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Events Calendar

A Celebration of Jewish American Women Writers

A half-day event for readers offering a chance to mingle with writers!

POSTPONED – New date to be announced…

DATE: Sunday, April 30, 2017

TIME: 9am to 2pm

LOCATION: Elkins Park, PA

(See below for location details.)

Event sponsored by Open Book Bookstore and Congregation Keneseth Israel

Much of the vital new work in Jewish American letters is being done by women. These women writers are bravely exploring what it means to be Jewish in America today, and what being Jewish brings to the act of creating literature.

Join us in a day of literary celebration with a group of well-known Jewish American women authors. Many of them will be introducing and reading from their new novels. They will talk about what being Jewish means to their work, about writing and life, about passion and activism, about history and about life today, and above all, about how they create meaningful literature.

The day will include talks and readings by the authors, ample opportunity for questions from attendees, book signings, a morning “bagel break,” and a catered buffet lunch with the authors.

Authors attending include:

  • Elinor Lipman
  • Lauren Grodstein
  • Pam Jenoff
  • Nomi Eve
  • Stephanie Feldman
  • Dana Bate
  • Janet Benton
  • Amy Sue Nathan
  • Ellen Umansky


Conference Agenda

Arrival and registration. Coffee, tea & snacks are served.
Bookstore and book signing tables open.

Programming begins.

9:30 – 9:40
Welcome by Lynn Rosen, Open Book Bookstore. “How women writers are redefining American Jewish literature.”

9:40 – 9:50

Nomi Eve

Nomi Eve: “What it means to be a Jewish writer and part of a Jewish community.



9:50 – 10:10
Author Readings

Dana Bate

Dana Bate, author of Too Many Cooks

Amy Sue Nathan

Amy Sue Nathan, author of The Good Neighbor




10:10: 10:30

Lauren Grostein

Lauren Grodstein
“Being Jewish and being a writer – and a writing teacher.” Plus an introduction to her new book, Our Short History, and a reading from the book.





10:30 – 10:50

Janet Benton

Janet Benton, author of Lilli de Jong
“The pre-publication jitters: Two weeks before the on-sale date of her debut novel, Benton tells about the journey that got her to this point.”



10:50 – 11:10
Bagel break.
Bookstore and book signing tables open.

11:10 – 11:20
Stephanie Feldman, author of The Angel of Losses

Stephanie Feldman

“Writing, activism, and Jewish identity.” Stephanie will talk about her book and also her work running the Philadelphia chapter of WritersResist.





11:20 – 11:40
Elinor Lipman

Elinor Lipman

“On Jewish women’s writing and humor.” Humor has always been an important part of the Jewish experience. Lipman is known for her witty and entertaining books. She will address how she uses humor in her writing, and talk about and read from her newest book, On Turpentine Lane.



11:40 – noon
In Conversation: Pam Jenoff & Ellen Umansky

photo credit Mindy Schwartz Sorasky

Pam Jenoff

Ellen Umansky

Both authors have new novels: Jenoff’s major new work, The Orphan’s Tale, is a New York Times bestseller, and one reviewer said Umansky’s debut The Fortunate Ones “has so much skill and confidence it’s hard to believe it’s her first.” Both writers set their work in the milieu of war-torn Europe. Hear them interview each other on stage about their work.

Noon to 12:30
Lightening Round: Q&A with the Authors
Ellen Tilman, KI Library Director, leads this Q&A, offering a chance for the audience to ask their burning questions!

12:30 to 1:30
Lunch with the authors.

1:30 to 2
Book Signing

LOCATION: The event will be held at Congregation Keneseth Israel, 8339 Old York Road (corner of Old York and Township Line Roads), Elkins Park, PA 19027


All ticket sales are final.

Please direct all questions to Lynn Rosen: or 267-627-4888.

Hot Off the Press Spring 2017

hot off pressIn this lively monthly book discussion class led by Lynn Rosen, participants read and discuss new literary fiction. Class conversations include a thorough and thoughtful analysis of the book as well as background information provided by Lynn about the author and the book’s path to publication. We talk serious book talk, but have a lot of laughs too!


Class meets on Friday mornings from 9:30 to 11am
Dates: March 3, March 31, April 28, May 26, June 23

Location: Elkins Park, PA 19027

Cost: $135

To sign up click HERE.

NOTE: The Tuesday evening session of the class is currently full. If you would like to be placed on a waiting list for this class, please email Dates for this session are: February 28, March 28, April 25, May 23, June 20.

