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Dinner with a Book: Isabel Allende’s The Japanese Lover
Oct16

Dinner with a Book: Isabel Allende’s The Japanese Lover

Open Book is pleased to announce a new Dinner with a Book event on Thursday, November 12th. We will dine at The Rose Tattoo Café and discuss the new book by Isabel Allende, The Japanese Lover. After dinner we will attend a reading by Ms. Allende at the nearby main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Dinner, discussion, and tickets to the library reading are included in the cost of the event. Sign up soon: only ten slots are available! Click here to register. DATE: Thursday, November 12th TIME: 5:30pm to 9pm Dinner at 5:30pm, The Rose Tattoo Café Provide your own transportation to the restaurant. Street parking available. Author Reading by Isabel Allende: 7: 30pm (Details HERE) COST: $65 (Cost includes book discussion, three-course meal with tax and gratuity, and a reserved ticket to the library event.) Copies of The Japanese Lover are available for sale from open book at a discount for event attendees. Choose the “Dinner/Reading +  Book” option when you make your payment to reserve a copy of the book. ABOUT THE BOOK In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in San Francisco. There she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his family—like thousands of other Japanese Americans—are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forever forced to hide from the world. The Japanese Lover explores questions of identity, abandonment, redemption, and the unknowable impact of fate on our lives. Written with the same attention to historical detail and keen understanding of her characters that Isabel Allende has been known for since her landmark first novel The House of the Spirits, The Japanese Lover is a profoundly moving tribute to the constancy of the human heart in a world of unceasing change. ABOUT OPEN BOOK Open Book is a long running program of book discussion classes and author events led by book publishing professional Lynn Rosen. Lynn is an editor and former literary agent, and has taught literature, writing, and publishing at several area universities. She is a published author and now the proprietor of the Open Book Bookstore in Elkins Park, PA. Click here to register. Questions: 267-627-4888 or...

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Dinner with an Author
Aug20

Dinner with an Author

Our popular “Dinner with a Book” is back, except this time with a twist—the author is coming too! THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT!  DATE: Thursday, October 1st, 2015 TIME: 7pm to 9pm LOCATION: Cantina Feliz. The Star Side of Bird Hill is a new book getting rave reviews. It tells the story of two young sisters growing up in Brooklyn. When their mother can no longer care for them, they are sent to Bird Hill in Barbados to live with their grandmother. There they must come of age as they learn about this island that holds their complicated family history. Naomi Jackson will join us for conversation and a delicious meal in the private dining room at Cantina Felix in Ft. Washington, PA. COST: $45 or $67 including the book Reservations required. (Sorry, we’re sold out. Check for for author dinners in the near future!) Email lynn@openbookphilly.com with questions. Naomi Jackson was born and raised in Brooklyn by West Indian parents. She studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Jackson traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. A graduate of Williams College, her work has appeared in literary journals and magazines in the United States and abroad. She is the recipient of residencies and fellowships from the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House, Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, and the Camargo and Point Foundations. For more about the author and the book, read my interview with the author here. Cost: Dinner & Conversation: $45 Dinner & Conversation and a copy of the book: $67 (retails for $25.95) Read Lynn’s  “Get Lit” column in Philadelphia City Paper...

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The Open Book Memoir Writing Retreat
Aug10

The Open Book Memoir Writing Retreat

Save the date! On Sunday, May 22, 2016, we will be presenting another in our successful series of day-long writers retreats, this one focused on the writing of memoir. The event takes place at The Manor House at Whitpain Farm in Blue Bell, PA from 10am to 4pm. FEATURED SPEAKERS: Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of twenty-one books, an adjunct professor of creative nonfiction at the University of Pennsylvania (where she won the 2015 Beltran Family Teaching Award), a frequent contributor to the Chicago Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer, and the strategic writing partner in a boutique marketing communications firm. Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir won the 2013 Books for a Better Life Award (Motivational Category). Kephart’s Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River has recently been released as a paperback and is a key component in a William Penn founded pilot education program created by the Fairmount Water Works. Love: A Philadelphia Affair, a collection of her memoiristic essays, was just released by Temple University Press. She blogs daily at www.beth-kephart.blogspot.com .     Daniel Torday is the author of the novel The Last Flight of Poxl West. His novella, The Sensualist, won the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for debut fiction. Torday’s stories and essays have appeared in Esquire Magazine, Glimmer Train, n+1, The New York Times and The Paris Review Daily. A former editor at Esquire, Torday serves as an editor atThe Kenyon Review. He is Director of Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College.     More information, including the day’s agenda and cost and registration information, coming soon!...

