Midtown Scholar Bookstore-Cafe
Award-winning Independent Booksellers | Since 2001

Who's in town

Third in the Burg with Cumberland Honey
Sep
20
7:00 PM19:00

Third in the Burg with Cumberland Honey

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome Cumberland Honey to Harrisburg for September’s Third in the Burg!

Hailing from the heart of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, Virginia Masland & Steph Landis bring sweet harmonies with folk influences, soul and a taste of bluegrass. Their original songs weave stories of life, love and a call to social action.

This event is free and open to the public!

View Event →
An Evening with John Leland
Sep
21
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with John Leland

An extraordinary look at what it means to grow old and a heartening guide to well-being, Happiness Is a Choice You Make weaves together the stories and wisdom of six New Yorkers who number among the “oldest old”―those eighty-five and up.

This September, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome bestselling author John Leland to Harrisburg as he presents his new book, Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old. This event is free and open to the public.

Happiness is a Choice You Make pb cover.jpg

In 2015, when the award-winning journalist John Leland set out on behalf of The New York Times to meet members of America’s fastest-growing age group, he anticipated learning of challenges, of loneliness, and of the deterioration of body, mind, and quality of life. But the elders he met took him in an entirely different direction. Despite disparate backgrounds and circumstances, they each lived with a surprising lightness and contentment. The reality Leland encountered upended contemporary notions of aging, revealing the late stages of life as unexpectedly rich and the elderly as incomparably wise.

Happiness Is a Choice You Make is an enduring collection of lessons that emphasizes, above all, the extraordinary influence we wield over the quality of our lives. With humility, heart, and wit, Leland has crafted a sophisticated and necessary reflection on how to “live better”―informed by those who have mastered the art.

author photo smiling.jpg

About the Author:

John Leland is a reporter at The New York Times, where he wrote a yearlong series that became the basis for Happiness Is a Choice You Make, and the author of Hip: The History and Why Kerouac Matters: The Lessons of “On the Road” (They’re Not What You Think). Before joining the Times, he was a senior editor at Newsweek, editor in chief of Details, a reporter at Newsday, and a writer and editor at Spin magazine.

View Event →
Harrisburg Book Festival
Oct
3
to Oct 6

Harrisburg Book Festival

This October, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is proud to host the 7th Annual Harrisburg Book Festival. Featuring award-winning authors, children’s illustrators, emerging novelists, acclaimed historians, and the annual tent sale, the Harrisburg Book Festival aims to amplify and celebrate diverse literature for all ages. All events are free and open to the public.

*To enter the signing line at any event, books must be purchased through the Midtown Scholar Bookstore. Proof of receipt or sticker will need to be presented to staff at the entrance to the signings.

For more information on the book festival, visit www.hbgbookfest.com.

With over fifteen regional partners and sponsors, the book festival has attracted some of the world’s top authors across a variety of genres. This year’s all-star lineup includes panels, interviews, presentations, and signings with award-winning authors, including:

• Isha Sesay, Celebrated International Journalist

• Stephen Chbosky, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

• Eric Foner, Pulitzer Prize Winning Historian

• Vashti Harrison, Bestselling Children’s Illustrator

• Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-Winning Historian

• Madeline Miller, #1 New York Times Bestselling Novelist

• Téa Obreht, International Bestselling Novelist

• Liz Moore, Award-Winning Novelist

• Nisha Vora, Celebrated Vegan Cookbook Author

• Andrew Shaffer, New York Times Bestselling Humorist

• R.O. Kwon, Award-Winning Debut Novelist

• Wayétu Moore, Award-Winning Debut Novelist

• Joanne Ramos, Award-Winning Debut Novelist

• Jonathan Stutzman, Local Children’s Author

• Heather Fox, Local Children’s Illustrator

• Imani Perry, Award-Winning Professor

• Ian Doescher, Award-Winning Humorist

• Jacopo della Quercia, Bestselling Humorist

• Keisha N. Blain, PhD, Award-Winning Historian

More authors to be announced soon!

