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An Evening with David Kaplan: The Most Dangerous Branch
Sep
15
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with David Kaplan: The Most Dangerous Branch

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“With the voice of a gifted narrator and the insight of a relentless journalist, Kaplan lifts the veil on the Supreme Court."

This September, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome New York Times bestselling author David Kaplan to Harrisburg as he discusses his new book, The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court's Assault on the Constitution. Kaplan will be in conversation with book critic Harvey Freedenberg. This event is free and open to the public. Book signing to follow discussion. 

About the Book: 

In the bestselling tradition of The Nine and The Brethren, The Most Dangerous Branch takes us inside the secret world of the Supreme Court. David A. Kaplan, the former legal affairs editor of Newsweek, shows how the justices subvert the role of the other branches of government—and how we’ve come to accept it at our peril.

With the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court has never before been more central in American life. It is the nine justices who too often now decide the controversial issues of our time—from abortion and same-sex marriage, to gun control, campaign finance and voting rights. The Court is so crucial that many voters in 2016 made their choice based on whom they thought their presidential candidate would name to the Court. Donald Trump picked Neil Gorsuch—the key decision of his new administration. The next justice—replacing Anthony Kennedy—will be even more important, holding the swing vote over so much social policy. Is that really how democracy is supposed to work?

Based on exclusive interviews with the justices and dozens of their law clerks, Kaplan provides fresh details about life behind the scenes at the Court – Clarence Thomas’s simmering rage, Antonin Scalia’s death, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s celebrity, Breyer Bingo, the petty feuding between Gorsuch and the chief justice, and what John Roberts thinks of his critics.

Kaplan presents a sweeping narrative of the justices’ aggrandizement of power over the decades – from Roe v. Wade to Bush v. Gore to Citizens United, to rulings during the 2017-18 term. But the arrogance of the Court isn’t partisan: Conservative and liberal justices alike are guilty of overreach. Challenging conventional wisdom about the Court’s transcendent power, The Most Dangerous Branch is sure to rile both sides of the political aisle.

About the Author: 

David A. Kaplan is the former legal affairs of Newsweek, where he covered the Court for a decade. His other books include The Silicon Boys (a New York Times bestseller that was translated into six languages), The Accidental President (an account of the 2000 election on which HBO’s Recount was partially based), and Mine’s Bigger (a biography of the largest sailboat in the world that won the Loeb Award for Best Business Book of 2008). A graduate of Cornell and the New York University School of Law, he teaches courses in journalism and ethics at NYU. He and his family live in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York.

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Gerrymandering: Book Signing with Franklin Kury
Jul
14
1:00 PM13:00

Gerrymandering: Book Signing with Franklin Kury

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This July, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome former State Senator Franklin Kury to Harrisburg as he signs copies of his new book, Gerrymandering: A Guide to Congressional Redistricting, Dark Money, and the U.S. Supreme Court. 

“Franklin Kury’s excellent book is as trenchant as it is timely. In it, he provides a great overview of the redistricting process in states like Pennsylvania. He shows how utterly broken that process is in that state and how gerrymandering in places like Pennsylvania is so clearly at odds with the fundamental values that ought to undergird republican democracies. He also shows why it is high time we did something about it.” - TOM WOLF, Governor of Pennsylvania

About the Book:

After placing fair legislative representation in the context of our governmental system, this book shows the anatomy of Pennsylvania’s 2011 Congressional redistricting that was invalidated by the state Supreme Court in 2018. Pennsylvania (and, later, California, the polar opposites of Pennsylvania n its redistricting process) is used as a measuring rod for other states. This is followed by an historical review of gerrymandering in America and the Supreme Court’s role to date in curbing it. The great challenges involved in reforming the redistricting process in states without a ballot referendum process concludes with a description of “dark money” and the virtual impossibility of tracing it in state elections.

About the Author: 

Franklin Kury served six years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and eight in the Pennsylvania Senate. He practiced law with Reed Smith, a major law firm, and then worked as a lobbyist with Malady and Wooten in Harrisburg, before retiring. This is his third book on legislatures and politics.

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May
18
7:00 PM19:00

Third in the Burg Featuring Music by Pentley Holmes

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome Pentley Holmes to Harrisburg for May's Third in the Burg! This event is free and open to the public.

Hailing from Phillipsburg, New Jersey, Pentley Holmes' debut album “Rip Out My Heart,” offers a beautifully rendered glimpse into the depths of human experience. A self taught guitarist, pianist, and vocalist, Pentley's music is a signature blend of contemporary folk and soul pop.

 

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An Afternoon with Meghan Kenny and Jane Delury
Apr
28
4:00 PM16:00

An Afternoon with Meghan Kenny and Jane Delury

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome award-winning debut novelists Meghan Kenny and Jane Delury to Harrisburg on Independent Bookstore Day! Kenny will read from her novel, The Driest Season, and Delury will read from her novel, The Balcony. Following the reading, Kenny and Delury will be in conversation with Alex Brubaker to discuss the the craft of writing fiction, contemporary novels, and the creative process. 

