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Day Of Books


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10:30 am Session


The Intermission by: Elyssa Friedland

About the Book:
Told from the alternating perspectives of a husband and wife who both have something to hide, The Intermission tunnels beneath a seemingly happy marriage to ask: how much do we really know about the people we love the most?

After five years of marriage, the unshakeable confidence Cass felt as a bride is gone. Jonathan, even though his wife's quirks are beginning to grate, is still mostly smitten. So, it comes as a complete shock to Jonathan when Cass requests a marital 'intermission': a six-month separation during which they'll decide if the comfortable life they've built together is still the one they both want.

From an over-the-top bat mitzvah to a pregnancy terminated because of an Ashkenazi genetic disease, Cass and Jonathan's story examines how class and religious differences can become devastating pressure points. And, as the months pass, the couple begins to see that the worst of their problems are rooted in the personal and cultural history that separates them, and in certain blistering secrets they may never be ready to share.

About the Author:
Elyssa Friedland attended Yale University, where she served as managing editor of the Yale Daily News, and is a graduate of Columbia Law School. Elyssa grew up in New Jersey and lives in New York City with her husband and three children. Her debut novel, Love and Miss Communication, was praised by Cosmopolitan, Glamour and InStyle magazines.

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The Astronaut's Son by: Tom Seigel

About the Book:
Jonathan Stein, a brilliant aerospace executive, has spent a lifetime determined to accomplish two tasks: First, to complete his father's unfulfilled mission, and second, to forge a relationship with the reclusive Neil Armstrong.

Despite a heart condition, he's on the verge of his first goal, but has gotten nowhere with the second. Armstrong has never responded to any of Jonathan's letters. Avi Stein, an Israeli pilot specially chosen to command Apollo 18, suffered a fatal heart attack before launch in 1974.

Months from his own mission in 2005 and the birth of his first child, Jonathan discovers a "lunar hoax" conspiracy website offering a disturbing reason for Armstrong's silence: He knows Jonathan's father didn't die of natural causes. While researching his father's last days, Jonathan expects to confirm the official cause of death, but what he uncovers instead is a motive for murder. To get to the truth, Jonathan must confront both NASA's shadowy past of Nazi scientists and engineers and Dale Lunden, Avi's best friend and the last man to walk on the moon.

About the Author:
Tom was born in St. Louis, studied English Literature at Washington University and law at the University of Michigan. He was Chief of the Justice Department's Organized Crime Strike Force in Brooklyn, where he prosecuted high-ranking members of La Cosa Nostra. After twenty-years as a litigator, he earned an MFA in creative writing from Fairfield University.

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Son of a Bitch by: Jason B. Sheffield

About the Book:
Immaturity, simmering anger, and years of therapy--budding defense attorney, Benjamin Scales owes it all to his mother. She dragged him through hell while clawing her way to the top of the sexist, male-dominated legal profession, sacrificing everything to build a life for herself and her son--a bizarre and broken life, but a life.

Under her ferocious veneer, Carter Scales is a shattered and lonely woman. They haven't spoken in years, but when she is caught in flagrante delicto with her star client, the leader of the notorious Salucci Crime Family, Carter turns to the one person she thinks should always have her back. But why should he help her?

Son of a Bitch explores the peril of a parent / child relationship amidst the crazy world of criminal defense. At times it's gut-busting funny, other times it's biting and a tad raunchy. It's also shocking and sad. Most importantly, though, it's about second chances. It's a tale of motherhood and manhood, forgiveness and redemption, and a mother's hope that her little boy, now a man, will close his eyes to the past and open his heart to the future.

About the Author:
Jason B. Sheffield is a practicing criminal defense trial attorney based out of Atlanta, Georgia where he has defended clients in state and federal courtrooms across the country.

Jason feels a great responsibility to anyone accused by the government of committing a crime and stands fearlessly to defend the rights of citizens against over-reaching government officials. Jason also teaches at Emory University's College of Law as an adjunct professor and recently was invited by the US Embassy in the Republic of Georgia (formerly part of the Soviet Union) to teach jury trial techniques to criminal defense attorneys there now that their constitution had been amended to provide its citizens jury trials.

Prior to becoming an attorney in 2005, Jason had been acting and writing in Atlanta for 7 years, while working as an emergency medical technician at Scottish Rite Children's Emergency Room. Jason's passion for law, teaching and storytelling is second only to his love of his family.

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12:00 pm Session: Keynote Luncheon


The Collector's Apprentice by: B.A. Shapiro

About the Book:
In the summer of 1922, Paulien Mertens,19, finds herself in Paris broke, disowned, and on her own. Everyone in Belgium, believes she stole millions in a confidence game perpetrated by her then fiance, George Everard.

To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who were conned, she creates a new identity, and sets out to prove her innocence--and exact revenge on George. When the American multi-millionaire and art collector, Edwin Bradley, takes her under his wing she is caught up in the world of the Paris post impressionists, including Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse, with whom she becomes romantically entwined. As she travels between Paris and Philadelphia, where Bradley is building a museum, her life becomes even more complicated as George returns with unclear motives. And then she is arrested for Bradley's murder.

The Collector's Apprentice is about how we see only what we choose to see, both in art and in life.

About the Author:
B.A. Shapiro is the author of seven novels, including the award-winning New York Times bestseller The Art Forger and The Muralist, a national bestseller. She has taught sociology at Tufts University and creative writing at Northeastern University. She lives in Boston with her husband, Dan, and their dog, Sagan.

