Top novelists Jennifer Egan, Gary Shteyngart, and Barbara Kingsolver are set to come through town on book talks this fall, as are big thinkers Doris Kearns Goodwin and Mary Schmidt Campbell and the popular columnist Mitch Albom.

Other bold-face names making the circuit with their books include Tom Hanks, Lisa Thomas-Laury, Vincent J. Fumo, John Kerry, Jeff Tweedy, and John Cena — plus a contingent from the Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen, now a novel.

Amy Myerson, The Bookshop of Yesterdays (Sept. 12, Philadelphia City Institute). The Philly-linked author's novel has drawn warm critical plaudits(215-567-4341,

Gary Shteyngart, Lake Success (Sept. 17, Free Library of Philadelphia). This comic master manages to be both a critical darling and a best seller.  (215-567-4341,

Lisa Thomas-Laury, On Camera and Off: When the News Is Good and When It’s Not  (Sept. 19,  Philadelphia City Institute). The popular longtime Philadelphia TV anchor discusses her memoir about doing the news — and facing news of her career-threatening physical syndrome. (215-567-4341,

An evening with Vincent J. Fumo and author Ralph Cipriano (Sept. 19, Fumo Family Library). The former member of the Pennsylvania Senate, in conversation with former Inquirer reporter Cipriano, whose book Target: The Senator; A Story About Power and Abuse of Power, details the U.S. government's epic Fumo takedown. (215-567-4341,

Keisha N. Blain, Set the World on Fire (Sept. 20, Penn Book Center). Between the Great Depression and the onset of the Cold War, black women were a driving force in the black nationalist movement. Blain's book brings this period to vivid life. (215-222-7600,

Simon & Schuster

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Leadership in Turbulent Times (National Constitution Center). At this time of turbulence, the distinguished historian and writer trains her sights on Lincoln, the two Roosevelts, and Lyndon Johnson. (215-409-6700,

Maxwell King, The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers (Sept. 24, Free Library of Philadelphia). It's the Year of Mr. Rogers. King's book is the first full-length bio of the children's TV pioneer. King shares the stage with David Newell, longtime Rogers sidekick who played Mr. McFeely on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.(215-567-4341,

Imani Perry, Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry (Sept. 25, Free Library of Philadelphia). The Princeton scholar explores the vibrant intellectual and political life of the author of A Raisin in the Sun.  (215-567-4341,

Chris Hedges, America: The Farewell Tour (Sept. 27, Free Library of Philadelphia). Is this country over? How things fell apart, and how the pieces might be put back together.  (215-567-4341,

Jennifer Egan, Manhattan Beach (Oct. 1, Kelly Writers House). It was one of the best novels of 2017; Egan is a Guggenheim-, NEA-, and Pulitzer-winner. (215-746-7636,

John Kerry, Every Day Is Extra (Oct. 5, Free Library of Philadelphia). The veteran, former U.S. senator, secretary of state, and presidential candidate. (215-567-4341,

Nelson Díaz, Not from Here, Not from There/No Soy de Aquí ni de Allá (Oct 9., Free Library of Philadelphia). His autobiography traces a great American arc: youth in a New York tenement, Temple Law School graduate, first Latino judge in Pennsylvania history, counselor to presidents. (215-567-4341,

John Cena, Elbow Grease (Oct. 12, Free Library of Philadelphia). Cena extends his brand with a new series of children's picture books, all about perseverance and confidence, starring a diminutive monster truck named Elbow Grease. (215-567-4341,

Ray Didinger, The Eagles Encyclopedia: Champions Edition (Oct. 13, Free Library of Philadelphia). Philadelphia's authoritative sports talker appears on a double bill with Mark Leibovich, author of Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times. (215-567-4341,

Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Val Emmich, Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel (Oct. 15, Free Library of Philadelphia). The Philly-born Pasek and his writing partner Paul helped define a Broadway era with their musical Dear Evan Hansen. Reversing how things often go, they and Emmich have made musical into novel. (215-567-4341,

Barbara Kingsolver, Unsheltered (Oct. 19, Free Library of Philadelphia). How to survive in a world gone crazy? In this novel set in Vineland, two American families separated in time grapple with that question. (215-567-4341,

Mitch Albom, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven (Oct. 22, Free Library of Philadelphia). Next Person is the sequel to the smash hit 2003 novel The Five People You Meet in Heaven. We find out what happened to Annie, the little girl who launched Eddie's journey to heaven. Albom explores how our lives and losses intersect. (215-567-4341,

Tom Hanks, Uncommon Type: Some Stories (Oct. 31, Irvine Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania). The Hollywood superstar collects typewriters, a hobby so strange it's cool. Uncommon Type collects his short stories featuring typewriters.  (215-567-4341,

Linda Pizzi, Maria Famà, and Albert Tacconelli, 21 Poems (Nov. 7, Fumo Family Library).  Pizzi is a poet, crafter, and assistant dean and instructor at Arcadia University in Glenside; Famà is a poet and teacher; Tacconelli is a poet and painter. (215-567-4341,

Jeff Tweedy, Let's Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir. (Nov. 15, Free Library of Philadelphia). Of all indie rockers, Tweedy is maybe the most interesting writer and interview, which shouldn't surprise fans of the groups he's led, including Uncle Tupelo and Wilco. (215-567-4341,

Kim Bridgford and Bill Wunder: two poets (Nov. 19, Fergie's Pub). She is a West Chester University professor and founder of Poetry by the Sea. He is the poetry editor of the Schuylkill Valley Journal. (

Elaine Pagels, Why Religion? A Personal Story (Nov. 29, Free Library of Philadelphia). Crushing personal loss prompted this eminent religious studies scholar at Princeton to explore the place of the religious impulse in our lives. (215-567-4341,

Mary Schmidt Campbell, author of “An American Odyssey”
Courtesy of Spelman College
Mary Schmidt Campbell, author of “An American Odyssey”

Mary Schmidt Campbell, An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden (Dec. 6, Free Library of Philadelphia). This Philly-born president of Spelman College in Atlanta recounts the singular American life of Bearden, a ground-breaking, much-honored collagist and painter. (215-567-4341,

Paul Offitt, Bad Advice and Pandora's Lab (Dec. 13, Open Books Bookstore, Elkins Park). The physician, researcher, and Penn professor on science and popular misconceptions. (267-627-4888,

Rebecca Traister, Good and Mad: How Women's Anger is Reshaping America (Dec. 15, Penn Book Center).  Traister says anger can be productive and society-shaping, especially when it's women who are ticked off. (215-222-7600,