Fall 2013/Winter 2014

September 2013

September 11 - When butter is deadly and eggs can make your throat swell shut, cupcakes and other joys of childhood are out of the question. Sandra Beasley's mother used to warn guests against a toxic, frosting-tinged kiss with, "Don't kill the birthday girl!" From a short-lived gig as a restaurant reviewer to dates that ended with trips to the emergency room, step inside the story of a modern young woman coming to terms with a potentially deadly disorder. Sandra is the author of the memoir, Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, as well as two collections of poetry: I Was a Jukebox and the New Issues Poetry Prize winner, Theories of Falling. Visit Sandra Beasley's site to learn more.

Book signing event (Cash or check only)

September 18 - Award-winning reporter Marvin Kalb spent 30 years working for CBS News and NBC News. He was the last reporter recruited by Edward R. Murrow at CBS, and his work there landed him on Richard Nixon’s "enemies list." Kalb is the Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice (Emeritus) at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and founding director of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. His career in journalism includes reporting and commentary for CBS and NBC News, bureau chief in Moscow, chief diplomatic correspondent, host of Meet the Press and host of the Kalb Report at the National Press Club.

Book signing event (Cash or check only)

September 25 - Respected labor attorney Martin Ganzglass served in the Peace Corps as legal adviser to the Somali National Police Force in the 60's, returned there as an adviser to the State Department in the 90's, is currently a Board Member of the Somali American Community Association. Marty, who is committed to social justice projects, is also active in interfaith groups, including the Darfur Interfaith Network. His novel, The Orange Tree, is a story of the unlikely friendship between an elderly Jewish woman and a young Somali nurse who cares for her as they develop a special bond while confronting their troubled pasts and the realities of life in a divided post 9/11 world. It has been described as "a touching meditation on displacement and cultural difference, which paints an insightful portrait of two friends."

Book signing event (Cash or check only)

October 2013

October 2 - Voted 'funniest student in the fourth grade', Rhodes scholar nominee Jeff Yeager spent 24 years working as the American Canoe Association's CEO before living a better life by spending and consuming less. Yeager was dubbed "The Ultimate Cheapskate" by Matt Lauer of the Today Show, where he appears as a guest correspondent. Yeager has also been a guest on CNN, ABC News, CNBC, FOX News, PBS, National Public Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio, and the Oprah & Friends network. His first book, The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches: A Practical (and Fun) Guide to Enjoying Life More by Spending Less, is currently in its sixth reprint. Yeager realized something startling: because of the experience he gained as the self-proclaimed "Titan of Tightwads" in the nonprofit sector and the impact those management techniques had on his personal finances, he realized that he had reduced his dependency on money to the point where he could retire (become "selfishly employed") at the age of 46! Visit The Ultimate Cheapskate.

Book signing event (Cash or check only)

October 9 - Terry Irving moved to Washington in 1973 to 'kick around for a few weeks' until he decided on a real career. He ended up riding a classic BMW R50/2 for ABC News during Watergate, carried news-film deftly and became an award-winning television journalist who Ted Koppel called "Nightline’s best breaking news producer." He has spent decades covering politicians, campaigns, and scandals in roles at CNN, MSNBC and ABC while tossing in a little stand-up comedy. Irving’s work has been acknowledged with four Emmy Awards, two Dupont Awards, two Peabody Awards, and a Telly Award. After producing stories in Beirut, Hong Kong, El Salvador and all 50 states, he lives in DC because "my wife and my dog simply refuse to live anywhere else." Read more by visiting Terry Irving's web site.

October 16 -Williams College and Harvard Law grad Gary Ratner is the author of Why The No Child Left Behind Act Needs To Be Restructured To Accomplish Its Goals and How To Do It and is the founder and Executive Director of Citizens for Effective Schools. He has been a nationally-recognized authority on school reform law and policy for over 20 years and is a principal drafter of the Joint Organizational Statement on No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, the policy statement now endorsed by more than 150 national organizations, including NAACP, National School Boards Association, National Council of Churches, NEA and National Parent Teacher Association. His calls to action have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Business Week, The Boston Globe and his law review article, A New Legal Duty for Urban Public Schools: Effective Education in Basic Skills, is the seminal work that calls for holding urban public schools legally accountable for effectively educating all students. Gary won a Presidential Rank Award as a senior executive at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and was recognized by a Boston Globe editorial as "one of Boston's prized lawyers," who "had more impact on city and state government ... over the past decade than all but a few people in or out of the legal community." Visit Citizens for Effective Schools to learn more.

