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Book Fest in Your Living Room!

 

We are pleased to join JCCs from all around the nation in offering this exciting book and author series of the MCJCC Atlanta and the National JCC Literary Consortium.

Purchase a ticket to these Live Zoom Webinar events. Programs will be recorded and made available to ticket holders for seven days following the event.

Festival FAQs

Coming Up:

Wednesday, January 27 | 8 pm

Scott Turow, The Last Trial: A Novel

Ticket: $11, Ticket + Book (paperback) $25 (includes shipping to the US and Canada only)

Register HERE

Two formidable men collide in this “first-class legal thriller” and New York Times bestseller about a celebrated criminal defense lawyer and the prosecution of his lifelong friend — a doctor accused of murder (David Baldacci).

At eighty-five years old, Alejandro “Sandy” Stern, a brilliant defense lawyer with his health failing but spirit intact, is on the brink of retirement. But when his old friend Dr. Kiril Pafko, a former Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, is faced with charges of insider trading, fraud, and murder, his entire life’s work is put in jeopardy, and Stern decides to take on one last trial.

In a case that will be the defining coda to both men’s accomplished lives, Stern probes beneath the surface of his friend’s dazzling veneer as a distinguished cancer researcher. As the trial progresses, he will question everything he thought he knew about his friend. Despite Pafko’s many failings, is he innocent of the terrible charges laid against him? How far will Stern go to save his friend, and — no matter the trial’s outcome — will he ever know the truth?

Stern’s duty to defend his client and his belief in the power of the judicial system both face a final, terrible test in the courtroom, where the evidence and reality are sometimes worlds apart.

Scott Turow is the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Trial, and an additional eleven bestselling works of fiction, including Testimony, IdenticalInnocentPresumed Innocent, and The Burden of Proof, and two nonfiction books, including One L, about his experience as a law student. His books have been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and have been adapted into movies and television projects. He has frequently contributed essays and op-ed pieces to publications such as the New York TimesWashington PostVanity FairThe New Yorker, and The Atlantic.

Full of the deep insights into the spaces where the fragility of human nature and the justice system collide, Scott Turow’s The Last Trial is a masterful legal thriller that unfolds in page-turning suspense — and questions how we measure a life.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium

All books include shipping to the US and Canada only. Books will be shipped after the event and can take 7 – 10 business days to receive due to Covid-related USPS delays!

Sunday, January 31 | 8 pm

Gabrielle Glaser, American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and The Shadow History of Adoption

Ticket: $11, Ticket + Book  $35 (includes shipping to the US and Canada only)

Register HERE

In Conversation with Holly Firfer, CNN Journalist

In 1961, sixteen-year-old Margaret Erle fell in love and became pregnant. Despite Margaret’s intentions to marry her child’s father and her desperation to keep her baby boy, Margaret was coerced into signing away her parental rights. After only two brief visits, Margaret’s son vanished into an adoption agency’s hold and out of Margaret’s reach for decades to come. In AMERICAN BABY: A Mother, a Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption, New York Times bestselling author and journalist Gabrielle Glaser explores the untold story of a predatory, secret adoption system in postwar America through the dual stories of Margaret and the son she never intended to give up.

In revelatory detail AMERICAN BABY examines how the exploitative adoptive system placed children with hopeful families, fabricated stories about infants’ origins and destinations, then closed the door firmly between the parties forever. Glaser brilliantly maps the rise of the adoption business, an industry that expanded at the height of the Baby Boom on the backs of “girls in trouble” and the infertile couples determined to fit the mold of the nuclear family. She reveals how the adoption system struck unethical deals with doctors and researchers for pseudoscientific “assessments,” and shamed millions of young women into surrendering their children.

Glaser demonstrates the obstacles millions of young women faced — through their forced stays in maternity homes, to their coerced surrender of wanted children, and the closed records that made it virtually impossible to reconnect with them even decades later. Using years of research and collected interviews with more than one hundred birth mothers and adoptees, Glaser discusses:

  • The pseudoscientific, government-funded experiments behind guaranteeing parents ‘blue-ribbon babies’ including largely unknown “Induced Crying” studies in which scientists shot rubber bands at the feet of newborn babies in the custody of adoption agencies to measure their cries. The ones who cried the loudest were deemed the most intelligent
  • The widespread practice of using children surrendered for adoption as “human dolls” for home economics students learning to become mothers.
  • What women had to endure in the maternity homes, where they were denied agency to their own bodies.
  • How open adoption is the rule today, but the identities of many who were adopted or who surrendered a child in the postwar decades are locked in sealed files to this day.

