As many of you will know, recently there has been some local controversy about remarks made by a pastor of one of Columbia’s churches regarding transgender people. In light of that, and because we ardently believe that books can help all of us understand things better and facilitate dialogue over difficult issues, we thought it would be a good idea to discuss some fiction and nonfiction books that address this topic. Pastor Simon, you would be more than welcome to join us.
Here’s where you’re going to find news about the wonderful authors that we’ll be bringing to Columbia. We already have a few events confirmed for the fall. Unless otherwise noted, all events are open to the public and completely free to attend (although we really hope you’ll buy a signed copy of the book!)
Check back here regularly for updates about more events.
Judging by the conversations that we hear every day in the shop, a great many people are (to put it mildly) perplexed about the state of our nation these days. Irrespective of where you may fall on the political spectrum, there is much to confound and bemuse.
One of the questions that has stumped many folks is how President Trump won more Evangelical Christian votes than any candidate in history. If you have been wondering about this yourself - well, wonder no more. Skylark is proud to welcome Angela Denker, author of RED STATE CHRISTIANS - UNDERSTANDING THE VOTERS WHO ELECTED DONALD TRUMP.
Angela, a veteran journalist and Lutheran pastor, traveled across the US interviewing people who supported the President. The resulting book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how Donald Trump became president.
Angela Denker has written for many publications, including Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, and Sojourners. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Ben, and two little boys. She graduated from the Mizzou Journalism School in 2006 and met Ben (Mechanical Engineering, 06) playing basketball at the Mizzou Rec Center. Her first newspaper jobs were at the Columbia Missourian and the Columbia Tribune - covering Mizzou sports. Go Tigers!
So we’re going to try something a little different.
To celebrate the publication of the brilliant new novel, IN THE HALL WITH THE KNIFE, a rollicking murder mystery based on, you’ve guessed it, the board game Clue, we’re hosting a very special evening during which our guests will attempt to solve a murder mystery of our own devising. Lord knows it helps to have a devious mind to work in a bookshop, and most of us at Skylark speak fluent Agatha Christie, so you can be guaranteed that you’ll be kept guessing until the very end. Some of the clues will be hidden in the shop, and some you will have to winkle out of your fellow competitors. There will be fantastic prizes for all participants - including a copy of the book for each team. We’ll feed and water you, too. All in all it will be an excellent (and very different) night out.
And since all teams will be working in pairs, it would make a memorable date night. Just sayin’.
Please note that tickets for this event (which will come per team, so each ticket admits two) will be very, very limited, so if you would like to reserve your place now, shoot us an email at email@example.com to let us know. The all-inclusive cost for two is $50, which includes all goodies and swag, all food and drink, and (of course) the book.
Please join us Sunday, November 3rd at 3:00pm for an Inclusion Celebration!! This special event celebrates the release of Dr. Kathryn Fishman-Weaver's new book, When Your Child Learns Differently: A Family Approach for Navigating Special Education Services with Love and High Expectations. This family-friendly gathering features resource tables, children's activities, and a book talk and signing with the author. Additionally, we are thrilled to open with special performances by the DanceAbility dancers and possibly the Special Olympics Cheer team. Both this important new-release and our bookshop event celebrate advocacy, inclusion, and community. All children's activities have been designed with accessibility in mind.
The following organizations will be participating in the festivities:
Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Special Olympics Missouri
Columbia, MO Special Education, Parent Teacher Association
Advocating for a child who learns differently can sometimes feel like an isolating and daunting task. Dr. Fishman-Weaver’s new book reminds families that they are not alone. When Your Child Learns Differently is a compassionate guide that:
Helps families navigate special education services from the inside out.
Offers targeted advice to families of children with a wide range of disabilities and challenges.
Shares valuable information about special education language, policy, procedures, and supports.
Reminds families that they are the most important advocates in their child's success plan.
Draws on the author's experiences as both a parent and special education teacher.
We’re all familiar with sci-fi, but... cli-fi? Absolutely. Just as historically some of the most powerful pieces of writing and art often have been created during turbulent times, so too has climate fiction (cli-fi) emerged as a response to the global warming crisis.
