Author Series

The Neighbors Club and the Lansdowne Public Library are partnering to bring you book talks by local authors!

We’re planning seasonal series where we’ll host a new local author each month. Check out our schedule below! The events are on Wednesdays at 6:15 pm.

March 13, 2024: Albert Them

Al is the author of four books of stories, poems, and humor pieces and has written and directed original plays for the Lansdowne Arts Festival. His short plays Corpse and God and Tom appeared in Philadelphia and Delaware County theaters. Al’s favorite onstage roles include David Bliss in Hay Fever, opinionated matriarch Madame Pernelle in Tartuffe, and Justice Roger B. Taney and abolitionist Thomas Garrett in two episodes of Better Angels. He designed and wrote Scorekeeping for the Congressional Budget Office and taught mathematics at Neumann University. He is a director of the Lansdowne Allied Youth Council.

April 24, 2024: Ona Gritz

Ona Gritz‘s new memoir, Everywhere I Look, is about sisterhood, longing, true crime, and family secrets. Helen Fremont calls it “profound and beautifully written,” and Rachel Simon says, “This is a book that will take hold of your emotions — and, if you’re willing, change you.” Ona’s nonfiction has appeared in Brevity, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Utne Reader, and been named Notable in The Best American Essays. Her earlier books include a middle grade novel, August Or Forever, and Geode, a finalist for the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. Ona teaches creative writing to teenagers with disabilities.

Book Zone review:

May 22, 2024: Daniel Simpson

Daniel Simpson’s fourth book, Inside the Invisible, published by Nine Mile Books in November, 2022, won the inaugural Propel Poetry Prize and has been nominated for the American Academy of Poets Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. His work has been anthologized in About Us: Essays from the Disability Series of the New York Times, Welcome to the Resistance: Poetry as Protest, and Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, and has appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Cortland Review, and many other journals. He sings with the Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia and works as a technical support specialist for the Library of Congress’s braille and audio book download service for the print-impaired.

September 11, 2024: George Ambrose

George W. Ambrose is an environmental activist and author of two books, featured journal articles, and poems. He taught English and Environmental Science at Penn Wood HS (Teacher of the Year, 2017), is President of Friends of the Swedish Cabin and Director of Environmental Education at Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center. He has been nominated to Citizens Advisory Council of the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection.

September 25, 2024: Miriam Seidel

Miriam Seidel’s novel, The Speed of Clouds (New Door Books), explores the intersection of fandom and fantasy. As Mir Seidel, her short fiction and essays have appeared in Bourbon Penn, Into the Ruins, the New York Review of Science Fiction, and Calyx. She wrote the libretto for Violet Fire, an opera about Nikola Tesla that was performed in Belgrade, New York, and Philadelphia. She is on the board of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, and is an associate member of SFWA, the Science Fiction Writers Association. She blogs at

October 23, 2024: Ryan Berley

Ryan Berley had been an auction specialist and led a 20th Century Design Department before 2004, when he and his brother Eric opened The Franklin Fountain, a turn-of-the-century soda fountain ice cream parlor in Old City, and in 2011 purchased nearby Shane Confectionery, the oldest candy shop in America, where they hand-craft sweets in the old world tradition. They have been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, The New York Times, and Food & Wine. They have received preservation awards for their work, and Ryan has lectured on craftsmanship, history, base-ball and confectionery. Ryan is a board member of the Rose Valley Museum & Historical Society and the Curator of the Rose Valley Museum at Thunderbird Lodge, a 1904 masterwork of architect William L. Price. Ryan and his partner Lizzie Reed live in Lansdowne.

November 13, 2024: Christine M. Du Bois

Christine M. Du Bois is a former research director of the Johns Hopkins Project on Soybeans. She is a co-author and editor of The World of Soy (2008) and the author of The Story of Soy (2018). Christine will discuss the health effects of soy, genetic engineering, and environmental effects of soy agriculture. She and her husband Laurence Buxbaum reside in Lansdowne.