2017 Books & Authors Festival
The Falmouth Public Library and Eight Cousins Bookstore are proud to present the second annual Books & Authors Festival. The Festival will be held between July 13 – August 29. Celebrate the wonderful community of local authors on the Cape, meet bestselling authors, including Anita Diamant, and hear from recognized debut author Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, plus many more.
All of our events are free and made possible by the Board of Trustees at the Falmouth Public Library. In addition, all events will be held in the Hermann Foundation Meeting Room at the Main Library. Copies of the authors’ books will be available for purchase and signings will follow.
No registration is required. Doors will open 15 minutes prior to start time.
Books & Authors Newsletter
More events may be added for August 2017. To receive Books & Authors event reminders, consider signing up for our e-newsletter to get the latest on our festival lineup. Click here to sign up.
2017 Event Schedule
Thursday, July 13, 2017 | 5:00pm
The Outer Cape with Patrick Dacey
Reading & Signing
Robert and Irene Kelly were a golden couple of the late ‘70s—she an artist, he a businessman, each possessed by dynamism and vibrancy. But with two young boys to care for, Irene finds herself confined by the very things she’d dreamed of having. And Robert, pressured by Irene’s demands and haunted by the possibility of failure, risks the family business to pursue a fail-safe real estate opportunity.
Twenty years later, their now-grown sons, Nathan and Andrew, are drawn back to confront a fateful diagnosis. As they revisit the Cape Cod of their childhood, the ghosts of the past threaten to upend the tenuous peace of the present.
In The Outer Cape, Patrick Dacey delivers a story of four people grappling with the shadow of infinite possibility, a book in which chasing the American dream and struggling to survive are one and the same.
Saturday, July 15, 2017 | 11:00 am
Fiction Writer’s Panel with Ellen Herrick (The Forbidden Garden) & Anne LeClair (The Halo Effect), Kathy Aspden, (Baklava, Biscotti and an Irishman), & Holly Hodder Eger (Split Rock)
Reading & Signing
The Kirkland Hall estate in England is a vast property (a mini Downton Abbey) with one black mark upon its grounds. The Shakespeare garden is cursed, and any family member who tries to improve its bleak state is harmed in some way. The lord of the estate, Graham Kirkland, hears of Sorrel’s magic-touch gardening skills and lures her from her New England home to restore the garden. Since she is no relation to the family, he assumes she will not be affected by the curse. But -Graham’s brother-in-law, the broody Andrew, is thrown into the mix. He’s at a turning point in his life and is staying at Kirkland Hall to evaluate his future options. As Sorrel works wonders in the garden, the tender bud of a romance begins. As the curse is researched, secrets of the family’s past emerge.
In this tour de force, a father, shaken by tragedy, tries to avenge his daughter’s murder–and restore his family’s shattered life. It was supposed to be a typical October evening for renowned portrait artist Will Light. Over dinner of lamb tagine, his wife, Sophie, would share news about chorus rehearsals for the upcoming holiday concert, and their teenage daughter, Lucy, would chatter about French club and field hockey. Only Lucy never came home. Her body was found, days later, in the woods. With shocking events that reverberate for a lifetime, all are drawn closer to unraveling the mystery as their paths collide in a series of inextricably linked, dark, dangerous moments that could lead to their undoing…or to their redemption.
Artfully weaving together three lives, three coasts and three generations, Kathy Aspden’s breathtaking debut, Baklava, Biscotti, and an Irishman is a dazzling pastiche of love, deception, acceptance and forgiveness. When the choices that Teressa, Danny and Gregory make intersect with circumstances out of their control, they must straddle the fine line between what is right and what is unimaginable to live without – each asking What would I do for the sake of a child? It is a deeply moving story about the dynamics of love and loss, and what it takes to survive both.
After inheriting a house on Martha’s Vineyard and finding herself alone there with three young children, Annie Tucker must confront her past when an unresolved love tests whether she has the courage to resist the pull of seduction and reclaim her true self. Both poignant and funny, this story is about forgiveness, acceptance, and the power of love and family.
