Back to top

Upcoming Authors @ SLCL

Each month the St. Louis County Library Foundation brings bestselling and award-winning authors from a variety of genres to the library, offering readers exclusive opportunities to meet and engage with their favorite writers.

Unless otherwise mentioned, all events are free and take place at Library Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Seating is limited; early arrival is highly recommended. Books for signing will be available for purchase at the events. For more information, please call 314-994-3300.


Helen Ellis

Monday, April 22, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

The bestselling author of “American Housewife” is back with a fiercely funny collection of essays on marriage and manners, ghosts, gunshots, gynecology, and the Calgon-scented, onion-dipped, monogrammed art of living as a Southern Lady. Helen Ellis has a mantra: “If you don’t have something nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way.” In these 23 raucous essays, Ellis offers readers a hilarious, completely singular view on womanhood for both sides of the Mason-Dixon.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.

Nell Freudenberger

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Acclaimed author Nell Freudenberger presents an emotionally engaging new novel, told in the voice of a renowned physicist: an exploration of the surprising bonds of female friendship. Helen Clapp’s breakthrough work on five-dimensional spacetime leads her to disdain notions of the supernatural in favor of rational thought and proven ideas. When she receives a phone call from a friend who died days earlier, she is forced to question the laws of the universe that had always steadied her mind and heart. Suspenseful and perceptive, “Lost and Wanted” is a story of friends, lost and found, at the most defining moments of their lives.

The event will be an onstage interview with Ryan Krull, Interviews Editor for Boulevard Magazine. 

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.

Kirk Wallace Johnson

Monday, April 29, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Acclaimed journalist Kirk Wallace Johnson presents a rollicking true-crime adventure about the theft of nearly 300 bird skins from a natural history museum in England. It’s a story that leads readers through 19th century scientific expeditions into the jungles of Malaysia, the “feather fever” of the turn-of-the century fashion world and the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying and its fanatic, often underground modern-day practitioners. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man’s relentless pursuit of justice, “The Feather Thief” is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man’s destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from the Novel Neighbor.

Martha Hall Kelly

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

The million-copy bestseller “Lilac Girls” introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. Now “Lost Roses,” set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I. It is 1914, and Eliza is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. But when Russia’s imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. “Lost Roses” celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women’s friendship, especially during the darkest days of history.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from the Novel Neighbor.

Roshani Chokshi

Wednesday, May 01, 2019 6:00 p.m.
Daniel Boone Branch
Doors open at 5:00 p.m.

Roshani Chokshi presents the second installment in her internationally bestselling Pandava quartet based on Hindu mythology, the first series in the new Rick Riordan Presents imprint from Disney Publishing. In “Aru Shah and the Song of Death,” Aru is only just getting used to her role as a Pandava, a reincarnated son of a god, when the Otherworld goes into full panic mode. The god of love's bow and arrow have gone missing, and the thief isn't playing Cupid. Instead, they're turning people into heartless fighting-machine zombies. If that weren't bad enough, somehow Aru gets framed as the thief. If she doesn't find the arrow by the next full moon, she'll be kicked out of the Otherworld for good.

Presented by the Reading Garden Event Series.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from The Novel Neighbor.  

Thurston Clarke

Thursday, May 02, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Bestselling historian Thurston Clarke presents a groundbreaking history of the last days of the Vietnam War and reveals the acts of American heroism that saved more than one hundred thousand South Vietnamese from communist revenge. Clarke begins “Honorable Exit” by describing the iconic photograph of the Fall of Saigon: desperate Vietnamese scrambling to board a helicopter evacuating the last American personnel from Vietnam. It is an image of U.S. failure and shame. Or is it? By unpacking the surprising story of heroism that the photograph actually tells, Clarke launches into a narrative that is both a thrilling race against time and an important corrective to the historical record.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from The Novel Neighbor.  

