May 4, 2017 @ 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, 2017 @ 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 18, 2017 @ 5:30 pm
Please join us to celebrate the launch of Grace Hopper with author Laurie Wallmark and illustrator Katy Wu
“If you’ve got a good idea, and you know it’s going to work, go ahead and do it.”
The inspiring story of Grace Hopper—the boundary-breaking woman who revolutionized computer science—is told told in an engaging picture book biography.
Who was Grace Hopper? A software tester, workplace jester, cherished mentor, ace inventor, avid reader, naval leader—AND rule breaker, chance taker, and troublemaker. Acclaimed picture book author Laurie Wallmark (Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine) once again tells the riveting story of a trailblazing woman. Grace Hopper coined the term “computer bug” and taught computers to “speak English.” Throughout her life, Hopper succeeded in doing what no one had ever done before. Delighting in difficult ideas and in defying expectations, the insatiably curious Hopper truly was “Amazing Grace” . . . and a role model for science- and math-minded girls and boys. With a wealth of witty quotes, and richly detailed illustrations, this book brings Hopper’s incredible accomplishments to life.
May 23, 2017 @ 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.
July 20, 2017 @ 5:30 pm
As a boy, José Martí was inspired by the natural world. He found freedom in the river that rushed to the sea and peace in the palmas reales that swayed in the wind. Freedom, he believed, was the inherent right of all men and women. But his home island of Cuba was colonized by Spain, and some of the people were enslaved by rich landowners. Enraged, Martí took up his pen and fought against this oppression through his writings. By age seventeen, he was declared an enemy of Spain and forced to leave his beloved island.
Martí traveled the world, speaking out for Cuba’s independence. But throughout his exile, he suffered from illness and homesickness. He found solace in New York’s Catskill Mountains, where nature inspired him once again to fight for independence.
Written in verse, with excerpts from Martí’s seminal Versos sencillos, this book is a beautiful tribute to a brilliant political writer and courageous fighter of freedom for all men and women.
August 29, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
“How do you help someone with a problem?” I ask. “A problem they don’t think they have.”
Kat Greene lives in New York City and attends fifth grade in the very progressive Village Humanity School. At the moment she has three major problems—dealing with her boy-crazy best friend, partnering with the overzealous Sam in the class production of Harriet the Spy, and coping with her mother’s preoccupation with cleanliness, a symptom of her worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Melissa is a former advice columnist for Just Seventeen magazine in London, where she answered hundreds of letters from readers each week. (Her column was called “Life Sucks,” but it was Melissa’s job to insist it didn’t.) Kat Greene Comes Clean is her debut novel. Melissa lives in New York City.
August 30, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
My World In Fifty Words is written with the hope that it takes you for a ride around the world as seen through my eyes, where you get to enjoy the multicultural immersions that come with it. It chronicles a personal journey from childhood to today, and serves as a canvas to express my thoughts, emotions and observations.
Govind is a sophomore at Trinity School in New York. He is also the founder of a non-profit organization: Youth Against Sexual Assault (YASA) . Govind has attended Oxford and Cambridge Universities in the summers of 2014 and 2015 studying Economics and Computer Science. He is deeply interested in studying the classics and is focused on Latin and Sanskrit. Govind is learning classical Indian Carnatic music and Shaolin Kung Fu. He is also a contributing writer to Opus Media, one of UK’s leading publishing and media companies. In his spare time, he writes spiritual poetry and works on Carnatic/jazz fusion music.
September 11, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
The Suffragents is the untold story of how some of New York’s most powerful men formed the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage, which grew between 1909 and 1917 from 150 founding members into a force of thousands across thirty-five states. Brooke Kroeger explores the formation of the League and the men who instigated it to involve themselves with the suffrage campaign, what they did at the behest of the movement’s female leadership, and why. She details the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s strategic decision to accept their organized help and then to deploy these influential new allies as suffrage foot soldiers, a role they accepted with uncommon grace. Led by such luminaries as Oswald Garrison Villard, John Dewey, Max Eastman, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and George Foster Peabody, members of the League worked the streets, the stage, the press, and the legislative and executive branches of government. In the process, they helped convince waffling politicians, a dismissive public, and a largely hostile press to support the women’s demand. Together, they swayed the course of history.
September 12, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
I viewed the consumptive nature of love as a threat to serious women. But the wonderful man I just married believes as I do—work is paramount, absolutely no children—and now love seems to me quite marvelous.
These words are spoken to a rapturous audience by Joan Ashby, a brilliant and intense literary sensation acclaimed for her explosively dark and singular stories.
When Joan finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is stunned by Martin’s delight, his instant betrayal of their pact. She makes a fateful, selfless decision then, to embrace her unintentional family. Challenged by raising two precocious sons, it is decades before she finally completes her masterpiece novel. Poised to reclaim the spotlight, to resume the intended life she gave up for love, a betrayal of Shakespearean proportion forces her to question every choice she has made.
Epic, propulsive, incredibly ambitious, and dazzlingly written, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is a story about sacrifice and motherhood, the burdens of expectation and genius. Cherise Wolas’s gorgeous debut introduces an indelible heroine candid about her struggles and unapologetic in her ambition.
September 14, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
Lily Tuck’s critically lauded, bestselling I Married You for Happiness was hailed by the Boston Globe as “an artfully crafted still life of one couple’s marriage.” In her singular new novel Sisters, Tuck gives a very different portrait of marital life, exposing the intricacies and scandals of a new marriage sprung from betrayal. Tuck’s unnamed narrator lives with her new husband, his two teenagers, and the unbanishable presence of his first wife—known only as she. Obsessed with her, our narrator moves through her days presided over by the all-too-real ghost of the first marriage, fantasizing about how the first wife lives her life. Will the narrator ever equal she intellectually, or ever forget the betrayal that lies between them? And what of the secrets between her husband and she, from which the narrator is excluded? The daring and precise buildup to an eerily wonderful conclusion is a triumph of subtlety and surprise.
Lily Tuck will be in conversation with her editor, Elisabeth Schmitz