United for Libraries Ticketed Events at ALA Annual 2023

Discussion Groups   |  The Laugh's On Us  |  Gala Author Tea


Discussion Groups

icon to indicate this is a ticketed eventCookies & Conversation for Trustees, Friends, and Foundations
Friday, June 23, 2023  |  1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Ticketed Event - Event Code: UNITED1
Location: McCormick Place, W184bc

Library Trustees/board members, Friends of the Library, and library Foundation staff/board members are invited to participate in idea-sharing, networking, and roundtable discussions. Learn about fundraising, advocacy, board development, membership, and much more from colleagues across the country.

If you are currently registered for the ALA Annual Conference, you can add Cookies & Conversations to your registration by clicking on the "Registration Dashboard" link in your registration confirmation email. If you don't have your registration confirmation handy, you can request a copy by emailing  alaregistration@csreg.zohodesk.com.


Author Events

icon to indicate this is a ticketed eventThe Laugh's On Us sponsored by Ingram Content Group
Saturday, June 24, 2023  |  5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Ticketed Event - Event Code: UNITED2
Location: Hyatt Regency McCormick, Jackson Park ABCD

Laugh out loud at this wine-and-cheese event featuring several humor writers/comedians. Hosted by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (THE FIRST HELPING - LUNCH LADY BOOKS 1 & 2). Also featuring authors Eden Robins (WHEN FRANNY STANDS UP), Jamie Loftus (RAW DOG: THE NAKED TRUTH ABOUT HOT DOGS), and Lillian Stone (EVERYBODY'S FAVORITE). A book signing will follow, with free books/advance copies for attendees (subject to availability).

If you are currently registered for the ALA Annual Conference, you can add Cookies & Conversations to your registration by clicking on the "Registration Dashboard" link in your registration confirmation email. If you don't have your registration confirmation handy, you can request a copy by emailing  alaregistration@csreg.zohodesk.com.

"Hector, Terrence, and Dee have always wondered about their school lunch lady. What does she do when she isn’t dishing out the daily special? Where does she live? Does she have a lot of cats at home? Little do they know, Lunch Lady doesn’t just serve sloppy joes–she serves justice! Whatever danger lies ahead, it’s no match for LUNCH LADY in these two exciting adventures packed into one Odyssey Honor-winning audiobook. Get ready for the return of this exciting series, by the author of Hey, Kiddo.--via Penguin Random House

Jarrett J. Krosoczka is a National Book Award finalist and the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator behind picture books like Punk Farm, Peanut Butter and Jellyfish, and Baghead, as well as the popular Lunch Lady graphic novel series. Krosoczka is also an Odyssey award-winning audiobook producer, director, and narrator.

"Aida Rodriguez has, to put it mildly, lived a whirlwind life. Her rags-to-riches story is mind-blowing: She was kidnapped as a child by her mother in the Dominican Republic and brought to the US. She was later kidnapped again by her grandmother and uncle, and moved from New York to Florida. As an adult, she ended a difficult marriage and endured homelessness with her children in Los Angeles. But through it all she never lost her sense of humor.

In her highly anticipated first book, Aida charts her many ups and downs, from personal setbacks to career highs to everything in between. In a voice that is part Trevor Noah, part Gabrielle Union, yet uniquely Aida, this memoir is endearing, shocking, and ultimately life-affirming." --via HarperCollins

Aida Rodriguez is a stand-up comedian whose HBO Max special, Fighting Words, was a critical hit and earned her an extensive profile in the New York Times. A finalist in the Top Ten of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, she is currently developing a series for HBO Max. She divides her time between Florida and the Dominican Republic.

"While men were fighting WWII, comedy clubs opened their doors to female comedians and female-only audiences. At Chicago’s Blue Moon, something truly magical was invented: the Showstopper.

