Mar
27
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester

Come and join in the conversation about Natalia Sylvester’s beautiful novel, winner of the International Latino Book Award.

The first time Isabel meets her father-in-law, Omar, he's already dead--an apparition appearing uninvited on her wedding day. Her husband, Martin, still unforgiving for having been abandoned by his father years ago, confesses that he never knew the old man had died. So Omar asks Isabel for the impossible: persuade Omar's family--especially his wife, Elda--to let him redeem himself.

Isabel and Martin settle into married life in a Texas border town, and Omar returns each year on the celebratory Day of the Dead. Every year Isabel listens, but to the aggrieved Martin and Elda, Omar's spirit remains invisible. Through his visits, Isabel gains insight into not just the truth about his disappearance and her husband's childhood but also the ways grief can eat away at love. When Martin's teenage nephew crosses the Mexican border and takes refuge in Isabel and Martin's home, questions about past and future homes, borders, and belonging arise that may finally lead to forgiveness--and alter all their lives forever.

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Mar
28
6:00 PM18:00

Annie Ward, March 28, 2017, 6:00 p.m.

We’re very excited to welcome Annie Ward, author of BEAUTIFUL BAD, the most explosive and twisted psychological thriller since A.J. Finn’s THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW.

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A devoted wife, a loving husband and a chilling murder that no one saw coming.  

Things that make me scared: When Charlie cries.  Hospitals and lakes.  When Ian drinks vodka in the basement.  ISIS.  When Ian gets angry...  That something is really, really wrong with me.  

Maddie and Ian's love story began with a chance encounter at a party overseas; he was serving in the British army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo.  Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America.  But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian's PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son; and the couple's tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.  From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, 16 Years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

Come and listen to Annie Ward read from and discuss her extraordinary new novel. 

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Annie Ward has a BA in English Literature from UCLA and a MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute. Her first short screenplay, Strange Habit, starring Adam Scott, was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and the Grand Jury Award winner at the Aspen Film Festival. She has received a Fulbright Scholarship and An Escape to Create Artists residency. She lives in Kansas with her family.

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Apr
3
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - American Prison by Shane Bauer

Shane Bauer has written a book for our times. There’s a reason AMERICAN PRISON was one of the New York Times’s best books of 2018, and was also on President Obama’s reading list last year. It tells the story of his time spent as an undercover guard in a privately-owned, for-profit prison in Louisiana. It is a harrowing but very important tale, which although difficult to read at times, could not be more important.

In 2014, Shane Bauer was hired for $9 an hour to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Winnfield, Louisiana. An award-winning investigative journalist, he used his real name; there was no meaningful background check. Four months later, his employment came to an abrupt end. But he had seen enough, and in short order he wrote an exposé about his experiences that won a National Magazine Award and became the most-read feature in the history of the magazine Mother Jones. Still, there was much more that he needed to say. In American Prison, Bauer weaves a much deeper reckoning with his experiences together with a thoroughly researched history of for-profit prisons in America from their origins in the decades before the Civil War. For, as he soon realized, we can't understand the cruelty of our current system and its place in the larger story of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from. Private prisons became entrenched in the South as part of a systemic effort to keep the African-American labor force in place in the aftermath of slavery, and the echoes of these shameful origins are with us still.

The private prison system is deliberately unaccountable to public scrutiny. Private prisons are not incentivized to tend to the health of their inmates, or to feed them well, or to attract and retain a highly-trained prison staff. Though Bauer befriends some of his colleagues and sympathizes with their plight, the chronic dysfunction of their lives only adds to the prison's sense of chaos. To his horror, Bauer finds himself becoming crueler and more aggressive the longer he works in the prison, and he is far from alone. 

A blistering indictment of the private prison system, and the powerful forces that drive it, American Prison is a necessary human document about the true face of justice in America.

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Apr
4
6:00 PM18:00

Andrew Ridker, April 4, 6:00 p.m.

We are proud to present one of the fiction debuts of the season on April 4 - Andrew Ridker, with his marvelous novel, The Altruists. The book has already garnered a huge amount of praise and is creating a real buzz in the book world. (The Advanced Reading Copy has been in hot demand around here.) Rights to the novel have been sold in seventeen different countries. It’s a wryly hysterical look at family dynamics - and it’s set in St. Louis! What’s not to like?

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Andrew Ridker was born in 1991. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review Daily, Guernica, Boston Review, The Believer, and St. Louis Magazine; and he is the editor of Privacy Policy: The Anthology of Surveillance Poetics. He is the recipient of an Iowa Arts Fellowship from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. 

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Apr
8
6:00 PM18:00

Romalyn Tilghman, April 8, 6:00 p.m.

We’re thrilled to present Romalyn Tilghman as she reads from and discusses her richly rewarding first novel, To the Stars Through Difficulties, which was a Kansas Notable Book of the Year in 2018.

Andrew Carnegie funded fifty-nine public libraries in Kansas in the early 20th century--but it was frontier women who organized waffle suppers, minstrel shows, and women's baseball games to buy books to fill them. Now, a century later, Angelina returns to her father's hometown of New Hope to complete her dissertation on the Carnegie libraries, just as Traci and Gayle arrive in town--Traci as an artist-in-residence at the renovated Carnegie Arts Center and Gayle as a refugee whose neighboring town, Prairie Hill, has just been destroyed by a tornado. The discovery of an old journal inspires the women to create a library and arts center as the first act of rebuilding Prairie Hill after the tornado. As they work together to raise money for the center, Traci reveals her enormous heart, Angelina discovers that problem-solving is more valuable than her PhD, and Gayle demonstrates that courage is not about waiting out a storm but building a future. Full of Kansas history--from pioneer homesteaders to Carrie Nation to orphan trains--To the Stars through Difficulties is a contemporary story of women changing their world, and finding their own voices, powers, and self-esteem in the process.

