2017 Dinner information will be posted in May 

2016 Dinner Party Hosts

2016 Dinners

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything
In Seinfeldia, acclaimed TV historian and entertainment writer Jennifer Keishin Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!”, Joe Davola gets questioned every day about his sanity, Kenny Kramer makes his living giving tours of New York sights from the show, and fans dress up in Jerry’s famous puffy shirt, dance like Elaine, and imagine plotlines for Seinfeld if it were still on TV.

Cynthia Bardes

Pansy in New York – The Mystery of the Missing Monkey
Cynthia Bardes and her husband, David, spend each fall at a Beverly Hills hotel with their toy poodle, Pansy. Pansy the poodle and her best friend Avery have solved mysteries all over the world. As a reward for their good deeds, they take a sightseeing trip to New York –where they stumble into a brand-new adventure. Morris, the famous talking monkey, has disappeared from the Central Park Zoo! Pansy and Avery must once again follow the clues, solve the mystery, and get Morris back to his friends and family.

Stacey Goergen & Amanda Benchley

Artists living with art
Great inside look at how artists live with art that is not their own: how they view the work of other artists, how they choose what they would like to hang in their own home. An outstanding education with many unexpected surprises about the artists, their processes and inspirations. Benchley writes for many publications, including the Wall Street Journal. Goergen has been a curator, collector and museum board member.

Kate Betts

My Paris Dream: An Education in Style, Slang, and Seduction in the Great City on the Seine
My Paris Dream is a valentine to a city, a language, and the thrills and confusions of young love and young ambition. But, even more so, it’s a tribute to style itself. 
Kate Betts is an award-winning magazine editor and author who has held top positions at two of the worlds most successful fashion magazines, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.

Douglas Brinkley

Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America
The acclaimed, award-winning historian—“America’s new past master” (Chicago Tribune)—examines the environmental legacy of FDR and the New Deal. Rightful Heritage is an epic chronicle that is both an irresistible portrait of FDR’s unrivaled passion and drive, and an indispensable analysis that skillfully illuminates the tension between business and nature—exploiting our natural resources and conserving them.

Alafair Burke

The Ex: a novel
New York Times bestselling author, Alafair Burke is a graduate of Stanford Law School, a former prosecutor, and now a professor at Hofstra Law School, where she teaches criminal law and procedure. Her newest book, THE EX, is her 11th crime novel: “A compelling legal thriller that will have readers baffled until the final reveal….: (AP) In addition, Burke co-authors the bestselling Under Suspicion series with Mary Higgins Clark.

Robert A. Caro

The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol. IV
Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Robert Caro’s extraordinary and powerful volumes tracing the life of Lyndon Johnson have been amongst the biggest best sellers of our time. Hailed by President Bill Clinton as brilliant and remarkable, and “with this fascinating …account, Caro has once again done America a great service.” Caro was also awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama.

Dick Cavett

Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments and Assorted Hijinks
Dick Cavett is back, sharing his reflections and reminiscences about Hollywood legends, American cultural icons, and the absurdities of everyday life. To spend a few minutes, or an hour, or even a whole evening with Dick Cavett is an experience not to be missed, and now there is no reason to deny yourself. Enjoy the conversation! “A delightful peek!” (Publishers Weekly)

Mary Higgins Clark

As Time Goes By 
In this newest thriller from Mary Higgins Clark, the #1 New York Times bestselling “Queen of Suspense,” a news reporter tries to find her birth mother just as she is assigned to cover the highprofile trial of a woman accused of murdering her wealthy husband. A thrilling read by a master of the genre. Mary Higgins Clark is a born storyteller, a wonderful spinner of yarns, And a grand person to spend time with – in books or in person.

Scott Cowen

The Inevitable City
After seven years of service as the president of Tulane University, Scott Cowen watched the devastation of his beloved New Orleans at the hands of Hurricane Katrina. When federal, state, and city officials couldn’t find their way to decisive action, Cowen, known for his gutsy leadership, quickly partnered with a coalition of civic, business, and nonprofit leaders looking to work around the old institutions to revitalize and transform New Orleans. A book and author that will inspire every person needing to reshape a city, a company, perhaps even a nation.