Monday, July 17, 2017 | 3:30pm
The Outer Beach: a thousand-mile walk on Cape Cod’s atlantic shore with Robert Finch
Interviewed by a special guest (to be announced)
Those who have encountered Cape Cod—or merely dipped into an account of its rich history—know that it is a singular place. Robert Finch writes of its beaches: “No other place I know sears the heart with such a constant juxtaposition of pleasure and pain, of beauty being born and destroyed in the same moment.” And nowhere within its borders is this truth more vivid and dramatic than along the forty miles of Atlantic coast—what Finch has always known as the Outer Beach. The essays here represent nearly fifty years and a cumulative thousand miles of walking along the storied edge of the Cape’s legendary arm.
Finch considers evidence of nature’s fury: shipwrecks, beached whales, towering natural edifices, ferocious seaside blizzards. Throughout these essays, Finch pays tribute to the Outer Beach’s impressive literary legacy, meditates on its often-tragic history, and explores the strange, mutable nature of time near the ocean. But lurking behind every experience and observation—both pivotal and quotidian—is the essential question that the beach beckons every one of its pilgrims to confront: How do we accept our brief existence here, caught between overwhelming beauty and merciless indifference?
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 | 6:30pm
In Conversation with B.A. Shapiro (The Muralist)
Interviewed by Mary Fran Buckley, Eight Cousins Bookstore
When Alizée Benoit, a young American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940, no one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her arts patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends and fellow WPA painters, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who, while working at Christie’s auction house, uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind works by those now famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt?
In the podunk town of Hawthorne, North Carolina, seventeen-year-old geeks Lula and Rory share everything–sci-fi and fantasy fandom, Friday night binge-watching of old X-Files episodes, and that feeling that they don’t quite fit in. Lula knows she and Rory have no secrets from each other; after all, he came out to her years ago, and she’s shared with him her “sacred texts”–the acting books her mother left behind after she walked out of Lula’s life. But then Lula discovers that Rory–her Rory, who maybe she’s secretly had feelings for–has not only tried out for the Hawthorne football team without telling her, but has also been having an affair with his middle-aged divorcee boss. With their friendship disrupted, Lula begins to question her identity and her own sexual orientation, and she runs away in the middle of the night on a journey to find her mother, who she hopes will have all the answers.
Can the right kind of boy get away with killing the wrong kind of girl? Fin and Betty’s close friendship survived Fin’s ninth-grade move from their coastal Maine town to Manhattan. Calls, letters, and summer visits continued to bind them together, and in the fall of their senior year, they both applied to NYU, planning to reunite for good as roommates. Then Betty disappears. Her ex-boyfriend Calder admits to drowning her, but his confession is thrown out, and soon the entire town believes he was coerced and Betty has simply run away. Fin knows the truth, and she returns to Williston for one final summer, determined to get justice for her friend, even if it means putting her loved ones-and herself-at risk.
Saturday, July 22, 2017 | 6:00pm
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (The Fact of a Body: A Murder & A Memoir) in conversation with Leah Carroll (Down City: a Daughter’s Story of Love, Memory, and Murder )
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley’s face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes — the moment she hears him speak of his crimes — she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case. Despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar. Crime, even the darkest and most unsayable acts, can happen to any one of us. As Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder, she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky’s childhood.
Like James Ellroy’s, My Dark Places, Down City is a gripping narrative built of memory and reportage, and Leah Carroll’s portrait of Rhode Island is sure to take a place next Mary Karr’s portrayal of her childhood in East Texas and David Simon’s gritty Baltimore. Leah Carroll’s mother, a gifted amateur photographer, was murdered by two drug dealers with Mafia connections when Leah was four years old. Her father, a charming alcoholic who hurtled between depression and mania, was dead by the time she was eighteen. Why did her mother have to die? Why did the man who killed her receive such a light sentence? What darkness did Leah inherit from her parents? Leah was left to put together her own future and, now in her memoir, she explores the mystery of her parents’ lives, through interviews, photos, and police records.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017 | 6:30pm
Stealing Rembrandts: the untold stories of notorious art heists with Anthony Amore
Presentation by the author
Art theft is one of the most profitable criminal enterprises in the world, exceeding $6 billion dollars in losses to galleries and art collectors annually. In Stealing Rembrandts, authors Anthony M. Amore and Tom Mashberg reveal the actors behind the major art heists of the Dutch Master in the last century. Through thefts around the world–from Stockholm to Boston, Worcester to Ohio–the authors track daring entries into and escapes from the world’s most renowned museums, and robbers who coolly walk off with multimillion dollar paintings. Stealing Rembrandts is a dramatic and brilliant account that lets you peek into the alluring and little-known criminal art world.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017 | 6:30pm
In Conversation with Anita Diamant (The Boston Girl)
Interviewed by Mary Fran Buckley, Eight Cousins Bookstore
Anita Diamant is the author of twelve books.
