National JCC Consortium: Book Festival in Your Living Room

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium: Book Festival in Your Living Room, and the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.

Book lovers, this one’s for you! Over the next three months, more than 30 authors will present live virtual events through Book Festival in Your Living Room. Our partnership with the Marcus JCC of Atlanta and the National JCC Literary Consortium gives you access to some of the best-known authors in the United States. You can sit in the front row (of your living room), park your car as close to your front door as possible, and there’s no need for a new wardrobe — comfy PJs work just fine. We invite you to check out this amazing fall lineup, featuring some of the most talked-about authors of our day. All programs will be presented using Zoom.

Want more fantastic literature? Don’t miss the Mayerson JCC Jewish Book Series!

Have questions about Zoom? Check out these FAQs:

Zoom FAQs

Where can I watch your author events?
Our events are live streamed as ZOOM Webinars.

Where do I download the latest version of Zoom?
You can download the latest version of Zoom from Zoom’s Download Center. It is not a requirement to download Zoom but for the best possible Zoom experience, we recommend it! Learn more about downloading Zoom.

How do I sign up for Zoom?
You can sign up for a free Zoom account at zoom.us/signup.

How much does Zoom cost?
A basic Zoom license is free.

Do you need an account to use Zoom?
A Zoom account is not required if you are strictly joining Zoom meetings as a participant. If someone invites you to their meeting, you can join as a participant without creating an account. Learn more about joining a Zoom meeting.  A Zoom account is only required if you need to create your own meetings and send invitations to participants.

How do I join a Zoom meeting?
You can join a meeting by clicking the meeting link or going to join.zoom.us and entering in the meeting ID. Learn more about joining a meeting.

How do I join computer/device audio?
On most devices, you can join computer/device audio by clicking Join AudioJoin with Computer Audio, or Audio to access the audio settings. Learn more about connecting your audio.

Why isn’t my window showing up when I log on, like my other Zoom meetings?
Our programs are streamed as Zoom Webinars, not meetings. Viewers are not seen or heard but can ask our guests questions in the Q & A.

When will I receive the link to my event?
You will receive your Zoom link in your confirmation email after you’ve purchased your ticket, and again, in a day-of reminder email and finally, one more time, one hour before!

What if I didn’t receive my link to my event?
First, check your SPAM or Junk folder. Second, make sure you didn’t overlook the email. Please note: your emails will be coming from both Showclix and the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA).

Can I share my Zoom links with friends and family?
No. Zoom links are unique to the user and not shareable. If you share the link, you won’t be able to access the program!

How can I watch on my big screen television?
For newer televisions with HDMI ports, you just need an HDMI cable. Connect one end of the cable to your computer or laptop and the other end into the TV. Change the source to that HDMI port and the program should display on your screen. There are many other ways to enjoy Zoom on your TVs depending on what kind of computer and television you are using. Google “casting zoom to tv,” and you’ll find many tutorials on how to do it.

When should I join the webinar?
We begin broadcasting 5-10 minutes before start time to allow for viewers to get on. If you click through the link and receive a message that states, “waiting for host to start the webinar,” please be patient, we will be right with you!

Can I ask the author a question?
Sure! We invite you to ask your questions in the Q & A feature located at the bottom of your Zoom window. Please ask your question there and not in the chat where our interviewer will not see it!

What if I just can’t figure Zoom out at all?
We are happy to work with you to get you up and running on Zoom. Please email us in advance of the program you are interested in watching so we can work with you to get you access! Please email bookfestival@atlantajcc.org.

What if I can’t watch the program live – will there be a recording available?
Yes, we are recording all of our events and they will be available for all ticket holders for seven days after each event. Please email bookfestival@atlantajcc.org for your recording link.


Jonathan Safran Foer, We are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast

October 19, 8pm

Tickets: $11 or $25 for one virtual ticket and a copy of either book (includes shipping), books will be shipped after the event.

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The New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Safran Foer re-evaluated his meat-based diet–and his conscience–in his powerful memoir and investigative report, Eating Animals. Now, he offers a mind-bending and potentially world-changing call to action on climate change.

Most books about the environmental crisis are densely academic, depressingly doom-laden, and crammed with impersonal statistics. We Are the Weather is different–accessible, immediate, and with a single clear solution that individual readers can put into practice straight away.

A significant proportion of global carbon emissions come from farming meat. Giving up meat is incredibly hard and nobody is perfect –but just cutting back is much easier and still has a hugely positive effect on the environment. Just changing our dinners–cutting out meat for one meal per day–is enough to change the world.

With his distinctive wit, insight, and humanity, Foer frames this essential debate as no one else could, bringing it to vivid and urgent life.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Judy Gold, Yes, I Can Say That: When They Come for the Comedians, We Are All In Trouble

October 22, 8pm

In Conversation with Mara Davis, Media Personality

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $30 for one virtual ticket and a copy of the book (includes shipping), books will be sent after the event.

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“No one makes me laugh harder than Judy Gold. If I had to pick one comedian to write a book about free speech, it would be Judy.” – Amy Schumer

In Yes I Can Say That, comedy veteran Judy Gold argues that “no one has the right to tell comics what they can or cannot joke about…. Laughter is a unifier. It’s the best medicine…” For Gold, nothing is more insidious than enforcing silence and repressing jokes—the job of a comedian is to expose society’s demons, and confront them head-on, no prisoners allowed. In ten impassioned polemics, she frames comedy as a tool of empowerment, a way to reclaim hateful rhetoric and battle the democracy-crushing plight of censorship.

