Palisades Reads: Inaugural Event on October 23 Will Feature Laura Diamond’s ‘Shelter Us’ and a Panel

Laura Diamond’s book ‘Shelter Us’ was selected for the first annual Palisades Reads event.

Striving to foster community connections, spark conversations and celebrate reading, the Friends of the Palisades Library will host the first-ever Palisades Reads.

Featuring Laura Diamond’s novel “Shelter Us,” Palisades Reads will have its kickoff event on Wednesday, October 23, at 7 p.m in the Palisades Library community room.

The evening will offer a panel discussion, “Save One Life, Save the World,” by community members who are making a difference–and can direct audience members to meaningful volunteer opportunities. The speakers will represent Safe Place for Youth, griefHaven, the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness and other organizations.

Copies of “Shelter Us” are available at the library, as well as in bookstores, Collections (on Antioch) and online. It is currently available in paperback and e-book (and soon as an audiobook).

This heartrending, ultimately hopeful narrative about motherhood, loss and community is a page-turner, set in Pacific Palisades, where Diamond grew up and still lives (with her husband, Christopher Heisen, and their children).

Lawyer turned stay-at-home-mom Sarah Shaw is struggling to be present for her two young sons and husband, three years after tragedy struck the family.

One day Sarah catches sight of a young homeless mother and toddler, and saving them becomes a secret, obsessive mission. When tragedy threatens, Sarah discovers she is capable of deceptions she never imagined. Her actions unleash a downward spiral that threatens her marriage and family.

Diamond is a human rights lawyer representing immigrant children and asylum seekers. She is a board member of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) and a member of Kehillat Israel synagogue.

Questions discussed by the panel may include: 1) We all have the urge to help others — What holds us back?  2) What moves us to action? 3) What compels us to step out of our comfort zone? and 4) How can we help save one life?

Anyone who makes a donation to one of the participating organizations at this event will receive a copy of “Shelter Us.”

The Friends want the community members to know that if they want to promote a similar “helping” organization, they can bring along information (flyers, brochures) to the event.

“We will have time and space at the close of the panel discussion to share them,” said Diamond, who requests that anyone who wants to do this should contact her:, so that enough time is allotted.

There will be a reception following.

On November 13 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the library, the community is invited to join friends and neighbors for a “Palisades Book Club” conversation with Diamond. Refreshments will be served.

In conjunction with Palisades Reads, a writing workshop will be held at 10 a.m. on November 2 in the library. Also, on November 9 at 1 p.m., there will be a free screening of the documentary, “The Public,” followed by a question-and-answer period.


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2 Responses to Palisades Reads: Inaugural Event on October 23 Will Feature Laura Diamond’s ‘Shelter Us’ and a Panel

  1. Lynn Anderson says:

    I believe Marie Steckmest, PaliCares, also presented something at Palisades Reads – so not to undermine Laura Diamond, but you may want to give credit to Marie also.

  2. Sue says:


    I adore Marie and try to cover all of her community efforts. I was unaware that she was promoting a Palisades Reads book and would be happy to promote that, too. This particular event is being sponsored by the Friends of the Library, and is the first one they have done that reaches out to the community. If both (Friends and Marie) are doing something it would be great if both could work together.



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