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Palm Beach  Society News  Pages 1 
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Black Tie  International:
The 2012 Author Breakfast Series Lineup

Parker Ladd

Parker Ladd

The 2012 Author Breakfast Series Lineup




Friday, Jan 20th  (moderated by Parker Ladd)

Andrew Gross- Eyes Wide Open
Andrew Gross is an author of thriller novels including four New York Times bestsellers. Best known for his collaborations with suspense writer James Patterson, Gross’s books feature close family bonds characterized by loss or betrayal that generally lead to crimes and cover-ups. His latest book, Eyes Wide Open, took shape from two real life events straight from his own past. One was the suicide of his young nephew, a troubled boy found at the bottom of a landmark cliff in central California. The second was a chance encounter he had 40 years ago with  Charles Manson.  The book weaves a suspenseful thread about how the two stories link.

Ivana Lowell- Why Not Say What Happened: A Memoir.  Born into one of the most celebrated Anglo-Irish families, the Guinnesses, Lowell grew up at the whim of two literary heavyweights—her mother, writer Lady Caroline Blackwood, and stepfather, poet Robert Lowell.  With an incisive eye and a wicked sense of humor, she shares the stories we’ve always wanted to hear about  the Queen Mother, about her own childhood accident, about her stints in rehab, and, finally, about discovering the secret her mother successfully kept from Ivana her entire life.

Friday, Jan. 27th (moderated by Jackie Weld)

Alice Hoffman- The Dovekeepers. Over five years in the writing, this is Hoffman’s most ambitious and mesmerizing novel, set in ancient Israel.  In 70 C.E., nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of the lives of four complex and fiercely independent women, whose lives intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.


Chris Matthews- Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero  News anchor and political commentator, known for his nightly MSNBC talk show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, has written an  extraordinary biography based on personal interviews with those closest to JFK, that include oral histories, documents from his years as a student at Choate, and notes from Jacqueline Kennedy’s first interview after Dallas.  He cites the origins of JFK’s inaugural call to “Ask what you can do for your country,”  his role in the genesis of the Peace Corps, his stand on civil rights, his push to put a man on the moon, his ban on nuclear arms testing, and the unsettling aspects of his personal life. As Matthews writes, “I found a fighting prince never free of pain, never far from trouble, never accepting the world he found, never wanting to be his father’s son. He was a far greater hero than he ever wished us to know.”




Friday, Feb. 17 (moderated by Parker Ladd)

Nelson DeMille- The Rich and The Dead.  This bestselling author introduces twenty original tales by today’s most elite mystery writers including a tale of his own. These stories explore the life (and death) styles of the rich and infamous, who live in another world from their multi-national businesses to their palatial mansions to their exotic vacations at glamorous places all around the world, they do everything in a big way -- and sometimes, that even includes crime.  These mystery and crime stories go behind the scenes of the lifestyles of the two percent of the world that controls sixty percent of its riches--and just how far they'll go to stay on top.

Cherie Burns- Searching for Beauty: The Life of Millicent Rogers-   Nobody knew how to live the high life like Millicent Rogers. Born into luxury, she lived in a whirl of beautiful homes, European vacations, exquisite clothing and handsome men. In this book, Burns chronicles Rogers's glittering life from her days as a young girl afflicted with rheumatic fever to her debutante debut and her Taos finale. A rebellious icon of the age, she eloped with a penniless baron, divorced, remarried and romanced, among others, Clark Gable. She electrified the fashion world by becoming the muse to designer Charles James, appearing in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and - at the end of her life - retreating to Taos, New Mexico.  Like style icons Diana Vreeland and Babe Paley, Rogers put her distinctive stamp on American style.


Friday, Feb. 24 (moderated by Parker Ladd)

Nigel Hamilton – American Caesars: Lives of the Presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush.  Modeled on one of the most famous histories of ancient Rome (The Twelve Caesars), Hamilton’s book looks afresh at the lives and careers of the twelve leaders of the American empire since World War II, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush. President by president, Hamilton relates and examines the presidents’ unique characters, their paths to Pennsylvania Avenue, their effectiveness as global leaders, and their lessons in governance, both good and bad. With uncompromising candor he looks at how these powerful men responded to the challenges that defined their presidencies

 Jeanne Darst- Fiction Ruined My Family. The youngest of four daughters in an old, celebrated St. Louis family of prominent journalists and politicians on one side, debutante balls and equestrian trophies on the other, Darst grew up hearing stories of past grandeur.  As a young girl, the message she internalized was clear: while things might be a bit tight right now, it's only temporary. Soon her father would sell the Great American Novel and reclaim the family's former glory.  Ultimately, Darst, whose book was recently excerpted in VOGUE, sets out to discover if a person can have the writing without the ruin, if it's possible to be both sober and creative, ambitious and happy, a professional author and a parent.  Filled with brilliantly flawed, idiosyncratic characters, this book is a lovingly told, wickedly funny portrait of an unconventional life.