The Harrisburg Book Festival would not be possible without the generosity of our wonderful sponsors and community partners. Across Central Pennsylvania, these media organizations, businesses, and universities have demonstrated their commitment to — and support of — reading and the literary arts. Thank you to the following organization and business!

AAUW Harrisburg, Messiah College, Susquehanna University, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Highmark, Capital BlueCross, UPMC Pinnacle, Temple University Harrisburg, Hotel Indigo Harrisburg - Hershey, Dickinson College, Explore Harrisburg, Blue Stoop, The Millworks, Midtown Cinema, WITF, TheBurg, and Sara Bozich.

View Event →
Eleanor Gordon-Smith
Oct
23
7:00 PM19:00

Eleanor Gordon-Smith

A thought-provoking exploration of how people really change their minds, and how persuasion is possible.

StopBeingReasonable_b.jpg

This October, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome author Eleanor Gordon-Smith to Harrisburg as she presents her new book, Stop Being Reasonable: How We Really Change Our Minds. This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book:

In Stop Being Reasonable, Eleanor Gordon-Smith weaves a narrative that illustrates the limits of human reason.

She chronicles the lives of people who radically altered their beliefs about the things that matter most--from the woman who realized her husband harbored a terrible secret; to the man who left the cult he had been raised in since birth; to the reality TV contestant who, having impersonated someone else for a month, discovered he could no longer return to his former identity.

What made them change course? How should their reversals affect how we think about our own beliefs? And in an increasingly divided world, what do they teach us about how we might change the minds of others?

Inspiring, perceptive, and moving, Stop Being Reasonable will completely change the way you look at the power of persuasion.

Eleanor Gordon-Smith - credit Ned Howells.jpg

About the Author:

Eleanor Gordon-Smith is a writer and radio broadcaster working at the intersection of academic ethics and the chaos of human life. Currently at Princeton University, she has produced The Philosopher's Zone on Australia's Radio National, appeared as the 'Clinical Ethicist' on 702 Sydney radio, and lectured on ethics, from political contract theory to the philosophy of sex, at the University of Sydney. Her work has appeared on NPR's This American Life, and in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, and Meanjin.

View Event →
Oct
24
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with John Witherow

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome local author John Witherow to Harrisburg as he presents his new novel, The Gap: Fort Indiantown. This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book:

To fly.

A childhood fantasy fulfilled, a lifelong goal accomplished.

Fresh from rotary-wing flight school, 22-year-old Lieutenant Mark Ashford arrives for his first duty assignment at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, wanting nothing more than to master the art of flight. But he learns quickly that he?s in the awkward position of overseeing pilots with vastly superior skills and experience. Mark is persistently thwarted by one of these men?Vietnam veteran Nick Trent?who displays no regard for authority or convention, or even for Mark?s own personal safety.

Resolved to learn more about his belligerent subordinate, Mark uncovers a decades-old secret from the Vietnam War?a brutal helicopter assault on innocent villagers. At the same time, he is tasked with supporting the DEA with aerial reconnaissance in search of a hidden cache of marijuana. Mark befriends a 16-year-old boy conscripted by the growers into the illicit venture. As he struggles to prevent the boy from drifting deeper into the crevices of the drug world, Mark is torn by his conflicting allegiances and risks his dream of becoming a master pilot.

THE GAP is a coming-of-age story that poses questions about the wisdom of the current drug war while employing themes from another lost war.

View Event →
An Evening with Stephen Fried
Nov
6
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with Stephen Fried

The monumental life of Benjamin Rush, medical pioneer and one of our most provocative and unsung Founding Fathers.

Rush by Stephen Fried paperback jacket.jpg

This November, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome bestselling author Stephen Fried to Harrisburg as he discusses his new book, Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father. This event is free and open to the public. Book signing to follow discussion.

About the Book:

By the time he was thirty, Dr. Benjamin Rush had signed the Declaration of Independence, edited Common Sense, toured Europe as Benjamin Franklin’s protégé, and become John Adams’s confidant, and was soon to be appointed Washington’s surgeon general. And as with the greatest Revolutionary minds, Rush was only just beginning his role in 1776 in the American experiment.