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Straight out of graduate school, native Kansan Romalyn Tilghman was hired as Executive Director of the Association of Community Arts Councils of Kansas and was lucky enough to work with rural arts councils throughout the state. She saw first-hand how groups of (mostly) women encouraged culture on the Plains. From there, she went on to work for the National Endowment for the Arts as Regional Representative, eventually serving a territory that stretched over the Dateline, over the Equator, and over the Arctic Circle. For more than twenty years, she has worked as a freelance consultant in the arts – conducting strategic planning, initiating audience engagement projects, and assessing grant programs for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and private foundations. She has served on the boards of Americans for the Arts, Association of California Symphony Orchestras, and Western Arts Alliance, as well as on numerous national panels. She lives in Long Beach, California. To the Stars through Difficulties is her first novel.

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Apr
10
6:00 PM18:00

Cassie Donish and Stacey Lynn Brown, April 10, 2019, 6:00 p.m.

We’re thrilled to present a reading by two fabulous poets, Cassie Donish and Stacey Lynn Brown. This event is open to everyone and free to attend. Come and welcome spring with some absorbing, beautiful poetry!

Cassie Donish

Cassie Donish

Cassie Donish is the author of the poetry collections The Year of the Femme (University of Iowa Press, 2019), selected by Brenda Shaughnessy as winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, and Beautyberry (Slope Editions, 2018). Her nonfiction chapbook On the Mezzanine (2019) was selected by Maggie Nelson as winner of the Gold Line Press Chapbook Competition. Her writing has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Best New Poets, Colorado Review, VICE, jubilat, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review Online, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, where she received an Olin Fellowship and served as the Junior Fellow in Poetry. She holds a BA in English from the University of Washington, and an MA in human geography from the University of Oregon. She currently teaches classes at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she’s pursuing a PhD in literature and creative writing. She grew up in South Pasadena, California.

Stacey Lynn Brown

Stacey Lynn Brown

In The Shallows, Stacey Lynn Brown continues her potent exploration of the American South—its complex legacies of family and race. These harrowing yet ultimately hopeful new poems depict a daughter grappling with the aftermath of her father’s massive stroke and her own concurrent struggles with a debilitating and mysterious illness. Stacey is also the author of Cradle Song, a book-length poem, and is the co-editor, with Oliver de la Paz, of A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry. She teaches creative writing at Indiana University in Bloomington.

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Apr
17
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

Our final Unbound book club pick is also one of our favorites - THE GREAT BELIEVERS by Rebecca Makkai. It’s a dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris.

In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico's funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister.

Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.

The Great Believers has become a critically acclaimed, indelible piece of literature; it was selected as one of New York Times Best 10 Books of the Year, a Washington Post Notable Book, a Buzzfeed Book of the Year, a Skimm Reads pick, and a pick for the New York Public Library’s Best Books of the year.


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Mar
23
7:00 PM19:00

Danny Caine, March 23

We’re very excited to welcome poet and fellow bookseller Danny Caine to Skylark to celebrate the publication of his new collection of poems, Continental Breakfast (Mason Jar Press, 2019). Danny is the owner of the Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas and is also the author of El Dorado Freddy's (collaboration with Tara Wray, Belt Publishing 2020), and the chapbook Uncle Harold's Maxwell House Haggadah (Etchings Press 2017). His poetry has appeared in Hobart, DIAGRAM, New Ohio Review, and Barrelhouse.

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Continental Breakfast, an often-humorous book, explores the effect of mass commercialism on identity, love, religion, and the American landscape. From Kanye West at Waffle House to dead malls to Passover candy, the book questions how branding and celebrity function as filters through which we see the world.  You won’t want to miss what is to sure to be a thought-provoking and entertaining evening. Plus, it has one of the best covers we’ve seen in a long time.

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Mar
21
6:00 PM18:00

Andrew Reeves, March 21, 6:00 p.m.

Intelligent investigative writing meets experiential journalism in this important look at one of North America’s most voraciously invasive species

Politicians, ecologists, and government wildlife officials are fighting a desperate rearguard action to halt the onward reach of Asian Carp, four troublesome fish now within a handful of miles from entering Lake Michigan. From aquaculture farms in Arkansas to the bayous of Louisiana; from marshlands in Indiana to labs in Minnesota; and from the Illinois River to the streets of Chicago where the last line of defense has been laid to keep Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, Overrun takes us on a firsthand journey into the heart of a crisis. Along the way, environmental journalist Andrew Reeves discovers that saving the Great Lakes is only half the challenge. The other is a radical scientific and political shift to rethink how we can bring back our degraded and ignored rivers and waterways and reconsider how we create equilibrium in a shrinking world.

With writing that is both urgent and wildly entertaining, Andrew Reeves traces the carp’s explosive spread throughout North America from an unknown import meant to tackle invasive water weeds to a continental scourge that bulldozes through everything in its path.