One important early example of this relatively new genre is Barbara Kingsolver’s 2012 novel Flight Behavior, which examines the potential influence of global warming on monarch butterflies. We’ll be discussing this book at our inaugural cli-fi bookclub on Wednesday, November 6, at 6 pm. Additionally, if a discussion of Flight Behavior isn’t enticing enough, we are excited to open our gathering with 15-20 minutes of performance from the MU Theatre Department’s Life and Literature Series, featuring Climate Change Theatre Action with Heather Carver, Artistic Director.
According to its website, “Founded in 2015, Climate Change Theatre Action is a worldwide series of readings and performances of short climate change plays presented biennially to coincide with the United Nations COP [Conference of the Parties] meetings. A global participatory project, CCTA uses theatre to bring communities together and encourage them to take local and global action on climate.”
The cli-fi literary genre is packed full of other books, and the list continues to grow. We’ll provide a selection of possibilities so that as a group we can choose a title for the next cli-fi bookclub meeting.
Hope to see you at this cool collaboration between Skylark and the MU Theatre Department, as we use literature and the arts to address global warming.
We are VERY excited to announce that on Sunday, November 10, we will be hosting a special party to celebrate the publication of the next installment in the Diary of A Wimpy Kid series - WRECKING BALL.
And this will be no ordinary party. We will have copies of the book specially SIGNED BY JEFF KINNEY for sale - exclusively available for people who attend the event - but so much more…
There will be a Wrecking Ball-branded TOUR BUS parked outside the shop, and you’ll be able to have your photo taken in front of it.
We will have a, um, “real” Greg Heffley on-hand for fun photo ops! #selfie
There will be a THREE FOOT WIDE wrecking ball piñata FULL OF CANDY which people will have a chance to bust open!
We’ll be playing Wimpy Kid Bingo, with fun prizes for the winners
There’ll also be specially-designed Wimpy Kid cookies for everyone
There will also be a ton of other fun games, activities and prizes.
This event is free for everyone to attend, but you’ll need to register here as numbers are limited and we do expect demand to be heavy.
We’re thrilled to be partnering with La Petite Ecole, Columbia’s dual language immersion school, to present a Saturday Story Time with a difference on November 23. On that Saturday afternoon, staff and teachers from La Petite Ecole will be reading their favorite stories to our audience - in French!
Studies have shown that early exposure to foreign languages is immensely beneficial to children’s linguistic and neurological development. And just because you and your kids don’t speak French doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the stories or understand what is going on! The instructors at La Petite Ecole are experienced in communicating in all ways and you will be surprised at how much you’ll understand! This is a unique opportunity to expose you and your children to a brand new experience. Don’t miss it!
We’re pleased to welcome best-selling and award-winning thriller author Allen Eskens to Skylark on the day after Thanksgiving. (If you don’t enjoy battling retail-crazy mobs on Black Friday, this might be a good alternative.) We’re especially excited because while Allen has made his name writing novels set in Minnesota, his latest book, Nothing More Dangerous, is set in the fictional town of Jessup, Missouri. (And some of us really like novels set in fictional Missouri towns.)
Allen is the author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, The Deep Dark Descending, and The Shadows We Hide. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, Minnesota Book Award, Rosebud Award (Left Coast Crime), and Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, Thriller Award, and Anthony Award. His books have been translated into 26 languages and his novel, The Life We Bury, is in development for a feature film.
Allen grew up in Jefferson City, graduating from Helias High School. After that, he headed north to go to college, eventually getting a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota and a law degree from Hamline University. He now lives in Greater Minnesota with his wife and their rescue dogs.
We’ve lost count of how many Drag Storytimes we’ve held now, because we’re always having waaaay too much fun to keep count. October’s event promises to have an extra Halloween pizzazz about it - bring your small readers all dressed up in their best costumes and it will be the most fabulous story time OF ALL, EVER.
On Saturday, October 19 at 9:00 a.m. - yes, we will be opening early - we’re excited to be doing something a little different. We’ll be welcoming architect Lynn Craig to Skylark, where he will be giving an author talk based on his acclaimed book, Draw It, which will be followed by a sketch crawl throughout the District. This will culminate in a Sketch Throw Down at Sager Braudis Gallery at noon. The event is free and open to the public, and all are welcome, irrespective of drawing ability. It will be a fun and unique morning! Come and join us!
It’s back! The third edition of our Local Author Night will take place at 6:00 pm. on Thursday, October 10. Four local authors will present their work and answer questions from the audience. A fine time is always had by all.
