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Easy like Sunday morning

July 11 — Happy Sunday from Atlanta Senior Life

The Gentlemen’s Finals of The Championships at the All England Club (aka Wimbledon) is today. 9 a.m. on ESPN (later at 3 p.m. on ABC) if you want to watch. You can also read our previous story on Atlanta’s senior tennis scene.  

Or, maybe you just want to sit back and dive into other summer reading. Today’s newsletter has a focus on books, including the opening of a new bookstore in one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods and a unique Buckhead bookstore that’s also a lovely wine bar. 

Don’t forget that our July print issue is now available around town at prominent retailers like Whole Foods, Breadwinner, Alon’s, CVS, Goldberg’s and most local libraries.  Let us know if you’d like us to add a location to our list.

Be sure to bookmark our site which we have relaunched under the Reporter Newspapers domain and follow us on Facebook, so you can stay up to date with our latest content.

If you’re enjoying our new newsletter, please tell a friend or two! 

Have a great week!


Author Toni Whitaker

1. Finding their write stuff

Earlier this year, we caught up with three local Atlanta seniors who are juggling life and chasing their dreams of being best-selling authors. 

Read about Lynn Cullen, Tori Whitaker, and Paul Bolster in this story


Brandon P. Fleming

2. Brandon Fleming’s remarkable journey

Brandon P. Fleming is an Atlanta-based educator with a long list of impressive accomplishments. He came to Atlanta after being recruited to teach at the world-renowned Ron Clark Academy. Later, Fleming became the Assistant Debate Coach at Harvard University, and founded the nationally acclaimed Harvard Diversity Project within the Harvard Debate Council.

In his new book, Miseducated: A Memoir, Fleming tells his harrowing life journey, including growing up in an abusive environment and a suicide attempt.

After overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds, he found the strength to reach for higher goals, leading him to Harvard where he has helped countless teens and young adults rise above similar challenges.

“Trailblazers don’t wait for opportunities, they create them,” Fleming told CBS News.

It’s a lesson that Fleming teaches his students, and a powerful thread throughout Miseducated. Dr. Cornell West wrote the Foreword.

The book is available now and has received accolades from Kirkus Reviews.


Jordan Smelt and Katie Barringer at Lucian Books & Wine (Photo: Christy Bush)

3. Would you like some Bordeaux with your books?

Katie Barringer’s Cover Books was a Westside destination where one did, in fact, judge a book by, well, you know.

Now, she’s teamed up with Jordan Smelt, the former wine director at the legendary Cakes & Ale, to open Lucian Books & Wine in Buckhead at Peachtree & Pharr.

Barringer and Smelt spoke to us about what they have in mind for the space, which features Cakes & Ale alum Brian Hendrickson in the kitchen serving everything from “elevated bar snacks to full-size composed dinner entrees,” according to Smelt.

Barringer will line the walls with “nonfiction books with a strong emphasis on art, architecture, design, and photography” and Smelt expects the wine program to complement her eclectic book selection by offering “some household names…but also a lot of small production wines that are absolutely fabulous.”    

Read the whole interview


Sandy Huff at Virginia Highland Books

4. A new bookstore opens in Virginia Highland

 Recent weeks saw the grand opening of Virginia Highland Books at 1034 North Highland Ave., just a few doors down from Perc Coffee.

The two-story space formerly occupied by Empire South, is stocked with new titles—children’s books, fiction, and non-fiction for young and adult readers alike

The shop’s owner Sandy Huff says that her vision for the shop is to encourage the community to help curate the books she carries. “I want to have as much input from the neighborhood as possible on what they’re reading and giving reviews,” Huff said.

In addition to the printed matter lining the shelves, Huff says she also plans on selling local art and vinyl records. She has created a space downstairs for gatherings, author appearances and signings, book clubs, and more which she’ll start booking in August.


5. Summer Reading Round-up

 Looking for other summer reads?

Jacob Nguyen offers a survey of recent books examining everything from Stankonia and Outkast’s role in pushing hip-hop culture forward to Stacey Abrams’—yes that Stacey Abrams—legal thriller, While Justice Sleeps.

Our recap ofsix titles by women authors delves into some serious Southern legacies over at Atlanta Intown.

Meanwhile, if you want some musical reads, check out Jerry Grillo’s (somewhat fictional) The Music and Mythocracy of Col. Bruce Hampton (above).

On that note, Hampton Grease Band guitar virtuoso Glenn Phillips’ bookEchoes: The Hampton Grease Band, My Life, My Music and How I Stopped Having Panic Attacks is a timeless and fascinating look at the psychology of life inside a band, and making sense of what comes next.

Let’s not forget about Kai Bird’s crucial re-evaluation of Jimmy Carter’s presidential legacy, The Outlier.

Grace Elizabeth Hale’s Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture is high on my summer reading list. The title says it all.


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