MARCH 2012


Friday, March 2  (moderated by Parker Ladd)  

Sally Bedell Smith- Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of A Modern Monarch.  In this magisterial new biography, New York Times bestselling author Sally Bedell Smith brings to life one of the world’s most fascinating and enigmatic women: Queen Elizabeth II.  From the moment of her ascension to the throne in 1952 at the age of twenty-five, Queen Elizabeth II has been the object of unparalleled scrutiny. But through the fog of glamour and gossip, how well do we really know the world’s most famous monarch? Drawing on numerous interviews and never-before-revealed documents, this acclaimed biographer pulls back the curtain to show in intimate detail the public and private lives of Queen Elizabeth II, who has led her country and Commonwealth through the wars and upheavals of the last sixty years with unparalleled composure, intelligence, and grace.

Michael Gross- Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition and Lust for the Land in Los Angeles. Gross is the preeminent chronicler of America’s rich and powerful, most recently in 740 Park and Rogues’ Gallery. Los Angeles provides Michael Gross with his broadest canvas yet, where he uncovers the very secret history of the City of Angles, specifically those wealthiest and most private of enclaves— Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Holmby Hills, and Beverly Park—through their most mind-boggling estates, and the fascinating folks who created and populate them. Apart from the many Hollywood stars who have passed through these houses—Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, George Hamilton, Tony Curtis, Cher, to name just a few. Taken altogether, their stories read like a cross between Valley of the Dolls, Hollywood Babylon, and Gross’s own 740 Park—with a little of the film Chinatown thrown in too.  Gross will fascinate and entertain with a story you don’t know about a place you think you do. 

Friday, March 30 (moderated by Jackie Weld)

William Kuhn- Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis never wrote a memoir, but she told her life story and revealed herself in intimate ways through the nearly 100 books she brought into print during the last two decades of her life as an editor at Viking and Doubleday. Based on archives and interviews with Jackie's authors, colleagues, and friends, the book mines this significant period of her life and provides a compelling behind-the-scenes look at Jackie at work: how she commissioned books and nurtured authors, as well as how she helped to shape stories that spoke to her strongly. Jackie is remembered today for her marriages to JFK and to Aristotle Onassis, but her real legacy is the books that reveal the tastes, recollections, and passions of an independent woman.


John Burnham Schwartz - Northwest Corner- The New York Times Book Review called Reservation Road “a triumph,” and the novel was universally acclaimed and made into a major motion picture. Schwartz reintroduces Reservation Road’s unforgettable characters in a superb new work of fiction that stands magnificently on its own. Northwest Corner is a riveting story about the complex, fierce, ultimately inspiring resilience of families in the face of life’s most difficult and unexpected challenges. Told in the resonant voices of everyday people gripped in the emotional riptide of lived life, Northwest Corner is at once tough and heart-lifting, an urgent, powerful story about family bonds that can never be broken and the wayward roads that lead us back to those we love.



The 2012 Author Breakfast Series

Lineup at a Glance



Jan 20 (Parker Ladd)

Alexandra Styron- Reading My Father

Ivana Lowell- Why Not Say What Happened

Jan 27 (Jackie Weld) 

Alice Hoffman- The Dovekeepers

Chris Matthews- Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero


Feb 17 (Parker Ladd)

Nelson DeMille- The Rich and The Dead

Cherie Burns- Searching for Beauty: The Life of Millicent Rogers

Feb 24-  (Parker Ladd)

Nigel Hamilton - American Caesars: Lives of the Presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush

Jeanne Darst- Fiction Ruined My Family


March 2 (Parker Ladd)

Sally Bedell Smith- Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

Michael Gross- Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition and Lust for the Land in Los Angeles

March 30 (Jackie Weld) 

William Kuhn- Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books

John Burnham Schwartz – Northwest Corner


For reservations and information call Sandra Rodriguez at
 (561) 366-4301


Joyce Brooks

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