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Author Events

CANCELLED: SLCL Presents Julia Phillips - Disappearing Earth

Thursday, April 16, 7pm
St. Louis County Library HQ, 1640 S. Lindbergh

julia Phillips, disappearing earth

Following recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event has been CANCELLED.

St. Louis County Library presents National Book Award Finalist Julia Phillips.

A finalist for the 2019 National Book Award, “Disappearing Earth” announces the debut of a gifted writer. On the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula at the edge of Russia, two young sisters go missing. “Disappearing Earth” enters the worlds of a cast of characters, all connected by the crime: a witness, a detective, a mother.


This event is presented by the St. Louis County Library. For more information, please call 314-994-3300.

Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 7:00pm

NOW ONLINE: SLCL Presents Eduardo Porter - American Poison

Thursday, April 2, 7pm
St. Louis County Library HQ, 1640 S. Lindbergh

eduardo porter, American PoisonDue to concerns about Coronavirus, this event will be streamed by St. Louis County Library and HEC-Media. Check St. Louis County Library's website for more info.

St. Louis County Library presents NYT reporter and author Eduardo Porter.

New York Times reporter Eduardo Porter shows how racial animus has stunted the development of nearly every institution, including organized labor, public education, and the social safety net. “American Poison” also illuminates how the nation’s increasing diversity may lead to a new understanding of racial identity.

Presented by the Westfall Politics & History Series.


This event is presented by the St. Louis County Library. For more information, please call 314-994-3300.

Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 7:00pm

CANCELLED: SLCL Presents Ariel Lawhon - Code Name Helene

Wednesday, April 1, 7pm
St. Louis County Library HQ, 1640 S. Lindbergh

ariel Lawhon, Code name heleneFollowing recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event is CANCELLED.

St. Louis County Library presents Bestselling author Ariel Lawhon.

Bestselling author of “I Was Anastasia,” Ariel Lawhon’s new novel is based on the real-life story of socialite and spy Nancy Wake, one of the most decorated women of WWII. Told in interweaving timelines organized around the code names Nancy used during the war, “Code Name Hélène” is a spellbinding story of unfaltering resolve.

This event is presented by the St. Louis County Library. For more information, please call 314-994-3300.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - 7:00pm

NEW DATE ANNOUNCED: SOLD OUT: Lauren Akins - Live in Love

Thursday, August 27th, 7pm
St. Charles City-County Library, Spencer Road Branch, 427 Spencer Rd

lauren akins, live in love

We hope this finds you all healthy and safe. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and CDC recommendations, we are postponing Lauren Akins’ LIVE IN LOVE book tour event. The new date is August 27 and your purchased ticket will be honored. Event time, location, and all other logistics remain the same. Ticket holders will receive an email with the new date and how to request refunds, if needed. The release of LIVE IN LOVE is postponed until August 18, but can still be preordered.

Join Lauren Akins this spring to celebrate her first book Live in Love, a deeply personal love story of her modern family with long-time partner and childhood best friend, multi-PLATINUM selling performer Thomas Rhett. 

In this hour-long moderated talk, Lauren will offer inspiring guidance from her own experiences on staying in love, balancing children and marriage, practicing faith, and living a life of purpose. Guests will get a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges of being married to her music star best friend and the struggle to find her own footing in the frenzy of her husband’s fame. 

Lauren will open up about her life-changing experiences doing mission work in Uganda, where she met the precious baby who would become their first daughter a year later. From sharing the romance of their handwritten wedding vows, to the challenges they faced as they adjusted to the reality of becoming first-time parents, Lauren will share her path to self-discovery. 

Every ticket includes a signed copy of Live in Love (a $28 value, published by Ballantine Books).

Lauren Akins is a devoted mother, wife and philanthropist who lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, Country super-star Thomas Rhett and their three little girls Willa Gray, Ada James and Lennon. Lauren has been a passionate supporter and active volunteer for years and is enthusiastically continuing to support children in Uganda through her efforts with Love One International.