Uninhibited and bold, Gold is as skilled at making readers laugh as she is at exposing uncomfortable truths about our culture and society. In this era of partisan politics and gaping inequalities, Yes I Can Say That is the refreshingly candid, wickedly funny and deliciously blunt manifesto we need.

Judy Gold is an American standup comedian, actress, television writer, and producer. She won two Daytime Emmy Awards for her work as a writer and producer on The Rosie O’Donnell Show, and has starred in comedy specials on HBO, Comedy Central, and Logo. She has also written and starred in two critically acclaimed, Off-Broadway hit shows: The Judy Show―My Life as a Sitcom and 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother (which she performed in the MJCCA’s Morris And Rae Frank Theater. She is currently the host of the hit podcast Kill Me Now.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Harlan Coben, The Boy From the Woods

October 25, 8pm

In Conversation with Emily Giffin, New York Times Bestselling Author

Tickets: $23 for one virtual ticket and a paperback copy of the book (shipping included), book will be shipped after the event.

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A man with a mysterious past is asked to find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away. Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing. Naomi Pine’s disappearance is not taken seriously, not even by her father — but Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney who knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school, asks Wilde — with whom she shares a tragic connection — to use his unique skills to help find the child. In order to find her, he must venture back into a community where he never fit in and where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions…secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.

With over 70 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben is the #1 New York Times author of thirty-one novels including The Boy From the Woods, Run Away, Fool Me Once, Tell No One, and the renowned Myron Bolitar series. His books are published in 43 languages. He is the creator and executive producer for the Netflix television dramas The Stranger, based on his novel, Safe, and several others.

(Rescheduled Event – Guests with tickets from the originally scheduled event will be contacted with information regarding books and how to access the program)

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Arthur M. Blank, Good Company

October 26, 8pm

Tickets: $36 for one virtual ticket and a paperback copy of the book (shipping included), book will be shipped after the event.

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Presented in partnership with The Atlanta History Center and the National JCC Literary Consortium

In Good Company, Arthur Blank shares a visionary roadmap of how purpose and profit can—and should—go hand-in-hand for companies large and small. He reveals never-been-told stories about his abrupt departure from Home Depot, his feelings in the moments and days following the devastating Super Bowl LI, the building and rapid success of Atlanta United, the NFL protests that began in 2016, and many other stories about his purpose-driven philanthropy and the ups and downs in a life of unimaginable business success in multiple settings. Blank illustrates how the values-based culture The Home Depot was built on, and still uses today, can transcend across any business or organization.

Blank takes readers inside the story of how he built his current businesses around six key principles: Put People First; Listen and Respond; Include Everyone; Innovate Continuously; Lead by Example; Give Back to Others. With these values, Blank succeeded in turning around a struggling NFL team, rebooting a near-bankrupt retail chain, building a revolutionary new stadium in the heart of Atlanta, revitalizing a neighborhood, launching a startup soccer club, and more.

Blank founded The Home Depot in 1978 and is now widely recognized for his diverse business portfolio. In addition to the Arthur  M.  Blank  Family  Foundation,  Blank’s Family of Businesses includes the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons; MLS’s Atlanta United; the nationwide PGA TOUR Superstore; three ranches in Montana, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, West Creek Ranch and Paradise Valley Ranch; and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which hosted the 2019 Super Bowl and is home to the Falcons and Atlanta United.

Arthur Blank’s book proceeds will go to The National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia in perpetuity with an initial contribution of $300,000 to celebrate the memoir’s publication this fall.


Nancy Grace, Don’t be a Victim: Fighting Back against America’s Crime Wave

October 27, 8pm

In conversation with John Lemley, Sirius Radio Host  

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $36 for one virtual ticket and one copy of the book (includes shipping), book will be shipped after the event.

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Discover gripping true crime stories and the surprising tools you need to keep you and your family safe — from iconic legal commentator, TV journalist, and New York Times bestselling author Nancy Grace. Nancy Grace wasn’t always the influential legal authority we know today. One moment changed her future forever: her fiancé was murdered just before their wedding. Driven to deliver justice for other crime victims, Nancy became a felony prosecutor and for a decade, put the “bad guys” behind bars in Atlanta. Now, with a new and potentially life-saving book, Nancy puts her crime-fighting expertise to work, to empower you to stay safe in the face of daily dangers. Packed with practical advice and invaluable prevention tips, Don’t Be a Victim shows you how to: Fend off threats of assaults, car-jack and home invasion; defend yourself against online stalking, computer hackers and financial fraudsters; stay safe in your own home, at school and other public settings like parking garages, elevators and campsites; protect yourself while shopping, driving and even on vacation. Don’t Be a Victim delivers insights on so many potential threats, you will be empowered to proactively protect yourself and your family at home and in the world at large.

Nancy Grace is an award-winning legal journalist, victims-rights advocate and New York Times bestselling author of four books, including Objection!, The Eleventh Victim, Death on the D-List, and Murder in the Courthouse. Nancy headlines Oxygen’s Injustice with Nancy Grace, hosts the daily Crime Stories with Nancy Grace on SIRIUS XM and appears regularly on ABC’s 20/20 and Nightline, as well as on Daily Mail TV. She is founder and publisher of CrimeOnline.com, a digital platform that investigates breaking crime news, highlights missing people and helps solve unsolved homicides. Nancy was the force behind CNN Headline News’ top-rated Nancy Grace.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Mike Leven, Can’t Do It Yourself: How Commitment to Others Leads to Personal Prosperity

October 29, 8pm

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $36 for one virtual ticket and a copy of the book (includes shipping), book will be shipped after the event.

