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

Author Readings

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An Evening with Linda Kay Klein | Pure

Tuesday, March 26th | 7pm

From a woman who has been there and back, the first inside look at the devastating effects evangelical Christianity’s purity culture has had on a generation of young women—in a potent combination of journalism, cultural commentary, and memoir. Sexual shame is by no means confined to evangelical culture; Pure is a powerful wake-up call about our society’s subjugation of women.


An Evening with Richard Rothstein | The Color of Law

Wednesday, March 27th | 7pm

The Color of Law offers “the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation.” A groundbreaking, “virtually indispensable” study that has already transformed our understanding of twentieth-century urban history, The Color of Law forces us to face the obligation to remedy our unconstitutional past.


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An Evening with Robert Crease | The Workshop and the World

Thursday, April 4th | 7pm

When does a scientific discovery become accepted fact? Why have scientific facts become easy to deny? And what can we do about it? In The Workshop and the World, philosopher and science historian Robert P. Crease answers these questions by describing the origins of our scientific infrastructure―the “workshop”―and the role of ten of the world’s greatest thinkers in shaping it.


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An Evening with Amy Murrell Taylor | Embattled Freedom

Saturday, April 6th | 6pm

The Civil War was just days old when the first enslaved men, women, and children began fleeing their plantations to seek refuge inside the lines of the Union army as it moved deep into the heart of the Confederacy. In the years that followed, hundreds of thousands more followed in a mass exodus from slavery that would destroy the system once and for all. Drawing on an extraordinary survey of slave refugee camps throughout the country, Embattled Freedom reveals as never before the everyday experiences of these refugees from slavery as they made their way through the vast landscape of army-supervised camps that emerged during the war. 


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An Evening with Alison Dagnes | Super Mad at Everything All the Time

Saturday, April 13th | 6pm

Super Mad at Everything All the Time explores the polarization of American politics through the collapse of the space between politics and culture, as bolstered by omnipresent media. It seeks to explain this perfect storm of money, technology, and partisanship that has created two entirely separate news spheres: a small, enclosed circle for the right wing and a sprawling expanse for everyone else. Based on extensive interviews with leading media figures and politicos, this book traces the development of the media machine, giving suggestions on how to restore our national dialogue while defending our right to disagree agreeably.


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An Evening with Charles Fergus | A Stranger Here Below

Monday, April 15th | 7pm

Set in 1835 in the Pennsylvania town of Adamant, A Stranger Here Below introduces Sheriff Gideon Stoltz, who, as a young deputy, is thrust into his position by the death of the previous sheriff. Gideon faces his first real challenge as death rocks the small town again when the respected judge Hiram Biddle commits suicide. No one is more distraught than Gideon, whom the old judge had befriended as a mentor and hunting partner. Gideon is regarded with suspicion as an outsider: he’s new to town, and Pennsylvania Dutch in the back-country Scotch-Irish settlement. And he found the judge’s body. 


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An Evening with Anthony Grooms | The Vain Conversation

Wednesday, April 17th | 7pm

Inspired by true events, The Vain Conversation reflects on the 1946 lynching of two black couples in Georgia from the perspectives of three characters―Bertrand Johnson, one of the victims; Noland Jacks, a presumed perpetrator; and Lonnie Henson, a witness to the murders as a ten-year-old boy. Lonnie's inexplicable feelings of culpability drive him in a search for meaning that takes him around the world, and ultimately back to Georgia, where he must confront Jacks and his own demons, with the hopes that doing so will free him from the grip of the past.


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An Evening with Steve Luxenberg | Separate

Wednesday, April 24th | 7pm

A myth-shattering narrative of how a nation embraced "separation" and its pernicious consequences. Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court case synonymous with “separate but equal,” created remarkably little stir when the justices announced their near-unanimous decision on May 18, 1896. Yet it is one of the most compelling and dramatic stories of the nineteenth century, whose outcome embraced and protected segregation, and whose reverberations are still felt into the twenty-first. Sweeping, swiftly paced, and richly detailed, Separate provides a fresh and urgently-needed exploration of our nation’s most devastating divide.


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The Presidents: An Afternoon with Brian Lamb and Susan Swain

Sunday, April 28th | 4pm

The complete rankings of our best — and worst — presidents, based on C-SPAN's much-cited Historians Surveys of Presidential Leadership. Over a period of decades, C-SPAN has surveyed leading historians on the best and worst of America's presidents across a variety of categories — their ability to persuade the public, their leadership skills, the moral authority, and more.


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An Evening with Nicole Weisensee Egan | Chasing Cosby

Thursday, May 2nd | 7pm

The definitive account of Bill Cosby's transition from revered father figure to convicted criminal, told by a veteran crime reporter and senior writer for People magazine. Rich in character and rife with dramatic revelations about popular culture, media power, and our criminal system, Egan's account will inform and fascinate readers with its candid telling of humanity's most enduring tale: the rise and fall of a cultural icon.


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An Evening with Mark Bowden | The Last Stone

Saturday, May 4th | 6pm

On March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyons, age 10 and 12, vanished from a shopping mall in suburban Washington, D.C. As shock spread, then grief, a massive police effort found nothing. The investigation was shelved, and mystery endured. Then, in 2013, a cold case squad detective found something he and a generation of detectives had missed. The Last Stone recounts a masterpiece of criminal interrogation, and delivers a chilling and unprecedented look inside a disturbing criminal mind.


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An Evening with Jim Rietmulder | When Kids Rule the School

Tuesday, May 7th | 7pm

When Kids Rule the School is the first comprehensive guide to democratic schooling, where kids practice life in a self-governed society—empowered as voters, bound by laws, challenged by choice, supported by community, and driven by nature. In our increasingly authoritarian post-truth world, self-directed democratic schooling offers a timely alternative: educating children in civilized society and showing that self-motivation outperforms coercion in its power to educate and fulfill.


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An Evening with D. Watkins | We Speak for Ourselves

Saturday, May 11th | 6pm

The critically lauded author of The Beast Side and The Cook Up returns with an existential look at life in low-income black communities, while also offering a new framework for how we can improve the conversations occurring about them. Through the personal retelling of his journey, Watkins aims to illuminate the lessons he’s learned navigating through two very distinct worlds—the hood and the elite sanctums of the prominent black thinkers and public figures—in hopes of providing actionable solutions.


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How to Resist: An Evening with Michael Long and George Lakey

Wednesday, May 15th | 7pm

In We the Resistance, Michael Long gives curious citizens and current resisters unfiltered access to the hearts and minds―the rational and passionate voices―of their activist predecessors. In How We Win, George Lakey looks to successful campaigns across the world to help us see what has worked and what hasn’t: from choosing the right target, to designing a creative campaign; from avoiding burnout within your group, to building a movement of movements.

Together, they’ll have a powerful conversation on non-violent resistance, how to gain political power, and successful strategies to achieve real progressive victories.


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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 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 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.