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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.

Billie Jean King, All In: An Autobiography

Monday, August 16 at 8:00 pm

An inspiring and intimate self-portrait of the champion of equality that encompasses her brilliant tennis career, unwavering activism, and an ongoing commitment to fairness and social justice.

In this spirited account, Billie Jean King details her life’s journey to find her true self. She recounts her groundbreaking tennis career—six years as the top-ranked woman in the world, twenty Wimbledon championships, thirty-nine grand-slam titles, and her watershed defeat of Bobby Riggs in the famous “Battle of the Sexes.” She poignantly recalls the cultural backdrop of those years and the profound impact on her worldview from the women’s movement, the assassinations and anti-war protests of the 1960s, the civil rights movement, and, eventually, the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

About the Author

BILLIE JEAN KING is the first female athlete to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She is the founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, the Women’s Tennis Association, and the Women’s Sports Foundation; she co-founded World Team Tennis, and she is part of the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2006, the National Tennis Center was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. In 2020, the Fed Cup was renamed the Billie Jean King Cup, making it the first global team sports competition named for a woman. She was one of Life magazine’s “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century,” and in 2018 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards. She is an Adidas Global Ambassador, a past member of the board of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and a past member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. She lives in New York.

 

 

Daniel Levin, Proof of Life

Wednesday, August 18 at 8:00 pm

Zoom Author Talk & Q & A

Daniel Levin was at his office in New York when he got a call from an acquaintance with an urgent, cryptic request to meet in Paris. A young man had gone missing in Syria. No government, embassy, or intelligence agency would help. Could he? Would he? This begins the suspenseful, shocking, and at times brutal true-life story, PROOF OF LIFE: Twenty Days on the Hunt for a Missing Person in the Middle East , that finds Levin, a lawyer turned armed-conflict negotiator, navigating the seedy and dangerous underbelly of the Middle East, where he encounters powerful sheiks, drug lords, and sex traffickers in pursuit of the truth.

Over the course of twenty intense days, Levin barters and negotiates his way through Istanbul, Beirut, Amman, and Dubai on a quest to find a young man who disappeared under suspicious circumstances. This dangerous journey brings him into contact with the shadowy world of the underground war economy where everything is for sale, and he sees first-hand the power of the industries that endlessly fuel these conflicts—the trade of cash, goods, weapons, drugs and most devastatingly, people. PROOF OF LIFE is a mind-blowing exploration of how people use leverage to get what they want, entangling Levin in a dizzying web of favors and counter favors with the highest stakes possible.

Levin also humanizes the citizens who live in the shadows of conflict, painting a heart-rending truth of the reality of forever wars, some of which he experienced firsthand in combat during his own military service.

PROOF OF LIFE is a fast-paced thriller wrapped in a memoir, a must-read for anyone interested in power dynamics, international affairs, or the Middle East. “

About the Author

The son of a diplomat, Daniel Levin spent his early years in the Middle East and in Africa and then trained as a lawyer. Currently a board member of the Liechtenstein Foundation for State Governance, he has, for the past twenty years, worked with governments and development institutions worldwide, focusing on economic development and political reform through financial literacy, political inclusion, and constitutional initiatives. He is also engaged in track 3 diplomacy and mediation efforts in war zones. Levin’s first book, Nothing but a Circus: Misadventures among the Powerful, was published in Germany, Japan, Russia, and the UK. Proof of Life is his first book to be published in the United States. He lives outside New York City.

 

 

Francine Prose, The Vixen: A Novel

Monday, August 23 at 8:00 pm

The year is 1953, and Simon Putnam, a recent Harvard graduate, has landed an editorial role at a distinguished New York City publisher. Thrust into a glittering world of martini lunches, exclusive literary salons, and old-money aristocrats in exquisitely tailored suits, Simon finds himself a far cry from his loving, middle-class Jewish family in Coney Island. But Simon’s first assignment—editing The Vixen, the Patriot and the Fanatic, a lurid bodice-ripper improbably based on the recent trial and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, a potboiler intended to shore up the firm’s failing finances—makes him question the cost of admission. Because Simon has a secret that, at the height of the Red Scare and the McCarthy hearings, he cannot reveal: his beloved mother was a childhood friend of Ethel Rosenberg’s. Indeed, his parents mourn Ethel’s death.

About the Author

Francine Prose is the author of twenty-one works of fiction including, the highly acclaimed Mister Monkey; the New York Times bestseller Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932; A Changed Man, which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; and Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her works of nonfiction include the highly praised Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer, which has become a classic. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, a Director’s Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, Prose is a former president of PEN American Center, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  She is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College.

 

 

Jake Cohen, Jew-ish: A Cookbook

Thursday, August 26 at 8:00 pm

LIVE Cooking Demo and Q & A

When you think of Jewish food, a few classics come to mind: chicken soup with matzo balls, challah, maybe a babka if you’re feeling adventurous. But as food writer and nice Jewish boy Jake Cohen demonstrates in this stunning debut cookbook, Jewish food can be so much more.

In Jew-ish, he reinvents the food of his Ashkenazi heritage and draws inspiration from his husband’s Persian-Iraqi traditions to offer recipes that are modern, fresh, and enticing for a whole new generation of readers. Imagine the components of an everything bagel wrapped into flaky galette latkes dyed vibrant yellow with saffron for a Persian spin on the potato pancake, best-ever hybrid desserts like Macaroon Brownies and Pumpkin Spice Babka!

Jew-ish is a brilliant collection of delicious recipes, but it’s much more than that. As Jake reconciles ancient traditions with our modern times, his recipes become a celebration of a rich and vibrant history, a love story of blending cultures, and an invitation to gather around the table and create new memories with family, friends, and loved ones.