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Happy Hour Authors Club

All Friends members are invited to join us for book discussions with the authors at the Bourbon Grill at El Gancho in our Happy Hour Authors Club. Enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres at Happy Hour discount prices during the informal author introduction and free-ranging conversation. Bring your thoughts, opinions, and your questions for the author.

Cost: FREE benefit for Friends members; non-members may purchase memberships at the door
Time: 5:00–6:30 PM (Doors open at 4:30 PM for drink & hors d’oeuvres orders.)
Location: 104 Old Las Vegas Hwy, Santa Fe, NM 87505

Advance Ticket Reservation Required
Due to the size of the room, we require advance ticket reservations, available about a month before each event. After you reserve your ticket, you will receive an email confirmation. If you are unable to attend the event, please click “Manage Your Account” in the confirmation email to cancel your ticket so that someone else can attend. If you have problems making or cancelling your ticket, please email

Unassisted LivingThursday, November 29, 2018
Bob Puglisi will lead a discussion on Unassisted Living
Free Required Ticket Reservation (for Friends members only)
In 1975, Mildred Meyers, a feisty, seventy-year-old, leads a revolt against the City of New York and a wealthy real estate developer who want to demolish her Lower East Side tenement to make way for condominiums. Mildred and her cohorts take on the police with rotten produce, eggs, shaving cream, and whipped cream from aerosol cans. The police arrest Mildred and her elderly accomplices. Mildred’s daughter Nancy, a busy prima ballerina, goes to New York to bail out her mother. In order to save Mildred from a stiff jail sentence, Nancy must take her mother back to Los Angeles with her. Nancy finds a home for Mildred at the Star Bright Senior Residence in Hollywood. Stanley Cutler, a loveable, long-haired hippy-type in his early-thirties, owns and operates the semi-rundown establishment. Mildred adapts surprisingly quickly to her new environment and bonds with Stanley and his quirky residents. She proves to be a real asset when the Los Angeles Licensing Commission and the IRS harasses Stanley. Mildred senses that someone or something is behind the harassment. Eventually, Mildred’s over-bearing personality hits everyone like an unexpected tornado. After an incident in which Mildred betrays the trust of her fellow residents, she decides to move to Hawaii, a dream she has harbored for years. Her daughter agrees to fulfill her mother’s wish—until something unexpected happens to Nancy that changes Mildred’s plans. 

Prairie FiresThursday, February 21, 2019
Caroline Fraser will lead a discussion on Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder
Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls, the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains, and the woman who wrote the famous autobiographical books. But the true saga of her life has never been fully told. Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser, the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House series, masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder’s biography. Revealing the grown-up story behind the most influential childhood epic of pioneer life, she also chronicles Wilder’s tumultuous relationship with her journalist daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, setting the record straight regarding charges of ghostwriting that have swirled around the books. The Little House books, for all the hardships they describe, are paeans to the pioneer spirit, portraying it as triumphant against all odds. But Wilder’s real life was harder and grittier than that, a story of relentless struggle, rootlessness, and poverty. It was only in her sixties, after losing nearly everything in the Great Depression, that she turned to children’s books, recasting her hardscrabble childhood as a celebratory vision of homesteading and achieving fame and fortune in the process, in one of the most astonishing rags-to-riches episodes in American letters. Spanning nearly a century of epochal change, from the Indian Wars to the Dust Bowl, Wilder’s dramatic life provides a unique perspective on American history and our national mythology of self-reliance. With fresh insights and new discoveries, Prairie Fires reveals the complex woman whose classic stories grip us to this day. [winner of the Pulitzer Prize]

