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Ann Patchett Master Class

DATE: Wednesday, October 5
TIME:  7PM TO 8:30PM
LOCATION: Open Book Bookstore, Elkins Park, PACommonwealth

Join writing teacher and book discussion leader Lynn Rosen for a full examination of the work of Ann Patchett, with a particular focus on her new novel, Commonwealth.

Dear Reader,

bel cantoI first read Ann Patchett six years ago, starting with her masterful novel Bel Canto. I will never forget those sun-filled days of reading and absorbing that book, filled with heartbreaking drama and lush description. I was hooked, and I determined to master the Ann Patchett canon. I have since read all of her work, beginning with her earliest work of fiction, Taft, and taft
including her non-fiction: the memoir Truth & Beauty and her essay collection, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.

This summer I had the opportunity to speak with Ann when I interviewed her for a article for Poets & Writers magazine about authors who open bookstores (the story will be published in the September/October issue). I was thrilled (but not surprised!) to find her to be warm, engaging, and a lively conversationalist.

The Master Class concept, used often in music and the arts, is something I happy marraigehave long wanted to explore in studying literature by creating a one-time intensive workshop in which I lead participants in an exploration of the body of work of one author. I’m thrilled to host my first Master Class and to focus on the work of this important contemporary American author, Ann Patchett.

How the Class Works:
The Master Class is designed to be like a college lecture class. The first hour of the class will be a truth & beautylecture presentation by me dedicated to an overview of Patchett’s work, including a look at each of her books. Questions and comments from participants will be welcomed and encouraged. The second part of the class will be an in-depth discussion of one Patchett book: her new novel, Commonwealth, which will be published on September 13th.

Do you have homework to do before the class? Nothing too strenuous! I encourage you to read Commonwealth, and to read as many of her other books as you wish, but this reading is not required in order to attend and enjoy the Master Class.

Note that as part of the cost of the class, you receive a discount on your purchase of Commonwealth from Open Book Bookstore.

COST: $35
(includes a coupon for 10% off Commonwealth or another book by Ann Patchett.)


NOTE: All tickets are non-refundable.

Ann Patchett will be appearing at the Free Library of Philadelphia on October 6th at 7:30pm along with author Jacqueline Woodson. I have reserved a block of 15 tickets for this event at the cost of $15 per ticket. This is a separate event and a separate charge from the Master Class. Tickets are available first-come, first-served. Please email me at if you wish to join me at the Free Library on October 6th.


Hot Off the Press Fall 2016


In thhot off pressis 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: September 13, October 18, November 15December 13, January 10

Dates: September 30, October 21, November 18, December 16, January 13

Location: Open Book Bookstore, 7900 High School Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027

Cost: $135

To sign up click HERE.

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.)

A Thousand Miles From Nowhere by John Gregory Brownthousand miles
As the book begins, fleeing New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina approaches, Henry Garrett is haunted by the ruins of his marriage, a squandered inheritance, and the teaching job he inexplicably quit. He pulls into a small Virginia town after three days on the road, hoping to silence the ceaseless clamor in his head. One reviewer says: “Brown is an expert storyteller, and his latest only further reinforces that claim.”

OCTOBER 18 & 21
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbuebehold the dreamers
A stunning debut about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy. One reviewer says of this Cameroonian writer: “Among the spate of novels forged in the crucible of the previous decade, Mbue’s impressive debut deserves a singular place.”

NOVEMBER 15 & 18
The Mothers by Brit Bennettthe mothers
This debut novel describes the tangled destinies of three kids growing up in a tight-knit African-American community in Southern California. Years later, the characters are haunted by what might have happened if they had made different decisions.  The story is told partly by the main character, Nadia, and partly by a chorus of eponymous “Mothers,” the church ladies of Upper Room Chapel.

DECEMBER 13 & 16
Swing Time by Zadie Smithswing time
An ambitious new novel from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth. Two brown girls dream of being dancers–but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either…

JANUARY 10 & 13
Moonglow by Michael Chabonmoonglow
Following on the heels of his New York Times bestselling novel Telegraph Avenue, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon delivers 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.

To sign up click HERE.
Contact with questions.

NOTE: All tickets are non-refundable.

Adult Coloring Night

Johanna Basford Enchanted Forest courtesy the artist and Laurence King 3WHEN:   Thursday, July 21st

TIME:       7pm to 9pm

WHERE: Open Book Bookstore

An evening of adult coloring and conversation, with refreshments! We’ll hang out together and get our Zen on by coloring, chatting, and sipping wine. It’s a BYO party – bring refreshments and, if you have one, bring your own coloring book! We’ll provide sheets to color for those who need them and we’ll have books for sale as well.

To RSVP or with questions, contact Lynn:

Hot Off the Press Summer 2016

In thhot off pressis 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 on Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 8:30pm

Dates: July 27, August 24

Location: Open Book Bookstore, 7900 High School Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027

Cost: $55

To sign up click HERE. (See here as well for prices for one class session.)

Class members receive discounts if they purchase class books from the Open Book Bookstore.

JULY 27:
Mothering Sunday by Graham Swiftmothering sunday
It is March 30, 1924: Mothering Sunday in England. How will Jane Fairchild, orphan and housemaid, occupy her time when she has no mother to visit? How, shaped by the events of this never to be forgotten day, will her future unfold? A poetically-written book about how life unfolds.