This month’s writers are:
Stan Adams. Drafted in late May 1968, Adams, barely 20 years old, was quickly transformed into an infantry rifleman on the front lines of the Vietnam War, where he survived a year of combat with the famed “Manchu” Regiment, 25th Infantry “Tropic Lightning” Division. In 2003, Adams began reaching out to the families of fallen comrades and reconnecting with his fellow Manchus. Fifty years later, through a photographic history featuring 250+ color pictures, Adams recounts his journey from a rural Midwestern town to the jungles of Vietnam, sharing what it's like to fight – and not die – for your country.
Jordi Alonso. Jordi Alonso graduated with an AB in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Kenyon College in the spring of 2014, where he studied poetry and literary translation. His first book, a collection of poems inspired by Sappho entitled "Honeyvoiced" was published by XOXOX Press in November of 2014. He is presently a graduate student at MU.
Lynn Rossy. What are you really hungry for? Is it food, happiness, or something else? In The Mindfulness-Based Eating Solution, mindfulness expert Lynn Rossy offers a proven-effective, whole-body approach to help you discover the real reasons why you’re overeating. She provides an innovative and proven-effective program to help you slow down, savor each bite, and actually eat less. This unique, whole-body approach will encourage you to adopt healthy eating habits by showing you how to listen to your body’s intuition, uncover the psychological cause of your overeating, and be more mindful during mealtime.
Tim A. Scherrer. Tim is the author of Crashed the Gate Doing Ninety-Eight: The Citizen's Band Radioand American Culture. The book tells the untold story of the very first electronic social network in America: CB Radio. Citizen's Band Radio grew from a small number of hobby users to a cultural phenomenon in the 1970s. CB life created it's own "slanguage," music and values. Users adapted CBs to their own economic and social uses, which in turn changed the character of the radio use. And then they disappeared.
Come and join Carrie, Sky, and friends for a discussion of the long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. We have been waiting for this book for so long!
There’s an old joke among booksellers about customers who come into bookshops and ask, “Do you have a book? I don’t remember the title or the author, but it has a blue cover…”
We usually find what it is they’re looking for.
This Wednesday at 12:15, our regular Lit Lunch will honor this legendary trope by featuring books just with blue covers. Really. Carrie will be leading the discussion, which will feature a broader selection of books than usual because - well, there are a lot of blue books out there.
Come by and joint the discussion! Bring your lunch!
I suppose we should all be grateful that the “Mystery and Suspense” fiction section in the shop is significantly larger than our “True Crime” section - although both have their enthusiastic patrons. I’m more of a make-it-up-why-don’t-ya kind of guy, but I recognize that there’s something uniquely gripping about nonfiction accounts of horrendous crimes. That old saying that you couldn’t make it up? Sometimes, unfortunately, you don’t need to. Come and join us for lunch on Wednesday, October 2, for a deliciously grizzly Lit Lunch, when Carol will lead an informal discussion about some of her favorite true crime books of the past several years. Bring your lunch (assuming you’ll still have an appetite.)
We’ll be hosting our second back-to-school educator night on Monday, September 30 - which is a teacher training day for Columbia Public Schools. This event is open to all educators and librarians at all levels.
This will be an opportunity for educators 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 our grand prize drawing. Just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you’ll be coming! The event will start at 6:00 (after the shop is closed for normal business) until 7:30.
Mark your calendars, and if you know a teacher, please spread the word!
On Saturday, September 28th, at 6:00 p.m., we will host two dynamic authors with great insights on how to reduce racism and bias in our criminal justice system: police officer Nakia Jones and retired San Francisco Bay Area judge Lise Pearlman.
Nakia Jones will speak on her experience as a black officer. After the police killed Alton Sterling, she created a controversial Facebook post calling out police racism as well as criminal violence. She'll discuss how police can build a better relationship with communities of color who may fear profiling and brutality from those in uniform. Judge Pearlman will discuss past and present efforts to diversify police, prosecutors, judges and juries – focusing on the continuing impact of the world-changing story of the 1968 death penalty trial of Black Panther leader Huey Newton for the death of a white policeman. The surprising verdict reached by a pioneering black foreman and ground-breaking jury of mostly women and minorities likely prevented national riots. The result galvanized the transformation of the American jury from the traditional twelve white men to the diverse panels we often take for granted today.
