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Award-winning Independent Booksellers | Since 2001

Who's in town

Dec
23
11:00 AM11:00

CHILDREN'S STORYTIME @ THE MIDTOWN SCHOLAR BOOKSTORE

Bring your "littles" to Children's Storytime @ the Midtown Scholar Bookstore every 2nd and 4th Saturday from 11am-12noon.  We'll share a story, make a craft, or perhaps sing, dance or enjoy visits from special guests.  Fun Surprises are Promised! Best suited for children 3-8, all ages are welcome, however, with a parent or caregiver!

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An Evening with George Saunders
Feb
9
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with George Saunders

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is honored to welcome 2017 Man Booker Prize Winner and #1 New York Times Bestselling Author George Saunders to Harrisburg as he presents his new award-winning novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. Please join us for an evening to remember! Saunders will read from his novel and answer questions from the audience. Book signing to follow the discussion.

To purchase your book and ticket, visit: www.midtownscholar.com/event-tickets/an-evening-with-george-saunders

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About the Book:

The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?

About the Author:

George Saunders is the author of nine books, including Tenth of December, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and won the inaugural Folio Prize (for the best work of fiction in English) and the Story Prize (best short story collection). He has received MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, the 2017 Man Booker Prize, the PEN/Malamud Prize for excellence in the short story, and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2013, he was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University.

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An Afternoon with Andrea Pitzer
Feb
17
3:30 PM15:30

An Afternoon with Andrea Pitzer

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome author and journalist Andrea Pitzer to Harrisburg as she discusses her new book, One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps. A haunting history of modernity’s greatest tragedy, One Long Night offers "a potent, powerful history of cruelty & dehumanization," and has been named one of Smithsonian Magazine’s Ten Best History books for 2017.

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About the Book:

A groundbreaking, haunting, and profoundly moving history of modernity's greatest tragedy: concentration camps. 

For over 100 years, at least one concentration camp has existed somewhere on Earth. First used as battlefield strategy, camps have evolved with each passing decade, in the scope of their effects and the savage practicality with which governments have employed them. Even in the twenty-first century, as we continue to reckon with the magnitude and horror of the Holocaust, history tells us we have broken our own solemn promise of "never again."

In this harrowing work based on archival records and interviews during travel to four continents, Andrea Pitzer reveals for the first time the chronological and geopolitical history of concentration camps. Beginning with 1890s Cuba, she pinpoints concentration camps around the world and across decades. From the Philippines and Southern Africa in the early twentieth century to the Soviet Gulag and detention camps in China and North Korea during the Cold War, camp systems have been used as tools for civilian relocation and political repression. Often justified as a measure to protect a nation, or even the interned groups themselves, camps have instead served as brutal and dehumanizing sites that have claimed the lives of millions.

Drawing from exclusive testimony, landmark historical scholarship, and stunning research, Andrea Pitzer unearths the roots of this appalling phenomenon, exploring and exposing the staggering toll of the camps: our greatest atrocities, the extraordinary survivors, and even the intimate, quiet moments that have also been part of camp life during the past century. 

About the Author:

Andrea Pitzer is the author of The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov. Her writing has appeared in USA Today, Slate, Lapham’s Quarterly, and McSweeney’s, among other publications. In 2009, she founded Nieman Storyboard, the narrative nonfiction site of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. She lives in Falls Church, Virginia.

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Dec
9
11:00 AM11:00

CHILDREN'S STORYTIME @ THE MIDTOWN SCHOLAR BOOKSTORE

Bring your "littles" to Children's Storytime @ The Midtown Scholar Bookstore every 2nd and 4th Saturday from 11am-12noon.  We'll share a story, make a craft, or perhaps sing, dance or enjoy visits from special guests.  Fun Surprises are Promised! Best suited for children 3-8, all ages are welcome, however, with a parent or caregiver!

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Dec
4
6:30 PM18:30

Michael Gingerich, Tom Kaden, Abby Turner Book Talk & Signing

The authors are the co-founders of Someone To Tell It To, a non-profit ministry in Harrisburg, Pa., with the mission of creating a caring culture that accompanies others on journeys toward deeper connections. They are husbands, fathers, pastors, and mentors who want to inspire a movement for people to listen more intently and be more present in others lives. Their hope is that these stories help you understand what being more compassionate and emphatic can mean for your life and for the lives of those you encounter every day. Each of the stories is intimate; they invite readers to reflect deeply on the examples they offer. Compassion requires an intentional consideration of another s circumstances, a grace that recognizes our common humanity in all its beauty and brokenness. All proceeds of this book will be used to help the ministry of Someone To Tell It To: To create a caring culture that accompanies others on the path toward meaningful connections.

Mr. Gingerich and Mr. Kaden will discuss their co-authored book, "Someone to Tell It To" and Ms. Turner will present her book, "Hidden Miracles."

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Nov
25
11:00 AM11:00

CHILDREN'S STORYTIME @ THE MIDTOWN SCHOLAR BOOKSTORE

Bring your "littles" to Children's Storytime @ the Midtown Scholar Bookstore every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 11am-12noon.  We'll share a story, make a craft, or perhaps sing, dance or enjoy visits from special guests.  Fun Surprises are Promised! Best suited for children 3-8, all ages are welcome, however, with a parent or caregiver!

