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Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Luncheon Series at Ravenna Third Place Books

We love our author events.  We love meeting new authors, introducing them to you, and giving everyone a chance for a great experience.  Recently we've introduced an exciting new luncheon series at our Ravenna location and have already welcomed such great authors as Jonathan Lethem, Ann Patchett, and Ishmael Beah.

For the price of the ticket, each attendee receives a copy of the author's book and a delicious lunch provided Vios, Cafe at Third Place.  The luncheon series takes place in the warm and inviting Third Place Pub.  The Pub provides a private, intimate setting for the authors to read, speak, and answer questions from a small audience limited to about 40 people.  It's a wonderful alternative to the larger format readings that many authors and readers are traditionally used to.  We've had a great response from those who have already participated.  It's been an exciting series for us, and we hope that you'll be equally pleased.

Up next, we welcome Nancy Horan, author of Loving Frank.  Nancy's new novel, Under the Wide and Starry Sky is already a hit with many of our booksellers.  Emily A. at Lake Forest Park has this to say about it:
Before I read this book, I didn't give a fig about Robert Louis Stevenson and had only read his poetry as a child. Now I want to read all of his books and journals! Nancy Horan (author of Loving Frank) brings the colorful Stevensons to life in this vibrant work of historical fiction, full of bold characters who buck the conventions of their time, following their hearts wherever they might lead. From France to California and from Scotland to the South Pacific, they are plagued by illness and must balance the demands and expectations of family with the need to make a living and an appetite for adventure.
Under the Wide and Starry Sky tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.

At the age of thirty-five, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium—with her three children and nanny in tow—to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires. Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent, and opinionated “belle Americaine.”

Fanny does not immediately take to the slender young lawyer who longs to devote his life to writing—and who would eventually pen such classics as Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In time, though, she succumbs to Stevenson’s charms, and the two begin a fierce love affair—marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness—that spans the decades and the globe. The shared life of these two strong-willed individuals unfolds into an adventure as impassioned and unpredictable as any of Stevenson’s own unforgettable tales.

Nancy Horan will join us on Wednesday, March 26th at 1:00 PM.  Call us at Ravenna Third Place, 206-525-2347 to reserve your spot.  Seating is limited, so don't miss out!

And don't miss the rest of the series...

Wednesday, April 9th at 1:00 PM
Blood Will Out:  The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade by Walter Kirn

In the summer of 1998, Walter Kirn then an aspiring novelist struggling with impending fatherhood and a dissolving marriage set out on a peculiar, fateful errand: to personally deliver a crippled hunting dog from his home in Montana to the New York apartment of one Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector who had adopted the dog over the Internet. Thus began a fifteen-year relationship that drew Kirn deep into the fun-house world of an outlandish, eccentric son of privilege who ultimately would be unmasked as a brazen serial impostor, child kidnapper, and brutal murderer.

Kirn's one-of-a-kind story of being duped by a real-life Mr. Ripley takes us on a bizarre and haunting journey from the posh private clubrooms of Manhattan to the hard-boiled courtrooms and prisons of Los Angeles. As Kirn uncovers the truth about his friend, a psychopath masquerading as a gentleman, he also confronts hard truths about himself. Why, as a writer of fiction, was he susceptible to the deception of a sinister fantasist whose crimes, Kirn learns, were based on books and movies? What are the hidden psychological links between the artist and the con man? To answer these and other questions, Kirn attends his old friend s murder trial and uses it as an occasion to reflect on both their tangled personal relationship and the surprising literary sources of Rockefeller's evil. This investigation of the past climaxes in a tense jailhouse reunion with a man whom Kirn realizes he barely knew a predatory, sophisticated genius whose life, in some respects, parallels his own and who may have intended to take another victim during his years as a fugitive from justice: Kirn himself.

Combining confessional memoir, true crime reporting, and cultural speculation, Blood Will Out is a Dreiser-esque tale of self-invention, upward mobility, and intellectual arrogance. It exposes the layers of longing and corruption, ambition and self-delusion beneath the Great American con.

Friday, May 9th at 1:00 PM
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning

Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy
whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.

Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, "All the Light We Cannot See" is his most ambitious and dazzling work.

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