(Limit 100)

  • One (1) premium seat for the Live In Love Author Q&A with Lauren*
  • One (1) pre-signed copy of Live In Love with the opportunity to have it personalized during your meet & greet with Lauren
  • Meet & greet and photo opportunity with Lauren Akins
  • Hassle-free VIP check in with on-site host
  • All net proceeds from the Live in Love VIP Meet & Greet Experience will go to Love One. For more information on Love One, visit

*Exact seat location available at the show. Ticket is allocated based on time and date of purchase. Package details subject to change without notice. Please check with the venue directly for any age restrictions


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Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 7:00pm

POSTPONED: LBB Presents: Vitale Buford - Addicted to Perfect

Wednesday, April 15, 7pm
Left Bank Books

vitale buford, addicted to perfectFollowing recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event is POSTPONED. Please check back for updates. 

Left Bank Books presents Vitale Buford, who will sign and discus her book, Addicted To Perfect, that chronicles her struggles with perfectionism and adderall.

Perfection is a mask we use to avoid pain. We think that if we can achieve perfection, we will achieve happiness. We believe that if we can avoid pain, we can also avoid abandonment and loneliness and unworthiness. Perfection is the thief of joy. It’s a lie that keeps us in a stranglehold of chaos and people-pleasing and addiction and lack. Perfection says we are never good enough. It holds us back from being our truest, most authentic selves. In Addicted to Perfect, Vitale shares the highs and lows of having been a slave to Adderall, the destructive relationships that ensued, and the way that she finally broke free. She details the many twists and turns involved in the years leading up to her getting sober and the eating disorder that followed her into sobriety. It took parenthood and radical honesty for her to begin the road to true healing. Perfectionism is no longer something that enslaves her, and Vitale’s story is one of hope that no matter where you are in your life, you can release the grip of perfection. You can heal your pain and your abandonment and your loneliness and your fear and your guilt and your shame. You can experience true freedom, and most importantly, replace perfection with self-love.


Vitale Buford is a former Adderall addict who successfully hid her addiction for more than a decade. During this time, she was climbing the corporate ladder and looked “perfect” on the outside. She checked all the external success boxes, yet on the inside she was dying. It took sobriety to awaken her to her true self and begin healing. Vitale is now a certified professional coach, author, speaker and former corporate executive who held leadership roles in marketing, business development, human resources and executive coaching. Vitale graduated from the University of Georgia and received her professional coaching certification through the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). She has more than 12 years of corporate experience. Vitale lives in Central Kentucky with her son and their dog. You can learn more about her and how she changes lives on her website at

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Addicted To Perfect from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line.

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 7:00pm

POSTPONED: LBB Presents: Walter Johnson - The Broken Heart of America

Tuesday, April 14, 7pm
.ZACK, 3224 locust

walter johnson, the broken heart of americaFollowing recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event is POSTPONED. Please check back for updates. 

Left Bank Books welcomes award winning St. Louis native author, Walter Johnson, in conversation with Tef Poe discussing Johnson's new book on the racial dynamics intwined with American and St. Louis history, The Broken Heart of America

A searing portrait of the racial dynamics that lie inescapably at the heart of our nation, told through the turbulent history of the city of St. Louis. From Lewis and Clark’s 1804 expedition to the 2014 uprising in Ferguson, American history has been made in St. Louis. And as Walter Johnson shows in this searing book, the city exemplifies how imperialism, racism, and capitalism have persistently entwined to corrupt the nation’s past. St. Louis was a staging post for Indian removal and imperial expansion, and its wealth grew on the backs of its poor black residents, from slavery through redlining and urban renewal. But it was once also America’s most radical city, home to anti-capitalist immigrants, the Civil War’s first general emancipation, and the nation’s first general strike—a legacy of resistance that endures. A blistering history of a city’s rise and decline, The Broken Heart of America will forever change how we think about the United States.