Police officer Nakia Jones’ passionate and heartfelt outcry over the death of Alton Sterling and other young African American males went viral and took the nation by storm. Officer Jones has been vocal about her outrage over the actions taken by some of her fellow men in blue. This life altering experience, inspired Officer Jones to write her book “The Truth Divided”, which was released in April of 2018.
Born in Warrensville Ohio, Officer Jones attended Wilberforce University. She chose Criminal Justice as her major because she was aspiring to become a prosecuting attorney. However, in 1996 she chose a different career path and in September of that year she was sworn in as a Police Officer for the City of East Cleveland. In 1999 Officer Jones joined the Highland Hills Police Department and in 2002 she was sworn in as the first African American female officer for the City of Warrensville Heights. She held that position as the Senior Response Officer until 2017. She is an active member of her community and volunteers for career day throughout the district.
Prize-winning author Lise Pearlman is a former trial lawyer and judge and nationally recognized speaker on famous 20th century trials. Her books have won multiple awards in the categories of law, U.S. History, multicultural nonfiction and social change. Her latest book, Call Me Phaedra: The Life and Times of Movement Lawyer Fay Stender, won the 2018 International Book Award for biographies. She is also the author of With Justice for Some: Politically Charged Criminal Trials of the Early 20th Century That Helped Shape Today’s America ; The Sky’s the Limit: People v. Newton, The REAL Trial of the 20th Century? ; and American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton  which is also a companion to a nonprofit documentary project of the same name for which Pearlman serves as producer. The documentary project won the Berkeley Film Foundation 2017 civil rights award and is expected to be completed and released in 2020.
We are very pleased to announce that we’ll be hosting a VERY SPECIAL edition of Saturday story time this Saturday afternoon, September 28, at 1:00 p.m. We’ll be welcoming some of our local First Responders to come to Skylark to read from their favorite books - including Tiburon, pictured above. (It’s presently unclear if Tiburon himself will be reading, or just keeping us all safe while his human does the work.) In addition, we'll have two fire fighters and the fire chief who'll also be reading! Come by, meet our wonderful friends, and enjoy some excellent stories and books! The fun starts at 1:00 - and, as always, this event is completely free for everyone to attend.
As part of Banned Book Week, Beth will be hosting a Lit Lunch on Wednesday, September 25 where she’ll be discussing some of her favorite books that have (for a variety of dubious reasons) fallen foul of the censor’s cut. It will be informative, and entertaining, and you never know - you may pick up a recommendation or two. (We have brown paper bags to take the books home in if you want.)
As always, the event is totally free. Bring you lunch and join in the conversation!
We’re very pleased to announce a double bill of fabulous poets who will be reading from their new books on Monday, September 23.
Marc McKee is the author of What Apocalypse?, winner of the 2008 New Michigan Press / DIAGRAM Chapbook Contest, Fuse (2011), Bewilderness (2014), Consolationeer (2017), and Meta Meta Make-Belief (2019), all from Black Lawrence Press. His poetry appears in online and print journals such as American Poetry Review, Bennington Review, Conduit, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, Forklift, Ohio, The Journal, Los Angeles Review, Memorious, Sixth Finch, and several others. Learn more about him here. He is the managing editor of the Missouri Review and lives in Columbia, Missouri with his wife Camellia Cosgray and their son, Harold.
Brian Barker is the author of three books of poetry, Vanishing Acts (SIU Press, 2019), The Black Ocean (SIU Press, 2011), and The Animal Gospels (Tupelo Press, 2006). His poems have appeared in such journals as Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, The Washington Post, Indiana Review, The Cincinnati Review, Blackbird, and Pleiades. He teaches at the University of Colorado Denver, where he is a poetry editor of Copper Nickel. Learn more at www.brianbarker.net.
We are delighted to welcome Emily Wilson to Skylark to discuss her astonishing new translation of The Odyssey with Sean Gurd, Professor of Classics at the University of Missouri. Please note that this is a morning event, which will start when we open our doors on Saturday morning!
Composed at the rosy-fingered dawn of world literature almost three millennia ago, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage and family; about travelers, hospitality, and the yearning for home.
