The Monday series of talks, sponsored by the Friends of the Library,  is held at noon in the McChesney Room of the Central Library on Clinton Street. You may bring a bag lunch; coffee and tea are available for a nominal fee. The room is equipped with special devices for the hearing-impaired.


Patricia Rush, Coordinator

January 5

A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction by Joel Greenberg.   The author, a research associate at the Field Museum, paints a vivid picture of the passenger pigeon’s place in literature, art and in the hearts and minds of those who witnessed the passage of millions of these birds.  He provides a cautionary tale of what happens when species and natural resources are not harvested sustainably.  Reviewed by Patricia Rush, past president of ECOS: the Environmental Clearinghouse, and a retired college teacher and administrator.

January 12

Life is a Wheel: Love, Death, Etc., and a Bike Ride Across America, by Bruce Weber. A reporter for The New York Times, Weber rode across country by himself for the second time, asking himself as he rides “Why am I doing this again?” Reviewed by Bill Kornrumpf, a retired GE engineer, and himself a cross-country cyclist.

January 26

Lila, by Marilynne Robinson. Revisiting the same characters and setting of the Pulitzer-prize winning Gilead and Home, a National Book Award finalist, Lila is an expression of the mysteries of existence in the life of a homeless girl on the fringes of society. Reviewed by Esther Willison, retired Schenectady School District teacher.

February 2

Killing Patton: The Strange Death of WW II’s Most Audacious General, by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. Suspicions that Patton’s death at the end of World War II under mysterious circumstances may have been an assassination are discussed in this book. Reviewed by John Karl, president of the Friends of the Library and a retired history teacher.

February 9

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet and Threatens Our Lives, by Michael Specter. The author poses the question: Are we going to continue to embrace new technologies, along with their limitations and threats, or are we going to slip back into an era of magical thinking? He argues for a new Enlightenment. Reviewed by Peter Tobiessen, emeritus Professor and former Chair of the Biology Department, Union College.


Walter Grattidge, Coordinator

March 2

Dr. Victor D. Roberts, President of Robert’s Research & Consulting, Inc., will give a talk entitled “The Recent Revolution in Lighting”.

The Great Decisions Program begins on Tuesday, February 3. Click here for information.

Winter Concert Series kicks off on January 4. Click here for information.