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Book Festival of Riverdale Y

& The National JCC Literary Consortium

We are thrilled to present this Fall Book Festival that connects you to live author talks right in your living room.

 

Ken Follett, The Evening and The Morning: A Novel

Wed. Sep 16, 2020 at 1:00pm EDT

KEN FOLLETT, The Evening and the Morning

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A

Thirty years ago, Ken Follett, the #1 New York Times bestselling author published his most popular novel, The Pillars of the Earth. Now, Follett’s masterful new prequel, The Evening and the Morning, takes us on an epic journey into a historical past rich with ambition and rivalry, death and birth, love and hate, that will end where The Pillars of the Earth begins.

It is 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages. England is facing attacks from the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east. Those in power bend justice according to their will, regardless of ordinary people and often in conflict with the king. Without a clear rule of law, chaos reigns.

In these turbulent times, three characters find their lives intertwined. A young boatbuilder’s life is turned upside down when the only home he’s ever known is raided by Vikings, forcing him and his family to move and start their lives anew in a small hamlet where he does not fit in. . . . A Norman noblewoman marries for love, following her husband across the sea to a new land, but the customs of her husband’s homeland are shockingly different, and as she begins to realize that everyone around her is engaged in a constant, brutal battle for power, it becomes clear that a single misstep could be catastrophic. . . . A monk dreams of transforming his humble abbey into a center of learning that will be admired throughout Europe. And each in turn comes into dangerous conflict with a clever and ruthless bishop who will do anything to increase his wealth and power.

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riverdale y book festival

Jodi Picoult, The Book of Two Ways: A Novel

Wed. Sep 23, 2020 at 8:00pm EDT

Jodi Picoult, The Book of Two Ways: A Novel

In Conversation with Judy Blume, New York Times Bestselling Author and Owner, Books & Books at The Studios of Key West

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light comes a riveting novel about the choices that alter the course of our lives.

Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant makes an announcement: Prepare for a crash landing. Thoughts flash through her mind. The shocking thing is, the thoughts are not of her husband but of a man she last saw 15 years ago: Wyatt Armstrong.

Dawn survives the crash, but so do all the doubts that have suddenly been raised. She has led a good life. Back in Boston, there is her husband, Brian, their beloved daughter, and her work as a death doula, in which she helps ease the transition between life and death for her clients.

But somewhere in Egypt is Wyatt Armstrong, who works as an archaeologist unearthing ancient burial sites, a career Dawn once studied for but was forced to abandon when life suddenly intervened. And now, when it seems that fate is offering her second chances, she is not as sure of the choice she once made. After the crash landing, the airline offers the survivors transportation to wherever they want to go. The obvious destination is to fly home, but she could take another path: return to the archaeological site she left years before, reconnect with Wyatt and their unresolved history, and maybe even complete her research on The Book of Two Ways—the first known map of the afterlife.

As the story unfolds, Dawn’s two possible futures unspool side by side, as do the secrets and doubts long buried with them.

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deepak chopra

Deepak Chopra, Total Meditation

Wed. Sep 30, 2020 at 8:00pm EDT

DEEPAK CHOPRA, Total Meditation: Practices In Living the Awakened Life

With guest host Nadia Bilchik, CNN Editorial Producer

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk, Q & A + Short Meditation

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there.”

For the last thirty years, Deepak Chopra has been at the forefront of the meditation revolution in the West. His new book Total Meditation offers a complete exploration and reinterpretation of the physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual benefits that this practice can bring.

“Stop. Take three deep breaths and smile everywhere in your body, observing what’s happening in your body. Proceed now with kindness and understanding.”

Join New York Times bestselling author Deepak Chopra as he guides you on how to wake up to new levels of awareness that will ultimately cultivate a clear vision, heal suffering in your mind and body, and help recover who you really are.

Dr. Chopra will be leading a short meditation.

