Louisville Free Public Library’s 2024 Authors Series features bestsellers, NPR alums, a debut author… and Barbie!

February 08, 2024
Louisville Free Public Library 2024 Author Series


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (February 8, 2024) – Starting in February, Louisville Free Public Library is bringing six nationally renowned authors to the Main Library this season. The lineup features new fiction from two New York Times bestsellers, along with nonfiction from four award-winning journalists on topics as varied as race relations in America, the secret history of Barbie, the industry behind climbing Mt. Everest, and business advice for women.  


Carmichael's Bookstore presents award-winning journalist and author Michele Norris in conversation with Charles Booker
Friday, February 16, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) • Main Library

Peabody Award-winning journalist Michele Norris will discuss her new book Our Hidden Conversations: What Americans Really Think About Race and Identity in conversation with community leader Charles Booker. Former longtime co-host of NPR’s All Things Considered, Michele Norris is the founding director of The Race Card Project, a narrative archive that asks people around the world to share their reflections on identity—in just six words. In the twelve years since Norris first posed that question, over half a million people have submitted their stories. In this powerful book, she compiles those reflections and offers an honest, if sometimes uncomfortable, conversation about race and identity, permitting us to eavesdrop on deep-seated thoughts, private discussions, and long submerged memories.

Sponsored by 89.3 WFPL - Louisville Public Media


Carmichael's Bookstore presents New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Makkai in conversation with Katy Yocom
Monday, February 26, 7 p.m. • Main Library

Award-winning author Rebecca Makkai will be joined onstage by Louisville writer Katy Yocom for a discussion of her New York Times bestselling mystery novel I Have Some Questions for You. Named a best book of 2023 by People, USA Today, and Real Simple, Makkai’s latest literary mystery follows the story of a podcaster who revisits the role she played in a flawed investigation from her past. A 2022 Guggenheim Fellow, Rebecca Makkai teaches at Northwestern University, and is the Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago. Her 2018 book The Great Believers was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and was named one of the Ten Best Books of the year by the New York Times.


The Craig Buthod Author Series presents NPR correspondent Stacey Vanek Smith
Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m. • Main Library

From the NPR host of The Indicator and correspondent for Planet Money, Stacey Vanek Smith, Machiavelli for Women is a modern guide to how women can apply the principles of 16th-century philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli and Renaissance politics to their work lives to finally shatter the glass ceiling. With charm and wit, Smith uses Machiavelli’s book The Prince as a guide to demonstrate how women can unapologetically take and maintain power in careers where they have long been cast as second-best.

Sponsored by 89.3 WFPL - Louisville Public Media


Cultural critic, investigative journalist, and first-generation Barbie owner M.G. Lord
Friday, April 12, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) • Main Library

Professor M.G. Lord’s book Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll, uncovers the surprising story behind Barbie's smash success. In telling Barbie’s fascinating story, cultural critic and investigative journalist M.G. Lord—herself a first-generation Barbie owner—has written a provocative, zany, occasionally shocking book that will change how you look at the doll and the world. Lord is a professor at the University of Southern California and co-host of the podcast L.A. Made: The Barbie Tapes. She is also author of the family memoir Astro Turf, a cultural history of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the basis for L.A. Made: Blood, Sweat and Rockets, her 12-part podcast.  

Presented by University of Louisville Liberal Studies Visiting Scholars


The Craig Buthod Author Series presents award-winning writer and journalist
Will Cockrell in conversation with Dr. Tori Murden McClure
Tuesday, April 23, 7 p.m. • Main Library

Will Cockrell has spent more than twenty years as a senior editor, writer, and consultant for national magazines including Men’s Journal, Outside, Men’s Fitness, and GQ. A former outdoor guide, Cockrell has covered Everest throughout his career. His debut book, Everest, Inc., is a vivid and authoritative adventure history chronicling one of the least likely industries on Earth. Featuring original interviews with mountain guides and climbers, Everest, Inc. tells the story of the entrepreneurs who paired raw courage and naked ambition with a new style of expedition planning. Many of them are still living and climbing today, and ninety percent of the people now on Everest are clients or employees of guided expeditions.  Cockrell will be in conversation with adventurer, author, educator and Louisville legend Dr. Tori Murden McClure.


The Craig Buthod Author Series presents New York Times bestseller Craig Johnson
Thursday, May 16, 7 p.m. • Main Library

LFPL welcomes back Craig Johnson, bestselling author of the Walt Longmire mystery novel series, which is the basis for the hit Netflix original drama Longmire. Johnson comes to Louisville from his home in Ucross, Wyoming, population 26. The Longmire Defense, the 19th title in the series, finds Walt Longmire struggling with his family history in Bighorn Mountains when he uncovers a cold case that hits very close to home and forces him to put his life on the line.


Book signings follow all author talks, with books available for purchase from Carmichael’s Bookstore. All Authors Series events are FREE, but registration is requested at www.LFPL.org/Authors or by calling (502) 574-1644.

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