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Pictures from Rochester Reads 2016

RR_logo_CMYK_2016Another Rochester Reads has come to an end. Click on the following links to view our Facebook albums of Sonja’s readings at each venue.

Wood Library

Finger Lakes Community College

Palmyra Community Library

Nazareth College

Rochester Institute of Technology

St. John Fisher College

Penfield Public Library

Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County NY

The Summit at Brighton

Greece Public Library

Roberts Wesleyan College

Valley Manor

Novel Evening with Sonja Livingston

944984_10154045877849204_2454403354934337233_nWhere to start thanking?

Our Venues: Wood Library, Finger Lakes Community College, Palmyra Community Library, Nazareth College, Rochester Institute of Technology,St. John Fisher College, Penfield Public Library, Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County NY, The Summit at Brighton, Greece Public Library, Roberts Wesleyan College and Valley Manor

Our Presenting Sponsor: Ameriprise Financial
Our Supporting Sponsors: The Fred & Floy Willmott Foundation, HBT Architects, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust, Paychex, Harris Beach PLLC, City Blue Imaging Services, New York State Council on the Arts, andNational Endowment for the Arts

Our gracious author Sonja Livingston

…and to all of you. Without your participation in ‪#‎RochesterReads‬, we could not turn Rochester into one giant book club for 5 days and four nights. Your support of Writers & Books workshops and programs makes us excited looking forward to our next 35 years!

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Sonja Livingston: Author Appearances Rochester Reads 2016


During her time in Rochester, Sonja Livingston will make over a dozen appearances at schools, senior living centers, and libraries. Each site will enjoy a reading by the author, followed by a book signing. Find a reading near you! (Note, all events are free, but some require registration)


Tues. March 15 – 10:00-11:15am Wood Library

Author visit by Sonja Livingston: Reading followed by Q&A and book signing 

Wood Library – 134 N. Main St. CANANDAIGUA Free.

No registration required. For more information call (585) 394-1381.


Tues. March 15 – 12:45-2:00pm Finger Lakes Community College  

Author visit by Sonja Livingston: Reading followed by Q&A and book signing 

Finger Lakes Community College Auditorium 3325 Marvin Sands Dr. CANANDAIGUA.

Free for students/$2 general public.

No registration required. For more information call (585) 785-1367 or email


Tues. March 15 – 3:00-4:30pm Palmyra Community Library           

Author visit by Sonja Livingston: Reading followed by Q&A and book signing

Palmyra Community Library 402 E. Main St. PALMYRA

Free. Free, but registration required starting February 19.. For more information call (315) 597-5276.


Tues. March 15 – 7:00-9:00pm Nazareth College          

Author visit by Sonja Livingston: Reading followed by Q&A and book signing

Nazareth College Callahan Theater, Arts Center 4245 East Ave. ROCHESTER   (sponsored by The Marie Callahan Reading Center Memorial Fund and the Graduate Literacy Programs of Nazareth College)

Free. No registration required. For more information call Dr. Naomi Erdmann at (585) 389-2614.


Wed. March 16 – 1:00-2:15pm Rochester Institute of Technology   

Author visit by Sonja Livingston: Reading followed by Q&A and book signing

Rochester Institute of Technology, Reading Room Campus Life Center One Lomb Memorial Dr. HENRIETTA

(sponsored by the English Department, RIT Libraries, the University Writing Program and the Center for Women and Gender)

Free. No registration required. For more information email


Wed. March 16 – 3:00-4:30pm St. John Fisher College

Author visit by Sonja Livingston: Reading followed by Q&A and book signing 

St. John Fisher College, Golisano Gateway Midlevel, 3690 East Ave. ROCHESTER

Free. No registration required. For more information contact MJ Iuppa at


Wed. March 16 – 7:00-9:30pm Penfield Public Library           

Author visit by Sonja Livingston: Reading followed by Q&A and book signing

Penfield Public Library, 1985 Baird Rd. PENFIELD

Free but registration required beginning Feb. 17. To register or for more information call (585) 340-8720.


