A Carnival of Snackery

David Sedaris

There’s no right way to keep a diary, but if there’s an entertaining way, David Sedaris seems to have mas­tered it.
 
If it’s navel-gazing you’re after, you’ve come to the wrong place; ditto treacly self-examination. Rather, his observations turn outward: a fight between two men on a bus, a fight between two men on the street, pedestrians being whacked over the head or gathering to watch as a man considers leap­ing to his death. There’s a dirty joke shared at a book signing, then a dirtier one told at a dinner party—lots of jokes here. Plenty of laughs.
 
These diaries remind you that you once really hated George W. Bush, and that not too long ago, Donald Trump was just a harm­less laughingstock, at least on French TV. Time marches on, and Sedaris, at his desk or on planes, in hotel dining rooms and odd Japanese inns, records it. The entries here reflect an ever-changing background—new administrations, new restrictions on speech and conduct. What you can say at the start of the book, you can’t by the end. At its best, A Carnival of Snackery is a sort of sampler: the bitter and the sweet. Some entries are just what you wanted. Others you might want to spit discreetly into a napkin.

Upcoming Events

Society for the Performing Arts at Brown Theatre at Wortham Center

Houston, TX

More Information

A Calling for Charlie Barnes

Joshua Ferris

From National Book Award Finalist Joshua Ferris comes a "brilliant, funny," and "heartbreaking" novel about a modern American family and a man on a secret mission to uncover the world's hidden truths—until his two lives come crashing together (Andrew Greer, author of Less). 

Someone is telling the story of the life of Charlie Barnes, and it doesn't appear to be going well. Too often divorced, discontent with life's compromises and in a house he hates, this lifelong schemer and eternal romantic would like out of his present circumstances and into the American dream. But when the twin calamities of the Great Recession and a cancer scare come along to compound his troubles, his dreams dwindle further, and an infinite past full of forking paths quickly tapers to a black dot.

Then, against all odds, something goes right for a change: Charlie is granted a second act. With help from his storyteller son, he surveys the facts of his life and finds his true calling where he least expects it—in a sacrifice that redounds with selflessness and love—at last becoming the man his son always knew he could be.

A Calling for Charlie Barnes is a profound and tender portrait of a man whose desperate need to be loved is his downfall, and a brutally funny account of how that love is ultimately earned.

Upcoming Events

(Harrisburg, PA)

Midtown Scholar

with Rebecca Makkai

More Information

virtual

Books & Books (Miami virtual) (co-presented with Harvard Bookstore and Politics & Prose)

More Information

(Corte Madera, CA virtual)

Book Passage

with Lily King

More Information

(LA, virtual)

Skylight Books

in conversation with Frank Rich

More Information

(Seattle, virtual)

Third Place Books

with Aimee Bender

More Information

Vancouver Writers Fest

This is a digital event for our international Sunday brunch with readings from Joshua Ferris, Claire Fuller, Jeff VanderMeer, Jaap Robben, Linda Boström Knausgård, and Pilar Quintana, with a host (TBC)

More Information

The Riviera House

Natasha Lester

A lush and engrossing novel of one woman’s quest to keep Nazis from stealing priceless art during WWII, perfect for fans of The Rose Code.
 
Paris, 1939: The Nazis think Éliane can't understand German. They’re wrong. They think she’s merely cataloging art in the Louvre  and unaware they’re stealing national treasures for their private collections. They have no idea she’s carefully decoding their notes and smuggling information to the Resistance. But Éliane is playing a dangerous game. Does she dare trust the man she once loved with her secrets, or will he only betray her once again? She has no way to know for certain . . . until a trip to a stunning home on the French Riviera brings a whole new level of peril.
 