This fresh, authoritative translation captures the beauty of this ancient poem as well as the drama of its narrative. Its characters are unforgettable, none more so than the "complicated" hero himself, a man of many disguises, many tricks, and many moods, who emerges in this version as a more fully rounded human being than ever before.
Written in iambic pentameter verse and a vivid, contemporary idiom, Emily Wilson's Odyssey sings with a voice that echoes Homer's music; matching the number of lines in the Greek original, the poem sails along at Homer's swift, smooth pace.
Emily Wilson is professor of Classical Studies and graduate chair of the Program in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. Wilson attended Oxford University (Balliol College B.A. and Corpus Christi College M.Phil.) and Yale University (Ph.D.). In 2006, she was named a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome in Renaissance & Early Modern scholarship. She lives in Philadelphia with her three daughters and three cats.
We’re thrilled to be participating in the series of events put on by our friends at Daniel Boone Regional Library as part of the annual “One Read” program. This year’s book is the brilliant Nomadland, by Jessica Bruder, a stunning exploration of this century’s new migrant workers.
The book addresses many different themes, including travel, shelter, financial security, aging, resilience, community and human ingenuity. On Thursday, September 19, we’ll be hosting an evening of poetry readings and discussion with local authors centered around these themes. Don’t miss it!
Maybe it’s because he’s English and Brexit is getting him down right now, but this Wednesday at 12:15, Alex will be hosting this week’s Lit Lunch, and the topic will be: funny books.
After all - English or not - we could all do with a laugh every now again. Alex will present a wide selection of books guaranteed to tickle the old funny bone. Come by, eat some lunch, and join the conversation!
We had a great time at our inaugural Lit Lunch about British mysteries and thrillers - thanks to everyone who came and ate their lunch while Alex spoke. A lively discussion ensured afterwards about time travel and various other things.
This week Carrie will be talking about some of her favorite collections of short stories. Escape the office, stop by, eat your lunch, and enjoy some civilized book conversation in the middle of your working day!
Come and join us for our first ever Lit Lunch, where Alex will be talking about some of his favorite recent mysteries and thrillers from the UK. Totally free and informal - no need to reserve your place. Just show up with your lunch (or not) and enjoy some relaxed book chat!
On Tuesday, September 3, we’re pleased to welcome Tanner Olson to Skylark. Tanner is a poet, writer, storyteller, and the creator of Written to Speak, a spoken word and writing project that seeks to spread hope and announce love through written and spoken word. Tanner will be reading from his new book, I’m All Over the Place.
For the last five years Tanner has spoken at multiple conferences, universities, organizations, camps, classrooms, and churches, sharing poetry, teaching writing classes, and speaking. He currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife, Sarah.
Come and join Carrie and Sky as they host the first-ever Skylark Cross Generation Book Club, where they will be discussing Margaret Atwood’s classic novel, The Handmaid’s Tale.
As Carrie said in her blog post: “We encourage parent/teen combos to join us, especially those seeking to open doorways to difficult conversations. Anyone else interested in joining us is also welcome. This is not exclusively for duos. We hope to facilitate some thoughtful and important conversations, ones that will continue in the future.”
The discussion will start at 6:00 p.m., just after the shop closes its doors for the evening. No need to book; just show up!
With her previous novels The Weight of Blood and Arrowood, award-winning author Laura McHugh has already proved herself skilled at vividly weaving together small-town intrigue and the dark secrets passed through generations. In THE WOLF WANTS IN, she gives readers a window into a rural farming community lost to the opioid epidemic and the complicated family bonds that come into question when secrets unravel.
Sadie Keller is determined to find out how her brother died. Untimely deaths are all too common in rural Blackwater, Kansas, where crime and overdoses are on the rise, but she believes—even if the police don’t—that this was different. Soon police attentions shifts entirely when the skull of a missing ten-year-old girl is discovered in the woods outside of town. Sadie is on her own, delving into the dark corners of a life her brother kept hidden and unearthing more questions than answers…questions about how he may have been connected to the young girl’s tragic death.
Meanwhile, eighteen-year-old Henley Pettit knows more than she’d like to about the seedy side of Blackwater. She’s desperate to escape before she’s irreparably entangled in her family’s crimes, but shedding the past is never easy, and getting out of town will be far more dangerous than she ever imagined. Time is quickly running out and when more bones are found in the woods, both women are torn between family loyalties and the knowledge that while some secrets are hard to live with, others will get you killed.
