Craig Popelars, Algonquin’s Marketing Director,
writes about a magical trip to the land of Miami.
STOP, collaborate, and listen,
Algonquin’s in Miami with a frontlist edition.
Our fiction grabs a hold of you tightly,
at Books & Books they sell us daily and nightly.
OK, sorry about that, but for a moment I was channeling Vanilla Ice. It happens, especially when you spend a little time in Miami as I recently did for “Algonquin Night” at the esteemed Books & Books. For a second year in a row, the store hosted me for an event where I showcased Algonquin’s recent and forthcoming works to the legion of Books & Books’ fervent customers. Highlighting the event was Brock Clarke, who shared a candid and entertaining presentation on the writing and reasoning behind An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England and his forthcoming opus, Exley. The audience, which included famed humor columnist Dave Barry (but did not include LeBron James), seemed genuinely entertained and engaged, but that’s probably due in large part to the wine tasting that prefaced the event, thanks to Robin and Alexis, the brains behind The Wine Trials. Yup, it always helps to get the audience lubed-up on alcohol before presenting them books on talking dogs and frozen rabbis.
Most of the event’s success can be attributed to Debra Linn, Books & Books’ talented go-to marketing girl, and ringleader of the Miami book club, Page Against the Machine. Debra did a great job with orchestrating and promoting the event, but special Algonquin shout-outs go to Books & Books owner Mitchell Kaplan, who isone of the best souls period; Christina Nosti, who made sure that Brock and I enjoyed “really good” Cuban food; and wordsmith/buyer Aaron Curtis, who vehemently insisted that I pay the bar tab at the end of the night.
It’s not the beaches, the nightlife, the food, the culture, the sports, or Vanilla Ice that make Miami special. Miami’s on the scene in case you didn’t know it, because of the talented booksellers of Books & Books and their incredible customers.
Word to your mother.