Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Splendid Life Meditation

Basking Ridge resident Fauzia Burke will lead the next monthly guided meditation session at Bernardsville Public Library on Friday, June 13 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 over 15 years and leading meditation groups for twelve 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 meditation. 

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.

Page Turners: New Evening Book Group at Bernardsville Library

The first meeting of Bernardsville Public Library’s new evening book discussion group, Page Turners, will be held on Tuesday, June 10 at 6:30 pm in the library’s small meeting room. Library Director April Judge will lead the discussion of “Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker” (2013) by Jennifer Chiaverini. [The author will not be present.] 

An historical novel, the book presents a stunning account of the friendship that blossomed between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Keckley, a former slave who gained her professional reputation in Washington, D.C. by outfitting the city’s elite. Keckley made history by sewing for First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln within the White House, a trusted witness to many private moments between the President and his wife, two of the most compelling figures in American history.

Keckley saved scraps from the dozens of gowns she made for Mrs. Lincoln, eventually piecing together a tribute known as the Mary Todd Lincoln Quilt.  She also saved memories, which she fashioned into a book, "Behind the Scenes: Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House." Upon its publication, Keckley’s memoir created a scandal that compelled Mary Todd Lincoln to sever all ties with her, but in the decades since, Keckley’s story has languished in the archives. In this carefully researched novel, Chiaverini brings history to life in rich, moving style.

A New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer Chiaverini lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. In addition to the sixteen volumes in the Elm Creek Quilts series and four books of quilt patterns inspired by the novels, she designs the Elm Creek Quilts fabric line from Red Rooster Fabrics.

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

Friday, May 23, 2014

Building Your Thinking Power

Carol Kotopoulis
Bernardsville Public Library is pleased to host "Building Your Thinking Power: The Power of Ideas" on Monday, June 9 at 6:30 pm. This seminar, presented by Carol Kotopoulis, past president and long-time member of Toastmasters International, is designed to help participants develop their creative thinking abilities. "Ideas move the world," says Ms. Kotopoulis, "And those who are skilled at producing new ideas can make a profoundly important contribution to our society."

Ms. Kotopoulis has over twelve years of experience in presenting self-development workshops. She has been a Toastmaster for eight years. Her program will include discussion about and exercises in divergent thinking, opportunity thinking, creative guesswork, and mental calisthenics.

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

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Seniors' Day at Bernardsville LIbrary

Gordon Thomas Ward
On Friday, June 6 at 10:00 am, Bernardsville Public Library will hold its twelfth annual Seniors’ Day with a free continental breakfast, a chance to socialize, and a musical program, "Story-Songs of History," by Gordon Thomas Ward.  The program is hosted by the Friends of the Bernardsville Public Library.

“Story-Songs of History” is an evocative presentation of original songs and their inspiring stories celebrating the rich histories and secreted tales of our shared past.  Mr. Ward uses a "behind the music" format combining enchanting anecdotes, vocals and a multi-instrumental accompaniment to transport listeners on a captivating journey through time.  A number of the places and events in the songs are local to the Bernardsville area.

A writer, musician, and presenter who grew up in Bernardsville, Mr. Ward now lives in Pottersville.  He divides his professional time between writing, lecturing, songwriting, and performing.  He has worked as a ministry programs director for a church, a history teacher in the classroom, and as a group transformation facilitator in the experiential education field where he designed and facilitated team building programs for twenty-two years.

A lifelong artist, Mr. Ward’s works have included songs, books, speeches, newspaper and magazine articles, interpretive displays, and poetry.  His CD, Welcome to the Past, contains thirteen, original acoustic songs in a folk rock style.  He is the author of Life on the Shoulder: Rediscovery and Inspiration along the Lewis and Clark Trail, a book of original poetry entitled Windows, and a timeless meditation on the meaning of childhood's link to history entitled A Bit of Earth.  Mr. Ward's many years of experience with the collection of forensic-based evidence to both dismiss and support claims of hauntings, especially in historic locations, led to his book Ghosts of Central Jersey.  His most recently published book, Tracing Infinity: Bridging the Gap between Earth and Heaven, is more spiritual in nature and deals with sensing and experiencing the divine in the world around us.

There is no charge to attend Seniors’ Day, but advance sign-up is required.  To register, call the library at 908-766-0118 or sign up online at www.bernardsvillelibrary.org and follow the link from Adult Programs.

June Exhibition: Contemporary Art Group

The Contemporary Art Group is a nonprofit, collegial organization of working artists who meet on a regular basis at The Watchung Arts Center and exhibit their work together. CAG is a supportive group where there is mutual respect among members, where members exchange ideas, provide information about exhibit opportunities, and share their own artistic development. 