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2:00 pm Session


Another Side of Paradise by: Sally Koslow

About the Book:
The author of the acclaimed international bestseller The Late, Lamented Molly Marx imaginatively brings to life the shocking affair of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his longtime lover, Sheilah Graham, in this dazzling novel of romance, celebrity, and Gatsby-esque self-creation in 1930s Hollywood. In 1937 Hollywood, gossip columnist Sheilah Graham's star is on the rise, while literary wonder boy F. Scott Fitzgerald's career is slowly drowning in booze. But the once-famous author, desperate to make money penning scripts for the silver screen, is charismatic enough to attract the gorgeous Miss Graham, a woman who exposes the secrets of others while carefully guarding her own.

Like Scott's hero Jay Gatsby, Graham has meticulously constructed a life far removed from the poverty of her childhood in London's slums. And like Gatsby, the onetime guttersnipe learned early how to use her charms to become a hardworking success feted and feared by both the movie studios and their luminaries. A notorious drunk famously married to the doomed "crazy Zelda," Fitzgerald fell hard for his "Shielah" (he never learned to spell her name), a shrewd yet soft-hearted woman--both a fool for love and nobody's fool--who would stay with him and help revive his career until his tragic death three years later.

Working from diaries and other primary sources from the time, Sally Koslow revisits their scandalous love affair, bringing Graham and Scott gloriously alive in this compelling page-turner saturated with the color, glitter, magic, and passion of 1930s Hollywood and Sheilah's dramatic transformation in London.

About the Author:
Sally Koslow is the author of The Widow Waltz; The Late, Lamented Molly Marx ; and With Friends Like These and the nonfictional Slouching Toward Adulthood: How To Let Go So Your Kids Can Grow Up. Her debut novel, Little Pink Slips, was inspired by her long career as the editor-in-chief of iconic McCall's Magazine. Her books have been published in a dozen countries.

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Emperer of Shoes by: Spencer Wise

About the Book:
The Emperor of Shoes, the debut novel from Spencer Wise, follows in the tradition of many other Jewish coming-of-age stories but also nods to the classic novel of the westerner abroad. (We could imagine an alternative title being The Not-So Quiet American.) The story follows Alex, an American Jew in his twenties, living in Southern China and helping his father run the shoe factory that he will one day inherit. Alex is placed on the fault line between his father, a not particularly scrupulous business man, and Ivy, a factory worker who, thankfully, has sufficient stamina to function both as a love interest for Alex and as a mouthpiece for the dissonant movement that upends his sense of morality. As the plot unfolds, Alex is forced to ask whether one should “honor thy father” even if “thy father” runs a sweatshop.

At its best, this collision between individual and social conflicts has the potential to heighten both. By making Alex’s feeling of being out of place both physical and emotional, the novel forces him (as well as the reader) to think about place from different angles than one might otherwise. And by setting the story during a period of labor unrest, the book focuses on the relationship between politics and emotion too often ignored in political discourse. There is also an interesting element to juxtaposing a particularly Jewish coming-of-age story with the setting of China, as Alex is forced to ask what it means to be Jewish while separated from his home and community in Boston. While the concept of diaspora is foundational to so much of Jewish history, it is easy for a character like Alex (and many potential readers) raised in established Jewish American communities to lose sight of it. This sense that Alex is trying to understand his Jewish identity at the same time he adapts to living in another country (best expressed in the entertaining collisions of Yiddish vernacular with Chinese descriptive details) is an example of how the novel takes admirable advantage of its conceit to ask interesting questions of Alex.

There are, however, risks to this approach as well. Staging a coming-of-age/love story in the midst of a Chinese social conflict runs the risk of having characters operate as metaphors for politics, and becoming stretched in their dual roles as being both people and symbols. There are also always challenges when depicting another culture without defaulting to stereotypes or settling for exploitative caricature. At times the book comes a little close to the line for comfort, as with the case of the father’s mistress, whose broken English just happens to cause her to speak in double entendres.

Ultimately, the reader’s experience with The Emperor of Shoes will boil down to their impression of its narrator. And here, Wise has smartly expended much of the novel’s energy. Alex is a fine disciple of the anxious and articulate narrators in whose footsteps he follows. Many readers will be taken in by him and the well-constructed plot of the book. And for those readers for whom Alex is not enough?

Well, even if The Emperor of Shoes cannot be said to “change the conversation” regarding the western travel novel, at least it does add some Yiddish to it.

About the Author:
Born in Boston, Spencer Wise is a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Texas at Austin. He is the winner of the 2017 Gulf Coast Prize in nonfiction. His work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Florida Review and New Ohio Review. Wise teaches at Florida State University and lives in Tallahassee.

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The Two-Plate Solution by: Jeff Oliver:

About the Book:
Follow a diverse cast of chefs through a high-stakes TV cooking competition set in Israel. Their culinary foes: fake "terrorists" brought on by the producers- that is, until some actual terrorists show up on set, and the producers must scramble to integrate them into the competition, or risk death. Mysteries deepen, romance blooms, and chefs cook for their lives in this laugh-out-loud culinary adventure that will have you caring about each character and genuinely shocked by the twists and turns.

About the Author:
Jeff Oliver is Vice President of Current Production at Bravo and a former executive at Food Network, where he developed the hit series Cutthroat Kitchen, and worked on such comedic culinary hits as Worst Cooks in America and The Culinary Adventures Of Baron Ambrosia. He is the author of the acclaimed debut novel Failure To Thrive. Jeff lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with his wife, Liz Blazer, and son.

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About the Event

Sunday, March 3 | All Day

  • Two Author Sessions (10:30 am & 2:00 pm) & Keynote Lunch (12:00 pm):
    $35 Literary Society Author, Reader & JCC Member
    $42 Guest

  • Keynote Lunch Tickets (12:00pm):
    $18 Literary Society Author, Reader, & JCC Member
    $21 Guest

  • Individual Author Tickets (at 10:30 am or 2:00 pm):
    $10 Literary Society Author, Reader & JCC Member
    $12 Guest


To purchase tickets please call 877-318-0071



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