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

Author Readings

John Leland | Happiness is a Choice You Make

Saturday, September 21st | 6pm

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. 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.


2019 Harrisburg Book Festival

Thursday, October 3rd - Sunday, October 6th

Now in its seventh year, the Harrisburg Book Festival is proudly hosted by the Midtown Scholar Bookstore. Featuring an annual tent sale, award-winning authors, children’s illustrators, emerging novelists, acclaimed historians — surrounded by hundreds of thousands of books at one of the nation’s most celebrated independent bookstores — the Harrisburg Book Festival aims to amplify and celebrate diverse literature for all ages. All events are free and open to the public.



Eleanor Gordon-Smith | Stop Being Reasonable

Wednesday, October 23rd | 7pm

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

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?


Stephen Fried | Rush

Wednesday, November 6th | 7pm

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

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. Rush reveals his singular life and towering legacy, installing him in the pantheon of our wisest and boldest Founding Fathers.


Henry Hemming | Agents of Influence

Saturday, November 9th | 5pm

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

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.