Tag Archives: books

Night, Night, Birmingham shows city off to kids of all ages

Laurel, Maddie, and Michelle. Photo by Buddy Roberts.While Laurel Mills and Michelle Hyde collaborated on their first children’s book – the whimsical bedtime lullaby Night Night Birmingham – they fretted a little about how it would be received by members of its target audience.

Such as Hyde’s two-year-old daughter.

“What if Maddie didn’t like it?” she said. “I hesitated to show it to her at first. She’s shut down some really good books.”

Mills had similar concerns about her four-year-old cousin. “He’s very straightforward with me.”

They needn’t have worried. Reviews from children have been overwhelmingly favorable, and they haven’t been bad from parents, either.

“It’s great,” said Hyde, whose vivid illustrations complement Mills’ concise rhyming text. “People are excited about it. There’s been a lot of support. Birmingham is really nice.”

Take a listen to Laurel and Michelle reading from the book:

[audio http://bhamterminal.com/timetable/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2011/12/Laurel-and-Michelle.mp3|width=625]

The support may reflect Mills’ and Hyde’s love for the Magic City. Mills is a third generation Birmingham resident who returned to her hometown after spending time in Chicago and Washington, D.C., while Hyde relocated here from Pennsylvania. They first worked together at the now-defunct Lipstick magazine and developed the idea for Night Night Birmingham after Hyde received a children’s book about the landmarks of Philadelphia as a baby shower gift.

“There was nothing like it in the Birmingham market,” Mills said. “So we chose to highlight places that are iconic to Birmingham, places kids would either recognize because they’ve been there or want to go to after seeing Michelle’s drawings.”

Published in August, the book is available throughout metro Birmingham. A full list of locations is available on their website, www.mynightnight.com. Mills and Hyde recommend it as a holiday gift.

“For people visiting Birmingham, it can give you everything you did in book form. You can relive memories of your trip through the book,” Mills said. “Grandparents are telling us they like it for their grandchildren who live far away. Through the book, the kids can remember what they did at grandma and grandpa’s. And it’s great to help children who live here learn about their hometown. Kids want to be proud of where they’re from.”

“I hope it comes through a lot in the book how much we both love this city,” Hyde said. “The South doesn’t always have the brightest of lights shining on it, and we’re proud of the way we can show off Birmingham through the book.”

Got Plans 2.0 – 2.27-3.1

For those of you who are Terminal regulars, I like to think that you were all teary-eyed back in October when Christina wrote her last Got plans? post.  Without it how else were you going to know what to do for the weekend?

I don’t know if you were able to realize it, but what The Terminal laid out in that weekly post was the power to one up those who waste time late Friday afternoon searching the web or flipping through various weekly-published event calendars searching for something to do.  Well, after a justified hiatus, today marks the return of got plans.  With a new style and new direction I set out to be the genius behind your weekend.  As the new writer, let me do all the work.  I’ll flip through the pages and click the links, from there I’ll suggest three or four Terminal-worthy events.  If anything it’ll just be the things you shouldn’t be missing. 

On the flip side, I don’t have the swagger to claim that I’m writing a definitive weekend guide, so if I leave something out, make a comment and let the rest of us know what’s up.  Above all, when someone asks how you know about all this cool stuff, give The Terminal some credit and we’ll keep this conversation going…

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In Love with: School Days and Dog Days

Growing up in Virginia, we had a law that school couldn’t start until the week after Labor Day. Apparently, the thinking went that high schoolers were a vital source of labor for the end-of-summer tourist boom at our historic sites and amusement parks, and thus should not be herded into school any earlier than need be. Why that applied to grade schoolers, I don’t know, but I blissfully reaped the benefits all 12 years that I could. So it’s mystifying to me that students here are already in their fourth week of school, and my teacher husband is gearing up to give his first test. What kind of topsy-turvy world are we living in where “Winter Hours” at the library start on August 17?