As the new republic coalesced, he became a visionary writer and reformer; a medical pioneer whose insights and reforms revolutionized the treatment of mental illness; an opponent of slavery and prejudice by race, religion, or gender; an adviser to, and often the physician of, America’s first leaders; and “the American Hippocrates.” Rush reveals his singular life and towering legacy, installing him in the pantheon of our wisest and boldest Founding Fathers.

About the Author:

Stephen Fried author photo credit Jim Graham.jpg

Stephen Fried is an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author who teaches at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Pennsylvania. He is, most recently, the author of the historical biography Appetite for America, and the coauthor, with Congressman Patrick Kennedy, of A Common Struggle. His earlier books include the biography Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia and the investigative books Bitter Pills and The New Rabbi. A two-time winner of the National Magazine Award, Fried has written frequently for Vanity Fair, GQ, The Washington Post Magazine, Rolling Stone, Glamour, and Philadelphia Magazine. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, author Diane Ayres.

View Event →
Henry Hemming
Nov
9
5:00 PM17:00

Henry Hemming

The astonishing story of the British spies who set out to draw America into World War II.

This November, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome bestselling espionage author Henry Hemming to Harrisburg as he presents his new book, Agents of Influence: A British Campaign, a Canadian Spy, and the Secret Plot to Bring America into World War II . This event is free and open to the public. Book signing to follow discussion.

AgentsofInfluence.jpg

About the Book:

As World War II raged into its second year, Britain sought a powerful ally to join its cause--but the American public was sharply divided on the subject. The Canadian-born MI6 officer William Stephenson, with his knowledge and influence in North America, was chosen to change their minds by any means necessary.

In this extraordinary tale of foreign influence on American shores, Henry Hemming shows how Stephenson came to New York--hiring Canadian staffers to keep his operations secret--and flooded the American market with propaganda supporting Franklin Roosevelt and decrying Nazism. His chief opponent was Charles Lindbergh, an insurgent populist who campaigned under the slogan "America First," and had no interest in the war. This set up a shadow duel between Lindbergh and Stephenson, each trying to turn public opinion his way, with the lives of millions potentially on the line.

Hemming, Henry (cr Jeff Overs).jpeg

About the Author:

Henry Hemming is the author of five works of non-fiction including most recently Agent M, and The Ingenious Mr Pyke, which landed on the New York Times monthly espionage bestseller list. He has written for The Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Times, The Economist, FT Magazine and The Washington Post, and has given interviews on Radio 4's Today Programme and NBC's Today Show and spoken at schools, festivals and companies including RDF Media, The RSA, Science Museum, Frontline Club and The School of Life. Henry lives in London with his wife, daughter and son.

View Event →

An Evening with James Poniewozik
Sep
14
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with James Poniewozik

An incisive cultural history that captures a fractious nation through the prism of television and the rattled mind of a celebrity president.

This September, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome Chief Television Critic of the New York Times James Poniewozik to Harrisburg as he presents his new book, Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America. Poniewozik will be interviewed on-stage by Penn Live's Cate Barron. This event is free and open to the public.

41P0WGgk68L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

About the Book:

Television has entertained America, television has ensorcelled America, and with the election of Donald J. Trump, television has conquered America. In Audience of OneNew York Times chief television critic James Poniewozik traces the history of TV and mass media from the Reagan era to today, explaining how a volcanic, camera-hogging antihero merged with America’s most powerful medium to become our forty-fifth president.

In the tradition of Neil Postman’s masterpiece Amusing Ourselves to DeathAudience of One shows how American media have shaped American society and politics, by interweaving two crucial stories. The first story follows the evolution of television from the three-network era of the 20th century, which joined millions of Americans in a shared monoculture, into today’s zillion-channel, Internet-atomized universe, which sliced and diced them into fractious, alienated subcultures. The second story is a cultural critique of Donald Trump, the chameleonic celebrity who courted fame, achieved a mind-meld with the media beast, and rode it to ultimate power.

