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

Author Readings

Book Signing with Cooper Wingert | Abolitionists of South Central Pennsylvania

Saturday, July 20th | 1pm

Close to the Mason-Dixon line, South Central Pennsylvania was a magnet for slave catchers and abolitionists alike.

Influenced by religion and empathy, local abolitionists risked their reputations, fortunes and lives in the pursuit of what they believed was right. Cooper Wingert reveals the history of the antislavery movement in South Central Pennsylvania in his new book, Abolitionists of South Central Pennsylvania. This is a book signing event only.


Steven Waldman | Sacred Liberty

Saturday, July 20th | 6pm

A dramatic, sweeping survey of how America built a unique model of religious freedom, perhaps the nation’s “greatest invention.”

In Sacred Liberty, Steven Waldman brings to life the remarkable story of how America became one of the few nations in world history that has religious freedom, diversity and high levels of piety at the same time. Waldman shows how early ideas about religious liberty were tested and refined amidst the brutal persecution of Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, Quakers, African slaves, Native Americans, Muslims, Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Finally, Sacred Liberty provides a roadmap for how, in the face of modern threats to religious freedom, this great achievement can be preserved.



Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb | Meet Me in Monaco

Sunday, July 28th | 4pm

An evocative sun-drenched journey along the Côte d’Azur in this page-turning novel of passion, fate and second chances.

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 bring to life a vivid, engaging heroine, a glorious Côte d’Azur setting, and the ultimate princess, Grace Kelly.


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.


Charles King | Gods of the Upper Air

Tuesday, August 13th | 7pm

A sweeping chronicle of how our society began to question the basic ways we understand other cultures and ourselves.

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. 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.


P.E. Moskowitz | The Case Against Free Speech

Saturday, August 24th | 6pm

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.

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.


Michele 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.


Bassey Ikpi | I’m Telling the Truth But I’m Lying

Thursday, September 5th | 7pm | Ware Center, 42 N Prince St, Lancaster, PA

In I’m Telling the Truth, but I’m Lying, Bassey Ikpi explores her life—as a Nigerian-American immigrant, a black woman, a slam poet, a mother, a daughter, an artist—through the lens of her mental health and diagnosis of bipolar II and anxiety. Her remarkable memoir in essays implodes our preconceptions of the mind and normalcy as Bassey bares her own truths and lies for us all to behold with radical honesty and brutal intimacy. 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.

This event is proudly presented by Fear No Lit, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore, and the Ware Center at Millersville University.


Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia | Banned

Saturday, September 7th | 6pm

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. 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.

This event is proudly presented by Penn State Harrisburg’s Diversity and Educational Equity Committee and the Midtown Scholar Bookstore.


Sean Carroll | Something Deeply Hidden

Wednesday, September 11th | 7pm

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

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. 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.


James Poniewozik | Audience of One

Saturday, September 14th | 6pm

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