Fans of dark, true-to-life thrillers and popular crime podcasts like S-Town and Hell and Gone will become absorbed in the family lies, chilling secrets, and the shocking truth that lands at the heart of this brilliant and haunting novel.
Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey is an author, performer, and producer. He hails from Columbia, Missouri, and holds a bachelors degree in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Iowa. As a writer, he published his first book, “Look, Black Boy,” in May, 2019. As a performer he is the winner of multiple slams and a finalist for the UNESCO City of Literature Global poetry slam. He has done spoken word all around the world.
When he is not writing and performing he is actively producing local events, like Drop The Mic, to showcase the immense talent in the Iowa City community, as well as workshops to teach youth how to write and use spoken word.
Wright Thompson is, as they say, famous if you know who he is: his work includes the most read articles in the history of ESPN (and it's not even close) and has been anthologized in the Best American Sports Writing series ten times, and he counts John Grisham and Richard Ford among his ardent admirers. But to say his pieces are about sports, while true as far as it goes, is like saying Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove is a book about a cattle drive.
Wright Thompson figures people out. He jimmies the lock to the furnaces inside the people he profiles and does an analysis of the fuel that fires their ambition. Whether it be Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or Pat Riley or Urban Meyer, he strips the away the self-serving myths and fantasies to reveal his characters in full. There are fascinating common denominators: it may not be the case that every single great performer or coach had a complex relationship with his father, but it can sure seem that way. And there is much marvelous local knowledge: about specific sports, and times and places, and people. Ludicrously entertaining and often powerfully moving, The Cost of These Dreams is an ode to the reporter's art, and a celebration of true greatness and the high price that it exacts.
We can’t wait to welcome Wright to Columbia. It’s going to be a memorable evening. And if you don’t believe us, here’s some other praise for this brilliant book:
"Thompson has written some of the most important pieces of contemporary sports journalism . . . demonstrating unparalleled insight into the lives of the most compelling figures in sport. . . . This volume elevates reporting and writing that was already operating above the rim.” —The New York Times
"Knockout sportswriting from Wright Thompson . . . Mr. Thompson is an investigator of men’s souls, though his writing is as much about the search for clues as it is about what he finds. . . . None of these pieces are strictly sports stories, but all exemplify the high purpose to which so much sports writing aspires today." —Wall Street Journal
"Wright is a supremely gifted writer who cuts through the mythology with a scalpel.” —The National Book Review
“[Thompson] demonstrates his storytelling talents by probing the personalities of some of the biggest names in sports, both past and present, including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Ted Williams, and Bear Bryant.” —Christian Science Monitor
“Mississippi native Wright Thompson is not only the best active sportswriter in America but also one of the best writers, period. This collection compiles his greatest pieces.” —Men’s Journal
“Thompson demonstrates his talent, deftly portraying a diverse cast of athletes and coaches. . . . [He] also brilliantly reprises the riots and other events surrounding James Meredith’s enrollment at Ole Miss in 1962 and the school’s outstanding football team during that tumultuous year.” —Booklist
“Thompson’s abundant strengths as a long-form journalist are evident on nearly every page…. Richly researched and textured writing that reveals the humanity of the author’s subjects.” —Kirkus Reviews
We are thrilled to be welcoming our friends and CoMo neighbors Jordan Reeves and Jen Lee Reeves, to Skylark to celebrate the publication of their new book, Born Just Right. The book is written by Jordan, who is 13, and her mom, Jen. It’s written from Jordan’s perspective about her life. She shares how she grew up as a typical kid born with one hand and the adventures her difference has taken Jordan through her life.
The book is a middle-grade chapter book for ages 8 and older. Parents can enjoy it as much as the kids!
Jordan invented Project Unicorn, a 3D printed prosthetic arm in the shape of a unicorn horn that shoots biodegradable glitter. It helped her learn that having fun with your difference gives you a chance to speak more about how disability is not a negative experience. It expands your world and she hopes more kids will gain the same experience.
Jordan and her mom turned a blog into a nonprofit called Born Just Right. The organization works to create opportunities for other kids with physical disabilities to learn how to design for their own differences. It also works to grow new job paths toward inclusive design needs in all types of industries. They’ve held workshops and meetups in San Francisco, Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Boston/Cambridge.
