Thursday, February 9, 2017

On the Same Page – Amherst Program Series featuring "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History"

The Jones Library is holding its fifth On the Same Page community reading program, this year featuring the book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by bestselling author Elizabeth Kolbert.  The book explores the five mass extinctions that have occurred over the past half-billion years, when the diversity of life on earth has been severely reduced.  Kolbert explains how humans have altered life on the planet and how these actions may become our legacy.

This year, the Jones Library is pleased to partner with the Hitchcock Center for the Environment as we bring programs and discussions to the Amherst community during this community-wide read.  The following series of programs will be held during January and February at the Jones Library and at the Hitchcock Center, and are based on topics and themes from the book.  The author event will be held at the Amherst Regional Middle School.  For complete program descriptions, visit the program’s webpage at

Tuesday, January 31 at 7:00 pm – Jones Library

"Climate Change and the Connecticut River: What Unexpected Events We Should Begin to Expect" - Dr. Richard Palmer explores what we can expect to occur to with respect stream-flows in the Connecticut River basin as we move into the 21st century.  Richard Palmer is Department Head and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts; and Northeast Climate Science Center, Director and Principal Investigator.

Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm – Hitchcock Center for the Environment

"From Hurricane to Climate Change Film Screening and Panel Discussion" - This short film documents how the Monadnock region of New Hampshire is addressing the challenges of an increasingly unstable climate. The film highlights a range of regional responses designed to adapt to this new norm and to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. A panel discussion follows, with the film’s director and editor Doug Challenger as well as local experts Dwayne Breger, Christine Hatch, Chris Mason, and Michael Sen.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm – Jones Library

"The Human Footprint on the Earth’s Environment" - Dr. Raymond Bradley explores the impact of humanity on our environment, especially over the last few decades, and discusses solutions that will lead to a more sustainable future.  These solutions would require foresight and leadership at an international level. Ray Bradley is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geosciences and Director of the Climate System Research Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Thursday, February 16 at 7:00 pm – Hitchcock Center for the Environment or
Saturday, February 25 at 2:30 pm – Jones Library

Book Discussion of The Sixth Extinction – Join us for an in-depth discussion of our selected title, led by a Jones Library librarian and an environmental educator from the Hitchcock Center.

Tuesday, February 28 at 6:00 pm – Amherst Regional Middle School Library

Friends’ Reception – Please join the Friends of the Jones Libraries and author Elizabeth Kolbert at this special reception.

Tuesday, February 28 at 7:00 pm – Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium

On the Same Page …with Elizabeth Kolbert 

Join us for this author appearance, with an introduction by Julie Johnson, Executive Director of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Elizabeth Kolbert will speak about the book and the environmental themes she explores in her writing.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Copies of The Sixth Extinction can be borrowed from the Jones Library and branches, requested and checked out from the C/W Mars library catalog, or purchased at Amherst Books in Amherst.

The Sixth Extinction was the winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, a finalist for the PEN Literary Award and the L.A. Times Book Prize, and a New York Times bestseller. The Sixth Extinction was included on many “Best Books” list of 2014 and 2015, including The Economist Magazine Books of the Year, New York Magazine Best Books of the Year,  Washington Post Best Books of the Year, Time Magazine Top 10 Books of the Year,  Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, NPR Best Book of the Year, Library Journal Best Books of the Year, New Yorker Best Books of the Year, Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year, San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year, and New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year,

Elizabeth Kolbert has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999. Previously, she worked at the New York Times, where she wrote the Metro Matters column; from 1988 to 1991, she was the paper’s Albany bureau chief, and, from 1992 to 1997, she was a political and media reporter, and also a contributor to the Times Magazine.  She is the editor of “The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009” and the author of  The Prophet of Love: And Other Tales of Power and Deceit; Field Notes from a Catastrophe, and The Sixth Extinction, for which she won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction.

On the Same Page – Amherst and its programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Jones Libraries.  For further information about On the Same Page – Amherst, please contact Janet Ryan at 413/259-3223.