20th Annual MJCCA Book Festival Kicks Off Saturday

Line-up includes Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling authors; rising literary voices; television and film stars; humorists; athletes; journalists; historians; novelists; and scholars

Twenty years of the MJCCA Book Festival means a lineup full of big names, including a U.S. Senator, nationally known morning talk show host, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, an Academy Award-winning actress and two mainstays in television news.

The 20th Edition of The Book Festival of the MJCCA kicks off Saturday to Nov. 20 (with one prologue event later this month), and will open with a national morning television star, just days after his retirement.

Headlining the last day of the event will be talk show host Regis Philbin. Philbin will appear just two days after he steps down from his 28-year stint on Live!, which he currently co-hosts with Kelly Ripa.

Among other famous names headlining the event are  former vice-presidential candidate and current Connecticut U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman; political commentator and host of MSNBC’s Hardball Chris Matthews; former Major League Baseball star and record holder Shawn Green; and Academy Award-winning actress Dyan Cannon.

Pulitzer Prize-winning .

More than 40 authors will make appearances in programs, books signings, panel discussions and other events.

“For two weeks each year, we are proud to bring our community authors from around the world who are also celebrities, public figures, and pop culture icons,” said Book Festival Co-Chair Ina Enoch, in a press release.

is expecting more than 10,000 visitors this year to the festival.

“During the Book Festival, our community comes together to explore, learn, and be uplifted together by these extraordinary authors,” said Book Festival Co-Chair Sheri Gumer. “People come to hear an author discuss his or her book, and can’t wait come back to another program, this time with friends or family. The Festival is such a wonderful, community-building event.”

Purchase Tickets/More Info: Click here, call the MJCCA Box Office at 678.812.4005, or visit on-line at www.atlantajcc.org.

The Book Festival schedule: 

The Line-Up for the Book Festival

Saturday, Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $16 / Member: $11) 

-- A Night of Improv

Join Dad’s Garage and the MJCCA for a hilarious night of improv looking back on 20 years of Book Festivals.


Saturday, Nov. 5, 9 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $16 / Member: $11)

-- Meir Shalev, My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner: A Family Memoir

Come to our Israeli coffeehouse while you listen to one of Israel’s most celebrated novelists, Meir Shalev discuss his hilarious book, a lighthearted tale of family ties.


Sunday, Nov. 6, 10:15 a.m.-- (Non-Member: $13 / Member: $8)

-- Sam Wasson, Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.

A behind the scenes look at the classic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Wasson reveals little-known facts about Truman Capote, Henry Mancini, and, of course, the iconic Audrey Hepburn.


Sunday, Nov. 6, 12:30 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $13 / Member: $8)

-- Charles Fishman, The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water

A mind-changing narrative about how water runs our world in a host of awe-inspiring ways, yet we take it completely for granted.  With a chapter dedicated to Georgia’s current water situation, Fishman asserts that all of our water problems are solvable, and describes a range of promising solutions. 


Sunday, Nov. 6, 2:15 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $13 / Member: $8)

** One event features both Ted Gup & David Levinson

-- Ted Gup, A Secret Gift

In Depression-scarred Canton, Ohio, a small newspaper ad offered anonymous $10 gifts, no strings attached, to 75 families in distress. Ted Gup, grandson of the mysterious benefactor, uncovers the impact that these gifts had on each family.

-- David Levinson, Everyone Helps, Everyone Wins

Once a “reluctant volunteer”- David Levinson is now director of the largest regional volunteer network, Big Sunday, with an army of fifty thousand volunteers across California. Levinson offers advice on how and why we can help.


Sunday, Nov. 6, 4 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $13 / Member: $8)

-- Lucette Lagnado, The Arrogant Years: One Girl’s Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn

Lagnado, author of The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit focuses her new book on her early years, her mother, and her struggles with cancer.


Sunday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m.

(Ticket: Non-Member $16, Member $11 / Ticket + Dinner: Non-Member $28, Member $23)

** Enjoy a delicious Chinese buffet, and listen to authors Michael Levy and Alan Paul.

-- Michael Levy, Kosher Chinese: Living, Teaching and Eating with China’s Other Billion

In September of 2005, the Peace Corps sent Michael Levy to teach English in China. Levy’s unique experience makes for both a hilarious memoir of being a fish out of water and a fascinating account of the often overlooked interior of China.

-- Alan Paul, Big in China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising a Family, Playing the Blues, and Becoming a Star in Beijing Based on his award-winning Wall Street Journal Online column, "The Expat Life," Big in China explores Alan Paul's unlikely moving to China with his family and becoming a musical sensation.