The Unseen World by Liz Mooreunseen world
The moving story of a daughter’s quest to discover the truth about her beloved father’s hidden past.
Moore, the author of Heft, a previous “Hot Off the Press” selection, is a local author and teaches creative writing at Holy Family University.

To sign up click HERE.

Capturing the Muse: A One-Day Retreat for Writers

Our creative endeavors are so important to us—and so time-consuming! But if we don’t make time to write, it just won’t happen. Your creative practices need your time and attention in order for them to flourish.

Give yourself the gift of a day of work: a quiet day in a bucolic setting, surrounded by a small group of other writers.  Join an Open Book one-day writing retreat and focus on your important creative work!

DATE: Sunday June 26

TIME: 9am – 5:30pm

LOCATION: The Manor House at Whitpain Farm, Blue Bell, PA, 19422


Open Book one-day writing retreats take place at the Manor House at Whitpain Farm in Blue Bell, PA. This beautifully-restored colonial farm house sits on the edge of acres of green space, surrounded by trees, a brook, and a wide, sunny vista. We will occupy the entire first floor and have full use of the home’s numerous rooms, from the 1704 Room with its original colonial stone fireplace, to the modern and expansive kitchen and butler’s pantry. There is plentiful space for writing at individual tables in the various rooms.

The retreat begins at 9am and closes at 5:30pm. We intersperse quiet, private writing time with creative breaks throughout the day.

The format of the retreat is as follows:

We begin with “Convocation,” a warm up which includes goal-setting and brief writing exercises. We then move to our first extended period of quiet writing. At our next group workshop we focus on “Problem Solving,” looking at any literary bumps and how to overcome them, as well as reaffirming our writing goals for the day. The afternoon group workshop is “Energy,” a break designed to refresh and ready us for the final writing stint of the day. We close with a wine & cheese and sharing of our work.

Lynn Rosen
Lynn runs Open Book’s extensive program of classes, workshops, and events for writers and readers, and is the co-owner of Open Book Bookstore, located in Elkins Park, PA. Lynn is a long-time book publishing industry professional with many years of experience as an editor, literary agent, author, and teacher. Most recently, she was Editorial Director of Book Business magazine, and Director of Graduate Publishing Programs at Rosemont College. She has served as Editorial Director at Peter Pauper Press, as Senior Editor at Running Press and, earlier in her career, as an Editor in the trade division of Ballantine Books. In 1991, Lynn launched Leap First, an independent literary agency, which she ran until 1999. She is the author of Elements of the Table: A Simple Guide for Hosts and Guests (Clarkson Potter). Lynn graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an Honors degree in English, and holds a Masters in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

We’ll need sustenance to support our creativity, and delicious food will be provided throughout the day. At registration you will be greeted by an array of breakfast snacks, fruit, coffee, tea, juice, and water. A buffet lunch of healthful food will be provided with selections that include vegetarian and gluten-free options. Snacks are available throughout the afternoon and we will close the day with a wine & cheese gathering.

COST: $150



9am – 9:30am
Arrive, register, settle in. Select your table.
Coffee/tea/water/fruit/snacks provided and available all day.
Pop-up bookstore available to browse (all day).

9:30am – 10:15am
Begin with a moment of silence to dedicate ourselves to the writing to be done that day.
Introduce ourselves to each other.
Do some quick short writing exercises to warm up.
Goal setting: what do you hope to accomplish today? Share with the group and set realistic goals for the day.

10:15am – 11:45am
Quiet, private writing time in your space.

During the quiet writing time, the kitchen will be available for breaks and quiet conversation. We will have coffee, tea and snacks available. Lynn Rosen will preside over this space and will provide troubleshooting guidance, brainstorming activities, and a listening ear to talk over literary stumbling blocks.

11:45am – 12:15
Problem Solving
We will gather for a mid-day assessment to discuss how our writing is going. Are we making progress toward our goals? Do they need to be adjusted? Does anyone have any challenges they would like to talk through or get advice on? To close this break, Lynn will share writing tips and advice from well-known favorite writers to inspire us.

12:15 – The lunch buffet opens
12:15 – 1:00: Lunch
During the lunch break, you will have the option of taking your food back to your table to continue to work, or breaking bread and sharing conversation with your fellow writers. Those who wish to converse will sit in one room so that those who wish to write will not be disturbed.

1:00 – 2:30
Back to work: more quiet writing time.

2:30 – 3
Energy Break
We’ll take a breather to refresh ourselves. We’ll do some simple movement and breathing exercises to get the blood flowing again and rev up some endorphins. And then we’ll stimulate our brains by reading some literary excerpts aloud to each other, using the beauty of the spoken word to stimulate and inspire our writing.

3 – 4:30
The Home Stretch: our final period of concentrated quiet writing.

4:30 – 5:30
Unwinding with Wine and Readings
We’ll relax, celebrate, and those who wish to will read aloud to the group something they wrote that day. We’ll close by setting some more goals for ongoing writing to keep our work going and maintain the momentum of the day.


NOTE: All tickets are non-refundable.