Fierce Reads Presents A Spotlight On Debuts: Murder, Secrets, and Love

Mark your calendars for Mon. April 15, 6-7 PM (EST) on Zoom.

Join us for a thrilling evening as Fierce Reads Presents A Spotlight On Debuts: Murder, Secrets, and Love, featuring exciting new authors discussing their gripping novels.

Join us at this virtual event for a chance to win a Fierce Reads prize pack, including a $10 River Bend gift certificate and exclusive Fierce Reads swag!* Register now to secure your spot and pre-order the featured titles from River Bend Bookshop.

Moderated by Racquel Marie, author of This Is Me Trying, hear from these brand new debut authors:

Something Kindred by Ciera Burch

Dear Wendy by Ann Zhao

The One That Got Away with Murder by Trish Lundy

I Wish You Would by Eva Des Lauriers

Pre-order the titles from the authors in the panel at River Bend Bookshop our independent, locally owned bookstore:

Something Kindred by Ciera Burch, order link.

Dear Wendy by Ann Zhao, order link.

The One That Got Away with Murder by Trish Lundy, order link

I Wish You Would by Eva Des Lauriers, order link.

Moderated by: Racquel Marie (author of This Is Me Trying), order link

*Shipping address must be in Continental U.S.


This event is co-sponsored by Fierce Reads and the Avon Free Public Library.

Kantika: Author Visit with Elizabeth Graver, Recipient of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award (in-person)

Join us for an evening with author Elizabeth Graver, who is receiving the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, presented by the University of Hartford’s Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, for her novel Kantika. 

The Edward Lewis Wallant Award is one of the oldest and most prestigious Jewish literary awards in the United States. The annual award recognizes a Jewish writer, preferably unrecognized, whose published work of fiction is deemed to have significance for American Jews. Learn more here

Kantika is Graver’s fifth novel and was inspired by her grandmother Rebecca, who was born into a Sephardic Jewish family in Istanbul and whose shape-shifting life journey took her to Spain, Cuba, and New York. Kantika was named a Best Historical Fiction Book and Notable Book of 2023 by The New York Times and a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Lilith, and Libby. German and Turkish editions are forthcoming.

Graver’s fourth novel, The End of the Point, was long-listed for the 2013 National Book Award in Fiction and selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her other novels are Awake, The Honey Thief, and Unravelling. Her story collection, Have You Seen Me?, won the 1991 Drue Heinz Literature Prize. Her work has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and Best American Essays. She teaches at Boston College.

This event will be held in the Harry Jack Gray Center on the University of Hartford campus.

Co-sponsored by the Avon Free Public Library and Maurice Greenberg Center.

Register directly with the Greenberg Center at, or by using this link:

If you would prefer to attend virtually, register here:

(In-Person) Are You Recycling Right?

Please join the Avon Free Public Library and find out which items should be placed into your recycling bin (What’s IN) and which items belong elsewhere (What’s OUT)! Guest speaker Emma MacDonald from the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will provide an overview of acceptable materials in CT’s mixed recycling program. They will answer questions about recycling and trash. Please come learn with us.

Registration is required for this in-person event.

You’ll Do: A History of Marrying for Reasons Other Than Love/Virtual Event with Marcia Zug

Join us for a moderated conversation with Marcia Zug, to discuss her illuminating and thought-provoking examination of the uniquely American institution of marriage, from the Colonial era through the #MeToo age, You’ll Do: A History of Marrying for Reasons Other Than Love.

Americans hold marriage in such high esteem that we push people toward it, reward them for taking part in it, and fetishize its benefits to the point that we routinely ignore or excuse bad behavior and societal ills in the name of protecting and promoting it.

In eras of slavery and segregation, Blacks sometimes gained white legal status through marriage. Laws have been designed to encourage people to marry so that certain societal benefits could be achieved: the population would increase, women would have financial security, children would be cared for, and immigrants would have familial connections.

As late as the Great Depression, poor young women were encouraged to marry aged Civil War veterans for lifetime pensions. The widely overlooked problem with this tradition is that individuals and society have relied on marriage to address or dismiss a range of injustices and inequities, from gender- and race-based discrimination, sexual violence, and predation to unequal financial treatment.

One of the most persuasive arguments against women’s right to vote was that marrying and influencing their husband’s choices was just as meaningful, if not better. Through revealing storytelling, Zug builds a compelling case that when marriage is touted as “the solution” to such problems, it absolves the government, and society, of the responsibility for directly addressing them.

Marcia Zug is a family law professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and The Yale Law School. Her previous book, Buying A Bride, explored the history of mail order marriage in the United States. She lives in Columbia, SC with her husband and two daughters.

Please register; Zoom links will be sent out before the event.

National Library Week 2024

Join our celebration of National Library Week, 4/6/24- 4/13/24
Ready, Set, Library! Race to discover the possibilities at your library during National Library Week.