"The thread that runs through this entire book is the historical relationship between US imperialism, Indian removal, and anti-Black racism. Although also a granular history of the city of St. Louis, The Broken Heart of America is a deep history of the United States' continental empire with St. Louis at the center of economic and military operations. This may be the most important book on US history you will read in your lifetime." -- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

Walter Johnson is Winthrop Professor of History and professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and author of the critically acclaimed River of Dark Dreams and Soul by Soul, which won the Frederick Jackson Turner Award, the Avery O. Craven Award, and several other prestigious prizes. A Missouri native, he lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.tef poe

Tef Poe is an American-born rapper, author, educator, award-winning journalist, and social revolutionary from St. Louis, MO. He is one of the co-founders of the Hands Up United movement, founded in Ferguson after the killing of Michael Brown Jr. In 2017–2018, he was selected to be the Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellow via Harvard University’s prestigious W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute. He is currently an Independent Scholar at Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center for American Studies. As a hip hop artist, he has performed on stages with the likes of Mos Def and Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, Rick Ross, Bia, Dead Prez, TI, Macklemore, Harry Belafonte, Stevie Wonder, and more.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 7:00pm

NOW ONLINE: LBB Presents: Ali Araghi - Immortals of Tehran

Thursday, April 9, 7pm
Left Bank Books' Facebook Page

ali araghi, immortals of tehran

Considering recommendations from the CDC, Ali will be in conversation with local author Kathryn Davis in a Facebook Live discussion of his new book "Immortals of Tehran." Join us on the same date, April 9 at 7pm, for this interactive conversation and order a copy of your book from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!

Left Bank Books welcomes award winning Iranian author and St. Louis local, Ali Araghi, who will sign and discuss his debut novel, Immortals of Tehran.

Ahmad Torkash-Vand treasures his great-great-great-great grandfather’s every mesmerizing word. On the day of Ahmad’s father’s death, Ahmad listens closely as the seemingly immortal elder tells him the tale of a centuries-old family curse, and the boy’s own fated role in the story. Immortals of Tehran follows Ahmad and his family through the years as they struggle to hold themselves together through decades of famine, loss, and political turmoil in Iran. As the world transforms, Ahmad’s life and the lives of those around him converge and catch fire at the center of the Revolution. As his teenage daughter joins the increasingly dangerous crowds of men protesting in the streets, his best friend held in prison for years for his political leanings, and his wife returns to nursing school, Ahmad continues to put his faith in poetry and its ability to spark a light—its ability to change the world. Ali Araghi’s Immortals of Tehran explores the harsh realities of history while still conjuring the astonishment and charm of magical realism, resulting in a fascinating and stirring novel about the power of words and the revolutionary sparks of love, family, and poetry—set against the indifferent, relentless march of time.

Ali Araghi is an Iranian writer and translator. He won the 2017 Prairie Schooner Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing and has published stories and translations in Prairie SchoonerFifth Wednesday JournalAsymptote, and Hayden's Ferry Review, among others. He lives in St. Louis.

Kathryn Davis is the author of eight novels, the most recent of which is The Silk Road (2019). Her other books are Labrador (1988), The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf (1993), Hell: A Novel (1998), The Walking Tour (1999), Versailles (2002), The Thin Place (2006) and Duplex (2013). She has received a Kafka Prize for fiction by an American woman, both the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award and the Katherine Anne Porter Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2006, she won the Lannan Foundation Literary Award. She is the senior fiction writer on the faculty of The Writing Program at Washington University.

All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Page, "Like" the page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins).

Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 7:00pm

CANCELLED: Jazz St. Louis with Ashley Kahn

Wednesday, April 8, 7pm
The Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz, 3536 Washington

ashley kahn, jazz stl

Following recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event has been CANCELLED.

Jazz St. Louis presents award-winning journalist and radio essayist, Ashley Kahn, who authored The House That 'Trane Built, and A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane's Signature Album.

The year 1959 was arguably the most creative year jazz had ever seen. As musicians began breaking away from BeBop and exploring new experimental forms, four albums were released that year that are now widely recognized as the most influential in history. Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, Dave Brubeck’s Time Out, Charles Mingus’s Mingus Ah Um, and Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz to Come, represented new directions in music that influenced the course of jazz in every aspect. Author, Ashley Kahn, returns to Jazz St. Louis to explore this influential year in jazz, followed by an all-star performance, led by bassist Bob DeBoo.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 7:00pm

POSTPONED: LBB Presents: Cynthia Beebe - Boots in the Ashes

Wednesday, April 8, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Cynthia Beebe, Boots in the ashesFollowing recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event is POSTPONED. Please check back for updates. 

