O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
From “A Dream Within A Dream by Edgar Allan Poe
I’ve been reading with great jealousy about the first annual “Beverly Hills Literary Escape” which takes place October 22-24. Since I’m just returning from a trip then, I can’t make it to Beverly Hills, but the lineup sounds fantastic and hopefully there will be a second annual event. Their web site has already inspired me to place an order for David Ulin’s The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Are Important in a Distracted Time.
Organizers bill the event as “an exciting weekend of unique events designed for the discerning reader. An intersection of literary culture and entertainment, BHLE brings together food, wine and books. Offering insider access to the country’s most sought after authors through novel experiences set amidst the luxury of Beverly Hills.” Check out the activities and the list of authors who will be on tap.
My book club has read several books by authors who will be at this event. Some favorites include Thrity Umrigar’s The Space Between Us and Gail Tsukiyama’s novels Women of the Silk and The Samurai’s Garden.
I chuckled when I read that a portion of proceeds from event tickets and book sales will benefit the Beverly Hills Public Library. I haven’t spent a lot of time there, but from what I’ve seen of Beverly Hills, their library is probably in pretty good shape already. Nonetheless, the event’s organizers, Julie Robinson and Tyson Cornell, are hitting what is for me the sweet spot where literature connects with community—when readers go “beyond the book” so share ideas and meaningful conversation with authors and fellow readers, face to face.
For those of us who won’t be mingling in the luxury of Beverly Hills, the event is a good one to inspire our own local literary “salons” on a smaller scale.