Present Day: Wanting to forget the tragedy that has left her life in shambles, Remy Lang heads to a home she’s mysteriously inherited on the Riviera. While working on her vintage fashion business, she discovers a catalog of the artworks stolen during World War II and is shocked to see a painting that hung on her childhood bedroom wall. Who is her family, really? And does the Riviera house hold more secrets than Remy is ready to face?
  • CNN Underscored: Most Anticipated New Books to Read this August

Upcoming Events

Online

Library Journal's Virtual Day of Dialog

Join Library Journal for a panel discussion--Fiction: The Consequences of Conflict with David R. Gillham (Shadows of Berlin), Natasha Lester (The Riviera House), Heather B. Moore (The Slow March of Time), and Yara Zgheib (No Land to Light On). Moderated by Marianne Paterniti and Pat Sheary from Darien Library.

Free Registration

Magers & Quinn Booksellers (via Zoom)

In Conversation

Natasha Lester discusses her new book, The Riviera House, with Kate Quinn, author of The Rose Code

More Information

Ashland Public Library (via Zoom)

In Conversation

Natasha Lester discusses her new book, The Riviera House, with Chanel Cleeton, author of The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba

More information

VIrtual Hosted by Cote Saint-Luc Public Library & Paragraphe Bookstore

In Conversation: Natasha Lester and Kristin Harmel

A Conversation with New York Times Bestselling Authors Natasha Lester and Kristen Harmel, author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars

More Information

The Dating Playbook

Farrah Rochon

When a personal trainer agrees to fake date her client, all rules are out the window in this "fun, heartfelt, and totally relatable" romantic comedy (Abby Jimenez, NYT bestselling author of Life's Too Short).

When it comes to personal training, Taylor Powell kicks serious butt. Unfortunately, her bills are piling up, rent is due, and the money situation is dire. Taylor needs more than the support of her new best friends, Samiah and London. She needs a miracle.

And Jamar Dixon might just be it. The oh-so-fine former footballer wants back into the NFL, and he wants Taylor to train him. There's just one catch—no one can know what they're doing. But when they're accidentally outed as a couple, Taylor's game plan is turned completely upside down. Is Jamar just playing to win . . . or is he playing for keeps?
  • Entertainment Weekly: Best Books of Summer
  • PopSugar: Best Summer Reads of 2021
  • Buzzfeed: Romance Novels You Need to Read This Summer
  • BookBub: Best Romance Books of Summer
  • Washington Post: Romance Novels to Read This Summer
  • Oprah Daily: Most Anticipated Romances of 2021
  • Vulture: Best Romance Novels of 2021

Upcoming Events

Zoom

First Love, Take Two

We are THRILLED to welcome Sajni Patel to discuss her new novel First Love, Take Two. She will appear in conversation with Farrah Rochon.

More Information

The Perks of Loving a Wallflower

Erica Ridley

Fans of Bridgerton will love this “delightful” Regency romp (Julia Quinn, New York Times bestselling author​) in which a proper Society miss recruits a very improper lady investigator in a quest for vengeance, only to find love instead.

As a master of disguise, Thomasina Wynchester can be a polite young lady—or a bawdy old man. She’ll do whatever it takes to solve the cases her family takes on. But when Tommy’s beautiful new client turns out to be the highborn lady she’s secretly smitten with, more than her mission is at stake . . .

Bluestocking Miss Philippa York doesn’t believe in love. Her heart didn’t pitter-patter when she was betrothed to a duke, nor did it break when he married someone else. All Philippa desires is to decode a centuries-old manuscript to keep a modern-day villain from claiming credit for work that wasn’t his. She hates that she needs a man’s help to do it—so she’s delighted to discover the clever, charming baron at her side is in fact a woman. But as she and Tommy grow closer and the stakes of their discovery higher, more than just their hearts are at risk.

Upcoming Events

Creating Conversations (via Zoom)

Fall into Historical Romance

Join us for a lively panel discussion with Manda Collins, Michelle McLean, Erica Ridley, Vanessa Riley, Minerva Spencer, and Emily Sullivan.

