JCC Bookfair

Forget about the dog.

According to Ernest Hemingway:  “There is no friend as loyal as a book.”

The Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit will have thousands of such friends in its incomparable book store, and host appearances by more than 70 authors, when it presents the 61st Annual Jewish Book Fair, November 7-18, at the JCC in West Bloomfield, The Berman Center for the Performing Arts and the JCC in Oak Park.

This year’s event features titles on everything from Israel to history to entertainment to cooking, along with three new programs: an Evening of Music; an Art History Day of Learning; and the Comedy Cafe.

Skeptics may wonder

Is all that work (and it is an extraordinary amount of work) really worth it in this day of electronic readers and everything in the world online?

“While researching for this year’s Jewish Book Fair, I used all types of electronic devices to see and hear what kind of speakers the authors would be.  I listened to interviews on the radio and watched countless authors on YouTube,” says Book Fair Chair Susan Lutz.

Nothing she found compares to reality.

“Experiencing an author electronically is like going out to dinner and watching someone else taste your food,” Lutz says. “And could anything be nicer than taking the very book with which you have fallen in love and passing it on to a friend?”

New this year

An Evening of Music: Thursday, November 8 in West Bloomfield

Caroline Stoessinger, author of A Century of Wisdom: Lessons from the Life of Alice Herz-Sommer, the World’s Oldest Living Holocaust Survivor at 8 p.m.; and Detroit Symphony Orchestra Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who will discuss his new book Conducting Business at 6:30 p.m.

The Art History Day of Learning:  Wednesday, November 14 in West Bloomfield

OConnor Lady in Gold
The Lady in Gold

Featuring Anne-Marie O’Connor, whose The Lady in Gold tells the amazing history of a Gustav Klimt painting (10 a.m.); a lecture by Salvatore Pons Salut, head of the Detroit Institute of Arts’ European Art Department (11:15 a.m.); box lunch, available for purchase, (12:30 p.m.); “The Rape of Europa,” a film, (2 p.m.)

The Comedy Café: Saturday, November 17 in West Bloomfield, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted by radio star Alan “Big Al” Muskovitz, the cafe will feature Emmy Award-winner David Javerbaum, head writer and executive producer of “The Daily Show” and author of The Last Testament: A Memoir by God, as told by David Javerbaum

More Book Fair Highlights

* Opening Night:  7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 7 in West Bloomfield – Judy Collins: Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music

Collins will perform and discuss her career, including her work with numerous Jewish composers

* Kristallnacht Remembrance: (Please see complete schedules for times and events) Friday, November 9 in Oak Park and West Bloomfield

* Patron Night:  6:45 p.m., Saturday, November  10 in West Bloomfield – Stuart E. Eizenstat: The Future of the Jews (A private dinner and book signing with Stuart Eizenstat will be held at 8 p.m., exclusively for Patrons of the Book Fair)

* Jeffrey Zaslow Tribute: 2 p.m., Sunday, November 11 in West Bloomfield, featuring Jordan Zaslow

* Moshe Arens: Flags Over the Warsaw Ghetto – 6:30 p.m., Sunday, November 11 in West Bloomfield

* Annual Book Club Night: 7:30 p.m., Monday, November 12 in West Bloomfield – Anouk Markovits: I Am Forbidden: A Novel

The Guttenberg Bible
The Guttenberg Bible

* Irwin Shaw Night: 8 p.m. Tuesday, November 13 in West Bloomfield, Nonie Darwish: The Devil We Don’t Know: The Dark Side of Revolutions in the Middle East

* “Diner” and “Police Academy” star Steve Guttenberg will speak about his new book, The Guttenberg Bible, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, November 14 in West Bloomfield

Please note: Book signing takes place at 6 p.m., before the author’s presentation.

* Susan Issacs: Goldberg Variations – 10 a.m. Thursday, November 15 in West Bloomfield

* Lunch with the Authors: Noon,  Thursday, November 15 in West Bloomfield, Featuring Devan Siphar: The Wedding Beat; Francesca Segel: The Innocents; Scott Lasser: Say Nice Things About Detroit

* Health Awareness Day: (See schedule for complete list of events) Friday, November 16 in West Bloomfield

* Business Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. Friday, November 16 in West Bloomfield, Ken Segall: Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success. Advertising maven Ken Segall discusses his career at Apple, working with Steve Jobs and helping develop the Think DIFFERENT campaign and the iMac name.


Closing Night with Madeleine Albright

7 p.m. Sunday, November 18 in West Bloomfield

The former Secretary of State discusses her new book Prague Winter, a portrait of Czechoslovakia: its history, identity and people.

For a complete schedule and more, please visit www.bookfair.jccdet.org.