AMERICAN BABY is a tale of love, loss, and the search for identity, and ultimately shows a path to justice and healing after years of shame and secrecy.

Gabrielle Glaser is a New York Times bestselling author and journalist whose work on mental health, medicine, and culture has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Self, and many other publications. She has appeared on many national radio and television programs, including NPR’s Fresh Air, All Things Considered, WNYC’s On the Media, and The Brian Lehrer Show, NBC’s Nightly News, and ABC’s World News Tonight.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium

All books include shipping to the US and Canada only. Books will be shipped after the event and can take 7 – 10 business days to receive due to Covid-related USPS delays

 

Sunday, February 7 | 2 pm

Philippe Sands, The Ratline: The Exalted Life and Mysterious Death of a Nazi Fugitive

In conversation with Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies

Zoom Author Talk and Q & A

Ticket $6

Ticket and copy of hardcover book: $36 (includes tax and shipping)

Register  HERE

“Hypnotic, shocking, and unputdownable.” –John le Carré

From the author of the internationally acclaimed, award-winning East West Street: A tale of Nazi lives, mass murder, love, cold war espionage, a mysterious death in the Vatican–and “the Ratline,” the Nazi escape route to Peron’s Argentina.

Baron Otto von Wächter, Austrian lawyer, husband, father, high Nazi official, senior SS officer, former governor of Galicia during the war, creator and overseer of the Krakow ghetto, indicted after as a war criminal for the mass murder of more than 100,000 Poles, hunted by the Soviets, the Americans, the British, by Simon Wiesenthal, on the run for three years, from 1945 to 1948…

Philippe Sands pieces together, in riveting detail, Wächter’s extraordinary, shocking story. Given full access to the Wächter family archives–journals, diaries, tapes, and more–and with the assistance of the Wächters’ son Horst, who believes his father to have been a “good man,” Sands writes of Wächter’s rise through the Nazi high command, his “blissful” marriage and family life as their world was brought to ruin, and his four-year flight to escape justice–to the Tirol, to Rome, and the Vatican; given a new identity, on his way to a new life via “the Ratline” to Perón’s Argentina, the escape route taken by Eichmann, Mengele, and thousands of other Nazis. Wächter’s escape was cut short by his mysterious, shocking death in Rome, in the midst of the burgeoning Cold War (was he being recruited in postwar Italy by the Americans and the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps or by the Soviet NKVD or by both; or was he poisoned by one side or the other, as his son believes–or by both?) . . .

An extraordinary discovery, told up-close through access to a trove of family correspondence between Wächter and his wife–part historical detective story, part love story, part family memoir, part Cold War espionage thriller.

ABOUT PHILIPPE SANDS

PHILIPPE SANDS is an international lawyer and, since 2018, the president of English PEN. He is a frequent commentator on CNN and the BBC World Service. In 2003 he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel. He lives in London.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium

All books include shipping to the US and Canada only. Books will be shipped after the event and can take 7 – 10 business days to receive due to Covid-related USPS delays!

EVENT RECORDINGS:

Event recording for ticket holders will be available 24 hours after the event for a limited time; please email [email protected] if you would like a copy.

On-demand recording of the event may be purchased on this ticketing page after the program.

 

Wednesday, February 24 | 8 pm

Bill Gates, How To Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and The Breakthroughs We Need

In Conversation with Kristen Welker, Co-Anchor, “Weekend Today” and NBC News Chief White House Correspondent

Zoom Webinar Author Talk and Q & A

Ticket: $36, includes book (includes tax and shipping)

REGISTER HERE

In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical–and accessible–plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe.

Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet’s slide to certain environmental disaster. In this book, he not only explains why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal.

Kristen Welker is the co-anchor of “Weekend TODAY” and NBC News Chief White House Correspondent whose hard-hitting political reporting appears across all NBC News and MSNBC platforms, including “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” “TODAY,” “Meet the Press,” and NBCNews.com. She moderated the final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on October 22, 2020 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Welker, a native of Philadelphia, graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor’s Degree in American history. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband John Hughes.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium, A Cappella Books, Atlanta, and Books & Books, Coral Gables.

This event requires a book purchase for access to the Zoom stream. Links will be sent out 24 hours in advance of the program and again, one hour before. 

Book purchases include tax and shipping to the US and Canada only. Books will be shipped after the event; please allow 7 – 10 business days for delivery due to Covid-related USPS delays!

 

Sunday, March 4 | 8 pm

Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents

Walter Isaacson, The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A

Ticket:  $11

Ticket and copy of book: $38 (includes tax and shipping)

REGISTER HERE  

The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a gripping account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies.

