Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"A Christmas Carol" - A Staged Radio Play

Michael Jarmus as Scrooge
and Laurence Mintz as Marlowe
in "A Christmas Carol."
Join us at Bernardsville Public Library as Raconteur Radio presents “A Christmas Carol: A Staged Radio Play” on Sunday, December 15 at 3:00 pm.  Experience theatrical lighting, vintage commercials, Victorian carols, and extensive sound effects!  Adapted from Charles Dickens’ classic novella, the story tells of a misanthropic pinchpenny named Ebenezer Scrooge and his ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation after the supernatural visits of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.  The play features Michael Jarmus as everybody’s favorite Christmas crank as well as Carlyle Owens, Gwen Owens, Laurence Mintz, and Alex Dawson.

Raconteur Radio stages theatrical presentations of classic and original radio plays for live audiences throughout the Tri-State area.  This program is funded by the Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library.  Doors open at 2:45 pm.  There is no charge to attend and no sign-up is needed. For further information, call the library at 908-766-0118.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meet Christian Brechneff, Author of "The Greek House"

Meet Christian Brechneff, author with Tim Lovejoy of “The Greek House: The Story of a Painter’s Love Affair with the Island of Sifnos” at Bernardsville Public Library on Thursday, December 12 at 6:00 pm. Refreshments will be served and books will be available for purchase and signing.

In his book, Mr. Brechneff presents a funny, touching narrative about his relationship to the island, writing with warmth about its unforgettable residents and the house he bought in a hilltop village thirty years ago. “The Greek House” is a celebration of place and an honest account of self-discovery.  Richard Horan of The Christian Science Monitor wrote, "Swiss painter Christian Brechneff’s story—a beguiling mix of genres, from travelogue to art guide—is the next best thing to actually going to a Greek island."  

Born in the Belgian Congo in 1950, Christian Brechneff was educated in Switzerland and the United States (St. Olaf College).  In 1975 he received his Master of Arts degree from the Royal College of Art in London.  He has exhibited in Switzerland, Spain, England, Germany, Sri Lanka, and the United States, and his paintings appear in public and private collections all over the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  Mr. Brechneff is also the author of "Homage: Encounters with the East," a book of travel drawings published in 2007.  He lives in Hadlyme, Connecticut. 

Carol Haggas wrote in Booklist “Some people are born to love a location and never leave, deeming it the perfect spot for their senses and sensibilities.  Others have to travel the world before they discover a place they can truly call home.  So it was for artist Brechneff, who stumbled off the ferry onto the Greek island of Sifnos and fell into a sheltering oasis . . . Describing his 30-year love affair with the island and its people, Brechneff paints a portrait as vivid and captivating as anything he ever committed to canvas.”

There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested. Register online at and follow the link from Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

A New Look at The Metropolitan Museum's Old Masters

Immerse yourself in European culture through the centuries!  On Tuesday, December 10 at 7:30 pm, Vivian Gordon from The Metropolitan Museum’s Education Department will lead us on a virtual tour of the recently renovated European Painting galleries.  They have more space, more paintings on display, new lighting, and a much better organization.  Holland Cotter wrote about the galleries in The New York Times: “Keith Christiansen, chairman of the European paintings department, has brilliantly orchestrated the collection as a play of dramatic vistas, visual lineups of images — seen around corners or over distances — that pull you forward in time and immerse you in textured layers of European culture.” 

Ms. Gordon, a regular lecturer at the Library, commented on the "world-renowned collection and gorgeous new layout."  For the next six to twelve months, there are also temporary loans from private collections to fill out and amplify The Met's collection.

There is no charge to attend the library program, but advance sign-up is requested.  Register online at and follow the link from Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up.

Saturday Samplers Book Group to Meet

Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Saturday Samplers, will meet on Saturday, December 7 at 3:30 pm to discuss “A Cup of Tea: A Novel of 1917” (1997) by Amy Ephron.  [The author will not be present.]

The story of a love triangle, the book with its rich cast of characters is a brilliant evocation of the uncertain days of World War I.  It is a darkly romantic novel which engages the reader with its impeccable plotting and a deep sense of foreboding.  Inspired by a classic Katherine Mansfield short story, it is brought to life with its wonderful period detail of New York's drawing rooms and hat shops, and by its delightfully spare and picturesque sense of story.

A novelist, screenwriter, journalist, and film producer, Amy Ephron is the sister of Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron and Hallie Ephron. She has written six novels. "A Cup of Tea" was a national bestseller and spent 37 weeks on the LA Times bestsellers list.  Ms. Ephron won the 2005 Southern California Booksellers Association award for fiction and the Booklist Best Fiction of the Year 2005 award for "A Cup of Tea."  The book was a Barnes and Noble Book Club selection.

