Book Festival Features Big News

Book Festival Features Big News

The 24th Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center opens and closes with a prominent network news anchor and includes more than 40 authors over 2½ weeks.

Tickets are on sale now through and 678-812-4005.

The festival runs from Nov. 5, when longtime NBC newsman David Gregory talks about his memoir of faith, “An Unlikely Spiritual Journey,” until Nov. 22, when ABC “Nightline” veteran Ted Koppel discusses his investigative work “Lights Out: A Cyberattack, a Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath.”Book Festival Features Big News 1

Like most of the festival, both of those events are at the Marcus JCC, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Each is $18 for Marcus JCC members and $24 for nonmembers.

The most expensive tickets for the festival — $26 for members, $31 for nonmembers — are Saturday night appearance by Judy Blume on Nov. 7 and Mitch Album on Nov. 14, but tickets to those events include first-edition copies of their new novels.

Some of the festival events are free, including:

  • A conversation at The Temple on Nov. 9 between Ambassador Dennis Ross and Emory professor Ken Stein about Ross’ new book on the Middle East, “Doomed to Succeed.”
  • A Kristallnacht commemoration speech by Dr. Ruth Westheimer at the Besser Holocaust Memorial Garden on Nov. 10.
  • A program Nov. 19 with two authors of history books, Harry Lembeck of “Taking on Theodore Roosevelt” and Robert Weintraub of “No Better Friend.”
  • Appearances by local authors Mike Wien (“The Specific Edge”) on Nov. 8, Chana Shapiro and Meta Miller (“Fruitfly Rabbi”) on Nov. 12, and Josh Levs (“All In”) on Nov. 22.

Other headliners at the festival include Arlene Alda with her husband, actor Alan Alda, a former festival headliner himself, talking about her “Just Kids From the Bronx” on Nov. 15; Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz on Nov. 21 (your $24 or $29 ticket includes his latest book on Abraham); and Faye and Jonathan Kellerman and their son, Jesse, presenting Faye’s “The Theory of Death” and Jonathan and Jesse’s “The Golem of Paris” on Nov. 12.

The Esther G. Levine community read this year is Westheimer’s “The Doctor Is In: Dr. Ruth on Love, Life, and Joie de Vivre.”

The prologue to the festival could be the most interesting night of all: Knesset member and historian Michael Oren speaks at Atlanta Jewish Academy on Oct. 7 about “Ally,” his headline-making memoir about his time as Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013. Tickets to Oren’s talk are $18 for JCC members and $24 for nonmembers.

The festival for the second year is supporting the Atlanta Jewish Coalition for Literacy with the book donation program Project GIVE. Starting Oct. 1, bins will be available at the JCC’s front desk to accept donations of new or gently used secular books for use in tutoring kindergartners through third-graders in public schools. The children get to keep the books.

Last year Project GIVE collected more than 2,000 books.

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