When Jennifer Doudna was in sixth grade, she came home one day to find that her dad had left a paperback titled The Double Helix on her bed. She put it aside, thinking it was one of those detective tales she loved. When she read it on a rainy Saturday, she discovered she was right, in a way. As she sped through the pages, she became enthralled by the intense drama behind the competition to discover the code of life. Even though her high school counselor told her girls didn’t become scientists, she decided she would.

Driven by a passion to understand how nature works and to turn discoveries into inventions, she would help to make what the book’s author, James Watson, told her was the most important biological advance since his co-discovery of the structure of DNA. She and her collaborators turned ​a curiosity ​of nature into an invention that will transform the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions.

Should we use our new evolution-hacking powers to make us less susceptible to viruses? What a wonderful boon that would be! And what about preventing depression? Should we allow parents, if they can afford it, to enhance the height or muscles or IQ of their kids?

After helping to discover CRISPR, Doudna became a leader in wrestling with these moral issues and, with her collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the Nobel Prize in 2020. Her story is a thrilling detective tale that involves the most profound wonders of nature, from the origins of life to the future of our species.

Walter Isaacson, a professor of history at Tulane, has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time. He is the author of Leonardo da Vinci; The Innovators; Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. Visit him at Isaacson.Tulane.edu.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium

All books include shipping to the US and Canada only. Books will be shipped after the event and can take 7 – 10 business days to receive due to Covid-related USPS delays!

EVENT RECORDINGS:

Event recording for ticket holders will be available 24 hours after the event for a limited time; please email [email protected] if you would like a copy.

On-demand recording of the event may be purchased on this ticketing page after the program.

 

Sunday, March 7 | 4 pm

Mark Gerson, The Telling: How Judaism’s Essential Book Reveals the Meaning of Life

In Conversation with: Rabbi Brian Glusman, MJCCA   

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A Free ticket includes one complimentary copy of the book with shipping (shipping to the US only)

 

Ticket: Free and includes book with free shipping, registration required

REGISTER HERE

Life changing wisdom from one of Judaism’s most powerful texts.

The Haggadah, which can be found in Jewish homes around the world, has guided Jewish families and friends through Pesach celebrations for a millennia. In The Telling: How Judaism’s Essential Book Reveals the Meaning of Life, author Mark Gerson shows how even the most familiar passages from the Haggadah are sitting on top of buried treasures ready to help us live more meaningful and fulfilling lives today. The Telling will enable readers to make their Seder the most engaging, inspiring and important night of the year — and to understand how Jewish wisdom can help them to live their happiest, most purposeful and worthwhile lives.

The fundamental questions of life that The Telling addresses include those of freedom, blessings, parenthood, dreams, education, idolatry, family, forgiveness, willpower, dreams, memory, wisdom, goodness, analogies, habits, newness, music, food, aging, false humility, the role of the imagination, the purpose of political debate, the cultivation and expression of gratitude, the State of Israel, our relationship with God, the secret of joy, the meaning of history, the presentation of miracles — and much more.

The Telling, which calls on disciplines from Talmudic discussion to evolutionary psychology to understand the Haggadah, is a groundbreaking reexamination of one of the most powerful texts in Judaism — and an indispensable source of wisdom and insight for people of all faiths.

About the author

Mark Gerson is the co-founder of Gerson Lehrman Group and several other businesses in New York. He is also the co-founder and Chairman of United Hatzalah, the pioneering crowd-sourced system of volunteer first response that enables Israelis to be treated within the crucial first three minutes following any medical trauma. He is also the co-founder and Chairman of African Mission Healthcare, which supports the work of Christian medical missionaries in Africa. Gerson’s articles and essays on subjects ranging from Frank Sinatra to the Biblical Jonah have been published in Commentary, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and many other publications. Mark is married to Rabbi Erica Gerson. They and their four children live in New York City.

 

Thursday, March 11 | 8 pm

Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents

Annabelle Gurwitch, You’re Leaving When? Adventures in Downward Mobility

In Conversation with Dave Barry, NYT Bestselling Author

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A

Ticket: $6

Ticket and copy of book: $35 (includes tax and shipping)

REGISTER HERE

From the New York Times bestselling author of I See You Made an Effort comes a timely and hilarious chronicle of downward mobility, financial and emotional. With signature “sharp wit” (NPR), Annabelle Gurwitch gives irreverent and empathetic voice to a generation hurtling into their next chapter with no safety net and proving that our no-frills new normal doesn’t mean a deficit of humor.

In these essays, Gurwitch embraces homesharing, welcoming a housing-insecure young couple and a bunny rabbit into her home. The mother of a college student in recovery who sheds the gender binary, she relearns to parent, one pronoun at a time. She wades into the dating pool and flunks the magic of tidying up.

