Book Fest in Your Living Room

Published Monday, September 21, 2020 8:00 pm

The New Orleans JCC is pleased to partner with the Marcus JCC to bring their popular Atlanta book festival to New Orleans—virtually! The event, in partnership with JCC Literary Consortium, also supports our local JCC when tickets are purchased through affiliate links below. 


Wednesday, September 23 | 7:00 PM CST

Jodi Picoult, The Book of Two Ways: A Novel

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

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A 

Tickets: $36 includes one copy of The Book of Two Ways Includes shipping.

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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.

About the Author

Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels, including A Spark of Light, Small Great Things, and My Sister’s Keeper. She is also the author, with daughter Samantha van Leer, of two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. Picoult lives in New Hampshire. 


Wednesday, September 30 | 7:00 PM CST

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

With guest host Nadia Bilchik, CNN Editorial Producer

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A

Tickets: $31 includes one signed copy of book (includes shipping)

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“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.

DEEPAK CHOPRA MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra Global, a modern-day health company at the intersection of science and spirituality, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. He is the author of 90 books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.”  


Monday, October 5 | 7:00 PM CST

Eric Furda and Jacques Steinberg, The College Conversation: A Practical Companion for Parents to Guide Their Children Along the Path to Higher Education 

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A

Tickets: $6 or $36 for one event ticket and one copy of book (includes shipping)

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From an Ivy League dean and a college admissions expert, a guide to help parents support their children as they navigate their way to college.

The College Conversation is a comprehensive resource for mapping the path through the college application process that provides practical advice and reassurance to keep both anxious parents and confused children sane and grounded. Rather than adding to the existing canon of "How to Get In" college guides or rankings, Eric Furda and Jacques Steinberg provide a step-by-step approach to having the tough conversations on this topic with less stress and more success.

The book is organized around key discussions and themes that trace the chronological arc of admissions and financial aid--beginning before the assembly of a list of potential colleges and continuing through the receipt of decisions--with a final section that includes advice on the first year of college. The topics include preliminary conversations about the search, and specifically how parents can think about their children's interests. 

About the Authors

Eric J. Furda is the Dean of Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania and the former Executive Director of Admissions at Columbia University. 

Jacques Steinberg is the New York Times bestselling author of The Gatekeepers and You Are an Ironman, and is a former New York Times Education Journalist. He is a senior executive at Say Yes Education and is on the board of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling. He appears periodically as a college admissions expert on NBC's Today Show.


Tuesday, October 6 | 7:00 PM CST

Casey Cep, Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee 

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A

Tickets: $11 or $24 for one event ticket and paperback copy of book (includes shipping)

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One of President Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2019, a New York Times bestseller and named one of the best books of 2019 by Time, Glamour, O Magazine, Town and Country and more, Casey Cep brings to life a courtroom drama, a true-crime thriller and a miniature biography of Harper Lee. Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted—thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend. In the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Furious Hours tells the story of the shocking murders, the ensuing trials and the racial politics of the Deep South, while offering a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.

Casey Cep is a writer at the New Yorker. After graduating Harvard, she earned a M.Phil. in Theology at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. This is her first book.


Thursday, October 8 | 7:00 PM CST

Colin Quinn, Overstated: A Coast-to-Coast Roast of the 50 States

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $36 for one virtual ticket and copy of book (includes shipping)

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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.

COLIN QUINN is a stand-up comedian, writer, and performer whose 30-year broadcast career has included stints on Saturday Night Live as the "Weekend Update" anchor, appearances on every cable comedy showcase and network talk show you can think of, including his own eponymous late-night show. His specials Unconstitutional (2013) and The New York Story (2015, directed by Jerry Seinfeld) are available on Netflix, and his one-man show Red State, Blue State (2019) premiered to rave reviews in New York. The special was adapted into CNN’s first comedy special in May 2019 and started streaming on Netflix in August 2019.


FOR KIDS!

Tuesday, October 13 | 5:30 PM CST

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

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A

Tickets: $6 or $23 for one virtual ticket and copy of either book (includes shipping) or $40 for one virtual ticket and copy of both books (includes shipping)

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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 focus 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!

Brad Meltzer is the New York Times bestselling author of Heroes for My Son, Heroes for My Daughter, and a number of suspense novels like The Escape Artist. He is also the host of the History Channel television shows Brad Meltzer's Decoded and Brad Meltzer's Lost History (in which he helped find the missing 9/11 flag). He lives in Florida with his wife and their three children.

Christopher Eliopoulos began his illustration career at Marvel Comics, and has worked on thousands of comics, including Cosmic Commandos, Monster Mayhem, Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius, Pet Avengers, and Cow Boy, all of which he wrote and illustrated. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and their identical twin sons (when the boys are home from college).