A few parts of the book include insight from Jordan’s mom, Jen. She shares what it’s like to be Jordan’s mom and partner in helping share her daughter’s message about disability and design. It’s a wonderful book to read and share with your kids. Come and hear Jordan and Jen speak and help us celebrate this wonderful book (and awesome family.)
Columbia is full of wonderful writers, and we at Skylark celebrate them in a number of different ways, from hosting local author nights to readings - and, of course, to stocking and talking about and selling their books. Most fun of all is when we get to throw a party for a book launch - and that is what we’ll be doing to celebrate the publication of THE UGLY TRUTH, the third novel by one of our most beloved novelists, the brilliant Jill Orr.
THE UGLY TRUTH is the third installment in the Riley Ellison mystery series, and it’s rich with all the suspense, humor, small-town charm, and captivating characters that made the first two books a hit with critics and fans alike.
There's been a shocking double murder in Tuttle Corner, Virginia, involving high-profile players from Washington D.C. This brings national attention - and big-city competition for the story - to junior reporter Riley Ellison's little corner of the world. Beloved caf owner Rosalee is the prime suspect in the violent crimes, but she insists on her innocence. In exchange for protection, Rosalee gives Riley and her fellow reporter Holman exclusive information that incriminates a powerful person.
Meanwhile, Personal Romance Concierge(TM) Regina H. is back, offering once-again-single Riley not just online dating expertise but also a new subscription self-care service that promises such benefits as "the sensation of emotional bravery on a micromolecular level."
Riley and Holman eventually begin to wonder if Rosalee is telling the truth. They head down separate investigative paths until one of them finds the truth... and one of them finds the killer.
Come and help us launch this book into the world! Jill will be there to talk about the book and sign your copy for you. There will be giveaways and snacks! And bubbly stuff.
Our last Drag Storytime on Independent Bookstore Day was a huge success, and we’re really looking forward to repeating the adventure on Saturday afternoon, June 15! Come and help us celebrate Pride Month and enjoy beloved children’s picture books read by some of our beautiful friends!
We’re very pleased to be hosting the book launch for K.L. Harris’s debut novel, Equillian’s Key, on Thursday, June 13.
K.L. Harris is a fiction writer who has an unquenchable habit of changing words into worlds. Ever since she can remember she has been enthralled by stories. Stories she read in books, stories she saw and acted in on stage, stories she saw in film or heard about in school from history and mythology, and the stories that were constantly playing out in the world all around her.
Harris grew up traversing the redwoods of northern California, and then moved to Australia when she was eighteen to pursue a life dedicated to story. There, she acquired her BA in Acting for Film and Stage and became an award-winning film maker. After years of working various jobs in the film industry she put it all aside to focus on the written word. She now lives in Columbia with her husband and two children and is a proud member of the talented woman’s writing group, The Dame Good Writers.
After seven years of world building, she is elated to finally be launching her debut novel, Equillian’s Key, the first book in the fantasy adventure series, Archives of the Night-Watchers. Watch the book trailer below:
By now we hope you know all about the vibrant community of writers living and working in our town. Skylark supports these writers by hosting regular local author nights and keeping a well-stocked Local Authors section in the shop - if you haven’t checked it out yet, come by and do so. You’ll be astonished at the range and quality of the work.
As part of this commitment to our local writers, we also host a regular session of the Columbia Writers’ Guild Quarterly Reading Series. The next reading will be on Thursday, June 12 at 6:00 p.m. The following writers will be participating:
Carolyn Mulford, Novelist. Carolyn grew up on a farm near Kirksville, earned an M.A. in Journalism, and worked as a magazine editor and freelancer on four continents. Twelve years ago she moved back to Missouri to focus on fiction. The Missouri Center for the Book named her first published novel, The Feedsack Dress, Missouri’s Great Read at the National Book Festival, and the Missouri Writers’ Guild has honored books in her Show Me mystery series with Major Work and Best Novel awards.