Monday, Nov. 7, Noon -- (Non-Member: $13 / Member: $8)

** One event features both Mary Glickman & Amy Waldman

-- Mary Glickman, Home in the Morning

In this stunning literary debut, Mary Glickman tells Jackson Sassaport’s story, a nice Jewish boy from Mississippi who struggles to forge an identity and find love during the early years of the civil rights movement.

-- Amy Waldman, The Submission

What if a Muslim architect had won the contest to design the World Trade Center memorial? That’s the question that drives Amy Waldman’s gripping, deeply intelligent novel, The Submission.


Monday, Nov. 7, 6:30 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $16 /Member: $11)

** Amy Ephron and Erica Jong - 2 For 1

-- Amy Ephron, Loose Diamonds…and other things I’ve lost (and found) along the way

With her wonderful sense of humor, Amy Ephron weaves together the most insightful and just plain funny stories of her life to form a tapestry of a woman’s experiences from childhood through marriage, divorce (and remarriage).


Monday, Nov. 7, 8 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $16 /Member: $11, with the Amy Ephron event)

-- Erica Jong, Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex

Author of Fear of Flying, Jong presents an anthology of candid essays giving surprising insight into how women of all ages feel about sex.


Tuesday, Nov. 8, 7:45 a.m.-- (Non-member/Member: $15 includes Continental Breakfast)

-- Steven Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

** Business Breakfast - At the Selig Center, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta

Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet. No other book has ever turned Google inside out as Levy does with In the Plex.


Tuesday, Nov. 8, 8 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $16 / Member: $11)

-- Jim Lehrer, Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain

From the man widely hailed as “the Dean of Moderators” comes a lively and revealing book that pulls back the curtain on more than forty years of televised political debate in America.


Wednesday, Nov. 9, 6:30 p.m.

A Kristallnacht Commemoration at the Besser Holocaust Memorial Garden

Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, was a pogrom (or series of attacks) against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on November 9–10, 1938.


Wednesday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $16 / Member: $11)

-- Gilad Sharon, Sharon: The Life of a Leader

Gilad Sharon, Prime Minister’s Sharon’s youngest son and close confidant, has combed through the private notes as well his father’s vast archive to offer a rare and compellingly look at one of the world’s most powerful and influential figures.


Thursday, Nov. 10, 10 a.m.-- (Free to the Community)

-- Rabbi Pamela Jay Gottfried, Found in Translation: Common Words of Uncommon Wisdom

Rabbi Pamela Jay Gottfried offers readers a fresh perspective about everyday experiences through inspirational essays, rich with Yiddish meaning and memory.


Thursday, Nov. 10, 11 a.m.-- (Free to the Community)

-- Lisa Baron, Life of the Party: A Political Press Tart Bares All

Life of the Party is a political memoir that takes readers deep into the wide world of politics – evangelical style. 


Thursday, Nov. 10, Noon -- (Non-Member: $13 / Member: $8)

-- Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos, A Dream Come True

The woman and first mayor behind the newly formed city of Sandy Springs, brings us a fascinating look at the major issues of both her life and life in America over the past 60 years.


Thursday, Nov. 10, 6:30 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $16 / Member: $11)

** 2 For 1 – Tom Fields-Meyer event, and Alex Berenson/Daniel Byman panel event

-- Tom Fields-Meyer, Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love From His Extraordinary Son

This intimate memoir chronicles Fields-Meyer’s experiences from the time his son, Ezra was diagnosed with autism to Ezra’s triumph of becoming a Bar Mitzvah.


Thursday, Nov. 10, 8 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $16 / Member: $11, with the Fields-Meyer event)

** Alex Berenson and Daniel Byman panel discussion

-- Alex Berenson, The Secret Soldier

Berenson, New York Times bestselling author, brings back his intriguing character, terrorist hunter John Wells for another post 9/11 thriller about a maverick intelligence operative.

-- Daniel Byman, A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism

Daniel Byman chronicles different periods of Israeli counterterrorism, and its history of both spectacular successes and deadly debacles.


Friday, Nov. 11, 10:45 a.m.-- (Free and Open to the Community)

-- Billy Light, Grandmas Never Leave Us

Shedding light on a difficult subject, Dunwoody Dad Billy Light presents a gentle way to talk to your children about loved ones passing on.


Saturday, Nov. 12, 8 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $22 / Member: $15)

-- Chris Matthews, Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero

Hardball Host Chris Matthews weaves firsthand encounters with JFK into a great American novel.


Sunday, Nov. 13, 10 a.m.-- (Free to the Community)

At Emory Hillel, Atlanta (735 Gatewood Road, Atlanta)

-- Rabbi Andrea Myers, The Choosing: A Rabbi's Journey from Silent Nights to High Holy Days

Meet Andrea Myers, whose coming-of-age at Brandeis, conversion to Judaism, and awakening sexual identity make for a rich and well-timed life in the rabbinate.


