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Events Calendar

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.

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

Robin Black

Robin Black

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.

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.



life drawing paperAugusta 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.

Robin Black’s story collection, If I loved you, I would tell you this, was a finalist for the

Crash Course

Crash Course

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.

First Course
Watercress and arugula salad with toasted pistachios, Manchego and a sherry vinaigrette
Anchovy hummus with zatar toasts

Main Course
Yogurt batter-fried chicken with honey curry glaze, feta orzo and fennel slaw Yogurt battered chicken
Rosemary salmon and Kalamata olive butter with roasted garlic, chickpea hash and warm watercress salad

Dessert Course
Cinnamon donuts with raspberry cream

*Vegetarian, gluten-free, and options for other dietary restrictions are available upon request

Sign up HERE.

NOTE: All tickets are non-refundable.