Credit: Courtney Walker

Credit: Courtney Walker

Andrew Reeves is an award-winning environmental journalist. His work has appeared in the Walrus, This Magazine, and the Globe and Mail. He received a master of fine arts in creative nonfiction from the University of King’s College in 2016. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his wife and daughter.

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Mar
19
6:00 PM18:00

Louder than a Bomb - Preliminary Round 2

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Louder than a Bomb is the largest youth poetry slam competition in the world. Based out of Chicago and birthed by Young Chicago Authors, Louder than a Bomb has expanded to over a dozen cities since 2001.

The Mid-Missouri chapter includes 7 high school teams from Columbia, Jefferson City and Mexico, who have gathered to build bridges across our communities with words, verse, and conversation.

Skylark is very proud to be hosting some of the preliminary rounds of the event. Tonight’s event will be the second of four rounds. The final of this year’s competition will take place on the campus of Stephens College on Saturday, April 20, as part of the Unbound Book Festival.

Poetry is gonna change the world, ya'll. Come get your soul shook and stand witness as the next generation of leaders take center stage!!

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Mar
13
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson

Crystal Wilkinson has written a hell of a book, and we can’t wait to talk about it. Set over several generations, BIRDS OF OPULENCE is a beautiful, deeply lyrical exploration of love and loss in a bucolic southern black township.

The Goode-Brown family, led by matriarch and pillar of the community Minnie Mae, is plagued by old secrets and embarrassment over mental illness and illegitimacy. Meanwhile, single mother Francine Clark is haunted by her dead, lightning-struck husband and forced to fight against both the moral judgment of the community and her own rebellious daughter, Mona. The residents of Opulence struggle with vexing relationships to the land, to one another, and to their own sexuality. As the members of the youngest generation watch their mothers and grandmothers pass away, they live with the fear of going mad themselves and must fight to survive.

Crystal Wilkinson offers up Opulence and its people in lush, poetic detail. It is a world of magic, conjuring, signs, and spells, but also of harsh realities that only love -- and love that's handed down -- can conquer. At once tragic and hopeful, this captivating novel is a story about another time, rendered for our own.

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Mar
12
6:00 PM18:00

Louder Than A Bomb - Preliminary Round 1

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Louder than a Bomb is the largest youth poetry slam competition in the world. Based out of Chicago and birthed by Young Chicago Authors, Louder than a Bomb has expanded to over a dozen cities since 2001.

The Mid-Missouri chapter includes 7 high school teams from Columbia, Jefferson City and Mexico, who have gathered to build bridges across our communities with words, verse, and conversation.

Their 2nd season kicks off with the first preliminary bout at 6PM on Tuesday, March 12th, 2019, and Skylark is very proud to be hosting the event. Come and hear some slam poetry in the heart of the District!

This will be the first of four rounds (the second is Tuesday, March 19th, also at Skylark) and the final of this year’s competition will take place on the campus of Stephens College on Saturday, April 20, as part of the Unbound Book Festival.

Poetry is gonna change the world, ya'll. Come get your soul shook and stand witness as the next generation of leaders take center stage!!

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Mar
10
9:30 PM21:30

Bookshop Yoga Returns! March 10, 2019, 9:30 a.m.

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It’s back! After taking a break over the holidays we are starting a new round of bookshop yoga! Come and sit with Michaela on the second Sunday of each month, bright and early (well, 9:30) before the shop opens its doors for the day.

Suitable for all ages and levels of experience. No need to book or call ahead - just show up.

Remember:

  • You will need to bring your own yoga mat.  

  • Cost: $10 cash, but you get a $10 credit to spend in the shop that day.

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Mar
6
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

Join us as we discuss BOY ERASED, Garrard Conley’s beautiful, heart-wrenching memoir of his experiences with conversion therapy as a young gay man in the South. And if you caught the movie at Rag Tag, we may also discuss the relationship between the book and the film? Which did you prefer, and why? (One of the panels that Garrard will be participating in at Unbound is about film adaptations of books.)

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Mar
5
7:00 PM19:00

Dr. Tererai Trent, March 5, 7:00 p.m.

We are honored to welcome acclaimed author, scholar, and activist Dr. Tererai Trent to Skylark Bookshop to sign copies of her extraordinary book, THE AWAKENED WOMAN: A GUIDE FOR REMEMBERING AND IGNITING YOUR SACRED DREAMS. Dr. Trent will be speaking at the Missouri Theatre immediately prior to the signing. For more details about Dr. Trent’s talk, go here.

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Dr. Tererai Trent is one of the most internationally acclaimed voices for women’s empowerment and quality education. Hailed by Oprah Winfrey as her “all-time favorite guest,” Dr. Trent is an inspiring and dynamic scholar, educator, humanitarian, motivational speaker, author, and the founder of Tererai International. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey ShowSuperSoul Sessions, CNN-Voice of Africa, CNBC, and has spoken at the United Nations, TEDx, the Women in the World Summit, and the Emerging Women summit, among others. She received her PhD in Interdisciplinary Evaluation from Western Michigan University and holds Master’s degrees in Public Health and Plant Pathology.

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Mar
2
1:00 PM13:00

Aaron Cohen @ True/False, Saturday, March 2, 1:00 p.m.

STOP PRESS - JUST ADDED!

As many of you know, this weekend is the always-fabulous True/False Film Festival. One of the most buzzed-about movies coming to the fest is Amazing Grace, which tells the story of a couple of days in 1972 when Aretha Franklin performed at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, and returned to her gospel roots. Author Aaron Cohen wrote an entire book about the event and the million-selling album that was made from it, and he will be coming to the festival to talk about it all.

