April 4 @ 6:00 pm
April 6 @ 6:00 pm
This groundbreaking book from Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Frances Fitzgerald is the first to tell the powerful, dramatic story of the Evangelical movement in America—from the Puritan era to the 2016 presidential election.
The evangelical movement began in the revivals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, known in America as the Great Awakenings. A populist rebellion against the established churches, it became the dominant religious force in the country. During the nineteenth century white evangelicals split apart dramatically, first North versus South, and then at the end of the century, modernist versus fundamentalist. After World War II, Billy Graham, the revivalist preacher, attracted enormous crowds and tried to gather all Protestants under his big tent, but the civil rights movement and the social revolution of the sixties drove them apart again. By the 1980s Jerry Falwell and other southern televangelists, such as Pat Robertson, had formed the Christian right. Protesting abortion and gay rights, they led the South into the Republican Party, and for thirty-five years they were the sole voice of evangelicals to be heard nationally. Eventually a younger generation of leaders protested the Christian right’s close ties with the Republican Party and proposed a broader agenda of issues, such as climate change, gender equality, and immigration reform.
Evangelicals have in many ways defined the nation. They have shaped our culture and our politics. Frances Fitzgerald’s narrative of this distinctively American movement is a major work of history, piecing together the centuries-long story for the first time. Evangelicals now constitute twenty-five percent of the American population, but they are no longer monolithic in their politics. They range from Tea Party supporters to social reformers. Still, with the decline of religious faith generally, Fitzgerald suggests that evangelical churches must embrace ethnic minorities if they are to survive.
April 12 @ 6:00 pm
Short, elegant, sexy, and provocative, Bethany Ball’s debut What to Do About the Solomons weaves contemporary Jewish history through a distinctly modern, propulsive, and savvy tale of family life.
Meet Marc Solomon, an Israeli ex-navy commando now living in L.A., who is falsely accused of money laundering through his asset management firm. As the Solomons’ Santa Monica home is raided, Marc’s American wife, Carolyn—concealing her own dark past—makes hopeless attempts to hold their family of five together. But news of the scandal makes its way from America to the rest of the Solomon clan on the kibbutz in the Jordan River Valley. There we encounter various members of the family and the community—from Marc’s self-absorbed movie actress sister, Shira, and her forgotten son, Joseph; to his rich and powerful construction magnate father, Yakov; to his former star-crossed love, Maya; and his brother-in-law, Guy Gever, a local ranger turned “artist.” As the secrets and rumors of the kibbutz are revealed through various memories and tales, we witness the things that keep the Solomons together and those that tear them apart.
April 13 @ 6:00 pm
Beatrix Ost’s memoir of her artistic awakening and early marriage opens on the heels of Germany’s recovery from the self-imposed disasters of World War II. She is part of the new generation that dances disobediently in the bombed-out villas and underground jazz caverns of Munich. Beatrix rides the dynamic decade up through the world of art, fashion, and cinema into the revolution of politics and consciousness.
Marriage to the self-made prodigy and archaeologist, Ferdinand, impresario of the Hot Club, draws her into the mystical realm of the ancient Mexican gods. Soon, two sons are born. They make an odyssey through Mexico where, under the wing of the artistic elite, their homes full of Riveras and Kahlos, the initial impression is intoxicating. But the further they press inland, the more Ferdinand loses himself in his obsession and addictions.
Ost draws us into the vortex of human craving to portray the complexities of her early marriage to a man scarred by the war, climbing the magical mountain of his own desires.
Style icon Beatrix Ost arrived in New York in 1975 and was swiftly discovered by the New York Times as one of the city’s most elegant fusions of art and fashion. She is featured in two volumes of the book Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen.
April 17 @ 6:00 pm
April 25 @ 6:00 pm
Great With Child tells the story of ambitious, driven Abigail Thomas. Up for partnership at a prestigious law firm, she is thrown by an accidental pregnancy that threatens to upend her life. Witty, warm, and wise, this novel confronts the true meanings of love, morality, and duty.
April 27 @ 6:00 pm
What will 21st-century fiction look like?
Acclaimed literary critic Adam Kirsch examines some of our most beloved writers, including Haruki Murakami, Elena Ferrante, Roberto Bolaño, and Margaret Atwood, to better understand literature in the age of globalization.
