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Special Events

Part book club, part celebration: a novel approach to the literary salon.

We write because we were readers first—and our love of reading great literature is what sustains us through long, lonely hours at the writing desk.

But books don’t exist only in the solitude of our minds; they come alive in the conversations we have about them.

At Novel Nights, you’ll delve into the depths of books new and old in the company of fellow book-lovers and friends—all while supporting Hugo House. You can choose to rediscover childhood favorites, immerse yourself in the classics, dive into some of the best contemporary fiction and nonfiction out there, or attend multiple nights and do all three!

Each Novel Night is led by a special guest speaker—either the book’s author or a local educator who can provide special insight into the book.

Tickets go on sale October 3.

Event Details

Friday, Nov. 8  |  7–9 pm
T
he Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Hwæt! What twentieth century novel shows that all power corrupts, and yet creates characters who become our role models, our fascinations, and our friends as we follow them into the ultimate battle between good and evil?

Special Guest: Dr. Wendy Ellison

Details & Tickets


Saturday, Nov. 9  |  7–9 pm
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat celebrates the 1936 US men’s Olympic eight-oar rowing team—nine working-class boys who stormed the rowing world, transformed the sport, and galvanized the attention of millions of Americans.

Special Guest: Daniel James Brown

Details & Tickets


Friday, Nov. 15  |  7–9 pm
A Pilgrimage to Eternity
by Timothy Egan

In this brand-new memoir, Egan chronicles his travels along the Via Francigena, a 1,200-mile medieval route that runs from Canterbury to Rome, where he sought an audience with the pope.

Special Guest: Timothy Egan

Details & Tickets


Saturday, Nov. 16  |  3–5 pm
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
 by Roald Dahl

Explore the mysteries of Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory in this afternoon party focused on Roald Dahl’s classic novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—about a poor young boy who finds one of five golden tickets and gains entrance to a world beyond his imagination. This event takes place at Theo Chocolate and includes a tour of the facility.

Special Guest: Kevin Emerson

Details & Tickets


Saturday, Nov. 16  |  7–9 pm
Exhalation
by Ted Chiang

Ted Chiang writes what Joyce Carol Oates in the New Yorker called “literary-humanist science fiction.” In his acclaimed new story collection, Exhalation, Chiang takes on bioethics, alternate realities, free will and determinism, time travel, robots, AI, and much more.

Special Guest: Ted Chiang

Details & Tickets


Friday, Nov. 22  |  7–9 pm
Emma
by Jane Austen

In Emma, Austen believed she had created “a character whom no-one but [herself would] much like.” Was she wrong?

Special Guest: Dr. Wendy Ellison

Details & Tickets


Saturday, Nov. 23  |  3–5 pm
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

In the 1900 children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a tornado sweeps Dorothy Gale from a farm in Kansas to the magical land of Oz. Searching for a way back home, Dorothy, her three new friends, and her little dog Toto embark on a quest to find the Wizard.

Special Guest: Karen Finneyfrock

Details & Tickets


Saturday, Nov. 23  |  7–9 pm
Beloved by Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved is a singular masterpiece of the American canon that turns an unflinching gaze upon the legacy of trauma left behind by slavery and its compounding impact on American life across generations.

Special Guests: Donte and Tanisha Felder

Details & Tickets