Check out the 2019 Harrisburg Book Festival at Midtown Scholar Bookstore! Listed are some of the major events at the festival. Are you interested in getting a ride from campus to the festival? Contact Rachel Hicks or Dr. Corkery.
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.
For the Love of Beer: Inside Pennsylvania Breweries
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3RD | 7PM
Pennsylvanians have enjoyed a long, rich love affair with beer. The state not only ranks first in the nation for the number of barrels produced but the breweries, beer, and their craftsmen all have interesting stories to tell. Author Alison Feeney examines Pennsylvania’s brewing history, geography, and cultural richness while highlighting over 100 of the states thriving craft breweries in her new book, For the Love of Beer: Pennsylvania Breweries. Moderated by Sara Bozich, join Feeney, Hannah Ison of Zero Day Brewery, and Jeff Musselman of the Millworks for a lively conversation on, you guessed it, beer.
Following the discussion, we’ll have a book signing and samples of beer from The Millworks and Zero Day Brewing Company.
Smart Talk Live with Eric Foner
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4TH | 9AM
From Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Eric Foner, a timely history of the constitutional changes that built equality into the nation’s foundation — and how those guarantees have been shaken over time. In The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution, Foner informs our understanding of the present as well as the past. Knowledge and vigilance are always necessary to secure our basic rights.
Eric Foner will be interviewed on-stage by WITF’s Scott LaMar for Smart Talk Live.
An Evening with Isha Sesay
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4TH | 7PM
In the early morning of April 14, 2014, the militant Islamic group Boko Haram violently burst into the small town of Chibok, Nigeria, and abducted 276 girls from their school dorm rooms. From poor families, these girls were determined to make better lives for themselves, but pursuing an education made them targets, resulting in one of the most high-profile abductions in modern history. In Beneath the Tamarind Tree, Isha Sesay tells this story as no one else can. With a soaring message of hope at its core, Isha Sesay will deliver the Keynote Address for the 2019 Harrisburg Book Festival, reminding us of the ever-present truth that progress for all of us hinges on unleashing the potential of women.
Storytime with Vashti Harrison!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5TH | 10AM
Join New York Times bestselling author & illustrator Vashti Harrison as she introduces young readers to trailblazing women who changed the world. Harrison will read from her two bestsellers: Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History and Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World. Afterwards, Harrison will conduct a drawing demo on the main stage for kids of all ages!
A book signing will follow the presentation. Copies of Little Leaders, Little Dreamers, Hair Love, Festival of Colors, and Cece Loves Science will be available for purchase.
Storytime with Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5TH | 11AM
In their debut picture book, author/illustrator team Jonathan Stutzman and Heather Fox introduce young readers to the comical, the studious, the oblivious Llama, a picture-book hero for the ages. Grab some cake and your dancing pants and prepare for Llama Destroys the World… because THE TIME FOR LLAMA IS NIGH! Join Stutzman and Fox as they read from their new picture book, Llama Destroys the World.
Cookbook Demo with Nisha Vora
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5TH | 12PM
With food and photos as vivid, joyous, and wholesome as the title of her popular cooking blog Rainbow Plant Life suggests, Nisha Vora shares nourishing recipes with her loyal followers daily. Now, in her debut cookbook, she makes healthy, delicious everyday cooking a snap with more than 90 nutritious (and colorful!) recipes you can make easily with the magic of an Instant Pot pressure cooker. Join Nisha for a recipe demonstration from her new cookbook: The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook: Wholesome, Indulgent Plant-Based Recipes. Afterwards, there will be a free tasting of two recipes from the cookbook, followed by a book signing.
Political Parody in the Age of Trump
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5TH | 2PM
For readers craving a humorous antidote to the sound and the fury of American politics, these clever parodies offer an escapist reprieve for those pining for the previous administration. In Hope Rides Again, Andrew Shaffer provides the highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling Hope Never Dies. Obama and Biden reprise their roles as BFFs-turned-detectives as they chase Obama’s stolen cell phone through the streets of Chicago — and right into a vast conspiracy. And in MacTrump, bestselling authors Ian Doescher and Jacopo della Quercia fictionalize the events of the first two years of the Trump administration — in iambic pentameter. Will MacTrump be able to hold on to his throne? Only time will tell in this tragicomic tale of ambition, greed, and royal ineptitude — based on Sheakespeare’s Macbeth.
Emerging Voices, New Perspectives
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5TH | 4:30PM
From three new emerging voices in fiction — these page-turning debut novels show us the power and transcendence of storytelling. In She Would Be King, Wayetu Moore combines history and magical realism to reimagine the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters. In The Farm, Joanne Ramos gives us a gripping, provocative, and heartbreaking narrative on immigration, motherhood, money, and merit. And in the bestselling The Incendiaries, R.O. Kwon delivers a powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss — and what can befall those who lose what they love most.
An Evening with Stephen Chbosky
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5TH | 7PM
We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us. Twenty years ago, Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower made readers everywhere feel infinite. Now, Chbosky has returned with an epic work of literary horror, years in the making, whose grand scale and rich emotion redefine the genre. In Imaginary Friend, Chbosky takes us to Mill Grove, Pennsylvania — where seven year-old Christopher and his mother on the run. At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete. Read it with the lights on.
Fiction, Fantasy, and the Mythic Journey
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6TH | 2PM
Internationally bestselling novelist Téa Obreht mesmerized readers with her timeless debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife. Weaving a brilliant latticework of family legend, loss, and love, Obreht, the youngest of The New Yorker’s twenty best American fiction writers under forty, spun a novel that established her as one of the most vibrant, original authors of her generation. Now, in her new novel, Inland, Obreht returns to subvert and reimagine the myths of the American West, making them entirely—and unforgettably—her own. Moderated by award-winning novelist Liz Moore, Obreht will discuss her award-winning novels and the spectacular triumphs of storytelling.
This event previously stated that Madeline Miller would make an appearance. Due to an unforeseen conflict, Madeline will not be able to make an appearance at this year’s festival. We look forward to hosting her in the spring 2020 for the paperback tour of Circe!
How To Be An Anti-Racist
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6TH | 5PM
From award-winning authors Ibram X. Kendi and Imani Perry comes a powerful conversation on racial justice in America, showing us how to understand and uproot racism in our society — and in ourselves. In Breathe, Perry explores the terror, grace, and beauty of coming of age as a black person in contemporary America. And in How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. Moderated by award-winning author Keisha Blain, Kendi and Perry point us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other.
Official schedule can be found on the Harrisburg Book Festival website.