Book Event: Paul Beatty in Tuscaloosa

Paul Beatty, Booker Prize winner and author of The Sellout, is speaking and signing books tonight at the Dinah Washington Cultural Art Center. The event runs 7pm-8pm. This is one local author appearance I wish I’d known about earlier. Beatty is here as the final guest speaker in The University of Alabama’s Creative Writing Program Visiting Writer Series.

Paul Beatty book The Sellout

While it’s tough to get away on weekday nights, this is one author appearance that is worth the drive.

Things to Read – Edition 0001

Here are three Things to Read online… and here is some background to my thinking… Since the fall of Twitter I have struggled to find a place to share links and online articles that I find interesting. I created a Mastodon account some time ago and I have had some really interesting conversations there, but it’s just never caught on with me. So I am going to start doing some book and publishing “link round up” type posts here. Mainly it will serve as an easy archive I can reference when talking books with folks. But who knows… maybe conversations will be sparked elsewhere. I’m hoping to keep these posts light enough to be able to post from mobile and have no idea if this format will work, but here it goes…

Thad McIlroy says, “Since I started pumping for AI and publishing a year or so ago I’ve had a constant concern that all of this would collapse upon itself. Just the hallucination problem is an ongoing nightmare…”

I have so very many issues with this one. It’s amazing how folks can talk about books and be sincere when saying things like what D. Watkins said on Salon, “Your bookshelf should be beautiful enough to make it onto someone’s Pinterest page.”

I was fascinated by this short think piece on the impact that book summary apps are having, when I got to this part: “Toby Mundy, executive director of the prestigious Baillie Gifford prize for nonfiction, wonders if these apps might prove a gateway for readers to actual books.” I would like to report (via a Slack group I’m in) that all 12 of the 12 folks I know who use Blinkist have said that the app is a 100% replacement for the book and has never lead them to buy a book. So it seems the gate on that gateway is shut.

Sweet Home Books

Sweet Home Books is a lovely little bookstore located in downtown Wetumpka, AL. As soon as you enter you can tell it’s run by a real book person. The first room is mainly kids’ books, plus fun book-related gift-y items. The second room has the adult and YA books.

Everything is new and well organized. Sweet Home Books has a fun Instagram account to follow. There’s plenty of art and shops around the river and downtown as well, so it’s worth a walk around.

Sweet Home Books
107 E. Bridge Street
Wetumpka, AL 36092

Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm
Sunday & Monday – closed

Here are a few photos from my visit:

The Coosa River is a very short walk from the bookstore and has some great views to take in while reading a new book.

If you liked this post about one of Alabama’s indie bookshops, be sure to check out this page where I’m chronicling bookstores in Birmingham, AL.

Wiregrass Book Festival

The first-ever Wiregrass Book Festival is tomorrow, Saturday, March 2nd. The festivities kick off at 10:00 a.m. and run until 2:00 p.m. It’s a smaller event that will have book buyers running between local businesses and shops that are hosting readings and signings with local authors.

Here are the locations in Dothan, Alabama:

Downtown Books (150 North Foster Street)

  • Meet thriller writer Logan Ryles
  • Meet adventure novelist Mikelyn Bolden.

Bird and Bean Coffee Shop (144 North Foster Street)

  • Meet Cap Daniels, author of the Chase Fulton thriller novels

Mural City Coffee Company (192 South Foster Street)

  • Meet author Stephen O’Pry

Honey Bee Tees (158 North Foster Street)

  • Meet Southern mystery author Anessa Kent

This sounds like a fun day running around supporting local authors and shops. I hope it’s a big success and the start of something new that grows yearly. I still miss the Alabama Book Festival and wish someone in Montgomery would revive it.

The Wiregrass Book Festival is being organized by the folks who own Downtown Books in Dothan. I haven’t been there yet, but they’ve been a lot of fun to follow on socials since they opened their doors.

Book sale at downtown books for wiregrass book festival

Books, Publishing and Birmingham