ResidueThursday, April 25, 2019
Michael McGarrity will lead a discussion on Residue
Former police chief Kevin Kerney returns, this time as the prime suspect in a brutal cold-case murder investigation. Against the backdrop of the harsh desert and high mountain country of southwestern New Mexico, a high-octane quest for the truth untangles a complex history of dark family secrets, cold-blooded murders, rogue cops, a devastating plane crash, and the possibility of one family’s reconciliation. A long-unsolved missing person case becomes a homicide investigation when the bones of Kim Ward are unearthed in Las Cruces, New Mexico, forty-five years after her disappearance. Compelling forensic and anecdotal evidence quickly shifts suspicion to Ward’s old college boyfriend: former Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney. With damning evidence against him compiled by his own son, New Mexico State Police Lieutenant Clayton Istee, Kerney is arrested. He has no alibi and not a single witness to speak for him. Under intense media scrutiny and 24/7 police surveillance, Kerney must rely solely on the help of his wife, Sara, and a renowned criminal defense lawyer to discover if there are any remaining clues that can exonerate him or lead to the killer. As the trio begin to reconstruct the events leading to Ward’s murder, Istee reexamines his suspicions about Kerney’s guilt and decides to risk everything to help prove his father’s innocence.

WashThursday, June 20, 2019
Margaret Wrinkle will lead a discussion on Wash
In early 1800s Tennessee, two men find themselves locked in an intimate power struggle. Richardson, a troubled Revolutionary War veteran, has spent his life fighting not only for his country but also for wealth and status. When the pressures of westward expansion and debt threaten to destroy everything he’s built, he sets Washington, a young man he owns, to work as his breeding sire. Wash, the first member of his family to be born into slavery, struggles to hold onto his only solace: the spirituality inherited from his shamanic mother. As he navigates the treacherous currents of his position, despair and disease lead him to a potent healer named Pallas. Their tender love unfolds against this turbulent backdrop while she inspires him to forge a new understanding of his heritage and his place in it. Once Richardson and Wash find themselves at a crossroads, all three lives are pushed to the brink.

The KreminologistThursday, August 22, 2019
Sherry Thompson will lead a discussion on The Kreminologist
Against the sprawling backdrop of the Cold War, The Kremlinologist revisits some of the twentieth century’s greatest conflicts as seen through the eyes of its hardest working diplomat, Llewellyn E Thompson. From the wilds of the American West to the inner sanctums of the White House and the Kremlin, Thompson became an important advisor to presidents and a key participant in major global events, including the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War. Thompson’s daughters Jenny and Sherry Thompson skillfully and thoroughly document his life as an accomplished career diplomat. In vigorous prose, they describe how Thompson joined the Foreign Service both to feed his desire for adventure and from a deep sense of duty. They also detail the crucial role he played as a negotiator unafraid of compromise. Known in the State Department as "Mr. Tightlips," Thompson was the epitome of discretion. People from completely opposite ends of the political spectrum lauded his approach to diplomacy and claimed him as their own. Refuting historical misinterpretations of the Berlin Crisis, the Austrian State Treaty, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Thompsons tell their father’s fascinating story. With unprecedented access to Thompson’s FBI dossier, State Department personnel files, letters, diaries, speeches, and documents, and relying on probing interviews and generous assistance from American and Russian archivists, historians, and government officials, the authors bring new material to light, including important information on the U-2, Kennan’s containment policy, and Thompson’s role in US covert operations machinery.

The Maverick CookbookThursday, October 24, 2019
Lynn Cline will lead a discussion on The Maverick Cookbook
Lynn Cline chronicles the fascinating history of New Mexico cuisine through the stories of 12 iconic figures: from Doña Tules, Fred Harvey and Billy the Kid to Georgia O’Keeffe and Dennis Hopper. These trailblazers include artists and authors, gamblers and outlaws, entrepreneurs, and the ancient Pueblo people, all of whom had a hand in shaping the region’s celebrated cuisine. Each story is inspired by history--fictional imaginings of a day, or a moment, in the remarkable lives of these mavericks. Each chapter includes original recipes with authentic ingredients and traditional techniques of the era. And Guy Ambrosino’s beautiful photographs capture the timelessness of the foods featured in the book, bringing the recipes to life in rich, vibrant color that will inspire you to make each dish at home.

The Bourbon Grill  

Our thanks to The Bourbon Grill at El Gancho for generously donating the space for the Friends Happy Hour Authors Club discussions and offering drinks and hors d’oeuvres at Happy Hour discount prices throughout our book club meetings.
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