Libraries give us a green light to something truly special: a place to connect with others, learn new skills, and focus on what matters most. Find your crew at your library’s author talks, workshops, and book clubs. Enjoy the scenic route through the stacks to find your new favorite story. Or take a virtual detour and see all the resources your library offers online. No matter where you find yourself on the roadmap through life’s journey—preparing for a new career, launching a business, or raising a family—your library provides an inclusive and supportive community where everyone belongs. Get ready to explore, become inspired, and connect with your library this National Library Week. Libraries are there for you, all the way to the finish line.

Saturday, April 6 at 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm / Community Room
(In-Person)Talking Transportation with Jim Cameron
Long-time commuter advocate and newspaper commentator Jim Cameron offers a lively presentation and Q&A on Connecticut’s transportation future. Register here

Monday, April 8 at 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm / Zoom
(Virtual Event) Edith Halpert and the Rise of American Art
Join us for an exciting virtual presentation by the Jewish Museum of New York and learn about the remarkable career of Edith Halpert, the trailblazing art dealer who championed the work of American artists, Stuart Davis, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ben Shahn, and Marsden Hartley. Register here

Tuesday, April 9 at 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm / Zoom
(Virtual Event) DNA and Its Use in Genealogical Research
This program highlights the understanding of genetic genealogy for use in your research of your family. The lecture will cover using your DNA matches to enlarge your family tree by deciphering information and understanding true relationships. Presenter: Eric Migdal has been doing family history research for 30 years, assisting clients with family tree building, DNA test analysis, safely and effectively contacting unknown family members.  Register here.

Tuesday, April 9 at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm / Community Room
(In-Person) Make Mine Murder: Connecticut Crime Writers Panel
Connecticut crime writers discuss how they write their books – where their ideas come from, how they plot the twists and turns, and how they develop their characters. Our panelists include Kathleen Marple Kalb/Nikki Knight (Moderator), Patricia Dunn/ T.M. Dunn, Katie Tietjen, and Jane Willan.  Register here

Thursday, April 11 at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm / Zoom
(Virtual Event) Meditation and the Near Death Experience
Since the 1980s when near death experiences became part of the public consciousness, they have held endless attraction for people. Why do they resonate so powerfully within us? Join Dr. Raider, hear the latest medical research and discover a simple, natural way to connect with the inner light talked about by those who’ve experienced a NDE. Register here. 

Thursday, April 11 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm / Zoom
(Virtual Event) Unearthing History: 2024 Virtual Lecture #2: Bioarchaeology in North America
Presented by Alex Garcia-Putnam, PhD, University of New Hampshire. He will talk about the field, basics of bioarchaeology, the lack of skeletal remains found in the United States and some of the reasons for, and implications of, that lack of data. Register here. 

Friday, April 12 at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm / Community Room
(In-Person Event) The Busy Body: Author Event with Kemper Donovan
A novel by the host of the “All About Agatha” podcast. Knives Out meets Richard Osman in this brilliantly inventive, witty and satisfying mystery in the timeless tradition of Agatha Christie, as a nameless ghostwriter heroine collaborates with her subject to solve a murder. Register here

Saturday, April 13 at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm / Community Room
(In-Person Event) The Modern Art of War: Sun Tzu’s Hidden Path to Peace and Wholeness/Author Event with Hunter Liguore
Join us for an in-person author event with local author Hunter Liguore to celebrate the release of her new work, The Modern Art of War: Sun Tzu’s Hidden Path to Peace and Wholeness. Aimed at a self-development market, this timely and fresh take on that perennial bestseller the Art of War challenges us to see the text not as a tool for warfare but as a guide to inner harmony and personal fulfilment. Register here

Special thanks to the Friends of the Avon Library for sponsoring our National Library Week programs! 

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NEW DATE! The Underground Library: A Conversation with Author Jennifer Ryan (virtual)

Jennifer Ryan is the author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, The Spies of Shilling Lane, The Kitchen Front, and The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle. Her novels have been featured in The New York Times Book Review, People,, among other outlets. She was previously a nonfiction book editor. Originally from Kent and then London, she lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband and two children.

Please register; Zoom links will go out before the event.

Special Readers Unite + Author Visit: A For Effort by Jarad Greene & Get a Copy of the Book For Free!

Date: Wed. 3/6,  5:00-6:00 PM

Who can sign up? Kids and teens in grades 5-8.

This book is recommended for ages 11-14.

Jarad Greene wrote and drew his first semi-autobiographical graphic novel, A-Okay, and it was a great success! His new graphic novel, A For Effort is out March 5th and this time Jay starts high school.

The first 12 kids and teens to sign up and show up to the program will get a finished copy of A For Effort by Jarad Greene.

Sign up if your kid or teen is interested in attending the event on Wed. 3/6. Kids and teens will get to ask a cartoonist and author their own questions.