He’ll also be appearing at Skylark at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, to sign copies of his book, Amazing Grace. Take a moment out of your festival day and come and say hi, buy a book, and learn about the story behind one of the most extraordinary albums of recent times.

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Aaron Cohen is the author of "Aretha Franklin's 'Amazing Grace'" (Bloomsbury) and "Move On Up: Chicago Soul Music and Black Cultural Power" (University of Chicago Press), which will be available in September 2019. He teaches humanities, journalism and English composition at City Colleges of Chicago and received a Public Scholar fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2016. Cohen's articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, DownBeat, Washington Post and The Nation and he is the two-time recipient of the Deems Taylor Award for outstanding music writing from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP.)

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Feb
27
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, February 27, 6:00 p.m.

The second chapter of the Skylark Unbound Book Club will feature BROWN GIRL DREAMING, by Children’s laureate and 2019 Unbound keynote Jacqueline Woodson. This YA title won the National Book Award in 2014.

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Brown Girl Dreaming was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, the NAACP Image Award and the Sibert Honor Award. Woodson was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She is the author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a three-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner.

This discussion will be led by Skylark bookseller Beth Shapiro, who, as a former high school librarian, knows a thing or two about YA books.

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Feb
21
6:00 PM18:00

Local Author Night 2, February 21, 2019 6:00 p.m.

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We had so much fun on our inaugural Local Author Night that we can’t wait to do it all again on Thursday, February 21! As before, we’ll have a mixture of readings and interactive Q and A.

The participating authors are as follows:

R.G. Bisig. R.G. Bisig has been reading X-Men and Legion of Super Heroes comic books since what seemed like the beginning of time. Or at least it was for him. He started writing down ideas for science fiction novels as early as 12. Soon after the release of “The Empire Strikes Back”, he wrote his own version of Episode VI on a typewriter on board the USS Hammerhead. Sadly, it wasn’t what George Lucas had in mind. After a tour in the US Navy, he went on to be Dungeon Master for several D&D groups and wrote a scenario titled “Busy Night” which debuted at the 1998 GenCon role-playing gaming convention. Before publishing his novel last year, most of his writing consisted of short stories for a local Star Trek fan club or adventures for his Dungeons and Dragons group to enjoy. Visit his website here.

B.K. Boes. B.K. Boes has been creating stories since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She always drifted toward the fantastical, though she loved most every genre that crossed her path. Now, she writes epic fantasy and science fantasy, transferring worlds and characters from her imagination to the page. She is the author of Mother of Rebellion, the first book in The Leyumin Divided Saga. Click here to visit her website.

Debra Parker Oliver is the Paul Revare Family Professor of Family Medicine in the School of Medicine, at the University of Missouri. She has a Masters of Social Work and PhD in Rural Sociology from MU. She was a hospice social worker and administrator in three hospice programs for a total of more than 20 years. In an effort to teach and advocate for those facing cancer and terminal illness, Debbie and her husband David created a blog to share their journey with others. They received the Project Death in America Community Education Award from American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine care two weeks before David passed away. Debbie now continues the journey through grief and bereavement, continuing her commitment to share her journey. Click here to visit her website.

Sharon SingingMoon’s poetry is personal, political and spiritual.  She draws inspiration from Nature and her rich tapestry of life experiences which include twice walking across the country in support of Native Treaty Rights and nuclear disarmament, practicing mid-wifery, living off the land, and spending 20 years as a lobbyist for social justice.  Writing in journals and on scraps of paper since her early teens, Random Seed is Sharon’s latest collection of poetry.

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Feb
20
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - Lincoln in the Bardo, February 20, 2019 6:00 p.m.

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Our inaugural Unbound Book Club will discuss the astonishing debut novel of this year’s keynote speaker, George Saunders. Lincoln in the Bardo was published in 2017 to universal acclaim. In addition to winning the Man Booker Prize, it was also a New York Times #1 bestseller. Come and discuss the book after hours at the shop on Wednesday, February 20. This event is open to everyone and is completely free.

Please note that you don’t have to have read the novel to attend, but there may very well be spoilers!

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo
 is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?

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Feb
18
6:00 PM18:00

Bobby Norfolk, February 18, 6:00 p.m.

We are very pleased to welcome multi-award winning storyteller Bobby Norfolk to Skylark as part of the University of Missouri’s celebration of Black History Month.

Bobby's innate ability to read and connect with audiences of all ages makes him one of America’s premier storytellers. Using dynamic movement and vocal effects, Bobby creates vibrant characters who come to life through imaginative, creative story. Living History programs that highlight the African-American experience, and toe-tapping musical shows that feature song and live musicians are also part of his repertoire. His stories promote character education traits (such as respect and responsibility), cultural diversity, and literacy. He inspires and motivates kids and adults telling stories that can be shared through the oral tradition. “No fancy electronics, just teller listener, and the imagination.”

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Bobby began his career as a stand-up comedian in 1975 at local St. Louis comedy clubs and as an actor with The St. Louis Black Repertory Co. Concurrently, he worked ten years at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis as a National Park Service Ranger. In 1979, Bobby made his first appearance as a storyteller at the St. Louis Storytelling Festival, and discovered that through storytelling he was able to combine his theatre and stand-up comedy background to become a “story-performer.”