Because my internal schedule is so mixed up, I’ve had two warring desires in my brain. The first is to hurry and do all the summer stuff I missed out on this year. (Lounge at the pool! Drink mojitos on the patio! Visit friends at the lake!) The other is to buckle down and do something good for my brain, dammit, because it’s time to start thinking seriously again.

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Susannah Felts’ new book drops tomorrow

This will go down on your Permanent Record bookcoverTomorrow night at 7 p.m., you can find Susannah Felts at The Bottletree reading and signing her new book This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record. The book is all about developing an identity as an artist among the culture of the New South. In anticipation of the book’s release I traded a few emails with Felts, to see what all the buzz was about…

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Murder in the Magic City

Tomorrow, the Homewood Library hosts the 2008 mystery fan conference menacingly monikered Murder in the Magic City. The door open at 9 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m. The cost is $45 and includes lunch (for those with reservations), drinks, snacks and a “goody bag”. Because of limited seating they have been encouraging reservations, but I am told a few walk-up seats are still available.

The all day event includes a panel discussion, a special session with award-winning author Donna Andrews and book signings. What’s cool is that fans can bring their own books from home to have signed by the authors present (a complete list of which is here).

trav blogs regularly at {head}:sub/head, about reading, publishing, books and Birmingham.

Greencup Books opens tomorrow

This Friday, February 8th, at 2 p.m., Birmingham’s newest used bookstore opens its doors to the public. This grand-opening of Greencup Books, located in an old two-story brick building at 105 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd., South (next to Bare Hands Gallery), includes a kick-off event featuring a signing with Tony Crunk and artist Peter Wilm, who will be there at 7 p.m. to promote their book project Stories from Real Life, which is Greencup Books first publishing project.

Owner and publisher Russell Helms says opening a business that published books and art, as well as sell it, is something that he hopes will spur new ideas within the revitalized Southside area.

“It’s all about building community and supporting creativity “at any cost”, says Helms. “If you need a creative boost, just spending half an hour with us should do the trick. Ideas and original thoughts are guaranteed. We have books, books, books, and lots of cool art from Bare Hands Gallery. We exist to spur creativity. People can expect whatever they are looking for, and more!”

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Looking through the lens of Birmingham books

Birmingham book Collection
Special to The Terminal.

It is no secret that Birmingham’s history is one filled with infamous people and colorful events. It’s also one that has been well documented in the pages of books. But books don’t always survive the decades and the ones that do often find themselves buried in the back of used bookstores or hidden away in a grandmother’s attic, until some kind soul stumbles upon these lost books, reads them. Plucking gems of local history from their pages. This a process that Birmingham-area native John Morse knows something about.

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Slamming in the ‘Ham

Ultimate Fighting Champion Matt Hughes is cruising through Birmingham tomorrow night. He’ll be at the Wildwood Shopping Center Books-A-Million location at 7 p.m. He’ll be ready to pose for pictures and will be signing his new book Made in America, which is loaded with tons of background information about his rise to dominance and dishes backstage happenings about one of the most explosive leagues in all of sportdom.

{trav blogs regularly at {head}:sub/head, about reading, publishing, books and Birmingham.}

The Big Read’s Big Kick-Off

Today, the balloons were bought and the were cakes cut in honor of this year’s Big Read. Libraries across Birmingham have activities planned all day to help build awareness and participation in Project Mockingbird, which is the library systems push to get all of Jefferson County reading Harper Lee’s classic To Kill A Mockingbird. Think of it as “one county, one book” kind of a reading plan.

Events and features are planned all the way through this summer. Including a “Read it Forward” program where 1,500 copies of To Kill A Mockingbird will randomly be placed around the county, for people to stumble upon read and pass on.

You can keep up with the project here, and download free gfx, wallpaper and podcasts here. If you are wondering where the nearest launch party is today, check out the JCLC’s calendar page.

{trav blogs regularly at {head}:sub/head, about reading, publishing, books and Birmingham.}