021 | 6:00PM - 7:00PM
From the award-winning, bestselling author of Cod--the irresistible story of the science, history, art, and culture of the least efficient way to catch a fish.
Fly fishing, historian Mark Kurlansky has found, is a battle of wits, fly fisher vs. fish--and the fly fisher does not always (or often) win. The targets--salmon, trout, and char; and for some, bass, tarpon, tuna, bonefish, and even marlin--are highly intelligent, wily, strong, and athletic animals. The allure, Kurlansky learns, is that fly fishing makes catching a fish as difficult as possible. There is an art, too, in the crafting of flies. Beautiful and intricate, some are made with more than two dozen pieces of feather and fur from a wide range of animals. The cast as well is a matter of grace and rhythm, with different casts and rods yielding varying results.
Kurlansky is known for his deep dives into the history of specific subjects, from cod to oysters to salt. But he spent his boyhood days on the shore of a shallow pond. Here, where tiny fish weaved under a rocky waterfall, he first tied string to a branch, dangled a worm into the water, and unleashed his passion for fishing. Since then, a lifelong love of the sport has led him around the world to many countries, coasts, and rivers--from the wilds of Alaska to Basque country, from the Catskills in New York to Oregon's Columbia River, from Ireland and Norway to Russia and Japan. And, in true Kurlansky fashion, he absorbed every fact, detail, and anecdote along the way.
The Unreasonable Virtue of Fly Fishing marries Kurlansky's signature wide-ranging reach with a subject that has captivated him for a lifetime--combining history, craft, and personal memoir to show readers, devotees of the sport or not, the necessity of experiencing nature's balm first-hand.
Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times bestselling author of Cod, Salt, The Basque History of the World, Milk!, Havana, The Big Oyster, 1968, and Salmon, among other titles. He has received the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Bon Appétit's Food Writer of the Year Award, the James Beard Award, and the Glenfiddich Award. He lives in New York City. www.markkurlansky.com
Kurt Andersen, "Evil Geniuses" in conversation with Kerri Arsenault
Saturday August 14, 2021 | 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Join us IN PERSON to celebrate
the paperback release of Evil Geniuses
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • When did America give up on fairness? The author of Fantasyland tells the epic history of how America decided that big business gets whatever it wants, only the rich get richer, and nothing should ever change—and charts a way back to the future.
“The one book everyone must read as we figure out how to rebuild our country.”—Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci
Why and how did America take such a wrong turn? In this deeply researched and brilliantly woven cultural, economic, and political chronicle, Kurt Andersen offers a fresh, provocative, and eye-opening history of America’s undoing, naming names, showing receipts, and unsparingly assigning blame—to the radical right in economics and the law, the high priests of high finance, a complacent and complicit Establishment, and liberal “useful idiots,” among whom he includes himself.
Only a writer with Andersen’s crackling energy, deep insight, and ability to connect disparate dots and see complex systems with clarity could make such a book both intellectually formidable and vastly entertaining. And only a writer of Andersen’s vision could reckon with our current high-stakes inflection point, and show the way out of this man-made disaster.
KURT ANDERSEN is a writer. His latest book Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America (2020) is about how U.S. society was re-engineered during the late 20th century to serve big business and the well-to-do at the expense of everyone else. It was a New York Times bestseller, like its companion volume Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire (2017), Andersen's prize-winning history of America's weakness for exciting untruths. In addition, he’s the author of four critically acclaimed, bestselling novels –– You Can't Spell America Without Me (2017), True Believers (2012), Heyday (2007) and Turn of the Century (1999). Andersen co-created and hosted the Peabody Award-winning weekly public radio program Studio 360, and most recently co-created and narrated Nixon At War, a podcast documentary series released in the summer of 2021. He also writes for television, appears regularly on MSNBC and contributes to the New York Times. He co-founded Spy magazine, and was a columnist and critic for The New Yorker, New York and Time, as well as editor-in-chief of New York. He lives with his wife Anne Kreamer in Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut, and Brooklyn.
KERRI ARSENAULT is book critic, book editor at Orion magazine, contributing editor at The Literary Hub, and author of Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains, which was won the Maine Literary award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Leonard Prize. My work has appeared in Freeman’s, the Boston Globe, Down East, the Paris Review Daily, the New York Review of Books, Air Mail, and the Washington Post.
Summer Book Club - "The Overstory"
Wednesday August 18, 2021 | 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Join us IN-PERSON and outdoors at Kent Barns for a discussion of 2019 Pulitzer winner,The Overstory by Richard Powers. This is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world.
We will be reading The Overstory in three parts:
June 23 - Roots (pages 1-153)
July 21 - Trunk (pages 153-353)
August 18 - Crown + Seeds (pages 353-502)
As always, our book club is fun, casual, and free. Tell your friends! And please RSVP here if you'd like to join our discussion.