In television, Bobby won three Emmy awards as the host of the CBS TV show “Gator Tales” and also hosted the Emmy nominated series “Children’s Theater at Bobby’s House.” Both shows were based out of St. Louis and the themes were character education, literacy, and storytelling.

In October 2009, Bobby was given the national Circle of Excellence Oracle Award, an honor presented by the National Storytelling Network, which recognizes the very best storytellers in the nation. This prestigious award is given to artists for exceptional commitment and exemplary contributions to the art of storytelling, who set the standard of excellence in their craft.

Bobby travels both nationally and internationally presenting performances, keynotes, and workshops. A past member of the Board of Directors for the National Storytelling Network, he currently serves on the St. Louis Storytelling Festival Advisory Council and is a featured artist in festivals word-wide. He founded Folktale Productions, a storytelling company started in 1987. His web site is www.bobbynorfolk.com.

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Jan
9
6:00 PM18:00

Missouri Writers' Guild Quarterly Reading Series, January 9, 2019, 6:00 p.m.

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One of the reasons why it’s so much fun to work in an independent bookshop in Columbia is that we have an incredibly vibrant community of writers living and working in our town. If you haven’t done so yet, come by and check out the Local Authors section at the shop. You’ll be astonished at the range and quality of the work that our local writers produce. And if you attended our first Local Author Night back in November, you’ll have heard some of that work for yourself.

Skylark is committed to supporting our local writers, and so we’re very pleased to host a session of the Columbia Writers’ Guild Quarterly Reading Series on Wednesday, January 9 at 6:00 p.m. Come and listen to new work by the following authors:

Aaron Fox, Children’s Author, member of the Tom Bradley morning radio show. He will be releasing a children's book about Truman the Tiger this spring. His first children's book, The Secret Life of Sloan the Sloth came out last March.

Melinda Hemmelgarn, Poet/Activist, registered dietitian, host of Food Sleuth Radio, which airs Thursday evenings at 5:00 p.m. on KOPN. Her poetry has been published in Interpretations. She writes poetry to create empathy for the human condition and promote social and environmental justice.  

Rexanna Ipock-Brown, Novelist, author of fiction and non-fiction.  Her first novel is a paranormal romance that includes a hybrid witch/wolf, smoking hot shifters and vampires, swoon-worthy love scenes, naughty language and a dash of violence to spice things up.  When she is not writing about Rosemary, her friends and family, she runs a successful psychic service which gives her plenty of ideas.

Stephen Paul Sayers, Novelist, is a college professor and bestselling author of supernatural thriller and horror fiction.  His first two novels, A Taker of Morrows and Soul Dweller, were published in 2018 by Hydra Publications, his short fiction has appeared in Unfading Daydream and Well Versed.

Steve Wiegenstein, Novelist, author of three novels set in nineteenth-century Missouri: Slant of Light, This Old World, and The Language of Trees. Slant of Light was the runner-up for the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction for 2012, and The Language of Trees received the 2018 Walter Williams Major Work Award from the Missouri Writers Guild. A selection from Slant of Light is forthcoming in The Literature of the Ozarks from the University of Arkansas Press next month. 

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Dec
22
7:00 PM19:00

Polar Express Story Time! December 22, 2018, 7:00 p.m.

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All aboard The Polar Express!

We are pleased to invite kids of all ages to come enjoy a special evening storytime event at Skylark Bookshop on Saturday, December 22 at 7:00 pm.

We will be reading the beloved classic, The Polar Express, enjoying cookies and cocoa (of course) and whipping up some fun craft activities.

Wear your favorite pajamas and come ready for a magical evening!

This event is completely free, but we’d be grateful if you would email us at mail@skylarkbookshop.com if you’d like to come, just so we know how many supplies to provide.

See you then!

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Dec
19
7:00 PM19:00

Anastasia Pottinger, December 19, 2018, 7 p.m.

We’re excited and honored to be hosting the launch party for a wonderful new book by local photographer, Anastasia Pottinger. The book is called “100:What Time Creates”, and it’s a thing of beauty.

Pottinger burst on the national and international scene when her black and white portrait series of people a hundred years old and up ‘went viral’ and was featured on thousands of websites and in publications around the globe, including CNN and Bored Panda. Later, the series grew and became“100: What Time Creates” published by Marcinson Press.

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Stacie (as we call her) is a professional portrait photographer and founder of Rogue Studios. She has pursued her passion for photography since she was eight years old, when her parents handed her her very first camera, a Kodak 110, which she used to document her first solo trip to visit her grandparents in Georgia.  Originally daunted by the prospect of being an artist, in college Pottinger focused on her other passion, early childhood education. She earned her degree in Family Studies with an emphasis in child development. After the advent of digital cameras and the birth of her first son, Stacie returned to her first love – photography –  and four years later, opened her studio. She has won numerous local, regional, and international awards for her photographs, most notably second and third place in the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards Nude and Figure category, and first place in the HumanKind Exhibition at PowerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, New York. She has also been included in juried exhibitions at The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado and PhotoSpiva in Joplin, Missouri.

Stacie lives in Columbia, Missouri, with her wife, two sons, and her “beloved mini-zoo” of two dogs, two cats, one ball python, and a part-time guinea pig.

