Author Events Return Live and In-Person to Montgomery Auditorium This November!

By Author Events RSS Fri, October 29, 2021

Annnnnnnd we’re back! On Monday, November 1, the Free Library’s Author Events series will host its first in-person event in more than 19 months.

For now, there are only a handful of in-person author talks on our schedule, leaving the majority of our 2021 events remaining virtual. Nevertheless, we’re still excited to see colleagues, library staff, and especially YOU again!

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our in-person events will look a bit different than in the past, so here’s a rundown of everything you need to know when attending an Author Event.

  • Masks up! All patrons, volunteers, and staff are required to wear masks at all times while in the Free Library.
  • As before, our in-person talks will take place in Parkway Central Library’s Montgomery Auditorium, but attendees will be required to safely distance themselves from others by only sitting in clearly marked seating area. This means that our auditorium, which usually holds around 400 people, will hold less than half of that number. So register early for our events, as tickets will go twice as fast as in the past! If you aren’t able to obtain in-house simulcast tickets, or would rather stay home, you can still watch the livestream of our events on our YouTube channel.
  • One of our attendees’ favorite aspects about Author Events are the book signings that take place afterward. Safety guidelines will apply to this activity as well, including hand-sanitizing stations and adherence to social distancing while standing in line for meet-and-greets with authors. These signings will be on a case-by-case basis, so please check the Author Events page for specifics.
  • Pre-registration is required for all in-person events.

Visit the Free Library’s Coronavirus information page for a comprehensive list of institution-wide guidelines.

And now with further ado, here’s our list of upcoming in-person events:

Monday, November 1 | 7:30 p.m.

George F. Will | American Happiness and Discontents: The Unruly Torrent, 2008–2020

Renowned for his "ability to combine high thinking with a shrewd capacity to understand day-to-day American politics," (The Economist) Pulitzer Prize winner George Will has written a nationally syndicated column at The Washington Post for the past 45 years. His many books include The Conservative Sensibility, Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball, and One Man's America: The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation. Will is the winner of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, two Silurian Awards for editorial writing, and the Order of Lincoln award from his home state of Illinois. In American Happiness and Discontents, Will addresses such varied topics as American socialists, anti-capitalist conservatives, drug policy, the criminal justice system, climatology, the Coronavirus pandemic, the First Amendment, the composition of the federal judiciary, the morality of watching football, and so much more.

Friday, November 12 | 7:30 p.m.

Robert Costa | Peril
In conversation with Michael Smerconish

A national political reporter at The Washington Post, Bucks County's own Robert Costa has earned a wide readership and praise from fellow journalists for his deeply sourced and well-founded reporting. He previously wrote for The National Review, was the moderator and managing editor for PBS’s Washington Week, and served as a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. Co-authored with investigative journalist and bestselling writer Bob Woodward, Peril utilizes hundreds of interviews and thousands of documents to delve into the difficult transfer of power from the Trump administration to the Biden presidency and the resulting crisis for U.S. democracy.

Michael A. Smerconish is the host of The Michael Smerconish Program on SiriusXM POTUS Channel 124, the host of CNN’s Smerconish on Saturday mornings, a Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer columnist, and a New York Times bestselling author.

Wednesday, November 17 | 7:30 p.m.

Nikole Hannah-Jones | The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition, and Dr. Anthea Butler, Geraldine R. Segal Professor in American Social Thought and Chair of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Nikole Hannah-Jones won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for her work on The 1619 Project, a continuing initiative started by New York Times Magazine to reexamine United States history through the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans. The co-founder of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, Hannah-Jones has earned, among many other honors, a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards, three National Magazine Awards, and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. She recently was named the Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at Howard University. Interweaving 18 essays with 36 works of fiction and nonfiction by a group of writers of diverse backgrounds, skills, and experiences, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story is a greatly expanded exploration of the continuing legacy of slavery in our cultural, political, and legal institutions.

This is just a sample of the great conversations we have coming up. Visit for our full schedule!

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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Susan - Phila center city
Friday, November 5, 2021