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Mike Leven, a storied hotel executive and respected Jewish leader, served at the helm of the Days Inn, Holiday Inn, Las Vegas Sands, and other noteworthy hospitality businesses and most recently as the CEO and chairman of the Georgia Aquarium. In his new book, Can’t Do It Yourself, Leven takes the reader on a journey through his life, from growing up in a multi-generational household with Russian immigrant grandparents in a close-knit Jewish community in Boston, through his time in Alpha Epsilon Pi at Tufts University, and then his career as an executive for some of the most noteworthy hotel chains. Each chapter ends with 11 different lessons to live by in business and life.

Part memoir, part business book, Can’t Do It Yourself recounts a range of fascinating stories from the late 1930s to present-day, from his family vacation to the segregated south as a teenager, to his central role in founding the Asian American Hotel Association to support Indian immigrant franchisees overcome discrimination and build their businesses, to his first job working as a social worker for civil rights leader John Moreland, to his time at the helm of the Las Vegas Sands in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Mike Leven has served as the president and chief operating officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, in addition to roles of the chairman and chief executive officer of US Franchise Systems, the president and chief operating officer of Holiday Inn Worldwide, the president of Days Inn of America, and most recently was the volunteer chief executive officer and chairman of the Georgia Aquarium.

He is a longtime leader of the Jewish community in Atlanta and nationally, including with the Atlanta Jewish Federation. In 2019, he co-founded the Jewish Future Pledge – a national movement to inspire individuals and families to pledge 50% or more of the charitable giving in their estate plan to Jewish and Israel-related causes.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy, Never Alone

November 8, 1pm

In Conversation with Nadia Bilchik, Media Personality, Author, and Noted Speaker

Tickets: $6 for one virtual ticket or $36 for one virtual ticket and a copy of the book (includes shipping), book will be shipped after the event.

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Never Alone is a classic account of courage, integrity and belonging. In 1977, Natan Sharansky, a leading activist for the democratic dissident movement in the Soviet Union and the movement for free Jewish emigration, was arrested. He spent nine years as a political prisoner, convicted of treason against the state. In Never Alone, Natan Sharansky and historian Gil Troy show how Sharansky’s years in prison, many spent in harsh solitary confinement, prepared him for his public life, bringing extraordinary moral clarity and uncompromising honesty to his work as an Israeli politician and the head of the Jewish Agency. Never one who placed expediency ahead of consistent values, Sharansky was an often-awkward political colleague but always visionary as to where the real threats to freedom lay. Never Alone is suffused with reflections from his time as a political prisoner, from his seat at the table as history unfolded in Israel and the Middle East, and his passionate efforts to unite the Jewish people. Written with frankness, affection, and humor, the book offers us profound insights from a man whose fight for individual freedom in the face of overt tyranny would come to define the rest of his life.

Natan Sharansky is an Israeli politician, human rights activist and author. He served as Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency from June 2009 to August 2018.

Gil Troy is the award-winning author of “The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s” which will be published this October by Thomas Dunne Books of St. Martin׳s Press. A Professor of History at McGill University since 1990, he is a leading presidential historian, writing about the history of American presidential elections, the importance of moderation in American democracy, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s fight as US Ambassador to the UN against the infamous Zionism is Racism resolution. 

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Joan Lunden, Why Did I Come Into This Room? A Candid Conversation About Aging

November 8, 8pm

In Conversation with Holly Firfer, CNN Journalist

Tickets: $11 for one event ticket or $36 for one event ticket and a copy of the book (includes shipping), book will be shipped after the event.

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A funny “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” for the aging woman, acclaimed journalist and Baby Boomer Joan Lunden delves into various phases of aging in her most candid and revealing book yet. Lunden takes the dull and depressing out of aging, replacing it with wit and humor. Whether you’re in your 40s, 50s, 60s, or more, this book is full of helpful information. Lunden goes where others fear to tread, openly sharing her anxieties and breakthroughs and how she’s coping with the realities of aging – wrinkles and age spots, expanding waistlines, diminished energy (my get-up-and-go got up and went), weak pelvic floors (yes, we’re talking about leaking), hot flashes, disrupted sleep, changes in sex drive (oh yeah, she goes there), ageism (it exists and it pisses us off), and yes, the real reasons we find ourselves always searching for those car keys! Why Did I Come into This Room? explores the science of aging and how it impacts the body and brain.

An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, and women’s health & wellness advocate, Joan Lunden has been a trusted voice in American homes for more than 30 years. For nearly two decades, Lunden greeted viewers each morning on Good Morning America bringing insight to the day’s top stories. As the longest-running female host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 5 presidents, 5 Olympics, and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families, and their health.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Esther Safran Foer, I Want You to Know We’re Still Here: A Post-Holocaust Memoir

November 9, 8pm

8pm – Opening Kristallnacht Memorial Prayer with Rabbi Brian Glusman, Director of Outreach and Engagement, MJCCA

Tickets: Free virtual ticket or one virtual ticket and one copy of the book for $35 (includes shipping), book will be shipped after the event.