October 23 - Jenn Crovato grew up in Silver Spring surrounded by food traditions with a grandfather who worked as baker in the mornings and a chef at night and a mother who ran a catering business out of the house. Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, she worked for Chef Roberto Donna’s acclaimed Galileo restaurant. Her love for Italian cuisine inspired her to move to Italy for one year where she cooked in eight different restaurants in various regions. Jennifer came into her own style of cooking by learning from the prestigious La Splendido Hotel in Portofino and San Domenico in Imola under Chef Valentino Mercatilli, as well as the hidden and rustic family-owned restaurants. Drawn to the southern rural regions of Italy, she focused on the simpler, traditional preparation of local, seasonal ingredients. She recently worked as a private chef for the late Washington philanthropist Joe Robert, now owns Healing with Fresh Foods, LLC, caters independently for select clients, and consults at Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison VA. She just published her first cookbook, Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Pepper. Visit Jenn Crovato's web site.

October 30 - Former Tulane professor Ryan Rilette is the producing artistic director of Round House Theatre in Bethesda and Silver Spring. A highly-respected producer and director, Ryan has extensive arts management experience at award-winning theaters in New York, New Orleans and California. Committed to the development of new works, he has served as president of the National New Play Network, the country’s leading alliance of theaters that champions new plays for the American theater. He is also the co-founder and former executive artistic director of Rude Mechanicals Theatre Company in New York City. At Round House, his programming mix of celebrated contemporary plays and modern classics has been well-received. Ryan will talk with us about how theater helps builds community. Read more about Round House Theatre.

November 2013

November 6 - What did the US Supreme Court have to say about your DNA this summer? What does this decision hold for the future of the multi-billion dollar biomedical and biotechnological industries in the United States? Brian Andrews has been thinking about all of this. In his fast-paced, debut thriller novel, The Calypso Directive, Brian takes us into the high-stakes world of gene patenting. He delves into what people and corporations will do to get a piece of you. In his book, we are taken through exciting twists and turns of plot. And when we finally reach the finish, we wonder how much of the story is fiction and how much of it is based on truth. Find out what this exciting new author has to say about the high stakes in the world of YOU. Visit Brian Andrews' web site to read more.

Book signing event (Cash or check only)

November 13 - Dr. Norman Rosenthal was raised in apartheid South Africa, obtained his medical degree with honors from the University of the Witwatersrand, served as chief resident at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, conducted research at the National Institute of Mental Health where he led the team that described Seasonal Affective Disorder and pioneered the use of light therapy to treat it. His newly-released book, The Gift of Adversity: The Unexpected Benefits of Life's Difficulties, Setbacks, and Imperfections, explores how life’s disappointments and difficulties provide us with the lessons we need to become better, bigger, and more resilient human beings and includes case studies of well-known figures like Viktor Frankl and David Lynch with a forward by Dr. Mehmet Oz. Dr. Rosenthal is a world-class psychiatrist who has authored over 200 articles and books, including Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation, Winter Blues, The Emotional Revolution, St. John’s Wort and How to Beat Jet Lag. His work has been widely covered in the media on The Today Show, Good Morning America, National Public Radio, and a multitude of forums that validate his commitment to the human condition. Learn more by visiting Dr. Rosenthal's web site.

Book signing event (Cash or check only)

November 20 - Greg Ip's mother, a practicing economist, now retired, delighted in trying to apply what she knew about the dismal science to her four children's upbringing. They were the only kids in town whose weekly allowance was indexed to inflation! Greg eventually discovered a chasm between the economics taught in college and the real world. Textbooks went on about the money supply but central banks ignored it. Simple questions like "how big is the national debt?" have complicated answers so he learned about fiscal policy but not about debt crises. He then wrote The Little Book of Economics with those lessons in mind. Currently, Greg is the US Economics Editor for The Economist magazine and previously worked at the Wall Street Journal in New York and Washington. He's appeared on television and radio, including NPR, PBS, CNN, CNBC & MSNBC and won or shared in several prizes for reporting. Read more about Greg Ip by visiting his blog.

Book signing event (Cash or check only)

November 27 - Margaret Engel is a journalist, author (How to Act Like a Kid: Backstage Secrets of a Young Performer) and playwright. Starting out as a reporter in Lorain, Ohio, she has worked for the Des Moines Register and the Washington Post, studied law and public health at Harvard as a Nieman Fellow, and curated exhibits as managing editor of the Newseum. In her spare time, Engel is the executive director of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation, which offers fellowships to reporters and photographers. Among other projects, she has written, with her twin sister Allison, two volumes about regional food finds, and a play starring Kathleen Turner as the irrepressible columnist and reporter Molly Ivins. Red Hot Patriot was a hit at Arena Stage. Learn more about Margaret Engel by visiting her web site.