You’re Leaving When? is for anybody who thought they had a semblance of security but wound up with a fragile economy and a blankie. Gurwitch offers stories of resilience, adaptability, low-rent redemption, and the kindness of
strangers. Even in a Zoom.

Annabelle Gurwitch is the author of I See You Made an Effort (a New York Times bestseller and Thurber Prize finalist); Wherever You Go, There They Are; You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up (coauthored with Jeff Kahn); and Fired! (also a Showtime Comedy Special). She’s written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, and Los Angeles Magazine, and was a regular contributor to NPR. The longtime cohost of Dinner & a Movie, she performs with the Moth Mainstage and at arts centers around the country. She lives with her child—a college graduate of the COVID class of 2020—a cat, and an assortment of tenants and their comfort animals in Los Angeles.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium

All books include shipping to the US and Canada only. Books will be shipped after the event and can take 7 – 10 business days to receive due to Covid-related USPS delays!

EVENT RECORDINGS:

Event recording for ticket holders will be available 24 hours after the event for a limited time; please email [email protected] if you would like a copy.

On-demand recording of the event may be purchased on this ticketing page after the program.

 

Wednesday, March 24 | 8 pm

Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents

Lisa Scottoline, Eternal: A Novel

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A

Ticket: $6

Ticket and copy of book: $36 (includes tax and shipping)

REGISTER HERE

 

Eternal is the culmination of a lifetime of work: a sweeping historical epic fueled by devastating true events. Named for Rome, the Eternal City, this moving novel lifted from the pages of history is the book that Scottoline was born to write. It will be forever etched in the hearts and minds of readers, as will the powerful truth it asserts—what war destroys, only love can heal.

Set in Rome during the ventennio, the twenty years of Mussolini’s rise and fall, Eternal centers on Elisabetta, Marco, and Sandro, who grew up as the best of friends despite their differences. Elisabetta is a feisty beauty who dreams of becoming a novelist; Marco, a brash and athletic son in a family of professional cyclists; and Sandro, a Jewish mathematics prodigy, kindhearted and thoughtful, the son of a lawyer and a doctor. Their friendship blossoms to love, with both Sandro and Marco hoping to win Elisabetta’s heart.

Now, their relationships are changing—as is the world around them. In the autumn of 1937, Mussolini asserts his power, aligning Italy’s Fascists with Hitler’s Nazis and changing the very laws that govern Rome. The Nazis invade and occupy Rome, perpetrating new atrocities against the city’s Jews, culminating in a final, horrific betrayal. Against this backdrop, the intertwined fates of Elisabetta, Marco, Sandro, and their families will be decided. Unfolding over decades, Eternal is a saga of loyalty and loss, family and food, love and hate—all set in one of the world’s most beautiful cities at its darkest moment.

Lisa Scottoline is the #1 bestselling and Edgar Award–winning author of thirty-three novels. She has over thirty million copies of her books in print in the United States and has been published in thirty-five countries. Scottoline also writes a weekly column with her daughter, Francesca Serritella, for the Philadelphia Inquirer, which have been adapted into a series of memoirs. She has served as President of the Mystery Writers of America and has taught a course she developed, “Justice in Fiction,” at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. She lives in the Philadelphia area. Visit her at: www.scottoline.com

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium

All books include shipping to the US and Canada only. Books will be shipped after the event and can take 7 – 10 business days to receive due to Covid-related USPS delays!

EVENT RECORDINGS:

Event recording for ticket holders will be available 24 hours after the event for a limited time; please email [email protected] if you would like a copy.

On-demand recording of the event may be purchased on this ticketing page after the program.

Sunday, April 11 | 2 pm

Daniel Lee, The SS Officer’s Armchair: Uncovering the Hidden Life of a Nazi

Ticket purchase link coming soon!

Based on documents discovered concealed within a simple chair for seventy years, this gripping investigation into the life of a single S.S. officer during World War II encapsulates the tragic experience of a generation of Europeans.

Daniel Lee is a senior lecturer in modern history at Queen Mary, University of London. A specialist in the history of Jews in France and North Africa during the Second World War, he completed his doctorate at the University of Oxford, and is also the author of Pétain’s Jewish Children.

Thursday, April 15 | 8 pm

Tovah Feldshuh, Lilyville: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I’ve Played

Ticket purchase link coming soon!

A heartwarming and funny memoir from a beloved actress, Lilyville tells the story of a mother and daughter whose narrative reflects American cultural changes and the world’s shifting expectations of women.

 

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