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20th annual Nick Linn Series headliners: Baldacci, Davis, Dugoni, Monroe, Owens

Best-selling authors help raise funds for Friends of the Library of Collier County


The milestone twentieth anniversary Nick Linn Series will showcase five authors whose best-selling books are filled with thrills, suspense, and inspiration—and one with a major movie adaptation which was released in July, 2022.


The four luncheons and lectures in early 2023 are fundraisers for the nonprofit Friends of the Library of Collier County. They will be held again at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in North Naples. (See the information box for ticket details or go to www.collier-friends.org.)




Featured authors for 2023 are:

  • Fiona Davis, whose latest historical fiction thriller set in New York City is The Magnolia Palace

  • Delia Owens, author of the mega-hit Where the Crawdads Sing, together with Mary Alice Monroe, best known for her Beach House series

  • Robert Dugoni, who wrote the award-winning The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, as well as more than two dozen legal and espionage thrillers

  • David Baldacci, a returning favorite of the Nick Linn Series, has three new books published in 2022.

The twentieth season of the Nick Linn Series “is quite a celebration for readers, book clubs, and the wonderful authors who have come to lunch with us,” said Trish Benisch, chairperson of the series.


The events began in the early 2000s when Nick Linn, then president of the nonprofit support group, saw a “need for a one-time Friends of the Library fundraising project. Our goal was $5,000. There was no discussion or vision of a long-term series,” Linn recalled.


“We decided on a lecture program only because I guessed Naples was a hotbed of readers. It worked!” Linn said. “In twenty years, we have expanded our way through six venues, and our loyal attendees have faithfully followed us in growing numbers.


“Thank you, Naples readers,” Linn said. “I love you.”


The twentieth season of the Nick Linn Series kicks off on January 16, 2023, with Fiona Davis, a Canadian-born theater actress who turned to writing after earning a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.


Davis’ historical novels, all set in iconic New York City buildings, include The Magnolia Palace, The Lions of Fifth Avenue, The Dollhouse, and The Address.


Next up, on February 20, is a Deep South double-bill with Delia Owens and Mary Alice Monroe.


Owens co-wrote three acclaimed nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa, but it was her first novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, that became a global phenomenon in 2018. A major motion picture adaptation of the Low Country murder mystery, starring Daisy Edgar-Jones,premiered July 15, 2022. Owens, a native of Georgia, now lives in North Carolina.


Owens will be joined by her friend Mary Alice Monroe, author of more than twenty-five books for adults and children that incorporate strong environmental messages. The South Carolina resident is active with several conservation groups, especially those dedicated to saving sea turtles.


Her Beach House series of novels spawned a Hallmark Hall of Fame channel movie. The latest installment in the book series was 2021’s The Summer of Lost and Found. And in the summer of 2022, she released Search for Treasure, her second book in a new series for middle-school-age readers.


Robert Dugoni, who comes to Naples on March 13, has a journalism degree from Stanford University and a law degree from UCLA and practiced law on the West Coast for seventeen years before turning to write novels. He made a name for himself over the past two decades as a writer of police procedurals and espionage and legal thrillers.


But his genre-busting novel The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell drew attention at a whole other level, becoming a record-setting best-seller and winning numerous awards. The hero of Sam Hell is born with red pupils in his eyes and taunted as “Devil Boy,” suffering bullying all through childhood, then becoming a small-town eye doctor. It also is set to be adapted to the screen.


David Baldacci closes out the Nick Linn Series on March 27. A crowd favorite from his previous appearances in Naples in 2007 and 2020, Baldacci is busier than ever, with three books publishing in 2022: Dream Town, the third in the Aloysius Archer series, out in April; The 6:20 Man, a standalone released in July; and Long Shadows, an Amos Decker Memory Man novel, was published in October.


The Virginia resident also finds time, along with his wife, Michelle, to run their Wish You Well Foundation which supports family and adult literacy programs, and their Feeding Body & Mind program, which has partnered with Feeding America to provide more than one million books through food banks to families in need.


The Nick Linn Series is the main fundraiser for the nonprofit Friends organization, which over the years has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Collier County Public Library system to buy e-books, fund adult and children’s programs, pay postage for the Mail-A-Book program for the homebound, fund the genealogy databases and purchase Wish List items that are not covered by the branch libraries’ budgets.



 

20th Annual Nick Linn Lecture Series

What: Author talks and luncheons sponsored by the Friends of the Library of Collier County

Where: The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, 2600 Tiburon Drive, North Naples

When: Luncheons begin at noon. The author takes the stage at 1 p.m. Book signings begin at 2 p.m. after a Q&A session with the audience.

Fiona Davis, Monday, January 16

Delia Owens and Mary Alice Monroe, Monday, February 20

Robert Dugoni, Monday, March 13

David Baldacci, Monday, March 27

Tickets: Ticket purchasers must be current Friends members. There are no single ticket sales. Publisher Series includes all luncheons and lectures, as well as private pre-lecture receptions and priority assigned seating ($675). Other levels are Editor Series ($575), General Series ($500), and Lecture Only Series ($350). Friends memberships begin at $30/year and also provide access and discounts to other programs. Contact Marlene Haywood at mhaywood@collier-friends.org or 239.262.8135 for details.


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