How does this work:

The book is scheduled to be published Tues. 3/5/24.

The first 12 kids to sign up will receive a paperback copy of A for Effort and have 5 days to pick up your copy (you must return your book to the library if you are unable to come to the book discussion).

What is this book, A For Effort, about?

The next semi-autobiographical graphic novel from Jarad Greene continues to follow Jay, this time as he faces his freshman year of high school—and a whole new world of friendships, self-discovery, and stress about the future.

The start of Jay’s freshman year is full of new things . . . New friends. New classes. New challenges.

All of which are expected, until his new friend group’s obsession with perfect grades puts the pressure on—especially when his best subject, art, is full. Without it to anchor him, Jay hopes theater class will be the easy A he’s looking for. But when the class begins, Jay finds himself struggling like never before. Turns out balancing Shakespeare with biology and geometry is a lot harder than he thought. Will Jay be able to step into the spotlight and deliver an A+ performance?

A for Effort is a witty and honest story, that explores how it’s not always the outcome but the journey itself that truly matters.


AvonCon Save the Date!

Where: The Avon Free Public Library

When: Saturday, April 27th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

AvonCon is the library’s all-day, all ages mini comic con which is a celebration of graphic novels, fandoms, and geek culture. We will offer storytimes, crafts, cartooning workshops, panels, vendors, trivia, cosplay contests and so much more! We are super excited to be having Sparkle the Unicorn from Mystic Party Animals!

Register to get a reminder email about AvonCon and to be emailed more details about programs that will occur at AvonCon that may require further registration before the day’s events!


AvonCon is generously funded by the Friends of the Avon Free Public Library.

The Half Moon: Author Event with Mary Beth Keane at the Simsbury Library! (in-person)

Join us for a co-sponsored event with the Friends of the Simsbury Library!

The Friends of the Simsbury Public Library and are happy to co-sponsor with the Avon Public Library an author program with New York Times bestselling author Mary Beth Keane. Ms. Keane will discuss her latest novel, The Half-Moon, about a couple in a small town navigating the complexities of marriage, family, and longing. The Half Moon tells the story of Malcolm and Jess Gephardt’s romance—falling in love, marriage, the buzz of hope for babies and businesses, the crush of betrayal, and how fragile allegiances and relationships can be. Sure to be another book club favorite “Keane’s prose is luminous and controlled, brimming with insights into her nuanced characters . . . a gripping read with an unexpected and satisfying resolution.” —The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Mary Beth Keane attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA. She was awarded a John S. Guggenheim fellowship for fiction writing, and has received citations from the National Book Foundation, PEN America, and the Hemingway Society. She is the author of The Walking PeopleFever, and Ask Again, Yes—New York Times bestseller and a Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Summer Reads Pick. Ask Again, Yes has been sold in twenty-two languages. She lives in New York with her family. You can visit her online at .

This program will be moderated by Marilyn Rothstein.

This event will be held at the Simsbury Library. Please register through their website:

(In-Person) Talking Transportation with Jim Cameron

Long-time commuter advocate and newspaper commentator Jim Cameron offers a lively presentation and Q&A on Connecticut’s transportation future:

  • Will riders ever return to commuter rail in big numbers?
  • What will happen when train service is cut and fares increased?
  • Where will money be found to repair our highways?
  • How will new residential / workplace trends affect CT’s economy?

Cameron explores the options in an engaging, thought-provoking 45 minute workshop with plenty of time to hear your ideas and answer your questions.  Cameron has been called “the transportation guru” having spent over 25 years working and reporting on the issue.

A former NBC News anchor, Jim Cameron is recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award.  A Connecticut resident for over 30 years, he served 19 years on the Metro-North Commuter Council, later founding the Commuter Action Group. He also authors a weekly newspaper column, “Talking Transportation” which runs in the CT Mirror and other online news sites.

Presenter: Jim Cameron is a longtime commuter advocate and commentator on transportation issues in the state of Connecticut. Born and raised in Toronto, Jim attended Lehigh University and then worked in broadcasting and journalism in Hartford, Boston and New York City. He is the recipient of a George Foster Peabody Award for his work at NBC News. In 1993 he joined the CT Metro-North Rail Commuter Council where he served 11 years as Vice Chairman and four years as Chairman. He later founded The Commuter Action Group to push for reforms on behalf of Metro-North riders.

Since 2003 he has authored a weekly newspaper column and blog, “Talking Transportation”, which appears Mondays in the CT Mirror. He is also author of the tell-all book: “Off the Record: Confessions of a Media Consultant” Jim has lived in Darien for 30 years where he serves as Program Director of the town’s government TV station, Darien TV79. He also serves on the Merritt Parkway Conservancy and Darien’s “Representative Town Meeting” but says he has no aspirations for higher office.

Registration is required for this in-person event.