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My Favorite Books on Writing

If all you want to do is dream of being a writer, there are enough books about writing available to keep you pretty busy dreaming. Big bookstores and libraries have entire sections on the stuff. But honestly, the best books on writing generally boil down to this: Read a lot. […]

How to Combat Writer’s Block

In my experience, there are two kinds of writer’s block: There’s existential writer’s block, where you question everything — “Who am I to ever think I could write?” “What’s the point in trying to write because discourse is dead?” “What’s the point of existence at all?” — that kind of […]

Alabama Voters: Today’s the Last Day to Register!

Today’s the last day to register to vote in Alabama in order to make it in time to vote in the 2016 Presidential race. All morning, I’ve been trying to write a heartfelt plea about why I think it’s important to vote, but it turns out heartfelt pleas can come […]

It’s Gilmore Girls Day, and Luke’s Diner Is Local to Birmingham

Any dedicated Gilmore Girls fan already knows that Netflix is set to release brand-new episodes of the series on November 25. But in case you haven’t already heard, they’re promoting them in a decidedly local way — by turning small local coffee shops around the country into de facto Luke’s […]

Netflix, Step Aside: September Is for Reading Books

I’m a person who enjoys personal challenges. That means I might decide only to buy from locally owned stores for a year, or I might have a contest with a friend to see who can spend the least money in three months, or I might decide to organize my home […]

Some Like It Hot. Those People Don’t Live in Alabama.

When I first started writing Shop Small, I discovered new local products and new independent stores all the time. Fast forward a few years to now, and I mostly visit the same few local stores and restaurants in my everyday footprint. This was true before I left on The Localist […]

Business Books, Podcasts, and a Bold Future

Ever since I read Moneyball and found myself in the grip of my first of many genius drama-meets-business Michael Lewis stories, I’ve been a bit obsessed with business books. And articles about business. And podcasts about business.   Sure, now I own a business. But before I wrote a business […]

Can You Have a Crush on a Bookstore? I’m Gonna Say Yes.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited The Bookshelf in Thomasville, Georgia for a book signing and chat. It was the next-to-last stop on my Localist book tour, and it’s only now that the tour is over that I’m writing about it (which is really a shame, because I missed […]

Books in Beantown: Taking The Localist to Boston

When I think of literary Boston, I picture historical figures like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow roaming the streets with walking sticks and bowler hats, admiring the buildings and the parks and thinking deep thoughts. I’m pretty sure that image isn’t accurate anyway (I’m 99% sure […]