By staff November 1, 2006


Barbara Anne Fogg

Spotted at: Teens for Wishes’ “Silver Lining Ball”

What are you wearing? A black-and-white floral dress with black satin ribbon at the waist from White House/Black Market, strappy black sandals by Nina, a Prada clutch, and pearls. I was going for something classic, sort of Audrey Hepburn-inspired. And I thought all black or all white wouldn’t stand out at a black-and-white party, so I was looking for a print.

Who is your fashion idol? Lindsey Lohan. I’m in love with her style: a little modern, a little rock ’n’ roll, but mostly she looks like she’s not trying too hard.

What’s the biggest fashion mistake girls make?  Thinking something is sexy and going trashy. Sexy can be about color and shape, not just skin.

What are your favorite beauty products? Aveda makes your hair the softest. For make-up, I love Smashbox: very sheer and great colors.

What wouldn’t you be caught dead in? Anything taffeta. I hate that look. 

Sarasota? I do most of my shopping in Tampa. I love Hollister [at the International Mall] and Abercrombie and Fitch.

You go to Cardinal Mooney, so what do think about wearing a uniform? Ours are not too bad. You have different colored shirts according to grade and you have to wear khaki pants or skirts, but you can still find a cut that flatters. You have some choices in belts and shoes and jewelry so you can make it yours, but you don’t have to spend a ton of time figuring out what to wear ’cause it’s a uniform.

What do you like best about Sarasota

? I love how small it is. I love knowing the same people forever. You go to other places and you realize how clean it is here.—Patty Larsen 


Crime novelist Leslie Glass infiltrates the Sarasota Reading Festival.

Shakespeare said, “The play’s the thing.” For Sarasota, it’s the event. As I write, it’s off season, but at the Sarasota Reading Festival, chaired by Renee Richardson Kling (and with a board of directors that includes me), it is high season, and a passion for books is the thing. In past years author-collecting had been the sole province of former Sarasota News and Books owner, Caren Lobo, who knew the ropes better than anyone. When Amanda Stiff took over as chairperson, she was the one to travel to the million-author march at the Book Expo, held that year in Washington, D.C., where publishers’ titles for the upcoming year are laid out in a huge convention center. Five minutes of face time can be had with the publicists, and one has to talk fast to get their attention.

The Sarasota Reading Festival is a free day of books and author talks on Nov. 4. Its only fund raiser is a cocktail party at Selby Library called “A Novel Affair,” Nov. 3. The festival traditionally follows the St. Petersburg book festival, and competition to get the best authors is always high. Back in August you should have heard us comparing theirs to ours. We think our authors are bigger and better, though it pains me to talk this way. If the authors only knew.

In any case, the idea is to cajole publishers to pay for sending the crème de la crème our way, but sometimes they have their own ideas of who should come—and never mind if we’ve never heard of them, or if they’re not really suitable for our audience. Last year we got the author of French Women Don’t Get Fat, and she cheated by reading from her book. Authors aren’t supposed to read; they’re supposed to speak cleverly off the cuff. She might have been thin and French, but no one could understand a word she read. And then there were the authors who were charming but no one really cared about, and only nine people bought their books. Publishers don’t like that.

In the past the method for procuring authors was pretty much catch as catch can, and board members’ wish lists for their own favorites were like vapors, lost in the thunderheads of summer. Susan Rife of the Herald-Tribune, who coordinates the special festival tabloid that the H-T runs, and writes all the author features, had no idea until the very last minute who was coming and sometimes wondered if she was chopped liver. Programming was also a secret rite performed in the dead of night, and executive directors didn’t tend to stay very long.

This year the Reading Festival was like a Dr. Seuss book in which changes really happened at the zoo. There was an actual programming committee with actual member participation, and oh, the e-mail was abuzz with author chatter all summer long. Jane Summerville of the New College Library Association would not stop going on about Dan Brown. No one would oblige her by inviting him. Renee kept asking if anyone knew Stephen King. He doesn’t take phone calls, and no one is totally sure he even exists anymore. And Carl Hiaasen seemed to be hanging his head over the failure of Hoot, the movie. He wouldn’t take phone calls, either, and his publicist was like the devil in The Devil Wears Prada. Don’t try calling her.

