Providing expertise for
publishers, authors and readers
Dinner with an Author with Robin Black
May10

Dinner with an Author with Robin Black

Our popular “Dinner with an Author” is back! Join us for dinner and a conversation with author Robin Black about her novel Life Drawing, her new book, and about the writing life. DATE: Wednesday, June 15 TIME: 7pm to 9pm LOCATION: Park Plates Restaurant, Elkins Park, PA Dinner with an Author will take place in the private dining room of Park Plates Restaurant. Our guest of honor will be author Robin Black, who will join us for dinner and a discussion of her novel Life Drawing. She will also tell us about her new book Crash Course: Essays From Where Writing And Life Collide and about the writing life in general. During the discussion, we will enjoy a delicious 3-course meal from Park Plates. The menu is described below. All guests are asked to read Life Drawing in advance so they can fully participate in the discussion. Attendance is limited to 14 guests.  Park Plates is BYOB. COST: Dinner: $60 Dinner plus one book: $75 Dinner plus two books: $90 Note: Attendees may select Robin’s novel, Life Drawing, which we will be discussing at the dinner. Attendees may also select Robin’s newest book, Crash Course: Essays from Where Writing and Life Collide. Or they may select both. SIGN UP HERE ABOUT LIFE DRAWING Augusta Edelman, Gus to her friends, is a painter, a wife, and not always the best judge of her own choices—one of which was bad enough that Gus and her husband, Owen, have fled their longtime city home and its reminders of troubling events. Now, three years into their secluded country life, Gus works daily on the marriage she nearly lost, discovers new inspiration for her art, and contemplates the mysteries of a childhood tragedy. But this quiet, healing rhythm is forever shattered one hot July day, when a stranger moves into the abandoned house next door, and crosses more boundaries than just those between their lands. This debut novel is a fierce, honest, and moving portrait of a woman grappling with her fate. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Robin Black’s story collection, If I loved you, I would tell you this, was a finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Story Prize, and named a Best Book of 2010 by numerous publications.  Her novel, Life Drawing, was longlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the Impac Dublin Literature Prize, and the Folio Prize. Her newest book is Crash Course: Essays From Where Writing And Life Collide. Robin lives in Philadelphia with her husband, and will begin teaching in the Rutgers-Camden MFA Program, Fall 2016. THE MENU First Course Watercress and arugula salad with toasted pistachios, Manchego and a sherry vinaigrette or Anchovy hummus with zatar toasts Main Course Yogurt batter-fried chicken with honey curry glaze, feta orzo and...

Read More
Literary Mindfulness Readers Retreat
May07

Literary Mindfulness Readers Retreat

DATES: Sunday, June 5 to Tuesday, June 7, 2016 LOCATION: The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Stockbridge, MA Join us on a journey to Kripalu, a yoga retreat in the beautiful Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts. We will have three days and two nights of inspiration and rejuvenation as we exercise our bodies (yoga, kayaking, hiking, dance) and our minds in book discussions led by Lynn Rosen throughout the visit. What We’ll Do There On this trip, we will combine the pleasures of sharing and discussing literature with the physical and spiritual rewards of yoga and physical activity. And in between all our various activities, some with the group and some solo, we will feast on the delicious organic cuisine for which Kripalu is famous, and enjoy lush scenery: the lake, rolling hills and leafy green forests of the Berkshires. Books and Yoga: Mind and Body Yoga is a practice that incorporates body, mind, and spirit. Reading is a cerebral and intellectual practice, yet it also incorporates spiritual and emotional components. As to how it affects the body, surely you have read a book that has made you cry, or sent chills down your spine, or even made you jump for joy. And as we surely know, books can affect us in profound ways and sometimes change the course of our lives. Reading Ahead During the retreat, we will focus on the theme “States of Being.” We will begin by discussing a book that participants will read ahead of time: The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. In this book, naturalist Sy Montgomery gets to know the octopus, a creature that, though it is invertebrate, has a brain, a personality and an array of amazing abilities. Montgomery brings us into a wondrous watery world where we learn to see things differently. (A copy of this book is included in your activity fee.) Reading On-Site At the event, Lynn will provide an additional selection of short readings on the same theme of consciousness and States of Being. Each reading will be integrated into enriching group discussions. We’ll look at excerpts from the works of a range of authors. Agenda The daily agenda is included below. Cost The cost for this trip is payable in two parts. Part one is an activity fee of $250, payable through Open Book (see “How to Register” below). Part two is for room & board, the cost of which varies depending on the accommodations you select (see “Book Your Housing” below). How to Register You will register for the program by paying the activity fee through Open Book. To sign...

