Midtown Reader Blog

The Big Bend Hospice Presents: Jason Rosenthal

“Everyone thinks it’s just a picture book, but what we’ve found is that it isn’t just a book for children,” Jason Rosenthal told me over the phone. “There’s a breadth and depth this book offers that I could see being relevant at any stage of life.” He’s talking about Dear Boy, a book he authored with his daughter Paris as a companion book to one written by Paris and her mother, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, before Amy passed away in 2017. Working on Dear Boy with Paris, Jason said, really confirmed what he already knew: that Paris has a very special ability to capture immense concepts and simplify them in just a few words. As an example, he pointed me to the page in the book that says, “Yes means ye

Elizabeth Stuckey-French at Midtown Reader

Upon first glance, anything called The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady seems like a fairly far-fetched premise, perhaps even science-fictiony. But sometimes facts truly are stranger than fiction. Elizabeth Stuckey-French’s latest novel is a fictional tale, but it is based entirely on a set of rather gruesome facts from our nation’s medical history. During the Cold War, doctors were pressured by the Department of Defense to measure how much radiation exposure someone could survive, ostensibly to prepare for an imminent Russian attack. Stuckey-French’s novel introduces us to a woman who was on the receiving end of these treatments and watched her daughter die of cancer as a direct result. The

Colleen Oakley at Midtown Reader

Colleen Oakley’s recent visit to the Midtown Reader felt like a super chill book club meeting; except, you know, with the author herself leading the discussion. There we were, sitting in the cozy upstairs space with Colleen, her mother, several of her mother’s friends, and a few local authors, chatting about what inspired each of Colleen’s four novels and the role her mother plays in the early editing process of each book. “When I turn in a book, it’s pretty polished because my mom does my early editing,” said Colleen. About her third novel, You Were There Too, which is due out in early 2020… “We only had to change seven words once it was turned in.” It’s clear the two women have a very spec

Paul Sutter: Agent to the Stars

“Basically, I’m holding their hands while blowing their minds.” This is how cosmologist Paul Sutter explained his book, Your Place in the Universe, to me. On paper, it sounds like something Rajesh Koothrappali from “The Big Bang Theory” would say, followed by the CBS laugh track. But when Sutter says it, he’s earnest and unassuming. Sutter wrote his book to tell “the fun, long story of this journey” of the cosmic evolution and how we came to understand it. What could be more fun, he said, than trying to understand the universe? The challenge he encountered while writing the book wasn’t the research or the structure of the manuscript; it was how to talk about something as complex and speculat

The Biography of a Place: Jack Davis’ The Gulf

Jack Davis loves the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, he seems to love all coastal bodies of water, having grown up first in the Florida Panhandle and then in the Tampa Bay area. But the Gulf truly holds a special place in his heart; it’s an affection that comes through clearly in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea. “Writing this book was a labor of love,” he told me. There was birdsong in the background of our phone conversation. It seemed right, since I was listening to him tell me why he felt compelled to write about this environmental, well, force of nature. “When I realized no one had written a comprehensive history of the Gulf of Mexico, it shocked the hel

Midtown Reader ♥️s Word of [South]!

Spring is one of our favorite times of year in Tallahassee, due in no small part to Word of [South], an amazing event that celebrates music and literature and the bond between the two. This year’s event takes place April 12-14 at Cascades Park. We are again hosting some of our very favorite authors under the Midtown Reader Tent, one of seven locations for authors and musicians throughout the weekend. (Click for a map of the venues) Here’s our schedule! Saturday, April 13 Noon to 12:45 PM - Tom Coyne Tom Coyne is the author of the New York Times bestsellers A Course Called Ireland and A Course Called Scotland; Paper Tiger; and the novel A Gentleman’s Game, named one of the best 25 sports book

Bringing History to Life with Robert Macomber

Peter Wake has an exciting life. As an American Naval Intelligence Officer, he finds himself operating in the shadowy world of espionage during some of the greatest events in American history. Time and travel are of no consequence to him, because he is the central character in Robert Macomber’s novels, centered around events that changed not only American history, but also the world at large. Macomber’s most recent novel, Honoring the Enemy, has been eagerly awaited by his fans, who call themselves Wakians. Macomber said his readers are extremely enthusiastic, often assisting him with research and frequently contacting him about their travels to locations in his books. He’s written 14 about

Celebrating the Lady from the Black Lagoon

I’ve never been a big fan of horror movies; why would I want to pay someone to scare the daylights out of me? But when I was talking to Mallory O’Meara, author of The Lady from the Black Lagoon, she had a completely different—and very logical—perspective. “Horror is a weirdly calming, comforting place,” she said. “All of these monsters are metaphors for something bad, and we see them get destroyed. It’s cathartic.” O’Meara is an author, screenwriter and producer, and a self-proclaimed lover of monsters and horror entertainment of all types. Her passion radiates through her projects and is on full display in Lady, a project she began because she couldn’t find enough information about one of h

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