This event is free and open to the public. 

About The Driest Season: 

As her Wisconsin community endures a long season of drought and feels the shockwaves of World War II, fifteen-year-old Cielle endures a more personal calamity: the unexpected death of her father. On a balmy summer afternoon, she finds him hanging in the barn―the start of a dark secret that threatens her family’s livelihood. A war rages elsewhere, while in the deceptive calm of the American heartland, Cielle’s family contends with a new reality and fights not to be undone.

A stunning debut, The Driest Season creates a moving portrait of Cielle’s struggle to make sense of her father’s time on earth, and of her own. With wisdom and grit, Kenny has fashioned a deeply affecting story of a young woman discovering loss, heartache, and―finally―hope.

About The Balcony:

What if our homes could tell the stories of others who lived there before us? Set in a small village near Paris, The Balcony follows the inhabitants of a single estate-including a manor and a servants' cottage-over the course of several generations, from the Belle Époque to the present day, introducing us to a fascinating cast of characters. A young American au pair develops a crush on her brilliant employer. An ex-courtesan shocks the servants, a Jewish couple in hiding from the Gestapo attract the curiosity of the neighbors, and a housewife begins an affair while renovating her downstairs. Rich and poor, young and old, powerful and persecuted, all of these people are seeking something: meaning, love, a new beginning, or merely survival.

Throughout, cross-generational connections and troubled legacies haunt the same spaces, so that the rose garden, the forest pond, and the balcony off the manor's third floor bedroom become silent witnesses to a century of human drama. 

In her debut, Jane Delury writes with masterful economy and profound wisdom about growing up, growing old, marriage, infidelity, motherhood - in other words, about life - weaving a gorgeous tapestry of relationships, life-altering choices, and fleeting moments across the frame of the twentieth century. A sumptuous narrative of place that burrows deep into individual lives to reveal hidden regrets, resentments, and desires, The Balcony is brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.

About the Authors: 

Meghan Kenny is the author of Love Is No Small Thing: Stories. Her short story "The Driest Season"―the basis for her debut novel―won the Iowa Review Award and was a Pushcart Prize Special Mention. She lives in Pennsylvania.

Jane Delury's fiction has appeared in Narrative, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, The Yale Review, and Glimmer Train. She has received a PEN/O. Henry Prize, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Story Award, a VCCA fellowship, and grants from the Maryland State Arts Council. She holds an MA in literary studies from the University of Grenoble, France, and an MA in fiction from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. She teaches in the University of Baltimore's MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts program.

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An Evening of Poetry with Todd Boss and Marci Nelligan
Mar
1
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening of Poetry with Todd Boss and Marci Nelligan

Join us for an evening celebrating the spoken word with acclaimed poets Todd Boss and Marci Nelligan! Both poets will read from their latest collections, Tough Luck and Ghost Manada.

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At the center of Todd Boss’s Tough Luck is a poem about the ill-fated I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis and its disastrous collapse, which killed 13 people and injured 145. The freighted, swiftly moving poems in Tough Luck crisscross the chasm between peril and safety as if between opposing riverbanks, revealing a frequently heart-stopping view of the muscled waters below. Marriage, family, home―all come crashing down, but Boss rebuilds with his trademark musicality and “a reverent gusto for representing the tactile aspects of human life.”

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Marci Nelligan’s Ghost Manada is a book of insistent absence in conversation with her own shade songs. The book is an intertext of experimental lyrics speaking to and through Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and the spirt of Emily Dickinson. Nelligan dives into the wreck of an American mythos of unforgiving darkness, and if that were not enough, she also finds her name does not appear there. “As in this telling, woman lurk in thresholds, part captive, part threat.” Ultimately, these affecting meditations do not wait “for the ire to eat up all the air.” This is the space of the book, one that wasn’t there before Nelligan created it.

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Todd Boss is the author of the poetry collections Yellowrocket and Pitch, both honored by the Midwest Bookseller’s Choice Award. He is the founding artistic director of Motionpoems, a film company in Minneapolis.

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Marci Nelligan is the author of The Ghost Manada (Black Radish, 2016), Infinite Variations (Black Radish, 2011) and numerous chapbooks, and the co-editor of Intersections, an interdisciplinary book on Jane Jacobs. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boog CityJacket, the Denver QuarterlyThe New Orleans Review, How2, Fledgling Rag, and other journals. She lives in Lancaster, PA with her husband and two daughters, and runs an arts-in-education partnership between Millersville University and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

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Oct
20
7:00 PM19:00

Indian Summer Jars in Concert

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome Indian Summer Jars in concert for October's Third in the Burg!

Indian Summer Jars creates a sound that is unique and upbeat, dynamic and bold. Expect high energy performances with harmonies and vocals reminiscent of Indigo Girls and Natalie Merchant. With creative guitar tunings and strong, earthy rhythms, ISJ brings you uplifting songs inspired by travel, discovery, growth and transformation. There is no doubt this music will stir your soul!

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