More Information

An Heiress's Guide to Deception and Desire

Manda Collins

Former lovers become reluctant allies in this delightfully witty historical rom-com from the bestselling author of A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem—for fans of Evie Dunmore, Enola Holmes, and Netflix's Bridgerton!

England, 1867: As half of the writing duo behind England’s most infamous crime column, Miss Caroline Hardcastle has quite the scandalous reputation. It may have cost her a fiancé, but she would much rather bring attention to crimes against those ignored by society than worry about what the ton thinks of her.

After Caro’s dear friend is kidnapped, however, she has no choice but to work with Lord Valentine Thorn, the same man who broke her heart. Worse, when her actions put her father’s business at risk, a marriage of convenience may be her only solution . . . but can she trust Val to stand by her? Or will their past repeat itself?

Val—the new Viscount Wrackham—is in an untenable position: His father is demanding he find a respectable bride to secure the succession. Yet the only woman he’s ever loved, Miss Caroline Hardcastle, is notorious for behaving improperly. And she’s never forgiven him for his youthful transgressions, missteps made in the name of familial duty, but ones he still regrets to this day.

As they grow closer to unmasking the culprit, Val sees an opportunity to show Caro he’s a changed man. But can he convince her to give their love a second chance—before death does them part?
 

Upcoming Events

Creating Conversations (via Zoom)

Fall into Historical Romance

Join us for a lively panel discussion with Manda Collins, Michelle McLean, Erica Ridley, Vanessa Riley, Minerva Spencer, and Emily Sullivan.

More Information

Murder By the Book (Facebook & YouTube)

In Conversation

Manda Collins in conversation with Erin Sterling (Rachel Hawkins), author of The Ex Hex.

More information.

Feral Creatures

Kira Jane Buxton

In this stunning follow-up to Hollow Kingdom and Seattle Times/Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association bestseller​, the animal kingdom's "favorite apocalyptic hero"is back with a renewed sense of hope for humanity, ready to take on a world ravaged by a viral pandemic (Helen Macdonald).

Once upon an apocalypse, there lived an obscenely handsome American crow named S.T. . . .
 
When the world last checked-in with its favorite Cheeto addict, the planet had been overrun by flesh-hungry beasts, and nature had started re-claiming her territory from humankind. S.T., the intrepid crow, alongside his bloodhound-bestie Dennis, had set about saving pets that had become trapped in their homes after humanity went the way of the dodo.
 
That is, dear reader, until S.T. stumbled upon something so rare—and so precious—that he vowed to do everything in his power to safeguard what could, quite literally, be humanity's last hope for survival. But in a wild world plagued by prejudiced animals, feather-raising environments, new threats so terrifying they make zombies look like baby bunnies, and a horrendous dearth of cheesy snacks, what's a crow to do?
 
Why, wing it on another big-hearted, death-defying adventure, that's what! Joined by a fabulous new cast of animal characters, S.T. faces many new challenges plus his biggest one yet: parenthood.

MOST ANTICIPATED by Bustle and "Sci-Fi Thriller" recommendation from Buzzfeed.

Upcoming Events

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu

Tom Lin

New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

An astounding debut that reimagines the classic Western through the eyes of a Chinese American assassin on a quest to rescue his kidnapped wife and exact his revenge on her abductors, and “declares the arrival of an astonishing new voice” (Jonathan Lethem).


Orphaned young, Ming Tsu, the son of Chinese immigrants, is raised by the notorious leader of a California crime syndicate, who trains him to be his deadly enforcer. But when Ming falls in love with Ada, the daughter of a powerful railroad magnate, and the two elope, he seizes the opportunity to escape to a different life. Soon after, in a violent raid, the tycoon’s henchmen kidnap Ada and conscript Ming into service for the Central Pacific Railroad.
 
Battered, heartbroken, and yet defiant, Ming partners with a blind clairvoyant known only as the prophet. Together the two set out to rescue his wife and to exact revenge on the men who destroyed Ming, aided by a troupe of magic-show performers, some with supernatural powers, whom they meet on the journey. Ming blazes his way across the West, settling old scores with a single-minded devotion that culminates in an explosive and unexpected finale.