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Esther Safran Foer grew up in a home where the past was too terrible to speak of. The child of parents who were each the sole survivors of their respective families, for Esther the Holocaust loomed in the backdrop of daily life, felt but never discussed. The result was a childhood marked by painful silences and continued tragedy. Even as she built a successful career, married, and raised three children, Esther felt herself searching. When Esther’s mother casually mentions an astonishing revelation—that her father had a previous wife and daughter, both killed in the Holocaust—Esther resolves to find out who they were, and how her father survived. Armed with only a black-and-white photo and a hand-drawn map, she travels to Ukraine to find the shtetl where her father hid during the war. What she finds reshapes her identity and finally gives her the opportunity to mourn. The poignant and deeply moving story is not only of Esther’s journey, but of four generations of survivors, storytellers, and memory keepers living in the shadow of the Holocaust, determined not just to keep the past alive and imbue the present with life and more life.

Esther Safran Foer was the CEO of Sixth & I, a center for arts, ideas, and religion. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Bert. They are the parents of Franklin, Jonathan, and Joshua, and the grandparents of six. According to Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic, “Esther Safran Foer is a force of nature: a leader of the Jewish people, the matriarch of America’s leading literary family, an eloquent defender of the proposition that memory matters. And now, a riveting memoirist.”

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


In Conversation with Andrea Peskind Katz, Founder of greatthoughts.com

November 10, 1pm

Tickets: $6 or $34 for one virtual ticket and a copy of either book (includes shipping) or $65 for one virtual ticket and a copy of both books (includes shipping), books will be shipped after the event.

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Rachel Beanland, Florence Adler Swims Forever: A Novel

Atlantic City, 1934. Renting their house to summer vacationers, Esther and Joseph Adler move into the cramped apartment above their bakery. Now one daughter, Florence has returned from college to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, her pregnant sister, Fannie, is on bed rest and a young woman emigre from Nazi Germany has joined the crowded the apartment. Esther’s only thought is to keep her daughters close and safe but Fannie’s pregnancy is risky, her husband, Isaac, is a schemer, and Florence’s suitor is the handsome heir of a hotel notorious for its anti-Semitic policies. When tragedy strikes, Esther decides to hide the truth—at least until Fannie’s baby is born—and pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies. Long-buried tensions rise to the surface, revealing how the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal. Based on a true story, Beanland’s family saga is an uplifting portrayal of how the human spirit can endure and even thrive after a tragedy.

Rachel Beanland is an MFA candidate in creative writing at Virginia Commonwealth University. She holds bachelor’s degrees in art history and journalism from the University of South and 

Carolina and lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and three children.

Kristin Harmel, Book of Last Names: A Novel

Inspired by an astonishing true story from World War II, a young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis in this unforgettable historical novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Winemaker’s Wife. Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired Florida librarian, is shelving books when her eyes lock on a magazine photograph of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years and recognizes as The Book of Lost Names. The accompanying article discusses the Nazis’ looting of libraries and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book, an 18th-century religious text, appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer – but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war? In 1942, Eva had fled Paris and in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, began forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva sought to preserve the real names of the children. The records they kept in The Book of Lost Names became even more vital when their resistance cell was betrayed and Rémy disappeared. The Book of Lost Names is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of bravery and love in the face of evil.

Kristin Harmel is the New York Times bestselling and #1 international bestselling author of The Book of Lost Names, The Winemaker’s Wife, The Room on Rue Amelie, and a dozen other novels that have been translated into numerous languages and sold all over the world. 

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Dale Berra, My Dad, Yogi

November 10, 8pm

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $24 for one virtual ticket and a paperback copy of the book (shipping included), book will be shipped after the event.

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Everyone knows Yogi Berra. The American icon was the backbone of the New York Yankees through ten World Series Championships, managed the National League Champion New York Mets in 1973, and had an ingenious way with words that remains an indelible part of our lexicon. But no one knew him like his family did. My Dad, Yogi is Dale Berra’s chronicle of the unshakeable bond with his father and an intimate portrait providing a unique perspective on one of the great sports figures of the 20th Century. Throughout Dale’s youth, he had a firsthand look at the Major Leagues alongside his dad and Berra’s lifelong family friends Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Whitey Ford. It’s no coincidence that all three Berra sons became professional athletes. Dale came up with the Pittsburgh Pirates, emerging as one of baseball’s most talented young players until he was implicated in a major cocaine scandal, cutting short his promising career. He writes candidly about his drug problem and of the support he received from Yogi, who eventually staged the intervention that would save Dale’s life. My Dad, Yogi is Dale’s tribute to his dad — a treat for baseball fans and a poignant story for all fathers and sons.

Dale Berra, the son of Yogi Berra, is a former Major League Baseball infielder who played from 1977 to 1987 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Yankees, and the Houston Astros. He is one of the principles of LTD Enterprises, which maintains the brand and legacy of his Hall of Fame dad. Dale lives in New Jersey with his wife and their two daughters.

Presented in partnership with the JCC Literary Consortium


John Grisham, A Time for Mercy

November 11, 3pm

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $37 for one virtual ticket and a copy of the book (shipping included), book will sent after event.

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Jake Brigance is back! The hero of A Time to Kill, one of the most popular novels of our time, returns in a courtroom drama that showcases #1 New York Times bestselling author John Grisham at the height of his storytelling powers.