Read More
Dinner with a Book à la française: Julia Child’s MY LIFE IN FRANCE
Apr10

Dinner with a Book à la française: Julia Child’s MY LIFE IN FRANCE

DATE: Wednesday, May 25 TIME: 7PM – 9PM PLACE: Spring Mill Café, 164 Barren Hill Road, Conshohocken, PA 19428 COST: Dinner + discussion: $65 Dinner + discussion + a copy of the book: $85 Sign up HERE. As Julia Child said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.” Come join some of the best people as we convene at French restaurant Spring Mill Café for a conversation with Lynn Rosen about Julia Child’s memoir My Life in France and a dinner that will be très délicieux! Julia Child went to France for the first time in 1948 with her husband Paul. There she discovered a love of all things French, particularly the cuisine. Much study, practice, and hard work went into her acquisition of her cooking mastery. Along the way, she and Paul (who were also a great love story) traveled through France, met a range of fascinating folk, and experienced life in post-war Europe. My Life in France is a lively and loving remembrance of Child’s time in France. It is full of the zestful personality for which the world came to know Julia Child. And even more, it is the inspiring story of a woman who discovered what she was meant to do in life–and then did it! Sign up HERE. MENU Soupe Parmentier or Salade Verte  Choice of Entrée Steak Frites or Trout Almandine or Julia’s Roast Chicken Le Dessert Mousse au Chocolat or Sorbet with Macaroons  NOTE: All tickets are...

Read More
Hot Off the Press Spring 2016
Mar14

Hot Off the Press Spring 2016

In 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 will take place monthly on Tuesday evenings from 7pm to 8:30pm Dates: April 5, May 3, May 31 ,June 28 Location: The Open Book Bookstore at 7900 High School Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027 Cost: $105 To sign up click HERE. Class members also  receive discounts if they purchase their class books from the Open Book Bookstore. Here are the book selections: April 5 Forty Rooms by Olga Grushin Deals with issues of women’s identity and women’s choices with a unique literary conceit: it proposes that a modern woman will inhabit forty rooms in her lifetime. They form her biography, from childhood to death. May 3 Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss Follows a critic, an artist, and a desirous, determined young woman as they find their way—and ultimately collide—amid the ever-evolving New York City art scene of the 1980’s. May 31 The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett In one moment, two lives will be changed forever… and forever… and forever. A tale of possibilities and consequences rings across the shifting decades, from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and on to the present, showing how even small choices can define the course of our lives. June 28 Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler A debut about a year in the life of a young woman is set in the wild, alluring world of a famous downtown New York restaurant. This is a story about discovery, enchantment, and the power of what remains after disillusionment. To sign up click HERE. NOTE: All tickets are...

Read More
Writers work hard!
Mar14

Writers work hard!

It’s hard work being an author. You probably think I’m referring to the work of writing books, don’t you? It’s true that writing a book is hard — it’s time-consuming, solitary work. I know many writers whose first novels took years, or even a decade or more to write (especially since most of them were holding down demanding full-time jobs and writing in any pocket of time they could find – instead of sleeping!). But I’m actually talking about what happens once a writer finishes a book, and is lucky enough to have it published. You’d think the hard work would be finished then, and it would be smooth sailing and merely a matter of collecting accolades. But post-publication life is far from that. Post-pub is when another phase of really hard work begins for a writer. And it’s difficult to tell sometimes which is more challenging: writing the book or marketing it! On March 13th, Open Book partnered with Philadelphia Stories magazine to hold The 2nd Annual Writers at Work Conference. The purpose of this conference is to offer writers ways to manage their career (what we call the write/life balance), along with really useful and practical information about marketing, publicity, events, building an author platform, and more. Yesterday’s event was a great success. My fabulous event partner Christine Weiser and I are so grateful to all of our speakers (listed HERE) and to the many writers who joined us at the lovely Manor House in Blue Bell, PA. Thank  you for being there! Here’s just a taste of what I learned yesterday: *If you want to prepare to be a good speaker, have a friend or someone else interview you. That way you’ll get a sense of what the most interesting things are that you have to talk to an audience about. (That tip from Andy Kahan, director of events at the Free Library of Philadelphia.) *Pitch yourself as a guest blogger for book sites. Make fun videos (I’m going to do that one!). (These tips from Jennifer Kasius of Running Press and literary agents Clare Pelino and Eric Smith.) *What do booksellers have that Amazon doesn’t? Booksellers do community outreach, and bookstores offer the possiblity of serendipity. (From Kat Meyer of the Book Industry Study Group.) *The term “read-a-likes.” This refers to books an author might compare their book to, one with similar style, subject matter, and/or readers. (Learned this from author Donna Galanti.) *I met a new local bookseller, Ashley Montague, co-owner of Penn Book Center, and had a great time bonding and sharing ideas with her and with Cathy Feibach, owner of Main Point Books in...

Read More