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An Evening with Masha Gessen
Nov
20
6:30 PM18:30

An Evening with Masha Gessen

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is thrilled to welcome award-winning Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen to Harrisburg as she presents her new book, The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia.

Purchase the book in-store or online in advance & receive VIP Reserved Seating:

About the book:

Putin’s bestselling biographer reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of autocracy.

Hailed for her “fearless indictment of the most powerful man in Russia” (The Wall Street Journal), award-winning journalist Masha Gessen is unparalleled in her understanding of the events and forces that have wracked her native country in recent times. In The Future Is History, she follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy. Each of them came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own—as entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers, sexual and social beings. 

Gessen charts their paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war it waged on understanding itself, which ensured the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today’s terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state. Powerful and urgent, The Future Is History is a cautionary tale for our time and for all time.

About the author:

Masha Gessen is an award-winning Russian-American journalist who is the author of several books, including the national bestseller The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Vanity Fair, Slate, and many other publications, and she has received many awards, including a Carnegie fellowship. Her latest book, The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia is newly published by Riverhead Books in October 2017. She lives in New York.

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John Terlazzo and Voices in the Hall: Third in the Burg November Concert
Nov
17
7:00 PM19:00

John Terlazzo and Voices in the Hall: Third in the Burg November Concert

Area favorites John Terlazzo and Voices in the Hall return to perform for November's Third in the Burg, Harrisburg's celebration of city life and its wonders.

John Terlazzo & Voices in the Hall sing Original Songs evocative of the influences of Arthur Rimbaud, William Blake, the Surrealists & the Beat Poets. Often compared to Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, & Bruce Cockburn, this trio's music has been described as "Modern Surrealist Gypsy Folk," "Marc Chagall gone aural," "Leonard Cohen meets Rumi," and "Too exotic for WalMart."

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Nov
16
7:00 PM19:00

Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel

The Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel is a weekly reading series founded in 1999 featuring many talented writers, poets, and artists as well as a wonderful and growing list of guest readers and headliners. Poetry events, all open to the public, are happening every Thursday at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore, 1302 North Third Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102. 

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An Evening with Wendy Pearlman
Nov
15
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with Wendy Pearlman

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome award-winning teacher at Northwestern University, Wendy Pearlman, to Harrisburg! Wendy will discuss and sign copies of her new book, WE CROSSED A BRIDGE AND IT TREMBLED: VOICES FROM SYRIA. 

Photo credit Maia Rosenfeld

Photo credit Maia Rosenfeld

About the book:

Reminiscent of the work of Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich, an astonishing collection of intimate wartime testimonies and poetic fragments from a cross-section of Syrians whose lives have been transformed by revolution, war, and flight.

Against the backdrop of the wave of demonstrations known as the Arab Spring, in 2011 hundreds of thousands of Syrians took to the streets demanding freedom, democracy and human rights. The government’s ferocious response, and the refusal of the demonstrators to back down, sparked a brutal civil war that over the past five years has escalated into the worst humanitarian catastrophe of our times.

Yet despite all the reporting, the video, and the wrenching photography, the stories of ordinary Syrians remain unheard, while the stories told about them have been distorted by broad brush dread and political expediency. This fierce and poignant collection changes that. Based on interviews with hundreds of displaced Syrians conducted over four years across the Middle East and Europe, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled is a breathtaking mosaic of first-hand testimonials from the frontlines. Some of the testimonies are several pages long, eloquent narratives that could stand alone as short stories; others are only a few sentences, poetic and aphoristic. Together, they cohere into an unforgettable chronicle that is not only a testament to the power of storytelling but to the strength of those who face darkness with hope, courage, and moral conviction.

About the author:

Wendy Pearlman is a professor and award-winning teacher at Northwestern University, specializing in Middle East politics. Educated at Harvard, Georgetown, and Brown, Pearlman speaks fluent Arabic and has spent more than twenty years studying and living in the Arab World. She is the author of numerous articles and two books, Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada (Nation Books, 2003) and Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2011). She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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Walter Stahr | Stanton
Nov
11
3:00 PM15:00

Walter Stahr | Stanton

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome award-winning biographer Walter Stahr to Harrisburg as he discusses and signs copies of his new historical biography of President Lincoln's War Secretary, STANTON. This event is free and open to the public. 

About the Book:

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Award-winning biographer Walter Stahr—author of the New York Times bestseller Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man—breathes new life into one of the most crucial and controversial, yet underappreciated figures in President Lincoln’s cabinet in STANTON: Lincoln’s War Secretary.

A difficult and stubborn genius, Edwin Stanton (1814-1869) was Lincoln’s stalwart Secretary of War, who not only brilliantly organized the Union Army, but dramatically raced to Lincoln’s deathbed on the night of April 14, 1865, and assumed control of the government. Later, President Andrew Johnson attempted to remove Stanton from office after Stanton opposed Johnson’s Reconstruction policies, which led to Johnson’s impeachment. One cannot understand the first impeachment of an American president without understanding Stanton. Walter Stahr’s STANTON truly restores this complicated figure to his proper place in American history and “should be Stanton’s definitive biography for some time to come."

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About the Author:

Walter Stahr is the author of the New York Times bestseller Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man as well as John Jay: Founding Father, a biography of America’s first Supreme Court Chief Justice. A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, he practiced international law for twenty-five years, including seven years in Hong Kong and five years with the Securities & Exchange Commission in Washington. He lives in Newport Beach, California.

 

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