July 23 @ 6:00 pm
Harry Tabor is about to be named Man of the Decade, a distinction that feels like the culmination of a life well lived. Gathering together in Palm Springs for the celebration are his wife, Roma, a distinguished child psychologist, and their children: Phoebe, a high-powered attorney; Camille, a brilliant social anthropologist; and Simon, a big-firm lawyer, who brings his glamorous wife and two young daughters. But immediately, cracks begin to appear in this smooth facade: Simon hasn’t been sleeping through the night, Camille can’t decide what to do with her life, and Phoebe is a little too cagey about her new boyfriend. Roma knows her children are hiding things. What she doesn’t know, what none of them know, is that Harry is suddenly haunted by the long-buried secret that drove him, decades ago, to relocate his young family to the California desert. As the ceremony nears, the family members are forced to confront the falsehoods upon which their lives are built.Set over the course of a single weekend, and deftly alternating between the five Tabors, this provocative, gorgeously rendered novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves and our family and the price we pay for second chances.
September 6 @ 5:30 pm
Every day, Harry, Phil, and Jim are fed sunflower seeds by the staff who care for them at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. But one day, they decide they’re sick of them. They make a break for the New York City streets in search of pizza or Chinese takeout.
But everywhere they go, they’re told “No peacocks!” by the restaurant owners.
So they try to get an ooey, gooey, delicious meal closer to home. But how are they going to sneak into the school cafeteria and get their wings on the school’s world-famous mac ‘n cheese? A little plotting, some stolen disguises, and a little help from some students, and the mission is a go! But will the peacocks get their mac ‘n cheese? Or will their cover be blown so they have to fly the coop? Based on the real-life beloved bird celebrities who live at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (who are known to run off the grounds), and brought to the page in bold, bright style, No Peacocks! is a hilarious romp and a perfect read-aloud.
September 12 @ 6:00 pm
Marrying into a Chinese family, Patrizia was fascinated and puzzled by the myriad of photographs of old Shanghai; the elegant weddings, exclusive club-like settings, sumptuous homes, banquets, and expensive cars. Inquisitive, she fielded questions, began to collect information, and discovered that she had married into an extraordinarily influential and important Chinese family. Yet… no one knew about the stories. Only her father-in-law, shipping magnate C.Y. Chen (or Goong-Goong, as she always respectfully referred to him) was the key to unlocking the family history.
Though rebuffed at first; in the years to come, the one prickly relationship between inquisitive Patrizia and reserved Goong-Goong warmed to become one of profound joy and deep meaning. Patrizia knew that she had to write the story of this remarkable man and the family that took her in with open arms; about exotic traditions; about fascinating people, places, anecdotes and stories–the stuff of novels–that proved to be real once she began to study the history of the Chen family and the meeting of East and West. Chen shows how families may change but can still preserve their traditions.
Goong-Goong is a unique book, which represents a fascinating cultural bridge between two civilizations and spanning two centuries.