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SOCIAL CLIMES

Authors on the menu

September 21, 2003|Ann Conway | Times Staff Writer

Celebrating 50 chances to dine with a favorite author in a private setting, community activist Dody Booth threw open the doors of her French Regency home in Bel-Air to kick off the Los Angeles Public Library's Literary Odyssey Dinners. Featured on the benefit menu at various L.A. venues Nov. 3: dinner with Michael Crichton ("Prey") at the art-filled townhouse of philanthropist Wallis Annenberg; with A. Scott Berg ("Kate Remembered") at the 18th century French-style mansion of Ann and Geoff Palmer; and with actor Kirk Douglas ("My Stroke of Luck") at a Malibu gathering co-hosted by Richard Riordan. Not to mention the dinner party for author Steve Oney and 16 guests at the Tuscan-style villa of Sandy and Larry Post.

"I wouldn't be an author if it weren't for libraries," Oney told library supporters, among them Odyssey Chairwoman Betsy Applebaum. In writing his book "And the Dead Shall Rise," a social history revolving around a 1915 lynching, he "haunted libraries in Atlanta, Boston, New York, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and half a dozen other cities," Oney said at the Sept. 9 garden party. "Libraries offer the sole setting in which writers can perform serious research."

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