Category Archives: Book Column

Mississippi Book Festival

The first ever Mississippi Book Festival will be held August 22, 2015, on the state capitol grounds in Jackson, MS. It’s been in the works since 2013 and the first-year line up of authors and events shows they’ve been hard at work.

John Grisham will headline the book festival featuring around 75 authors plus panels sessions. I think there will be a children’s area as well as musical performances.

Check out the Mississippi Book Festival schedule, some of the panels and session titles make it sound like it’s going to be a great time. They’re also updating their facebook page more regularly than their site.


According to Google Maps the book festival is about 330 miles from Birmingham which means  almost 4 hours in the car. Not sure I can swing this one. But it’s great that the Mississippi Book Festival is beginning its story this August.

To Kill a Mockingbird Party at Alabama Theater

Tomorrow, Sunday June 21, 2015, the streets around Birmingham’s Alabama Theater will be hopping with Harper Lee fans. Books-A-Million is hosting a showing of the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. in the Alabama Theater. Outside the showing, a street party will be going on with treats from Yogurt Mountain, southside mexican restaurant Cantina (fish burger, FTW!) and Mr. Harry’s De-Lux chicken.

Tickets are $8 and are available through Ticket Master or at the door. The movies starts at 2 p.m., but the organ will get cranked up at 1:30 p.m., if you’ve never heard it.


The local band Steel City Jug Slammers will also be there performing.

And, of course, I am sure there will be copies of To Kill a Mockingbird, other books about Harper Lee and TKAM plus a table taking pre-orders for Go Set a Watchman. What bookstore would pass up an opportunity like this to sell books?

Are you going to the street party this Sunday in Birmingham, AL?

iPad Case for a Book Geek

Here is a pretty stylish book-inspired iPad case for the book lover in your life. Actually the 12 South Travel Journal is more like a briefcase for your iPad that looks like a book:


This case retails for $99 and you can buy it from the 12 South site. The cover is pretty darn swanky looking and just like any good leather bound book, you can really only start to appreciate the whole story once you’ve opened it.


Lots of pockets, sleeves, bands, cable holders, slots, zippers, pouches and organization going on it here. I have no idea what that object is going down the spine on the inside. Maybe a tripod of some kind? But it’s a missed opportunity if it’s not an easel for propping up a book (or an iPad, I guess, if you have to).

And according to the specs it will house any iPad or iPad mini. I’ve yet to get to a place in life where I tote the iPad around outside of work. But this iPad case kind of makes me want to.


Four New Films Based on Books

The recent release of The Martian movie trailer, based on Weir’s book of the same title, got me thinking – what other books I liked have upcoming movies?

So I searched around and dug up info on these four films. Let me bracket all of this by saying – I do not know squat about Hollywood. I have a vague understanding what “optioned” means and what having a producer attached to film vs. a director with no actors indicates about just how far along a film is in the process. So some of these may never see the light of day. But the interest is good.

And it seems to me that you’d want to crank out a quality film while the book it’s based on is still highly ranked in the public’s collective hippocampus. But again – I don’t know Hollywood. What I do know is a good book when I read it, so if these films based on books do happen and they’re as good as the book they’re based on, then it may be worth an $80 movie pass (or whatever movies cost these days).

Into-Thin-Air_coverInto Thin Air by Jon Krakauer – this is the second time Krakauer’s true story about climbing Mount Everest has been made into a film. The title of this film is simply Everest and stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley and Josh Brolin. Looks like everything is on track for a September 18th release date.



Ready_Player_One_coverReady Player One by Ernest Cline – Steven Spielberg has signed on to direct this one. I can absolutely see this book working as a film. Everything from the real-world vertical trailer parks to the special effects needed for the game sequences would be great on the big screen. It’s still in the writing stage it looks like, so no word on a release date.


The_Girl_With_All_The_Gifts_coverThe Girl With All the Gifts by Mike Carey – the title has been changed to She Who Brings Gifts and parts of it started being filmed last month. The story paints a bleak future where humanity has been almost wiped out by fungus/plant infections. Glen Close and Gemma Arterton are acting in this one. Looks like it’s slated for 2016.



goldfinch-donna-tartt_CoverThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – last year’s Pulitzer Prize winner has been optioned and has a producer. The screenplay is being drafted by the same guy who did Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, to give you an idea of how they’re thinking about this film. There is no release date or start date for this movie yet.



But of course we all know, no matter how good any 90 minute film is…