Thurs. March 17 – 12:00-1:30pm Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County           

Author visit by Sonja Livingston: Reading followed by Q&A and book signing

Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County, 115 South Ave. ROCHESTER

Free. No registration required. For more information call (585) 428-8350 or email


Thurs. March 17 – 2:00-3:30pm The Summit at Brighton       

Author visit by Sonja Livingston: Reading followed by Q&A and book signing

The Summit at Brighton, 2000 Summit Circle Dr. BRIGHTON

Free but registration required. For more information or to register call Julia Ryan at (585) 341-2311 or email


Thurs. March 17 – 7:00-8:30pm Greece Public Library           

Author visit by Sonja Livingston: Reading followed by Q&A and book signing 

Greece Public Library, 2 Vince Tofany Blvd. GREECE

Free but registration required. For more information or to register call (585) 225-8951 or visit


Fri. March 18 – 11:00am-12:30pm Roberts Wesleyan College

Author visit by Sonja Livingston: Reading followed by Q&A and book signing

Roberts Wesleyan College, Cox Hall Auditorium, 2301 Westside Dr. ROCHESTER

Free. No registration required. For more information email


Fri. March 18 – 3:00-4:30pm Valley Manor        

Author visit by Sonja Livingston: Reading followed by Q&A and book signing 

Valley Manor, 1570 East Ave. ROCHESTER

Free but registration required. To register or for more information call (585) 770-1956 or email Gail Reeves at


Fri. March 18 – 5:30-7:00pm          

A Novel Evening with Sonja Livingston     

Location provided with tickets; space for this intimate event is very limited.

Tickets are $75 each. To purchase tickets call (585) 473-2590 x106.


Sat. March 19 – 10:00am-12:00pm            Writers & Books

Master Class with Sonja Livingston

Writers & Books, 740 University Ave. ROCHESTER

$45 W&B members/$50 nonmembers. To register call (585) 473-2590, x107.

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Rochester Reads at NOX Cocktail Lounge

We couldn’t have been more excited when we got a literary themed bar in the Neighborhood of the Arts, and we’ve been making the most of having Nox Cocktail Lounge around the corner from us in Village Gate.


Next week, we have two Rochester Reads nights happening at Nox.

First, on Monday, February 29th (Leap Day) we have our Mythology Quiz Night!

Come show your expertise as a “mythologist,” the vocation schoolgirl Sonja Livingston chose in Queen of the Fall. Trivia starts at 8:00 PM. Bring a team, meet friends, make it a date night. Brush up on your knowledge of Zeus, Hear, Hades and the rest!

Then on Saturday, March 5th, we are having a Soirée with Sonja!

Meet the author of Queen of the Fall Sonja Livingston! We’ll have readers guides on hand and copies of the book to sell.



Both evenings will feature “The Odyssey”, a signature cocktail prepared by the staff at Nox and inspired by the book Queen of the Fall. 


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NOTA Donations dropped off at Dimitri House

12729151_10153989453224204_3025803683795324057_nWriters & Books and several Neighborhood of the Arts Business Association members collected nonperishable goods and mens clothing items until the end of January to donate to the Dimitri House. Earlier this week, Writers & Books dropped off 9 boxes of donations to Dimitri House. This food & clothing drive was in conjunction with former Dimitri House Executive Director Fran Morse’s reading at Writers & Books on Thursday, January 21st.

By collecting the following items, NOTABA helped The Dimitri House stock their shelves to help those in need during the upcoming cold winter months.

Items collected included:
Men’s gloves
Nonperishable/canned goods
Men’s toiletries
Household goods including dish soap, toilet paper, sponges, paper towels

NOTA businesses that participated in collecting goods included:

Writers & Books

Salena’s Mexican Restaurant

City Newspaper


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Literary Love Stories

Love is in the air. Valentine’s Day approaches, with its boxes of chocolates and heart-shaped cards with curly, elegant cursive. Needless to say, thousands of couples this weekend will be flipping through Netflix, HBO, or what have you, looking for that perfect romance flick. Be it a rom-com, a history drama, or something in between the two, there’s no denying that Valentine’s is the perfect night for love stories. But if you’re like me, sometimes it’s hard to decide on something to watch. You flip through channel after channel, watching the night trickle away, and nothing really jumps out at you. Not the most exciting way to spend a special night in with your loved one! So if Sunday night rolls around and you find yourself trapped in the dreaded cycle of flipping through channels, why not set a new trend and pick up one of these literary love stories instead?

