Dine with best-sell­ing au­thors at pair of events

Brunch, lunch, JCC fes­ti­val on agenda for bib­lio­philes

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Palm Beach (Sunday) - - Books - By Oline Cogdill Cor­re­spon­dent

As the holi­days quickly de­scend, con­sider book events — as well as books — as gifts for the bib­lio­phile.

The Broward County Pub­lic Li­brary Foun­da­tion’s pop­u­lar Book With Brunch on Thurs­day will fea­ture New York Times best-sell­ing au­thor An­dra Watkins be­gin­ning at 10:30 a.m. at ArtServe, 1350 E. Sun­rise Blvd., Fort Laud­erdale. Cost is $25 for non­mem­bers; call 954-357-7382.

Watkins writes both fic­tion and non­fic­tion, in­clud­ing the mem­oir “Not With­out My Fa­ther: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace,” and the novel “I Am Num­ber 13,” the third in her “Nowhere Se­ries,” which has been called a blend of sus­pense, spec­u­la­tive his­tory and para­nor­mal fic­tion. “Nowhere” is the “in-be­tween world” for those whose deaths are un­solved. Oth­ers in her se­ries are “To Live For­ever,” about Meri­wether Lewis, and “Hard to Die,” an af­ter­life story of Theo­dosia Burr Al­ston, the daugh­ter of Aaron Burr.

The Foun­da­tion’s an­nual LitLunch, which gen­er­ally sells out quickly, will fea­ture in­ter­na­tional best­selling au­thor El­iz­a­beth Berg on Feb. 8. Berg has been called one of the best chron­i­clers of fe­male friend­ship. She has been hon­ored by Oprah Win­frey, named a “lit­er­ary light” by the Bos­ton Pub­lic Li­brary and awarded the State of Illi­nois Lit­er­ary Her­itage Award. Her 19 nov­els, in­clud­ing her 2017 “The Story of Arthur Tru­luv” have been pub­lished in 30 coun­tries.

LitLunch is 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Mary N. Porter Riverview Ball­room in the Broward Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Laud­erdale. In­di­vid­ual tick­ets are $100 and in­clude a signed copy of Berg’s lat­est book “Night of Mir­a­cles.” Call 954-357-7382. Pre­mium ta­bles for 10 are $1,250, which guar­an­tees signed copies of “Night of Mir­a­cles” for each guest, a ta­ble photo and prime ta­ble position; call 954-357-8086. Reser­va­tions also can be made at bplfoun­da­tion.org/ litlunch-2019.

The LitLunch is the kick-off event for Lit­er­ary Feast, the foun­da­tion’s big­gest event of the year, sched­uled to be­gin March 1, 2019.

JCC fes­ti­val fea­tures pol­i­tics, fic­tion

The Man­del Jewish Com­mu­nity Cen­ter con­tin- ues its 24th an­nual Book Fes­ti­val this month with sev­eral events at its two venues. For in­for­ma­tion, visit JCCon­line.com/arts and­cul­ture or call 877-318-0071.

As a pro­gres­sive com­men­ta­tor on Fox News and CNN, Sally Kohn of­ten bridges po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences, and that ap­proach has led to her first book “The Op­po­site of Hate: A Field Guide to Hu­man­ity,” which looks at the cul­tural roots of hate. Kohn will dis­cuss her book at 10 a.m. Dec. 4 at Tem­ple Beth El, 2815 N. Fla­gler Drive, West Palm Beach. Tick­ets are $38 for mem­bers and/or par­tic­i­pat­ing Sis­ter­hoods; $42 for guests.

Jenna Blum will be on hand to dis­cuss her novel “The Lost Fam­ily” dur­ing the fes­ti­val’s Bagels and Books se­ries, be­gin­ning at 10 a.m. Dec. 11 at the Man­del JCC, 5221 Hood Road, Palm Beach Gar­dens. Tick­ets range from $15 to $18. “The Lost Fam­ily” cen­ters on a young man an­guished by his ex­pe­ri­ences in the Holo­caust as he be­gins a new fam­ily and a ca­reer as a chef dur­ing 1965.

Robert Wat­son, pro­fes­sor of Amer­i­can Stud­ies at Lynn Univer­sity and Se­nior Fel­low at the Florida Joint Cen­ter for Cit­i­zen­ship, dis­cusses two his­tor­i­cal events as part of the fes­ti­val. First up is “Hamil­ton: The Man, the Myth, the Mu­si­cal…Men­sch,” which looks at the Found­ing Fa­ther’s Jewish roots and close re­la­tion­ship with the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary-era Jewish com­mu­nity in Amer­ica and the back story be­hind the Broad­way mu­si­cal at 10 a.m. Dec. 5 at the JCC, 8500 Jog Road, Boyn­ton Beach. Tick­ets range from $18 to $22. Wat­son dis­cusses “Fas­ci­nat­ing Lives of Amer­ica’s First Ladies” at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 at the JCC in Palm Beach Gar­dens. Tick­ets range from $28 to $32.

End­ing the year in verse

End the year with a bit of po­etry with Bards of a Feather, the free roundrobin open mic read­ing, be­gins at 1 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Green Cay Na­ture Pre­serve, Com­mu­nity Room, 12800 Ha­gen Ranch Road, Boyn­ton Beach. Bring up to four po­ems, orig­i­nal or not, to share with the group. Non­po­ets are wel­come to at­tend. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit palm­beach­po­etry fes­ti­val.org.

De­tect­ing a bar­gain at SleuthFest

Look­ing for an­other hol­i­day gift for book lovers? As­pir­ing writ­ers as well as avid read­ers will want to mark March 14-17, 2019, on their cal­en­dars for SleuthFest 2019, the writ­ers’ con­fer­ence. The four-day con­fer­ence, spon­sored by the Florida Chap­ter of the Mys­tery Writ­ers of Amer­ica, fea­tures ses­sions on writ­ing, mar­ket­ing and pro­mot­ing your work with an ar­ray of writ­ers, ed­i­tors and agents at the Em­bassy Suites, 661 NW 53rd St., Boca Ra­ton. The three-day reg­is­tra­tion for mem­bers is $380 now un­til Jan. 15 and $405 af­ter Jan. 15. Reg­is­tra­tion for non-mem­bers is $420 un­til Jan. 15 and $445 af­ter Jan. 15.

Third-De­gree Thurs­day is an extra day of hands-on work­shops taught by mas­ters of the craft be­fore the main con­fer­ence; reg­u­lar price is $85; the ed­u­ca­tor and li­brar­ian price is $50. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit sleuthfest.com, where a por­tion of the sched­ule is posted. Key­note speaker will be multi-Edgar Award­win­ning au­thor T. Jef­fer­son Parker. Among the au­thors who will be teach­ing work­shops are Alexia Gor­don, Alex Se­gura, Tom Straw and Elaine Vi­ets.

Dead­line for Jan­uary Lo­cal Books is Dec. 20; email [email protected]


An­dra Watkins writes both fic­tion and non­fic­tion, in­clud­ing the mem­oir “Not With­out My Fa­ther: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace” and the “Nowhere Se­ries.”


Best-sell­ing au­thor El­iz­a­beth Berg will be the Broward Li­brary Foun­da­tion's fea­tured speaker at LitLunch.

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