Page & Palette

There's a story here.

New "Europa Book Club" coming soon! Join us, join the club!

Shannon Smits
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Coming soon! A New Book Club- EUROPA Book Club

hosted by Patti Daniel and Stephanie Crowe

A literary bookclub featuring Europa Press Titles whose authors are from all over the world

Book club will begin on September 5 at 2 pm at Page and Palette in the Book Cellar


Schedule for 2019/20

  • September 5- Disoriental by Negar Djavadi

  • November 7- A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse

  • January 9- Brerezina: On Three Wheels from Moscow to Paris Chasing Napoleon’s Epic Fail

  • March 5-The Girl With A Leica by Helena Janeczek

  • May 7-The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney

  • July 9-Disturbance: Surviving Charlie Hebdo by Philippe Lancon


If you are interested in participating in the Europa Book Club please notify the bookstore at 928-5295 or books@pageandpalette.com

Selected books will be available at the bookstore. It is hoped that the club selection will be read prior to our bookclub meeting to ensure the best discussion. More details will be available at the next book night on August 22.

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We made it to the New York Times!

Shannon Smits

Check out this fantastic article that was written about Fairhope, AL!

And look who’s on the featured photo for the article!

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“A Southern Town That’s Been Holding On to Its Charm, for More Than a Century”

Fairhope, in Alabama, thrives as a place for artists, intellectuals and people of outsize character.

Page and Palette, an independent bookstore, has been in business in the center of Fairhope for more than 50 years.CreditRobert Rausch for The New York Times

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Page and Palette, an independent bookstore, has been in business in the center of Fairhope for more than 50 years.CreditCreditRobert Rausch for The New York Times

By Brendan Spiegel

March 1, 2019

A group of populist reformers from up north arrived in Alabama in November 1894 with a radical plan. Their mission: to establish an experimental utopian community inspired by the economist Henry George, whose wildly popular book, “Progress and Poverty,” influenced readers around the world in search of more equitable societies. In this case, their chosen setting was a swath of pine- and pasture-covered land perched high on a bluff overlooking Mobile Bay. There, wrote one of the founders, Ernest B. Gaston, these pioneers would build “a city set upon a hill, shedding its beneficent light to all the world.” Somewhat more modestly, they christened their settlement Fairhope, asserting that their dream community would have “a fair hope” of succeeding.

Henry George’s acolytes put their faith in his concept of a “single tax” colony where the community owned the land and homeowners paid an annual tax that funded the creation of parks and public amenities. The founders set aside nearly a mile of beachfront as public parkland, writes a local historian, Cathy Donelson, in her book, “Fairhope.” They quickly drew more settlers — and soon vacationers, too. Early tourists arrived by steamboat, enticed with attractions like the giant water slide that deposited frolickers directly into the bay, while the annual Shakespeare festival offered free outdoor performances that used the scenic natural setting as a stage.

Fairhope’s blend of natural beauty and eccentric ambition continued to attract artists, writers and intellectuals. The noted progressive educator, Marietta Johnson, opened her School of Organic Education in town. Clarence Darrow, the original super-lawyer, was a fan of the single-tax philosophy and wintered in Fairhope in the 1920s and ’30s. Upton Sinclair wrote his novel “Love’s Pilgrimage” in a tent on the bluff.

A century later, Fairhope is still a draw for writers seeking a peaceful retreat, for art lovers — most notably during the annual Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival in March — and for many other vacationers, no shortage of whom fall for this unheralded setting and decide to stay.

“It’s just a magical little place,” said the author Fannie Flagg. “There are people that have come there from all over the world. Once they see it, there’s a charm about it that they just love.” Ms. Flagg was born in Birmingham and first visited Fairhope as a child. She was lured back years later. “When I started writing, I was living in New York and wanted a place to get away, so I thought, ‘Why don’t I go down to Fairhope?’” She wrote her first book in Fairhope, then returned again to pen the Oscar-nominated screenplay for “Fried Green Tomatoes.” She kept a home in Fairhope for many years, and still returns frequently.

