Library Live.

We are thrilled to welcome these four brilliant authors to our 2022-2023 series. Library Live is for adventurous readers who enjoy hearing from established literary figures and emerging talent. Novelists, poets, historians, journalists, biographers, memoirists and more share their ideas firsthand with our community. Participate, engage, and be challenged by our presentations with today’s most gifted scribes.

Rebecca Scherm
A House Between Earth and The Moon

Rebecca Scherm

A House Between Earth and The Moon
Thursday, October 13, 7:00pm

Prescient and insightful, A House Between Earth and the Moon (2022) is set in 2033 on a space station Parallaxis, the first-ever luxury residential space station built for billionaires, and follows a group of pioneering scientists working to save the world from the disasters of climate change, and the exploitative machinations of big tech. It is an ambitious novel by Scherm that combines science fiction and eco fiction to create a gripping story about family bonds, ambition, and the length a person will go to protect the people and planet they love. The book was 2022’s most anticipated women fiction in several magazines including Marie Claire, and The Millions. Rebecca Scherm is a Californian author. Her first book, Unbecoming (2015), was nominated for an Edgar award for Best First Novel.

Bill Plaschke
Paradise Found: A High School Football Team’s Rise from the Ashes

Bill Plaschke

Paradise Found: A High School Football Team’s Rise from the Ashes
Thursday, November 17, 7:00pm

Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke follows the Paradise High School football team and their athletic staff, specifically their head coach Rick Prinz through its first season after the 2018 Camp Fire leveled its Northern California town. A moving, tragic and hopeful account of the destruction of Paradise, California, by raging wildfires and its resurrection through the spirit, courage and heart of their high school football team. Bill Plaschke has been an L.A. Times columnist since 1996. He has been named national sports columnist of the year eight times by the Associated Press, and twice by the Society of Professional Journalists and National Headliner Awards. He is the author of five books, including a collection of his columns entitled, “Plaschke: Good Sports, Spoil Sports, Foul Ball and Oddballs.” Plaschke is also a panelist on the popular ESPN daily talk show, “Around the Horn.”

Omar El-Akkad
What Strange Paradise

Omar El-Akkad

What Strange Paradise
Thursday, February 23, 7:00pm

Powerful and compelling, What Strange Paradise (2021) is a story about a boy who survives a refugee passage, and a girl whose homeland feels fractured but dares to save him. Author and journalist Omar El Akkad has beautifully woven a compelling story about hope and despair, empathy and indifference, against a backdrop of the all-too-common dehumanization and dismissal of the global refugee crisis. The book won the Giller Prize, the Oregon Book Award for fiction, and was shortlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize. His debut novel American War (2018) has been translated into thirteen languages and was selected by the BBC as one of 100 novels that changed our world. His journalism has earned the National Newspaper Award for Investigative Journalism and the Goff Penny Award for young journalists. El-Akkad fiction and non-fiction writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Le Monde.

Min Jin Lee

Min Jin Lee

Thursday, April 20, 7:00pm

Pachinko (2017) is an epic story which follows a Korean family who migrates to Japan; it is the first novel written for an adult, English-speaking audience about the Korean Japanese people. Pachinko was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction and has been translated into over thirty-five languages. It is now a series on Apple TV+. Min Jin Lee is a professor at Amherst College and a recipient of fiction fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Lee’s fiction explores the intersection of race, ethnicity, immigration, class, religion, gender, and identity of a diasporic people. Her writings have appeared in The New Yorker, The Times of London, and The Wall Street Journal. She served as a columnist for the Chosun Ilbo, the leading newspaper of South Korea.


Held in Friends Room at Central Library, 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Free parking on the ground level and in the parking structure
Limited Seating

Thursday, 7:00pm – 8:30pm || Doors open at 6:30pm
Lecture, Book Sale & Signing, Refreshments
General $35 || NBPLF Member $30

Mask are recommended for all attendees for indoor events
Newport Beach Public Library Foundation follows the State of California guidelines for indoor gatherings, and we are staying informed on all the latest requirements. We will email all attendees with the latest information one week before the event.


Tickets on sale September 19, 2022 || Box office closes at 2pm on the day of the event
Opportunity to buy a signed copy of the speakers’ publications at the event


Contact Director of Programs Kunga Wangmo-Upshaw or 949-717-3818.

2022 Sponsors

The Foundation wants to recognize below the funding Sponsors and Partners that supported the Witte Lectures during the pandemic closure when the speakers had to be presented virtually.

The Isidore and Penny Myers Foundation

Johanna and Kenneth Kim
Barbara Roberts

Karen and Bruce Clark
Samuel and Tammy Tang

Chiyo Imai Rowe
Jill Johnson-Tucker and Larry Tucker

Loren Blackwood
Ginger Sun and Arthur Ong
Ann Stephens

All About You Event Planning
Barnes and Noble
City of Newport Beach
Ed Olen Photography
Firebrand Media LLC
Hi-Time Cellars
Newport Beach Public Library
Sterling OC

2022- 2023 Library Live Committee
Loren Blackwood
Patricia Dreyfus
Johanna Kim, Chair
Ash Kumra (Library Trustee Liaison)
Dorothy Larson
Toby Larson
Lindsay Means
Chiyo Imai Rowe
Ann Stephens
Tammy Tang, Chair
Adrian Windsor