The Literary Feast, Broward County’s most prestigious book event, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year with a jam-packed weekend May 4 and 5.
Sponsored by the Broward County Library Foundation, the Literary Feast has connected South Floridians with more than 500 authors through the years and has raised $4 million for literacy programs and services.
The Literary Feast begins May 4 with several authors visiting Broward high schools to discuss writing with area students. LitLIVE! features authors participating in a series of free panels from 6 to 8 p.m. May 4 at three Barnes & Noble stores, where they will discuss their work, answer audience questions and sign books. A portion of all purchases in the store that night will be donated to the Library Foundation. Books must be purchased in the store for signing. The panels are free but ticketing is required.
“Fiction in Fort Lauderdale” (Barnes & Noble, 2051 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, 954-561-3732) will feature David Bianculli (“The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific”), Sloane Crosley (“Look Alive Out There”), Elin Hilderbrand (“Winter Solstice”), Uzodinma Iweala (“Speak No Evil”) and Brendan Mathews (“The World of Tomorrow”).
“The Mystery Panel in Plantation” (Barnes & Noble, 591 S. University Drive, Plantation, 954-723-0489) includes A.J. Finn (“The Woman in the Window”), Mark Greaney (“Agent in Place”), Carl Hoffman (“The Last Wild Men of Borneo: A True Story of Death and Treasure”), Leah Stewart (“What You Don’t Know about Charlie Outlaw”) and Christopher Yates (“Grist Mill Road”).
“The Panel in the Pines” (Barnes & Noble, 11820 Pines Blvd. (Pembroke Crossings), Pembroke Pines, 954-441-0444) includes Vin Baker (“God and Starbucks: An NBA Star Loses Everything, Starts Over, and Achieves Success”), Amy Dickinson (“Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Coming Home”), Meryl Gordon (“Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend”), Rachel Herz (“Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science behind Our Relationship with Food”) and Liza Mundy (“Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II”).
A Night of Literary Feasts begins at 6 p.m. May 5, with a reception featuring all the authors at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six in Fort Lauderdale, to be followed by dinners with authors in private homes and upscale restaurants. Tickets are $175 and are available on the foundation’s website, bplfoundation.org, or call 954-357-7382.
Book fest: Watson, De Laurentiis, Albright
Robert P. Watson, author of more than three dozen nonfiction books, revels in discovering little known facts about American history. His book “The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: An Untold Story of the American Revolution” examines the HMS Jersey, on which thousands of Americans, either captured by the British or accused of disloyalty, were crammed just off the coast of Brooklyn. The disease-ridden prisoners were forced to live below deck without light or fresh air, scarcely given food and water. It has been estimated that more Americans died on the ship than on all the war’s battlefields. Watson will discuss “The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn” as part of the Diane & Barry Wilen Jewish Book Festival beginning at 7:30 p.m. April 2 at the Orlove Auditorium, David Posnack Jewish Community Center, 5850 S. Pine Island Road, Davie. Cost is $10 for members, $12 for nonmembers.
Giada De Laurentiis is a fan favorite on the Food Network, where the celebrity chef shows off her skills at Italian cooking and often serves as a judge on the network’s shows. She’s the author of several cookbooks, including “Giada’s Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita.” So “Spend an Hour with Celebrity Chef Giada De Laurentiis” sounds like a delicious event. De Laurentiis will be interviewed by Lee Brian Schrager, founder and director South Beach Wine and Food Festival, at 1 p.m. April 5 in the Orlove Auditorium. Cost is $36 per person, which includes one ticket and a signed book; $72 per person includes a meet-and-greet from noon to 1 p.m., a reserved seat and two signed books. Food samples will not be served at this event. A kosher for Passover “grab and go lunch” will be available for purchase separately.
Madeleine Albright made history when she was named the country’s first female secretary of state, a position she held through 2001. She received in 2012 the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Albright discusses her newest book, “Fascism: A Warning,” an examination of Fascism in the 20h century and how its legacy shapes today's world, at 1:30 p.m. April 13 in the Orlove Auditorium. Cost is $36 per person, or $54 per couple, and includes one book, the program and a chance to have book signed; $72 per person includes a meet-and-greet from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., one reserved seat, one book and a photo opportunity. No cameras or photos permitted during the regular book signing.
For information on either these events, call 954-434-0499, ext. 336, or visit jccbooks.com.
Palm Beach author series finale
Writers LIVE! concludes its 10th anniversary as the flagship author series sponsored by the Friends of the Palm Beach County Library System. Admission is free to all events, but reservations are required as the venues quickly fill. Information on the series is at pbclibrary.org/writers-live-2018. Events this month are:
April 7: SJ Sindu, who teaches creative writing at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, discusses her debut “Marriage of a Thousand Lies,” an exploration of race, sexuality and nationality that has been getting excellent reviews, at 2 p.m. at the Palm Beach Gardens Library, 11303 Campus Drive.
April 12: Stuart Woods returns with his latest Stone Barrington novel, “Shoot First,” at 2 p.m. at the Hagen Ranch Road Branch, 14350 Hagen Ranch Road, Delray Beach.
April 13: M. Evelina Galang has been researching the surviving Filipino “comfort women” since 1999. Her fourth book, “Lolas’ House: Filipino Women Living With War,” tells the stories of 16 survivors kidnapped by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II and their demand for recognition and justice from the Japanese government. Galang discusses her book and research at 2 p.m. at the Lantana Road Branch, Lantana Road Branch Library, 4020 Lantana Road, Lake Worth, 561-304-4500.