Braiding together these disparate threads, Poniewozik combines a cultural history of modern America with a revelatory portrait of the most public American who has ever lived. Reaching back to the 1940s, when Trump and commercial television were born, Poniewozik illustrates how Donald became “a character that wrote itself, a brand mascot that jumped off the cereal box and entered the world, a simulacrum that replaced the thing it represented.” Viscerally attuned to the media, Trump shape-shifted into a boastful tabloid playboy in the 1980s; a self-parodic sitcom fixture in the 1990s; a reality-TV “You’re Fired” machine in the 2000s; and finally, the biggest role of his career, a Fox News–obsessed, Twitter-mad, culture-warring demagogue in the White House.

Poniewozik deconstructs the chaotic Age of Trump as the 24-hour TV production that it is, decoding an era when politics has become pop culture, and vice versa. Trenchant and often slyly hilarious, Audience of One is a penetrating and sobering review of the raucous, raging, farcical reality show―performed for the benefit of an insomniac, cable-news-junkie “audience of one”―that we all came to live in, whether we liked it or not.

About the Author:

James Poniewozik has been the chief television critic of the New York Times since 2015. He was previously the television and media critic for Time magazine and media columnist for Salon. He lives in Brooklyn.

About the Interviewer:

Cate Barron is a recognized leader in Pennsylvania journalism. As VP of Content for the Patriot-News and PennLive.com, she led the challenging transition to digital that included converting the daily paper to thrice weekly. Since then, PennLive has become one of the largest news and information websites in the state, with more than 7 million monthly unique visitors. During her 7-year tenure as Editor, the newsroom has continued to be recognized for outstanding journalism, winning Newspaper of the Year and Keystone Sweepstakes awards, as well as national honors. She and her husband live in Camp Hill.

View Event →
An Evening with Sean Carroll
Sep
11
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with Sean Carroll

New York Times bestselling author Sean Carroll shows that there are multiple copies of you. And everyone else. Really.

9781524743017.jpg

This September, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is thrilled to welcome physicist Sean Carroll to Harrisburg as he presents his new book, Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime. This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book:

Something Deeply Hidden begins with the news that physics is in a crisis. Quantum mechanics underlies all of modern physics but major gaps in the theory have been ignored since 1927. Science popularizers keep telling us how weird it is, how contradictory, how impossible it is to understand. Academics discourage students from working on the "dead end" of quantum foundations. Putting his professional reputation on the line, Carroll says that crisis can now come to an end. We just have to accept that there is more than one of us in the universe. There are many, many Sean Carrolls. Many of every one of us.

The Many Worlds Theory of quantum behavior says that every time there is a quantum event, a world splits off with everything in it the same, except in that other world the quantum event didn't happen. As you read this, you are splitting into multiple copies of yourself thousands of times per second. Step-by-step in Carroll's uniquely lucid way, he sets out the major objections to this utterly mind-blowing notion until his case is inescapably established.

The holy grail of modern physics is reconciling quantum mechanics with Einstein's general relativity—his theory of curved spacetime. Carroll argues that our refusal to face up to the mysteries of quantum mechanics has blinded us, and that spacetime and gravity naturally emerge from a deeper reality called the wave function. No book for a popular audience has attempted to make this radical argument. We're on the threshold of a new way of understanding the cosmos.

About the Author:

Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. His research focuses on fundamental issues in quantum mechanics, gravitation, statistical mechanics, and cosmology. He has wide-ranging interests, including in philosophy, complexity theory, and information.

Carroll is an active science communicator, and has been blogging regularly since 2004. His textbook "Spacetime and Geometry" has been adopted by a number of universities for their graduate courses in general relativity. He is a frequent public speaker, and has appeared on TV shows such as The Colbert Report and Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. He has produced a set of lectures for The Teaching Company on dark matter and dark energy, and another on the nature of time. He has served as a science consultant for films such as Thor and TRON: Legacy, as well as for TV shows such as Fringe and Bones.

sc-rp-2 (1).jpg
View Event →
The Testaments Release Party!
Sep
10
7:00 PM19:00

The Testaments Release Party!