NEW: We will soon be announcing a virtual edition of the class. If you are not able to attend in person and would like to inquire about participating online, please email

Here are the book selections!

(NOTE: Class members also  receive discounts if they purchase their class books from the Open Book Bookstore. Books are not included in the cost of the class.)

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

A stunning debut novel about love and forgiveness, about the violence of memory and the equal violence of its loss—from O. Henry Prize–winning author Emily Ruskovich.

Ann and Wade have carved out a life for themselves from a rugged landscape in northern Idaho, where they are bound together by more than love. With her husband’s memory fading, Ann attempts to piece together the truth of what happened to Wade’s first wife, Jenny, and to their daughters. “…a lyrical meditation on memory, loss, and grief in the American West.”

MARCH 28 & 31
Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

At the onset of Buchanan’s debut, a son shows up at the doorstep of his mother, Yuki, in Berlin after a 30-year separation. Jay’s there to settle Yuki’s inheritance—a house in Connecticut—after his father is killed in a car accident. The story of what prompted Yuki to abandon her family, as well as the details of Jay’s life as a New York gallery owner and recent father, unspool in sections stretching from 1968 to the present. “The journey is sometimes tender, often agonizing—and everything in between.”

APRIL 25 & 28
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

A mesmerizing father-daughter epic that explores what it means to be a hero.

Samuel Hawley isn’t like the other fathers in Olympus, Massachusetts. A loner who spent years living on the run, he raised his daughter, Loo, on the road, moving from motel to motel, always watching his back. Now that Loo’s a teenager, Hawley wants only to give her a normal life. In his late wife’s hometown, he finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at the local high school.  “Seamlessly transposing classical myth into a quintessentially American landscape and marrying taut suspense with dreamy lyricism…”

MAY 23 & 26
The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton

Mary Frances “Frankie” Lombard is fiercely in love with her family’s sprawling apple orchard and the tangled web of family members who inhabit it. Content to spend her days planning capers with her brother William, competing with her brainy cousin Amanda, and expertly tending the orchard with her father, Frankie desires nothing more than for the rhythm of life to continue undisturbed. But she cannot help being haunted by the historical fact that some family members end up staying on the farm and others must leave. “Richly characterized, beautifully written, and heartbreakingly poignant…”

JUNE 20 & 23
The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One morning, Deming Guo’s mother Polly goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. Left with no one to care for him, eleven-year-old Deming is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

To sign up click HERE.

Genre Writing Classes

GenresOpen Book presents Genre writing classes, offering you the opportunity to try your hand at writing in a variety of genres. Each workshop is taught by an expert in a different genre. You can take a class in a genre you’re already working in, or something new, and try one, or try a few.

See below for details about the classes and our talented instructors!

Each class lasts an hour and a half and meets at the Open Book Bookstore in Elkins Park.  Details and specific class descriptions are below.

COST: Classes cost $30 each. Sign up HERE.
LOCATION: Open Book Bookstore, 7900 High School Rd., Elkins Park, PA 19027



DATE: Monday December 5
TIME: 7pm to 8:30pm
TOPIC: Writing Children’s Picture Books: Creating Words & Images that Flow
INSTRUCTOR: Heather Devlin Knopf

This picture book workshop will address the rhythm and flow of a great picture book in relation to words and images. We’ll analyze the beginning, middle, and end of a picture book; pagination for impact; and the importance of editing one’s work. Tip sheets and exercises will provide learning support with a Q&A session to follow. If you are working on a picture book, or have always wanted to create one, join us!

Heather Knopf Head Shot 1

Heather Devlin Knopf is a Philadelphia-based artist/illustrator, writer, and educator who works in a variety of mixed media. Knopf teaches at Moore College of Art and Design within the departments of illustration and design and at Philadelphia University with the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. She is currently working on her next picture book, as well as a series of monotypes entitled 196 Women. Learn more at

Sign up HERE.


NOTE: All tickets are non-refundable.






Dinner with a Book à la française Returns!

Our popular French-themed dinner discussions at Spring Mill Café continue this fall with two dinners to celebrate Paris. Co-hosted by Spring Mill’s famed chef Michele Haines and book discussion leader Lynn Rosen, our theme will be: “Paris Je T’aime (et je te cherche).” We will seek the real Paris as we discuss two books on two separate evenings. Join one event or both!