A Showstopper is the magic sparked when an audience laughs so hard they are momentarily transformed. Every comedian’s Showstopper is different: one makes you feel like you can fly, another makes you feel like a Hollywood starlet. Showstoppers are shrouded in mystery, passed along by word of mouth, and only work on women. Franny Steinberg experiences her first Showstopper in 1944, after sneaking into a famous Black comedian's show. Seven years later, after making a scene at her friend’s wedding, Franny runs away in a torn bridesmaid dress and ends up on stage. But when Franny finally conjures a Showstopper, there’s a huge problem: it only works on men.

Specifically, Franny’s Showstopper heals men’s pain. Franny decides she must cure her brother, now a veteran struggling with PTSD, with her comedy. But first she’ll need to summon the courage to find humor in her darkest traumas." --via Sourcebooks

Eden Robins loves novels best, but they take forever so she also writes short stories and self-absorbed essays. She co-hosts a science podcast called No Such Thing As Boring with an actual scientist, and produces a monthly live lit show in Chicago called Tuesday Funk. She lives in Chicago, Illinois, has been to the bottom of the ocean, and will never go to space. This is her first novel.

"Raw Dog: The Naked Truth About Hot Dogs is part investigation into the cultural and culinary significance of hot dogs and part travelog documenting a cross-country road trip researching them as they’re served today. From avocado and spice in the West to ass-shattering chili in the East to an entire salad on a slice of meat in Chicago, Loftus, her pets, and her ex eat their way across the country during the strange summer of 2021. It’s a brief window into the year between waves of a plague that the American government has the resources to temper, but not the interest." --via Macmillan

Jamie Loftus is a comedian, Emmy-nominated TV writer, and podcaster. She’s worked as a staff writer on Teenage EuthanasiaRobot Chicken, and Star Trek: Lower Decks, and wrote and starred in her own web series for Comedy Central. She writes and hosts popular limited-run podcasts—“My Year In Mensa” (2019), “Lolita Podcast” (2020), “Aack Cast” (2021), and “Ghost Church” (2022)—and cohosts, with screenwriter Caitlin Durante, a podcast on the How Stuff Works Network called “the Bechdel Cast.” She has her baby teeth bronzed and loaded into a slingshot.

"Lilian Stone—childhood evangelical, AOL girlfriend, and professional nail biter is always living on the edge of anxiety. From the pitfalls of a girl plagued by religious trauma, the incomprehensible yet unforgiving need for perfection, and a twenty-pound beagle she never meant to keep, Everybody’s Favorite is a refreshing story of what it means to pick yourself when the world is telling you otherwise. Still navigating the ins and outs of adulthood, accompanied by an obsessive-compulsive disorder that’s become an exercise in self-acceptance and thus compassion, Lillian has become an expert in fighting the urge to be someone else’s idea of perfect. In this laugh-out-loud essay collection, replete with cringe-inducing touchstones of an early-aughts girlhood, Lillian Stone recounts her quest to be everybody’s favorite." --via HarperCollins

Lillian Stone is a humor writer, journalist, and regular contributor to The New Yorker, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Slate, and others. A leader in the online humor and satire space, she was named one of Paste magazine’s 15 Best Humorists Writing Today. She lives in Chicago.


Icon to indicate this is a ticketed eventGala Author Tea sponsored by Data Axle Reference Solutions
Monday, June 26, 2023  |  2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Ticketed Event - Event Code: UNITED3
Location: Hyatt Regency McCormick, Grant Park ABCD

Enjoy tea and treats while hearing from bestselling writers Ayana Mathis (THE UNSETTLED), Melanie Benjamin (CALIFORNIA GOLDEN), Anise Vance (HUSH HARBOR), Lindsay Hunter (HOT SPRINGS DRIVE), Denene Millner (ONE BLOOD), and Kim van Alkemade (COUNTING LOST STARS) about their forthcoming titles. Attendees will receive advance copies and have the opportunity to have them signed by authors (subject to availability). Barbara Hoffert, editor of Library Journal's Prepub Alert, will moderate.