When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison or death. With The Testaments, the wait is over.

71x4baXyxvL.jpg

This September, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore and Midtown Cinema are thrilled to celebrate the release party for Margaret Atwood's The Testaments! Join us for a fascinating conversation on the cultural relevancy of The Handmaid's Tale, the forthcoming The Testaments, and Atwood's oeuvre with F&M's Kerry Wright, Penn State Harrisburg's Ellen Stockstill, and the Cinema's Stuart Landon. (Margaret Atwood will NOT be making an appearance, sadly.

This event is free and open to the public.

To celebrate the release, the Midtown Cinema will be hosting a screening of Margaret Atwood: Live in Cinemas on Sunday, September 15th. If you present your ticket to the screening at the bookstore, enjoy 30% off The Testaments for a one-night only special price. For non-ticket holders, the Testaments will be available for a one-night only special price of 20% off. For more information on this special screening, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/276909436486621/

View Event →
An Evening with Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia
Sep
7
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

Within days of taking office, President Donald J. Trump published or announced changes to immigration law and policy. In Banned, Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia offers a passionate reminder of the responsibility we all have to protect America’s identity as a nation of immigrants.

81rmdM5x10L.jpg

In partnership with Penn State Harrisburg’s Diversity and Educational Equity Committee, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia as she presents her new book, Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump. This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book:

Within days of taking office, President Donald J. Trump published or announced changes to immigration law and policy. These changes have profoundly shaken the lives and well-being of immigrants and their families, many of whom have been here for decades, and affected the work of the attorneys and advocates who represent or are themselves part of the immigrant community. Banned examines the tool of discretion, or the choice a government has to protect, detain, or deport immigrants, and describes how the Trump administration has wielded this tool in creating and executing its immigration policy.

Banned combines personal interviews, immigration law, policy analysis, and case studies to answer the following questions: (1) what does immigration enforcement and discretion look like in the time of Trump? (2) who is affected by changes to immigration enforcement and discretion?; (3) how have individuals and families affected by immigration enforcement under President Trump changed their own perceptions about the future?; and (4) how do those informed about immigration enforcement and discretion describe the current state of affairs and perceive the future? Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia pairs the contents of these interviews with a robust analysis of immigration enforcement and discretion during the first eighteen months of the Trump administration and offers recommendations for moving forward.

The story of immigration and the role immigrants play in the United States is significant. The government has the tools to treat those seeking admission, refuge, or opportunity in the United States humanely. Banned offers a passionate reminder of the responsibility we all have to protect America’s identity as a nation of immigrants.

About the Author:

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia is an expert on immigration law whose research focuses on the role of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law and the intersections of race, national security, and immigration. She has published more than thirty law review articles, book chapters, and essays on immigration law.

Wadhia has appeared on national television and radio stations, including MSNBC and C-SPAN and has been quoted or featured by international, national, and local publications, including New York Times, New York Times Magazine, The Hill, National Law Journal, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Roll Call, The Atlantic and Associated Press, among others.

Prior to joining Penn State, Professor Wadhia was deputy director for legal affairs at the National Immigration Forum in Washington, D.C. She has also been an associate with Maggio Kattar, P.C. in Washington, D.C., where she handled asylum, deportation, and employment-based immigration benefits matters.

shoba_wadhia2_0.jpg
View Event →
An Evening with Bassey Ikpi
Sep
5
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with Bassey Ikpi

I'mTellingTheTruthBut pb c.JPG

This September, Fear No Lit, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore, and the Ware Center are pleased to welcome author Bassey Ikpi to Lancaster as she presents her new essay collection, I’M TELLING THE TRUTH BUT I’M LYING.

The event will include:

  • a reading from Ikpi

  • a live conversation between Ikpi and Donna Talarico of Hippocampus Magazine

  • short performances by: Jamie Beth Cohen, Maria James-Thiaw, and Jonny Teklit

Books will be available for purchase prior to the book signing portion of the evening. This event is free and open to the public!

