Sanibel Library Announces 2024 Author Series

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

The Sanibel Public Library is thrilled to announce its 2024 Author Series lineup. For more than a decade, the library, partnering with the Sanibel Public Library Foundation, has connected local readers to award-winning authors by bringing in high caliber writers for an intimate evening, followed by a champagne reception. Past guests include Joyce Carol Oates, Sue Monk Kidd, Jodi Picoult, David Baldacci, Dennis Lehane, Amor Towles, Erik Larson, and Margaret Atwood.

Author Lauren Willig

This season’s Author Series begins with Lauren Willig. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 20 works of historical fiction, including Band of Sisters, The Summer Country, The English Wife, and Two Wars and a Wedding the RITA Award-winning Pink Carnation series, and four novels co-written with Beatriz Williams and Karen White. Their most recent bestseller, The Lost Summers of Newport was a “Good Morning America” pick. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly says of Lost Summers, “Three stories elegantly intertwine in this clever and stylish tale of murder and family lies from Williams, Willig, and White…This crackerjack novel offers three mysteries for the price of one.” Willig’s newest novel, Two Wars and a Wedding was published in March 2023. She will speak at the Sanibel Public Library on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024. Ticket requests for Willig’s evening event start at 9 a.m. on Monday,  Dec. 18.

The next speaker in the Library’s Author Series is Marie Benedict, who will speak at the library on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. Marie Benedict is a lawyer who embarked on a series of historical novels with 2016’s The Other Einstein, which tells the tale of Albert Einstein’s first wife, a physicist herself. The next novel in this series is Carnegie’s Maid and the book that followed is New York Times bestseller and Barnes & Noble Book Club Pick The Only Woman in The Room, the story of the brilliant inventor Hedy Lamarr.

Author Marie Benedict

In 2020, Lady Clementine, the story of the ambitious woman beside Winston Churchill, was released, and became an international bestseller. Her next novel, bestseller The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, was also published in 2020. The Personal Librarian, co-written with Victoria Christopher Murray, was about J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene. Benedict’s 2022, Her Hidden Genius is about British scientist Rosalind Franklin. Franklin discovered the structure of DNA but her research was used without her permission by Crick and Watson to win the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In January 2023, Benedict released The Mitford Affair, which explores the role that history’s most notorious sisters—the beautiful, brilliant, eccentric Mitfords—played in the rise of WWII, both for and against the Nazis.

The First Ladies is a novel about the extraordinary partnership between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune. Released in June 2023, she co-wrote it with Victoria Christopher Murray.

Ticket requests for Marie Benedict will be accepted online at for 24 hours, starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, January 8, 2024.

Author Nathaniel Philbrick

Author Nathaniel Philbrick will speak at Sanibel Public Library on Thursday, March 14, 2024. In 2000, Philbrick published the bestseller, In the Heart of the Sea, which won the National Book Award for nonfiction. The book was the basis of the 2015 movie of the same title directed by Ron Howard. Philbrick’s other books include Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution winner of the George Washington Prize; and Bunker Hill, winner of the New England Book Award.

His bestseller Mayflower was a finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, won the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction, and was named one the ten “Best Books of 2006” by the New York Times Book Review. In 2010, he published the bestseller The Last Stand, which was named a New York Times Notable book and a 2011 ALA Notable Book. In 2011 Philbrick’s Why Read Moby-Dick? was a finalist for the New England Society Book Award.

In 2018, Philbrick published bestseller, In the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown, a finalist for the George Washington Book prize and the winner of the Commodore John Barry Book Award for American Maritime Literature. His latest bestseller, Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy, was published in September 2021.

Philbrick’s writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. He has appeared on the Today Show, the Morning Show, Dateline, PBS’s American Experience, C-SPAN, and NPR. He and his wife Melissa live on Nantucket. Ticket requests will begin at 9 a.m. on Feb. 14, and will run for 24 hours.

Author Fiona Davis

Fiona Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of seven historical fiction novels set in iconic New York City buildings, including The Spectacular, The Magnolia Palace, The Address, and The Lions of Fifth Avenue, which was a Good Morning America book club pick. Her articles have appeared in publications like The Wall Street Journal and O the Oprah magazine. Prior to beginning her career as a novelist, Davis moved to NYC to pursue a career as an actress. While she first moved to New York to pursue acting, she enrolled as a student in the School of Journalism at Columbia University, and after graduating, she began her career as a novelist. She will speak at Sanibel Public Library on Tuesday, April 2. Fiona Davis ticket requests will start at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 4.

Major funding for the Author Series is provided by the Sanibel Public Library Foundation, Inc. and its generous donors.

The Sanibel Public Library will continue to utilize a “lottery system” ticketing procedure to meet high demand and to ensure as many as possible have the opportunity to attend an Author Series event. Requests for Author Series tickets may be made at the library’s website beginning on the dates listed (one month prior to each Author Evening). Names of those requesting tickets will be placed in a lottery and selected at random, and then be notified by email. Requests made before or after that time will not be honored. Tickets are distributed at no charge to Sanibel Public Library cardholders; one card per person; two tickets per card. Tickets must be requested online. If you are unable to access the online form or if you would like assistance using the online form, call or come into the SPL for assistance from staff.

Patrons need to have a current library card before requesting tickets. Library cards are available to Sanibel and Lee County residents at no charge. Visitor cards may be obtained for a $10 annual fee.

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