Our Events

Our Events Fall 2020

The Library is open for limited services, and events continue online. Click on any event title for more details and to register where required.

All events are open to the public unless otherwise listed.

New events are added throughout the season. Join our mailing list to hear about it first (open to all).


Exhibition | Special Events | Performances | Lectures & Panels | Poetry | Seminars & Reading Groups | The Writing Life | Children's & Young Adult Events | Informal & Informational Gatherings


Exhibition

The Book Beautiful: Margaret Armstrong & Her Bindings

Margaret Armstrong was one of the most sought-after artists in an almost forgotten chapter in the history of book publishing—the golden age of the decorated book cover. Today Armstrong’s covers are once again prized by scholars, educators and collectors. This exhibition showcases some of Armstrong’s most exquisite covers, along with historic photographs and documents.

Lowell Thing, Cover Treasure: The Adventure of a Margaret Armstrong Collector
Thursday, October 1, 6:00 PM
online | $10 per person | registration required

The foremost expert on the book art of Margaret Armstrong talks about her life and career, with stunning images from his own comprehensive collection of her bindings.

Special Events

Live from Your Living Room, Fall 2020
Thursday, October 15, 6:00 PM
online | $10 per person | registration required

Library members read from their own short stories, novels, poetry, criticism, memoir, and plays.

Lectures & Panels

Jan Eliasberg, Hannah's War, and Ellen Feldman, Paris Never Leaves You
Wednesday, September 16, 6:00 PM
online | $10 per person | registration required

Two acclaimed novelists discuss their research and writing about the experiences of women in the Second World War and its aftermath. Alternating between wartime Paris and 1950s New York publishing, Ellen Feldman's Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary story of resilience, love, and impossible choices, exploring how survival never comes without a cost. A "mesmerizing" re-imagination of the final months of World War II (Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network), Jan Eliasberg's Hannah's War is an unforgettable love story about an exceptional woman and the dangerous power of her greatest discovery.

S.A. Cosby, Blacktop Wasteland
Tuesday. September 22, 6:00 PM
online | by donation | registration required

A husband, a father, a son, a business owner...And the best getaway driver east of the Mississippi. Like Ocean's Eleven meets Drive with a Southern noir twist, S. A. Cosby's Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime. Lee Child calls it "sensationally good - new, fresh, real, authentic, twisty, with characters and dilemmas that will break your heart. More than recommended."

Christopher Bonner, Runaways, or Citizens Claimed as Such
Tuesday, September 29, 6:00 PM
for Library members and membership library members | online | by donation | registration through the Athenaeum of Philadelphia required

In the decades before the Civil War, African Americans in the North lived in a tenuous freedom, denied political rights and threatened with kidnapping and enslavement. In this presentation, Remaking the Republic author Christopher Bonner explores individual and collective strategies African Americans used to defend their freedom and secure rights.

NEW! Meredith Talusan, Fairest: A Memoir
Thursday, October 22, 6:00 PM
online | $10 per person | registration required

A singular, beautifully written coming-of-age memoir of a Filipino boy with albinism whose story travels from an immigrant childhood to Harvard to a gender transition and illuminates the illusions of race, disability, and gender.
 

Seminars and Reading Groups

Seminar: Jane Mallison, Virgil's Aeneid, Books VII-XII
Thursdays September 24, October 8, October 22, November 5, 11:00 AM
for members only | online | $60 for the set of four sessions | registration required

Written at the request of the Roman Emperor Augustus, this 1st century BCE epic is much more than a piece of propaganda. We’ll complete the story in Robert Fagles’ fine translation.

Seminar: Nicholas Birns, An Outsized Reality: The Novels of Gabriel García Márquez
Wednesdays September 30, October 14, October 28, November 11, 11:00 AM
for members only | online | $60 for the set of four sessions | registration required

Gabriel García Márquez was the most influential writer in the Spanish language since Cervantes. This seminar takes a deep look at his three major works One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and Love in the Time of Cholera.

The Writing Life

Write What Life Feels Like Now with Esther Cohen
Thursdays September 24, October 8, October 22, November 5, November 19, December 3, December 17, 3:00 PM
online | by donation | registration required

It's an unusual year. There are so many words to say how we feel. Let's try together. Esther Cohen is a writer and poet in New York City. She also teaches and is a cultural activist. Most days she posts a poem at esthercohen.com.

25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way with Geraldine Woods
Wednesdays September 23, October 7, 6:00 PM
for members only | online | by donation | registration required

25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way unpacks powerful examples of “the smallest element differentiating one writer’s style from another’s, a literary universe in a grain of sand.” Join master teacher Geraldine Woods to take apart classic sentences, see how they tick, and apply their secrets to your own writing.

Prompt! with Terena Elizabeth Bell
Fridays October 9, November 13, December 11, 11:00 AM (separate sessions)
for members only | online | by donation | registration required

Join your fellow member writers for a fun and stimulating hour and a half of prompts, writing, and sharing.

Live from Your Living Room, Fall 2020
Thursday, October 15, 6:00 PM
online | $10 per person | registration required

Library members read from their own short stories, novels, poetry, criticism, memoir, and plays.

NEW! Writing with Tarot with A.E. Osworth
Wednesdays, November 11, November 18, December 2, 6:00 PM
online | for members only | by donation | registration required

Feeling stuck in your writing? Uninspired? Overwhelmed? Break out your tarot deck and use the 78 archetypes to shake out of your writing rut and surprise even yourself.

Children's Events

Picture Perfect
Wednesday, October 14, 4:00 PM
Zoom | recommended for grades K and up

Let's meet on Zoom at the time above for a face-to-face storytime. This school year, our elementary age monthly program will explore the illustration techniques in award-winning books.

Storytime Live!
varying dates
Zoom | for all ages | no registration required

Join us on Zoom for a live face-to-face storytime.

Storytime Online
varying dates
YouTube | for all ages | no registration required

SEE THE FULL CHILDREN'S CALENDAR HERE.

Informal and Informational Gatherings

Member Orientation Videos

Videos introducing the Library's collections, services, and online resources are now available on the website.

Digital Teatime
Every Friday until further notice, 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM
for members only | online | by donation | drop in

Grab your favorite cup and your current read and spend a little time in social sipping and book-friendly chat with your fellow members. Teatime will not take place on November 27.


The Book Beautiful is generously supported by The H.W. Wilson Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The Thomas E. Dewey Fund and The Felicia Fund.

The Writing Life events in 2020 are generously underwritten by Jenny Lawrence.

Children's events are generously supported by the Richard Peck Fund.


(Sidebar image: author Jamaica Kincaid is interviewed by Marialuisa Monda in our July webinar.)