Sunday, Nov. 13, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. -- ($10 per child)

-- The PJ Library Storytelling Festival

An anticipated event bringing families together with magical storytellers for an interactive, educational event.


Sunday, Nov. 13, 2 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $13 / Member: $8)

** Green, Pribble, and Thorn will be speaking on a panel

-- Shawn Green, The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 mph

All-Star and Major League Baseball player Shawn Green shares the lessons baseball taught him about being present and attaining inner stillness.

-- Aaron Pribble, Pitching in the Homeland

It was the first (and last) season of professional baseball in Israel. Pribble tells the story of coming of age spiritually and athletically in one short season, in the throes of romance, Middle Eastern politics, and the dreams of America’s pastime.

-- John Thorn, Baseball in the Garden of Eden

John Thorn, major league’s baseball’s official historian, reveals the true, unknown and entertaining story of baseball’s origins.


Sunday, Nov. 13, 4:30 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $13 / Member: $8)

-- Judith Brin Ingber, Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance

Choreographer and dancer Judith Brin Ingber collects essays and photographs to explore the evolution of Jewish dance in this interactive dance program.


Sunday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $16 / Member: $11)

-- Senator Joe Lieberman, The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath

The MJCCA’s Esther G. Levine Community Read program

In this book, Senator Lieberman offers simple suggestions for introducing the Sabbath into your own life.


Monday, Nov. 14, Noon -- (Non-Member: $13 / Member: $8)

-- Myla Goldberg, The False Friend

Author of Bee Season, Goldberg’s new novel presents a deeply resonant and emotionally charged story about lies, truth, and consequences.


Monday, Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $16 / Member: $11) -- “BREW HA-HA”

-- (BREW) Jeremy Cowen, Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah

In this highly entertaining small business memoir, the founder of HE’BREW Beer ® shares his experience building a brand.

-- (HA-HA) David Javerbaum and God, The Last Testament: A Memoir

Bestselling author G-d will “telleth-all” for the first time, going behind-the-chapters of the Old Testament.


Tuesday, Nov. 15, 6:30 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $16 / Member: $11)

-- Deborah Lipstadt, The Eichmann Trial: A Chronicle of the Holocaust

Dr. Lipstadt offers a compelling reassessment of The Eichmann Trial.


Tuesday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m. – (Non-Member: $16 / Member: 11)

-- Charles Fox, Killing Me Softly: My Life in Music

Fox recounts his develop.m.ent as a musician and composer of the song Killing Me Softly, the theme from The Love Boat, and many more popular tunes, describing the cornerstone events of his musical and personal life.

Wednesday, Nov. 16, Noon -- (Non-Member: $13 / Member: $8)

** Greg Dawson and Alyson Richman panel discussion            

-- Greg Dawson, Hiding in the Spotlight: A Musical Prodigy’s Story of Survival

The story of Dawson’s mother who changed her identity and survived the Holocaust performing for the Nazis.

-- Alyson Richman, The Lost Wife

The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the strength of memory.


Wednesday, Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $13 / Member: $8)

-- Jane Gross, A Bittersweet Season: Caring for our Aging Parents – and Ourselves

** In-Conversation with CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen

New York Times journalist Jane Gross weaves the experience of a parent with health problems, with a resource for keeping your family strong.


Thursday, Nov. 17, 10:30 a.m.-- (Free to the Community)

-- Melissa Fay Greene, No Biking in the House without a Helmet

With four biological children and five adoptive ones, Greene captures her unique family's shared delight in one another's differences.


Thursday, Nov. 17, Noon -- (Non-Member: $13 / Member: $8)

-- Alice Hoffman, The Dovekeepers

An Oprah Book Club Author, Hoffman weaves a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold women, all keeping secrets about who they really are.


Saturday, Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $22 / Member: $15)

-- Dyan Cannon, Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant

With unparalleled honesty, award-winning film and television actress Dyan Cannon shares the heartwarming and heartbreaking story of her magical romance and stormy marriage to screen legend Cary Grant.


Sunday, Nov. 20, 10 a.m.– (Free to the Community)

At Congregation Etz Chaim, 1190 Indian Hills Parkway, Marietta

-- Leonard FelderHere I Am: Using Spiritual Wisdom to Become More Present, Centered, and Available for Life

In Here I Am, Dr. Felder’s expresses how much of his personal growth came from the world of Jewish spirituality.


Sunday, Nov. 20, 3 p.m. -- (Non-Member: $22 / Member: $15 / Premier Seating: $50)

-- Regis Philbin, How I Got This Way

As the iconic talk show host of one of television’s most enduring talk shows, Live! with Regis and Kelly, Regis Philbin will make his first appearance at the Book Festival of the MJCCA.


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