April 17: Best-selling author Carol Goodman discusses her latest thriller “The Other Mother” at 2 p.m. at the West Boynton Branch Library, 9451 Jog Road.
April 18: Peter Blauner has written for several television shows, including “Law & Order: SVU” and “Blue Bloods,” while finding time to write seven thrillers. He will discuss his latest, “Proving Ground,” which Stephen King said was a “must read” at 6:30 p.m. at the West Boca Branch Library, 18685 State Road 7, Boca Raton, 561-470-1600.
Children’s literature and picture books
“Celebrating the Art of the Picture Book” is the theme of the 31st Annual Conference on Children's Literature and 16th Annual Ashley Bryan Art Series from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 28 at the Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. The annual free conference is designed for parents, educators, librarians, storytellers, authors and illustrators looking for new ways to promote children's literature.
The conference will feature illustrator Javaka Steptoe (“Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat;” “In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers”); author Megan Dowd Lambert (“A Crow of His Own,” Real Sisters Pretend”); a visual literacy scavenger hunt; S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) stations and more. The conference’s morning session is open to educators, librarians and parents. The afternoon session offers a variety of family-friendly activities for educators, librarians, parents and children including a workshop/art demonstration by Steptoe, a demonstration of Lambert’s “Whole Book Approach to Storytime” method.
An evening with James Comey
An evening with former FBI director James Comey is sure to be an interesting event, even if all he does is talk about his book “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.” Comey discuss his book at 7:30 p.m. May 2 in the John S. and James L. Knight Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. Miami. Tickets are available through arshtcenter.org. Cost is $45, which includes a copy of Comey’s book. Tickets are going quickly, but a few remain.
Weston author’s new YA novel
Ellen Wolfson Valladares of Weston delves into the young adult genre with “Crossing the Line,” a supernatural tale about the connection between a teenage ghost from the 1980s and a current-day high school girl. In “Crossing the Line,” Laura, who died 30 years ago, enlists tenacious high school reporter Rebecca to reveal the truth about Laura’s tragic death. Valladares will discuss her book from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 15, at Zen Mystery, 56 N. Federal Highway, Dania Beach. Light refreshments, book giveaways and free mini angel card readings will be featured during the free event. For more information or to register for the free event, email email@example.com or visit ellenvalladares.com. Valladares’ first book, the children’s novel “Jonathan's Journey to Mount Miapu,” received a Mom’s Choice Gold Award and the 2009 Coalition of Visionary Resources Visionary Awards Book of the Year award.
Poet Cunningham at FAU
Poet and essayist P. Scott Cunningham will give a free reading of his collection “Ya Te Veo” at 7 p.m. at Florida Atlantic University’s Theatre Lab, in Parliament Hall, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton. Cunningham, originally from Boca, is the founder and director of O, Miami, a nonprofit organization that celebrates Miami through poetry. He was named one of “20 Under 40 Emerging South Florida Leaders.” Cunningham’s visit is part of FAU’s “Off the Page” series. For more information, call 561-297-2974.
Inside the Bonnet House
Bonnet House is one of Fort Lauderdale’s gems. Larry Singer’s book “The Bonnet House” features the fine art nature photography he has produced around the grounds of the Bonnet House Museum and Garden. Singer will discuss his book and the historical house at 2 p.m. April 14 on the sixth floor of the Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-357-7443 or visit broward.org/library for free reservations.
Most interesting Floridians
Award-winning author Jeff Klinkenberg will reveal “The Most Interesting Floridians I Have Known” at 11 a.m. April 28 at the Deerfield Beach Percy White Branch, 837 E. Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach, 954-357-7680. Among the people Klinkenberg will discuss are Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Dessie Prescott Smith, who taught Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings how to hunt and fish, and the north woods hermit Nathan Martin, who almost never wears shoes in the 21st century.
Romance, mystery writers meet
Author John Dufresne will discuss “flash fiction,” the trendy term for very short fiction, and how to refine and layer these stories at 10 a.m. to noon April 14 as part of the Florida Romance Writers meeting at Tigertail Lake Recreational Center, 580 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach. Cost is $10 for members; $15 for nonmembers, email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Dufresne is the author of six novels, two short story collections and three books on writing including “Flash!”
Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow discusses “The Challenges of Being a Police Chief in a Thriving South Florida Town” during the meeting of the Mystery Writers of America, Florida chapter, at 11:30 a.m. April 21 at Embassy Suites, 661 NW 53rd St., Boca Raton. Cost is $25 for members; $30 for nonmembers. For reservations, visit mwaflorida.org or email Harriet at email@example.com.
Ethics of book reviewing
A discussion on the ethics of book reviewing will be the meeting of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) at 6:30 p.m. April 11 at the Delray Beach Public Library, 100 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. Free for members, $10 for nonmebers. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 561-266-0194.
Novel tackles online harassment
Social media, online sexual harassment and teenagers oversharing their lives are the foundation of the novel “Somebody’s Daughter” by Miami Beach resident Rochelle Weinstein. She will discuss her novel at 6:30 p.m. April 18 at Books & Books, Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour, 305-864-4241, and at 6:30 p.m. May 3 at Temple Sinai of North Dade, Kemelhor Chapel, 18801 NE 22nd Ave., North Miami Beach, 305-932-9010. For more information, visit rochelleweinstein.com.
Deadline for the May column is April 20.