Photo credit: Amy Enderle

Photo credit: Amy Enderle

What people are saying about the book:

“Richard Avedon showed us that everyone is ugly. You are showing us that everyone
is beautiful. Thanks; we need both points of view.”  - Ed Freeman, Photographer

“I look at thousands of pictures a day because it is my job.  One day I was looking and then suddenly I stopped.  Anastasia’s images compel you to stay with them, I closed my eyes and I felt something. The emotion of something I'd never seen before. It was like looking at the human being both on a very abstract and incredibly sensitive way. That day, I was looking for a visual artistic language to reflect on Aribert Reimann’s opera, Lear, based on Shakespeare's King Lear, with the idea of bringing other kinds of emotions to the public, in  rather than only those of the stage. Lear is getting old and tries to look at the future but his past is too present to be erased. Anastasia’s centenarians let you feel in such a concrete way what it will mean to have your past engraved in your skin, all those years of happiness, sadness, disappointment, passion, fear and so many other kinds of feelings mixed by life, until they become your very own and unique patterns.”  - Lise Bruyneel, graphic design editor, Paris Opera, Paris France

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Dec
6
6:30 PM18:30

Jay Sexton, December 6, 2018 6:30 p.m.

Skylark Bookshop is proud to present a concise new history of the United States revealing that crises—not unlike those of the present day—have determined our nation’s course from the start.

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In A Nation Forged by Crisis, historian Jay Sexton contends that our national narrative is not one of halting yet inevitable progress, but of repeated disruptions brought about by shifts in the international system. Sexton shows that the American Revolution was a consequence of the increasing integration of the British and American economies; that a necessary precondition for the Civil War was the absence, for the first time in decades, of foreign threats; and that we cannot understand the New Deal without examining the role of European immigrants and their offspring in transforming the Democratic Party.

A necessary corrective to conventional narratives of American history, A Nation Forged by Crisis argues that we can only prepare for our unpredictable future by first acknowledging the contingencies of our collective past.

This will be a fascinating discussion you won’t want to miss! (Food and drink will be provided, courtesy of the Kinder Institute for Constitutional Democracy.)

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Jay Sexton is the Kinder Institute Chair in Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri and emeritus fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University. The author of The Monroe Doctrine and Debtor Diplomacy, Sexton lives in Columbia, Missouri.

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Nov
28
6:00 PM18:00

Local Author Night, November 28, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

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On Wednesday, November 28, we’ll be hosting our inaugural Local Authors Night, and we hope you’ll join us for an entertaining and inspiring evening of new writing.

Come and listen to four local authors read from and discuss their most recent work. There will be plenty of time for discussion and Q and As, and of course books will be available for sale and signing by the authors.

The four participating authors are:

Brian Katcher

Sean Frazier

Art Smith

Richard Stickann.

The event starts at 6:00, and is completely free to attend. Hope to see you there to celebrate some of mid-Missouri’s literary talent!

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Nov
15
6:00 PM18:00

Walter Bargen, November 15, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

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We’re very pleased to welcome Missouri’s first Poet Laureate, Walter Bargen, to Skylark. Walter will be reading from his new book of poems, MY OTHER MOTHER’S RED MERCEDES, on Thursday, November 15 at 6:00 p.m.

Walter Bargen has published many books of poetry.  His most recent books are: Days Like This Are Necessary: New & Selected Poems (2009), Endearing Ruins (2012), Trouble Behind Glass Doors (2013), Quixotic (2014), Gone West (2014), and Too Quick for the Living (2017).  He was appointed the first poet laureate of Missouri (2008-2009).  His awards include a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship (1991), Prose Award from Quarter After Eight (1996), the Hanks Prize (1996), the Chester H. Jones Foundation prize (1997), the William Rockhill Nelson Award (2005), Short Fiction Award– A cappella Zoo (2011). His poems, essays, and stories have appeared in over 200 magazines.

Books will be available for purchase and signing by Walter after the event.

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Nov
11
5:30 PM17:30

Teacher Appreciation Night

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We love our local teachers, and on November 11, we’ll be celebrating educators of all stripes (librarians, teachers and administrators, K-12) by inviting them to participate in our very first Teacher Appreciation Night.

This will be an opportunity for teachers to shop, chat, and to meet with Skylark staff to discuss how we can help you in the classroom.  Talk to us about teaming up for author visits, trips to the shop, custom classroom or library orders, help in finding materials related to curriculum or for outside-of-the-box approaches to reading.

We’ll be giving away a ton of door prizes, from neat tote bags to signed books and exclusive copies of forthcoming titles.

Most importantly, everyone will receive a 20% discount on all purchases during the event.

THIS EVENT IS ABSOLUTELY FREE! All you need is your educator ID to participate. You don’t have to register in advance to attend, although if you do you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a signed copy of Kate DiCamillo’s new book, LOUISIANA’S WAY HOME - and other goodies, too. Just shoot us an email at mail@skylarkbookshop.com to let us know you’ll be coming! The event will start at 5:30 (after the shop is closed for normal business) until 7:30.

Mark your calendars, and if you know a teacher, please spread the word!

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Nov
11
9:30 AM09:30

Bookshop Yoga Returns!

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The second session of yoga in a bookshop will take place on Sunday, November 11, at 9:30 a.m. Bookseller extraordinaire and experienced yoga instructor Michaela will once again be leading an hour-long yoga class for people of all levels and experience.

Doing yoga when surrounded by books is the thing to do these days. You read it here first. Click here to read Michaela’s thoughts about the link between yoga and reading. It’s awesome.

Remember:

  • You will need to bring your own yoga mat.  

