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Books by the Sea 2019







Calling all booklovers! Bring your book club and join us for a fabulous weekend in beautiful Madison, CT. We'll discuss the best new fiction titles, make recommendations for your next book club read, and spend time with bestselling authors Alice Hoffman and Laura Sims!


Schedule of Events

Saturday, November 2:


11:00AM  Check-In at RJ Julia Booksellers

Check-in at the bookstore and receive your RJ Julia Booksellers tote bag with books, swag, and everything you’ll need to have a great weekend!


11:30AM Books on the Menu Luncheon

Get the inside scoop on the latest and greatest fall fiction and recent award winners with RJ Julia Boooksellers' Chief Operating Officer Lori Fazio and Head Adult Book Buyer Andrew Brennan.

First up, our "APPETIZERS"-- We're serving up bites of hidden gems that you may not have heard of but are definitely worth devouring.

For our "MAIN COURSE"-- Literary masterpieces that you can really sink your teeth into. Andrew and Lori will share titles you don't want to miss!

And then, some frothy fun for "DESSERT"-- Light, fun reads that are perfect for enjoying on a cool, crisp fall day!

Lunch includes a gourmet sandwich courtesy of RJ Cafe and Bistro, chips, bottled water, and a delicious freshly baked cookie for dessert!


1:30PM Book Club Discussion Workshops

Attendees will receive (via USPS) a soon-to-be-released fiction title, to be read in advance.  Please come ready to discuss during this workshop!  Ticket holders will receive further details about the novels upon completion of ticket purchase.


4:30PM Keynote Author Event Featuring Alice Hoffman,

The World That We Knew

In Conversation with RJ Julia Booksellers founder Roxanne J. Coady

“Oh, what a book this is! Hoffman’s exploration of the world of good and evil, and the constant contest between them, is unflinching; and the humanity she brings to us—it is a glorious experience. The book builds and builds, as she weaves together, seamlessly, the stories of people in the most desperate of circumstances—and then it delivers with a tremendous punch. It opens up the world, the universe, in a way that it absolutely unique. By the end you may be weeping.” —Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Olive Kitteridge

Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The World That We KnewThe Rules of MagicThe Marriage of OppositesPractical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on EarthThe Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. She lives near Boston.

Individual General Admission tickets for this keynote author event are also available.

Event Location: The First Congregational Church of Madison, CT; 26 Meeting House Lane, Madison. Books by the Sea ticket holders wlll receive premier seating at this event.



Schedule of Events

Sunday, November 3:


10:00am Book Club Reading Recommendations 

Local reading and book buying experts will share new and exciting titles for the Fall season.  These titles are perfect for book clubs of all sizes and interests! The discussion will be lead by Jennifer Black, Penguin Random House Sale Representative extraordinaire, and bestselling author Matthew Dicks.

Jennifer Black has been working in the publishing world for 25 years – 20+ at Penguin Random House (but who is counting). Her passion is connecting readers to writers. 

Matthew Dicks is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Something Missing, Unexpectedly, Milo, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs, Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling, and the upcoming Twenty-one Truths About LoveHis novels have been translated into more than 25 languages worldwide. 

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend was the 2014 Dolly Gray Award winner and was a finalist for the 2017 Nutmeg Award in Connecticut. 


11:30am Author Event featuring Laura Sims, Looker

Vogue’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2019” | Entertainment Weekly’s “One of January’s Hottest Reads” | Literary Hub’s “Most Anticipated Books of 2019” |  Southern Living’s “Best New Books Coming Out Winter 2019”

In this taut, arresting debut, a woman becomes fixated on her neighbor—the actress. 

Though the two women live just a few doors apart, a chasm lies between them. The actress, a celebrity with a charmed career, shares a gleaming brownstone with her handsome husband and three adorable children, while the recently separated narrator, unhappily childless and stuck in a dead-end job, lives in a run-down, three-story walk-up with her ex-husband’s cat.

As her fascination grows, the narrator’s hold on reality begins to slip. Before long, she’s collecting cast-off items from the actress’s stoop and fantasizing about sleeping with the actress’s husband. After a disastrous interaction with the actress at the annual block party, what began as an innocent preoccupation turns into a stunning—and irrevocable—unraveling. Immersive and darkly entertaining, Looker is a searing psychological portrait of obsession.

Laura Sims lives outside of New York City with her family. Looker is her debut novel.


1:00pm Reception with RJ Julia Booksellers' Chief Operating Officer Lori Fazio.

Join us as we wrap up a fabulous weekend of book banter and exciting author events.  We'll have lots to chat about!  Wine and light bites will be served.


A ticket for Books by the Sea is $150.00 per person and includes admission to exclusive Books by the Sea events: Books on the Menu luncheon; premier seating at the Alice Hoffman event, with a hardcover edition of The World That We Knew; premier seating at the Laura Sims event, with a paperback edition of Looker; an advanced reader edition for the book club discussion workshop (sent via USPS in advance); and an RJ Julia Booksellers tote bag filled with surprises!


RJ Julia Booksellers is pleased to partner with the following locations for exceptional accommodations. Please mention you're attending Books by the Sea, and you'll receive 10% off your stay for Saturday evening, November 2, 2019.



From casual to formal, seafood to sandwiches, Madison has a number of award-winning restaurants for every palette and interest!

Madison, CT Chamber of Commerce offers a number of suggestions on their website.

Event Date: 
Saturday, November 2, 2019 - 10:00am EDT to Sunday, November 3, 2019 - 3:00pm EST
Event address: 
RJ Julia Booksellers
768 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443