Mary Laura Philpott in conversation with Kimberly Williams-Paisley for Bomb Shelter

Mary Laura Philpott's Bomb Shelter
Event date: 
Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - 8:00pm to 9:00pm

Event Location

Zoom account of Books & Books
Link sent at 7pm, 4/20/22

Avid Bookshop, in partnership with host Books & Books/Miami Book Fair, presents an evening online with our friend Mary Laura Philpott on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 at 8pm ET. This virtual event is produced by Books & Books (Fla.), an independent bookstore near and dear to our hearts. We thank them for inviting us to be partners on this.

Mary Laura's beautiful new book, Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives, is already a double staff pick at Avid Bookshop: both Rachel and Janet are eager for its release date so all of you can read it. Don't miss what's sure to be an engaging, funny, and touching virtual event featuring Mary Laura in conversation with actress/author/advocate Kimberly Williams-Paisley.

To attend this virtual event, you must purchase a copy of the book from the Avid Bookshop website (just scroll down!). We ship nationwide and appreciate business from neighbors as well as faraway friends. At 7pm ET the day of the event (4/20), we'll send event login information to the email address affiliated with your order of Bomb Shelter. 

A note for frequent Avid event attendees: please note that this event starts at 8pm ET instead of our usual 7pm. 

(Prefer to buy in-store or via phone? Review some important instructions by clicking here.) 

Anyone who has purchased Bomb Shelter from Avid (& provided their email address!) will receive a Zoom link via email on April 20th at 7pm ET, one hour before the event begins at 8pm ET. (Don't see the email? Check your spam folder!) Please order your copy of Bomb Shelter early, as book sales will be cut off 15 minutes before the livestream begins. This means you must buy your book here on our website by 7:45pm ET on the day of the event (April 20, 2022).

Early access to event video is another perk for those who buy the featured book: Can't make it during the livestream but want to hear the conversation between the authors (while also supporting Avid and the other indie bookstores sponsoring this event)? A recording will be available to customers who purchased a ticket (by buying a copy of Bomb Shelter) as soon as possible after the event night. That's right: before it's shared widely with the public at a later date, you'll get first access to a video of the conversation between Mary Laura and Kimberly! 

From the bestselling author of Avid staff pick I Miss You When I Blink and “writer of singular spark and delight” (Elizabeth Gilbert, #1 New York Times-bestselling author) comes a poignant and powerful new memoir that tackles the big questions of life, death, and existential fear with humor and hope.

A lifelong worrier, Philpott always kept an eye out for danger, a habit that only intensified when she became a parent. But she looked on the bright side, too, believing that as long as she cared enough, she could keep her loved ones safe.

Then, in the dark of one quiet, pre-dawn morning, she woke abruptly to a terrible sound—and found her teenage son unconscious on the floor. In the aftermath of a crisis that darkened her signature sunny spirit, she wondered: If this happened, what else could happen? And how do any of us keep going when we can’t know for sure what’s coming next?

Leave it to the writer whose critically acclaimed debut had us “laughing and crying on the same page” (NPR) to illuminate what it means to move through life with a soul made of equal parts anxiety and optimism (and while she’s at it, to ponder the mysteries of backyard turtles and the challenges of spatchcocking a turkey).

Hailed by The Washington Post as “Nora Ephron, Erma Bombeck, Jean Kerr, and Laurie Colwin all rolled into one,” Philpott returns in her distinctive voice to explore our protective instincts, the ways we continue to grow up long after we’re grown, and the limits—both tragic and hilarious—of the human body and mind.

From Rachel Watkins, parent & operations director at Avid Bookshop: "Bomb Shelter reads like a long coffee date with a dear friend. This memoir covers a lot of the emotional nuances of parenting,& Philpott is a kindred spirit. Give this book to any parent who needs a virtual hug & assurance that they are indeed doing a good job."

From Janet Geddis, non-parent & business owner/founder of Avid Bookshop: "Mary Laura's hilarious, unabashedly authentic writing reveals the magical power she has to unlock my anxious but loving heart. To love big and choose joy requires us to acknowledge, again & again—with varying degrees of success—that we cannot keep our beloveds safe."

Mary Laura Philpott, author of the national bestseller I Miss You When I Blink, writes essays that examine the overlap of the absurd and the profound in everyday life. Her writing has been featured frequently by The New York Times and appears in such outlets as The Washington PostThe AtlanticReal Simple, and more. A former bookseller, she also hosted an interview program on Nashville Public Television for several years. Mary Laura lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

Avid customers may have met her a few years ago when former Avid manager Tyler Goodson interviewed her for an in-conversation event at #AvidOnPrince during the I Miss You When I Blink tour.

Kimberly Williams-Paisley is an actress, New York Times-bestselling author, Alzheimer’s advocate, and co-founder (along with husband Brad Paisley) of non-profit, The Store, an organization in Nashville which aims to address food insecurity. 

Williams-Paisley’s memoir Where The Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again, chronicling her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease (Crown), came out in 2016 and hit the New York Times bestseller list. She was awarded a Champion Award in 2016 from the Alzheimer’s Association for her advocacy work dedicated to sharing her family’s story, funding research and supporting caregivers. Her annual Dance Party to End Alz in Nashville has raised over a million dollars in its first three years. 

She is a global ambassador for CARE International, a spokesperson for CARE’s She Feeds the World partnership, and in 2020 joined Charlize Theron’s Together For Her campaign in partnership with CARE to help deploy funds and support the global fight against domestic violence during the time of the Global COVID Pandemic.  


Two important notes for those of you who prefer to order at the bookshop or via phone (706-850-2843):

  1. Our business hours: 
    • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 11am - 4pm 
    • Fridays & Saturdays, 11am - 6pm
    • Closed Sundays and Mondays  
  2. Share your email address with the bookseller ringing you up so that we can send you login information before the event.
Staff Pick Badge
Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives By Mary Laura Philpott Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982160784
Availability: In our warehouse - should arrive/ship in 5-10 business days. (Currently not on our shelves.)
Published: Atria Books - April 12th, 2022

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