Featured Events for front page

In the Heights Virtual Event featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes, & Jeremy McCarter

Tuesday, June 15, 7pm CT
Private Online Event - Book Purchase Required

Left Bank Books, Penguin Random House, and the American Booksellers Association presents
In The Heights Virtual Book Launch,
Lin-Manuel Miranda,
Quiara Alegría Hudes,
& Jeremy McCarter.
who will discuss their new book,
In the Heights: Finding Home
on June 15 at 7pm CT in a private online event.
This is an exclusive event that requires purchase of a copy of
In the Heights: Finding Home
from Left Bank Books for admission.
A link for entry will be emailed 48 hours before the event.
Lights up on Washington Heights!
Before Hamilton became a global phenomenon, before Lin-Manuel Miranda became a household name, a little show called In the Heights shook up Broadway with its hip-hop and salsa soundtrack and big, bilingual heart. In the new book In the Heights: Finding Home, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Jeremy McCarter tell the story of the show’s humble beginnings, from rehearsals in a bookstore basement to the Broadway smash (and soon-to-be feature film!) that created an unbreakable community and a new kind of family for everyone involved.
Join Miranda, Hudes, and McCarter for a very special In the Heights Virtual Book Launch on Tuesday, June 15 from 8:00 to 9:00pm ET on Zoom. Sure to be an unforgettable conversation on creativity, community, and finding home, this is your chance to hear directly from the creative team behind the timeless story of how one neighborhood—Washington Heights—can speak to the world.
Your ticket includes admission to this exclusive event, a hardcover copy of In the Heights: Finding Home ($40 retail price), as well as sales tax, shipping, and handling (if applicable).
About In the Heights
The eagerly awaited follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller Hamilton: The Revolution, Lin-Manuel Miranda's new book gives readers an extraordinary inside look at In the Heights, his breakout Broadway debut, written with Quiara Alegría Hudes, soon to be a Hollywood blockbuster.

In 2008, In the Heights, a new musical from up-and-coming young artists, electrified Broadway. The show's vibrant mix of Latin music and hip-hop captured life in Washington Heights, the Latino neighborhood in upper Manhattan. It won four Tony Awards and became an international hit, delighting audiences around the world. For the film version, director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) brought the story home, filming its spectacular dance numbers on location in Washington Heights. That's where Usnavi, Nina, and their neighbors chase their dreams and ask a universal question: Where do I belong?

In the Heights: Finding Home reunites Miranda with Jeremy McCarter, co-author of Hamilton: The Revolution, and Quiara Alegría Hudes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning librettist of the Broadway musical and screenwriter of the film. They do more than trace the making of an unlikely Broadway smash and a major motion picture: They give readers an intimate look at the decades-long creative life of In the Heights.

Like Hamilton: The Revolution, the book offers untold stories, perceptive essays, and the lyrics to Miranda's songs--complete with his funny, heartfelt annotations. It also features newly commissioned portraits and never-before-seen photos from backstage, the movie set, and productions around the world.

This is the story of characters who search for a home--and the artists who created one.


About the Speakers

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a Pulitzer Prize, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning songwriter, actor and director, as well as a New York Times bestselling author (Hamilton: The RevolutionGmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You). He is the creator and original star of Broadway's Tony-winning Hamilton and In the Heights. Additional Broadway: Freestyle Love Supreme (Co-Founder, Guest Star), Bring It On: The Musical (co-composer/co-lyricist), and West Side Story (2009 revival, Spanish translations). He is a recipient of the 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award, 2019 Portrait of a Nation Prize and 2018 Kennedy Center Honors. Mr. Miranda and The Miranda Family actively support initiatives that increase BIPOC representation in the arts and government, ensure access to women's reproductive health, and promote resilience in Puerto Rico. He lives with his family in New York.

Quiara Alegría Hudes is the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Water by the Spoonful and the author of a memoir, My Broken Language. She wrote the book for the Tony-winning Broadway musical In the Heights and later adapted it for the screen. Her notable essays include "High Tide of Heartbreak" in American Theatre magazine and "Corey Couldn't Take It Anymore" in The Cut. As a prison reform activist, Hudes and her cousin founded Emancipated Stories, a platform where people behind bars can share one page of their life story with the world. She lives with her family in New York but frequently returns to her native Philly.

Jeremy McCarter is the author of Young Radicals and co-author, with Lin-Manuel Miranda, of the #1 New York Times bestseller Hamilton: The Revolution. He is the founder and executive producer of Make-Believe Association, a Chicago-based production company. He spent five years on the artistic staff of the Public Theater and has served on the jury of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He has written about culture and politics for New York magazine, The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and other publications. He lives in Chicago with his family.


You may purchase a copy of In the Heights: Finding Home from Left Bank Books online or by phone. You must provide an email address to be invited to the private online event. If you have purchased the book from Left Bank, you will receive an email with your link to join the event 48 hours ahead of the event.

