Tuesday, July 15th, 7pm:
The Last Bookstore welcomes Tony Sacca, veteran Las Vegas entertainer, as he presents his biography chronicling his decades in show business.
Veteran entertainer, singer, producer, and TV host Sacca worked with biographer Arlene Krieger to tell his life story, detailing 50 years of entertaining people from casino showrooms to the White House.
In addition to discussing and signing his book, Tony Sacca will also perform, giving a glimpse into what has made him a Las Vegas stalwart.
The Last Bookstore is excited to welcome University of Virginia professor Charles Marsh as he presents his new biography of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
In the decades since his execution by the Nazis in 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor, theologian, and anti-Hitler conspirator, has become one of the most widely read and inspiring Christian thinkers of our time. Now, drawing on extensive new research, Strange Glory offers a definitive account, by turns majestic and intimate, of this modern icon.
The scion of a grand family that rarely went to church, Dietrich decided as a thirteen-year-old to become a theologian. By twenty-one, the rather snobbish and awkward young man had already written a dissertation hailed by Karl Barth as a “theological miracle.” But it was only the first step in a lifelong effort to recover an authentic and orthodox Christianity from the dilutions of liberal Protestantism and the modern idolatries of blood and nation—which forces had left the German church completely helpless against the onslaught of Nazism.
From the start, Bonhoeffer insisted that the essence of Christianity was not its abstract precepts but the concrete reality of the shared life in Christ. In 1930, his search for that true fellowship led Bonhoeffer to America for ten fateful months in the company of social reformers, Harlem churchmen, and public intellectuals. Energized by the lived faith he had seen, he would now begin to make what he later saw as his definitive “turn from the phraseological to the real.” He went home with renewed vocation and took up ministry among Berlin’s downtrodden while trying to find his place in the hoary academic establishment increasingly captive to nationalist fervor.
With the rise of Hitler, however, Bonhoeffer’s journey took yet another turn. The German church was Nazified, along with every other state-sponsored institution. But it was the Nuremberg laws that set Bonhoeffer’s earthly life on an ineluctable path toward destruction. His denunciation of the race statutes as heresy and his insistence on the church’s moral obligation to defend all victims of state violence, regardless of race or religion, alienated him from what would become the Reich church and even some fellow resistors. Soon the twenty-seven-year-old pastor was one of the most conspicuous dissidents in Germany. He would carry on subverting the regime and bearing Christian witness, whether in the pastorate he assumed in London, the Pomeranian monastery he established to train dissenting ministers, or in the worldwide ecumenical movement. Increasingly, though, Bonhoeffer would find himself a voice crying in the wilderness, until, finally, he understood that true moral responsibility obliged him to commit treason, for which he would pay with his life.
Charles Marsh brings Bonhoeffer to life in his full complexity for the first time. With a keen understanding of the multifaceted writings, often misunderstood, as well as the imperfect man behind the saintly image, here is a nuanced, exhilarating, and often heartrending portrait that lays bare Bonhoeffer’s flaws and inner torment, as well as the friendships and the faith that sustained and finally redeemed him. Strange Glory is a momentous achievement.
“Both intimate and theological, Marsh looks anew at Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), using rarely glimpsed correspondence to paint a warts-and-all portrait of this German martyr…
“Throughout the work, Marsh looks for ways of revisiting old truths about Bonhoeffer and offering fresh perspectives. Even his death is re-examined. Instead of simply repeating the story told by the concentration camp doctor that he died a quick death with grace and composure, Marsh points out that camp survivors have told different stories about how executions took place, leading one to believe Bonhoeffer suffered a terrible and tortuous end.
“There is no doubt Marsh’s portrayal will infuse new controversy into discussions about Bonhoeffer for years to come.” – Kirkus Reviews
Charles Marsh is a professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia and director of the Project on Lived Theology. He is the author of seven previous books, including God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights, which won the 1998 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. Of Marsh’s earlier volumesReclaiming Bonhoeffer, the late Eberhand Bethge, Bonhoeffer’s closest friend and first biographer, wrote: “This book is a theological sensation—an exciting event. Nobody who attempts to define Bonhoeffer’s legacy today will able to ignore Marsh’s book.” Marsh was a recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in 2009 and the 2010 Ellen Maria Gorrissen Berlin Prize fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Friday, July 4th:
Happy birthday, America! In case you’re wondering, We WILL BE OPEN until 6PM on July 4th! So yes, we are closing early, but we’ll be open long enough for you to come by and say hi!
The Last Bookstore is excited to host author Rachel Howzell Hall as she discusses and signs her new novel, Land of Shadows. Hall brings an exciting new voice to Los Angeles crime fiction.