Lynne Cox

Swimming in the Sink: An Episode of the Heart
From an inspired and inspiring open water swimmer, a supreme athlete who swims without a wetsuit, able to endure cold water temperatures that would kill others, author of Swimming to Antarctica (“Riveting”–Sports Illustrated), Grayson (“Moving, mystical” –People), and Open Water Swimming Manual (“Exceptional” – The Independent)–a powerful book about super athleticism and human frailty, about invincibility and the sudden (mind-altering) repercussions of illness, and about the triumph of spirit, surrender, and love against it all. 

Nelson DeMille

Radiant Angel (A John Corey Novel)
What could be better that a new novel from DeMille and starring John Corey and centered in Manhattan? Now working as a federal contractor, Corey is assigned to watch a certain Colonel Vasily Petrov of the SVR who has received a coded message instructing him to carry out his mission—a sinister plot to raze Manhattan. John Corey is our hero. Another winner for DeMille and his fans!

Delia Ephron

An electrifying novel about marriage and deceit that follows two couples on vacation in Sicily, where secrets they have hidden from each other are exposed and relationships unraveled. “Siracusa is an Italian aria, a Greek tragedy and a modern American masterpiece…” Adriana Trigiani

Diana Finfrock Farrar

The Door of the Heart
Tammy and Ed Sloan have been married for over two decades when they suddenly discover themselves on opposite sides of a current social issue – gay rights. Soon, they are horrified to discover that their differences run much deeper. The Door of the Heart is a story of being true to oneself, of marriage and commitment, and of individual responses to change; but in a broader sense, it is a story about how polarization limits the emotional and spiritual growth of individuals and destroys every aspect of community. 

Janelle Friedman

You Are Invited: How to plan everything from intimate gatherings to texas-sized parties
In the busy Dallas social scene, a Janelle Friedman event is the most coveted invite in town. A law firm CEO and mother of six, she’s extremely organized, has an eye for detail, a talent for the tabletop and a knack for surprising and spoiling guests silly. From the invite to the party favor and everything in-between, Janelle shares her secrets to throwing the parties people never forget.
 As one reviewer said: “Fabulous book! Fabulous entertainer!”

Michael Gross

Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers
From the New York Times bestselling author of House of Outrageous Fortune, this gripping account of fashion photography’s golden age brings to life the wild genius—the ego, the passion, and the wild antics—of the men (and a few women) behind the camera. Before Instagram was an art form, fashion photographers were pop culture royalty. From the post-war covers of Vogue until the triumph of the digital image, the fashion photographer sold not only clothes but ideals of beauty and fantasies of perfect lives. Even when they succumbed to temptation and excess, the very few photographers who rose to the top were artists above all.

Ally Hilfiger

Bite Me
Ally was at a breaking point when she woke up in a psych ward at the age of eighteen. She couldn’t put a sentence together, let alone take a shower, eat a meal, or pick up a phone. What had gone wrong? In recent years, she had produced a feature film, a popular reality show for a major network, and had acted in an offBroadway play. But now, Ally was pushed to a psychotic break after struggling since she was seven years old with physical symptoms that no doctor could explain; everything from joint pain, to night sweats, memory loss, nausea, and brain fog. A doctor in the psych ward was finally able to give her the answers her and her family had desperately been searching for, and the diagnosis that all the previous doctors had missed. She learned that she had Lyme disease-and finally had a breakthrough.
What she didn’t know was that this diagnosis would lead her down some of the most excruciating years of her life before beginning her journey to recovery from eleven years of misdiagnosis and physical pain. She would need to find her courage to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally, and become the survivor she is today.

Christopher R. Hill (this Dinner is SOLD OUT)

Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir
Ambassador Hill has had one of the most interesting lives one can imagine. He was educated to be, and served as, a career diplomat, and along the way he saw some of the most dangerous outposts imaginable—from the wars in the Balkans to the brutality of North Korea to the endless war in Iraq. His story is real. And his portraits of Washington bureaucrats and Cabinet members are blunt truth. And he is even “laugh-out-loud funny.” (Washington Post)

Eowyn Ivey

To the Bright Edge of the World: A Novel
An atmospheric, transporting tale of adventure, love, and survival from the bestselling author of The Snow Child, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Erica Jong

Fear of Dying
Four decades ago, Erica Jong revolutionized the way we look at love, marriage and sex. Her world-wide bestseller, FEAR OF FLYING opened the doors for writers from Jennifer Weiner to Lena Dunham. Now she does it again by giving us powerful, new perspective on the next phase of women’s lives. Full of the sly humor, deep wisdom and poignancy we know from her poetry, fiction and essays, she delivers the novel women everywhere have been waiting for…
Fear of Dying is a daring and delightful look at what it really takes to be human and female in the 21st century. Wildly funny and searingly honest, it is a story for everyone who has ever been shaken and changed by love.

