Will Schwalbe to Chat BOOKS FOR LIVING at The Music Hall This January

The Music Hall's Innovation and Leadership series will present the New York Times bestselling author Will Schwalbe on Thursday, January 19.

The beloved author of The End of Your Life Book Club will discuss his latest work, BOOKS FOR LIVING, a celebration of reading and an impassioned recommendation of specific books that can help guide us through our daily lives.

The 7pm event includes an author presentation and moderated Q+A, plus post-event book signing and meet-and-greet. It will be held at The Music Hall Loft at 131 Congress Street, in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

In BOOKS FOR LIVING, Will Schwalbe asks: Why is it that we read? Is it to pass time? To learn something new? For the author, reading is not only a way to entertain himself but also to make sense of the world, to become a better person, and to find the answers to the big (and small) questions about how to live life. In this delightful celebration of reading, Schwalbe invites us along on his quest for books that speak to the specific challenges of living in our modern world, with all its noise and distractions.

"This book and this event is for anyone and everyone who loves to read, or to talk about books and literature," said Margaret Talcott, Producer of Writers in the Loft and the evening's moderator. "Will Schwalbe confirms what we all know - that reading is about more than just reading. It's about connecting, discovering, and sharing experiences. His list of top picks is a perfect gift for the new year - the very best kind of "to do" list."

"I enjoyed his recent Wall Street Journal feature story*, in which he discussed the primacy of reading, saying 'reading books remains one of the best ways to engage with the world, become a better person and understand life's questions, big and small,'" she added.

Each chapter of BOOKS FOR LIVING focuses on a particular book, the author's recommendations for reading Melville, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Anne Lamott, E.B. White, Haruki Murakami and so much in between. We also learn what brought Schwalbe to the book (or vice versa), and the people in his life he associates with it.

The books Schwalbe selected span centuries and genres, from classic works of adult and children's literature to contemporary thrillers and even cookbooks, and each one relates to the questions and concerns we all share. Throughout, Schwalbe focuses on the way certain books can help us honor those we've loved and lost, and also figure out how to live each day more fully. Rich with stories and recommendations, BOOKS FOR LIVING is a treasure for everyone who loves books and loves to hear the answer to the question: "What are you reading?"

Will Schwalbe has worked in publishing (he's now EVP, Editorial Development and Content Innovation for Macmillan); digital media, as the founder and CEO of Cookstr.com; and as a journalist, writing for various publications, including The New York Times and the South China Morning Post. He is on the board of the Kingsborough Community College Foundation. He is the author of The End of Your Life Book Club, and coauthor, with David Shipley, of Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better. He is a graduate of St. Paul's School (1980) and Yale College (1984).

The ticket package for Innovation and Leadership: Will Schwalbe on Thursday, January 19 at 7pm is $40 ($38 members). In addition to a reserved seat, the package includes a copy of BOOKS FOR LIVING ($25.95 hardcover), a bar beverage, and book signing meet-and-greet. Packages can be purchased through The Music Hall Box Office, located at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, over the phone at 603.436.2400, or online at www.themusichall.org

In this Age of Participation, The Music Hall has expanded its programming to focus on issues critical to our time. The Innovation and Leadership series was first launched nearly five years ago to serve our local business community, bringing together the best and the brightest in technology. The series has since broadened to showcase opinion leaders, authors and all variety of educators, and to serve audiences from a tri-state region and beyond - all who are interested in bettering the worlds they live in, at work and at home, locally and around the world. These lively and informative conversations feature experts in their field sharing experiences and providing participants practical tools for making meaningful advances in their lives. From demonstrations in the art of all things digital to special forums featuring regional and global leaders in sustainability, from book discussion-demonstrations on the positive effect of meditation to awareness-raising events led by today's champions in philanthropy, feminism and family matters, each Innovation and Leadership event is memorable and impactful. The Music Hall is committed to community building and personal flourishing. Our Innovation and Leadership series delivers on that commitment.

The Music Hall is a performing arts center featuring curated entertainment from around the world in two theaters in its downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire campus - one, a landmark 1878 Victorian theater, designated an American Treasure for the Arts by the National Park Service's Save America's Treasures Program, the other the intimate Music Hall Loft around the corner, recently named "best performing arts venue" by Yankee Magazine and the recipient of the NH AIA award for design excellence.

With acclaimed signature series including Writers on a New England Stage - a partnership between The Music Hall and New Hampshire Public Radio - and the Intimately Yours music series, we bring top authors and artists to both stages. Also, HD broadcasts from The Metropolitan Opera and the National Theatre of London as well as extraordinary cinema fill both screens almost every night of the year.

This dynamic arts center urges patrons to Explore + Learn via master classes, post film panel discussions, and matinees for children. An anchor organization in this historic working seaport, The Music Hall is one of downtown Portsmouth's biggest employers and largest contributors to the regional economy: The Music Hall and its patrons contribute $7.1 million annually to the local economy through show and visitor related spending.

Innovative in its outlook, the organization is community oriented and committed to making the Seacoast flourish. The Music Hall is a 501(c)3 nonprofit managed by a professional staff with the assistance of a volunteer board. Though global in the scope of its artists and programs, The Music Hall operates independently with the support of 3,000 members, 300 corporate partners and 58 community partner organizations. Welcoming more than 100,000 patrons (including 20,000 children) each year from the tri-state area and beyond, The Music Hall is the region's center for the performing arts, literature and education...easy to get to, impossible to forget.

Visit www.TheMusicHall.org for more.

Photo Credit: Josef Astor

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