The global novel, he finds, is not so much a genre as a way of imagining the world, one that allows the novel to address both urgent contemporary concerns—climate change, genetic engineering, and immigration—along with timeless themes, such as morality, society, and human relationships. Whether its stories take place on the scale of the species or the small town, the global novel situates its characters against the widest background of the imagination. The way we live now demands nothing less than the global perspective our best novelists have to offer.
May 4 @ 6:00 pm
The Inevitable Witness is the first in a new series of legal thrillers that are smart, funny, and authentic by one of the most lionized defense attorneys in Los Angeles, Ed Rucker.
Meet defense attorney Bobby Earl, who bears a remarkable resemblance to the author, although Rucker claims that his main character is an amalgam of the characteristics of many defense lawyers he has known, who is thrust into a politically-charged, near indefensible murder case involving the most talented safe cracker in the business, Sydney Seabrooke. More than coincidence led this esteemed criminal craftsman, known in the trade as “The Professor,” to a Chinese restaurant that contained an impenetrable 1950s Schwab safe with a Sargent and Greenleaf combination lock. Seconds away from the last tumbler falling into place, Seabrooke is interrupted by gunshots. Officer Terrance Michael Horgan, who inexplicably had a key to the Looh Fung Restaurant and had an interest in the same safe, lay bleeding to death in the next room.
Earl realizes that his client is a criminal but not a killer, which takes him into a world of drug trafficking, corrupt cops, corrupt lawyers, corrupt politicians, and, in almost every case, judges with political ambitions. All the elements of the most high profile TV trials are present including a young, attractive prosecutor, an older greyed prosecutor with a closet full of the same grey suits, an annoying gaggle of media types led by an obnoxious TV personality nicknamed “The Thumb,” and a lowdown, dirty jailhouse snitch.
Ed Rucker has been a criminal defense lawyer his entire career. He has represented over 200 defendants, including John Orr, a Glendale Fire Department arson investigator who was reputed to be the greatest serial arsonist in American history, a trial memorialized in Fire Lover, by Joseph Wambaugh; Laurianne Sconce, the matriarch of the family-owned Lamb Funeral Home, who was charged with having secretly harvested body parts from the deceased over several years, a trial that was the subject of the book Ashes, by James Joseph; Eddie Nash, a prominent nightclub owner, who was charged in a death penalty case, and who was portrayed in the film, Boogie Nights; and William Harris, a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, who was involved in the kidnapping of Patty Hearst.
May 16 @ 6:00 pm
A historical novel with strong contemporary resonance, Hooper’s War is set in WWII Japan. Protagonist Lieutenant Nate Hooper is a composite of too many men and women who have experienced the horror of war; he isn’t sure he’ll survive, and if he does make it home, he isn’t sure he can survive the peace. He’s done a terrible thing, and struggles to resolve the mistake he made alongside a Japanese soldier, and a Japanese woman who failed to save both men. At stake? Their souls.
Van Buren writes about the experiences of those who have lived through wartimes with insight and empathy. He is a 24-year veteran of the State Department, and in researching this book came to know a number of veterans through an anonymous group and, under the same conditions, spoke more intimately with men and women he lived alongside during a year he was in Iraq as an embed which is chronicled in his first book We Meant Well. Fluent in Japanese, Van Buren also interviewed elderly Japanese citizens who lived through WWII as civilians. He found that a lot of their pain festers not just out of what they saw and did, but the realization that what they saw and did really didn’t matter in the bigger picture. It should’ve had a justification. Some explained they came to think of moral injury like taking apart a jigsaw puzzle. They thought and thought and while they couldn’t say exactly when, at some point they couldn’t see the whole picture anymore.
May 23 @ 6:00 pm
After John F. Kennedy’s speech in front of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth on November 22, 1963, he was greeted by, among others, an 11-year-old Benjamin Taylor and his mother waiting to shake his hand. Only a few hours later, Taylor’s teacher called the class in from recess and, through tears, told them of the president’s assassination. From there Taylor traces a path through the next twelve months, recalling the tumult as he saw everything he had once considered stable begin to grow more complex. Looking back on the love and tension within his family, the childhood friendships that lasted and those that didn’t, his memories of summer camp and family trips, he reflects upon the outsized impact our larger American story had on his own.