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Famous authors Zoom in to Boca for book fairs now

Even the Miami Book Fair is virtual this year. But avid Boca readers can still meet famous authors and celebrities through November without leaving home.

Jewish Community Centers include Boca’s, and Florida Atlantic University have lined up writers with new books. Ken Follett. James Patterson. Judy Blume. Jill Wine-Banks. Joan Lunden. They’re all coming to a virtual talk through November.

Even with e-readers like Kindle, “people are still buying books,” said Stephanie Owitz, director of Arts, Culture & Learning for the Levis JCC Sandler Center in West Boca.

Six JCCs including Levis are teaming up for Florida JCCs Jewish Book Fest, offering more than 25 events from Oct. 8 to 25.

“These will be webinars, so people can put a question in the Q&A chat,” Owitz said.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush kicks off the book fest by interviewing Thane Rosenbaum, the child of Holocaust survivors. He’ll discuss his book “Saving  Free Speech…From Itself.”

MSNBC legal analyst and author Jill Wine-Banks will talk about “The Watergate Girl: My Fight for Truth and Justice Against a Criminal President” on Oct. 11.  Wine-Banks was the only female prosecutor during the Watergate scandal. Local journalists or professors will moderate other author talks in the series.

Florida JCCs Jewish Book Fest also includes a Florida Author Spotlight presented by the Miami Book Fair at 1 p.m. Monday Oct. 12 includes three Florida authors. Cameron Douglas, the son of Hollywood’s Michael Douglas, a fiction forum and Jewish stories from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jonathan Kaufman are among book fest panels. The fest will close on Sunday, Oct. 25 with New York Times best-selling author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopolos. They’ll share insights from their “I Am” biography series.

The Book Fest Fast Pass is $75 and includes access to all special events and virtual author meet-and-greets.  Individual tickets are $10 per program.  For a full program of events and a link to purchase tickets go to

https://mpv.tickets.com/schedule/?orgId=54849&agency=JCCV_PL_MPV#event=Literary&view=list&includePackages=true

Here’s the link to the Levis JCC Book Club and other literary events: https://levisjcc.org/culture/

FAU’s author events with Palm Beach Book Festival are $10 each. http://fau.edu/artsandletters/college-initiatives/fau-palm-beach-book-festival/

  • Jeffrey Toobin, “True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump,” with Joe Klein, author of “Primary Colors,” 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6
  • Tim Weiner, “The Folly and the Glory,” 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15
  • Mitch Albom, “Finding Chicka: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family,” 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19
  • “Becoming Muhammad,” with James Patterson and Kwame Alexander is 5:30 Nov. 12

The Palm Beach Book Festival at FAU is sponsored by the Batmasian Family Foundation and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. Proceeds from events benefit student scholarships at FAU.

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