Dinner #1
DATE: Wednesday, November 2

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway moveable feast
Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway’s most enduring works. Hemingway captures the essence of a Paris long gone, one inhabited by writers and intellectuals, many of them American ex-pats, who worked hard and drank hard, and lived a life that now lives on only in legend. We’ll explore the famous stories in this revelatory book as we dine on delicious Parisian-inspired cuisine.
Dinner + discussion: $65
Dinner + discussion + a copy of the book: $80
Sign up HERE.

Dinner #2
DATE: Tuesday, December 6

Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnickparis to the moon
In 1995, New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik, his wife, and their infant son left the familiar comforts and hassles of New York City for the urbane glamour of the City of Light. As Gopnik describes in this funny and tender book, the dual processes of navigating a foreign city and becoming a parent are not completely dissimilar journeys–both hold new routines, new languages, a new set of rules by which everyday life is lived. With singular wit and insight, Gopnik weaves the magical with the mundane in a wholly delightful, often hilarious look at what it was to be an American family man in Paris at the end of the twentieth century.
Dinner + discussion: $65
Dinner + discussion + a copy of the book: $80
Sign up HERE.

PLACE: Both events take place at Spring Mill Café, 164 Barren Hill Road, Conshohocken, PA 19428

Sign up HERE.

MENU: Très délicieux!

premier cours

Oysters on the half Shell with Chablis Mignonette


Salad Verte

Entrée Choice

Poulet de Bresse

(Free Range chicken with fresh tarragon, shallots, and Mushroom)


Trout Fillet with Sorrel Cream


Tart tatin with Hadley

(Classic Tart Tatin served warm with vanilla ice cream)

spring mill cafe

 NOTE: All tickets are non-refundable.

Open Book Signed First Editions Club

Announcing our new Signed First Editions Club

What is it?

It’s our brand new book-a-month club, kicking off in September!book signing 1

You’ve come to rely on us to steer you toward good new fiction. We work hard to keep up with what’s being published, and to make sure we stock our store with books we know our customers will enjoy.

If you’ve taken, or even heard about, Lynn’s “Hot Off the Press” class, you know she has a particular affection for contemporary literary fiction, and she voraciously reads lots of new books in order to select for you the ones she thinks are worth reading and recommending.

Well now we’re taking this one step further with the Open Book Signed First Editions Club. As a member, each month you will receive a brand new hardcover novel that Lynn has selected. As a bonus, this book will be a first edition (i.e. from the very first print run of the book) and it will be signed by the author. (Word has it some of these books wind up becoming more valuable as the author’s reputation grows.)


CommonwealthThe September feature is Commonwealth, the brand new novel by Ann Patchett. The book tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved.



nicotineNicotine by Nell Zink
A fierce and audaciously funny novel of families—both the ones we’re born into and the ones we create—a story of obsession, idealism, and ownership, centered around a young woman who inherits her bohemian late father’s childhood home. It’s a quirky and edgy tale of families, inheritance, cults, and the never-ending search for self-definition. Kirkus Reviews says: “Social satire with a sharp wit and a big heart.”

moonglowMoonglow by Michael Chabon
Following on the heels of his New York Times bestselling novel Telegraph Avenue, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon delivers another literary masterpiece: a novel of truth and lies, family legends, and existential adventure—and the forces that work to destroy us. The story is speculative fiction inspired by recollections Chabon’s grandfather shared with him on his deathbed about Chabon Scientific, Co., a mail-order novelty company.
(Publication date: November 22)

New announcements coming soon for the next books!

How it works:

You may sign up for the Open Book Signed First Editions Club by selecting either a three-month, a six-month, or a one-year membership. Charges are outlined below.

TERM                                   COST                                     COST

3 MONTH                         $96  (Pick up at store)           $111 (Includes shipping)

6 MONTH                         $192                                          $222

ONE YEAR                       $384                                          $444


With questions, email

Open Book Signed First Editions Club will provide you with a well-written work of literary fiction each month for your reading pleasure.  Over the past eight years, Lynn has built a reputation for discovering new writers and for evaluating good quality fiction.

Here are just some of the novels Lynn has selected and included in past programming:

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss
Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift
The Unseen World by Liz Moore
Forty Rooms by Olga Grushin
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
Neverhome by Laird Hunt
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Serena by Ron Rash
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
The New Republic by Lionel Shriver
American Dervish by Avad Akhtar
The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin
Every Day is for the Thief by Teju Cole
The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan
The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright
In One Person by John Irving
Boy Snow Bird by Helen Oyeyemi