Here are some of our staff’s picks for their favorite literary love stories!

Joe Flaherty, Executive Director:


My favorite literary couple is Holden Caulfield and his sister Phoebe, from Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.

Tate DeCaro, Development Associate:


I feel like I should probably choose something cultured like Scarlett O’Hara & Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind, which I’ve never read or seen, or the obvious Romeo & Juliet, which I’ve both read and seen many times, but no matter how much I love Shakespeare, all of his love stories are kind of absurd (though always a great read). So, I’m going with another obvious, though more contemporary, choice: Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. Because they’re actually really good for each other (which I don’t often think is true in “great literary love stories”). Because they build a strong friendship first. Because they don’t hinder each others plans/needs/emotions/true characters. And because obviously Harry needed to officially be a part of the Weasley family somehow.

Sally Bittner Bonn, Director of Youth Education:


I’m going to have to go with Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables. Their courtship (i.e. him calling her “carrots” and her getting so infuriated) is so human and honest. Witnessing them growing up together is heartwarming. She is one of my favorite feisty literary characters, and he is a great match for her—as they are both so stubborn, smart, and truly thoughtful.

Karen vanMeenen, Director of “If All of Rochester Reads…”


Jake and Ennis from Annie Proulx’s short story Brokeback Mountain. As young men, Jake and Ennis share an immediate soulful connection they cannot deny. They find it painful to be kept apart but the challenges of the social mores of their day (the narrative begins in 1963), including their marriages to others, leaves them struggling to live authentic lives and to honor their love for each other.

Kathy Pottetti, Director of Gell Center Operations:


My favorite literary couple is Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind.   It’s an all time classic movie and novel. I’ve been to Atlanta, GA. to Margaret Mitchell’s home and purchased her book there, a genuine   “Sense of Place.”   They are classy, romantic and feisty together. It’s such a dramatic story of the Civil War, and the emphasis of Scarlett O’Hara, the southern belle living on her plantation “Tara”, during this period of time, and how she survives during the Civil War and Reconstruction. She’s such a damsel in distress… her love affairs with Ashley Wilkes and Rhett Butler and Rhett’s famous line to her “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” is classic! It’s the constant tug and pull that makes them so exciting together.

Emma Lynge, Blog Coordinator and Front Desk Representative:


My favorite would have to be Faramir and Eowyn from The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien. At the start of the story, they’re both looking for someone to validate their self-worth in a really unhealthy way. Faramir craves his father’s approval and love, and Eowyn wants the same from Aragorn. Over the course of the war, all of the terrible things that happen help to strip away what’s unimportant and let Faramir and Eowyn find themselves again. Faramir defends Gondor not for his father, but because it’s the right thing to do, and Eowyn slays the Witch-King of Angmar not to prove herself to Aragorn, but for herself, because she’s awesome. That they end up together at the end of the book is a little unexpected and exciting for both of them, but they’ve finally figured out what it is they really want and they don’t really care who judges them for it. It’s a really sweet story about not looking for someone to validate you, but rather letting your self-confidence guide you where you want to go.

Albert Abonado, Director of Adult Programming:


When I think of literary couples (fictional or otherwise), I often think of Larry and Sally Morgan from Wallace Stegner’s lyrical Crossing to Safety. It’s been a while since I’ve read this book, but here is a couple that has never left me. We watch Larry and Sally struggling to make a living,and suffer alongside them when Sally is struck with polio. I loved the book for its quiet and careful observations of the ordinary, how Stegner so wisely understood the interior workings of marriage and friendship, and admired Larry and Sally Morgan for their deep and resilient love throughout their years.

Chris Fanning, Public Relations:


Not my favorite literary couple, but a couple non the less would be the character Quint and the shark from Peter Benchley’s novel JAWS. Though the relationship may be one-sided and at some points border on an Ahab-like obsession on Quints part, at the end of the book, after a long pursuit, the characters end up together….(insert rimshot sound effect)