Clanton, Mississippi. 1990. Jake Brigance finds himself embroiled in a deeply divisive trial when the court appoints him attorney for Drew Gamble, a timid sixteen-year-old boy accused of murdering a local deputy. Many in Clanton want a swift trial and the death penalty, but Brigance digs in and discovers that there is more to the story than meets the eye. Jake’s fierce commitment to saving Drew from the gas chamber puts his career, his financial security, and the safety of his family on the line.

In what may be the most personal and accomplished legal thriller of John Grisham’s storied career, we deepen our acquaintance with the iconic Southern town of Clanton and the vivid cast of characters that so many readers know and cherish. The result is a richly rewarding novel that is both timely and timeless, full of wit, drama, and—most of all—heart.

Bursting with all the courthouse scheming, small-town intrigue, and stunning plot twists that have become the hallmarks of the master of the legal thriller, A Time for Mercy is John Grisham’s most powerful courtroom drama yet.

There is a time to kill and a time for justice. Now comes A Time for Mercy.

Presented with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Cameron Douglas, Long Way Home

November 11, 8pm

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $24 for one virtual ticket and a paperback copy of the book (shipping included), book will be shipped after the event.

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From the scion of Hollywood royalty–son of Michael Douglas, grandson of Kirk Douglas–a moving, often shocking, ultimately inspiring memoir detailing his struggle to regain his dignity, humanity, and place in society after many years of drug abuse and almost eight years in prison.

Cameron Douglas is born into wealth, privilege, and comfort. His parents are glamorous jet-setters, his father a superstar, his mother a beautiful socialite, his grandfather a legend. On the surface, his life seems golden. But by the age of thirty, he has taken a hellish dive: he’s become a drug addict, a thief, and–after a DEA drug bust–a convicted drug dealer sentenced to five years in prison, with another five years added to his sentence while incarcerated. Eventually, he will spend two years in solitary, where he manages, nonetheless, to hold fast to the brutal ethos of prison survival…until: he begins to reverse his savage transformation, to understand the psychological turmoil that has tormented him for years, and to prepare for what will be a profoundly challenging, but eventually deeply satisfying and successful, reentry into society at large.

Sparing no one in his sphere–least of all himself–Cameron Douglas gives us a raw and unstintingly honest recounting of his harrowing, remarkable, and, in the end, inspiring life story.

Cameron Douglas is an actor. He lives in Los Angeles.

Presented with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Michael Oren, The Night Archer and Other Stories

November 12, 2pm

Tickets: $6 for one virtual ticket or $36 for one virtual ticket and a paperback copy of the book (shipping included), book will be shipped after the event.

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The Night Archer and Other Stories is a collection of startling short fiction by New York Times bestselling author and international statesman, Michael Oren.

A medieval slave-turned-sultan, an alien who declines to visit Earth, a prophet who dares to ask “is God funny?” and a ghost who fears the living—these are among the terrifying, tragic, passionate, and comic characters who animate Michael Oren’s stories. Crisscrossing genres, they explore the outer bounds of imagination and artistic freedom, exposing the reader to a kaleidoscope of human emotions and experience. In The Night Archer, the acclaimed historian, political commentator, and statesman Michael Oren is revealed as a writer of bold versatility.

Israel’s ambassador to the United States, parliamentarian and government minister, combat veteran, athlete, and historian, Michael Oren brings diverse worlds of experience to his fiction.  His is the author three New York Times bestsellers and winner of both the Los Angeles Times History Book of the Year Award and the National Jewish Book Award.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Jim McCloskey and Philip Lerman When the Truth is All You Have: A Memoir of Faith, Justice, and Freedom for the Wrongly Convicted

November 12, 8pm

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $35 for one virtual ticket and a copy of the book (shipping included), book will be shipped after the event.

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By the founder of the first organization in the United States committed to freeing the wrongly imprisoned, this is a riveting story of devotion, sacrifice, and vindication. Jim McCloskey was at a midlife crossroads when he met the man who would change his life. A former management consultant, McCloskey enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary at age 37. His first assignment, in 1980, was as a chaplain at Trenton State Prison. Among the inmates was Jorge de los Santos, a heroin addict who’d been convicted of murder years earlier and swore that he was innocent. Over time, McCloskey came to believe him. With no legal or investigative training to speak of, McCloskey threw himself into the case. Two years later, thanks to those efforts, Jorge de los Santos walked free, fully exonerated. McCloskey had found his calling. He established Centurion Ministries, the first group in America devoted to overturning wrongful convictions and a team of forensic experts, lawyers, and volunteers. Through tireless investigation and unflagging dedication to justice—Centurion has freed 63 innocent prisoners who had been sentenced to life or death.

When Truth Is All You Have is McCloskey’s inspirational story, and as those unjustly imprisoned, a chronicle of faith and doubt, triumphant success and shattering failure, a soul-bearing account of a man who has redeemed innumerable lives—and incited a movement – with nothing more than his unshakeable belief in truth.

Jim McCloskey is the founder of Centurion Ministries. He served in the U.S. Navy, patrolling rivers in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, and spent twelve years in international consulting. He has a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. Today McCloskey is retired from active oversight of Centurion, though he continues to serve on the board and pursue cases.

Philip Lerman has been the national editor of USA Today, co-producer of “America’s Most Wanted,” and executive producer of PBS’s “Made in Spain.” He is the author of Dadditude and co-author of numerous nonfiction books.

Presented in partnership with the JCC Literary Consortium


Lawrence Wright, The End of October: A Novel

November 14, 8pm

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $35 for one virtual ticket and a copy of the book (shipping included), book will be shipped after the event.

