For The Love of Families: Isay & Isay
Thursday, July 1, 2010 / 6:30pm
“Write what you know” is what Jane and Dave Isay each do best: she writes about children and sibling behavior, he writes about mothers. It’s no coincidence that they’re mother and son. Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps and the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” fellowship and various broadcasting honors, offers a profound tribute and portrait of mothers all across America in MOM: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps (Penguin, 2010). In Mom Still Likes You Best: The Unfinished Business Between Siblings (Doubleday, 2010), publishing veteran Jane Isay (Walking On Eggshells), shows through scores of interviews that fights and forgiveness forge bonds between brothers and sisters that are never forgotten, always cherished. Together, mother and son – Jane and Dave Isay — offer a rare evening of pleasure discussing the most primary and meaningful of relationships.
Jane Isay – Mom Still Likes You Best: The Unfinished Business Between Siblings
Dave Isay – MOM: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps
Food & Memoir Night with Frank Bruni
Thursday, July 8 / 6:30pm
Frank Bruni was born into an Italian family that equated food with love. As a child, he dieted with his mother; as a college student, he became bulimic. Before, in between and after, he gobbled crummy processed food, sleep-ate, and eventually pigged his way into size 42 relaxed khakis and no love life. Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater (Penguin, 2009) is the hugely praised bestseller of the New York Times former chief restaurant critic — “shocking, hilarious” (Michael Pollan), “Flinstonian” (David Sedaris), and above all, an “intricate, honest and sometimes painful examination of one man’s extremely complex lifelong relationship with eating, and overeating” (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love).
Frank Bruni – Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater
To The Moon On Apollo 11
Thursday, July 15 / 6:30pm
A scintillating account of Apollo 11, the space mission that defined America’s aspirations in the 1960s. In Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon (Penguin, 2010), Craig Nelson “captures the drama and chaos of July, 1969 and the almost unbearable tension of the moon landing, (which is) described so vividly that the engrossed reader isn’t sure that Armstrong and crewmate Buzz Aldrin are going to make it (The Washington Post).” The astronauts were more tender, wacky, and complicated than their “Right Stuff” portraits revealed, and the larger-than-life melding of Cold War politics and science is why Vanity Fair pronounced it “spectacular” and The Wall Street Journal called the book “a fact-junkie’s dream.” In Nelson, “the Apollo 11 mission has found its historian” (NPR).
Craig Nelson – Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon
Donald Barthelme Considered: A Strange Object Covered In Fur Which Breaks Your Heart
Thursday, July 22 / 6:30pm
Critics can’t quire agree: was Barthelme the end of modernism or the first practitioner of American post-modern narrative? In a weirdly Barthelmean twist, he won the National Book Award in 1972 for a children’s book entitled The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine or The Hithering Thithering Djinn — the exuberance of that title speaks volumes about the obsessions of this writer who produced some of most inventive fiction of the post-war period. Join the National Book Foundation and a panel of acclaimed writers for a discussion of Barthelme’s legacy, influence, and narrative innovations. Emily Barton is the author of the novels Brookland and The Testament of Yves Gundron, both named New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Tracy Daugherty’s Hiding Man: A Biography of Donald Barthelme was named a New York Times Notable Book of the year in 2009. Stacey D’Erasmo is the author of three novels, and her critical writing has appeared in such publications as the New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, and Ploughshares. David Gates is the author of two novels and a collection of stories, The Wonders of the Invisible World. His nonfiction has appeared in Newsweek, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, and elsewhere.
Thursday, August 5 / 6:30pm
Of The Cookbook Collector (Random House, 2010), by bestselling author Allegra Goodman, Publisher Weekly proclaims in a starred review, “If any contemporary author deserves to wear the mantel of Jane Austen, it’s Goodman, whose subtle, astute social comedies perfectly capture the quirks of human nature. This dazzling novel is Austen updated for the dot-com era, played out between 1999 and 2001 among a group of brilliant risk takers and truth seekers. … [Eventually] career paths collide, social values clash, ironies multiply, and misjudgments threaten to destroy romantic desire. Enjoyable and satisfying, this is Goodman’s most robust, fully realized, and trenchantly meaningful work yet.”
Allegra Goodman – The Cookbook Collector
Dog Days of Summer
Thursday, August 5 / 6:30pm
Tall or small, lean or wide, scruffy or groomed, every dog has love to give — to you, to your parents or children, to someone ailing or sad, to a family in extremis. Rachel McPherson is the founder of the Good Dog Foundation, the largest animal-assisted therapy organization on the East Coast, and based on years of experience there has written the ultimate “dog message” book, Every Dog Has a Gift: True Stories of Dogs Who Bring Hope & Healing Into Our Lives (Tarcher, 2010). Come meet Rachel McPerson, listen to her stories, and meet some of the dogs that make the Good Dog Foundation so meaningful. These are everyday canine heroes who prove that most simple equation: 4 paws=Love.