Detective Elouise “Lou” Norton, a member of the L.A.P.D. homicide squad, now investigates crimes on the same streets her older sister disappeared from thirty years ago. When a seventeen-year-old girl is found dead of an apparent suicide at a condominium construction site, hanging in the closet of an unfinished unit, Lou isn’t buying the easy explanation.
For one thing, the condo site is owned by Napoleon Crase, a self-made millionaire—and the man who was the last person seen with Lou’s missing sister, Tori, when she was a teen. As Lou investigates the death of Monique Darson, she uncovers undeniable links between the two cases. But her department is skeptical.
Lou is convinced that when she solves Monique’s case she will finally bring her lost sister home. As she gets closer to the truth, however, she also gets closer to a violent killer. After all this time, can he be brought to justice. . .before Lou becomes his next victim?
Land of Shadows is a riveting tale of suspense that brings a diverse and important voice to the mystery/thriller world. Rachel Howzell Hall has created a memorable heroine in the strong, smart, sexy, and cynical Norton, and she takes the reader deep into the heart of the complex and ever-evolving neighborhoods of L.A.
“A hard-hitting tale of a modern, complex Los Angeles. Well-written and deftly paced…a story that stays with you after the last page is read.”
—Gary Phillips, author of Warlord of Willow Ridge
Rachel Howzell Hall is a writer/assistant development director at City of Hope, a national leader in cancer research and treatment. Her first novel, A Quiet Storm, received a starred review from Library Journal and was a featured selection for Borders’ Original Voices program, as well as an alternate selection for Black Expressions book club. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her online at:http://www.rachelhowzell.com/ or follow her @RachelHowzell.
The Last Bookstore is proud to host the book launch for Tween Hobo: Off the Rails.
TWEEN HOBO is the brainchild of playwright Alena Smith, who created the wildly popular Twitter persona in 2011. Called “one of the most imaginative uses for Twitter so far” by The Believer and ranked at #10 of “The Best 75 Twitter Accounts of 2012” by Paste Magazine, the Twitter feed has garnered a mass of devoted and in-the-know fans like Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, and Tavi Gevinson. The book’s illustrator, Kate Harmer, works on Zooey Deschanel, Rivka Rossi & Molly McAleer’s popular website, Hello Giggles.
BJ Novak (The Office, One More Thing) will emcee the evening as Alena Smith and Kate Harmer read, sign, and celebrate their new book.
This event is ticket-only, and the store will be closed to non-ticket holders from 7 p.m. onward. The ticket price includes a copy of Tween Hobo: Off the Rails. Additional copies will be available for purchase at the event.
Tickets are available here: http://bit.ly/1kaiEvx
Room 101 has been producing improv shows for over five years and has been called “the best indie improv show running” by LAist. We’re excited to bring some of the best improv teams in LA to the Last Bookstore!
Our lineup includes:
Convoy – “Best Improv Show” – LA Weekly Best of LA Issue, 2012
Bangarang! – “One of the quickest, most connected teams in the game.” – Splitsider
Shakedown (10 time UCB Cagematch champions)
Click HERE for more info!
Monday, June 16th, 7:30pm:
The Last Bookstore is thrilled to host the book launch for Ruin and Rising, the third book in Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grisha Trilogy.
The Last Bookstore is pleased to host Lama Marut as he discusses his newest book, Be Nobody.
We are all desperately trying to be somebody, to be “special”. We collect “friends” and “followers” online as symbols of our worth. We hunt fame and visibility.
But maybe we’ve got it all wrong.
With his edgy tone and radical perspective, Lama Marut follows up A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life by calling for the biggest revolution of all: the overthrow of our obsessive quest to be somebody. He shows readers that living an ethical life—a life of selflessness rather than unbridled egoism—is the key to true happiness and the foundation for creating a better world.
Without the need to seclude oneself in a monastery or retire to a cave in the Himalayas, Marut gives readers action steps and simple meditations to find true fulfillment.
“While reading this book, thinking about this book, and trying his suggestions I have begun to experience what life is like when one puts ‘the horse before the cart.’ I am experiencing a lot more time and a lot more love, and I am extremely grateful. It’s brilliant.” – Mary McDonnel, Academy Award nominated actress
Lama Marut (a.k.a. Brian K. Smith) is extensively trained in the spiritual traditions of India and Tibetan Buddhism. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Religion and taught for over two decades in the academic world, first at Columbia University and later at the University of California, where he retired as Professor Emeritus in 2004. He lived as a Buddhist monk for eight years and has served for the past fifteen years as a spiritual teacher to students around the world. Lama Marut is currently the Spiritual Director of eight “Middle Way Centers” located in North America, Australia, and Singapore.
In addition to several scholarly studies and translations based on Sanskrit materials, he is the author of the popular and award-winning book, A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life (Beyond Words, 2012).