“I don’t know what it is, but there’s an amazing amount of artistic talent that is all gathered here in this one place,” said the writer Sonny Brewer, who has lived in Fairhope since 1978. Mr. Brewer, who formerly ran a bookstore in town, founded the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts, which invites writers-in-residence for monthlong stays in a 1920s cottage tucked behind the city’s public library. Fellow scribes, Mr. Brewer said, have joked about erecting a billboard welcoming visitors to “Fairhope, Alabama, the home of more writers than readers.”

Today, Fairhope is still anchored by its public beachfront, with scenic views available from the Municipal Pier that stretches 1,448 feet out over the bucolic bay, and from the tree-lined Henry George Park up on the bluff. A short stroll up the hill, past shady streets where rocking chairs sway on porches, is the very walkable downtown. Sidewalks are filled with more than a dozen different public art pieces and copious flowers in all seasons, from beds of petunias in summer to snapdragons in the dead of winter. New and historic buildings are home to antique stores such as Crown & Colony, indie boutiques, and galleries like Eastern Shore Art Center, which runs a first Friday art walk.

Charming cafes and restaurants abound, a mix of longtime local favorites like Julwin’s, a greasy spoon that dates to 1945, and hipper newcomers like Refuge Coffee, where a young woman in a hijab recently sipped espresso next to a couple with copious face piercings, and a retiree from Seattle warned that “they’re a little snobby about their coffee here.” Most Fairhope venues fall somewhere in between, like Locals, a small, no-frills space where grass-fed-lamb burgers and elderberry kombucha are on the menu.

From March 15 to 17 this year, a large part of downtown will be taken over by the 67th annual Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival, which brings in more than 300,000 visitors. Streets are closed to traffic and given over to wares from nearly 200 different artists, along with performances from the likes of jazz bands and dance crews. Later in spring there are sunset concerts near the bay by the Baldwin Pops, while fall brings the Fairhope Film Festival, including outdoor screenings in an amphitheater downtown.The place where Fairhope’s founding spirit is most alive is perhaps Page and Palette, an independent bookstore that has stood near the center of town for over 50 years. The bar and event space hosts eclectic audiences for readings and performances several evenings each week, and regulars fill the on-site coffee shop. On Tuesdays and Thursdays for the past decade, two longtime locals have operated “Sonya and Nancye’s Friendly Advice booth” inside the coffee shop, sitting behind a wooden booth inspired by Lucy from the “Peanuts” comic strip and doling out sage advice for a nickel per customer.“The two of them were just great, loyal customers,” said Page and Palette’s owner, Karin Wilson. “When the bottom fell out in 2008, we really thought we were going to have to close. They were very concerned about our store; they wanted to meet with me and ask how they could help. We were meeting in the coffee shop and someone said something along the lines of, ‘What are ya’ll doing here?’ One of them said, ‘Oh, we’re solving the world’s problems.’ I jokingly said they should do an advice booth, and the idea stuck. They’ve been here every Tuesday and Thursday since,” offering thoughts and comfort to anyone in need of a friendly ear. “They’re two women that everyone feels comfortable talking to. It’s something very special that they created.”

A plan for smart development

Ms. Wilson’s grandmother opened Page and Palette as an art supply and book store in 1968; her father eventually spun off a frame shop and gallery next door. Ms. Wilson bought the bookstore in 1997, adding the coffee shop and bar/event space, while her twin sister, Kelley Lyons, purchased the frame shop, now Lyons Share Custom Framing and Gallery.

In a twist, the independent bookseller is now also the city’s mayor — Karin Wilson jumped into politics in 2016 with a successful campaign centered around a platform of smart development. Fairhope is now one of Alabama’s fastest growing cities, with a 27 percent growth in population from 2010 to 2017.

“There’s this charm that we don’t want to lose,” Mayor Wilson said. “Owning the store, we meet so many people who say, ‘We’ve always wanted to live in a community like this.’ People choose to be here for a very specific reason and they’re very motivated about keeping it that way.”

