Palm Beach’s Brazilian Court Hotel has amassed another eclectic lineup for its ninth annual Author Breakfast Series. For six Fridays beginning in January, the hotel will welcome crime novelists, memoirists, filmmakers, activists, historians, political biographers and more, to discuss their work over coffee and omelets.
Below is a breakdown of each author appearing in the series; tickets for each morning are $100 and include breakfast, valet parking and a copy of the featured book. The programs begin at 8:45 a.m. at 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach. For reservations and information, call 561/366-4301.
Jan. 11: One of the biggest names in American crime fiction, Michael Connelly has reaped countless awards and been translated into 36 languages for his hard-hitting thrillers – two of which, “Blood Work” and “The Lincoln Lawyer,” have been adapted for film. A former newspaper reporter who brings his eye for detail and shoe leather into his novels, Connelly will discuss his ambitious 2012 book “The Black Box,” in which his detective protagonist attempts to link a recent crime to a 20-year-old cold case.
Jan. 25: On some days known as Frank Rich’s better half, Alex Witchel is a writer of dazzling prose herself, specializing in the culinary arts. A former columnist for the New York Times’ “Feed Me” section, the New York Times Magazine staff writer will speak in support of her unique memoir “All Gone,” which addresses her remarkable mother’s decline from dementia with honesty, poetry and a surprising amount of humor. Jumping from childhood stories to recipes – Witchel prefers food to therapy, cooking many of her mother’s favorite meals during her decline – “All Gone” will make you sad, hungry, and leave you with the desire to call your mom all at once.
Feb. 1: Biographer, journalist and historian David Nasaw has explored 20th Century American history through some of its most totemic figures, having penned biographies on William Randolph Hearst and Andrew Carnegie. For his latest tome, “The Patriarch,” Nasaw explores the tumultuous life of Joseph P. Kennedy – banker, Hollywood mogul, stock exchange savant, shipyard manager, founding chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and father of two tragically slain politicians. Nasaw will be joined in this double bill by Mary Fisher, the daughter of Palm Beach philanthropist Marjorie Fisher, whose contraction of AIDS in the early 1990s led to an inspirational career in activism against the disease.
Feb. 15: You could do a lot worse than having Ben Affleck play you in a movie. Tony Mendez, the CIA exfiltration specialist who organized the rescue of six American diplomats during the Iranian Hostage Crisis, recently enjoyed such honors, and this morning, the man behind the real-life “Argo” will share his story. This time, it will presumably be free of dramatic license. Mendez will be joined by Janet Wallach, who will speak about Hetty Green, a self-made Gilded Age millionaire who defied the odds to become, as Wallach’s book title explains, “The Richest Woman in America.”
March 8: A perennial New York Times best-selling author, Susan Isaacs is a former editor of Seventeen magazine whose oeuvre has certainly matured, to say the least. A commendable book critic, screenwriter and First Amendment advocate, Isaacs has been penning intelligent crime fiction for nearly 35 years. Her latest book, “The Goldberg Variations,” takes the more contemplative mode of familial drama, involving a soon-to-retire proprietor of a million-dollar beauty makeover company whose alienation of everyone in her family has left her business without an heir.
March 29: For the better part of the past couple of years, Rebecca Miller has essentially been Mrs. Lincoln – such is the reality of the wife of Method actor Daniel Day-Lewis. This hasn’t stopped Miller, the daughter of renowned playwright Arthur, from establishing her own viable career as a director, screenwriter and novelist. Responsible for the winning low-budget films “Personal Velocity,” “The Ballad of Jack and Rose” and others, Miller will speak about her 2013 book “Jacob’s Folly,” a supernatural story about an 18th century Jewish peddler named Jacob “and three individuals who find their fates intertwined when Jacob is reincarnated.” Here’s hoping it’s better than the film version of “Cloud Atlas.”