If you are currently registered for the ALA Annual Conference, you can add Cookies & Conversations to your registration by clicking on the "Registration Dashboard" link in your registration confirmation email. If you don't have your registration confirmation handy, you can request a copy by emailing  alaregistration@csreg.zohodesk.com.

"From the moment Ava Carson and her ten-year-old son, Toussaint, arrive at the Glenn Avenue family shelter in Philadelphia 1985, Ava is already plotting a way out. [...] She is determined to rescue her son from the perils and indignities of that place, and to save herself from the complicated past that led them there. Ava has been estranged from her own mother, Dutchess, since she left her Alabama home as a young woman barely out of her teens.

Despite their estrangement and the thousand miles between them, mother and daughter are deeply entwined, but Ava can’t forgive her sharp-tounged, larger than life mother whose intractability and bouts of debilitating despair brought young Ava to the outer reaches of neglect and hunger. Ava wants to love her son differently, better. But when Toussaint’s father, Cass, reappears, she is swept off course by his charisma, and the intoxicating power of his radical vision to destroy systems of racial injustice and bring about a bold new way of communal living." --via Penguin Random House 

Ayana Mathis’s first novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, was a New York Times best seller, an NPR Best Book of 2013, the second selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. and has been translated into sixteen languages. Her nonfiction has been published in the The New York Times, The Atlantic, Guernica, and RollingStone. Mathis is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop. She was born in Philadelphia, and currently lives in New York City where she teaches writing in Hunter College’s MFA Program.

"The Donnelly sisters grow up enduring their mother’s absence—physically, when she’s at the beach, and emotionally, the rare times she’s at home. To escape questions about Carol’s whereabouts—and to chase her elusive affection—they cut school to spend their days in the surf. From her first time on a board, Mindy is a natural, but Ginger, two years younger, feels out of place in the water.

A gripping, emotional story set at a time when mothers were expected to be Donna Reed, not Gidget, California Golden is an unforgettable novel about three women living in a society that was shifting as tempestuously as the breaking waves." --via Penguin Random House

Melanie Benjamin is the New York Times bestselling author of The Children’s BlizzardMistress of the Ritz, The Girls in the Picture, The Swans of Fifth Avenue, The Aviator’s Wife, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, and Alice I Have Been. Benjamin lives in Chicago, Illinois, where she is at work on her next historical novel.

"After the murder of an unarmed Black teenager by the hands of the police, protests spread like wildfire in Bliss City, New Jersey. A full-scale resistance group takes control of an abandoned housing project and decide to call it Hush Harbor, in homage to the secret spaces their enslaved ancestors would gather to pray.

Jeremiah Prince, alongside his sister Nova, are leaders of the revolution, but have ideological differences regarding how the movement should proceed. When a new mayor with ties to white supremacists threatens the group’s pseudo-sanctuary and locks the city down, the collective must come to a decision for their very survival."
--via HarperCollins

Anise Vance is a writer from the African and Iranian diasporas. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University-Camden. As a Mitchell Scholar, he received an MPhil in Geography from Queen's University Belfast. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and currently lives in North Carolina with his wife and two children.

"Jackie loved her best friend Theresa from the moment they met nearly fifteen years ago. Now, Theresa is dead and everyone knows who killed her. Jackie Newsome wants to be many things, but a martyr has never been one of them. She is an ex-emotional eater and mother of four, who has finally lost the weight she long yearned to be free of. In her new, sharp-edged body, leaving her old self behind proves harder than she ever imagined. And while she believes she should be happier, a new hunger chases her, and motherhood threatens to subsume what little is left of her.

She finds comfort in her best friend Theresa, whose seemingly perfect life she desperately covets. The two navigate the trials of motherhood side by side – Theresa with her quiet, cherubic daughter, and Jacquelyn with her rambunctious, unruly boys. Their bond is tight, but it is not enough to keep Jacquelyn, finally moving through the world in the body she has always wanted, from stealing a bit of Theresa’s perfect life by having an increasingly torrid affair with Theresa’s husband, Adam.