  • Cost: $10 cash, but you get a $10 credit to spend in the shop that day.

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Nov
9
7:00 PM19:00

Lisa Finn Powell, November 9, 2018, 7 p.m.

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Lisa Finn Powell will be returning to Columbia on November 9 to present her book, “The Thin Time”, a poignant memoir of a journey through grief. The event will begin at Skylark Bookshop at 7:00 p.m.

Born and raised in the USA, Lisa spent two decades living and working in London and is now happily ensconced in Australia. She has a media background as an author, creative director, humour columnist, reporter, copywriter, producer, editor, voice-over talent, on-air personality, speaker and workshop leader. Her writing focuses on lifestyle, food, art, travel, grief, education, birth, parenting and immigration. Her articles and columns have been published on-line and in newspapers and magazines around the world.

Lisa Finn Powell was the mother of four young children when her world unraveled after the death of her husband from a mysterious toxic brain injury. To her shock, she discovered that they did not have any life insurance, mortgage protection or money in the savings account and were heavily in debt. The Thin Time is an unflinchingly raw account of a journey through grief across three continents. As she struggled to redefine herself, build a new life for her family and come to terms with the way in which he died, she discovered a way to reconcile the unpredictability of life and death, by accepting whichever way the wind blows. Her moving story of loss, fear, forgiveness and nature, will give hope to those who read it.

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Nov
8
7:00 PM19:00

Donald Quist, November 8, 2018, 7 p.m.

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Troubled souls haunt these thirteen interrelated stories of loss and rebirth. From a cramped passenger van in Ghana to a cash-only roadside motel in Utah to a cursed forest in Japan, Donald Quist’s narratives draw connections between the common and inexplicable. The diverse characters that people these stories are foreign and flawed but intimately familiar. At once scrutinizing and tender, FOR OTHER GHOSTS is an ambitious collection of short fiction.

Donald Quist is author of the essay collection, HARBORS—Foreword INDIES Bronze Winner and International Book Awards Finalist. His work has appeared in several print and online publications, including AGNI, North American Review, The Rumpus, Cleaver, and J Journal.  He’s creator of the online micro essay series, PAST TEN, and co-host of  the Poet in Bangkok podcast. He’s received fellowships from Sundress Academy for the Arts and Kimbilio Fiction. He earned his MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. A multiple Pushcart Prize nominee for both fiction and nonfiction, Donald recently moved to Columbia to join the University of Missouri Department of English in order to pursue his PhD in creative writing. 

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STOP PRESS… we’re delighted to announce that Donald will be joined this evening by Jennifer Maritza McCauley! Jennifer is the author of SCAR ON/SCAR OFF (Stalking Horse Press.) She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, CantoMundo, Kimbilio, Sundress Academy, and awards from Independent Publisher Book Awards, Best of the Net, and the Academy of American Poets, and was a finalist for the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Her work appears in Passages North, Puerto del Sol, Verse Daily, Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. She is currently poetry editor at The Missouri Review, fiction editor at Pleiades, and is pursuing her PhD in creative writing at the University of Missouri.  

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Nov
3
1:00 PM13:00

When Women Wrote Hollywood, November 3, 2018, 1 p.m.

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This event is presented in collaboration with the Citizen Jane Film Festival and the Unbound Book Festival.

WHEN WOMEN WROTE HOLLYWOOD is a collection of 23 new essays that focuses on the lives of female screenwriters of Golden Age Hollywood. These women's work helped create those unforgettable stories and characters beloved by audiences--but their names have been left out of most film histories. The contributors trace the careers of such writers as Anita Loos, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Lillian Hellman, Gene Gauntier, Eve Unsell and Ida May Park, and explore themes of their writing in classics like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Ben Hur, and It's a Wonderful Life.

As part of the Citizen Jane Film Festival, some of the authors whose work appears in this collection will appear at Skylark to read from their work and discuss the role of women writers in the early days of film. It promises to be a fascinating discussion. Books will be available for purchase and signing after the event. This event is free to the public and does not require a ticket or pass to the Citizen Jane Film Festival.

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Nov
2
4:00 PM16:00

Meena Nayak, November 2, 2018, 4:00 p.m.

Skylark is pleased to present author and scholar Meena Nayak, in partnership with the MU South Asian Studies Program, the Religious Studies Department, and the University of Missouri Lectures Committee.

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Professor Nayak’s new book Evil in the Mahabharata offers a compelling reinterpretation of the epic that presents a nuanced analysis of the characters, away from the dominant noise of the grand narrative. She is also the author of the novel Endless Rain, a deeply moving story of daily life in Kashmir, which looks at how family life is constantly transformed by religious matters, political issues and other forces from outside the home, often with tragic results. She is also the author of the novels About Daddy and In the Aftermath, and a children’s book, The Puffin Book of Legendary Lives.  Her short stories are in anthologies The City of Sin and Splendour and Enhanced Gravity, and her forthcoming book is The Blue Lotus, Myths and Folktales of India.  She has a PhD in Philosophy with a focus on Hindu mythology and an MFA in Creative Writing.  She is a professor of English at Northern Virginian Community College.

Please note that this event starts at the slightly unusual (for us!) time of 4:00 p.m.

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Oct
26
7:00 PM19:00

Charles J. Shields, October 26, 2018, 7 p.m.

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How many celebrated novels are set in Columbia, Missouri?

Probably just the one, but what a novel it is: STONER, by John Williams.