The deadline for ticket sales is 11am CT on June 15.

You may choose to have your book shipped to you or available for pick up.

For this event, books may be shipped only to the United States, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, and Canada. (For shipping to Canada, please email info@left-bank.com for a shipping quote)

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 7:00pm

LBB Virtual Celebrity Storytime: Robert Burleigh and Wendell Minor - Breaking Waves

Monday, June 14, 11am CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books is excited to present another Virtual Celebrity Storytime!
We welcome award winning author
Robert Burleigh &
award winning illustrator
Wendell Minor,
who will read aloud and talk about how they made their new picture book, 
Breaking Waves: Winslow Homer Paints the Sea, 
on Facebook Live at 11am CT on June 14.
Join us on our Facebook Page and order a copy of 
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!


About Breaking Waves

When Winslow Homer watches the sea, he studies it patiently, making sure to notice every detail before bringing it to life again in his paintings.

The fabled painter Winslow Homer always had a deep respect for the elemental power and beauty of the ever-changing ocean. Whenever he set up his easel, he was drawn back to its frothing waves smashing against rocks, gleaming like mirrors in the sunlight. He knew it took patience to get his painting just right to capture the life of the ocean.

Breaking Waves: Winslow Homer Paints the Sea describes the artist's process from season to season, readers are shown the many blues, greys, browns, and golds that Winslow Homer used to depict the changing sea. Additional content in the back of the book further explains his work and passion for the ocean.

★ The watercolor and pencil illustrations are beautiful and capture the different feelings the sea can conjure. The images are at times calm and peaceful and at times thrilling and dangerous. These illustrations are reason enough to add this book to collections but, in addition to the gorgeous visuals, this work is rich with sensory language. . . . A beautiful and rich work of literary nonfiction. --School Library Journal, Starred Review

Burleigh lyrically cycles through the seasons and the sea's changing moods as perceived by the artist Winslow Homer (1836-1910), punctuated by direct quotes from the artist, presented in italics. Throughout, Burleigh focuses on Homer's creative process, repeating the imperative 'Look!'-- a clue to Homer's faith in acute and careful observation, and a cue to the reader to engage with Minor's watercolor and gouache illustrations. Minor's realistic depictions of Homer's spare and tidy domestic world and prim suiting situate the story in time, while the looser, more expressive evocations of the untamed Maine coastline evoke place. The closing section, dotted with exclamations and painting reproductions, fills in biographical details. A solid introduction to a major American artist. --Publishers Weekly

Interspersing Homer's actual words with imagined daily activities, Burleigh's text brings readers into the artist's sensibility and creative process. . . . Quite authentically Homer. -- Kirkus Reviews


About our Speakers

Robert Burleigh is the award-winning author of many books for children, including The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn, illustrated by Barry Blitt; Night Flight, illustrated by Wendell Minor; Black Whiteness, illustrated by Walter Lyon Krudop; and Sylvia's Bookshop, illustrated by Katy Wu. His many other books include HoopsStealing Home; and Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep! He lives in Michigan.

Wendell Minor is the illustrator of many award-winning picture books for children, including Edward Hopper Paints His World with Robert Burleigh as well as Wild Orca by Brenda Peterson and the New York Times-bestselling Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin. He lives in Washington, Connecticut.


All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

Monday, June 14, 2021 - 11:00am

Elizabeth Hinton with Robin D.G. Kelley - America on Fire

Thursday, June 3, 6pm CT
Private Online Event - Registration Required

Left Bank Books, Source Booksellers, Anderson's Bookshop, Boswell Books, and Moon Palace Books
welcomes author, associate professor of history and African American studies at Yale University and a professor of law at Yale Law School
Elizabeth Hinton,
who will discuss her book, 
America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s,
on June 3rd at 6pm CT in a private online event (registration required).
Hinton will be in conversation with Distinguished Professor and author
Robin D.G. Kelley.
Register here for the event and order a SIGNED copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!

About America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s

What began in spring 2020 as local protests in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police quickly exploded into a massive nationwide movement. Millions of mostly young people defiantly flooded into the nation's streets, demanding an end to police brutality and to the broader, systemic repression of Black people and other people of color. To many observers, the protests appeared to be without precedent in their scale and persistence. Yet, as the acclaimed historian Elizabeth Hinton demonstrates in America on Fire, the events of 2020 had clear precursors--and any attempt to understand our current crisis requires a reckoning with the recent past.

Even in the aftermath of Donald Trump, many Americans consider the decades since the civil rights movement in the mid-1960s as a story of progress toward greater inclusiveness and equality. Hinton's sweeping narrative uncovers an altogether different history, taking us on a troubling journey from Detroit in 1967 and Miami in 1980 to Los Angeles in 1992 and beyond to chart the persistence of structural racism and one of its primary consequences, the so-called urban riot. Hinton offers a critical corrective: the word riot was nothing less than a racist trope applied to events that can only be properly understood as rebellions--explosions of collective resistance to an unequal and violent order. As she suggests, if rebellion and the conditions that precipitated it never disappeared, the optimistic story of a post-Jim Crow United States no longer holds.