Left Bank Books welcomes  retired Senior Special Agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Cynthia Beebe, who will sign and dsicus her memoir about being one of the first women special agents for the ATF, Boots In The Ashes.

Boots in the Ashes is the memoir of Cynthia Beebe's groundbreaking career as one of the first women special agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (ATF). A smart and independent girl growing up in suburban Chicago, she unexpectedly became one of the first women to hunt down violent criminals for the federal government.

As a special agent for 27 years, Beebe gives the reader first-hand knowledge of the human capacity for evil. She tells the story of how, as a young woman, she overcame many obstacles on her journey through the treacherous world of illegal guns, gangs, and bombs. She battled conflicts both on the streets and within ATF. But Beebe learned how to thrive in the ultra-masculine world of violent crime and those whose job it is to stop it.

Beebe tells her story through the lens of six major cases that read like crime fiction: four bombings, one arson fire and a massive roundup of the Hell's Angels on the West Coast. She also shares riveting never before revealed trial testimonies, including killers, bombers, arsonists, victims, witnesses and judges.

Cynthia Beebe is a retired Senior Special Agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). She spent 27 years investigating bombings, arson, murder, illegal firearms, gangs and other crimes. Her cases were chronicled in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Ladies Home Journal, and were covered on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and 48 Hours. She was the first woman to earn the coveted "Top Gun" award at the ATF Academy, where she later worked as an instructor. Beebe is a member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, the International Association of Arson Investigators and Women in Federal Law Enforcement. She has a B.A. in English Literature and a Master's Degree in Journalism, both from Northwestern University, which she attended on an athletic scholarship. Since her retirement she has appeared as an expert commentator on law enforcement issues for WGN radio and television. She lives with her son in a suburb of Chicago.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Boots in the Ashes from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line.

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 7:00pm

POSTPONED: LBB Presents: Sidney Thompson - Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves

Monday, March 30, 7pm
Left Bank Books

sidney thompson, follow the angels, follow the dovesFollowing recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event is POSTPONED.

Join Left Bank Books for award winning author, Sidney Thompson, as he signs and discusses his new book, Follow The Angels, Follow The Doves, about the famous Wild West lawman, Bass Reeves.

Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves is an origin story in the true American tradition. Before Bass Reeves could stake his claim as the most successful nineteenth century American lawman, arresting more outlaws than any other deputy during his thirty two year career as a deputy U.S. marshal in some of the most dangerous regions of the Wild West, he was a slave. After a childhood picking cotton, he became an expert marksman under his master’s tutelage, winning shooting contests throughout the region. His skill had serious implications, however, as the Civil War broke out. Reeves was given to his master’s mercurial, sadistic, Moby Dick quoting son in the hopes that Reeves would keep him safe in battle. The ensuing humiliation, love, heroics, war, mind games, and fear solidified Reeves’s determination to gain his freedom and drew him one step further on his fated path to an illustrious career.

Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves is an important historical work that places Reeves in the pantheon of American heroes and a thrilling historical novel that narrates a great man’s exploits amid the near mythic world of the nineteenth century frontier.

 Sidney Thompson holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. in American literature/African-American narratives from the University of North Texas. He is the author of You/Wee: Poems from a Father (2018) and Sideshow, winner of Foreword Magazine’s Silver Award for Short Story Collection of the Year (2006). His fiction, twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, such as Atticus Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Cleaver Magazine, The Cortland Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Prick of the Spindle, R.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal, The Southern Review, Stories from the Blue Moon Café (Volumes 1 & 2), storySouth, Writing Texas, and Waxwing Literary Journal. He grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and now teaches creative writing and African-American literature at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Follow The Angels, Follow The Doves from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line.

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Monday, March 30, 2020 - 7:00pm


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