Love to read? So does the Gabber!
Starting next month, folks can join the Gabber Book Club, in association with Tombolo Books.
“We’re bringing the Gabber back to the community, and the book club is one part of that,” said new owner Cathy Salustri, who purchased the newspaper in June with her husband Barry.
The Gabber Book Club will celebrate Florida authors and great books that are set in the state.
“We’re working with Florida authors because we’re a Florida paper – the oldest indie paper in the state – and an indie ourselves,” said Salustri.
The book club will meet the second Wednesday of each month, on Zoom for now, beginning August 12 at 7 p.m. Future in-person events will be held at the Historic Peninsula Inn in Gulfport. Selections will amplify all voices, particularly those that have historically been marginalized.
For its inaugural meeting the book club will talk about “Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls” by T Kira Madden. The memoir describes Madden’s childhood growing up as a queer, biracial teenager in Boca Raton, a blend of privilege, destruction and beauty.
“We’re going to focus on diverse voices because diversity should really be explained not as ‘diversity’ but ‘reality,’” said Salustri. “The world is multicolored and multigendered, and we’re going to celebrate that every month with the book club.”
Another indie aspect of the book club is its partnership with St. Petersburg’s local bookstore Tombolo Books, co-owned by Alsace Walentine and Candice Anderson, on 2153 1st Ave. S. The bookshop has found innovative ways to reach customers during the pandemic with downtown delivery, curbside pickup, in-store socially distanced browsing appointments and direct shipments.
Tombolo’s Claire McNeill will recommend book selections and provide copies for book club members who want to purchase the month’s selection.
“We work closely with book club hosts to help figure out the right picks for their particular group,” said McNeill. “At the shop, we work hard to curate a stock that’s full of books from small presses by diverse authors and which might go under the radar elsewhere. An independent bookstore is exactly what you can’t get by scrolling online. You can tell a bookseller what you’ve been reading lately, know they’re listening and leave with a book you’d never have found through an algorithm.”
There is no cost to join the book club, and every month will feature a different facilitator from the Gulfport community. Facilitators get a free copy of the book courtesy of Tombolo Books and the Gabber.
While there is no cost to join, if you’re buying rather than borrowing the book, the Gabber encourages you to get the book from Tombolo. If you want to download the audiobook or read the book virtually, you can support indie bookstores by going to libro.fm.
September’s selection is Jennifer Clement’s “Gun Love,” a novel about a mother and daughter set in central Florida that was long-listed for the National Book Award. Those interested in facilitating the September book club can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To RSVP and receive a Zoom link for August’s meeting, email email@example.com and check out the event page on the Tombolo Books Facebook page.