Jonathan Drori

Monday, May 06, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

In “Around the World in 80 Trees,” former trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Jonathan Drori uses plant science to illuminate how trees play a role in every part of human life. Stops on the trip include the lime trees of Berlin's Unter den Linden boulevard, which intoxicate amorous Germans and hungry bees alike, the swankiest streets in nineteenth-century London, which were paved with Australian eucalyptus wood, and the redwood forests of California, where the secret to the trees' soaring heights can be found in the tiniest drops of water. Populated by self-mummifying monks, tree-climbing goats and ever-so-slightly radioactive nuts, each of these strange and true tales takes the reader on a journey that is as informative as it is beautiful.

Presented in partnership with the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.

Nidhi Chanani

Tuesday, May 07, 2019 6:30 p.m.
Daniel Boone Branch
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Illustrated by the award-winning artist and creator of the hit graphic novel “Pashmina,” “I Will Be Fierce” is a powerful picture book about courage, confidence, kindness, and finding the extraordinary in everyday moments. It's a brand new day, and a young girl decides to take on the world like a brave explorer heading off on an epic fairytale quest. From home to school and back again, our hero conquers the Mountain of Knowledge (the library), forges new bridges (friendships), and leads the victorious charge home on her steed (the school bus).

Presented by the Reading Garden Event Series. 

Books will be available for purchase at the event from The Novel Neighbor. 

Louis Bayard

Wednesday, May 08, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

From the prizewinning author of “Mr. Timothy” comes the page-turning and surprising story of a young Abraham Lincoln and the two people who loved him best: Mary Todd and Lincoln’s best friend, Joshua Speed. Told in the alternating voices of Mary Todd and Joshua Speed, “Courting Mr. Lincoln” creates a sympathetic and complex portrait of Mary unlike any that has come before; a moving portrayal of the deep and very real connection between the two men; and most of all, an evocation of the unformed man who would grow into one of the nation’s most beloved presidents. Louis Bayard, a master storyteller at the height of his powers, delivers here a page-turning tale of love, longing, and forbidden possibilities.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books. 

E.K. Johnston

Friday, May 10, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Grant's View Branch
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

E.K. Johnston, author of the #1 bestselling “Ahsoka,” presents the dramatic story of Padmé Amidala. When Queen Amidala of Naboo steps down from her position, she is asked by the newly-elected queen to become Naboo’s representative in the Galactic Senate. Padmé is unsure about taking on the new role, but cannot turn down the request to serve her people. Together with her most loyal handmaidens, Padmé must figure out how to navigate the treacherous waters of politics and forge a new identity beyond the queen’s shadow.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from The Novel Neighbor. 

The event is part of SLCL's 2019 Star Wars Fan Fest. Additional parking will be available at Dressel Elementary with shuttle service provided. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

A Night of Mystery with Hilary Davidson and Laura Benedict

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Popular suspense writers Hilary Davidson and Laura Benedict team up to chat about their latest books and the craft of suspense writing. Critically acclaimed for her modern hardboiled crime fiction, Hilary Davidson delivers again with “One Small Sacrifice,” the launch of a new series featuring NYPD Detective Sheryn Sterling. International Thriller Award-nominated author Laura Benedict presents her eighth thriller, “The Stranger Inside”—described as an “outstanding, ever-twisting, surprise filled” psychological drama by Publisher’s Weekly. 

Books will be available for purchase at the event from the Novel Neighbor.

Chris Pavone

Thursday, May 16, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Bestselling author of “The Expats,” Chris Pavone presents his latest nail-biting thriller featuring former CIA agent Kate Moore. Now semi-retired in Paris, Kate hasn’t received a new assignment in some time, so when news breaks of bomb threats in multiple locations, and a man in an explosive vest entering the Louvre, she decides to prove her continued relevance by investigating. “The Paris Diversion” is another smart, stylish non-stop adventure ride from a new master of international intrigue.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.

