Once upon a time ...

Alex George, Owner


Alex George has published six novels, both in the United States and abroad. A Good American was a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers Pick and a national and international bestseller. His most recent novel, Setting Free the Kites, was published by Penguin Books in February 2017 and was also a bestseller. Both books were chosen by the nation’s independent booksellers for the “Indie Next List”. His new novel, The Paris Hours, will be published by Flatiron Books, an imprint of Macmillan, in May 2020. Alex is also the founder and director of the Unbound Book Festival, which has just finished its fourth annual event.  He is also an attorney, and has run his own law firm in Columbia for the past fourteen years. A native of the UK, he moved to Columbia fifteen years ago.

Carrie Koepke, Manager


Carrie has lived in the Columbia since the age of two, when she became firmly rooted. She feels at home in wild green spaces, or anywhere if there is a book to read. Admittedly, sidewalks have proven to be safer for reading while walking. When she pretends to have spare time, she likes to grow things… in gardens, on paper, in her home, and in the community. Favorite genres include Literary Fiction, Picture Books, Science, Memoir, and Books That Refuse Definition.

Becky Reed, Senior Bookseller


Becky Reed has been a book lover for her entire life, so becoming a bookseller was a very easy decision. She came from St. Louis to attend Mizzou in 1998, fell in love with the small town feel and just never left. Armed with a degree in English, she has worked as a bookseller in Columbia for most of her adult life. 

The only thing that Becky likes more than books is talking about books. As a bookseller, her favorite thing is pairing the right person with the right book. It doesn't matter if it's for you, your child, your grandma, or your mailman, Becky will help you find the perfect book, and hopefully put a smile on your face while doing so.

Having been a small child obsessed with books, and currently raising three young readers of her own, Becky's biggest passion is children's literature. She believes in getting them while they're young. She is well versed in helping guide kids in starting, growing, and loving to read, and is more than happy to share what she knows. Becky is thrilled to begin this new adventure with Skylark Bookshop and can't wait to see the community ties we build and how we can further literacy in our own tiny corner of the world.

Beth Hemke Shapiro


Beth Hemke Shapiro hails from Chicago but is close to considering herself a native of Columbia after having lived here for more than two decades. With degrees in philosophy, law, and library science, Beth has enjoyed careers ranging from arts administrator to tax consultant to high school librarian. In her spare time Beth likes to travel, attend arts events, hang with her family, and read.  Her favorite genres include literary fiction, young adult, and current events. Beth is thrilled to be part of the Skylark Bookshop team and looks forward to connecting with more readers. 


Carol Putnam

Carol (1).jpg

You can tell by my blond hair, great tan and sunny disposition that I was born in San Diego.  After stints on both coasts of the U.S. (where my favorite book was “Make Way for Ducklings”—I still own it), my family and I settled in West St. Louis county.  With a brief but memorable 3 ½ year stint in California, MO (which explains my notable tendency to call the place where I was born “the state of California”), I graduated from Kirkwood High School (when I actually wanted and received a lovely bound copy of the complete works of Shakespeare) and started heading east.  I received my undergraduate degree at Purdue in Indiana and went on to get my Master’s of Science in Justice at the American University in Washington, D.C.  Against all odds, I found my first job through the Washington Post, went on to work for the Justice Department until I moved to a private company, then out on my own. Mainly, I have spent a great deal of time in police departments and jails researching issues and evaluating programs to try to make the justice system work better and make decisions based on data-driven sources. I moved to Columbia to be closer to my immediate family and besides devouring books at an alarming pace, I like to spend time outdoors, borrow my friends and family pets, cook, and dream of cooler (climate-wise) places to travel to than mid-Missouri in the summertime. 


Originally from Louisville, KY, Erin Regneri is a reader, a writer, a lapsed musician, a vegetarian, a tree-hugger, and a Capricorn. She received her BA in English, Summa Cum Laude, with a Minor in Classical Studies, followed by her MA in English from the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she is currently a PhD student studying 19th Century American Literature. Her focus within nineteenth century American literature is predominately nature and environmental writing, and she is interested in the ways in which literature guides us through the evolution of humans' changing relationship to the environment throughout the long 19th C. At Mizzou she teaches young people how to read and write, and has inspired many non-majors to switch to English by opening their minds to the idea that books are fun, and that one can indeed follow one’s passion and find fulfillment and success, (and that the road less traveled is often the most rewarding). She is always excited to chat about books - nineteenth century or otherwise - and she may even show you pictures of her three cats, one of whom is named after her most favorite writer of all time.

Faramola Shonekan

faramola (1).jpg

Faramola is in her junior year at the University of Missouri. She is also on the track and cross country team for the university. She is a Kinder Scholar and Kinder Fellow, a McNair Scholar, and a Mortar Board Friar. She loves to explore new worlds by reading, and to clear her mind by running. Reading books has always been a passion of hers, and by working at Skylark Bookshop, she gets to surround myself with books every day!



Nobody is quite sure how old Theo (short for Thelonious) is, but then nobody really cares, either. He is a friendly soul, and will be delighted to administer a brief but affectionate welcome on your arrival in the shop – if he’s not hard at work snoring behind the counter, that is.  He loves swimming, playing with his friend Ivy, and turkey. His favorite book is 101 Uses for A Dead Cat.


We're not currently looking for any more booksellers to join our team, but if you're interested in knowing more about working at Skylark, click here.