Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies  - Ross King
Monday, September 19 | 6:30 p.m. | Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Claude Monet intended his most famous series of paintings - of the water lilies in his garden at Giverny, France - as a means of "peaceful meditation." But according to historian and best-selling author Ross King, they belied the great impressionist's frustration in trying to capture the fugitive effects of light, water, and color.
They also were a portal to the struggles and triumphs of the last 12 years of Monet's life. The horrors of World War I were closing in on Paris. He had lost his wife and eldest son. Cataracts threatened his vision. Still, he painted on.
King discusses the paintings and their meaning in a discussion of his new book Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies. The event is co-presented by Rainy Day Books and funding provided by Commerce Bank.
Celebrating Ewing Marion Kauffman - Julia Irene Kauffman, Lou Smith, George Brett 
Wednesday, September 21 | 6:30 p.m. | Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
When The Kansas City Star profiled the 10 greatest departed heroes in the city's history earlier this year, it started - naturally - with Ewing Marion Kauffman. "Mr. K" launched Marion Laboratories in his basement and nurtured it into a global pharmaceutical giant, brought big-league baseball back to KC with his purchase of the expansion Royals, and promoted education and entrepreneurship through the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
On what would have been his 100th birthday, Library Director Crosby Kemper III discusses Kauffman's life and monumental legacy with three of the people who knew him best: civic and philanthropic leader Julia Irene Kauffman, his daughter; former Kauffman Foundation President and CEO Louis (Lou) W. Smith; and Royals Hall of Famer George Brett.
The event is presented by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Truman Library Institute.
Spent: Looking for Change 
Wednesday, September 21 | 6:30 p.m. | Lucile H. Bluford Branch, 3050 Prospect Ave.
This 45-minute documentary tells stories of regular money-conscious Americans who are striving to beat the odds of our country's economic game. Afterward, visit with local personal finance experts and find out how to improve your financial health by applying the lessons of this powerful film.
Hemingway's Boat - Paul Hendrickson 
Thursday, September 22 | 6:30 p.m. | Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Ernest Hemingway had one constant in the last 27 years of his life: his fishing boat Pilar. The 38-foot vessel became the writer's sanctuary after he purchased it in 1934, a place where he entertained some 500 guests as he struggled with artistic and emotional decline. Author Paul Hendrickson made it the heart of his acclaimed biography Hemingway's Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost.
Hemingway spent more than 20 of his final years in Cuba. As part of a current focus on that island nation - in conjunction with the Library's participation in an exhibit featuring the works of native Cuban photographer Jesse A. Fernández - Hendrickson discusses his book and Hemingway's life from 1934-61 as viewed from Pilar.
Hendrickson, a longtime writer for The Washington Post, teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Power of Reading and Writing 
Thursday, September 22 | 6:30 p.m. | Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Literacy KC and The Writers Place have worked for decades to make Kansas City a more literate community. Literacy KC, founded in 1985, helps adults and families enhance literacy skills and quality of life. The Writers Place, established in 1992, extends support, resources, and inspiration to area writers.
Those efforts, and their impact, are spotlighted as part of the organizations' eighth annual celebration, The Power of Reading and Writing. A number of Literacy KC's adult learners poignantly share their stories. And two successful writers - poet, novelist, essayist, and humorist Alan Proctor and novelist Whitney Terrell, an assistant professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City - discuss what writing has brought to their lives.
KCPT-TV's Nick Haines emcees the event, which is co-presented by Literacy Kansas City and The Writers Place with additional funding provided by the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library.
Programming is free at the Kansas City Public Library and free parking is available at all Library locations. Event attendees can RSVP at kclibrary.org or at 816.701.3407.