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Abilities United Authors Luncheon

abilities united authors luncheon banner

Authors Luncheon 2019

Meet four fabulous authors at the annual Abilities United Authors Luncheon. Over 500 book lovers gather to hear renowned authors discuss their latest works and share their literary inspiration. Hear for yourself what has made this one of the most anticipated and beloved fundraising events.

The Authors Luncheon sells out each year! You won’t want to miss this entertaining and dynamic fundraiser for Abilities United!

Saturday, November 2, 2019
10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Crowne Plaza Cabaña Hotel
4290 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA

Purchase your seats or tables now Benefits of sponsorship

Proceeds from sponsorship, ticket, and book sales benefit the thousands of individuals and families who receive therapeutic, educational, and support services at Abilities United. To learn more about the benefits you, your company or book club will receive as a sponsor of the event, or to purchase tickets, contact us via email or call 650-259-0160.

To donate by mail, please download the Sponsorship Agreement.

Your contributions ensure that we have a very successful and record-breaking 28th Annual Authors Luncheon.

Can’t attend?  You can still support the Authors Luncheon by making a donation.

Event Schedule

  • 10:30 am – Book sales, espresso and no-host drinks, live music, art silent auction
  • 11:00 am – Author Signing
  • 11:30 am – Ballroom seating opens
  • 12:00 pm – Welcome and luncheon
  • 12:30 pm – Abilities United presentation
  • 12:45 pm – Fund-a-future
  • 1:00 pm – Author presentations
  • 2:00 pm – *Book sales, signing, and art silent auction continues

*Book sales benefit Abilities United and are managed by Books Inc.
All book purchases made from this Books Inc. link will benefit Abilities United all year long.

If you have any questions about the Authors Luncheon please contact reservations@AbilitiesUnited.org or 650-259-0160. Read the Press Release.

2019 authors and sponsors

David Maraniss

David Maraniss

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

Featured Book: A Good American Family, tells the story of the 1950s McCarthy era through the lens of his father’s blacklisting.

David Maraniss is an associate editor at the Washington Post and a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University, David Maraniss has chronicled American life through books about sports figures (Vince Lombardi in When Pride Still Mattered and Clemente), future presidents (Bill Clinton in First in His Class and Barack Obama: The Story), and everyday heroes (They Marched into Sunlight, Rome 1960, and Once in a Great City). He lives in Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wisconsin.

Cathleen Schine

Cathleen Schine

Best-selling author

Featured Book: The Grammarians is about word-obsessed twins.

Cathleen Schine is the author of 11 novels. They include the international best-sellers The Love Letter and Rameau’s Niece, both of which were made into movies, and The Three Weissmanns of Westport, Fin & Lady, and They May Not Mean To, But They Do. She’s also written for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine. She grew up in Westport, Connecticut, and now lives in Venice, California.

J. Ryan Stradal

J. Ryan Stradal

Indies Choice Award winner

Featured Book: The Lager Queen of Minnesota is a family saga about fate, fairness, and the painstaking pursuit of brewing.

J. Ryan Stradal, is an Author of two novels that put the Midwest and its food in the foreground, J. Ryan Stradal won a 2016 Indies Choice Award from the American Booksellers Association for his debut novel, Kitchens of the Great Midwest. His latest novel, The Lager Queen of Minnesota, is a family saga about fate, fairness, and the painstaking pursuit of brewing. Born and raised in Minnesota, he now lives in Los Angeles.

Deborah Underwood

Deborah Underwood

Noted Children's Author

Featured Books: Finding Kindness and Reading Beauty

Deborah Underwood is a prolific author of picture books, including the bestsellers The Quiet Book and The Loud Book, and a holiday-based series that includes Here Comes Santa Cat. Her newest works are Finding Kindness, a heartfelt celebration of shared joys, and Reading Beauty, about a book-loving princess who faces the curse of getting a paper cut on her 16th birthday. She has written more than 25 nonfiction books for children, and her work has appeared in National Geographic Kids, Ladybug, and Highlights for Children. She lives in Northern California with her feline muse, Bella.

Join these sponsors in support of children and adults with disabilities

Gold Sponsors
  • Goldman Sachs Gives
  • Laurie T. Jarrett
  • Christina Kenrick
  • John McNellis
  • Rachel and Simon Segars
  • Stanley E. Hanson Foundation
  • Patty and Jim White
Silver Sponsors
  • Claudia Claussen
  • Nancy Drapkin
  • Jenn Wagstaff-Hinton and John Hinton
  • Ellen Jones
  • El Camino Health
  • Susan and Sanjay Vaswani
  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation


Bronze Sponsors
  • Laura Barton
  • Thomas and Wallace Brunner
  • Jay McClelland and Heidi Feldman
  • Mary and David Kabakov
  • Ishrag Khababa
  • Hal and Iris Korol
  • Christopher Murphy
  • Katie and Bryan Neider
  • Judith and David Richardson
  • Mary Weersing
  • Elizabeth and Hans Wolf Fund
Event Partners

Full Color Vector 7 Flatened  photo1517     photo1844 GreatAmericanFramingCo_logo
Homewood Suites by Hilton logo ¯ photo1515 photo1130 Prodigy-LOGO

Learn more about the benefits of sponsorship

Event date: 
Saturday, November 2, 2019 - 10:30am
Event address: 
Crowne Plaza Cabaña Hotel
4290 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA
A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501178375
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 14th, 2019

The Grammarians: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374280116
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - September 3rd, 2019

The Lager Queen of Minnesota: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399563058
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - July 23rd, 2019

Finding Kindness Cover Image
By Deborah Underwood, Irene Chan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781250237897
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Please allow up to 48-hours for Curbside Pickup orders to be processed.
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - October 29th, 2019

One of Books Inc.’s favorite aspects of being booksellers is getting the chance to welcome and host hundreds of authors a year, from house-hold names to local, debut authors and we look forward to continuing to provide the Bay Area with “The Experience You Can’t Download” in our stores when we can assure authors and guests that it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we are working on an exciting list of virtual events for both adults and children and we look forward to exploring this new format with you.

Sales equate success, and as with in-store events, booksales made from an independent bookstore benefit the author, publisher, and lead to future event bookings. Please help us keep the Bay Area the wonderful literary hub that it is by supporting your local Books Inc.