Written with the violent ardor of Cormac McCarthy and the otherworldly inventiveness of Ted Chiang, The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu is at once a thriller, a romance, and a story of one man’s quest for redemption in the face of a distinctly American brutality.

"In Tom Lin’s novel, the atmosphere of Cormac McCarthy’s West, or that of the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, gives way to the phantasmagorical shades of Ray Bradbury, Charles Finney’s The Circus of Dr. Lao, and Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love. Yet The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu has a velocity and perspective all its own, and is a fierce new version of the Westward Dream." —Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn

Upcoming Events

Downtown Winston-Salem

BookMarks NC Festival of Books

“New Western" panel

More Information

The Writer's Center for our Virtual Craft Chat

More Information

NBCC/Litquake festival

Alternative Histories panel, moderated by NBCC critic Anita Felicelli and include Rishi Reddi, author of Passage West

More Information

virtual

Old Dominion University’s Literary Festival

This year our theme, Afterwards, revolves around stories of survival, change, and rebirth

More Information

Virtual

Harrison Public Library - Meet the Author

More Information

Sacramento

Sacramento's Authors on the Move Dinner

More Information

The Wish

Nicholas Sparks

From the author of The Longest Ride and The Return comes a novel about the enduring legacy of first love, and the decisions that haunt us forever.
 
1996 was the year that changed everything for Maggie Dawes. Sent away at sixteen to live with an aunt she barely knew in Ocracoke, a remote village on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, she could think only of the friends and family she left behind . . . until she met Bryce Trickett, one of the few teenagers on the island. Handsome, genuine, and newly admitted to West Point, Bryce showed her how much there was to love about the wind-swept beach town—and introduced her to photography, a passion that would define the rest of her life.

By 2019, Maggie is a renowned travel photographer. She splits her time between running a successful gallery in New York and photographing remote locations around the world. But this year she is unexpectedly grounded over Christmas, struggling to come to terms with a sobering medical diagnosis. Increasingly dependent on a young assistant, she finds herself becoming close to him.

As they count down the last days of the season together, she begins to tell him the story of another Christmas, decades earlier—and the love that set her on a course she never could have imagined.

Upcoming Events

Northvale, NJ

Books and Greetings

Meet Nicholas Sparks and celebrate the launch of THE WISH!

More info

Manasquan, NJ

Booktowne

Meet Nicholas Sparks for a Q&A about his new book, THE WISH!

More info

Baltimore, MD

A Likely Story

Meet Nicholas Sparks for a Q&A about his new book, THE WISH!

More information

Atlanta, GA

FoxTale

Meet Nicholas Sparks for a Q&A about his new book, THE WISH!

More info

Vero Beach, FL

Vero Beach Book Center

Meet Nicholas Sparks for a Q&A about his new book, THE WISH!

More info

New Bern, NC

Books-a-Million

Meet Nicholas Sparks and celebrate the launch of THE WISH!

More info

First Love, Take Two

Sajni Patel

On the verge of realizing her dream of being a doctor, Preeti Patel should be ecstatic. But between the stress of her residency, trying to find a job, and managing her traditional, no-boundaries family, Preeti's anxiety is through the roof. Relationships and love aren't even an option. Fortunately, Preeti's finally found a new place to stay . . . only to discover that her new roommate is her ex.

Preeti never quite got over Daniel Thompson. Super-hot, plenty of swagger, amazing cook—the guy is practically perfect. And if it weren't for their families, there might have been a happily ever after. But it's hard to keep her sanity and libido in check when the man of her dreams is sleeping mere feet away. Can Preeti and Daniel find a way to stand up and fight for each other one last time . . . before they lose their second chance?

Upcoming Events

Crowdcast

Texas Book Festival Book Club

Texas Book Festival Book Club with Austin360

More Information

The Girl With All the Gifts

M. R. Carey

In the ruins of civilization, a young girl's kindness and capacity for love will either save humanity -- or wipe it out in this USA Today bestselling thriller Joss Whedon calls "heartfelt, remorseless, and painfully human."