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“An eerily prescient novel about a devastating virus that begins in Asia before going global . . . A page-turner that has the earmarks of an instant bestseller.” —New York Post

In this riveting medical thriller–from the Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author, Lawrence Wright

-Dr. Henry Parsons, an unlikely but appealing hero, races to find the origins and cure of a mysterious new killer virus as it brings the world to its knees.

At an internment camp in Indonesia, forty-seven people are pronounced dead with acute hemorrhagic fever. When Henry Parsons–microbiologist, epidemiologist–travels there on behalf of the World Health Organization to investigate, what he finds will soon have staggering repercussions across the globe: an infected man is on his way to join the millions of worshippers in the annual Hajj to Mecca. Now, Henry joins forces with a Saudi prince and doctor in an attempt to quarantine the entire host of pilgrims in the holy city…A Russian émigré, a woman who has risen to deputy director of U.S. Homeland Security, scrambles to mount a response to what may be an act of biowarfare…Already-fraying global relations begin to snap, one by one, in the face of a pandemic…Henry’s wife, Jill, and their children face diminishing odds of survival in Atlanta…And the disease slashes across the United States, dismantling institutions–scientific, religious, governmental–and decimating the population. As packed with suspense as it is with the fascinating history of viral diseases, Lawrence Wright has given us a full-tilt, electrifying, one-of-a-kind thriller.

Lawrence Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker, a playwright, a screenwriter, and the author of ten books of nonfiction, including The Looming Tower, Going Clear, and God Save Texas, and one previous novel, God’s Favorite. His books have received many honors, including a Pulitzer Prize for The Looming Tower. He and his wife are longtime residents of Austin, Texas. 

Presented in partnership with the JCC Literary Consortium


Raffi Berg, Red Sea Spies: The True Story of Mossad’s Fake Diving Resort

November 15, 3pm

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $35 for one virtual ticket and a copy of the book (shipping included), book will be shipped after the event.

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Inspired the Netflix drama, The Red Sea Diving Resort!

In the early 1980s, on a remote part of the Sudanese coast, a new luxury resort opened for business. Catering to divers, it attracted guests from around the world. Little did the guests know that the staff members were undercover spies, working for the Mossad, Israel’s secret service. Written by longtime BBC Middle East correspondent Raffi Berg, this page-turner tells the true story that inspired the recent Netflix drama The Red Sea Diving Resort. What began with one cryptic message pleading for help turned into the secret evacuation of thousands of Ethiopian Jews and the spiriting of them to Israel.

Raffi Berg is the Middle East editor of the BBC News website, and has extensive experience reporting on Israel and the wider region. His article scratching the surface of this story was the most-read original feature in the history of the site, with more than 5 and a half million readers to date.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Harry Stern and Sandra Berman

November 17, 1pm

Tickets: Program is FREE with advance registration.

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Harry Stern, My Brothers’ Keeper: A Novel

Harry Stern’s years of living in Israel gave him first-hand exposure to the country’s military and political dynamics. Extensive research of the country’s challenges, both domestic and global, strengthened his understanding of the issues facing the Jewish state.

In the tradition of great spy novelists John Le Carre and Daniel Silva, Stern takes on readers on an exciting, fast-paced thrill ride in his latest book, My Brothers’ Keeper. As the story unfolds, the Jewish State faces a massive air assault by Iranian pilots flying state-of-the-art Russian aircraft. Iran’s Quds Force, trained and supported by Russian advisers, plans simultaneous attacks on three Diaspora communities on Rosh Hashana, one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar. Unit 8200, Israel’s military intelligence corps, intercepts messages among the Kremlin, Iran, and Palestinian terrorist mastermind Abu Yusalem coordinating attacks in Paris, Rome, and Birmingham, Alabama. Veteran Mossad terrorist-hunter Joshua Canaan and his stunning, sharpshooting partner, Leora Bargal, are enlisted to thwart the elusive Abu Yusalem and stop the slaughter, no matter how great the cost.

Harry is well-known in Atalanta as the former executive director of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, a position he held for 16 years. Upon retiring, he was recruited by Kennesaw State University as their Director of Global Development and charged with developing academic relationships with fifteen Arab World countries.

Stern earned his Doctor of Social Welfare degree at Columbia University, and soon after, was invited to join the faculty of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. He also served as Director of Community Development for Southern Tel Aviv. Stern currently serves on the Board of the American Jewish Committee.

Sandra Berman, Whitewashed

From the former archivist for the Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, Sandy Berman, comes a riveting page-turner about Nazi scientists working in America following World War II.

In Whitewashed, Tommy Stern has never gotten over the suicide of his best friend, Ben Lowe, who in the summer of 1951 is found hanging from a tree in the woods behind their high school in Huntsville, Alabama. A year earlier, Huntsville becomes home to 118 former Nazi scientists and engineers who have been brought to the United States through a secret government-sponsored project called Operation Paperclip to work on the space program. Even past evidence of war crimes does not disqualify these men from entering the United States. Eighteen years later, the discovery of a journal is the catalyst that encourages Tommy to reexamine the facts that led to his friend’s death. Ben is Jewish and a survivor of the Holocaust. The journal leads Tommy to believe that there is a connection between Ben’s untimely and horrific final moments and the arrival of the Germans. Tommy’s search for the truth takes him back to Huntsville where he rekindles a relationship with his high school girlfriend Karin Angel, the daughter of one of the German scientists. Karin and Tommy join forces to discover the dark secrets of Operation Paperclip and the truth behind what happened to Ben.

