Beginning September 23, proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to access the SJCC.Get all the details here.

Book Festival in Your Living Room

Enjoy a stellar line-up of virtual Book Festival events including author talks featuring the year’s hottest writers. Scroll down to see the line-up and check back often as the list of inspiring authors continues to grow.

 

David Rubenstein, The American Experiment

Sunday, October 3 at 8:00 pm

In Conversation with Holly Firfer, Atlanta Media Personality

American icons and historians explore the grand American experiment in democracy, culture, innovation, and ideas, featuring essays by Ken Burns on war, Madeleine Albright on the American immigrant, Paul Simon on music, Billie Jean King on sports, Walter Isaacson on innovation., and many more—the capstone book in a trilogy from David Rubenstein, New York Times bestselling author of How to Lead and The American Story.

In this lively collection of conversations—the third in a series from David Rubenstein—some of our nations’ greatest minds explore the inspiring story of America as a grand experiment in democracy, culture, innovation, and ideas.

David M. Rubenstein is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Lead and The American Story. He is co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful private equity firms. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Council on Foreign Relation. The host of The David Rubenstein Show on Bloomberg TV and PBS, he lives in the Washington, DC area.

Joe Posnanski: The Baseball 100

Tuesday, October 5 at 8:00 pm

A magnum opus from acclaimed baseball writer Joe Posnanski, The Baseball 100 is an audacious, singular, and masterly book that took a lifetime to write. The entire story of baseball rings through a countdown of 100 greatest players in history. Baseball’s legends come alive in these pages, which are not merely rankings but vibrant profiles of the game’s all-time greats. Posnanski dives into the biographies of iconic Hall of Famers, stars of the Negro Leagues, forgotten heroes, talents of today, and more. Engrossing, surprising, and heartfelt, The Baseball 100 is a magisterial tribute to the game of baseball and the stars who played it.

Joe Posnanski is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of six books, including Paterno and The Secret of Golf. He has written for The Athletic, Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports and The Kansas City Star. He has been named National Sportswriter of the Year by five different organizations and is the winner of two Emmy Awards. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his family.

 

Tracy Walder, The Unexpected Spy

Thursday, October 7 at 7:30 pm

In Conversation with Holly Firfer, Atlanta Media Personality

When Tracy Walder enrolled at the University of Southern California, she never thought that one day she would offer her pink beanbag chair in the Delta Gamma house to a CIA recruiter, or that she’d fly to the Middle East under an alias identity.

The Unexpected Spy is the riveting story of Walder’s tenure in the CIA and, later, the FBI. In Virginia, Walder watched al-Qaeda members with drones as President Bush looked over her shoulder and CIA Director George Tenet brought her donuts. She tracked chemical terrorists and searched the world for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Driven to stop terrorism, Walder debriefed terrorists―men who swore they’d never speak to a woman―until they gave her leads. Then Walder moved to the FBI, where she worked in counterintelligence. In a single year, she helped take down one of the most notorious foreign spies ever caught on American soil. Catching the bad guys wasn’t a problem in the FBI, but rampant sexism was. Walder left the FBI to teach young women, encouraging them to find a place in the FBI, CIA, State Department or the Senate―and thus change the world.

Tracy Walder is a former Staff Operations Officer (SOO) at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and a Special Agent at the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office specializing in Chinese counterintelligence operations. She now teaches global terrorism at the all-girls Ursuline Academy in Dallas and is an adjunct professor of Domestic Terrorism and Criminal Justice at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth. She is on the Board of Directors for Girl Security, a non profit, non partisan group that brings national security curriculum to girls in high school throughout the US.

 

 

Mindy Weisel, After: The Obligation of Beauty

Wednesday, October 13 at 8:00 pm

This compelling and candid memoir by Mindy Weisel, an internationally acclaimed artist and author and cousin to famed author and Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel, traces her search for beauty in her life, which began as a child born in the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Person’s Camp to parents who had survived the Auschwitz concentration camp. Hers is a courageous and honest portrait of her struggle to understand the legacy she was born into. Her successful journey in becoming an artist with her own voice, and an unshakable will to live with beauty, is most inspiring. After: The Obligation of Beauty immerses the reader in Mindy’s astonishing body of paintings that explore the subtleties of color as a means in expressing emotion. The process of creating art not only became an antidote to the pain and suffering she witnessed and felt, but it also became an “obligation” for finding joy and love in the face of pain.

Mindy Weisel, an internationally renowned artist, author and speaker, was elected into the Smithsonian Archives of American Artists in 2000. Her works are in the permanent collections of the National Museum of American Art, Oxford University and the Israel Museum, among many other public and private collections. Weisel lived and worked, for over forty years, in Washington, D.C. and now resides in Jerusalem with her husband. She is a cousin to famed author and Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel.

 

David Grossman, More Than I Love My Life: A Novel

Friday, October 22 at 1:00 pm

In Conversation with Jessica Handler, Award-Winning Author

More Than I Love My Life is the story of three strong women: Vera, age ninety; her daughter, Nina; and her granddaughter, Gili, who at thirty-nine is a filmmaker and a wary consumer of affection. A bitter secret divides each mother and daughter pair, though Gili—abandoned by Nina when she was just three—has always been close to her grandmother.

With Gili making the arrangements, they travel together to Goli Otok, a barren island off the coast of Croatia, where Vera was imprisoned and tortured for three years as a young wife after she refused to betray her husband and denounce him as an enemy of the people. This unlikely journey—filtered through the lens of Gili’s camera, as she seeks to make a film that might help explain her life—lays bare the intertwining of fear, love, and mercy, and the complex overlapping demands of romantic and parental passion.

More Than I Love My Life was inspired by the true story of one of David Grossman’s longtime confidantes, a woman who, in the early 1950s, was held on the notorious Goli Otok (“the Adriatic Alcatraz”). Grossman’s fearless examination of the human heart, this swift novel is a thrilling addition to the oeuvre of one of our greatest living novelists, whose revered moral voice continues to resonate around the world.

David Grossman was born in Jerusalem. He is the author of numerous works of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker and has been translated into more than forty languages. He is the recipient of many prizes, including the French Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Buxtehuder Bulle in Germany, and the Man Booker International Prize – in addition to many others. He lives in Jerusalem.

 

Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray, The Personal Librarian

Monday, October 25 at 8:00 pm

In Conversation with Alison Law, Writer and Literary Influencer

A remarkable novel about J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white in order to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict, and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray.

In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps create a world-class collection. But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white—her complexion is dark because she is African American.

Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years’ experience as a litigator. A graduate of Boston College and the Boston University School of Law, she is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, Carnegie’s Maid, The Other Einstein, and Lady Clementine. All have been translated into multiple languages. She lives in Pittsburgh with her family.

Victoria Christopher Murray is an acclaimed author with more than one million books in print. She has written more than twenty novels, including Stand Your Ground, an NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Fiction and a Library Journal Best Book of the Year. She holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.