When it was published in 1965, the novel sold only a couple of thousand copies before disappearing with hardly a trace. Yet John Williams’s quietly powerful tale of an English professor at the University of Missouri, William Stoner, whose life becomes a parable of solitude and anguish eventually found an admiring audience in America and especially in Europe. The New York Times called STONER “a perfect novel,” and a host of writers and critics, including Colum McCann, Julian Barnes, Bret Easton Ellis, Ian McEwan, Emma Straub, Ruth Rendell, C. P. Snow, and Irving Howe, praised its artistry. The New Yorker deemed it “a masterly portrait of a truly virtuous and dedicated man.”

THE MAN WHO WROTE THE PERFECT NOVEL traces the life of STONER’s author, John Williams. Acclaimed biographer Charles J. Shields follows the whole arc of Williams’s life, which in many ways paralleled that of his titular character, from their shared working-class backgrounds to their undistinguished careers in the halls of academia. Shields masterfully recounts Williams’s development as an author, whose other works include the novels BUTCHER’S CROSSING and AUGUSTUS (for the latter, Williams shared the 1972 National Book Award). Shields also reveals the astonishing afterlife of STONER, which garnered new fans with each American reissue, and then became a bestseller all over Europe after Dutch publisher Lebowski brought out a translation in 2013. Since then, STONER has been published in twenty-one countries and has sold over a million copies.

CHARLES J. SHIELDS, of Charlottesville, Virginia, is the author of MOCKINGBIRD: A PORTRAIT OF HARPER LEE, a New York Times bestseller, a Literary Guild Selection, and a Book-of-the-Month Club Alternate. His young adult biography of Harper Lee, I AM SCOUT, was chosen an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, and a Junior Literary Guild Selection. In 2011, Shields published AND SO IT GOES: KURT VONNEGUT, A LIFE, a New York Times and Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year. We're thrilled to welcome Charles to Columbia to discuss his new book, which was recently named by Publishers Weekly as one of the fall's "Most Anticipated" titles.

Praise for THE MAN WHO WROTE THE PERFECT NOVEL:

“The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel is an expert uncovering of an American master who deserves the larger audience this biography will help give him. With his characteristic insight into the ligatures between life and art, and in his own enviable prose, Shields brings Williams into full-color relief. This is a major accomplishment by a major biographer, a gift for which Williams’s admirers will be most grateful.” – William Giraldi, author of Hold the Dark and the The Hero’s Body

“Charles Shields’s biography of John Williams is every bit as impressive as his subject’s book, the not-so-underground classic (and international bestseller) Stoner, a gripping and compulsively readable tale of an ‘unremarkable man.’ Shields brilliantly recreates Williams’s outwardly ordinary life as an English professor eager to balance his scholarship with a creative writing career, revealing fascinating psychological depths in a man who on the surface doesn’t seem to have any. The reader is carried along by this masterful, finely honed biography.” – Mary V. Dearborn, author of Hemingway: A Biography

“A masterful depiction of the generation of burnt-out alcoholic American writers who survived WWII. Shields comes about as close as humanly possible to recreating the crucible of chance, devotion, genius, and circumstance that produced ‘the greatest novel you have never read.’ His brisk, fluent biography will change this.” – J. Michael Lennon, author of Norman Mailer: A Double Life

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Oct
25
7:00 PM19:00

Joanna Luloff, October 25, 2018, 7 p.m.

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Following her acclaimed collection of short stories, The Beach at Galle Road, Jo Luloff will return to Columbia to discuss her debut novel, Remind Me Again What Happened, with the Chair of University of Missouri English Department, Professor Alexandra Socarides.

“There is a smudge where my memory is supposed to be.”

Claire wakes in a hospital room in the Florida Keys. She has no idea how she got there or why. The loss of so many memories is paralyzing. Some things she can piece together by looking at old photos saved by her husband, Charlie, and her best friend, Rachel, and by combing through boxes of letters and casual jottings. But she senses a mystery at the center of all these fragments of her past, a feeling that something is not complete. Is Charlie still her husband? Is Rachel still her friend?

Told from alternating points of view that pull the reader into the minds of the three characters, the story unfolds as the smudge that covers Claire’s memory is gradually, steadily wiped away, until finally she can understand the why and the how of her life. And then maybe she and Charlie and Rachel can move forward, but with their lives forever changed.

In Remind Me Again What Happened, Joanna Luloff has written a moving and beautifully nuanced story of transience, the ebb and flow of time, and how relationships shift and are reconfigured by each day, hour, and minute.

Remind Me Again What Happened is a profound and elegiac exploration of the relationship between memory and identity, the way one has the power to remake the other. Joanna Luloff is a splendid writer, and this haunting novel is a wonderful testament to her gifts.” — Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me

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Oct
14
9:30 AM09:30

Yoga at Skylark! October 14, 2018, 9;30 a.m.

Our very own Michaela is an experienced yoga instructor and she will be offering yoga lessons at Skylark on Sunday mornings, staring October 18. (If you like yoga, we think you might like yoga a little more if you’re surrounded by books.)

Read Michaela’s thoughts about the link between yoga and reading here.

A few details:

  • Who: Yoga is for everybody so this will be an all-levels class. Seriously. It will be an hour-long class suited to all ages and all levels.

  • You will need to bring your own yoga mat.  

  • Cost: $10 cash.

  • Perks: A $10 credit to Skylark Bookshop valid that day! (So it’s basically free!)

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