Jonathan Wells, "The Skinny"
Thursday August 19, 2021 | 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Join us IN PERSON for an event with critically acclaimed poet, Jonathan Wells!
“Everyone had a clearer vision of my body than I did. It didn’t feel as if my body was really mine...” At age fourteen, Jonathan Wells weighs just sixty-seven pounds, triggering a scrutinizing persecution of his body that will follow him into adulthood.
Upstate New York in the 1970s: A boy in preparatory day school suffers a harrowing attack by a teacher offended by his failure to put on weight. For the first time in his young life, Jonathan Wells is forced to question his right to take up space in the world. Jonathan’s father, reading his weight as a clear and deeply concerning deficit of masculinity, creates a workout regimen meant to bulk him up. When that doesn’t help, he has Jonathan seen by a slew of specialists, all claiming heis in perfect health, and yet the problem cannot be denied: the boy is simply too skinny.
Jonathan’s complicated relationship with his charming but elusive mother does not help matters. As the eldest son, he is privy to the struggles of a fraying marriage in which he, unwittingly, plays a divisive role. As a result, Jonathan is sent to boarding school in Switzerland, where he manages to establish an identity of his own among the child exiles and outcasts that make up the student body. And yet, his father’s obsession follows him to Europe, threatening to destroy the space hehas painstakingly won for himself.
The critically acclaimed poet and author of the collectionDebris, Jonathan Wells gives us a candid, powerful, and quietly humorous memoir about the universal exploration of adolescence and self-image, the frailty of masculinity, and all the places we seek comfort in a world that tries to define us.
Jonathan Wells has published three collections with Four Way Books: Debris,Train Dance, and The Man With Many Pens. His poems have appeared inThe New Yorker,Ploughshares,AGNI and The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day program and many other journals.The Skinny, is his first book of prose.
Pamela Goldman, "Ramona on Corona", in conversation with Kevin Goldman
Friday August 20, 2021 | 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Join us IN PERSON for a humorous look
at life during a pandemic
I didn’t want to spend the pandemic with just my husband (much as I love him). And I didn’t want to give in to fear or sit around lamenting the loss of control over normal life. So I began writing, and I couldn’t stop. When Katie Couric accepted my first essay on tips for getting through the corona crisis for her newsletter, Wake-Up Call, RAMONA ON CORONA was born. Katie gave me free rein to draw from my musings to create a weekly humor series, including how to wash a zucchini in a pandemic, stay married to a hoarder husband (paper goods, aisle 7 in our basement), FaceTime your plumber who can walk you through a major leak. RAMONA grew into a weekly column and now she is a book of 46 essays that I hope will resonate with you, make you laugh and touch your heart. I hope the memories enshrined here and the lessons learned will help bring meaning to what we all went through.
About Pamela Goldman
"RAMONA ON CORONA and..." began as a series of humorous essays I wrote throughout the pandemic that were published in KATIE COURIC'S weekly online newsletter, Wake Up Call. My musings on how to sanitize a zucchini, fix a leak guided by your plumber on FaceTime, hoard Purell in your basement (aisle 7) and more, all helped RAMONA develop quite a following; compiling the 46 essays into a book seemed a natural next step. I write funny. Just as I was born with brown eyes, I was born funny. I am a woman of a certain age. Aren't we all? (except for men, of course). I have had a patchwork of careers including professional actress, playwright, social worker, therapist, inventor with a patent and no sales, writer of television documentaries for CBS, A&E and DISNEY. I am a mother and (young) grandmother. "Read Gaga's book!", my little granddaughters tell everyone. I would appreciate it if you would listen to them and to Meredith Vieira, Sheila Nevins, Bruce Feirstein, Joanne Lipman and of course, Katie Couric, who wrote the Foreword. I hope RAMONA will make you smile, maybe even laugh out loud, tear up with recognition and serve as a memento of the challenges we met and the resilience we demonstrated when an invisible enemy invaded our world.
Kevin Goldman’s career in journalism spans a variety of media outlets. At The Wall Street Journal, he covered the television and media industries with a specialty in broadcast journalism. He was also the daily Advertising columnist. Previously, he covered the television industry for Newsday/New York Newsday and Variety. He also worked at The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times. His work has also appeared in Vanity Fair, New York magazine, and Adweek. He is the author of the book “Conflicting Accounts: The Creation and Crash of the Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Empire” (Simon & Schuster), and holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University’s School of Public Communications. After transitioning from daily journalism, Kevin ran Corporate Communications at CNBC and is currently an Executive Vice President at Edelman, an award-winning global public relations consultancy firm.