Certainly, there’s much about modern Fairhope that seems a far cry from its socialist-leaning heyday. The Fairhope Single Tax Corporation maintains a charming old-world office on Fairhope Avenue, but today it owns only about 20 percent of the land in Fairhope. Those who live on that 20 percent technically lease the land and pay a single tax to the FSTC that includes their property taxes and a small fee. The other 80 percent of homeowners own the land beneath their homes. All are free to buy and sell as they please. Historic homes along the waterfront can get multimillion-dollar prices.



For visitors, there are a host of rental homes scattered around downtown, plus elegant inns and B&Bs like Emma’s Bay House near the water. Just south of Fairhope is the Grand Hotel, a sweeping 172-year-old property set on a 550-acre expanse that includes two golf courses and a spa. The city’s rapid development means there are now enticing new spots further afield, like the Fairhope Brewing Company, which opened in 2013 in a former tabletop manufacturing facility about a mile from the main stretch of downtown. A huge mural of an oak tree sprouting hops instead of leaves covers the outside of the adjacent bottling building (the artist, Sarah Rutledge Fischer, is the wife of one of the brewers).

The brewery also makes a coffee stout with beans sourced down the road at Fairhope Roasting Company, which shares a garage-door-fronted space with Warehouse Bakery & Donuts. The latter serves up old-style chocolate glazed doughnuts, and more new-school breakfast biscuits stuffed with fried eggs, small-batch bacon and spicy mayo. One door down at District Hall, there’s rock ‘n’ roll bingo with whiskey-infused burgers.

It’s still the serene pace of life that lures most people to Fairhope.

“When I was working on ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ here,” Fannie Flagg recalled, “writing a screenplay is so very difficult and some days I thought I would just pull my hair out. Every afternoon, I would walk across the street from my house and out onto the pier. I would sit there and watch the sun go down. The church was right behind me. The bells would ring and it would just be so peaceful right there in that spot. It kept me sane.”

To Check out the Original Article on the New York Times website, please visit:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/01/travel/fairhope-alabama-places.html?fbclid=IwAR0pmidS0vaD5GCIrHTSRqhkhlCVyt23CtmOxddMfeFfUTK1LCQGF_UTDGE

Meet the Staff: Molly Thomas!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Molly Thomas

What is your favorite drink and why will others love it too?

Margarita because it's refreshing and reminds me of relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Mexico.

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

I love the family of co-workers who are always willing to pitch in and work as a team with a smile on their face. I also enjoy the freedom of being able to create ideas that are supported by the owners and co-workers. It's truly a creative environment that thrives on thinking outside of the box.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Outside of my job at The Book Cellar, I focus on my music career and my second career, pottery. My hobbies include knitting, loving on my animals, spending time with friends and a glass of wine or coffee on my front porch.

Meet the Staff: Savannah Carroll!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Savannah Carroll

What is your favorite drink and why will others love it too?

my favorite drink is freesias garden tea sweetened with one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of raw sugar. the herbal tea is made with fruit pieces and orange peel. the naturally caffeine free tea is very flavorful and delicious

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

My favorite part about working at Latte Da are my co-workers and the people you meet while working. It’s a very relaxing and fun environment for adults and children. The feel and aura of the coffee shop makes you feel right at home. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

My hobbies including writing poetry, reading, shopping and listening to music. I’m currently reading The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur.

Meet the Staff: Brittany Robinson!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Brittany Robinson

What is your favorite drink and why will others love it too?

A martini! Its what I drink when I'm out and about so naturally, I got really good at making them. Plus who can resist a perfect martini!

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

The people!! I have the best co-workers and clientele a bartender could imagine, we really are like a big family

What do you like to do in your free time?

I'm a full-time student so I don't have a lot of free time, but when I do have a break, I love going to the beach, the river, or anything outdoors with my friends.

Meet the Staff: Sarah Browning!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Sarah Browning

What is your favorite drink and why will others love it too?

My favorite drink doesn't necessarily have a name but it is a vanilla ice rage made with almond milk, caramel flavoring, and Highlander Grogg Toddy. I think people will love it because it's sweet yet it also has the perfect amount of coffee flavor, along with a little caffeine kick.

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

My favorite part about working at Latte Da is the customers. I love talking to them and hearing about their day. Hearing all of the stories they have to tell brightens my day!

