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

Author Readings

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An Evening with Igor Volsky | Guns Down

Tuesday, May 21st | 7pm

Twenty years after Columbine, a leading gun control activist offers a radical argument for the gun control movement our country desperately needs. In Guns Down, Igor Volsky tells the story of how he took on the NRA just by using his Twitter account, describes how he found common ground with gun enthusiasts after spending two days shooting guns in the desert, and lays out a blueprint for how citizens can push their governments to reduce the number of guns in circulation and make firearms significantly harder to get.


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An Evening with Lorene Cary | Ladysitting

Wednesday, May 22nd | 7pm

Lorene Cary’s grandmother moves in, and everything changes: day-to-day life, family relationships, the Nana she knew—even their shared past. From cherished memories of weekends she spent as a child with her indulgent Nana to the reality of the year she spent “ladysitting” her now frail grandmother, Lorene Cary journeys through stories of their time together and five generations of their African American family. In Ladysitting, Cary captures the ruptures, love, and, perhaps, forgiveness that can occur in a family as she bears witness to her grandmother’s 101 vibrant years of life.


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An Evening with William Sanderson | Yes, I’m That Guy

Tuesday, May 28th | 7pm

From the iconic character actor who starred in such films and shows as Blade Runner, True Blood, Newhart, and DeadwoodI’m That Guy is an indelible rags-to-riches story that demonstrates the power of perseverance and fortitude in overcoming one's struggles. Spanning a variety of genres over nearly a half-century performing in TV, film and stage, Sanderson has inhabited such high-profile roles as E.B. Farnum in the HBO western "Deadwood," Sheriff Bud Dearborne in the HBO vampire series "True Blood," Larry in the classic CBS sitcom "Newhart" and J.F. Sebastian in the sci-fi film masterwork "Blade Runner."


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An Evening with the Poets Laureate of Pennsylvania | Undocumented

Thursday, May 30th | 7pm

Focusing on contemporary issues, Undocumented showcases a large collection of regional poets laureate writing on subjects critical to understanding social justice. Includes writing by seventy-eight poets and organized around themes from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide,” this collection calls on readers to act on behalf of victims of social injustice.


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An Evening with Jericho Brown | The Tradition

Tuesday, June 4th | 7pm

Jericho Brown’s daring new book The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown’s poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Brown makes mythical pastorals to question the terrors to which we’ve become accustomed, and to celebrate how we survive.


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An Evening with David Epstein | Range

Saturday, June 8th | 6pm

What's the most effective path to success in any domain? It's not what you think. Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency. Failing a test is the best way to learn. Frequent quitters end up with the most fulfilling careers. The most impactful inventors cross domains rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area. As experts silo themselves further while computers master more of the skills once reserved for highly focused humans, people who think broadly and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives will increasingly thrive.


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An Evening with Bernice Hausman | Anti/Vax

Wednesday, June 12th | 7pm

Antivaxxers are crazy. That is the perception we all gain from the media, the internet, celebrities, and beyond, writes Bernice Hausman in Anti/Vax, but we need to open our eyes and ears so that we can all have a better conversation about vaccine skepticism and its implications. Through Anti/Vax, Hausman wants to engage public health officials, the media, and each of us in a public dialogue about the relation of individual bodily autonomy to the state's responsibility to safeguard citizens' health.


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An Evening with Eric Blanc | Red State Revolt

Thursday, June 13th | 7pm

Thirteen months after Trump allegedly captured the allegiance of “the white working class,” a strike wave—the first in over four decades—rocked the United States. Inspired by the wildcat victory in West Virginia, teachers in Oklahoma, Arizona, and across the country walked off their jobs and shut down their schools to demand better pay for educators, more funding for students, and an end to years of austerity. Red State Revolt is a compelling analysis of the emergence and development of this historic strike wave, with an eye to extracting its main strategic lessons for educators, labor organizer, and radicals across the country. The result is one of the richest portraits of the labor movement to date, a story populated with the voices of school workers who are winning the fight for the soul of public education—and redrawing the political map of the country at large.


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An Evening with Casey Cep | The Furious Hours

Tuesday, June 18th | 7pm

The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird .


Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante's trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more years working on her own version of the case.


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An Evening with Randi Hutter Epstein | Aroused

Saturday, June 22nd | 6pm

A guided tour through the strange science of hormones and the age-old quest to control them. Brimming with fascinating anecdotes, illuminating new medical research, and humorous details, Aroused introduces the leading scientists who made life-changing discoveries about the hormone imbalances that ail us, as well as the charlatans who used those discoveries to peddle false remedies. A fascinating look at the history and science of some of medicine’s most important discoveries .


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An Evening with Kim Wehle | How to Read the Constitution—and Why

Tuesday, July 2nd | 7pm

Essential reading for anyone who cares about maintaining an accountable government and the individual freedoms that the Constitution enshrines for everyone in America—regardless of political party. An insightful, urgent, and perennially relevant handbook that lays out in common sense language how the United States Constitution works, and how its protections are eroding before our eyes—essential reading for anyone who wants to understand and parse the constantly breaking news about the backbone of American government.


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An Evening with Catherine Chung | The Tenth Muse

Friday, July 12th | 7pm

An exhilarating novel about a trailblazing mathematician who unearths her own extraordinary family story and its roots in World War II. From childhood, Katherine knows she is different, and that her parents are not who they seem to be. But in becoming a mathematician, she must face the most human of problems--who is she? What is the cost of love, and what is the cost of ambition?  In The Tenth Muse, Catherine Chung offers a gorgeous, sweeping tale about legacy, identity, and the beautiful ways the mind can make us free.


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An Afternoon with Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb | Meet Me in Monaco

Sunday, July 28th | 4pm

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.


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An Evening with R.O Kwon | The Incendiaries

Saturday, August 3rd | 6pm

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. 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.


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An Evening with Michelle Gelfund | Rule Makers, Rule Breakers

Saturday, August 31st | 6pm

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