Book Talks and Signings

The DCA is proud to partner with Barrett Bookstore to bring a variety of highly-acclaimed authors to the DCA for these book signings and discussions of their latest works.

Barrett Bookstore and the DCA Present Erik Larson  

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Barrett Bookstore and the Darien Community Association are thrilled to announce a live, in-person event at the DCA with author Erik Larson, to celebrate the paperback release of his #1 New York Times bestseller The Splendid and the Vile.  

The evening will feature a conversation with Erik and time for Q and A from the audience. A signed copy of The Splendid and the Vile is included in the ticket price and additional copies will be available at the event.

In The Splendid and the Vile, Larson delivers an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz – an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis.

“One of (Erik Larson’s) best books yet…perfectly timed for the moment.”

“A bravura performance by one of America’s greatest storytellers.”

$25 DCA members
$35 public
Ticket price includes a paperback copy of the book.

Register online by noon on February 14 or contact the DCA at 203-655-9050 ext. 10.

Event protocols:
Masks and full COVID vaccination are required for attendees. Please plan to show proof of vaccination as well as a photo i.d. at check-in. Seating in the DCA’s Garden Wing will be limited. We are closely monitoring the pandemic, and changes to the event format may be made at the discretion of the publisher, author, or event hosts. We appreciate your understanding that refunds are not available.

(Photo credit: Nina Stubin)

Past book talks and signings

Barrett Bookstore and the DCA presented Pulitzer Prize-winner Elizabeth Strout, in conversation with New York Times bestselling author of Inheritance, Dani Shapiro.  

Elizabeth Strout is one of my very favorite writers, so the fact that Oh William! may well be my favorite of her books is a mathematical equation for joy. The depth, complexity, and love contained in these pages is a miraculous achievement.”—Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House

Elizabeth Strout is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Olive, AgainAnything Is Possible, winner of the Story Prize; My Name Is Lucy BartonThe Burgess BoysOlive Kitteridge, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; Abide with Me; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in London.

Dani Shapiro is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Inheritance, as well as Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Also an essayist and a journalist, Shapiro’s short fiction, essays, and journalistic pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of the New York Times, and many other publications.

Barrett Bookstore and the DCA presented Walter Isaacson, in conversation with Wendy Kopp

Walter Isaacson’s new book The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race is a gripping account of how Nobel prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and improve the human species.

Doudna helped to invent the gene editing technology known as CRISPR. She was also a pioneer in discovering the structure of RNA, the molecule that powers CRISPR as well as the revolutionary new COVID vaccines. As we roll up our sleeves to get the shots, this book explains how they work.

The past half-century has been a digital age. Now we are entering a life-science revolution: children who study digital coding will be joined by those who study the code of life – and all the moral dilemmas this brings.

Walter Isaacson, a professor of history at Tulane University, is the bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein, and Steve Jobs. He has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time.

Moderator Wendy Kopp founded Teach For America and is currently CEO and Co-founder of Teach For All. She has been recognized by Time as one of their 100 Most Influential People.

Barrett Bookstore and the DCA Present Jeff Immelt, in conversation with Darien’s Peter Maglathlin

“I thought that the Immelt interview was magnificent and I enjoyed every minute…”
-Participant from event

The DCA would like to thank Barrett Bookstore for their longstanding partnership, and moderator Peter Maglathlin for his entertaining and informative conversation with former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt. In the discussion of his book Hot Seat, Immelt shared the lessons he has learned about leadership, gleaned from his 16 years at the helm of GE and the numerous challenges and crises faced during that time.

Jeff Immelt, the former CEO of General Electric, named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” three times by Barron’s, shared the hard-won lessons he learned from his experience leading GE immediately after 9/11, through the economic devastation of the 2008–09 financial crisis, and into an increasingly globalized world.

In his new memoir Hot Seat, Immelt offers a rigorous, candid interrogation of himself and his tenure, detailing for the first time his proudest moments and his biggest mistakes. As the business world continues to be rocked by stunning economic upheaval, Hot Seat is an urgently needed, and unusually raw, source of authoritative guidance for decisive leadership in uncertain times.

“Jeff Immelt has always been one of my leadership role models. He leads with head and heart. He is an ‘all-in’ leader who is completely committed to his team and his customers, and he cares deeply about both. This book shows how leadership is a full contact sport and Jeff leaves everything on the field.” —John Donahoe, CEO, Nike

Jeff Immelt served as CEO of GE for sixteen years. During his tenure, GE was named “America’s Most Admired Company” by Fortune magazine and one of “The World’s Most Respected Companies” in polls by Barron’s and the Financial Times. He is a lecturer at Stanford University, and earned a BA in applied mathematics from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard University.

Moderator Peter Maglathlin of Darien is Chairman and CEO of MBI Inc. in Norwalk and fellow classmate of Jeff Immelt at both Dartmouth and Harvard.

Did you get a chance to read the Darien Times article: Former GE CEO Immelt promises unvarnished ‘interrogation’ in new book

Virtual Book Talk with Richard Haass, In Conversation with Darien’s Kevin Peraino

Thank you!