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I like to read, draw, paint, spend time with my dog Roxy, and do photography. I've been drawing since I was 12 and it's one of my favorite things to do. I also love spending time with my family and friends!

Meet the Staff: Shelby Browning!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Shelby Browning

What is your favorite drink and why will others love it too?

My favorite drink is an iced spiced chai latte because to me it tastes like Christmas in a cup, and I feel like customers would always love to have just that little bit of spirit of Christmas year-round.

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

My favorite part is the joy that I get from having conversations with the amazing and kind customers that come in every day.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I like to go running around downtown Fairhope and by the Bay. It really relaxes me and I love watching the sunset on the pier.

Meet the Staff: Shannon Smits!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Shannon Smits

What is your favorite drink and why will others love it too?

My favorite drink is the Turtle Mocha Ice Rage! It's perfect for these hot days that I am walking between college campus and work or running errands. I like to make mine guilt-free, so I twist my recipe around a bit. It has sugar free mocha mix, almond milk, sugar free caramel, and sugar free hazelnut. And for those days when I'm dragging a bit, I like to add a shot of espresso or cold brew!

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

To paint a picture of why I love working at Page & Palette; this morning I woke up and came to work about 9:00am. As I turned the corner at De La Mare Street to park the car, a group of our locals were sitting out on Latte Da's corner at their usual table. It was such a wonderful & inviting sight to see, they were laughing and enjoying their coffee. After I had parked, I walked up the sidewalk to be greeted by other locals on their way in too. As I opened the door for them, the sound of the joyous noise of people talking followed. (Not to mention the enticing aroma of fresh coffee & baked cookies) After saying good morning to our brilliant coffee shop girls Sarah and Shelby, I poured my coffee and headed back to my office. I also love seeing my mother's face as I enter the bookstore. She is usually laughing with staff and customers. I love working here not only because I enjoy the creative side of my job, but also the atmosphere & personalities of Page and Palette. I have had great opportunities here, support, love, and friendships. At the end of this year, I will have worked at Page and Palette for 5 years.
What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I love being active. And now that we are going into the cooler months of the year this opens up many more options! I am a sucker for beach days and a dip in the salt water. I also always love a good weekend of camping, hiking trails, paddle boarding, biking, and more! I also picked up a new sport called Kitesurfing about four years ago. I belong to a great group that surfs just about every time the flag is pegging! You might see our kites flying at Fairhope Pier, Bayfront Park in Daphne, or Dauphin Island. It just depends on the wind direction!

Meet the Staff: Tanner Wilson!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Tanner Wilson

What is your favorite drink and why will others love it too?

I have to say my favorite coffee drink is an Iced Highlander Grogg Toddy with Irish Cream and a little half & half. The Irish Cream compliments the flavor of Highlander Grogg greatly, and the perfect amount of sweet. A great way to start the morning with a morning jolt!

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

My favorite part about working in Latte Da is its such an open and friendly environment. I have usuals who come every day to enjoy a cup of coffee and sit and talk for a few, while students sit with their laptop and get some studying done. I've made a lot of my friends at my job whether their customers or my co-workers.
What do you like to do in your free time?

With my free time, I enjoy reading, and eating, and putting off working out.

Meet the Staff: Jack Jaquess!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Jack Jaquess

What is your favorite drink and why will others love it too?

My favorite drink is a Highlander Grogg Toddy with a splash of half & half and a pump of Irish cream syrup. It will definitely start your day out right with a kick of energy and lots of love from our Baristas.

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

I love the atmosphere, the customers, and my coworkers. Everyone is always full of life and there's always so much positivity.
What do you like to do in your free time?

I play the saxophone in the jazz, marching, and concert band at Fairhope High School. I also enjoy researching things about coffee in my free time to become the best Barista I can be to further our customer's satisfaction.

Meet the Staff: Angel Stodard!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Angel Stodard

What are you currently reading or what is your favorite book?