Book signing event (Cash or check only)

December 2013

December 4 - As Americans, we are proud to call Justin Constantine one of our own: he fought on our behalf in Iraq with honor as a US Marine. Seriously wounded in battle (and originally thought dead), Justin survived his harrowing experience with a dedicated team of doctors and supporters combined with a deep and positive mental attitude. His personal military decorations include the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon. After defeating death and disability, Justin worked with the Department of Justice and the FBI. In addition to his work, Justin is an avid supporter of veterans groups and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Wounded Warrior Project, Give an Hour and SemperMax. Justin has received significant recognition for his contributions from the White House, the Commonwealth of Virginia and other prominent businesses and individuals. Most recently, Justin launched a highly successful inspirational speaking series business with his equally interesting and motivating wife, Dahlia. They will captivate you with their inspiring message on courage, resilience, and triumph. Visit Justin Constatine's web site to learn more.

December 11 -Connie Griffith didn’t set out to sell hot sauce. A devoted wife and mother, she looked forward to spending her golden years with her husband, Ron, by traveling, boating and enjoying life. When ALS struck Ron in 2007, their plans suddenly changed and this elegant, graceful woman put her dreams aside and assumed the role of caregiver to her ailing husband. Even with his declining health, Ron Griffith continued to perfect his recipes and ensure that they remained in the family as his legacy. Inspired by her late husband's dreams, Gator Ron’s Zesty Hot Sauce was born. To help further her husband’s dream of ending the suffering for ALS patients, Connie donates 10% of the profits to the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research. Debbie Kaufmann has more than 25 years of experience in corporate and marketing communications, public relations and other advertising and promotional activities. She directed corporate communications for three US pharmaceutical subsidiaries and also has a history in working with advocacy groups in an effort to help patients, physicians and caregivers in various therapeutic areas. Ron was a close friend of Debbie's, and her father-in-law also died of ALS. The vision of Gator Ron's Zesty Sauces & Mixes is simple and straightforward: share Ron's delicious sauces and mixes with food lovers everywhere and fund research that will find treatments-and ultimately, a cure-for ALS. Check out Gator Ron's web site here.

Sauce and mix selling event

December 18 - Admit it… after you scan the front page of the Washington Post in the morning, your must-read is the Carolyn Hax advice column. The accompanying cartoons by the award-winning nationally syndicated cartoonist Nick Galifianakis (yup, he's related to Zach from The Hangover movies...) make us both laugh out loud and squirm in our seats because his observations are about us. He recently published a collection of his work, If You Loved Me, You’d Think This Was Cute: Uncomfortably True Cartoons About You. Nick will lead us through the development of a cartoon and give us some insight into ourselves. His searing and astute observations on life, love, relationships, and pet camaraderie pair with his biting wit and a pointed message: If we can’t laugh at ourselves, he’ll do it for us. Visit Nick's web site.

Book signing event (Cash or check only)

December 26 - No Meeting

January 2014

January 1 - No Meeting

January 8 - Allison Leotta was a DC federal prosecutor for 12 years where she specialized in sex crimes, domestic violence, and crimes against children. She now writes legal thrillers based on her experience. Dubbed "the female John Grisham" for her first novel, Law of Attraction, her second book, Discretion, was named one of the Ten Best Books of 2012 by Strand Magazine. In her third novel, Speak of the Devil, she brings readers into the hidden world of the Witness Protection Program and the secret rituals of one of America’s most dangerous gangs. Allison is also a weekly contributor to the Huffington Post, where she reality-checks TV crime dramas in her blog: The Prime-Time Crime Review. She has provided legal commentary for outlets such as CNN Live, MSNBC’s The Cycle and the PBS NewsHour. Read more by visiting Allison's web site.

Book signing event (Cash or check only)

January 15 - Known for her imagination and creativity, Lisa Cherkasky has been an enthusiastic cook and baker for more than 35 years. Since graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, she has had success as a chef, pastry chef, culinary educator, writer and crafts person and is now DC’s most sought-after food stylist. She brings a rare skill, creativity, to all her work and addresses subjects ranging from American baking to intellectual property rights. She is an active member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the Southern Foodways Alliance, and a charter member of the Culinary Historians of Washington. Visit her web site to read more.