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointed at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Upcoming Events

Crowdcast

Q&A and Conversation

Join authors Andy Marino and M.R. Carey for a conversation about their books and what it's like writing supernatural thrillers. Plus, they'll be answering your questions throughout the event.

More Information

The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess

Andy Marino

From an electrifying voice in horror comes the haunting tale of a woman whose life begins to unravel after a home invasion. 

“Marino offers horrors both existential and visceral. From a stunning opening, the sense of dread just builds and builds.” —M. R. Carey, author of The Girl with All the Gifts

"Odd and dark and fascinating . . . Not quite like anything I've ever read before. A strange, compelling, late-night page-turner. It kept me reading way past my bedtime." —T. Kingfisher, author of The Hollow Places

Possession is an addiction.

Sydney's spent years burying her past and building a better life for herself and her young son. A respectable marketing job, a house with reclaimed and sustainable furniture, and a boyfriend who loves her son and accepts her, flaws and all.

But when she opens her front door, and a masked intruder knocks her briefly unconscious, everything begins to unravel.

She wakes in the hospital and tells a harrowing story of escape. Of dashing out a broken window. Of running into her neighbors' yard and calling the police.

The cops tell her a different story. Because the intruder is now lying dead in her guest room—murdered in a way that looks intimately personal.

Sydney can't remember killing the man. No one believes her.

Back home, as horrific memories surface, an unnatural darkness begins whispering in her ear. Urging her back to old addictions and a past she's buried to build a better life for herself and her son.

As Sydney searches for truth among the wreckage of a past that won't stay buried for long, the unquiet darkness begins to grow. To change into something unimaginable.

To reveal terrible cravings of its own.

“Admirers of the works of Tana French, Megan Abbott, and Zoje Stage will devour this book.” —Booklist
 

Upcoming Events

Crowdcast

Q&A and Conversation

Join authors Andy Marino and M.R. Carey for a conversation about their books and what it's like writing supernatural thrillers. Plus, they'll be answering your questions throughout the event.

More Information

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days

Rebecca Donner

New York Times Bestseller
New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

The “highly evocative, deeply moving” true account of the extraordinary life and brutal death of Mildred Harnack, the American leader of one of the largest underground resistance groups in Germany during WWII—“a stunning literary achievement” (Kai Bird, author of The Outlier and co-author of Pulitzer Prize-winning American Prometheus)

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Mildred Harnack was twenty-six when she enrolled in a PhD program in Germany and witnessed the meteoric rise of the Nazi party. In 1932, she began holding secret meetings in her apartment—a small band of political activists that by 1940 had grown into the largest underground resistance group in Berlin. She recruited working-class Germans into the resistance, helped Jews escape, plotted acts of sabotage, and collaborated in writing leaflets that denounced Hitler and called for revolution. Her coconspirators circulated through Berlin under the cover of night, slipping the leaflets into mailboxes, public restrooms, phone booths. When the first shots of the Second World War were fired, she became a spy, couriering top-secret intelligence to the Allies. On the eve of her escape to Sweden, she was ambushed by the Gestapo. At a Nazi military court, a panel of five judges sentenced her to six years at a prison camp, but Hitler overruled the decision and ordered her execution. On February 16, 1943, she was strapped to a guillotine and beheaded.

Historians identify Mildred Harnack as the only American in the leadership of the German resistance, yet her remarkable story has remained almost unknown until now.

Harnack’s great-great-niece Rebecca Donner draws on her extensive archival research in Germany, Russia, England, and the U.S. as well as newly uncovered documents in her family archive to produce this astonishing work of narrative nonfiction. Fusing elements of biography, real-life political thriller, and scholarly detective story, Donner brilliantly interweaves letters, diary entries, notes smuggled out of a Berlin prison, survivors’ testimony, and a trove of declassified intelligence documents into a powerful, epic story, reconstructing the moral courage of an enigmatic woman nearly erased by history.