Accessible venue. Due to prep work for the interpreter, we would need to know if anyone attending this event would like an ASL interpreter by August 25. Please let us know via Facebook, by emailing fearnolit@gmail.com, or calling Erin Dorney's cell phone at 585-313-5786.*

About the Book:

From her early childhood in Nigeria through her adolescence in Oklahoma, Bassey Ikpi lived with a tumult of emotions, cycling between extreme euphoria and deep depression—sometimes within the course of a single day. By the time she was in her early twenties, Bassey was a spoken word artist and traveling with HBO's Def Poetry Jam, channeling her life into art. But beneath the façade of the confident performer, Bassey's mental health was in a precipitous decline, culminating in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalization and a diagnosis of Bipolar II.

In I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying, Bassey Ikpi breaks open our understanding of mental health by giving us intimate access to her own. Exploring shame, confusion, medication, and family in the process, Bassey looks at how mental health impacts every aspect of our lives—how we appear to others, and more importantly to ourselves—and challenges our preconception about what it means to be "normal." Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are—and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie.

About the Author:

Bassey Ikpi is an American-Nigerian writer and mental health advocate. Her debut essay collection, I’M TELLING THE TRUTH BUT I’M LYING, is forthcoming in August 2019 from Harper Perennial.

Appearing on stages across the world as a public speaker and TV personality, Bassey featured on HBO’s ‘Def Poetry Jam’ and joined the touring company for their Tony Award-winning Broadway show. She was the resident pop culture critic for Philly’s WURD FM radio station and is currently a contributing editor for Catapult. An active voice in pop culture commentary and the mental health community, Bassey’s essays have been published by The Root, Ebony, Huffington Post, and Essence, as well as the anthologies Rookie On Love and Who Will Speak For America. In 2015, Bassey was commissioned by Nike’s global nonprofit Girls Effect to write and perform a short film, Invisible Barriers, which premiered at a panel discussing female empowerment as a means for societal growth at Aspen Ideas Conference.

Bassey is the founder of The Siwe Project, a mental health organization that centers Black and Brown people in an effort to spread mental health awareness. Recognized by MSNBC’s The Melissa Harris-Perry Show for her advocacy work, Bassey is also the creator of #NoShameDay, an initiative that attempts to reduce stigma and increase mental health awareness.

As a performing poet, Bassey has opened for Grammy-winning artists India Arie, Luther Vandross, and Alicia Keys. She tributed Venus and Serena Williams at the NAACP Image Awards and opened for Conde Nast Traveler’s 25th Anniversary Visionaries Award, performing original poems composed in recognition of attending honorees Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, Christy Turlington, Olivia Wilde, and Susan Sarandon, among others.

Bassey currently lives in Maryland and is working on her next book.

Bassey Ikpi_pc Maxine L. Moore.jpg
View Event →
An Evening with Michele Gelfand
Aug
31
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with Michele Gelfand

Celebrated cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand takes us on an epic journey through human cultures, offering a startling new view of the world and ourselves.

This August, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand as she presents her new book, Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World. This event is free and open to the public

About the Book:

With a mix of brilliantly conceived studies and surprising on-the-ground discoveries, she shows that much of the diversity in the way we think and act derives from a key difference—how tightly or loosely we adhere to social norms.

Why are clocks in Germany so accurate while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why do New Zealand’s women have the highest number of sexual partners? Why are “Red” and “Blue” States really so divided? Why was the Daimler-Chrysler merger ill-fated from the start? Why is the driver of a Jaguar more likely to run a red light than the driver of a plumber’s van? Why does one spouse prize running a “tight ship” while the other refuses to “sweat the small stuff?”

In search of a common answer, Gelfand has spent two decades conducting research in more than fifty countries. Across all age groups, family variations, social classes, businesses, states and nationalities, she’s identified a primal pattern that can trigger cooperation or conflict. Her fascinating conclusion: behavior is highly influenced by the perception of threat.