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colin quinn

Colin Quinn, Overstated

Thu. Oct 8, 2020 at 8:00pm EDT

The Eva & George Stern Lecture Given in Loving Memory by Their Children and Grandchildren

COLIN QUINN, Overstated: A Coast-to-Coast Roast of the 50 States

In Conversation with Holly Firfer, TV Journalist

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A

In Colin Quinn’s new book, the popular comedian, SNL alum, social commentator, and star of the shows Red State Blue State and Unconstitutional tackles the condition of our union today.

Running state-by-state, from Connecticut to Hawaii, Quinn calls us out and identifies the hypocrisies inherent in what we claim to believe and what we actually do. Within a framework of big-picture thinking about systems of government―after all, how would you put this country together if you started from scratch today? ―to dead-on-funny observations about the quirks and vibes of the citizens in each region, Overstated skewers us all, red, blue, and purple, and is infused with the same blend of optimism and practicality that sparked the U.S. into being.

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Brad Meltzer & Christopher Eliopoulos

Tue. Oct 13, 2020 at 6:30pm EDT

FOR KIDS!
Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos (illustrator), I Am Anne Frank &  I Am Benjamin Franklin 
(Ordinary People Change the World Series)
For children ages 5 – 8

In Conversation with Holly Firfer, CNN Journalist

In a time when heroes are in high demand, Book Festival fan favorite Brad Meltzer returns with his talented illustrator, Christopher Eliopoulos, to present two new books in his “Ordinary People Change the World” Series: I Am Anne Frank & I Am Benjamin Franklin. These books are the 21st and 22nd books in Brad’s and Christopher’s series of biographies for kids that focuses on the traits that made these ordinary heroes great – the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of an icon in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers. Each book includes an excellent timeline and photos. One book tells the story of Anne Frank, whose courage and hope during a time of terror are still an inspiration for people around the world today, while the second recounts the tale of Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the US and a man whose scientific contributions continue to define the society we live in today.

Parents: have pencils and paper ready – Christopher will teach our youngest viewers how to draw their ordinary heroes!

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Judy Gold, Yes, I Can Say That

Thu. Oct 22, 2020 at 8:00pm EDT

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

“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.

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Harlan Coben, The Boy from the Woods

Sun. Oct 25, 2020 at 8:00pm EDT

Harlan Coben, The Boy From the Woods

In Conversation with Emily Giffin, New York Times Bestselling Author

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 came 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.

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Mike Leven, Can’t Do It Yourself

Thu. Oct 29, 2020 at 8:00pm EDT

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

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, his central role in founding the Asian American Hotel Association to support Indian immigrant franchisees overcome discrimination and build their businesses, his first job working as a social worker for civil rights leader John Moreland, and his time at the helm of the Las Vegas Sands in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

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Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy, Never Alone

Sun. Nov 8, 2020 at 1:00pm EST

Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy, Never Alone

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.

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Joan Lunden, Why Did I Come Into This Room?

Sun. Nov 8, 2020 at 8:00pm EST

THE SHARON V. FAGIN JOY OF READING PROGRAM PRESENTED BY THE FAGIN/DANZ FAMILIES

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

In Conversation with Holly Firfer, CNN Journalist

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 five presidents, five Olympics, and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families, and their health.

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Dale Berra, My Dad, Yogi

Tue. Nov 10, 2020 at 8:00pm EST

Dale Berra, My Dad, Yogi

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.

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Raffi Berg, Red Sea Spies

Sun. Nov 15, 2020 at 3:00pm EST

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

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.

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Michael Ian Black, A Better Man & Cleo Stiller, Modern Manhood

November 18, 8pm

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 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?

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?

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Mimi Lemay, What We Will Become

Fri. Nov 20, 2020 at 2:00pm EST

Transgender Day of Remembrance

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

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.

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Melissa Clark, Kid in the Kitchen

Sun. Nov 22, 2020 at 1:00pm EST

FOR KIDS!

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

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 unmistakenly 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.

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