Maryville Talks Books

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Maryville Talks Books

Buy the BookPresented by Maryville University and Left Bank Books


Maryville Talks Books features lectures by noted authors. Admission is free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. Seating is first come, first served.

For more information, email Chris Hollenbeck or call 314.529.6854.

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Maryville Talks Books: Spring 2017 Lineup



Christina Baker Kline
A Piece of the World

Thursday, March 2 – 7 p.m.
Maryville University Auditorium

Admission is free, but reservations are required.

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best-known American paintings of the twentieth century. As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history.



Rick Ankiel

Rick Ankiel
The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch That Changed My Life

Wednesday, April 19 – 7 p.m.
Ethical Society of St. Louis

This is a ticketed event. Click here for tickets.

The former St. Louis Cardinal Rick Ankiel will sign and discuss his memoir, The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch That Changed My Life.

On Oct. 3, 2000, 21-year-old Rick Ankiel took the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. All was going well until Ankiel, lauded as the next Bob Gibson, threw a pitch that missed the mitt — wildly. Then he threw another. Then another. Slowly at first, then rapidly, his once-impenetrable psyche crumbled. He would forever look back on that day as the day the unwelcome, inexplicable Phenomenon arrived. In this book, Ankiel tells the story of his battle with an anxiety condition widely known as the Yips, the courageous soul-searching that followed, and his eventual triumph over the demons in his own mind to reenter the game.

“I couldn’t put this book down…it displays the power of the human spirit to overcome the odds.”
—Mike Matheny, The Matheny Manifesto



Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero
You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth!

Monday, April 24 – 7 p.m.
UMSL at Grand Center, Community Room

This is a ticketed event. Click here for tickets.

Discussion, Q&A and book signing

You Are a Badass at Making Money is a step-by-step guide to helping people overcome their blocks, push past their fears, and start making the kind of money they’ve never made before. Jen herself went from living in a converted garage to traveling the world in 5-star luxury in a matter of years, and knows all too well the layers of BS one can get wrapped up in around money, as well as what it takes to dig your way out. Written in the same style as her bestselling book You Are a Badass, You Are a Badass at Making Money combines entertaining essays with life-changing concepts. Jen boils all her wisdom down into manageable, bite-sized tips so her readers can put them into practice and get real results

Maryville Talks Books: Fall 2016 Lineup



Emma Donoghue
The Wonder

Tuesday, Oct. 11—7 p.m.
Maryville University Auditorium

Admission is free, but reservations are required.

In Emma Donoghue’s latest masterpiece, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle—a girl said to have survived without food for months—soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life. Tourists flock to the cabin of the eleven-year-old, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl. Written with all the propulsive tension that made Donoghue’s Room a bestseller.




Nick Offerman
Good, Clean Fun

Thursday, Oct. 20-7 p.m.
Sheet Metal Local 36 Union Hall

This is a ticketed event

Left Bank Books and Maryville Talks Books present actor, author, and woodworker Nick Offerman, who will sign and discuss his new book, Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Workshop.

After two New York Times bestsellers, Nick Offerman returns with the subject for which he’s known best—his incredible real-life woodshop. Nestled among the glitz and glitter of Tinseltown is a testament to American elbow grease and an honest-to-god hard day’s work: Offerman Woodshop. Captained by hirsute woodworker, actor, comedian, and writer Nick Offerman, the shop produces not only fine handcrafted furniture, but also fun stuff—kazoos, baseball bats, ukuleles, even mustache combs. Now Nick and his ragtag crew of champions want to share their experiences of working at the Woodshop, tell you all about their passion for the discipline of woodworking, and teach you how to make a handful of their most popular projects along the way.

