Newington's reading, and will be discussing, 'Heat & Light'

Published on Thursday, 21 September 2017 15:12
Written by Erica Schmitt

Staff Writer

NEWINGTON - If you want to know what everybody’s reading right now, it’s “Heat & Light” by Jennifer Haigh.

That’s the book adult patrons of the Lucy Robbins Welles Library are picking up, for the latest “one book, one town” initiative. The library is hosting Newington Reads, a month-long activity series focusing on this particular title.

Haigh delves into the environmental controversy of fracking in a small Pennsylvania town in her novel, selected by NPR, The Washington Post and New York Times as one of the Best Books of 2016.

Readers can pick up a copy at the LRWL and take part in one of several upcoming book discussions. The first is set for Thursday, Sept. 28, at 12 noon in the library’s community room.

An evening discussion will be held in the same place on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 6:30 p.m. A third discussion takes place Friday, Oct. 20, at 12 noon in the Newington Senior & Disabled Center. Staff picked three different dates and starting times to accommodate different schedules.

“Coming to a book discussion is an interesting way to hear other people’s thoughts,” Library Director Lisa Masten said. “They might bring up something you didn’t think of.”

She stressed that participants should know beforehand that the book will be discussed in its entirety during each of these gatherings. Someone who hasn’t finished it yet may not want to spoil the ending for themselves. Beverages and desserts will be provided and attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch to the afternoon events.

An informative presentation on the book’s focus will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. Central Connecticut State University Geology Professor Mark Evans will present “Fracking: What’s it all about?” featuring the pros and cons of the complicated oil extraction process.

Finally, on Tuesday, Oct. 24, readers will have an opportunity to meet the author at the series finale. Haigh will appear at the Senior Center at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the book and writing in general. Copies will be available for purchase and signing.

Masten selected “Heat & Light” for several reasons.

“(Jennifer Haigh) is a New York Times bestselling author and lives in Massachusetts so she’s more local,” she explained. “It’s a story about a smaller town facing some really big issues and I thought it would be a good book for us all to read.”

Furthermore, there is some current significance to fracking and its impact on our world.

“The environment is at the forefront right now,” Masten added. “We have to make choices in how we get our energy, so the topic certainly is relevant. The story itself also has really relatable characters.”

This won’t be the first time the LRWL has hosted a Newington Reads event. There are lots of books out there and many different preferences. For some people, this could inspire them to start exploring more.

“It’s a fun way to get everybody reading the same title,” Masten pointed out. “And it’s a way for us to promote literacy together as a group.”

The library has many copies of the book available in its facility at 95 Cedar St. People can choose from print, large print, as well as digital and audio formats.

Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or

Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington News on Thursday, 21 September 2017 15:12. Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2017 15:15.