Thursday, October 15 | 7:00 PM CST

Steve Madden, The Cobbler: How I Disrupted an Industry, Fell from Grace, and Came Back Stronger Than Ever

In conversation with Holly Firfer, CNN Journalist  

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A 

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $36 for one virtual ticket and copy of book (includes shipping)

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Everyone knows Steve Madden’s name and his shoes, but few are familiar with his story. Over the past thirty years Steve Madden has taken his eponymous shoe company from the fledgling start-up he founded with a mere $1,100 to a global, multi-billion-dollar brand. But Madden’s mistakes, from his battle with addiction to the financial shortcuts that landed him in prison, are as important to his story as his most iconic shoes. In this raw, intimate, and ultimately inspiring book, Madden holds nothing back as he shares what it took to get here and the lessons he’s learned along the way. From his unconventional hiring strategies to his slavish devotion to product, Madden offers a business perspective that is as unique as his styles. In The Cobbler, readers are treated to the wild ride though his rise, fall, and comeback. But they will also walk away uplifted by a man who has owned up to his mistakes and come back determined to give back and use his hard-won platform to create positive change.

Steven Madden is an entrepreneur, an award-winning designer, and a business titan whose eponymous company is currently worth 3 billion dollars. On the flip side, he is an ex-con, a recovering addict, and a devoted family man. Considered the fashion footwear mogul of the 21st century, Madden has an innate sense of what’s hot, what’s next, what’s exciting, and more importantly, how this will translate to the customer. He is also an active philanthropist and mentor who supports a number of organizations that help those in need of a second chance.


Thursday, October 22 | 7:00 PM CST

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

In Conversation with Mara Davis, Local Media Personality

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $30 for one virtual ticket and copy of book (includes shipping)

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"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. 

Judy Gold is an American standup comedian, actress, television writer, and producer. She won two Daytime Emmy Awards for her work as a writer and producer on The Rosie O’Donnell Show, and has starred in comedy specials on HBO, Comedy Central, and Logo. She has also written and starred in two critically acclaimed, Off-Broadway hit shows: The Judy Show―My Life as a Sitcom and 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother (which she performed in the MJCCA’s Morris And Rae Frank Theater. She is currently the host of the hit podcast Kill Me Now.


Sunday, October 25 | 7:00 PM CST

Harlan Coben, The Boy From the Woods

In Conversation with Emily Giffin, New York Times Bestselling Author

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A

Tickets: $23 for one virtual ticket and paperback copy of book (shipping included)

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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 comes 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.


Tuesday, October 27 | 7:00 PM CST

Nancy Grace, Don’t be a Victim: Fighting Back against America’s Crime Wave

In conversation with John Lemley, Sirius Radio Host  

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A 

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $36 for one virtual ticket and one copy of book (includes shipping)

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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. Packed with practical advice and invaluable prevention tips, Don’t Be a Victim shows you how to: Fend off threats of assaults, car-jack and home invasion; defend yourself against online stalking, computer hackers and financial fraudsters; stay safe in your own home, at school and other public settings like parking garages, elevators and campsites; protect yourself while shopping, driving and even on vacation. Don’t Be a Victim delivers insights on so many potential threats, you will be empowered to proactively protect yourself and your family at home and in the world at large.

Nancy Grace is an award-winning legal journalist, victims-rights advocate and New York Times bestselling author of four books, including Objection!, The Eleventh Victim, Death on the D-List, and Murder in the Courthouse. Nancy headlines Oxygen's Injustice with Nancy Grace, hosts the daily Crime Stories with Nancy Grace on SIRIUS XM and appears regularly on ABC's 20/20 and Nightline, as well as on Daily Mail TV. She is founder and publisher of CrimeOnline.com, a digital platform that investigates breaking crime news, highlights missing people and helps solve unsolved homicides. Nancy was the force behind CNN Headline News' top-rated Nancy Grace.


Thursday, October 29 | 7:00 PM CST

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

ZOOM Webinar Author Talk + Q & A

Tickets: $11 for one virtual ticket or $36 for one virtual ticket and copy of book (includes shipping)

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

Mike Leven has served as the president and chief operating officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, in addition to roles of the chairman and chief executive officer of US Franchise Systems, the president and chief operating officer of Holiday Inn Worldwide, the president of Days Inn of America, and most recently was the volunteer chief executive officer and chairman of the Georgia Aquarium.

He is a longtime leader of the Jewish community in Atlanta and nationally, including with the Atlanta Jewish Federation. In 2019, he co-founded the Jewish Future Pledge – a national movement to inspire individuals and families to pledge 50% or more of the charitable giving in their estate plan to Jewish and Israel-related causes.


 Check back in for even more events coming up in November!

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Spin Into Fall - Group Cycling is Back

Fresh air and curated playlists will push you through a 50-minute ride led by one of the JCC's experienced instructors.

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We’re Open! Members Share What It’s Like Returning to the JCC

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