Events Calendar

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.


Beth Kephart

Beth Kephart

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).handling truth

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 .



Poxl WestDaniel 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.Torday-1



More information, including the day’s agenda and cost and registration information, coming soon!


Hot Off the Press: Winter/Spring 2015

hot off pressA 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


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

Here are the book selections:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 poet.

Dinner with a Poem

poetry.1At this lively — and delicious! — evening event, join award-winning poet Lynn Levin for a talk on appreciating poetry, play a poetry game, Park Plates_back signhave the opportunity to recite some poems yourself, and partake of a delicious two-course dinner in the private dining room at Park Plates. Poetry can speak to the soul, but many of us feel a little unsure about our ability to understand and appreciate poetry. At this event, we’ll have fun with poetry and gain a greater understanding of its beauty and power.


DATE: Wednesday, May 20th
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
PLACE: Park Plates, Elkins Park, PA
COST: $45

Reservations required.
Sign up here.
Email with questions.


Lynn Levin

Lynn Levin

  • Award-winning poet Lynn Levin on: What is a poem? Why do we need poetry? What makes a good poem? She’ll use examples of poems you can sink your teeth into.
  • Poetry icebreaker games
  • Write your own poem, a “cameo cinquaine”
  • Recite a poem yourself, perhaps even one you still remember from grade school!
  • Eat delicious food from Park Plates chef Locke Johnston
  • BYO wine & beer


Reservations required.
Email to register and with any questions.

Celebrate HENNA HOUSE Book Club #100 with Author Nomi Eve!

Henna House jacket imageDATE: Thursday, May 14th
TIME: 7pm to 8:30pm
LOCATION: Elkins Park Train Station, corner of Spring and Park Aves., Elkins Park, PA 19027

Have you read HENNA HOUSE by our beloved Elkins Park author Nomi Eve? This captivating  novel tells the story of Adela Damari, a young woman living in the fascinating and rarely portrayed community of Yemenite Jews in the mid-twentieth century,

In order to spread the word and share the book with readers, last year Nomi undertook what she calls her “100 Book Club Challenge.” The goal: to visit 100 book clubs and discuss HENNA HOUSE with them all. Mission accomplished! This busy author has covered the city and traveled to other cities as well, both virtually and in real time, to meet with readers who are passionate about her new book.

And we, the Open Book Bookstore, are THRILLED that we are hosting the big 1-0-0! And you are all invited! Please join us on Thursday evening, May 14th, at 7pm for a book club discussion and a festive celebration of Nomi Eve’s completion of the 100 Book Club challenge! (Even though we know Nomi won’t stop and she’ll keep visiting readers and sharing the love whenever she can!) A special feature of the celebration: a henna artist will be there to create beautiful designs for (on) you!

This event is free and open to the public. All are welcome!

A Reading and Conversation with Poet Sonia Sanchez

Sonia Sanchez

Sonia Sanchez

DATE: Sunday, May 17th
TIME: 3pm to 4:30pm
LOCATION: Elkins Park Train Station, corner of Spring & Park Avenues

The list of Sonia Sanchez’s accomplishments goes on and on . . . Poet. Mother. Professor. National and International lecturer on Black Culture and Literature, Women’s Liberation, Peace and Racial Justice. Award-winner.

We are thrilled to be welcoming Philadelphia’s first Poet Laureate to Elkins Park for a reading, Q&A, and book signing.

This is a free event. All are welcome!
Donations to the Train Station renovation will be welcome at the event.

Sanchez’s books will be available for sale.

Preregistration is not required, but send us an email telling us you’re coming and we’ll enter your name in a drawing for a free copy of Morning Haiku. Email: