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Curl Up With Memoir As Library Launches Westport READS

Westport has chosen "Bettyville" by George Hodgman as the 2017 WestportREADS selection. Photo Credit: Facebook
"Bettyville" by George Hodgman is the Westport READS book for 2017. This is the author's mother, whom he cared for in her last years. Photo Credit: George Hodgman website

WESTPORT, Conn. -- If you haven't started reading "Bettyville" there's still time to curl up with the memoir. The town-wide Westport READS program is about to begin at the Westport Library.

George Hodgman’s powerful memoir tackles the author’s identity as a gay man, as a writer and as a son chronicling the complicated mother-son journey when he leaves New York City to care for his mother in his Missouri hometown.

There will be discussions, films, workshops and other events throughout January, culminating with a keynote talk by the book's author.

Mark your calendars for the following Westport READS events:

  • January Artist-in-Residence Challenge , "Identityville" Selfie workshop Saturday, Jan. 7, 2-3:30 p.m. in the Great Hall
  • Thursdays, January 5-26, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Throwback Thursdays - Repair an Organ. In honor of Betty’s love of the organ, as described in "Bettyville," participants will take apart and repair a vintage Wurlitzer organ.
  • Sunday, Jan. 8, 2 p.m., Discuss "Bettyville " at Barnes & Noble.
  • Sunday, Jan. 8, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Grandparents Story Project . Bring a grandparent or older friend/relative to make a keepsake book. Grades 1 & up, Great Hall
  • Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2 p.m., movie, "The Music Man" starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. Enjoy a Shake Shake custard too, McManus Room.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 10, 7 p.m., Caring for Aging Parents . A panel of eldercare experts discuss the issues you might face as parents age, McManus Room.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 11, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Drawing Kindness. Draw, collage and color "kindness" in ourselves with artist/author Elaine Clayton. Grades 3 to adult, Great Hall.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 11, 7-8 p.m. Artist Nancy Moore has been using disparate artistic media to express her thoughts about gender identity in loving response to her transgender son. She will show her artwork and discuss how being shaken to the core can lead to the grateful conclusion that one does indeed have a core.
  • Saturday, Jan. 14, 2 p.m., Examination/Discussion of Themes Raised in "Bettyville ," lecture by Dr. Mark Schenker, McManus Room.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 17, 11 a.m. Page Turners and the Westport Center for Senior Activities discusses "Bettyville ," Sheffer Reading Room.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2 p.m., movie: "Sunday in the Park With George," McManus Room.
  • Thursday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m. Keynote Talk with author George Hodgman . He will talk about his memoir "Bettyville," McManus Room.
  • Saturday, Jan. 21, 1 p.m., Getting a Grip on Gender . Robin McHaelen, director of True Colors, Inc. lead a family-friendly, discussion about today's changing gender norms.  Light lunch and refreshments, McManus Room.
Registration is required to any of the Westport READS programs. To register, find a detailed schedule, and for more information, click here.

In addition, for young readers, Westport READS has selected "I'll Give You the Sun." The middle-grade book is "Lily and Dunkin" and the upper-elementary book is "George." "Red" is the book for the youngest readers.

To schedule a facilitator for a book discussion, contact Mary Parmelee at or Kathleen Malloy at .

Westport READS program is funded by the estate of Jerry A. Tishman.

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