In addition to this year’s Literatour events, we’re happy to announce that the Springfield JCC is now a partner in the JCC Literary Consortium to bring you Book Fest in Your Living Room, a virtual series of author Zoom talks and Q&As for a nominal fee. Some events may require a book purchase.
Presented in partnership with the JCC Literary Consortium
Judy Gold, "Yes, I Can Say That: When They Come for the Comedians, We Are All in Trouble"
Thursday, October 22, 8:00 pm
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.
Harlan Coben, "The Boy from the Woods"
Sunday, October 25, 8:00 pm
In conversation with Emily Griffin, New York Times Bestselling Author
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.
Arthur Blank, "Good Company"
Monday, October 26, 8:00 pm
Arthur Blank, founder of The Home Depot, 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.
Nancy Grace, "Don't Be a Victim: Fighting Back against America's Crime Wave"
Tuesday, October 27, 8:00 pm
In conversation with John Lemley, Sirius Radio Host
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.
Mike Leven, "Can't Do It Yourself: How Commitment to Others Leads to Personal Prosperity"
Thursday, October 29, 8:00 pm
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.
Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy, "Never Alone"
Sunday, November 8, 1:00 pm
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.
Joan Lunden, "Why Did I Come into This Room?: A Candid Conversation about Aging"
Sunday, November 8, 8:00 pm
In conversation with Holly Firfer, CNN Journalist
Acclaimed journalist 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
Esther Safran Foer, "I Want You to Know We're Still Here: A Post Holocaust Memoir"
Monday, November 9, 7:45 pm
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.
Rachel Beanland, "Florence Adler Swims Forever" and Kristin Hamel, "Book of Lost Names"
Tuesday, November 10, 1:00 pm
In conversation with Andrea Peskind Katz, Founder, greatthoughts.com; Great Thoughts, Great Readers Book Salon
Atlantic City, 1934. Renting their house to summer vacationers, Esther and Joseph Adler move into the cramped apartment above their bakery. One of their daughters, 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.
Dale Berra, "My Dad, Yogi"
Tuesday, November 10, 8:00 pm
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.
Josh Grisham, "A Time for Mercy"
Wednesday, November 11, 3:00 pm
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.
Cameron Douglas, "Long Way Home"
Wednesday, November 11, 8:00 pm
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.
Michael Oren, "The Night Archer and Other Stories"
Thursday, November 12, 2:00 pm
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.
Jim McCloskey and Philip Lerman, "When Truth is All You Have; A Memoir of Faith, Justice, and Freedom for the Wrongly Convicted"
Thursday, November 12, 8:00 pm
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 an unflagging dedication to justice—Centurion has freed 63 innocent prisoners who had been sentenced to life or death.
Lawrence Wright, "The End of October"
Saturday, November 14, 8:00 pm
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… 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. 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.
Raffi Berg, "Red Sea Spies: The True Story of Mossad's Fake Diving Resort"
Sunday, November 14, 3:00 pm
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.
Ariel Sabar, "Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife"
Monday, November 16, 8:00 pm
In 2012, Dr. Karen King, a star professor at Harvard Divinity School, announced a blockbuster discovery at a scholarly conference just steps from the Vatican: She had found an ancient fragment of papyrus in which Jesus calls Mary Magdalene “my wife.” The tattered manuscript made international headlines. If early Christians believed Jesus was married, it would upend the 2,000-year history of the world’s predominant faith, threatening not just the celibate, all-male priesthood but sacred teachings on marriage, sex and women’s leadership. Biblical scholars were in an uproar, but King had impeccable credentials as a world-renowned authority on female figures in the lost Christian texts from Egypt known as the Gnostic gospels. “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife”–as she provocatively titled her discovery–was both a crowning career achievement and powerful proof for her arguments that Christianity from its start embraced alternative, and far more inclusive, voices.
As debates over the manuscript’s authenticity raged, award-winning journalist Ariel Sabar set out to investigate a baffling mystery: where did this tiny scrap of papyrus come from? His search for answers is an international detective story–leading from the factory districts of Berlin to the former headquarters of the East German Stasi before winding up in rural Florida, where he discovered an internet pornographer with a prophetess wife, a fascination with the Pharaohs and a tortured relationship with the Catholic Church.
Michael Ian Black, "A Better Man" and Cleo Stiller, "Modern Manhood"
Wednesday, November 18, 8:00 pm
Michael Ian Black, A Better Man
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.
Cleo Stiller, Modern Manhood
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.
Michael J. Fox, "No Time Like the Future"
Thursday, November 19, 8:00 pm
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.
Mimi Lemay, "What We Will Become: A Mother, a Son, and a Journey or Transformation"
Friday, November 20, 2:00 pm
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.
Rachel Bloom, "I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are"
Saturday, November 21, 8:00 pm
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).
Melissa Clark, "Kid in the Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Tips for Young Home Cooks"
Sunday, November 22, 1:00 pm
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.