Sandy Berman worked as the archivist and museum curator of the Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.

Presented in partnership with the JCC Literary Consortium


Michael Ian Black, A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son & Cleo Stiller, Modern Manhood

November 18, 8pm

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $32 for one virtual ticket and a copy of either book (shipping included), or $62 for one virtual ticket and a copy of both books (shipping included), books will be shipped after the event.

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Michael Ian Black, A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son

A poignant look at boyhood, in the form of a heartfelt letter from comedian, actor, and author, and father Michael Ian Black to his teenage son before he leaves for college, and a radical plea for rethinking masculinity and teaching young men to give and receive love.

In a world in which the word masculinity now often goes hand in hand with toxic,  Black offers up a way forward for boys, men, and anyone who loves them. Part memoir, part advice book,  A Better Man reveals Black’s own complicated relationship with his father, explores the damage and rising violence caused by the expectations placed on boys to “man up,” and searches for the best way to help young men be part of the solution, not the problem. “If we cannot allow ourselves vulnerability,” he writes, “how are we supposed to experience wonder, fear, tenderness?” Black skillfully navigates the complex gender issues of our time and delivers a poignant answer to an urgent question: How can we be, and raise, better men?

Michael Ian Black is an actor, comedian, and writer who started his career with the sketch comedy show The State, on MTV, and has created and starred in many other television shows. Movie appearances include Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, and Sextuplets. Black is the author of several books for children, including the award-winning I’m Bored, I’m Sad, and I’m Worried. As a stand-up comedian, Michael regularly tours the country and has released several comedy albums. His podcasts include Mike & Tom Eat Snacks, with Tom Cavanagh; Topics, with Michael Showalter; How to Be Amazing; and Obscure.

Cleo Stiller, Modern Manhood: Conversations About the Complicated World of Being a Good Man Today

Here are a few self-evident truths: Predatory men need to go, sexual assault is wrong, and women and men should be equal. If you’re a man and disagree with any of the aforementioned, then this book isn’t for you.

But if you agree, you’re probably one of the “good guys.” That said, you might also be feeling frustrated, exasperated, and perhaps even skeptical about the current national conversation surrounding #MeToo (among many other things). You’ve likely found yourself in countless experiences or conversations lately where the situation feels gray, at best. You have a lot to say, but you’re afraid to say it and worried that one wrong move will land you in the hot seat. From money and sex to dating and work and everything in between—it can all be so confusing! And when do we start talking about solutions instead of putting each other down?

In Modern Manhood, Emmy- and Peabody Award-nominated reporter Cleo Stiller sheds light on all the gray areas out there, using conversations that real men and women are having with their friends, their dates, their family, and themselves. Free of judgment, preaching, and sugarcoating, Modern Manhood is engaging, provocative, and, ultimately, a great resource for gaining a deeper understanding of what it means to genuinely be a good man today.

Cleo Stiller is a Peabody Award–nominated, Emmy Award–nominated, and Gracie Award–winning reporter and a self-identified “relationship nonexpert” obsessed with exploring stories about health, gender, and technology among millennials. Her acclaimed television show Sex.Right.Now. explored deeply personal and political stories about health and identity. She has been featured in The New York Times, Self, Variety, Bustle, Essence, and Lifehacker.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Michael J. Fox, No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality

November 19, 8pm

In Conversation with Harlan Coben, New York Times Bestselling Author

Tickets: $36 for one virtual ticket and a copy of the book (shipping included), books will be shipped after the event.

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From renowned actor and advocate Michael J. Fox comes a moving account of resilience, hope, fear and mortality, and how these things resonate in our lives. The entire world knows Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, the teenage sidekick of Doc Brown in Back to the Future; as Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties; as Mike Flaherty in Spin City; and through numerous other movie roles and guest appearances on shows such as The Good Wife and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Diagnosed at age 29, Michael is equally engaged in Parkinson’s advocacy work, raising global awareness of the disease and helping find a cure through The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the world’s leading non-profit funder of PD science. His two previous bestselling memoirs, Lucky Man and Always Looking Up, dealt with how he came to terms with the illness, all the while exhibiting his iconic optimism. His new memoir reassesses this outlook, as events in the past decade presented additional challenges.

In No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, Michael shares personal stories and observations about illness and health, aging, the strength of family and friends, and how our perceptions about time affect the way we approach mortality. Thoughtful and moving, but with Fox’s trademark sense of humor, his book provides a vehicle for reflection about our lives, our loves, and our losses.

Running through the narrative is the drama of the medical madness Fox recently experienced, that included his daily negotiations with the Parkinson’s disease he’s had since 1991, and a spinal cord issue that necessitated immediate surgery. His challenge to learn how to walk again, only to suffer a devastating fall, nearly caused him to ditch his trademark optimism and “get out of the lemonade business altogether.”

Does he make it all of the way back? Read the book.

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Mimi Lemay, What We Will Become: A Mother, Son, and a Journey of Transformation

November 20, 2pm

Tickets: Free, or $35 for one virtual ticket and a copy of the book (shipping included), book will be shipped after the event.

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Mimi Lemay recounts her memoir of her transgender child’s odyssey, and her journey outside the boundaries of the faith and culture that shaped her.