Deb Sutton, Novelist. Deb, a social worker, publishes as D.K. Sutton. She writes slightly flawed characters in compromising situations and has a passion for LGBTQ+ stories, because honestly we need more of these characters. Her love of mysteries, romance, and John Grisham novels inspired her Trials of Love series. Trial & Error, just published, is the first in the series. The first in her Broken series, Broken Sidewalks, centers around the struggles of falling in love while being gay and religious. Her writing style focuses on creating slow burn tension. Deb is currently president of the Columbia Writers’ Guild, a member of the Missouri Writers’ Guild.
Sheree K. Nielsen, Author/Photographer. Sheree believes that every picture tells a story. Her books combine her love of photography and writing with colorful visual descriptions and healing messages. She is Author/Photographer of 2015 Da Vinci Eye Award Winner Folly Beach Dances (inspired by the sea and her lymphoma journey), Montaigne Medal Finalist and Chanticleer Little Peeps First Place Award Winner for Midnight the One-Eyed Cat (a picture book), Ocean Rhythms Kindred Spirit – An Emerson-Inspired Essay Collection on Travel, Nature, Family and Pets, and an upcoming poetry and photography collection, Mondays in October.
Barbara Leonhard, Poet. Having retired as an Instructor of English as a Second Language, Barbara is now able to devote more time to her poetry, which focuses on metaphysical, metaphorical, and mystical themes. Find her work on the blog - extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog. She also just started Poetry Speaks, a poetry group that meets at the Columbia Senior Center the first and third Mondays each month from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.
Alice Anna Reese, Poet. Anna’s poems and short stories have been published in Prince Edward Island’s literary magazines, blueShift and Common Ground, and in the collections Confederation Bridge, TWiG Anthology, and TWiG Branches Out. She has written and published one book: Show Me Famous Missourians. In an effort to make countries self-sufficient in food production, she has a Ph.D. in Animal Production and has conducted research projects in Tabasco, Mexico; Sumatra, Indonesia; and Mali in West Africa. She sings with the Columbia Chorale and writes with the Bloomin’ Writers.
Come and help us celebrate the launch of the fourth book in the beloved Bea Garcia series, by acclaimed local children’s author Deborah Zemke! This book is especially precious as it is based upon a real-life story that happened some years ago at Grant Elementary School - just across the road from the Daniel Boone Regional Library. Deborah has worked with Grant students for many years as the founder and mentor of the Grant School Book Project, where she has helped more than 1,000 fourth graders write and illustrate hardcover books.
Bea Garcia and her classmates know they can save their school's best tree from being cut down! The fourth chapter book in this quirky, beloved series focuses on teamwork in the classroom and care for the environment. There's a very special 150-year-old oak tree outside the window of Bea's classroom at Emily Dickinson Elementary School. When Bert, Bea's nemesis, climbs the tree, he gets in a lot of trouble--and that leads to even more trouble for everyone. "Concerned" citizens proclaim the tree a hazard and call for cutting it down. But the class won't let that happen, and using Bea's artistic ability, they work out a great plan to save the tree named Emily.
Deborah Zemke has written and/or illustrated more than fifty books for young readers. These range from the popular Doodles drawing books to the acclaimed Bea Garcia chapter book series. Deborah is a frequent contributor to Ranger Rick magazine and the designer of the ITC Zemke Hand font. Deborah grew up drawing, dreaming, reading, and climbing trees near Detroit, Michigan and now, many years later, does exactly the same thing in Columbia, Missouri.
Josephine Baker was a legendary performer, a trailblazing activist, and one of the most remarkable and powerful cultural icons in history. In this moving and insightful biographical novel, Sherry Jones lifts the curtain and pays homage to her fascinating life.
Josephine Baker was born an illegitimate child of poverty in St. Louis, Missouri but emerged as a black ingénue in Paris at the height of the flapper movement. Sherry Jones creates a fictionalized reimagining of Josephine Baker’s rise to international fame and success as a headlining performer on Paris’s grandest stage.
A celebrity in the midst of the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, and beyond, Josephine Baker also had a secret career as a pilot in the French Air Force and intelligence spy for the French Resistance. She took center stage as a dedicated Civil Rights activist, becoming the only woman invited to speak at the 1963 March on Washington, and her views on social justice and advocacy continue to influence American life today.
Symbolic of her life, JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE is structured around the program of Josephine Baker’s final triumphant performance. As the final curtain falls, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today. Come and listen to Sherry Jones read from her book and share the stories behind this enchanting novel.