Upcoming Events

In-Person

Boswell Books

co-sponsored by HERC

More Information

Harbor Springs, MI (In-Person)

Harbor Springs Festival of the Book

More Information

Elliott Bay Book Co – with Goethe pop-up and UW

More Information

Hero of Two Worlds

Mike Duncan

From the bestselling author of The Storm Before the Storm and host of the Revolutions podcast comes the thrilling story of the Marquis de Lafayette’s lifelong quest to defend the principles of liberty and equality
 
Few in history can match the revolutionary career of the Marquis de Lafayette. Over fifty incredible years at the heart of the Age of Revolution, he fought courageously on both sides of the Atlantic. He was a soldier, statesman, idealist, philanthropist, and abolitionist.
 
As a teenager, Lafayette ran away from France to join the American Revolution. Returning home a national hero, he helped launch the French Revolution, eventually spending five years locked in dungeon prisons. After his release, Lafayette sparred with Napoleon, joined an underground conspiracy to overthrow King Louis XVIII, and became an international symbol of liberty. Finally, as a revered elder statesman, he was instrumental in the overthrow of the Bourbon Dynasty in the Revolution of 1830.
 
From enthusiastic youth to world-weary old age, from the pinnacle of glory to the depths of despair, Lafayette never stopped fighting for the rights of all mankind. His remarkable life is the story of where we come from, and an inspiration to defend the ideals he held dear.

Upcoming Events

Free Virtual Event

American Friends of Lafayette

AFL Member Lloyd Kramer will be interviewing a New York Times - Bestselling Author Mike Duncan about his newly released book "Hero of Two Worlds"

More Information

Act Like You Got Some Sense

Jamie Foxx

In this hilarious and heartfelt memoir, award-winning, multi-talented entertainer Jamie Foxx shares the story of being raised by his no-nonsense grandmother, the glamour and pitfalls of life in Hollywood, and the lessons he took from both worlds to raise his two daughters.

Jamie Foxx has won an Academy Award and a Grammy Award, laughed with sitting presidents, and partied with the biggest names in hip-hop. But he is most proud of his role as father to two very independent young women, Corinne and Anelise. Jamie might not always know what he’s doing when it comes to raising girls—especially when they talk to him about TikTok (PlikPlok?) and don’t share his enthusiasm for flashy Rolls Royces—but he does his best to show up for them every single day.

Luckily, he has a strong example to follow: his beloved late grandmother, Estelle Marie Talley.  Jamie learned everything he knows about parenting from the fierce woman who raised him: As he puts it, she’s “Madea before Tyler Perry put on the pumps and the gray wig.”
 
In Act Like You Got Some Sense—a title inspired by Estelle—Jamie shares up close and personal stories about the tough love and old-school values he learned growing up in the small town of Terrell, Texas; his early days trying to make it in Hollywood; the joys and challenges of achieving stardom; and how each phase of his life shaped his parenting journey. Hilarious, poignant, and always brutally honest, this is Jamie Foxx like we’ve never seen him before.

Upcoming Events

The Met Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA

In partnership with Harriet's Bookshop

Get Your Tickets

The Wiltern

Los Angeles, CA

In partnership with Eso Won Books

Get Your Tickets

The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory

Irving, TX

Get Your Tickets

The Magnolia

San Diego, CA

In partnership with Warwick's

Get Your Tickets

Hooked

Sutton Foster

From the 2-time Tony Award-winner and the star of TV’s Younger, funny and intimate stories and reflections about how crafting has kept her sane while navigating the highs and lows of family, love, and show business (and how it can help you, too).