Mary Kay Andrews

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

New York Times bestselling fiction writer Mary Kay Andrews presents a new novel full of her signature wit, heart, and charm. Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father shows up at her mother’s funeral with his new wife—Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy. Things start to look up when she learns of her inheritance—her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach. But when a suspicious death at an nearby exclusive resort exposes corruption that may involve her father, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Main Street Books.

Becky Kueker

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

After publishing a memoir on life after retirement, “Hiding in My Pajamas,” and launching a national speaking career traveling the country at 75, Becky Kueker thought she had it all. Then a complicated surgery requiring six months in a wheelchair turned her life in a new direction. After fighting fear, depression and the realization that she would once again have to start over, Becky shares her journey and highlights many of the inspiring people she met along the way. Every chapter of her new book "A Classic in Clown Shoes" is filled with poignant stories from women and men who have proven that aging does not have to define you and that laughter changes everything.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from the author.  

Melanie Benjamin

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

From the bestselling author of “The Aviator’s Wife” and “The Swans of Fifth Avenue,” “Mistress of the Ritz” is a love story for the ages. June 1940: When the German army sweeps into Paris, setting up headquarters at the iconic Hôtel Ritz, beautiful, reckless American Blanche Auzello, and her very proper French husband, Claude, must navigate a terrifying new reality. For the falsehoods they tell to survive, and to strike a blow against their Nazi “guests,” spin a web of deceit that ensnares everything and everyone they cherish. Based on true events, “Mistress of the Ritz” is an inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.

The event will be an onstage interview with Ashley Hasty, creator of the book review website HastyBookList.com.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.

Rebecca Makkai

Tuesday, June 04, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

One of the most critically acclaimed novels of 2018, “The Great Believers” is a dazzling novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss. In 1985, Yale Tishman’s career is flourishing while the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. After his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her estranged daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.

2019 Suspense Night

Thursday, June 06, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

One of the library’s most popular annual events, Suspense Night brings together popular mystery writers from across the country for an evening of readings and a panel discussion on the craft of suspense writing. The theme for the 2019 Suspense Night will be crime fiction for movies and television.

Reed Farrel Coleman
“What You Break”
“Robert B. Parker’s Colorblind”

Jeffery Deaver
“The Never Game”
“The Burial Hour”

Meg Gardiner
“Unsub”
“Into the Black Nowhere”

Greg Hurwitz
“Out of the Dark”
“Orphan X”

With Special Guest Appearance by actor, director and television producer Ken Olin.

Sponsored by Mystery Writers of America—Midwest Chapter

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books. 

Tan France – Ticketed Event

Saturday, June 08, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

From one of the stars of Netflix’s overnight sensation “Queer Eye,” Tan France’s memoir “Naturally Tan” has his signature wit, style, and radical compassion. In Tan’s own words, “The book is meant to spread joy, personal acceptance, and most of all understanding. Each of us is living our own private journey, and the more we know about each other, the healthier and happier the world will be.”

Brown Paper Tickets - Buy Tickets

PRESENTATION ONLY:

INDIVIDUAL TICKET $32 (Admits ONE and includes one pre-signed copy of “Naturally Tan”)

OR

PACKAGE TICKET $36 (Admits TWO and includes one pre-signed copy of “Naturally Tan”)

VIP MEET & GREET TICKET:

INDIVIDUAL TICKET: $45 (Admits ONE and includes one pre-signed copy of “Naturally Tan” plus a line number for a photo opportunity) ** LIMIT 300 People

Tickets go on sale April 17 and can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets or at Library Headquarters. Seating will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Call 314-994-3300 for more information.

The proceeds from this event will benefit the Library Foundation’s literacy programs.

A limited number of pre-sale tickets go on sale April 15 for Friends of the Foundation. Friends members will receive an email with purchasing instructions. Join the Friends at foundation.slcl.org

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.

Casey Cep

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a vigilante shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante's trial was Harper Lee, who returned to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own “In Cold Blood,” the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research 17 years earlier. Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.