Roberta Kaplan

Then Comes Marriage: United States V. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA
Roberta Kaplan’s gripping story of her defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) before the United States Supreme Court was chosen by the L.A. Times as one of the top 10 books of 2015, by Ms. Magazine as one of the top feminist books of 2015, and by Tony Mauro of The National Law Journal as one of the top 10 books about the Supreme Court of 2015. President Bill Clinton has noted that “United States v. Windsor was a landmark ruling and the case’s architect, Roberta Kaplan, emerged as a true American hero. Then Comes Marriage is a riveting account of a watershed moment in our history, and the strategy, ingenuity, and humanity that made it happen.” Rachel Maddow agrees: “This is the can’t-put-down, emotional, funny, essential explanatory text that makes sense of Windsor, not just as law but as life.”

Elana Karp

Elena Karp, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, chose a unique path: rather than going to work for a high-profile chef, she helped launch a startup with a bold mission – to change the way America eats. Now, as VP of Culinary at Plated, she is helping bring healthy, high-quality meals to American dining rooms. Plated delivers fresh pre-portioned ingredients and gourmet recipes right to your home, so that you can create a healthy dinner, without the hassles of meal-planning and grocery shopping. And she has created a delightful cookbook about real food – delicious, healthy and pretty easy.

Allison Leotta

The Last Good Girl 
This novel, the fifth in Allison Leotta’s Anna Curtis FBI crime fiction series, could not be more timely: the missing college girl, the privileged, yet adorable, college boy, an apparent rape. Rich characters, an unexpected plot, Leotta’s storytelling keeps one riveted. As one Amazon reader said: “It is downright crazy scary to think that some of this is going on at our colleges.” A former Federal prosecutor, Leotta is just one great storyteller.

Janna Levin

Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space
The authoritative story of the headline-making discovery of gravitational waves—by an eminent theoretical astrophysicist and award-winning writer.
From the author of How the Universe Got Its Spots and A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, the epic story of the scientific campaign to record the soundtrack of our universe.

Steven Lee Myers

The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin
The New Tsar is the book to read if you want to understand how Vladimir Putin sees the world and why he has become one of the gravest threats to American security. The epic tale of the rise to power of Russia’s current president—the only complete biography in English – that fully captures his emergence from shrouded obscurity and deprivation to become one of the most consequential and complicated leaders in modern history, by the former New York Times Moscow bureau chief.

David Nasaw

The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy
In this magisterial new work The Patriarch, the celebrated historian David Nasaw tells the full story of Joseph P. Kennedy, the founder of the twentieth century’s most famous political dynasty. Nasaw—the only biographer granted unrestricted access to the Joseph P. Kennedy papers in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library—tracks Kennedy’s astonishing passage from East Boston outsider to supreme Washington insider. Kennedy’s seemingly limitless ambition drove his career to the pinnacles of success as a banker, World War I shipyard manager, Hollywood studio head, broker, Wall Street operator, New Deal presidential adviser, and founding chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. His astounding fall from grace into ignominy did not come until the years leading up to and following America’s entry into the Second World War, when the antiwar position he took as the first Irish American ambassador to London made him the subject of White House ire and popular distaste.

Ashley Norton

If You Left
A seductive novel about a privileged but damaged Manhattan wife whose main source of stability — her marriage — comes under threat, from forces both without and within. 
For most of their marriage, when Althea has fluctuated between extreme depressive and manic states, Oliver has been the steady hand that guided her to safety. This summer, Althea decides that she will be different from here on. But that turns out to be harder to do darkly funny, and a compulsively readable novel.

William Norwich

My Mrs. Brown
From William Norwich, the well-known fashion writer and editor, an unforgettable novel about a woman with a secret who travels to New York City on a determined quest to buy a special dress that represents everything she wants to say about that secret…and herself.
Sometimes a dress isn’t just a dress.

