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Miscellaneous Book Stuff: Little Free Libraries, Literary Gatherings, Bookish Gifts

Cindy Burnett
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This week I am writing about several miscellaneous bookish things that I want to share with you:

Leave a book, grab a book

Susan White, Dave Beach, Sofia Thompson, David Crow, Caroline Cozart, Caroline Larsson, Susan Sample, Anne Marie Thompson, Ellie Egan

A Brownie troop created a Little Free Library at the Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park in West U. Pictured are (from left) West U Parks and Recreation Director Susan White, West U City Manager Dave Beach, Sofia Thompson, David Crow, Caroline Cozart, Caroline Larsson, troop leaders Mayor Susan Sample and Anne Marie Thompson, and Ellie Egan.

For the November print issue of The Buzz Magazines, I wrote an article highlighting various Little Free Libraries in the area. I have received so many nice emails about the article and several photos of some Buzz residents’ LFLs that I look forward to visiting soon. Keep your eye out for these little libraries around your neighborhood. If you come across one, leave a book and grab a book!

Gathering together again in person

The Conversations from a Page literary salon that I host with my cofounder Krista Hensel is back in person (thankfully), and we have hosted two fabulous events, one in September and one in October. In September, we hosted Austinites Katie Russell Newland, author of A Season with Mom: Love, Loss, and the Ultimate Baseball Adventure, and Chandler Baker, author of The Husbands; both books have been optioned for the screen by celebrities. Kristin Wiig DM’ed Chandler through Instagram to ask about the rights, and Chandler is writing the screenplay. Katie’s book was optioned by Kaley Cuoco who just recently coproduced the very successful book-to-screen adaptation of The Flight Attendant.

Cindy Burnett, Nicola Harrison, Christi Clancy, Krista Hensel,

Conversations from a Page is back in person and recently hosted authors Nicola Harrison and Christi Clancy.

Last week, we hosted Christina Clancey, author of Shoulder Season, and Nicola Harrison, author of The Show Girl, who paired beautifully together. They had numerous themes in common including stumbling onto their stories when researching something else, iconic American institutions, and writing their second books. Both of Christina’s books came out during the pandemic so this event was one of her first in-person events as an author.

While I love the literary side of these events, I now also appreciate the gathering aspect even more and the enjoyment of seeing people that I have not seen in person for almost two years. Reading is a solitary activity (as is writing for the authors) and getting to engage in conversations about the salon books, other books, our lives, and more is priceless. 

Literary gifts for the holidays

Literary gifts

These beautifully crafted literary gifts use repurposed books and typewriter keys.

Looking for a creative and unique gift for the book lover in your life? I recently found some wonderful items made out of repurposed goods that I am eager to share with you. First, a company out of Dallas is transforming reclaimed books into decorative letters, shapes, animals, and more. Letter Lounge even allows you to pick your pattern and colors.

Lark and Owl Booksellers in Georgetown, Texas sells bracelets and earrings made out of old typewriter keys. The pieces have meanings or short expressions on them; the bracelet I purchased says “Time Flyz” and my earrings are an X and an O. The store also sells purses made from old Readers Digest editions that make fun conversation pieces. Not only are these items unique, the artists have found creative ways to extend the lives of books and other items.

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see Cindy’s monthly Buzz Reads column, her Thoughts from a Page Podcast or follow @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram. Find upcoming Conversations from a Page events here.

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