I just finished reading the "Paris Seamstress" by Natasha Lester, coming out in September; historical fiction set in World War II and the present. This book has a little bit of everything….World War II- hardships/ heartache; a jigsaw puzzle of lives, past and present, that fit together by the end of the book; mystery, spies, and intrigue; love and redemption, and more. it was a great read! yes…it's historical fiction, but I always learn new pieces of history when I read them!

Another favorite right now is "Super Pooper and Whiz Kid---Potty Power" by Eugene Moyle and Sabrina Moyle. now you might ask WHY?? this has got to be THE best book on potty training I have ever read….and has been instrumental in success for my 3-year-old grandson. plus it's just so fun to read! :)

Two of my favorite reads are "The School of Essential Ingredients" and "The Lost Art of Mixing" by Erica Bauermeister. Read them!!!!

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

I'm a newbie at Page and Palette, so still getting the hang of it all! I've been a customer for years…..so I'm excited to now be a part of the Page and Palette family! Books, great people to work with, fun customers, and my hot tea right next door at Latte Da…who can ask for anything more?


What do you like to do in your free time?

Free time favorites and hobbies are spending time with my husband, Mike, walking, biking, pilates, reading, drinking hot tea…my all time favorite is traveling, exploring and eating amazing food!

Meet the Staff: Jeanne Raggio!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Jeanne Raggio

What are you currently reading or what is your favorite book?

I read "The Masterpiece" by Fiona Davis and loved it so much that I had to read her other books as well - "The Dollhouse" and "The Address". I have enjoyed all of them. They are historical fiction with great storylines that also inform me of places I've only heard about but not visited. All are set in New York City with historical buildings that have influenced the City. The books transport you to another era not only with the locations but also with the characters. A slice of insight into history. They have all made me want to do more research on each location and some of the characters.

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

I have always wanted to work in an independent bookstore and finally, in "retirement" I've been able to do so. I cannot remember a time in my life where I have not been reading a book, if not two or more! Sharing the books with customers is a joy and being around other book lovers as co-workers is also so much fun. Having a local downtown independent bookstore is a treasure.
What do you like to do in your free time?

Obviously, I love reading and working at Page and Palette which to me is like a hobby. I also volunteer with several organizations that I'm passionate about and I enjoy knitting. Most of our travel is to California where the family lives but we do get in some other small trips as well which is fun. I have found house and yard work are being put on the "back burner" more and more so I can do more pleasurable things!

Meet the Staff: Sloane!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Sloane

What are you currently reading or what is your favorite book?

'The Four Loves,' by C.S. Lewis! It's so thought-provoking and beautiful. I love a thinking book. Also, 'The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid,' by Colin Meloy. There are very few things I love more than a thrilling adventure story!

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

I love the atmosphere and the lovely strangers I encounter who become friends. I've only lived here for a year, so it's been a fantastic way to meet people and learn their stories.


What do you like to do in your free time?

If I'm not absorbed in a book, there's a good chance that I'm writing letters, practicing yoga, thrift shopping, sailing, singing, embroidering something, or painting!

Meet the Staff: Stacy Sheehan-Wilson!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Stacy Sheehan-Wilson

What are you currently reading or what is your favorite book?

I am reading Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper. I read "regionally", so I am currently taking a tour of Newfoundland, where my mother is from and one of the most stunning landscapes. This regional tour includes The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede and The Great Halifax Explosion by John U. Bacon. That took me across the North Atlantic to Ireland for Jess Kidd's Himself and Mr. Flood's Last Resort, so then I hopped over to England to enjoy Anthony Horowitz‘s, The Word is Murder. Back in the USA, I jumped to the Northwest coast and read Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None and Sherman Alexie ‘s memoir, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, then on to literary fiction with Louise Erdrich's Future Home of the Living God and down the coast to Oakland, CA for Tommy Orange's There, There. It's been a trip!

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

I know other readers will enjoy stops along my book tour because we live South and while I have certainly enjoyed reading Southern stories in between what I've listed (An American Marriage, Tayari Jones and The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead, for example), it is nice to get away.

What do you like to do in your free time?