Watch the video from HECTV


GruntMary Roach—Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War

Tuesday, Nov. 1—7 p.m.
Maryville University Auditorium

This is a ticketed event

Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier’s most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, flies, noise. Roach also visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. She discovers how diarrhea can be a threat to national security, and why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. Roach answers questions not found in any other book on the military: How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you’ll never see our nation’s defenders in the same way again.



freedom summerBruce Watson—Freedom Summer

Wednesday, Nov. 16—2 p.m.
Maryville University Auditorium

Held in conjunction with the Maryville Reads program

In 1964, 700 college students volunteered to spend summer in America’s poorest state, Mississippi. Less than seven percent of blacks there could vote. Black schools were separate and far from equal. Cops routinely beat Civil Rights marchers, and vigilante violence was rampant. Freedom Summer would change all that, but at a tremendous cost. Freedom Summer ultimately inspired the Voting Rights Act, and the volunteers went on to spearhead the anti-war movement, the women’s movement, and other protests of the 1960s.




Lucky BastardJoe Buck in Conversation with Jon Hamm
Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, and the Things I’m Not Allowed to Say on TV

Monday, Nov. 21—7 p.m.
Chaminade (Skip Viragh Center for the Arts)

This is a ticketed event (SOLD OUT)

Over the past two decades, Joe Buck has become an increasingly important figure in sportscasting, starting in 1994 when FOX began broadcasting NFL games. Since then, he has moved seamlessly between announcing for the NFL, MLB, and golf. Buck is the voice fans hear during the biggest games of the year—the World Series and the Super Bowl. Buck is still, and will always be, linked to his father Jack Buck, the undisputed and much beloved voice of the St. Louis Cardinals. For the first time he takes readers into the broadcast booth, and into his childhood home in this candid and humorous memoir.

Watch the video from HECTV


Author Visits

* Videos of these authors can be seen in the Emmy-nominated and award-winning HEC-TV series, Maryville Talks Books: One on One.

Maryville Talks Books is also available on iTunes.


Nathaniel Philbrick * 6.3.16
Curtis Sittenfeld 5.2.16
Kwame Alexander * 4.24.16
Krista Tippett * 4.8.16


Curtis Sittenfeld 5.2.16
Kwame Alexander * 4.24.16
Krista Tippett * 4.8.16
Robert Reich * 10.7.15
Geraldine Brooks 10.29.15
Sam Weller * 11.10.15


Judy Blume * 6.19.15
Erik Larson * 4.9.15
Blaine Harden * 3.31.15
George Hodgman 3.16.15
Julian E. Zelizer * 2.24.15
Andy Cohen * 11.25.14
Patricia Cornwell * 11.15.14
Reza Aslan * 9.18.14
Piper Kerman * 9.10.14


Mark Epstein, MD * 8.4.14
Jean Kwok * 6.27.14
Garrison Keillor 6.15.14
Daniel James Brown * 5.28.14
Austin Kleon * 4.24.14
Ishmael Beah 3.6.14
Dave Barry * 3.18.14
Lacks Family (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot) 11.23.13
Ann Patchett 11.14.13
Jared Diamond * 11.12.13
Sue Grafton * 9.18.13


Khaled Hosseini * 5.30.13
Michael Pollan * 5.9.13
Elizabeth Strout * 4.12.13
Daniel H. Pink * 3.6.13
Lisa Gardner * 2.10.13
David Von Drehle * 1.18.13
Jon Meacham * 12.5.12
Mark Bowden * 11.12.12
Chitra Divakaruni * 11.1.12
William H. Chafe 10.17.12
Eric Greitens * 10.16.12
Bill Donius * 9.12.12
Buzz Bissinger * 6.11.12
Douglas Brinkley 6.4.12


Frank Deford * 5.30.12
Senator Bill Bradley * 5.11.12
Vanessa Williams and Helen Williams 5.10.12
Alexander McCall Smith * 4.16.12
Lisa See * 3.12.12
Luis Urrea
* 1.17.12
Howard Markel * 11.18.11
Charlene Bry 10.18.11
Stacy Schiff * 9.16.11
Daniel H. Wilson * 6.13.11


Justin Cronin * 5.31.11
Sister Madonna Buder, ’52 * 5.26.11
Helen Simonson * 4.14.11
Wes Moore * 2.17.11
Michele Norris 11.17.10
Ron Chernow 10.28.10
Steven Johnson 10.15.10
Twesigye Jackson Kaguri 6.14.10


Anna Quindlen 5.6.10
Daniel Pink * 1.21.10
John Grogan 10.22.09
Ken Robinson 1.15.09