Black rebellion, America on Fire powerfully illustrates, was born in response to poverty and exclusion, but most immediately in reaction to police violence. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson launched the "War on Crime," sending militarized police forces into impoverished Black neighborhoods. Facing increasing surveillance and brutality, residents threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at officers, plundered local businesses, and vandalized exploitative institutions. Hinton draws on exclusive sources to uncover a previously hidden geography of violence in smaller American cities, from York, Pennsylvania, to Cairo, Illinois, to Stockton, California.

The central lesson from these eruptions--that police violence invariably leads to community violence--continues to escape policymakers, who respond by further criminalizing entire groups instead of addressing underlying socioeconomic causes. The results are the hugely expanded policing and prison regimes that shape the lives of so many Americans today. Presenting a new framework for understanding our nation's enduring strife, America on Fire is also a warning: rebellions will surely continue unless police are no longer called on to manage the consequences of dismal conditions beyond their control, and until an oppressive system is finally remade on the principles of justice and equality.

"Hinton's passionate, occasionally gritty approach is the opposite of a gauzy PBS series: she drills down into the granular, highlighting the courageous men and women who stood tall in a hail of bullets."--Oprah Daily, Best Books to Pick Up This May

"If the crisis in American justice is ever to be resolved, it is going to take a full-scale reimagining not only of where we are in terms of policing and race but of how we got here. This is a job for historians, and there is no scholar today more insightful about this issue than Elizabeth Hinton. In America on Fire, Hinton shines a new light on the urban mass upheavals of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the "War on Crime" was new, and on those that occurred from the 1980s through the early 2000s, when the criminalization of black communities "demanded" the militarization of the police. Generally known derisively as chaotic, destructive, and community-sabotaging "riots," these upheavals in Hinton's account are rebellions--collective action that serves as a purposeful and inevitable response to ongoing daily police violence and brutality against black communities. This book will surely make many policy-makers and readers alike uncomfortable. More importantly, though, Hinton guides us to understand black rebellion as intentional, strategic, and ultimately necessary for progress."--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., author of The Black Church

"If you want to understand the massive antiracist protests of 2020, put down the navel-gazing books about racial healing and read America on Fire, Elizabeth Hinton's scintillating account of the urban rebellions that engulfed the country since 1967. Collective political violence erupted everywhere, she argues, from big cities to segregated towns and hamlets, in response to racialized policing, government divestment, and economic violence that locked working-class Black communities in a cycle of poverty, precarity, and premature death. Rebellions ebb and flow but the conditions persist and we continue to reap the consequences. The lessons are clear: changing white hearts or training more cops won't do. To put out the fire this time requires dismantling the entire state and corporate machinery of violence."--Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination and Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original


About our Speakers

Elizabeth Hinton is associate professor of history and African American studies at Yale University and a professor of law at Yale Law School. The author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime, she lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Robin D. G. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S.History at UCLA and contributing editor for the Boston Review.  He is the author of several books, including Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression, and Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original.


Register for the event on Zoom here.

ASL interpretation is available on request. Please request by emailing info@left-bank.com.

Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 6:00pm

Maureen Johnson with Gillian Pensavalle - Box in the Woods

Tuesday, June 15, 7pm CT
Private Online Event - Book Purchase Required

Left Bank Books and Park Row Books welcomes New York Times bestselling YA author
 Maureen Johnson,
who will discuss her new novel,
Box in the Woods (Truly Devious 4)
on June 15 at 7pm CT in a private online event.
Johnson will be in conversation with creator and co-host of the popular podcast True Crime Obsessed
Gillian Pensavalle.
This is an exclusive event that requires purchase of a SIGNED copy of
Box in the Woods
from Left Bank Books for admission.
Attendees will be sent the link for the event the day of the event.
About Box in the Woods
After solving the case of Truly Devious, Stevie Bell investigates her first mystery outside of Ellingham Academy in this spine-chilling and hilarious stand-alone mystery from New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson.
Amateur sleuth Stevie Bell needs a good murder. After catching a killer at her high school, she's back at home for a normal (that means boring) summer.
But then she gets a message from the owner of Sunny Pines, formerly known as Camp Wonder Falls--the site of the notorious unsolved case, the Box in the Woods Murders. Back in 1978, four camp counselors were killed in the woods outside of the town of Barlow Corners, their bodies left in a gruesome display. The new owner offers Stevie an invitation: Come to the camp and help him work on a true crime podcast about the case.
Stevie agrees, as long as she can bring along her friends from Ellingham Academy. Nothing sounds better than a summer spent together, investigating old murders.
But something evil still lurks in Barlow Corners. When Stevie opens the lid on this long-dormant case, she gets much more than she bargained for. The Box in the Woods will make room for more victims. This time, Stevie may not make it out alive.
"The Agatha Christie-like ecosystem pairs with lacerating contemporary wit, and alternating past and present scenes makes for a multilayered, modern detective story."-- New York Times Book Review
"Be still, my Agatha-Christie-loving beating heart."--Bustle


About our Speakers

Maureen Johnson is the bestselling author of several novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, the Truly Devious series, the Suite Scarlett series, and the Shades of London series. She has also written collaborative works such as Let It Snow with John Green and Lauren Myracle and The Bane Chronicles with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan. Maureen lives in New York and online on Twitter @maureenjohnson or at www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com.

Gillian Pensavalle (she/her) is a professional podcast producer and host. In January of 2016 Gillian launched The Hamilcast: A Hamilton Podcast, a weekly deep dive with Hamilton cast, crew, musicians, and super fans. The Hamilcast has played host to every member of the Hamilton creative team, and features six episodes with Lin-Manuel Miranda. As creator and co-host of the popular podcast True Crime Obsessed, Gillian alongside Patrick Hinds, recaps true crime documentaries with humor and heart. Nearly 100 million downloads later, their coverage of documentaries such as Night Stalker, The Jinx, Fyre Fraud, and Class Action Park has captured the attention of true crime fans everywhere. Gillian is Executive Producer of Ted and Michael Read Sketches into Microphones, a sketch comedy podcast featuring Michael Paul Smith and Ted O’Gorman. In December of 2020 Gillian served as executive producer of 'Twas the Night, a radio play to benefit The Actors Fund. Gillian also has experience as an actor, voiceover artist, editor, show runner, producer, and on-camera host. A born and raised New Yorker, Gillian lives in Manhattan with her husband Mike and their rescue pup Fiona. 

You may purchase a copy of Box in the Woods from Left Bank Books online or by phone. You must provide an email address to be invited to the private online event. You will receive the actual email invite to join the private online event on the DAY OF the event.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 7:00pm

Brian Moylan - The Housewives

Wednesday, May 26, 8pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes writer of Vulture's legendary Real Housewives recaps
Brian Moylan,
who will discuss his new book, 
The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives,
on our Facebook Live Page at 8pm CT on May 26.
Moylan will be in conversation with 
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
About The Housewives
From Brian Moylan, the writer of Vulture's legendary Real Housewives recaps, a table-flipping, finger-pointing, halter-topping VIP journey through reality TV's greatest saga...
In the spring of 2006, a new kind of show premiered on Bravo: The Real Housewives of Orange County. Its stars were tanned, taut, and bedazzled; their homes were echoey California villas; and their drama was gossip-fueled, wine-drenched, and absolutely exquisite. Fifteen seasons on, RHOC is an institution, along with The Real Housewives of New York, Atlanta, New Jersey, Miami, Potomac, and more. Over the years these ladies have done a lot more than lunch, launching thirty-one books, a cocktail line, two jail sentences, a couple supermodel daughters, Andy Cohen's talk show career, thirty-six divorces, fourteen albums, a White House party crash, and approximately one million memes.
Brian Moylan has been there through it all, in front of the screen and behind the scenes. The writer of Vulture's beloved series recaps, he's here to tell us the full story, from the inside scoop on every classic throwdown to the questions we've always wanted to know, like--what are the housewives really like off-camera? (The same.) How much money do they make? (Lots.) He has a lot to say about the legacy and fandom of a franchise that's near and dear to his heart, and inextricable from pop culture today.
A must-have for any fan of real drama and fake [redacted], The Housewives is the definitive companion to an American TV treasure.
About our Speakers
Brian Moylan is a Real Housewives anthropologist and writer for Vulture, The New York Times, The Guardian, and elsewhere.

All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 8:00pm

LBB Virtual Celebrity Storytime: David L. Harrison & Kate Cosgrove - The Dirt Book

Tuesday, June 8, 11am CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books is excited to present another Virtual Celebrity Storytime!
We welcome award winning Missouri author
David L. Harrison &
award winning illustrator
Kate Cosgrove,
who will read aloud and talk about how they made their new picture book, 
The Dirt Book: Poems about Animals That Live Beneath Our Feet, 
on Facebook Live at 11am CT on June 8.
Join us on our Facebook Page and order a copy of 
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
About The Dirt Book
15 fun and fact-filled poems about soil--what makes it and who lives in it! This book unearths some of the glorious mysteries that lie beneath our feet!
Dirt! It's made of chipped rocks, rotting plants, decaying animals, fungi, and germs. It's food for plants and home to animals of all kinds.
15 poems explore the underground lives of earthworms, spiders, ants, chipmunks, and more.

Chipmunk, for such a little squirt
you sure do move a lot of dirt,
you sure do dig your tunnels deep,
you sure do find some nuts to keep,
you sure do know your underground.
Chipmunk, you sure do get around.
Spectacular art is oriented for an extra long view to better depict life down deep.
Table of Contents--Dirt Recipe At the Roots of Things, Doodlebug: One Way Ride, Trap Door Spider: The Waiting Game, Earthworm: Dirty Work, Ant: City Builder, Grub: Grass Killer, Mouse: Nightfall Calls, Bumblebee: Planning for Spring, Yellow Jacket Wasp: Warning! Warning! Warning!, Mole: Worm Search, Toad: Bedtime, Chipmunk: Busy, Busy, Busy!, Gopher Tortoise: The Innkeeper, And Now We Know, Author Notes
This is David L. Harrison and Kate Cosgrove's second nature book together after And the Bullfrogs Sing.
This book has been vetted by an expert. It includes back matter and a bibliography.
"This charming picture book is a splendid way to encourage an understanding and appreciation for nature and the often-unseen life that inhabits the planet alongside humans. The illustrations are rich and elaborate and the delightful poems keep the audience cheerfully bopping along to the rhythm of... dirt."-- Shelf Awareness
"With a playful sensibility and expert use of varied patterns of rhythm and rhyme, this collection of 14 poems takes us underground to painlessly learn about the life that burrows beneath our feet. . . . Fittingly laid out in a vertical format to take readers deep down into the ground, the full-bleed illustrations showcase gorgeous earth tones sparked with turquoise, yellow, peach, and lavender. Colored pencil has been manipulated digitally to resemble pastels and depicts a charming world aglow with life. Inviting in every way, this book is perfect for units on soil and animal habitats and is every bit as pleasurable for leisure reading." --School Library Connection
"The vertical double spread layout showcases activity at different depths, with Cosgrove's lush colored pencil and digital renderings an array of sophisticated colors and designerly patterns that fairly begs to be translated to fabric print. End matter comprises a chatty paragraph of additional information and a brief bibliography for each poem." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

About our Speakers

David L. Harrison's books have received state awards in Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Arizona, South Dakota, Indiana, Texas, Kentucky, and Virginia. Awards also include IRA/CBC Children's Choices, NCTE Notable Poetry Books, and Bank Street College Best Books. The David Harrison Elementary School in Springfield, Missouri, is named in his honor. David lives in Springfield, Missouri.

Kate Cosgrove has received many awards and honors for her artwork, including a 2018 Highlights Foundation Scholarship. Kate's debut as a picture book illustrator was And the Bullfrogs Sing, also written by David L. Harrison at Holiday House. She lives in Lansing, Michigan.


All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 11:00am

David Swinson with Joe Ide - City on the Edge

Tuesday, June 8, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes author and retired police detective
David Swinson,
who will discuss his new book, 
City on the Edge,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on June 8.
Swinson will be in conversation with acclaimed author of the IQ Novels
Joe Ide.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
About City on the Edge
An American teen living abroad discovers the truth about himself and his family in this thrilling novel from "one of the best dialogue hounds in the business" (New York Times Book Review).
In the wake of a baffling tragedy, 13-year-old Graham moves with his family to Beirut, Lebanon, a city on the edge of the sea and cataclysmic violence. Inquisitive and restless by nature, Graham suspects his State Department father is a CIA operative, and that their family's fragile domesticity is merely a front for American efforts along the nearby Israeli border. Over the course of one year, 1972, Graham's life will utterly change. Two men are murdered, his parent's marriage disintegrates, and Graham, along with his two ex-pat friends, run afoul of forces they cannot understand.
The City on the Edge is elegiac, atmospheric, and utterly authentic. It's the story of innocents caught within the American net of espionage, of the Lebanese transformed by such interference, of the children who ran dangerously beside the churning wheel of history. One part Stephen King's "The Body" and another John le Carre's A Perfect Spy, it's a transformative crime story told with heart and genuine experience.
A Deadly Pleasure Book to Look Forward to in 2021
"Swinson offers the reader a deeply felt coming-of-age novel set against a background of powerful authenticity. This is not to be missed." -- Publishers Weekly
"It's a brave novel, one with no easy outs, and an ending that feels both raw and true." --Ryan Gattis, author of Safe

About our Speakers

David Swinson grew up in Washington, DC, Beirut, Mexico City and Stockholm, the son of a foreign service officer. He is a retired police detective from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, having been assigned to Major Crimes. Swinson is the author of The Second Girl, Crime Song and Trigger. He lives with his wife and daughter in Northern Virginia.

Joe Ide is of Japanese American descent. Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Joe's favorite books were the Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. The idea that a person could face the world and vanquish his enemies with just his intelligence fascinated him. Joe went on to earn a graduate degree and had several careers before writing his debut novel, IQ, inspired by his early experiences and his love of Sherlock Holmes. Joe lives in Santa Monica, California.


All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 7:00pm

Paula Stone Williams - As a Woman

Thursday, June 10, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes pastor and internationally known speaker
on gender equity, LGBTQ advocacy, and religious tolerance
Paula Stone Williams,
who will discuss her new book, 
As a Woman: What I Learned about Power, Sex, and the Patriarchy After I Transitioned,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on June 10th.
Williams will be in conversation with Left Bank Books co-owner and writer
Jarek Steele.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
About As a Woman: What I Learned about Power, Sex, and the Patriarchy After I Transitioned
A moving and unforgettable memoir of a transgender pastor's journey from despair to joy as she transitioned from male to female and learned about gender inequity, at home and in the workplace--perfect for fans of Redefining Realness and There Is Room for You.
As a father of three, married to a wonderful woman, and holding several prominent jobs within the Christian community, Dr. Paula Stone Williams made the life-changing decision to physically transition from male to female at the age of sixty. Almost instantly, her power and influence in the evangelical world disappeared and her family had to grapple with intense feelings of loss and confusion.
Feeling utterly alone and at a loss after being expelled from the evangelical churches she had once spearheaded, Paula struggled to create a new safe space for herself where she could reconcile her faith, her identity, and her desire to be a leader. Much to her surprise, the key to her new career as a woman came with a deeper awareness of the inequities she had overlooked before her transition. Where her opinions were once celebrated and amplified, now she found herself sidelined and ignored. New questions emerged. Why are women's opinions devalued in favor of men's? Why does love and intimacy feel so different? And, was it possible to find a new spirituality in her own image?
In As a Woman, Paula pulls back the curtain on her transition journey and sheds light on the gendered landscape that impacts many in the LGBTQ+ community. She urges men to recognize the ways in which the world is tilted in their favor and validates the experiences of women who have been disregarded based solely on their gender, while also acknowledging how she was once like those men who are blind to their privilege. With equal parts humility and confidence, Paula shares her lived experience of both genders and offers a truly unique perspective on the universal struggle to understand what it means to be male, female, and simply, human.
"As a Woman is a masterful and unflinching story that will challenge the ways in which you see the world, other people, and even yourself. Anyone on a journey of discovery will feel at home in Paula's book."--Katrina Mathewson, screenwriter and co-chair of the Writers Guild of America's LGBTQ+ Committee
"Paula Stone Williams' critical questions about gender, personhood, and place are relevant to anyone. Her writing insightfully reveals aspects of our gender socialization and culture that often go unexamined, but that need to be talked about, challenged, and changed."--Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger
"When I was a young pastor, a teenager dared to confide to me that the authentic person inside didn't match the gender of the body seen by the outside world. I wish As a Woman had been available to me then . It not only helps us understand the experience of many of our neighbors; it also inspires us to listen for the "sound of the genuine," as Howard Thurman called it, in others--and in ourselves."--Brian D. McLaren, author of Faith After Doubt

About our Speaker

Dr. Paula Stone Williams is an internationally known speaker on gender equity, LGBTQ advocacy, and religious tolerance. She is also a pastor and pastoral counselor in Boulder County, Colorado. Paula has been featured in The New York TimesTEDWomenTEDSummitTEDxMileHighRed Table TalkThe Denver PostNew York PostNew Scientist MagazineRadio New Zealand, and many other media outlets. Her TED talks have had more than five million views.


All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

With promotional support from Yelp!

Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 7:00pm

Seamus McGraw with Stacey Newman - From a Taller Tower

Monday, May 17, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes journalist and author
Seamus McGraw,
who will discuss his new book, 
From a Taller Tower: The Rise of the American Mass Shooter,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on May 17th.
McGraw will be in conversation with Executive Director of Progress Women and former State Representative
Stacey Newman.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
About From a Taller Tower
We, as a nation, have become desensitized to the shock and pain in the wake of mass shootings. In the bottomless silence between gunshots, as political stalemate ensures inaction, the killing continues; the dying continues. From a Taller Tower attends to the silence that has left us empty in the aftermath of these atrocities. Veteran journalist Seamus McGraw chronicles the rise of the mass shooter to dismantle the myths we have constructed around the murderers and ourselves.In 1966, America's first mass shooter, from atop the University of Texas tower, unleashed a new reality: the fear that any of us may be targeted by a killer, and the complicity we bear in granting these murderers the fame or infamy they crave. Addressing individual cases in the epidemic that began in Austin, From a Taller Tower bluntly confronts our obsession with the shooters--and explores the isolation, narcissism, and sense of victimhood that fan their obsessions. Drawing on the experiences of survivors and first responders as well as the knowledge of mental health experts, McGraw challenges the notion of the "good guy with a gun," the idolization of guns (including his own), and the reliability of traumatized memory. Yet in this terrible history, McGraw reminds us of the humanity that can stop the killing and the dying.
This book is a deep dive into mass shootings--events in which one or more gunmen shoot more than four people--which have become increasingly common, particularly in America, over the last six decades. The book opens on a personal note, describing an event in which the author failed to protect an innocent man from violence, which he likens to our national inability to act and protect each other from these atrocities. From there, he goes back to August 1, 1966, when Charles Whitman murdered more than a dozen people with a sniper's rifle from atop the University of Texas tower. McGraw posits Whitman as the first mass shooter of the era, and uses his case to begin exploring the myths, tropes, and truths of this phenomenon.
"From a Taller Tower is a careful, even cathartic, look at mass shooters-- and the culture that ushers them forth. McGraw dispels the myths "forged in gunfire" with a riveting examination of the before, during, and after of mass shootings."--Amye Archer, co-editor, If I Don't Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings
"An important and extraordinary book that takes us into the mind of the mass shooter and also explores our own complicity in the numbing tragedies that have become far too routine in America. Still, Seamus McGraw manages to leave us with hope that there's a way out of the despair." --Perri Peltz, director and producer, Axios on HBO
About the Speakers
Seamus McGraw is a journalist and frequent contributor to the New York Times op-ed page, as well as to the Huffington Post, Playboy, Popular Mechanics, and Fox Latino. He is the author of The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone, Betting the Farm on a Drought: Stories from the Front Lines of Climate Change, and A Thirsty Land: The Fight for Water in Texas.
Stacey Newman is founder and director of ProgressWomen, a statewide social justice organization that since 2011 has focused on reproductive rights, gun violence, criminal justice and voting rights. She recently retired as a Missouri State Representative in St. Louis County from 2010 - 2018, serving as chair of the House Progressive Caucus.
All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.
Monday, May 17, 2021 - 7:00pm

John Paul Brammer with Natalie Dalea - ¡Hola Papi!

Wednesday, June 16, 7pm CT
Private Online Event - $5 Event Ticket or Book Purchase Required

Left Bank Books and Women & Children First welcome LGBTQ+ advice columnist and writer
John Paul Brammer,
who will discuss his new hilarious, heartwarming memoir-in-essays
 ¡HOLA PAPI!: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons,
on June 16th at 7pm CT in a private online event.
Brammer will be in a conversation with podcast host 
Natalie Dalea
from WBEZ’s Curious City.
This is an exclusive event that requires purchase of a SIGNED copy of
$5 Event Ticket
from Left Bank Books for admission.
Note: Book and ticket purchasers will receive the email with the link to join the private online event the DAY OF the event.


About ¡HOLA PAPI!: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons

From popular LGBTQ advice columnist and writer John Paul Brammer comes a hilarious, heartwarming memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America's heartland to becoming the "Chicano Carrie Bradshaw" of his generation.

The first time someone called John Paul (JP) Brammer "Papi" was on the popular gay hookup app Grindr. At first, it was flattering; JP took this as white-guy speak for "hey, handsome." Who doesn't want to be called handsome? But then it happened again and again...and again, leaving JP wondering: Who the hell is Papi?

What started as a racialized moniker given to him on a hookup app soon became the inspiration for his now wildly popular advice column "¡Hola Papi!", launching his career as the Cheryl Strayed for young queer people everywhere--and some straight people too. JP had his doubts at first--what advice could he really offer while he himself stumbled through his early 20s? Sometimes the best advice to dole outcomes from looking within, which is what JP has done in his column and book--and readers have flocked to him for honest, heartfelt wisdom, and of course a few laughs.

In ¡Hola Papi!, JP shares his story of growing up biracial and in the closet against the backdrop of America's heartland, while attempting to answer some of life's toughest questions: How do I let go of the past? How do I become the person I want to be? Is there such a thing as being too gay? Should I hook up with my grade school bully now that he's out of the closet? Questions we've all asked ourselves, surely.

With wit and wisdom in equal measure, ¡Hola Papi! is for anyone--gay, straight, and everything in between--who has ever taken stock of their unique place in the world, offering considered advice, intelligent discourse, and fits of laughter along the way. As #1 New York Times bestselling author Shea Serrano says: "I loved ¡Hola Papi! I'm certain you will too."

"If you haven't been subscribing to John Paul Brammer's ¡Hola Papi! advice newsletter, you've been missing tender and funny and sweet notes on how to go from friends to lovers, questionable Latinx fetishes, and broken hearts. His memoir uses his own life as the source material for hard-earned lessons, keeping the same funny and gentle voice along the way. Being biracial and closeted in rural Oklahoma means that sometimes you end up coming out in a Walmart parking lot, and Brammer is there to guide you along the way."-- REMEZCLA

"I have for years looked and hoped to find a writer who could write about being (among other things) Mexican-American in a way that not only felt vital and delicate and funny and tender, but also that made me feel more connected to people who did not happen to look like me. John Paul, it would appear, is exactly that. He has a remarkable ability for writing in a way that makes it feel like he's crawling around inside your head, opening up the old wooden chests and trunk that you were never quite smart enough to figure out how to unlock. I loved ¡Hola Papi!. I'm certain you will too."-- SHEA SERRANO#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF BASKETBALL (AND OTHER THINGS)

"With the briny wit of David Rakoff, the illuminated-from-within wisdom of Cheryl Strayed, and the singular perspective that can only come from JP Brammer, ¡Hola Papi! takes the anxiety-riddled questions of being and otherness and answers them with an expansive openness that will take your breath away. Every essay in this book is revealing, personal, at times cathartic or bracing, and, above all, infused with an endless reserve of compassion. In this way, ¡Hola Papi! is life-giving. It's also life giving as in 'this book gave me life!' if that's how you role. Oh, my heart! My feelings! My soul! This book, which is also so richly funny and well-observed, is a gift to any reader who wants to be reminded of what an extraordinary and complex thing it is to be alive. It is an invigorating and vital read." --R. ERIC THOMAS, bestselling author of Here for It, or How to Save Your Soul in America

"I've been a fan of JP Brammer's for years now, following him from platform to platform in a non-creepy way, of course, always happy to shell out money for the privilege, but his free content online is more than we deserve. I do this because I have been consistently amazed at Brammer's capacity for satire and seriousness, the way his insights lay bare what I was feeling sometimes before I knew it, and how he can break your heart as he makes you laugh. That he does all of this under the auspices of helping anyone is...Well, we are lucky to live in the era of JP Brammer. That really is all." --ALEXANDER CHEE, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

"JP Brammer is the best storyteller. Every chapter of this amazing book will sweep you along on a tidal wave of suspense, wit, and gut-wrenching insights into the bewilderment of growing up and figuring out who you are. I love this book so much and I hope Brammer writes many more." --HEATHER HAVRILESKY, "Ask Polly" columnist and author of What If This Were Enough?

"John Paul is so good that he makes me forget I'm reading. I sit down with ¡Hola Papi!, and ten minutes later, I'm crying, sending the funniest lines to my friends, and somehow feeling better about humanity. He's a beautiful writer. But he's also a really welcoming writer. Like, his work invites you in. This book reflects that perfectly."-- RAINBOW ROWELL, #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF ELEANOR & PARK

"John Paul's writing is a light. His heart, wit, and compassion shine through everything he writes, and his work has a way of making people feel loved, seen, validated, and connected. His perspective is much needed, and his voice needs to be heard far and wide. ¡Hola Papi! tackles race, gender, and sexuality in a way that speaks directly to marginalized communities with humor and warmth, while also bringing all of us into the conversation together. His work is essential and necessary."-- JONNY SUN, TV WRITER (BOJACK HORSEMAN) AND AUTHOR OF EVERYONE'S A ALIEBN WHEN UR A ALIEBN TOO

"Consoler of the queer and lonely John Paul Brammer--a self-described 'Twitter-addled gay Mexican with anxiety'--expands upon his popular ¡Hola Papi! advice column, often hilarious and always heartfelt, spinning personal misadventures into invaluable life lessons."-- OPRAH MAGAZINE

"John Paul Brammer brings his trademark heart and wit to essays that reveal how he grew up queer and mixed-race in the American heartland, came out in a Walmart parking lot (he does not recommend it), and became the LGBTQ+ community's favorite advice columnist -- the 'Picante Carrie Bradshaw' of his generation"-- THE ADVOCATE


About the Speakers

John Paul Brammer is an author, illustrator, and columnist from rural Oklahoma currently living in Brooklyn. He runs the popular advice column "¡Hola Papi!" on Substack. His work, including essays, short fiction, and illustrations, has appeared in The Washington PostFood & WineCatapultBusiness Insider, and many more. This is his first book. He runs a print shop where he puts his artwork and designs at HolaPapiShop.com. You can keep up with him on Twitter or Instagram @JPBrammer.

Natalie Dalea is a midwestern mestiza writer. She currently works for WBEZ’s Curious City, where she creates podcasts and digital stories about Chicago, the region, and its people. Other projects have included artist profiles, environmental journalism, and memoir ghostwriting. She is also editing a middle grade fiction novel about ballet dancers. When she’s not writing, Natalie can be found shooting urban photography around Chicago. Find her clips at Curious City, The Portalist, and the Field Museum Blogs. Follow her @nmdalea.


You may purchase a copy of ¡HOLA PAPI! from Left Bank Books online or by phone. Purchase of the $5 Event Ticket is also available online or by phone. You must provide an email address to be invited to the private online event. If you have purchased the book from Left Bank, you will receive an email event reminder a few days prior to the event. You will receive the email with the link to join the private online event the DAY OF the event.


With promotional support from Yelp!


Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 7:00pm


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