Whether she’s playing an “age-defying” book editor on television or dazzling audiences on the Broadway stage, Sutton Foster manages to make it all look easy. How? Crafting. From the moment she picked up a cross stitch needle to escape the bullying chorus girls in her early performing days, she was hooked. Cross stitching led to crocheting, crocheting led to collages, which led to drawing, and so much more. Channeling her emotions into her creations centered Sutton as she navigated the significant moments in her life and gave her tangible reminders of her experiences. Now, in this charming and poignant collection, Sutton shares those moments, including her fraught relationship with her agoraphobic mother;  a painful divorce splashed on the pages of the tabloids; her struggles with fertility; the thrills she found on the stage during hit plays like Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes, and Violet; her breakout TV role in Younger; and the joy of adopting her daughter, Emily. Accompanying the stories, Sutton has included crochet patterns, recipes, and so much more!
 
Witty and poignant, Hooked will leave readers entertained as well as inspire them to pick up their own cross stitch needles and paintbrushes.

Upcoming Events

New York, New York

Sutton Foster & Amy Sherman-Palladino at 92nd St Y

Join Sutton Foster for a discussion of her new book. Virtual and in-person attendance options.

Get Tickets

Washington, DC

Sutton Foster & Linda Holmes at Sixth & I

Join Sutton Foster for a discussion of her new book. Virtual and in-person attendance options.

Get Tickets

Pasadena, CA

Sutton Foster & Vroman's

Join Sutton Foster for a discussion of her new book.

More Information

Chicago, IL

Sutton Foster at the Chicago Humanities Festival

More Information

Hurts So Good

Leigh Cowart

An exploration of why people all over the world love to engage in pain on purpose--from dominatrices, religious ascetics, and ultramarathoners to ballerinas, icy ocean bathers, and sideshow performers

Masochism is sexy, human, reviled, worshipped, and can be delightfully bizarre. Deliberate and consensual pain has been with us for millennia, encompassing everyone from Black Plague flagellants to ballerinas dancing on broken bones to competitive eaters choking down hot peppers while they cry. Masochism is a part of us. It lives inside workaholics, tattoo enthusiasts, and all manner of garden variety pain-seekers.
 
At its core, masochism is about feeling bad, then better—a phenomenon that is long overdue for a heartfelt and hilarious investigation. And Leigh Cowart would know: they are not just a researcher and science writer—they’re an inveterate, high-sensation seeking masochist. And they have a few questions: Why do people engage in masochism? What are the benefits and the costs? And what does masochism have to say about the human experience?
 
By participating in many of these activities themselves, and through conversations with psychologists, fellow scientists, and people who seek pain for pleasure, Cowart unveils how our minds and bodies find meaning and relief in pain—a quirk in our programming that drives discipline and innovation even as it threatens to swallow us whole.
 

Upcoming Events

Leigh Cowart and Ashley Paige in conversation at Green Apple Books

Virtual Event

Register Here

Leigh Cowart and Jess Zimmerman in conversation at Powell's Books

Virtual Event

Register Here

Leigh Cowart with Dan Block at Town Hall Seattle

Virtual event

Register Here

Race Against Time

Keith Boykin

A Cold Civil War has engulfed the nation.

After a deadly pandemic, shocking incidents of police brutality, a racial justice crisis, and the fall of a dangerous demagogue, America remains more divided than at any time in decades. At the heart of this national crisis is the fear of a darkening America—a country in which there is no longer a predominant white majority.

As the Republican Party has lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections, its leaders have incited white Americans in a last-ditch race against time to stop the advance of a new, multiracial emerging majority. Keith Boykin, long time political commentator, has watched this white resentment consume the GOP over the course of a life in politics, activism, and journalism. He has also observed the divisions among Democrats, as white progressives have postponed demands for full racial equity, while Black voters have often been too forgiving of party leaders who have failed to deliver. America can no longer avoid its long overdue reckoning with the past, Boykin argues. With the familiarity of personal experience and the acuity of historical insight, Boykin urges us to fight racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia, and save the union, not just by making Black lives matter, but by making Black lives equal.

Upcoming Events

Virtual and in-person event

Green Apple Books

More Information