Pennsylvania’s Small Towns: The Stuff Dreams (or Books, at Least) Are Made of

Last week, the Localist book tour took me around Pennsylvania — to Doylestown, Manayunk (in Philly) and Frenchtown (which is actually in New Jersey) in particular. I’ve been to Philly’s Old City before (and loved it — as any history geek/patriotism junkie would), but I didn’t know how many wonderful […]

Read Like a Forager; Eat Like Katniss, Hagrid and Snape

It’s not every day you have the opportunity to step into the pages of a book, but next Saturday, if you live in Birmingham, you can — Chris Bennett, a.k.a. Forager Man, a.k.a. the author of Foraging the Southeast, is offering a class on foraging, and he still has spots […]

Book Signings, Zombies and Other Terrors

If you look at my Instagram, you’ll see me smiling and posing, hopping from coffee shop to bookstore to bar, speaking in front of groups at bookstores to promote The Localist book like it’s no big deal. Here’s a secret, though: It is a big deal. I’m naturally shy and […]

30 Days of Local Praise Gets New Life with INBirmingham

At the beginning of this year, I had an idea that I made into a resolution — I designed 30 Days of Local Praise as a way to spotlight a new locally owned Birmingham business every day for a month. I wanted to share my favorite local shops and restaurants […]

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 […]

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 […]