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The Salinger Mystique: An Open Book Reader Retreat
May22

The Salinger Mystique: An Open Book Reader Retreat

Explore the life and work of J.D. Salinger with the authors of two recent books about this brilliant and reclusive writer. DATE: Sunday, June 7 TIME:  Noon to 3:00pm LOCATION:  Whitpain Farm, Blue Bell, PA J. D. Salinger, who gained great fame for The Catcher in the Rye and his artful short stories published regularly in The New Yorker, lived the latter part of his life as a recluse in New Hampshire, leaving fans to speculate why he withdrew from the world at large and what he was writing. In this event, we’ll meet and hear from two authors who, like many others, are entranced and preoccupied by this talented, odd, and practically mythic author. The New York Times calls Thomas Beller’s new book J. D. Salinger: The Escape Artist “a short, sensitive and irresistible biography.” The book has received wide acclaim and just won the New York City Best Book Award for biography/memoir. Beller, an experienced writer and speaker, will share with us his insights into Salinger’s life and work. Joanna Rakoff’s My Salinger Year has also garnered numerous awards from The Guardian to GoodReads and more. When she was in her early 20s, Rakoff took a job as an assistant to Salinger’s literary agent, and found herself swept up into the literary life of New York in the 1990s, answering Salinger’s fan mail as she found her own literary voice. Join us for an afternoon of literary leisure and pleasure, combining the keynote talks from these two esteemed authors who are visiting Philadelphia specifically for this event, along with an intro to Salinger by Lynn Rosen and a delicious light lunch, all in a beautiful country setting! SCHEDULE Noon: Arrive & Register: meet & mingle; browse the Open Book pop-up bookstore 12:15: Lunch buffet opens 12:30: Welcome by Lynn Rosen: The J.D. Salinger Refresher & Overview 1:00pm: Keynote author talks and Q&A with Thomas Beller and Joanna Rakoff 2:15–3:00pm:  Coffee/tea/dessert and chat with the authors; book signing. The Reader Retreat is a wonderful opportunity to spend a few hours on a Sunday meeting authors and talking about books with other readers. The event takes place at Whitpain Farm, an historic colonial-era manor house in Blue Bell, PA. (Directions to be provided.) Cost: $75* Includes lunch, author keynote presentations, and copies of J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist and My Salinger Year. *Inquire about special discounts for students (ID required) and for Whitpain Farm residents. To register click here! With questions...

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Hot Off the Press: Winter/Spring 2015
May06

Hot Off the Press: Winter/Spring 2015

A new session of Hot Off the Press is beginning! In this monthly book discussion class, participants read works of new fiction just as they are being published. Class discussions include analysis of the book as well as background information about the author and the book’s path to publication. We talk serious book talk, but have a lot of laughs too! I will be holding two sections of this class: Option 1: Monday mornings, 9:30am to 11am Dates: February 23rd, March 16th, April 13th, May 11th, June 8th Option 2: Wednesday evenings, 7pm to 8:30pm Dates: February 18th, March 18th, April 15th, May 13th, June 10th Location: The Open Book Bookstore at 7900 High School Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027 Cost: $135 SIGN UP HERE: https://squareup.com/market/open-book/hot-off-the-press-class-spring-1 Class members also  receive discounts if they purchase their class books from the Open Book Bookstore. Here are the book selections: February West of Sunset by Stewart O’Nan O’Nan is highly regarded by critics for his fiction. (We read his book The Odds in an earlier class.) This new book explores the last few years of the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald when he was a Hollywood screenwriter. March Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo JohnsonFrom the PEN/Faulkner finalist comes a dark and socially provocative Southern-fried comedy about four liberal UC Berkeley students who stage a mock lynching during a Civil War re-enactment. April The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro It’s been 10 years since his previous book, Never Let Me Go. This mythical novel is set in Arthurian England and takes the form of a quest story, but the heroes are not knights—they’re an elderly couple. May I Refuse by Per Petterson, trans. by Don Bartlett The first new novel in nearly five years by the international bestselling novelist (Out Stealing Horses) is a haunting and tender story of friendship between two boys whose bond is shaken after an incident on the ice, told from different perspectives and from different time periods. June A God In Ruins by Kate AtkinsonKate Atkinson follows up her die-and-redo epic, Life After Life, with a story centering on Life After Life protagonist Ursula Todd’s younger brother, Teddy, an RAF bomber pilot and would-be...

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