Almost 70 people participated in our virtual event last night with Barrett Bookstore; featuring Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, in conversation with fellow Council member and Darien resident Kevin Peraino. It was an informative and timely discussion of Dr. Haass’ new book and primer on foreign relations, The World.

We were hoping to welcome you in person at the beautiful DCA, but we were grateful for the ability to move forward with an online event, and thought-provoking content which couldn’t come at a more opportune time.

We’re grateful for our longstanding partnership with Barrett Bookstore, and the community’s steadfast support of the DCA.

John Carreyrou
Bad Blood
In Conversation with Darien’s Own Greg Cowles of The New York Times Book Review

Another great book talk event at the DCA!

Thank you to everyone who supported this fundraiser for the DCA with two-time Pulitzer Prize winner John Carreyrou, author of Bad Blood, in conversation with Greg Cowles of The New York Times Book Review.

And thank you to our partner for this event, Barrett Bookstore. If you haven’t read Bad Blood, we encourage you to visit Barrett and buy a copy.  It’s a hard-to-believe story that reads like a suspense thriller.

Bad Blood was named by TIME as one of the 10 best nonfiction books of the past decade.

Book Talk and Signing with Patricia Marx and Roz Chast on January 15
You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time

Another sold-out event at the DCA! Thank you to everyone who came out to experience the evening of hilarious stories and entertainment from Patricia Marx and Roz Chast.


Patricia Marx (pictured below on left) is a former writer for “Saturday Night Live” and was the first woman elected to the Harvard Lampoon. Roz Chast (pictured below on right) attended Rhode Island School of Design and has loved to draw cartoons since she was a child growing up in Brooklyn.

Read the recent articles about Patricia Marx and Roz Chast: The Darien Times and The New Yorker Scenes from the Life of Roz Chast

Event partner: Barrett Bookstore
Wine reception sponsor: US Chemicals, A Woman-Owned Business

Fundraiser for the DCA with Pulitzer Prize Winner Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan won the Pulitzer Prize for A Visit from the Goon Squad. Her latest novel, Manhattan Beach, is 2018’s One Book, One New York winner, praised as “Egan’s most remarkable accomplishment yet…a magnificent achievement” (The Boston Globe) and “Immensely satisfying…Egan works a formidable kind of magic…” (The New York Times).

Manhattan Beach is a haunting and propulsive World War II-era novel which tells the intertwined stories of Anna Kerrigan, a Brooklyn Navy Yard diver, her father Eddie Kerrigan, a longshoreman turned small-time gangster, and Dexter Styles, Eddie’s inscrutable and connected boss. It contains all the hallmarks of a Jennifer Egan novel: stellar writing, shifting and slippery identities, characters longing for escape, and an intrepid, unforgettable female protagonist.

Thank you to the many Jennifer Egan fans who came to this event and supported the nonprofit mission of the DCA. This event was held in conjunction with Barrett Bookstore.

Interested in a tour highlighting numerous buildings and research that are featured in Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach book  – check out the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Exclusive Media Sponsor :

Book Talk and Signing with Author Paula McLain

Wednesday, May 2 was a gorgeous evening for a wine reception in the DCA formal garden, and then to hear bestselling author Paula McLain “in conversation” about her new novel Love and Ruin with Darien’s own Greg Cowles, senior editor at the New York Times Book Review.  Thank you to the large and enthusiastic crowd, and to Barrett Bookstore for their ongoing partnership with the DCA on our book talks and signings.   

“McLain has perfected her dramatic and lyrical approach to biographical fiction, lacing Marty’s ardent inner life into electrifying descriptions of place and action. . . . McLain brings forth the deepest, most ringing elements of both ‘love and ruin,’ the two poles of Marty and Ernest’s tempestuous relationship, a ferocious contest between two brilliant, willful, and intrepid writers. McLain’s fast-moving, richly insightful, heart-wrenching, and sumptuously written tale pays exhilarating homage to its truly exceptional and significant inspiration.”—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
New York Times bestselling author Paula McLain’s acclaimed novels The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun have sold more than 2 million copies combined. Credited with reinvigorating the genre of historical fiction, she has received accolades from Ann Patchett, Jodi Picoult, JoJo Moyes, NPR, O: The Oprah Magazine, People, Entertainment Weekly and USA Today, among many others.

Click here to watch a video of Paula talk about her new book and Martha Gellhorn.


Book Talk and Signing with Author Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow
On Wednesday evening, October 4, The New York Times bestselling author Amor Towles spoke at the Darien Community Association about his latest novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, to a sold-out crowd. It was a beautiful night to enjoy a drink with friends in our DCA historic formal garden before Amor discussed his book and answered questions from the audience.  

Winning the hearts of critics and readers alike, Amor Towles’ “brilliantly realized… [and] sharply stylish” (The Boston Globe) debut novel, Rules of Civility, was one of 2011’s biggest breakout literary bestsellers. In A Gentleman In Moscow, his highly anticipated second novel about a thirty-year-old Russian aristocrat who is sentenced to house arrest inside the luxurious Hotel Metropol, Towles further establishes his reputation as one of contemporary literature’s most exciting and singular writers.

Proceeds from this event supported the DCA’s non-profit mission.

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