7900 High School Rd, Elkins Park, PA

DATE: May 2-4, 2018

Scenic Hudson River Valley

Join our our next “Lit City” Reader Retreat. We’ll be heading to the beautiful Hudson River Valley in New York state for three days and two nights of literary pursuits. We’ll dine with authors, explore inspiring venues, stay in a stylish boutique hotel, and be surrounded by stunning scenery. All-in-all, a wonderful literary getaway!

Click HERE to register.


DAY 1: Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Travel on your own from home to the Hudson River Valley.
Travel time: approximately 3 ½ hours. A sample map with directions from Open Book Bookstore to our NY meeting place can be found HERE.
(Note: ride-sharing can be arranged for those who do not wish to drive.)

12:30pm: Meet at The Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-KillHyde Park, NY.

Val Kill Cottage

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Private group tour of Val-Kill.

2:00pm – 3:00pm: Private group book discussion led by Lynn Rosen at Val-Kill,
Book to be discussed: It’s Up to the Women by Eleanor Roosevelt, introduction by Jill Lepore (see below for list of books included in cost).

3:15pm: Depart Val-Kill

3:15 – 5:30pm: Optional additional sightseeing; travel to hotel; hotel check in.

Those who wish to visit the FDR home and museum can do so while in Hyde Park. Guests may also wish to visit the Vanderbilt Mansion. (Requires separate tickets.) 

After leaving Hyde Park, participants will travel on their own to our lodging at The Wick Hotel in Hudson, NY.
Travel time from Hyde Park to Hudson is approximately one hour. (Sample maps HERE.)
Note: Info for reserving lodging is below.

5:30pm – 6:45pm: Happy Hour at The Spotty Dog Books & Ale: A conversation with owner Kelley Drahushuk.
We’ll  chat with Kelley at the bar at The Spotty Dog, a long-time local independent bookstore (drinks optional) and learn about how she started the store, as well as about what literary life is like in the Hudson Valley. We’ll also have time to browse the store!


7pm – 8:30pm: Dinner at Mexican Radio
Over a delicious Mexican meal, we’ll have a book discussion led by Lynn Rosen of the brand new novel White Houses by Amy Bloom, which explores the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. The perfect complement to our visit to Val Kill! (See below for list of books included in cost.)

DAY 2: Thursday, May 3, 2018
Breakfast at your leisure. (Hotel breakfast is included.)

10:30am: Hike on Poet’s Walk, take in the view and share poetry selections. (Rain activity: visit Andy Warhol exhibit at Bard College.)

photo credit: Eliza Hicks

Andrea Barnet; Photo credit: Eliza Hicks

12:30pm – 2pm: Lunch with an Author  (location to be added)
We will join author Andrea Barnet for lunch to discuss her new book Visionary Women: How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall, and Alice Waters Changed Our World. (A copy of the book, published in March, is included. See below for details.) A great follow up to our conversations about Eleanor Roosevelt!  (See below for list of books included in cost.)

2:00pm – 3:30pm: Visit to Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, NY
Here we will meet with bookstore owner Suzanna Hermans. We will learn about her work at the store, what makes Oblong special, and also hear about her time as a judge for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. And since this bookstore sells music, it’s a nice opportunity to check out some of the bands we’ll be discussing with author Joe Hagen the next day! (See below.)


3:30 – 6:30: Free time
Stay in the charming town of Rhinebeck, stroll around and browse at the many shops in town. Or take in another site in a nearby town (suggestions to be provided). Or you might wish to just head back to the hotel and relax and get ready for dinner!

7:00pm – 8:30pm: Dinner with an Author (location to be added).

Francine Prose; Photo credit: Christine Jean Chambers

We will meet author Francine Prose, prolific and brilliant writer as well as professor at Bard College, for a conversation about her most recent novel, Mister Monkey(See below for list of books included in cost.)

DAY 3: Friday, May 4, 2018
Breakfast at your leisure. (Hotel breakfast is included.)
Check out of room. (Take your luggage with you.)

10:30am – 11:30am: Lit Chat with Lynn
A wide-ranging literary discussion in which we’ll recap what we’ve read, discussed, and learned so far and Lynn will provide some sneak peeks at forthcoming books for summer 2018.

Joe Hagen: Photo credit: Samantha Hunt

12:30pm – 2pm: Lunch with an Author (location to be added)
We’ll dine with Joe Hagen, author of Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine, for a wide-ranging discussion of the man and the huge swatch of musical and popular culture spotlighted in this cultural touchstone of a magazine. (See below for list of books included in cost.)

This will conclude our Reader Retreat. We will provide a list of sites to visit on your journey home if you so desire. Guests may also wish to stay in the area and attend the Hudson Valley Children’s Book Festival on their own on Saturday, May 5th.

Click HERE to register.

This fee includes meals and entry fees at sites visited. It also includes one copy of each book mentioned above:
It’s Up to the Women by Eleanor Roosevelt
White Houses by Amy Bloom
Visionary Women by Andrea Barnet
Mister Monkey by Francine Prose
Sticky Fingers by Joe Hagen
It does not include incidentals (such as drinks at The Spotty Dog) or any fees or activities participants undertake on their own during free time, or any other purchases made by participants during the trip.

Hotel cost is separate and not included in the Activity Fee. Participants are asked to make their hotel reservations directly with The Wick Hotel. A block of hotel rooms has been reserved at The Wick Hotel at the special rate of $175 per night (plus tax and applicable fees). You can reserve your room online by clicking HERE or call The Wick (833-THE-WICK ) and say you are part of the Open Book Literary Tour.



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