The exhibition will be on view from June 2 through June 27. Opening Reception: Sunday, June 8, 2:00-4:00 pm

Saturday Samplers Book Group to Meet

Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Saturday Samplers, will meet on Saturday, June 7 at 3:30 pm to discuss “What Alice Forgot” (2012) by Liane Moriarty.  [The author will not be present.]

The novel tells the story of Alice Love, a woman who wakes up on a gym floor to find she has lost the memory of ten years of her life.  She thinks she is 29 years old, in love with her husband and pregnant with her first child, but at the hospital she discovers the honeymoon is over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old.  Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time.  Ultimately, she must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over at all.

Liane Moriarty is the author of The Hypnotist's Love Story; The Husband's Secret, a New York Times bestseller; Three Wishes, and The Last Anniversary.  Her work has been published around the world and translated into seven languages.  She is also the author of the Nicola Berry series for children.  Ms. Moriarty lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two small children.

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 http://saturdaysamplers.blogspot.com.  No sign-up is needed to join the discussion.  Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Can Do Connection

The next meeting of "The Can-Do Connection" will convene at Bernardsville Public Library on Wednesday, May 28 at 7:00 pm.  Led by Andrea Mastrobattista, this workshop will provide valuable tips on getting rid of distractions and maintaining focus on your goal(s).  

This workshop is an outgrowth of last year's "The University of Can-Do Master's Program."  Ms. Mastrobattista has been leading her inspirational workshops on Wednesday evenings at the library since 2006.  She heads a company called Operation INSPIRATION and also facilitates workshops in the Somerset Hills such as "Facing Your Fears" and "Transforming Negatives Into Positives" in which she helps people to fully form their goals and develop a strong can-do attitude for achieving them.  Her core belief is that, no matter what circumstances people face, they have the strength and ability to create and live fulfilling and inspiring lives.  She also owns Golden Slipper Productions, a company which creates websites and promotional materials for small and mid-sized businesses.

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

Memoirs & Coffee Book Group

The next meeting of Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Memoirs and Coffee, will be held on Tuesday, May 27 at 10:30 am in the library’s Community Room. Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers’ Services Manager for the library, will lead the discussion of New York Times bestseller, “Mom & Me & Mom” (2013), by Maya Angelou. [The author will not be present.] 

The story of Ms. Angelou’s extraordinary life has been chronicled in her bestselling autobiographies. But in this book, the legendary author shares the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother and the years she spent reconciling with her. Here, Angelou explores the healing and love that evolved between the two women over the course of their lives, a love that fostered the author's rise from immeasurable depths to reach impossible heights.

For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an indomitable spirit who was absent during much of Angelou’s early life. When her marriage began to crumble, Baxter famously sent three-year-old Maya and her older brother away from their California home to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. The subsequent feelings of abandonment stayed with Angelou for years, but their reunion, a decade later, began a story that has never been told before this book. 

A poet, writer, performer, teacher, and director, Maya Angelou was raised in Stamps, Arkansas and then moved to San Francisco. In addition to her groundbreaking autobiographies, beginning with "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," she has also written two cookbooks, five poetry collections, including "I Shall Not Be Moved," three books of essays, including "Letter to My Daughter," and six long-form poems, including “Mother” and “On the Pulse of Morning,” read at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton.

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

Friday, May 2, 2014

Charles James: Beyond Fashion

Come to Bernardsville Public Library on Wednesday, May 21 at 7:30 pm for a virtual tour of the new exhibition of fashion designs by the legendary Charles James, one of America’s most original couturiers.  The show, which opens May 8, is the inaugural exhibition of the newly renovated Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and our guide will be Vivian Gordon from the Museum's Education Department.

Charles James’ work has been described as going beyond fashion to become fine art.  The Met’s retrospective will feature some 100 of James’ unique creations—clothes of complex design and seaming which bring together fine dressmaking, sculptural form, and the mathematical thinking of an engineer.  The exhibition explores James's design process, his revolutionary ball gowns, and innovative tailoring that continue to influence designers today.  Approximately seventy-five of his most notable designs are displayed in the show which spotlights the glamour and resplendent architecture of the ball gowns from the 1940s through 1950s.

After designing in his native London, and then Paris, James (1906–1978) arrived in New York City in 1940.  Though he had no formal training, he is now regarded as one of the greatest designers in America to have worked in the tradition of the Haute Couture.  His fascination with complex cut and seaming led to the creation of key design elements that he updated throughout his career: wrap-over trousers, figure-eight skirts, body-hugging sheaths, ribbon capes and dresses, spiral-cut garments, and poufs.  These, along with his iconic ball gowns from the late 1940s and early 1950s—the "Four-Leaf Clover," "Butterfly," "Tree," "Swan," and "Diamond"—will be showcased in the exhibition.

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