Dear Michael Connelly, the newest New York Times serial novelist in the Sunday magazine section, was a leader in the “yes” department. He came in right at the start. His book Echo Park is about a dirty bomb, and I’m scared already. John Jakes signed on with his novel about Newport snobs, The Gods of Newport. Apparently the protagonist is some nouveau rich dude who wants to get in with the in crowd, which will work perfectly for us. And then the ball was rolling. Jim Lehrer, the PBS anchor, said yes. The committee rejoiced and plunged on with greater confidence, deciding to build the Reading Festival around subjects of interest to the community. What a novel idea.    

Foodies can debate carbs or no carbs all day long in the cooking pavilion, which features cookbook authors, while history/heritage buffs can learn more about World War II, the first female television correspondent, Nancy Dickerson, and the shot heard ’round the world.  (In case you didn’t know, it has something to do with baseball.) There will be comic novels about—what else?—Florida, and Marie Antoinette in novel form. Don’t ask me how we got that one. All right, they couldn’t resist the first sentence. “Like everyone, I was born naked.” I ask you, what kind of first sentence is that?        

We also got a lot of serious stuff, too serious for me to talk about here: Ecology, swamps, everglades, trees, stem cell wars and a panel titled “The Politics of Science” moderated by Mike Michalson, president of NewCollege. He’s going to ask a lot of incendiary questions, and you should, too.

When I arrived at the first scheduling meeting in the history of the festival, which is celebrating its ninth birthday this year, Julie Taylor was up at the bulletin board ready to slate the authors in their slots, and Renee was hyperventilating into a paper bag. Whatever was the matter, I worried? I’d brought the cookies and was eager to get at the table full of food. There was a whole dinner waiting, but everybody was too glum to eat.

“Haven’t you heard?” Terri Weldon of Comcast asked. Terri is responsible for bringing CSPAN and the Discovery Channel to the Festival. And thousands of free books to children in the children’s tent. And Sponge Bob Square Pants, whatever they are. “Jim Lehrer dropped out.”

“Why?” Shock traveled around the room as a dozen people panicked. “Something about the elections; he didn’t want to miss them,” Renee said. Dan Hoffe wondered why it took Lehrer so long to realize they were coming. Betty Morris, who is head of operations—oh, the tents and vendors—said she’ll never listen to him again.

Former mayor Richard Martin, in charge of history/heritage (or is it science/environment? One of those serious non-fiction pavilions) begged for calm. More beseeching calls were made to Al Gore. Please, pretty please with sugar on top, come to our festival. No, Al couldn’t come, either. He was up to his ears in elections, too. He said he’d come later, after he’d finished raising money for candidates. Lisa Endriss, the new festival director, got all excited about that. She wants to have reading festival projects all year around, and so does everyone else. 

How about Anderson Cooper? He’s hot. Renee’s face lit up, and Liz Nolan reported that he cried when he spoke to the librarians in New Orleans this spring. Anderson didn’t seem like such a good choice to me. Every time the least little thing happens, he hits the road and doesn’t come back for a long time. Somebody begged me to call Alex and ask for somebody Big. (Alex is my son and a literary agent in New York.) I called Alex, and when I said I needed an author, he called me right back. “Who do you want?” he asked. Somebody big, I told him.

He promised to look into it, and everybody cheered up. Julie started slotting in authors. People filled their plates with food and then went back for more. The environmental committee had a private pow-wow while Renee moped just a second longer. Her first cancellation felt so personal. But we all moved on, and now the festival is finally here. Enjoy.    

Leslie Glass is a playwright and the author or 14 novels, including the best-selling crime series featuring the NYPD’s April Woo.

Up & Coming

Nov. 2 A Whole Night of Food & Fashion III. Drop by for a food and wine tasting at Whole Foods Market at 5:45 p.m. and fashion show at 7 p.m., benefiting Girls Inc. Tickets $25 at Whole Foods Market. 955-8500.

March of Dimes Chef’s Auction. Culinary delights from 13 restaurants highlight the Autumn Splendor event, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the ChelseaCenter. Tickets $65. 355-1756.

Nov. 3 A Novel Affair. A chance to mingle with Sarasota Reading Festival authors over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Selby Public Library. Tickets $50 to $1,000. 906-1733.

Viva Las Asolo. Gaming tables, Texas Hold ’Em and a Vegas-style revue benefit the Asolo Repertory Theatre, FSUCenter for the Performing Arts. Ticket prices vary. 351-8000.

Nov. 4 Hot Dogs, Cool Cats. It’s a “Year of the Dog” theme gala at Hyatt Sarasota for the Humane Society of Sarasota County. Tickets $200. 955-4131.