My favorite part of working at the Page And Palette is being at the center of the community. The Page And Palette is a natural hub for Fairhopians and visitors alike. Whether coming in to browse or work or grab a school read or find a favorite author or come to a book talk and introduce oneself to a new author, or attend a Hope Community social or hear the best musicians in town, including Molly Thomas, who will pour you a glass of wine then blow your hair back every Monday night when she plays the fiddle with The Book Cellar's Musician in Residence of the month —-The Page and Palette is the place to be.

I am a textile artist, so when I'm not at the Page And Palette, I am working in my studio cutting and sewing away. Currently, I am having fun creating and embroidering sail cloth pillows out of a retired sail that I acquired, which was not long ago sailing Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Rick Bragg generously gave me permission to quote him, so I have leather and linen bookmarks that I am pleased with on my cutting table as well. As a local artist, I have work on display at the Page And Palette and it gives me great pleasure to see it walk out the door.

Meet the Staff: Leigh Buckley!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Leigh Buckley

What are you currently reading or what is your favorite book?

I just completed Natasha Solomons' Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English. I loved it! It is a delightful story of a Jewish German couple who move to London after WWII. They both have extremely different wishes for their new lives. Their divisiveness is comical, endearing, and it is beautifully written. I am so looking forward to her new release in October and her visit to the bookstore in November!


What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

The best thing about working here by far is meeting the most diverse, colorful, and wonderful people who come through these doors. They may be locals that visit daily, locals that pop in occasionally, or even those "not from around here," but almost always each has a sparkle about them that adds to the magic of our store.


What do you like to do in your free time?

Away from the bookstore, I enjoy biking, yoga, kayaking, and of course, reading! Spending time with my Mississippi family, friends, and pets keep me on the road, which is also great because I am able to catch up on more reading by audiobooks!

Meet the Staff: Jodi Smits!

Public Relations
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Meet the Staff: Jodi Smits

What are you currently reading or what is your favorite book?

Coming to Fairhope and landing a job at the Page and Palette was like hitting the jackpot and winning all these wonderful books from every brilliant author. There is no denying the state of Mississippi and Alabama have an enormous amount of talented writers and artists right at our own back door. I am extremely proud to boast about them at the Page and Palette. I have read every Rick Bragg, Winston Groom, Mike McCaffrey, Sonny Brewer, Watt Key and John Hart book available and the list goes on. And I get to see and speak to many of them often. Our very own Ron Mezzaros, Judith Richards, Suzanne Hudson and Joe Formicella, along with Mike McCaffrey come in to have their coffee and ice tea at the Latte Da and sit around talking with other local writers and staff. And that is just to name a few. They are the kindest, wittiest, and the most generous bunch of storytellers I have ever met and they encourage all of us to write our own story and share it with the world. Just recently a great writer John Eldredge wrote a book titled "Epic" that directs us to do that very thing. My favorites are many, but if you have not read it yet, please read any and all by Winston Groom. He keeps us in touch with our historical past reminding us to take it with us into our future. You must read Rick Bragg's "The Best Cook In the World" and Richard Grant's "Dispatches From Pluto". And for Pete's sake, read Leslie Anne Tarabella's "The Majorettes Are Back In Town". And I can't forget our very own Andy Andrew's "The Heart Mender"; a real classic to the Page and Palette.

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

My daughter Shannon and I came to Fairhope with lots of hope of starting a new life and leaving our heartache behind. We came into the Page and Palette greeted by Karin and Kiefer Wilson with open arms and a job. We were properly trained by the best; a bookworm I affectionately named "Sarge", Stephanie Crowe. Her love of books and enthusiasm put us both right in the mode for enjoying every aspect of working here. I love all "my girls", the events, the music, and the great atmosphere. It's family. The only thing I miss tremendously is our precious Ms. Betty Jo Wolff, constantly searching for the right book to introduce to her book club, offering each of us girls a word of wisdom and encouragement. But life gets better with each customer that walks in. After five years I began to realize they were not just customers, they are family. I know their stories, their families, their jobs, and why they love the Page and Palette and the Wilsons. It's about reaching out to the community and saying, "we are here for you".

