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October 2021

Rishi Reddi. Passage West. and Dexter Palmer. Mary Toft or, The Rabbit Queen

Thursday, October 7, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Two book covers - The Rabbit Queen and Passage West

Two authors will discuss their historical fiction with Daphne Kalotay, prize-winning author of short stories and novels (Russian Winter; Sight Reading; Blue Hours). Passage West tells the story of a Punjabi family, their Mexican in-laws and their Japanese neighbors at the onset of World War I in California. Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen fictionalizes the unlikely but true event of a woman giving birth to seventeen rabbits in 18th century England, confounding apprentice and experienced surgeons in rural England…

Free but registration required
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Members Only Day: Special Book Room Online Store

Friday, October 8, 10:00 am - Saturday, October 9, 9:59 am

More than 400 carefully selected volumes in like-new condition, as well as CDs, DVDs, vinyl LPs and ephemera, fill the virtual shelves of the Special Book Room. Richly illustrated coffee table books and rare collectible books are highlights this year. The collection includes art, architecture, design, biography/memoir, cookbooks, fiction, children’s/young adults, history, music/film, photography, signed books and other offerings. Quirky or collectible, rare or simply stunning, all are priced accordingly from $5 to $1,000 and everything in between. NOTE: Purchases…

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Rick Rodgers. Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from Classic Cafés

Saturday, October 9, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Book cover "Kaffeehaus" and author Rick Rodgers

Culinary professional and author Rick Rodgers will conduct a cooking demonstration while being interviewed by Madaline Sparks, Festival Committee member. On the menu will be Almas Pite, or Hungarian Apple Pie, a classic pastry found in most any kaffeehaus and maybe soon your home. Their conversation will range from baking tips to celebrities and famous chefs he’s worked with, to challenges unique to publishing cookbooks, whether as author or editor.

Free but registration required
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Peter Sís. Nicky and Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued

Sunday, October 10, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Author Peter Sis and his book cover for Nicky & Vera

Peter Sís is an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator of books for children and adults. He will discuss his latest title, and how it fits in with his overall work, with Carl Atkins, Festival Committee member. Nicky and Vera is true story of the Holocaust written for children but with a message of decency, action and courage for all ages. Nicky was a young Englishman who went to Prague to help refugees from the Nazis; Vera, one of the children he saved.…

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Ayad Akhtar. Homeland Elegies

Tuesday, October 12, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Ayad Akhtar, Pulitzer Prize-winning author for his play Disgraced, and recently named New Your State Author, blends fact and fiction in his latest work, the story of a Pakistani immigrant and his American-born son in post-Trump America. Homeland Elegies is a deeply personal narrative that explores fault lines that occur in families and countries, and the longing and dispossession that can result. Joining the author in conversation will be Julie DeLisle, former director of the Chatham Public Library.

Free but registration required
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Russell Shorto. Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob

Thursday, October 14, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Russell Shorto, historian and author of Amsterdam and The Island at the Center of the World, turned his research and writing inward with his latest book. In Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob, the author reveals how his grandfather and great-uncle ran the mob in his hometown in Pennsylvania. It’s a story known in the family but never acknowledged aloud; one rich in detail and resonant of Italian-American culture in mid-century America. David Cudaback, Festival Committee member,…

Free but registration required
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Children’s Program: Nancy Castaldo. Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save the World

Saturday, October 16, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Sniffer Dogs event canceled

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED. Nancy Castaldo turns her own fascination with the natural world into science-themed books that inform and engage children, sometimes calling them to action. Her topics range from saving animals from extinction to the biology of their brains, and from how farms feed us to the vital need to save seeds. In Sniffer Dogs, children learn about dogs’ exquisitely sensitive noses, and how their handlers train the animals to find bombs or drugs, save people from…

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Children’s Program: Reading and Discussion of Peter Sis’s Nicky and Vera, with Ann Gainer

Sunday, October 17, 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Ann Gainer, storyteller and librarian at New Lebanon and Altamont Libraries, will read and discuss with children Peter Sís’s Nicky and Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued. Nicky was a young Englishman who went to Prague to help refugees from the Nazis; Vera, one of the children he saved. His effort to raise money, find foster homes in England, and transport 600 children is told with luminous, poetic images. This true story of the…

Free but registration required
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Whimsy

Sunday, October 17, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 1:00 pm on Sunday and Saturday, repeating until Sunday, October 31, 2021

Post for an art show at Spencertown Academy "Whimsy"

In a world that seems more and more fractured and traumatized by a pandemic, the idea of a show focusing on whimsy seemed a necessity for the soul. Whimsy can be defined in many ways; capricious, fanciful, fantastical, imaginative and unpredictable are just a few words that come to mind. We all need a little escape now and then. After all, fun and fantasy are necessary ingredients in living. Six very different artists have produced works that will bring smiles…

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Sonia Purnell. A Woman of No Importance and Clare Mulley. The Spy Who Loved

Sunday, October 17, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Book covers of Sonia Purnell's A Woman of No Importance" and Clare Mulley's "The Spy Who Loved"

Two historians and authors whose books focus on remarkable women and their roles in WWII will discuss their works with David Highfill, Festival co-chair. A Woman of No Importance tells of an American heiress, injured in an accident, who broke disability and gender barriers to spy for the British and help lead a core unit of French resisters. The biography The Spy Who Loved  relates the ventures of a Polish-born part Jewish countess called Churchill’s favorite spy who served behind…

Free but registration required
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