Hot Springs Drive is a dark, heart-pounding exploration of one woman’s deepest desires, and the lives she will destroy to satisfy them." --via Grove Atlantic

Lindsay Hunter received her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author of two story collections and three novels. Her story collection Don’t Kiss Me was named one of Amazon’s 10 Best Books of the Year: Short Stories. Her novel Eat Only When You’re Hungry was a Book of the Month Club selection, a finalist for the Chicago Review of Books Fiction Award, and an NPR Great Read. She lives in Chicago with her family.

"Thrust into the world of the Black and socially ambitious, Grace finds herself trapped in a society of stifling respectability, fancy teas, and coveted debutante balls. Feeling like a fish out of water, Grace’s only place of sweet comfort is with the smart, handsome son of one of the society’s grand dames. However, when Dale gets caught up in a racial police killing and Grace ends up pregnant, she is quickly hidden away and he is promptly shipped off to college. Then in the ultimate act of betrayal, Grace is deceived by Hattie, and her brand new baby girl is given up for adoption.

Beautiful, intelligent and fierce, Delores a.k.a. Lolo has never had it easy. Her life has been riddled with pain and loss. Once she makes it up north, she puts aside her dream of being a model to do what she has to do to survive as a woman with little money and no mooring: get married and have a family of her own. And she will tell lies and keep secrets to obtain it.

When Lolo’s headstrong daughter, Rae discovers that she is adopted, it is just one secret among others that her family is keeping. When Rae finds out that she is about to become a mother herself, she knows that there is an important reckoning that must be faced about herself and her two mothers.

Potent, poetic, powerful, told with deep love, and spanning from the Great Migration to the civil unrest of the 1960s to the quest for women’s equality in early 2000s, Denene Millner’s beautifully wrought novel explores three women’s intimate struggle with generational trauma and healing." --via Macmillan 

Denene Millner is a six-time New York Times bestselling author, Emmy Award–nominated TV show host and award-winning journalist who has written thirty-one books, among them Taraji P. Henson’s Around the Way Girl and the picture book Early Sunday Morning. Millner is also the editorial director of Denene Millner Books, an award-winning imprint that has published two Caldecott Honor books, a Newbery Honor Book, the Kirkus Prize for Children’s Literature and a Southern Book Award. A MacDowell Fellow, Millner has written essays for the New York Times, Glamour and NPR, which hosted her critically-acclaimed podcast, “Speakeasy with Denene.” Millner is a graduate of Hofstra University. 

"1960, New York City: College student Rita Klein is a pioneering woman in the new field of computer programming—until she unexpectedly becomes pregnant. Rita is struggling to get on with her life when she meets Jacob Nassy, a charming yet troubled man from the Netherlands who is traumatized by his childhood experience of being separated from his mother during the Holocaust. When Rita learns that Hitler’s Final Solution was organized using Hollerith punch-card computers, she sets out to find the answers that will help Jacob heal.

1941, The Hague: Cornelia Vogel is working as a punch-card operator at the Ministry of Information when a census of Holland’s population is ordered by the Germans. She seeks help from her fascinating Jewish neighbor, Leah Blom, an unconventional young woman whose mother was born in New York. When Cornelia learns the census is being used to persecute Holland’s Jews, she risks everything to help Leah escape.

After Rita uncovers a connection between Cornelia Vogel and Jacob’s mother, long-buried secrets come to light. Will shocking revelations tear them apart, or will learning the truth about the past enable Rita and Jacob to face the future together?" --via HarperCollins

Kim van Alkemade is the New York Times bestselling author of the historical novels Orphan #8 and Bachelor Girl. Born in Manhattan, she grew up in New Jersey and went to college in Wisconsin, where she earned a Ph.D. in English. For many years, she was a professor at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. Now a full-time writer, she resides in Saratoga Springs, New York, with her partner, their two rescue dogs, and three feisty backyard chickens.