Led by Evelyn Fischel, Saturday Samplers is a book discussion group dedicated to sampling various kinds of literature, including short stories, nonfiction, new and old novels, and even teen fiction.  Its goal is to search out interesting, noteworthy, and sometimes overlooked books.  Readers can find information about the group and about the books and authors on the reading list at  No sign-up is needed to join the discussion.  Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Essentials of Choosing a Financial Advisor

On Monday, December 9 at 7:00 pm at Bernardsville Public, Library, Devanshu L. Modi, Esq., a former Deputy Attorney General of New Jersey, will discuss important things to look for when choosing a family financial advisor.  Topics will include questions to ask your potential advisor in an initial interview, explanations of various designations like CPF and CFA, how to research the professional's background in the industry, and how to avoid common pitfalls.  The program will also help listeners to recognize things to look into and to look out for during the course of a relationship with an advisor.  This program is part of the library's on-going CARES (Community Assistance Resource & Educational Services) series. 

Mr. Modi was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 2000 and the New York bar in 2003.  From November 2000 to September 2003, he served as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey, Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Law.  He was assigned to represent the New Jersey Bureau of Securities where he had previously worked as an Investigator/Regulatory Officer.

Mr. Modi was appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court to be the Chair of the New Jersey District XA Ethics Committee (2012 2013 term), and he is Vice President of the Harding Township Board of Education and Co Chair of the Harding Township Historic Preservation Commission.   He also serves as a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, Morris County Bar Association and Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association.  His areas of practice include securities arbitration, administrative law, civil litigation, business planning and organization, business transactions, estate planning and estate administration.

There is no charge to attend the program, but advance sign-up is requested.  Register online at and follow the link from Adult Programs, or call the library at 908-766-0118 to sign up. 

Meditation Group To Meet at Bernardsville Library

Basking Ridge resident Fauzia Burke will lead the next monthly guided meditation session at Bernardsville Public Library on Friday, December 6 at 10:00 am.  Ms. Burke’s style of meditation incorporates many cultural traditions and uses the power of word and imagery to facilitate a meditative experience; there is no right or wrong way, no particular way to sit, or words to say.  Each experience is honored as unique and can help reduce stress, generate creativity, and create positive energy.  

“Our intention for these gatherings is to find peace and serenity through a practice of regular meditations, and to develop a community for support and friendship,” says Ms. Burke.  She has been meditating for 15 years and leading meditation groups for eleven years. By day, she is the President and Founder of FSB Associates, an Internet marketing firm that promotes books and authors on the Web.  She lives in Basking Ridge with her husband and two daughters, and volunteers to lead the Splendid Life meditations in an effort to help others achieve the peace of mind and inspiration that she has found through mediation. 

There is no charge to attend the program, and no sign-up is required.  No experience in meditation is necessary.  Bring a journal and pen, and wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.  For further information, call the library at 908-766-0118.

"The Raritan River: Our Landscape, Our Legacy" - December Art Exhbition

The Raritan River: Our Landscape, Our Legacy: 
Paintings and photographs by twenty New Jersey Artists.
December 1- 29, 2013

BernARTsville Art Walk and Opening Reception: Friday, December 6,  2013, 6:00-8:00/9:00 pm
A joint exhibit with Bernardsville Public Library and Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Memoirs & Coffee Book Group to Meet

The next meeting of Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Memoirs and Coffee, will be held on Tuesday, November 19 at 10:30 am in the library’s Community Room.  Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers’ Services Manager for the library, will lead the discussion of “Unorthodox” (2012) by Deborah Feldman.  [The author will not be present.]

Raised in the cloistered world of Brooklyn’s Satmar Hasidim by her strictly religious grandparents, Deborah Feldman struggled to make sense of and obey the rigid strictures that governed her daily life.  Virtually every aspect of her identity was tightly controlled.  Married at age seventeen to a man she had only met for thirty minutes before they became engaged and denied a traditional education, she was unable to consummate the relationship for an entire year.  Her resultant debilitating anxiety went undiagnosed and was exacerbated by the public shame of having failed to serve her husband.  In the book, she recalls how reading about the empowered literary characters of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott helped her to see an alternative way of life—one she knew she had to seize when, at the age of nineteen, she gave birth to a son and realized that more than just her own future was at stake.

Author Jeannette Walls wrote of the book: "Deborah Feldman was raised in an insular, oppressive world where she was taught that, as a woman, she wasn't capable of independent thought.  But she found the pluck and determination needed to make the break from that world and has written a brave, riveting account of her journey. "Unorthodox" is harrowing, yet triumphant." 

There is no charge and no sign-up is needed to join the discussion.  Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.