Black and White Bowling Ball Gone Mad.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation heads to the lanes for its annual fund raiser—AMF Gulf Gate Lanes, to be exact. Teams will compete to win bowling awards while enjoying food, drink, auctions and more. Ticket prices vary. 952-5836.

Out-of-Door Academy Extravaganza. This year’s dinner-auction gala to benefit private schools takes place starting at approximately 6 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton. Tickets $22. 554-3450.

Snooty Gala. It’s a Diamond Jubilee Gala, as the SouthFloridaMuseum celebrates 60 years and, of course, their mascot, Snooty the manatee. The gala starts at 6:30 p.m. at the museum. Tickets $150. 746-4131 ext. 14.

Nov. 5 Brunch on the Bay. USF Sarasota-Manatee’s annual celebration of leadership also raises dollars for local students. The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the CrosleyMansion bayfront. Tickets $100. 359-4340.

Nov. 9 Hear and Now. Dinner, live music, and a silent auction benefiting the Ear Research Foundation will take place at the Longboat Key Club Harbourside Room. Tickets $150. 365-0367.

New College Foundation New England Clambake. This is the 28th annual clambake for the foundation, which will feature all sorts of Northeastern-style goodies served along the NewCollege bayfront. Tickets $95. 359-4419.

Nov. 10 Aesthetic Living Showcase. Enjoy champagne, Tuscan food and jazz while roaming a Mediterranean Country home on Siesta Key, to benefit Art Center Sarasota. With an opportunity for holiday shopping, the venue will be open Nov. 11, too. 365-2032.

Nov. 11 Diamonds on the Diamond. A “dress up and decorative sneakers” fund raiser, this event includes dinner, live music, a silent auction and awards for outstanding sports persons and athletes, starting at 6 p.m. at Ed Smith Stadium (rain date: Nov. 12). Tickets $100. 928-2597.

For the Love of All Children. A cocktail party including a silent auction and live music to benefit All Children’s Hospital Guild, Sarasota Branch, at the University Club. Tickets $75. 739-9229.

Florida West Coast Symphony Opening Night Gala. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 5:15 p.m. in the Van Wezel’s Grand Foyer, followed by dinner and Symphony performance. Tickets $175. 953-3434.

Loveland Center Black-Tie Gala. The center presents a dinner-dance at Venice Golf & Country Club. Tickets $125. 493-0016.

Nov. 12 One Sensational Century: A Celebration of Helen Rogers. Sarasota Opera doyenne Rogers receives a tribute on the occasion of her 100th birthday, starting at 6 p.m. at the Opera House. Dinner and performances are included. Tickets $150. 366-8450.

All Faiths Food Bank Empty Bowls. A minimum donation of $20 gets you to this luncheon to benefit the food bank, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at PhillippiEstateMansion. 922-6059.

Nov. 13 Gathering of the Goddesses Luncheon. Goddesses, prepare your tiaras for this United Cerebral Palsy event, at Michael’s On East. 957-3599.

Nov. 14 Planned Parenthood High Tea at High Noon/Safe Sex on Route 66. Planned Parenthood moves to a new venue for this year’s double-header, with luncheon and the evening party both taking place at Van Wezel. Luncheon tickets $50, evening tickets $75. 365-3913.

Nov. 15 Wellness Community Celebration of Hope. This event features dinner and the presentation of the Stephen H. Goldman Keystone Award. At Michael’s On East. Tickets $125. 921-5539.

Nov. 16 Kids Night Out. A dinner and auction at Lee Wetherington Boys & Girls Club, with a chance to win a 1980 Porsche and to benefit the Club. 366-3911.

Nov. 18 Creating a Masterpiece. A “Pine View Pinnacle” dinner-auction to benefit PineViewSchool, at the Ritz-Carlton. 966-7444.

Nov. 19 Cracker Brunch. Enjoy Historic Spanish Point while dining at one of three seatings. Reservations are required. Tickets $38. 966-5214.

Nov. 29 Sarasota Ballet of Florida Gala Performance. A dinner in the Van Wezel Grand Foyer precedes the ballet performance Grand Foyer. Tickets for gala and performance $225 each; gala only, $85, $60, $40 and $25. 371-6798.

Community MusicSchool Gala. This event will feature dinner, a silent auction at the Hyatt Sarasota, and a performance of The Sound of Music at the Players Theatre with a “meet the cast” reception afterward. 929-1859.

Dec. 2, 3 Entre Nous 2006: Holiday Tour of Homes. Beautifully decorated ManateeCounty homes are open to the public from noon to 6 p.m. each day. 795-2129.

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