David Paton

Insight, R. Townley Paton and The World’s First Eye Bank
Colorful, descriptive and provocative, this life story has not been painted to please but to inform with a literary candor expressed in a contemporary perspective. The book’s uniquely annotated chapters are written for predominantly lay readers, portraying a period of history when science and society were becoming more intertwined. The author is obviously having fun with family remembrances without glossing over the realities that challenged Townley Paton’s determined career. This is a history focused upon the personal ingredients that determine a hard-won goal. The author gives special recognition to the abilities of a brilliant coimplementer, Aida Breckinridge. Hold your historical hat (today that would be “tighten your seatbelt”) for a breezy ride through storms and sunshine with the Father of Eye Banking whose work became the fundamental catalyst than a million blind to regain their eyesight––so far.

Eric Ripert

32 Yolks: From my mother’s table to working the line
James Beard award winning chef, co-owner of the world renowned restaurant, Le Bernardin, and recipient of countless Michelin stars, Eric Ripert embodies elegance and culinary perfection. And his story is extraordinary.

Martha Rogers, Ph.D.

Extreme Trust: Turning Proactive Honesty and Flawless Execution into Long-Term Profits
How companies can stay competitive in a world of total transparency. With their first book, 1993’s The Oneto-One Future, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers introduced the idea of managing interactive customer relationships, long before the Web and social networking made it standard business practice. With Extreme Trust, they look to the future once again, predicting that rising levels of transparency will require companies to protect the interests of their customers and employees proactively, even when it sometimes costs money in the short term. The importance of this “trustability” will transform every industry. Retail banks won’t be able to rely as much on overdraft charges.

Garth Stein

A Sudden Light
The New York Times bestselling “witty, atmospheric” (People) story of a once powerful American family, and the price that must be paid by the heirs as they struggle for redemption: “A captivating page-turner” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis). Spellbinding and atmospheric, A Sudden Light is rich with vivid characters, poetic scenes of natural beauty, and powerful moments of spiritual transcendence. “Garth Stein is resourceful, cleverly piecing together the family history with dreams, overheard conversations, and reminiscences…a tale well told,” (The Seattle Times)—a triumphant work of a master storyteller at the height of his power.

Patsy Tarr

Dance Ink
A dynamic celebration of contemporary dance, “Dance Ink: Photographs” features work by some of the finest photographers in the world. These provocative images — of dancers, choreographers, and performance artists — were conceived as a duet between artist and photographer, forming a dialogue that plays out in the pages of this extraordinary book. A series of intimate, beautifully written essays on five key choreographers who have shaped contemporary dance — Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Tyla Tharp, Trisha Brown, and Mark Morris — lend insight into the distinctive style and personality of each artist.

Michael Weiss

ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror
ISIS has shocked the world by conquering massive territories in Iraq and Syria and promising to create a vast new Muslim caliphate that observes the strict dictates of Sharia law. Two journalists, Weiss and Hassan, explain who the key players are and where their money comes from. A brilliantly insightful analysis of a deadly political cancer. “The most serious book-length study of the Islamic State so far.” (New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice)

Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer

The Doctor Is In: Dr. Ruth on Love, Life, and Joie De Vivre
Everyone knows Dr. Ruth as the most famous and trusted sex therapist, but few people know she narrowly escaped death from the Holocaust, was raised in an orphanage in Switzerland, or that she was a sniper during Israel’s War of Independence. And at the age of eighty-seven, she is as spirited as ever! Hilarious, inspiring, and profound, The Doctor Is In will change the way you think about life and love, in all their limitless possibilities.

Marianne Williamson

Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment
The internationally recognized teacher, speaker, and New York Times bestselling author of A Return to Love argues that our desire to avoid pain is actually detrimental to our lives, disconnecting us from our deepest emotions and preventing true healing and spiritual transcendence.
Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author, world-renowned teacher, and one of the most important spiritual voices of our time. In Tears to Triumph, she argues that we—as a culture and as individuals—have learned to avoid facing pain. By doing so, we are neglecting the spiritual work of healing.


If you have questions about dinner tickets please call Sheila Rogers at 631-907-0106.