With an approach that is consistently riveting, Rule Makers, Rule Breakers thrusts many of the puzzling attitudes and actions we observe into sudden and surprising clarity.

About the Author:

Michele Gelfand is a distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Gelfand uses a variety of methods to understand how cultures vary around the world and with what consequence for groups. Her work has been cited over 20,000 times and has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Voice of America, Fox News, NBC News, ABC News, The Economist, De Standard, among other outlets. Her work on tightness-looseness was cited as one of the most important social science theories explaining the U.S. election in 2016 in the New Yorker.

71QVPrtBuNL.jpg
View Event →
An Evening with P. E. Moskowitz
Aug
24
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with P. E. Moskowitz

A hard-hitting expose that shines a light on the powerful conservative forces that have waged a multi-decade battle to hijack the meaning of free speech -- and how we can reclaim it.

About the Book:

There's a critical debate taking place over one of our most treasured rights: free speech. We argue about whether it's at risk, whether college students fear it, whether neo-Nazis deserve it, and whether the government is adequately upholding it.

519oS1BsaNL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

But as P. E. Moskowitz provocatively shows in The Case Against Free Speech, the term has been defined and redefined to suit those in power, and in recent years, it has been captured by the right to push their agenda. What's more, our investment in the First Amendment obscures an uncomfortable truth: free speech is impossible in an unequal society where a few corporations and the ultra-wealthy bankroll political movements, millions of voters are disenfranchised, and our government routinely silences critics of racism and capitalism.

Weaving together history and reporting from Charlottesville, Skokie, Standing Rock, and the college campuses where student protests made national headlines, Moskowitz argues that these flashpoints reveal more about the state of our democracy than they do about who is allowed to say what.

Our current definition of free speech replicates power while dissuading dissent, but a new ideal is emerging. In this forcefully argued, necessary corrective, Moskowitz makes the case for speech as a tool-for exposing the truth, demanding equality, and fighting for all our civil liberties.

About the Author:

P. E. Moskowitz is the author of How to Kill a City. A former staff writer for Al Jazeera America, they have written for publications including the GuardianNew York Times, NewYorker.com, New RepublicWiredSlateBuzzfeedSplinter, and Vice. A graduate of Hampshire College and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, they live in New Orleans.

View Event →
Third in the Burg with John Terlazzo!
Aug
16
7:00 PM19:00

Third in the Burg with John Terlazzo!

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome poet, singer/songwriter, and storyteller John Terlazzo to Harrisburg for August's Third in the Burg!

Join John for a rare solo performance with his guitar, vocals & harmonium. He will sing from many of his songs written throughout his adult life, and will make a point of choosing from among quite a few of the songs he's not had a chance to work out with the band, so you'll be hearing new, or rarely heard works.

This event is free and open to the public!

View Event →
An Evening with Charles King
Aug
13
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with Charles King

“A page-turning narrative of radical ideas and adventurous lives, a history rich in scandal, romance, and rivalry, and a genesis story of the fluid conceptions of identity that define our present moment. “

9780385542197.jpg

This August, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome award-winning author Charles King to Harrisburg as he presents his new book, Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century. This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book:

A dazzling group portrait of Franz Boas, the founder of cultural anthropology, and his circle of women scientists, who upended American notions of race, gender, and sexuality in the 1920s and 1930s--a sweeping chronicle of how our society began to question the basic ways we understand other cultures and ourselves.

At the end of the 19th century, everyone knew that people were defined by their race and sex and were fated by birth and biology to be more or less intelligent, able, nurturing, or warlike. But one rogue researcher looked at the data and decided everyone was wrong. Franz Boas was the very image of a mad scientist: a wild-haired immigrant with a thick German accent. By the 1920s he was also the foundational thinker and public face of a new school of thought at Columbia University called cultural anthropology. He proposed that cultures did not exist on a continuum from primitive to advanced. Instead, every society solves the same basic problems--from childrearing to how to live well--with its own set of rules, beliefs, and taboos.

