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Norwalk Neighbors Notes: Book Alerts

NORWALK, Conn. -- Exactly five months ago today, the neighborhood lost a gem when Margery Thompson passed away. She was an inspiration, especially when it came to literature. Name just about any title, fiction or non-fiction, and Marge had read it. She’d read books quickly and finish them long before the library due date.

Marge always had a book to recommend. She adored any book written by Dick Francis and didn’t believe a word of the scandal that sent him to jail in Britain. She was very organized and kept a list of every book she read. If the mood hit her, she would re-read classics like “The Scarlet Letter.” But for the most part, Marge read the newest releases.

Seeing an interesting review in The New York Times, she’d promptly call the Westport Library to reserve a copy. Or if she owned it, she might say, “If you promise to return it, I’ll loan you my new book by Keith Richards. It’s fabulous.” (She sold a house to the Rolling Stones legend and thought he was terrific.) No one believed it when they read in her obituary that she was 91. Proof that reading, healthy living, and lots of laughter and optimism (and hanging out with Keith Richards?) will keep you in great shape, mentally and physically. Two recently released books by local authors would have received the Marge Thompson seal of approval: “Nine Rubies” by Mahru Ghashghaei, as told to Susan Snyder, a poignant tale about strength and surviving, and “Listen First!” by Stephen D. Rappaport , a must-have for corporate execs who need to keep up with trends and the tools to track them. Local author, educator and entrepreneur Sue Snyder of Rowayton met Mahru Ghashghaei , formerly of New Canaan, when their sons attended school together. Over their 20-year friendship, Mahru told stories that moved Sue to ask questions and start typing. Together, they have self-published a jewel of book of the personal and often painful stories of Mahru’s childhood in Iran. They are like none heard before. The book is available at the Norwalk Library or by ordering directly: . It is a page turner, but not an easy read.

“No, it’s not. Reading it makes you reflect on your own life. It makes you think about what some people have had to endure in their lives. It’s amazing that they have been able to get through it,” said Aneila Savonna , kindergarten teacher at Columbus Magnet. At a recent reading at the Snyders’, Mahru, with husband and sons present, answered questions about her childhood with, remarkably, no bitterness. “Listen First! Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage” is the latest book from Stephen Rappaport of Morgan Avenue. (Published by Wiley, available on Amazon.) Steve’s timing couldn’t be better. Even stodgy, established companies know the future requires interaction with Twitter, You-Tube or Facebook. Steve, knowledge solutions director for the Advertising Research Foundation, created an essential resource for marketers to develop new strategies to listen to consumers to grow their business. Margery Thompson , great friend, reader and real estate maven, would have been all ears.

To have your social event, announcement or honor included in Norwalk Neighbors Notes, email Jeanne at .

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