Category Archives: Authors

BOOK EVENTS: MAY 25, 2015 – June 05, 2015

What a fantastic holiday weekend here in Birmingham, AL. The weather has been fantastically cool and even spit out a little summer shower this evening. So I don’t blame you if you’re out hiking, biking or sunning this next week – but if the rain falls again consider checking out one of these book events in and around the Birmingham area over the next two weeks.

Tuesday, May 26th from 10:00am – 12:00pm – Author Roe Bonner, will be at the West End Library talking about and signing his book Behind The Mic: The Rise and Fall of Personality Radio, which discusses  the business aspects of owning or managing a radio station.

Wednesday, May 27th from 6:30pm – 7:30pm – Author Mary Kay Andrews will be participating in a Q&A session and signing books at the Vestavia Hills Library.

Friday, June 5th from 4:00pm – 6:00pm – Jeff Shaara will be at the Alabama Booksmith signing his latest Civil War book The Fateful Lightning.

Free eBook: Follow a Few Literary Pilgrimages

This month Simon Goldhill’s Freud’s Couch, Scott’s Buttocks, Brontë’s Grave is the University of Chicago Press’s free eBook offering. I have not read it yet, but the book is all about writers, their homes and travel. When I travel I always look up local literary points of interest and local indie bookshops to visit. They are so much more interesting and telling than the usual sight-seeing fare.

freudscouchGoldhill’s book not only points the way to where these literary locations are, but also digs a little deeper in trying to connect the dots between these places and the writers that were there. I scanned a bit of it and he seems intent to tackle questions like:

Why did author go there? What were they looking for? What will you find if you go there today? Some of the historical sites of note, listed in the book, are:

  • Sir Walter Scott’s mansion
  • Wordsworth’s cottage
  • the Brontë parsonage
  • Shakespeare’s birthplace
  • Freud’s office

So if literary pilgrimages and bookstore tourism are your thing, be sure to check out UCP’s free eBook this month. (There are a few caveats: they use Adobe DRM, so you’ll need an  approved eReader app for that and a kindle fire may be the only kindle device that can read these free ebooks. I haven’t confirmed that though.)

The Localist – Birmingham Book Launch

Mark your calendars for this Saturday (November 29th) for the book launch of local author and business owner Carrie Rollwagen’s newest project The Localist: Think Independent, Buy Local and Reclaim the American Dream. Things kick off at 10 a.m. at Church Street Coffee & Books.

The Localist is a book that is near and dear to just about everything Rollwagen espouses. It’s a book. It’s local. It’s a way of life. I have yet to get my hands on a copy, but the premise sounds like the kind of book that inspires people to be aware of what is going on around them and could even save our sense of community.


Part memoir and part “how-to” guide for shopping local, readers will:

. . . follow Carrie on her localist adventure as she embraces slow food, small business, the locavore movement, and many quirky indie shopkeepers and unique independent shops along the way.

The Localist promises to not be anti-big-box store, just very very pro-local-indie shop, while offering tips on how to save money buying local and how to interact with the community. It’s a theme Rollwagen (@crollwagen) weaves into her writing whenever pen is put to paper or she sits at a keyboard. She blogs about buying local Alabama goods, she blogs at her local shop and she blogs about her writing.

If you’re not sold yet, then take a moment and read through a couple of excerpts:

So check out The Localist event at Church Street Coffee & Books this Saturday at 10 a.m. There are also more upcoming events listed if you’d like to meet Carrie and check out the book some other time. I have no doubts this book is worth reading no matter where you live or where you shop.

Four Southern Book Festivals

If you live in the South then you know the value of sweet tea and front porches. It’s those values that the following four book festivals, no matter how big or small they are, has in spades. Plus, you get to meet authors, listen to readings, buy books, and get your books signed. Did I mention there are books there? Check out what these four Southern book festivals have to offer in 2014:

Alabama Book FestivalAlabama Book Festival  Saturday, April 19, 2014 – for its 9th year, it will be held in Montgomery, AL’s, beautiful Old Alabama Town . It’s a wonderful venue, with walking paths between period buildings filled with authors giving talks and books to be bought. The Alabama Book Festival also has a great Children’s area with costumed characters and free books for kids. All those front porches in Old Alabama Town also mean that you never have to fear the rain as there’s always a place to gain cover.

Decatur Book FestivalDecatur Book Festival August 29th – August 31st, 2014 – this is a pretty large event, in Decatur, GA, and worth making the trip, if you don’t mind crowds. They have yet to publish a schedule or list of authors who will be attending, but they always have a list of big names that are fun to see (and have sign copies of your books!).

Southern Festival of BooksSouthern Festival of Books October 10th – October 12th, 2014 – this is another big event, in Nashville, TN. They always have 250+ authors, plus the added bonus of hosting a special venue for readings, literary performances and music (hey, it’s Nashville). I’ve heard that the hotel rooms are already all booked up. But they’re also planning an Authors in the Round Dinner, where you can buy a ticket to eat and chat with 40 visiting authors. That sounds kind of neat.

Mid-South Book FestivalMid-South Book Festival September 27th, 2014 – this one is a bit of a dark horse… a start up… a black swan, maybe? Held in Memphis, TN, this will be the inaugural year for Literacy Mid-South’s new book festival.  I don’t know what to expect, but I’m excited, because the folks organizing sure seem excited. It’s 2014, everyone should be in start-up mode, right!? I can’t wait to see what these folks put together to promote books and a life-long love of reading.