Boas's students were some of the century's intellectual stars: Margaret Mead, the outspoken field researcher whose Coming of Age in Samoa is one of the most widely read works of social science of all time; Ruth Benedict, the great love of Mead's life, whose research shaped post-Second World War Japan; Ella Deloria, the Dakota Sioux activist who preserved the traditions of Native Americans of the Great Plains; and Zora Neale Hurston, whose studies under Boas fed directly into her now-classic novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Together, they mapped vanishing civilizations from the Arctic to the South Pacific and overturned the relationship between biology and behavior. Their work reshaped how we think of women and men, normalcy and deviance, and re-created our place in a world of many cultures and value systems. 

Gods of the Upper Air is a page-turning narrative of radical ideas and adventurous lives, a history rich in scandal, romance, and rivalry, and a genesis story of the fluid conceptions of identity that define our present moment.

About the Author:

King_9780385542197_ap1_r1.jpg

Charles King is the author of seven books, including GODS OF THE UPPER AIR (2019); MIDNIGHT AT THE PERA PALACE (2014), which received the French Prix de Voyage Urbain "Le Figaro-Peninsula Paris"; and ODESSA: GENIUS AND DEATH IN A CITY OF DREAMS (2011), winner of a National Jewish Book Award. He lectures widely on global affairs and has worked with broadcast media including National Public Radio, the BBC, and the History Channel. A native of the Ozark hill country, King studied history and politics at the University of Arkansas and Oxford University, where he was a British Marshall Scholar. He is Professor of International Affairs and Government at Georgetown University, chair of the Department of Government, and former faculty chair of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. @charleskingdc, www.charles-king.net

View Event →
An Evening with R.O. Kwon
Aug
3
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with R.O. Kwon

A powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into a cult's acts of terrorism.

The Incendiaries paperback.jpg

This August, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is thrilled to welcome R.O. Kwon to Harrisburg as she presents her new novel, The Incendiaries. This event is free and open to the public. Book signing to follow discussion.

About the Book:

Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet in their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who doesn't tell anyone she blames herself for her mother's recent death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe.

Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is drawn into a secretive cult founded by a charismatic former student with an enigmatic past. When the group commits a violent act in the name of faith, Will finds himself struggling to confront a new version of the fanaticism he's worked so hard to escape. Haunting and intense, The Incendiaries is a fractured love story that explores what can befall those who lose what they love most.

About the Author:

R. O. Kwon is a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. Her writing is published or forthcoming in the New York Times, New York, The Guardian, Vice, Buzzfeed, Time, Noon, Electric Literature, Playboy, and elsewhere. Born in South Korea, she has lived most of her life in the United States.

Kwon official headshot - Smeeta Mahanti.jpg
View Event →
An Afternoon with Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
Jul
28
4:00 PM16:00

An Afternoon with Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s whirlwind romance and unforgettable wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb take the reader on an evocative sun-drenched journey along the Côte d’Azur in this page-turning novel of passion, fate and second chances.

download (1).jpeg

This July, join bestselling authors Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb as they discuss their new novel of historical fiction, Meet Me in Monaco. This event is free and open to the public. Book signing to follow discussion.

About the Book:

Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique to fend off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.

James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love.

About the Authors:

Hazel Gaynor is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Memory of Violets and The Girl Who Came Home, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. Her third novel, The Girl from the Savoy, was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller, and was shortlisted for the BGE Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. In 2017, she has published The Cottingley Secret and Last Christmas in Paris. Hazel was selected by US Library Journal as one of 'Ten Big Breakout Authors' for 2015 and her work has been translated into several languages. Hazel lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.

Heather Webb is the award-winning and international bestselling author of historical novels Becoming Josephine, Rodin’s Lover, The Phantom’s Apprentice, and Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of WWI. In 2015, Rodin’s Lover was a Goodread’s Top Pick, and in 2017, Last Christmas in Paris became a Globe & Mail Bestseller and also won the 2018 Women’s Fiction Writers Association STAR Award. To date, Heather’s books have sold in multiple countries worldwide, received national starred reviews, and have been featured in print media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Elle, France Magazine, and more.

View Event →