Her first novel, New York Times bestseller, The Red Tent, has been published in more than 25 countries. Winner of the 2001 Booksense Book of the Year Award, it was adapted into a two-part miniseries by Lifetime TV.
Anita Diamant’s other bestselling novels include Good Harbor, The Last Days of Dogtown, Day after Night, and The Boston Girl.
Diamant has also written six non-fiction guides to contemporary Jewish life, the first of which, The New Jewish Wedding, has recently been revised and updated as The Jewish Wedding Now. Her other guidebooks include The Jewish Baby Book, Living a Jewish Life, Choosing a Jewish Life, How to Raise a Jewish Child and Saying Kaddish. A collection of her essays, Pitching My Tent, is drawn from twenty years worth of newspaper and magazine columns. An award-winning journalist, her articles have appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine, Real Simple, Parenting Magazine, Hadassah, Reform Judaism, Boston Magazine and Yankee Magazine.
Anita Diamant is the founding president of Mayyim Hayyim: Living Waters Community Mikveh, a 21st century reinvention of the ritual bath as a place for exploring ancient traditions and enriching contemporary Jewish life.
Anita Diamant grew up in Newark, New Jersey and Denver, Colorado. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in comparative literature and holds a Master’s degree in English from Binghamton University. She resides in the Boston area with her husband, Jim Ball.
Saturday, July 29, 2017 | 3:30pm
Cape Cod and the Islands: where beauty and history meet with Kathryn Kleekamp
Presentation by the author
Cape Cod and its neighboring islands, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, possess extraordinary beauty. Magnificent ocean vistas, spectacular sand dunes, quiet marshes, and historic seaside villages bring people back year after year. Featuring more than 50 of Kathryn Kleekamp’s original oil paintings depicting land and seascapes along with rare historic photographs, this edition includes more than 20 new images and a chapter on current conservation efforts directed at preserving the area’s natural resources. Images and text capture the fundamental nature of this remarkable place: the heartbeat of those who farmed the land, fished the seas, captained the great schooners, or waited at home for a loved one’s return. For the inquiring visitor these remarkable stories of courage and enterprise provide background for thoughtful reflection. Traditional Cape and Island recipes are included as another link to the past.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 | 6:00pm
Eden with Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg
Reading & Signing
Becca Meister Fitzpatrick – wife, mother, grandmother, and pillar of the community – is the dutiful steward of her family’s iconic summer tradition. That is until she discovers her recently deceased husband squandered their nest egg. As she struggles to accept that this is likely her last season in Long Harbor, Becca is inspired by her granddaughter’s boldness in the face of impending single-motherhood and summons the courage to reveal a secret she was forced to bury long ago: She has a daughter she gave up fifty years ago. The question now is how her other daughter, Rachel with whom Becca has always had a strained relationship, will react. Eden is the account of the days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, as Becca prepares to disclose her secret and her son and brothers conspire to put the estate on the market, interwoven with the century-old history of Becca’s family – her parents beginnings and ascent into affluence, and her mother’s own secret struggles in the grand home her father named Eden.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 | 6:00pm
Sears Point: a novel of Cape Cod with Jim Coogan
Reading & Signing
Set in Brewster on Cape Cod, the story features the life and challenges of Washington Foster Sears. Born in the early years of the 20th century, Washy Sears lives a century in the town of his birth and experiences the transition of his community from the traditional rural village life so well portrayed in the novels of Joseph Crosby Lincoln to the realities and demands of today’s world. Author Jim Coogan has created a series of interesting characters who share Washy’s life’s journey though such events as the days of Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War II and beyond into the post-war years where rapid growth changed not only the economy of Cape Cod, but also the political and social norms of the peninsula. More than just a history of a single town, Washy Sears’ life can be viewed as a mirror as to what happened not only to Brewster, but to all of Cape Cod over the last century.