Category Archives: Book Events

Directors Tell the Story

Bethany Rooney (Brothers and Sisters, Private Practice, Desperate Housewives), and Emmy Award-winner Mary Lou Belli have written what I am unabashedly calling one of the absolute best books written about film making ever. “Directors Tell the Story”, in the space of 308 pages — including an amazing glossary– teaches more about film and TV directing than most 4-year programs manage to. Years of experience, wisdom and insight are combined here to create chapter after chapter of the most lucid, balanced advice I’ve ever read, all in one place. Everything from how to read a script to how to talk to an actor, to what a walk ‘n’ talk  is, to how not to lose your temper… oh, and craft and technique and camera and leadership and everything else you can think… also some things you can’t!

The authors are both TV directors, and that happens to be the secret, in my opinion, of the book’s magic. As Rooney says, and I’m paraphrasing, “we do everything Spielberg does, except with less time and less money.” So they have to be extra-prepared and extra-good. If I were going to take lessons from anyone, it would be from the authors of this surprisingly engaging, fascinating book.

The good news is, I get to be here when the publication of “Directors Tell the Story” is celebrated tomorrow evening. From 6pm-8pm Bethany Rooney and Mary Lou Belli will welcome you to our beautiful garden, where refreshments will be served. Copies will be on sale inside POAB before and after the event and there will be ample time to speak with the authors, ask questions and get your book signed. Jason George will join us mid-way for a reading.

Hope to see you there!

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The Santa Story Revisited-Book Signing Tomorrow

The Santa Story Revisited: How to Give Your Children a Santa They Will Never Outgrow

by Arita Trahan


Read what the Huffington Post had to say about it here.

What a simple, inspired solution to an age-old and, for some, quite shattering problem.

Join us tomorrow, Tuesday November 30th, (exactly 24 days to the big day,) from 3-5pm. Get a book signed to you and spend some time with Arita, whose smile is enough to charm you into anything.



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Charlie Kaufman Biography SIGNING TODAY


The managing editor of CinemaEditor magazine, Doreen Alexander Child has, with access to producers, cinematographers, editors, actors, and film crews, written the first in-depth analysis of Charlie Kaufman’s life and writing.

The book is Charlie Kaufman: Confessions of an Original Mind and it and the author will be available at Portrait TODAY, November 13 from 3pm to 5pm.

Part of the Modern Filmmakers series, this exhaustive study of Kaufman’s life and work is organized chronologically to cover his early influences as well as his most-recent ventures. Highlights include explorations ofKaufman’s collaboration with Being John Malkovich director Spike Jonze—who stood him up for their first meeting—and the writer’s conflict with George Clooney (about whom Kaufman says, “I can tell you that George Clooney is my least favorite person”). There are analyses of Human Nature,Adaptation, and the hauntingly beautiful Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which led to an Academy Award. The book also studies Kaufman’s sound plays for Theatre of the New Ear and his directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York.




Doreen Alexander Child will sign your copies and be available for some friendly banter about one of the most interesting artists of our time.

Grab a drink and make an evening of it. It promises to be a lovely time!


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J.W. Winslow signs JASMINE DOGS this Saturday(TODAY!) at!

This is J.W. Winslow and she’s quite remarkable.

Writer, Artist and Poet, J.W. is the founder of FRESH ART and the Radio Host of WinslowArt.

JASMINE DOGS: Mystic Adventures in Big Sur (Volume I), the “World’s Premier Green Novel”, is about a woman torn between the very enticing world of Hollywood success and the passions found therein, and the almost other-worldly beauty, serenity and magic of her home in Big Sur. Guided by an Esalen Indian Mystic, entangled in an extraordinary romance, she plunges into a life which leads her on a… well, a mystic adventure…

You’re invited to meet J.W. Winslow, get your hands on this beautiful book, and meet others similarly drawn to this story.

Also, the first three guests will receive free copies of the book!


Hope to see you there!

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Children’s Book Signing at Portrait this Saturday (Updated: TODAY)!

UPDATED: Today we are expecting a High of 77 degrees Fahrenheit, cloudy in the AM, sunny in the PM. I’m not your kids’ parent but I wouldn’t recommend you allow them into the pool. And the grass will definitely still be wet at the park. You really only have one other alternative. Be at Portrait between 11 and 1. We’ll be happy to see you because we’ll already be there. You’ll be happy you did it because, as I said, it’s your best alternative for this morning. And the kids, well, the kids will love it!



Come meet Candace Ryan and Diane Browning!


They’ll sign books, color with you, show you how to draw, even. You can ask them anything you want about their books and how to write and publish your own.

There will be treats, a water fountain to stop up with gum, sunshine and laughter.

Tell me you have somewhere better than a bookstore to take the kids in your life to on a Saturday afternoon!


You will be able to purchase books inside the bookstore and walk out into our garden to meet with the authors.




Imaginative, inspiring and beautifully illustrated, these two very different books will delight your children

and the only thing cooler than reading is reading a book written by someone you spent an afternoon with!

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Mark Frauenfelder Makes Things

Mark Frauenfelder is one crafty fellow. His latest book is not only a fun romp, but a guidebook of sorts for those in need of inspiration — almost anything which has performed its primary function can be transformed into something else of use, using only your hands and imagination.

To get a sense of Frauenfelder’s personality and come to realize you wish he was your best friend, read his blog.

Watch him with Stephen Colbert.

He is the Editor in Chief of Make Magazine and founder of

We’re happy to announce that we’ve got him to ourselves for just a bit of time this Saturday, the 12th of June, starting at 4pm. Frauenfelder will be in our garden signing copies of his new book, Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World. If you don’t have a copy of your own yet, the book will be available at the bookstore.

Hope to see you there!

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