Martin Walker

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Internationally bestselling suspense writer Martin Walker presents his latest mystery featuring Benoît “Bruno” Courrèges, the unconventional Chief of Police of a small French village. When Claudia, a young American, turns up dead in the courtyard of an ancient castle in Bruno’s jurisdiction, her death is assumed to be an accident related to opioid use. But her doctor persuades Bruno that things may not be so simple. Thus begins an investigation that leads Bruno to Monsieur de Bourdeille, the scholar with whom the girl had been studying. He is a renowned art historian who became extraordinarily wealthy through the sale of paintings that may have been falsely attributed—or so Claudia suggested shortly before her death.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.

Monte Reel

Monday, June 17, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Award-winning journalist Monte Reel presents a thrilling narrative of the top-secret Cold War-era spy plane operation that transformed the CIA. On May 1, 1960, an American U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union just weeks before a peace summit between the two nations. The CIA concocted a cover story for President Eisenhower to deliver, assuring him that no one could have survived a fall from that altitude. But against all odds, pilot Francis Gary Powers emerged from the wreckage and was seized by the KGB. He confessed to espionage charges, revealing to the world that Eisenhower had just lied to the American people—and to the Soviet Premier. In this true-life thriller, Reel reveals how the U-2 spy program, principally devised by four men working in secret, upended the Cold War.

Presented by the ‘Buzz’ Westfall Favorite Author Series.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.

Elliot Ackerman

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

From a decorated Marine war veteran, renowned war correspondent, and National Book Award-nominated novelist, Elliot Ackerman’s memoir “Places and Names” is an astonishing reckoning with the nature of combat and the human cost of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Ackerman weaves his personal stories of battle into the latticework of a larger reckoning with contemporary geopolitics. At once an intensely personal book about the terrible lure of combat and a brilliant meditation on the larger meaning of the past two decades of strife, “Places and Names” bids fair to take its place among our greatest books about modern war.

Presented by the ‘Buzz’ Westfall Favorite Author Series.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.

William J. Burns

Monday, June 24, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Over the course of more than three decades as an American diplomat, William J. Burns played a central role in the most consequential diplomatic episodes of his time—from the bloodless end of the Cold War to the collapse of post–Cold War relations with Putin’s Russia, from post–9/11 tumult in the Middle East to the secret nuclear talks with Iran. Drawing on a trove of newly declassified cables and memos, Burns gives readers a rare inside look at American diplomacy in action. “The Back Channel” is an eloquent, deeply informed, and timely story of a life spent in service of American interests abroad. It is also a powerful reminder, in a time of great turmoil, of the enduring importance of diplomacy.

Presented by the ‘Buzz’ Westfall Favorite Author Series.

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.

Tan France – Ticketed Event

Saturday, June 08, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Headquarters
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

From one of the stars of Netflix’s overnight sensation “Queer Eye,” Tan France’s memoir “Naturally Tan” has his signature wit, style, and radical compassion. In Tan’s own words, “The book is meant to spread joy, personal acceptance, and most of all understanding. Each of us is living our own private journey, and the more we know about each other, the healthier and happier the world will be.”

Brown Paper Tickets - Buy Tickets

PRESENTATION ONLY:

INDIVIDUAL TICKET $32 (Admits ONE and includes one pre-signed copy of “Naturally Tan”)

OR

PACKAGE TICKET $36 (Admits TWO and includes one pre-signed copy of “Naturally Tan”)

VIP MEET & GREET TICKET:

INDIVIDUAL TICKET: $45 (Admits ONE and includes one pre-signed copy of “Naturally Tan” plus a line number for a photo opportunity) ** LIMIT 300 People

Tickets go on sale April 17 and can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets or at Library Headquarters. Seating will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Call 314-994-3300 for more information.

The proceeds from this event will benefit the Library Foundation’s literacy programs.

A limited number of pre-sale tickets go on sale April 15 for Friends of the Foundation. Friends members will receive an email with purchasing instructions. Join the Friends at foundation.slcl.org

Books will be available for purchase at the event from Left Bank Books.