Goodbye, Bottletree

This week, a great music venue/bar/café in Birmingham closed its doors. Bottletree is gone, and judging by the myriad tributes on social media, we’re all going to miss it.   It’s really beautiful to see so many people posting about what Bottletree has meant to them. It represents the very […]

The Power of a Greeting Card: Making Small Purchases at Small Shops

A couple of days ago, I met Kathleen from Pomegranate Books, and we talked — as I usually do before a signing — about the business of running a bookstore. I love being able to bond over this, to nerd out a little bit and see how other people have […]

Politics Is Personal: Why I Didn’t Attack Washington in The Localist Book

As I travel up the East Coast talking about The Localist, there’s one question I’m getting over and over from the owners of local shops: “Why didn’t you talk about politics?” I got the question from Eric Levin of Criminal Records in Atlanta. I got it last night from the […]

Meeting Eric Levin, Record Store Superstar

When I was in Atlanta a few days ago, I had the privilege to meet Eric Levin, one of the rock stars of localism. Eric is one of the co-founders of Record Store Day, which besides being a lot of fun is also one of the most successful buy-local campaigns […]

What Happens in Atlanta

My trip to Atlanta began with local beer, local Indian food, and a baby. I stayed with my friends John and Alison, and they happen to not only have great taste in take-out and craft beer, but they also share a home with the most precious child in the universe. […]

Localist Takes Atlanta: Local Is Alive in Little Five

I few places I hope to visit in Little Five this week: Aurora Coffee, A Cappella Books, Criminal Records and The Wrecking Bar.   I have a lot of great memories of Atlanta’s Little Five Points. I haven’t spent any real time there since I was in college, but during […]

It Takes a Village to Have a Birthday Party

Last week’s Localist Bham Birthday Bash was a huge success, and I have a lot of people to thank — I mean a LOT of people. Martha Stewart might disagree, but I think the best parties are the ones where pretty much everyone who comes is part of making it […]

small mercies joyce

Small Mercies by Eddie Joyce Review on BookPage

This is the story of a Staten Island family who lost a son on September 11. The pacing was a little slow for me, and I never felt fully invested. My full review is over at BookPage. This book was a review copy, which means I got it for free.

Because It’s Not a Celebration without a Raffle and a Scavenger Hunt

If you don’t know what you’re doing tomorrow night … well, now you do. Come out to Carrigan’s for the Localist Bham Birthday Bash: It’s a free party with free music with a raffle where you can win presents. I think that’s called a win-win-win.   Morgan and I have […]

New Orleans: A (Very Limited) Localist City Guide

A trip to New Orleans, even if it’s barely over 24 hours, is always an adventure. I love Nola for so many reasons: It’s beautiful, the food is fantastic, and personality is jammed into every single space — from the colorful houses to the costumes (sometimes there’s no other word […]

All Aboard: The Localist Book Tour Begins Today!

Photo by Morgan Trinker I leave today on the Localist train tour … it seems surreal even to write that. I planned this trip without really believing it would happen — I thought it could happen, that theoretically I could turn my blog (Shop Small) into a book, publish it, […]