From the age of two-and-a-half, Jacob, born “Em,” adamantly told his family he was a boy. While his mother Mimi struggled to understand and come to terms with the fact that her child may be transgender, she experienced a sense of déjà vu—the journey to uncover the source of her child’s inner turmoil unearthed ghosts from Mimi’s past and her own struggle to live an authentic life.

Mimi was raised in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish family, every aspect of her life dictated by ancient rules and her role as a woman largely preordained from cradle to grave. As a young woman, Mimi wrestled with the demands of her faith and eventually made the painful decision to leave her religious community and the strict gender roles it upheld.

Having risen from the ashes of her former life, Mimi was prepared to help her son forge a new one — at a time when there was little consensus on how best to help young transgender children. What We Will Become is a powerful testament to how painful events from the past can be redeemed to give us hope for the future.

MIMI LEMAY is an international advocate for transgender youth and the author of the viral essay “A Letter to My Son Jacob on His 5th Birthday.” Lemay and her family meet regularly with legislators, business leaders, educators, and clergy to share their vision of a more equitable world. She is a member of the Parents for Transgender Equality National Council at Human Rights Campaign and holds a master’s in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She was recently named one of the Commonwealth Heroines of 2020 by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.

Presented in partnership with the JCC Literary Consortium


Rachel Bloom, I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are

November 21, 8pm

Music and Multimedia Presentation!

Tickets: $36 for one virtual ticket and a copy of the book (shipping included), books will be shipped after the event.

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From the charming and wickedly funny co-creator and star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a collection of hilarious personal essays, poems, and even amusement park maps on the subjects of insecurity, fame, anxiety, and much more.

Rachel Bloom has felt abnormal and out of place her whole life. In this exploration of what she thinks makes her “different,” she’s come to realize that a lot of people also feel this way; even people who she otherwise thought were “normal.” In a collection of laugh-out-loud funny essays, all told in the unique voice (sometimes singing voice) that made her a star; Rachel writes about everything from her love of Disney, OCD and depression, weirdness, and Spanx to the story of how she didn’t poop in the toilet until she was four years old; Rachel’s pieces are hilarious, smart, and infinitely relatable (except for the pooping thing).

Rachel Bloom is best known as the star and co-creator of the CW musical dramedy, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, for which she earned a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award for her performance as “Rebecca Bunch” as well as an Emmy Award for the show’s songwriting. As a live performer, she has sold out Radio City Music Hall and The London Palladium and recently had a residency at the Just for Laughs comedy festival. In April, she starred in the movie Trolls World Tour as “Barb.” She will be writing the music and lyrics for The Nanny on Broadway. 

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium


Melissa Clark, Kid in the Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Tips for Young Home Cooks

November 22, 1pm

Tickets: Free for one virtual ticket or $30 for one virtual ticket and a copy of the book (shipping included), books will be shipped after the event.

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Melissa Clark, the New York Times food columnist and beloved home cooking authority, spins 100 all-new recipes for a robust new audience of home chefs: kids ages 8-14!

Clark, who has more range than any food writer today (and a young daughter to boot), marries the flavors beloved by adult fans of her bestselling cookbooks and her work in the New York Times with recipes that any kid, whether cooking-curious or already kitchen-puttering, can make and build on, including Brown Butter French Toast, Sweet or Savory Dutch Babies, Burgers with Kimchi Mayo, Gingerbread Snacking Cake, and No-Machine Ice Cream. These one hundred recipes (each with allergy and special diet info) are unmistakably Melissa, just simplified.

With seventy-five full-color photographs and helpful lessons on topics such as how to measure, the ingredients you really need (anchovies, guys!), stuff you can fudge (herbs), and how to clean up like nothing ever happened, this must-have resource is both friendly and authoritative.

Melissa Clark is the author of the New York Times bestseller Dinner in French, as well as Dinner, Dinner in an Instant, and Comfort in an Instant, and is a staff writer for the New York Times Food section, where she writes the wildly popular column “A Good Appetite.” The winner of multiple James Beard and IACP awards, Melissa is the host of the “Weeknight Kitchen” podcast from The Splendid Table. Her work has been selected for the Best American Food Writing. 

Presented in partnership with the JCC Literary Consortium


David Baldacci, Daylight: An Atlee Pine Thriller

November 22, 8pm

Tickets: $36 for one virtual ticket and one copy of the book (shipping included), book will be sent after the event.

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FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s search for her sister Mercy clashes with military investigator John Puller’s high-stakes case, leading them both deep into a global conspiracy — from which neither of them will escape unscathed.

For many long years, Atlee Pine was tormented by uncertainty after her twin sister, Mercy, was abducted at the age of six and never seen again. Now, just as Atlee is pressured to end her investigation into Mercy’s disappearance, she finally gets her most promising breakthrough yet: the identity of her sister’s kidnapper, Ito Vincenzo.

With time running out, Atlee and her assistant Carol Blum race to Vincenzo’s last known location in Trenton, New Jersey — and unknowingly stumble straight into John Puller’s case, blowing his arrest during a drug ring investigation involving a military installation.

Stunningly, Pine and Puller’s joint investigation uncovers a connection between Vincenzo’s family and a breathtaking scheme that strikes at the very heart of global democracy. Peeling back the layers of deceit, lies and cover-ups, Atlee finally discovers the truth about what happened to Mercy. And that truth will shock Pine to her very core.

David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world’s favorite storytellers. His books are published in over forty-five languages and in more than eighty countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at DavidBaldacci.com and his foundation at WishYouWellFoundation.org

Presented in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium