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LBB Presents: Kathy Valentine - All I Ever Wanted

Tuesday, May 26, 7pm
The Grandel, 3610 Grandel Square

Left Bank Books presents musician, songwriter, and author Kathy Valentine, who will sign and discuss her book All I Ever Wanted, a memoir of her time as bass player with the all-female band the Go-Go's. Kathy will be in conversation Steve Ewing, former lead singer for the Urge.

At twenty-one, Kathy Valentine was at the Whisky in Los Angeles when she met a guitarist from a fledgling band called the Go-Go's--and the band needed a bassist. The Go-Go's became the first multi-platinum-selling, all-female band to play instruments themselves, write their own songs, and have a number one album. Their debut, Beauty and the Beat, spent six weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 and featured the hit songs "We Got the Beat" and "Our Lips Are Sealed." The record's success brought the pressures of a relentless workload and schedule culminating in a wild, hazy, substance-fueled tour that took the band from the club circuit to arenas, where fans, promoters, and crew were more than ready to keep the party going.

For Valentine, the band's success was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream--but it's only part of her story. All I Ever Wanted traces the path that took her from her childhood in Texas--where she all but raised herself--to the height of rock n' roll stardom, devastation after the collapse of the band that had come to define her, and the quest to regain her sense of self after its end. Valentine also speaks candidly about the lasting effects of parental betrayal, abortion, rape, and her struggles with drugs and alcohol--and the music that saved her every step of the way. Populated with vivid portraits of Valentine's interactions during the 1980s with musicians and actors from the Police and Rod Stewart to John Belushi and Rob Lowe, All I Ever Wanted is a deeply personal reflection on a life spent in music.


Kathy Valentine is a working musician and songwriter known for being part of the all-female band the Go-Go's. She wrote or cowrote many of the band's most renowned songs, including "Vacation" and "Head Over Heels." In addition to playing music and writing songs, Valentine has worked as an actor, public speaker and spokesperson, and producer. In 2017 she created "She Factory," an event series to raise money for women-centered nonprofits. She currently lives in her hometown of Austin with her daughter, where she plays in a band and is completing her first college degree.

Purchase of a ticket is required to attend the event, enter the signing line, and meet Kathy Valentine. Your ticket includes ONE signed copy of ALL I EVER WANTED. Additional copies of ALL I EVER WANTED will be available for purchase at the event.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 7:00pm

POSTPONED: LBB Presents: Malaika B Horne - Mother Wit

Monday, March 16, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Following recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event has been POSTPONED. You can order an autographed copy of the book below. If you would like a copy personalized, specify in the comments in check-out to whom you want the personalization addressed.

Left Bank Books presents local journalist, academic writer, and author, Malaika B Horne, who will sign and discuss her new book, Mother Wit.

malaika b horne, mother wit"This book describes in a vivid and poignant manner the remarkable ability of a mid-twentieth century Black woman--living under conditions of Apartheid as practiced in the United States--to overcome harsh and even grotesque societal obstacles, and succeed in rearing six children. That each of them went on to excel in their chosen fields is worthy of serious contemplation. In addition, the reader is provided insight and illumination on still taboo topics such as "colorism" and intra-group violence that engender and nourish self-hate among many in the African American Community. Moreover, the author's penchant for candor is coupled with a constructive theme of hope and faith in the future."

--William M Harvey, PhD, psychologist

Malaika Horne is founding director of the Executive Leadership Consortium at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  She is an academic writer, book author and journalist, writing extensively on topics from politics, health, social causes to women’s issues. Dr. Horne serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. She is currently a contributing writer for the on-line publication, Arts Today.  Recently, she authored the book:  Mother Wit:  Exalting Motherhood while Honoring a Great Mother. She founded and chaired the Chancellor’s Cultural Diversity Initiative at UMSL from 2004 to 2011. She created a student radio show, The University World View, a diversity program interviewing cultural diversity specialists. Now, she has a podcast with the same name as the radio show. Prior to her work in academia, she was managing director of Narcotics Service Council, at the time, one of the largest private non-profit agencies of its kind in the state. She is a board member of several non-profits in the area. Her hobbies are travel, reading, fashion, health and fitness and becoming proficient in Spanish.  She is married to Prince A. Wells, III, professor of music, SIUE.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Mother Wit 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 16, 2020 - 7:00pm

NOW ONLINE: LBB Presents: TaraShea Nesbit - Beheld

Thursday, March 19, 7pm
Left Bank Books' Facebook Page

Considering recommendations from the CDC, TaraShea will be in conversation with Left Bank Books' Shane Mullen in a Facebook Live discussion of her new book "Beheld." Join us for this interactive conversation and order a copy of your book from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!

Left Bank Books presents best-selling and award winning author, TaraShea Nesbit, who will sign and discuss her historical fiction novel, Beheld, about the first killing in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

tarashea nesbit, beheldIt begins with a killing. Ten years after the Mayflower struck shore on rocky, unfamiliar soil, Plymouth is not the land its residents had imagined. Seemingly established on a dream of religious freedom, the town is led by fervent Puritans who prevent the Anglican residents from worshipping as they choose. The Billingtons—Anglicans, outsiders, and rebels—have just about had enough, and that’s when a stranger arrives.

 With gripping, immersive details and beautiful prose, TaraShea Nesbit reframes the story of the pilgrims in the voices of two women of very different status and means. She evokes a vivid, ominous Plymouth, populated by famous and unknown characters alike, each with conflicting desires and questionable behavior. Suspenseful and literary, Beheld is about a murder and a trial; but it’s also about the motivations—personal and political—that cause people to act in unsavory ways.

 Whose stories get told over time, who gets believed—and subsequently, who gets punished? Beheld is an intimate, personal portrait of love, motherhood, and friendship, and an exploration of what people lose and whet they struggle to maintain.

TaraShea Nesbit is the author of The Wives of Los Alamos, which was a national bestseller, a finalist for the PEN/Bingham Prize, and a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice,” and the winner of two New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. She earned a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Denver. She is an assistant professor at Miami University and lives in Oxford, OH with her family.

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 7:00pm

CANCELLED: River Styx Reading Series Presents: Jenny Molberg, Carl Phillips, & Martin Riker

Monday, March 16, 7pm
High Low, 3301 Washington

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

River Styx cultivates the literary arts in St. Louis and beyond through its magazine and community programs.The River Styx Reading Series is their main recurring event during the fall, winter, and spring, in which they invite both local and national acclaimed writers to read their work for a St. Louis audience.

Jenny Molberg is the author of Marvels of the Invisible (winner of the Berkshire Prize) and Refusal: Poems. She coedited the Unsung Masters Series collection Adelaide Crapsey: On the Life & Work of an American Master. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, The Missouri Review, Poetry International, Boulevard, Copper Nickel, The Adroit Journal, Best New Poets, and other publications. She is the recipient of a 2019-2020 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as scholarships and fellowships from the Sewanee Writers Conference, the C.D. Wright Conference, and Vermont Studio Center. Molberg holds an MFA from American University and a PhD from the University of North Texas. She currently teaches at the University of Central Missouri, where she directs Pleiades Press and edits Pleiades: Literature in Context

Carl Phillips, referred to as “one of America’s most original, influential, and productive of lyric poets,” is the author of a dozen books of poetry and two works of criticism. He was born in Everett, Washington in 1959, and his family moved frequently around the United States. He earned a BA from Harvard, an MAT from the University of Massachusetts, and an MA in creative writing from Boston University. Before teaching English at the university level, he taught Latin at several high schools. He is Professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also teaches creative writing. Phillips was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2006, and since 2011 he has served as the judge for the Yale Series of Younger Poets.

Martin Riker grew up in Central Pennsylvania. He worked as a musician for most of his twenties, in nonprofit literary publishing for most of his thirties, and has spent the first half of his forties teaching in the English department at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2010, he and his wife Danielle Dutton co-founded the feminist press Dorothy, a Publishing Project ( His fiction and criticism have appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, London Review of Books, The Baffler, and Conjunctions. Samuel Johnson's Eternal Return is his first novel.

Readings start at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month. $5 general admission. $4 students and seniors. This event is presented by River Styx. For more information, please visit

Monday, March 16, 2020 - 7:00pm

Jeff Fleischer - Votes of Confidence: A Young Person's Guide to American Elections, 2nd Ed.

Sunday, March 8, 2pm
Left Bank Books

jeff fleischer, votes of confidenceLeft Bank Books presents jouranlist and author, Jeff Fleischer, who will be discussing his book Votes of Confidence, 2nd Edition: A Young Person's Guide to American Elections, which gives an in-depth introduction to the electoral college, the history of debates, political parties, how to get involved even if you’re not old enough to vote, and more. Jeff will be in conversation with Gabe Fleisher from Wake Up to Politics.

Every two years, media coverage of American elections turns into a horse-race story about who's leading the polls and who said what when. Votes for Confidence gives young adult readers clear explanations about how our election process actually works, why it matters, and how they can become involved. Using real-world examples and anecdotes, this book provides readers with thorough, nonpartisan explanations about primaries, the electoral college, checks and balances, polls, fundraising, and more. Updated with statistics and details from the 2018 elections, the revised second edition will prepare the next generation of voters for what is sure to be a fascinating 2020 election cycle.

Jeff Fleischer is a Chicago-based journalist and author, who has written for Mother Jones, the Sydney Morning Herald, National Geographic Traveler, Mental Floss, and Chicago Magazine.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Votes of Confidence 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.

Sunday, March 8, 2020 - 2:00pm

LBB Presents: Vicki Berger Erwin & James Erwin - Steamboat Disasters of the Lower Missouri River

Monday, February 24, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Vicki Berger Erwin, James Erwin, Steamboat Disasters of the Lower Missouri RiverLeft Bank Books presents local Kirkwood authors Vicki Berger Erwin and James Erwin, who will discuss snd sign their first book written together, Steamboat Disasters of the Lower Missouri River.

During the nineteenth century, more than three hundred boats met their end in the steamboat graveyard that was the Lower Missouri River, from Omaha to its mouth. Although derided as little more than an “orderly pile of kindling,” steamboats were, in fact, technological marvels superbly adapted to the river’s conditions. Their light superstructure and long, wide, flat hulls powered by high-pressure engines drew so little water that they could cruise on “a heavy dew” even when fully loaded. But these same characteristics made them susceptible to fires, explosions and snags—tree trunks ripped from the banks, hiding under the water’s surface. Authors Vicki and James Erwin detail the perils that steamboats, their passengers and crews faced on every voyage.

Vicki Berger Erwin has had 29 books published – middle-grade mysteries, local history and true crime. Her recent works include Different Days, a novel about a young girl whose German-American parents were interned in Hawaii after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Slaying in South St. Louis: Justice Denied for Nancy Zanone, the story of the murder of a young mother and how it changed Missouri’s juvenile criminal law (co-authored with son Bryan), and Mexico, an illustrated history of her hometown.

James Erwin attended law school at the University of Missouri-Columbia after service in the Army. Jim was an attorney in St. Louis for 38 years, concentrating in business litigation. He argued his first appeal in the United States Supreme Court in 1979, launching a career in appellate practice. He sneaked in the time to write three books on the Civil War – Guerrillas in Civil War Missouri, Guerrilla Hunters in Civil War Missouri, and Homefront in Civil War Missouri. He wrote St. Charles: A Brief History, published just before the city’s 250th birthday. 

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Steamboat Disasters of the Lower Missouri River 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, February 24, 2020 - 7:00pm

Left Bank Kids Club: Mad Libs Valentine's Party

Friday, February 14, 4pm
Left Bank Books

Valentines mad libsA special Vlanetine's Day Kids Club meeting!

Party with sweet treats and make your own Mad Libs valentines!

Grab your Kids Club Passport* and get ready for Valentine's themed fun!

*New members can pick up a passport at the event

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

Friday, February 14, 2020 - 4:00pm

Philip Kennicott - Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning

Friday, February 14, 1pm
Webster University, Sverdrup Room 101

philip kennicott, counterpointWebster University presents Pulitzer-Prize-winning culture critic for the Washington Post and a former Post-Dispatch writer and editor, Philip Kennicott, who will discuss his memoir on greif and Bach, Counterpoint.  

While his mother was dying from cancer, Kennicott began to listen to Bach’s music obsessively, finding that it enabled him both to experience her death and remove himself from it. As he recovered from losing his mother he resolved to learn one of Bach’s most extraordinarily challenging keyboard compositions, the Goldberg Variations, known for their interdependent “counterpoint” melodies that merge into one rich harmony. In Counterpoint, Kennicott echoes Bach’s structuring with contrapuntal chapters that alternate between the story of his turbulent relationship with his mother—a difficult, abusive woman who was never satisfied with her circumscribed role in life—and the ups and downs of his seven-year-long attempt to master Bach’s composition. The result is a hauntingly beautiful memoir that counterbalances personal grief with transcendent music.

“An approachable, uniquely thoughtful rumination on a range of musical topics, from the unrelenting demands of musical practice and performance to the mysterious and fraught dynamic between parent and child....Recommended for anyone with an ear for classical music and an interest in biography.”
—Booklist (starred review)

Philip Kennicott, author of Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning (Norton), is the Pulitzer Prize-winning Senior Art and Architecture Critic of The Washington Post. He is also a two-time Pulitzer finalist (for editorial writing in 2000 and criticism in 2012), a former contributing editor to The New Republic, and a regular contributor to Opera News and Gramophone. His 2015 essay, “Smuggler” was a finalist for the National Magazine Award and anthologized in that year’s volume of “Best American Essays.” He lives in Washington, D.C.


Philip Kennicott is speaking in Sverdrup Room 101. Sverdrup is building #28 on this campus map.

Parking is available in the garage on Garden Ave. For questions and additional information contact

Friday, February 14, 2020 - 1:00pm

Adam Smith - At the End of Your Tether

Tuesday, February 25, 7pm
Left Bank Books

adam smith, at the end of your tetherLeft Bank Books presents Eisner and Harvey nominee, Adam Smith, who will sign and discuss his new graphic novel At The End Of Your Tether.

At The End Of Your Tether is a period coming-of-age story set in the late 1990s, centering around a mystery: When a teen returns home to be reunited with a childhood friend, he discovers that she’s been missing for a week — even though he just spoke with her on the phone the day before.

Adam Smith was part of Scott Snyder’s first DC Talent Workshop. His first graphic novel, Long Walk To Valhalla, was nominated for both an Eisner and a Harvey award. He is currently writing Jim Henson’s Beneath the Dark Crystal and his upcoming book, Down River People, is currently being illustrated at Archaia.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of At The End Of Your Tether 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.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 7:00pm

Webster Diversity Conference presents Shelly Tochluk - Witnessing Whiteness

Thursday, February 27, 8:30am -12pm
Winifred Moore Auditorium, Webster University

shelly tochluk, witnessing whitenessWebster university presents it's fifth annual Diversity & Inclusion conference. The Diversity & Inclusion Conference will address issues of diversity and explore how everyone can act as an ally and support inclusion. This year’s topics to include: St. Louis Business Journal roundtable on workforce diversity, being an ally, a student panel discussions on recent study abroad trips to Costa Rica and Ghana and guest speakers.

Left Bank Books will be selling educator and author, Shelly Tochluk's, book Witnessing Whiteness from 8:30am-12pm.

Registration opens at 8:30am

Event begins at 9:00am

For more information and to RSVP for the free conference click here!

Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 8:30am


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