The Serious Side of Food – A Reading and Discussion Group

Wednesdays (Sept. 13th and 27th, Oct. 11th and 25th and Nov. 8th and 29th) at 6:00 pm
Main Library

Food IngredientsParticipants will come together over the course of six sessions to discuss a variety of thematically linked texts with Marissa Peck, Food Assessment Coordinator at Capital Roots. Participants in The Serious Side of Food will explore an aspect of our culture that often gets taken for granted: food. Food provides both nourishment and pleasure, of course, but under the surface of each meal lies a series of complex interactions and entanglements. Working with histories, novels, and journalism, this series exposes some of the issues that lie on our plates. Texts include historical accounts, novels, and narrative nonfiction and will be provided by the library.

This program was developed and is supported by Humanities New York. The first book to be read will be available at the circulation desk of the main library starting August 21st and should be read prior to the September 13th meeting.

Register online. 



Recovering from war: Successes and Challenges

flying close to the sunMonday, September 25th at 3:00 pm
Main Library

Cathy Wilkerson, shares her experiences from her visit to Vietnam with Veterans for Peace, an organization which provides support to victims of Agent Orange and to groups contending with the millions of unexploded ordinance still blanketing Vietnam which continue to cause casualties. Cathy will be sharing the successes and challenges faced in projects addressing the lasting effects of Agent Orange, the unexploded ordinance and PTSD, on American Vets, Vietnamese refugees, and Vietnamese citizens, now 50 years after the Vietnam War. Cathy Wilkerson is the author of the memoir Flying close to the Sun.


Author Visit – John Caher

Wednesday, October 4th at 6:00 pm
Main Library

John Caher, Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications, NYS court system; former senior reporter, New York Law Journal, will be at the Troy Public Library to discuss his book, The Curious Case of Kiryas Joel.

Kiryas Joel

Twenty years ago, in the middle of the night and on the last day of session, the New York State Legislature created a publicly funded school district to cater to the interests of a religious sect – the Satmar community of Kiryas Joel in Orange County, New York. It marked the first time in American history that a governmental unit was established for a religious group, prompting years of litigation, a journey through every layer of the New York courts and trip to the United States Supreme Court, resulting in a landmark church-state decision.

Caher will discuss his book, The Curious Case of Kiryas Joel, and explain how a tiny, extremely insular segregationist group of Hasidic Jews was able to exert extraordinary political pressure and get its way with Governor Mario Cuomo and both political parties in the Legislature—even though many influential Jewish organizations strongly opposed what they were trying to do. It is a story of religion, politics, culture, government and constitutional law, all centered on a small community of Satmar Hasidim that is so far outside the American mainstream that it cannot — and will not!—assimilate.

Copies of the books will be available for purchase at the event.  Register online.


Book Discussion Group: Main Library


Mondays at 6:30 pm
Main Library

A monthly book group that meets to discuss a wide range of book selections. New members are always welcomed.  Monthly participation is not necessary, come for the books that interest you!

  • October 2ndA Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  • November 6thA Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • December 4thHillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Ask for a copy at the desk.


Understanding Shakespeare: “Macbeth”

Thursdays, September 14th – October 19th at 6:30 pm
Main Library


This will be a six-session program on how to understand Shakespeare’s plays. Week one we will discuss some important keys to reading Shakespeare’s plays. Then in the following five weeks we will discuss Shakespeare’s great tragedy, Macbeth, one act at a time. This program will allow the participants to put Macbeth in a variety of contexts, such as its relationship to his other works and to the modern existential world. Tom Bulger, Shakespeare Scholar and retired professor from Siena College will lead this workshop.  Register online.



Book Discussion Group: Lansingburgh Branch

Tuesdays at 6:15 pm
Lansingburgh Branch

A monthly book group that meets to discuss a wide range of book selections. New members are always welcomed.  Monthly participation is not necessary, come for the books that interest you!

  • Pile of booksSeptember 19th – Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
  • October 24th – Hag Seed by Margaret Atwood
  • November 21st – Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland
  • December 19th – Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson
  • January 16th – Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley?
  • February 20th – Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • March 20th – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • April 17th – Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
  • May 15th – The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
  • June 19th – Fall of the Marigolds by Susan Meissner
  • July 17th – Benediction by Kent Haruf