Let me share a short story with you directly from the Page and Palette. A couple of years back, I first met a wonderful author of poetry, Mr. Michael McCaffrey. Such a gentleman and a hard worker, but he was also a Vietnam Veteran. He had written a small little book of poetry, "The Never Better Club". It is about his father and his teachings. I read the book and could not believe how it had opened my eyes to the love a young boy has for his father and how that wonderful father's teachings of discipline and good manners alone kept the author in perfect peace during great storms of life and war. It helped me realize a great respect for all fathers and the relationship they have with their sons. And when those fathers pass on, their memories and teachings live on in their sons. A simple little book with thought and writing that carries an unmeasurable impact of encouragement. I loved it and recommend it to everyone.

What do you like to do in your free time?

The Page and Palette is a place where everyone matters. And on those days when it gets really busy and hectic and no one is perfect, everyone has a second chance to take a deep breathe and start all over. Come to the Page and Palette to see me and I'll introduce you to some great authors and co-workers that will do everything they can to help you find that perfect book you've been looking for. And plan on sitting down to a cup of coffee and chatting about it. And should your heart be heavily burdened, for Pete's sake come to Fairhope! It won't last long.

Meet the Staff: Heather Hickok!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Heather Hickok

What are you currently reading or what is your favorite book?

Currently I’m reading Our Prince of Scribes, which is edited by Nicole Seitz and Jonathan Haupt, and is a collection stories by notable authors remembering Pat Conroy. For any fan of Pat Conroy (and who isn’t?), this book is a must!! As a bonus, our own Rick Bragg and Sonny Brewer are included, and Sonny’s story takes place right here in Page and Palette and Latte Da!

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

Earlier this year I read The Vineyard by Maria Duenas and thoroughly enjoyed this story that takes us from Mexico City to Cuba and Spain in the 1860’s. This one may have been a little under the radar, but if you love Kate Morton, check out The Vineyard.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I’ve been working at Page and Palette for over 8 years, and I always enjoy getting to meet people from all walks of life who come through our doors. Because there aren’t many independent bookstores left, our customers are usually so excited to be here, and many make a special trip to Fairhope just to come to the bookstore!

When I’m not at the store, my husband and I enjoy traveling, and usually have some kind of trip on the calendar.  We enjoy visiting our daughter Savannah in Pensacola and our son Hunter in NYC. The beach is also a favorite destination, and we go as often as we can. I guess it also goes without saying that I love to read in my spare time!

Meet the Staff: Sherilyn McNally!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Sherilyn McNally!

What are you currently reading or what is your favorite book?

The middle grade book I just finished is Kate DiCamillo’s wonderful novel, “Louisiana”, about a young girl on a journey filled with interesting twists and surprising events. It is both strong in characterization and plot. Best of all, it comes out mid-November, in time for Christmas! Also, I am at the end of Scott Westerfeld’s new dystopian book, Imposters, a thoughtful tale that keeps me up at night turning pages! It is in the store now and I’m excited there will be more coming in this series.

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

This question creates a smile in my heart as I love to connect people to possible books they might like. Super special moments happen when a particular book is selected from a certain shelf and placed questioningly into the receiver’s hand. When eyes light up as if to say, ‘yes, this is the one’, it is most satisfying.
What do you like to do in your free time?

Teaching theatre to young adults is a lifelong passion. Currently, I’m on the board of directors at Theatre 98, where I coach acting and write skits. Our next show, Slurping Stone Soup, based on the classic children’s story, will be presented November 13th.

Meet the Staff: Stephanie Crowe!

Shannon Smits
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Meet the Staff: Stephanie Crowe

What are you currently reading or what is your favorite book?

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Delia Owens has written and lovely story that captivated me as soon as I started reading. Her language is lyrical as is her "Marsh Girl" Kya. To imagine what life could be like living in nature without societal encumbrances was a fascinating experience and provoked a yearning for a simpler life. Ah, the joys of nature! Thoroughly enjoyable!

What is your favorite part about working at Page & Palette?

My favorite part is the customers. My relationships with customers is very special to me and I love sharing good books to read.
What do you like to do in your free time?

My free time is spent reading, reading, and reading!