Jessica Bailey Photography

Thanks to a Keller native, Keller now has its own independent bookstore.

Hayley Smith, an interior designer by trade with a permanent thirst for reading, has opened A House With Books in Keller Town Center, at 1101 Bear Creek Pkwy. The 500-square-foot space offers fiction, non-fiction, children’s, young adult, and Christian books, along with an array of gifts, paper goods, a handful of home décor items, and complimentary hot tea.

“I'm a lifelong reader and it's always been my most beloved hobby and passion,” says Smith, who resides in Keller with her husband and two children. “Bookstores are my favorite places, and I've wanted to open one since I was a little girl. I believe it's so important for a town to have a bookstore, and I've dreamed of serving Keller in this way for a few years now.”

Smith had already built a strong following for her design and fashion tips on her Instagram page, also titled A House with Books. The page originally referred to her own home. She’s since added a dedicated bookstore page with the handle @ahousewithbooksshop.

The store shares space with Headquarters, Keller’s first co-working space set to open this spring by Smith’s friends, Erik and Missy Reynolds. Headquarters will offer first-come-first-serve and dedicated desk space available with monthly plans than range from one to five days a week. (There’s even a “side hustle” plan that provides for evening and weekend access.)

Both businesses combine for about 1,600 square feet and are located across from expansive Keller parks, trails, and duck ponds.

“It's a peaceful environment where our customers are welcome to browse the shelves for as long as they like,” says Smith. “I love recommending books to people and I personally handpick our entire stock of books.”

A House With Books is still in soft opening mode operating with “pop-up hours” of 9:30 am-1:30 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. Smith has plans to gradually expand hours, as well as launch a book club and Saturday morning story time.

Customers can shop online anytime at www.ahousewithbooks.com.

Photo by Martha Kaplan / courtesy of Wild Surmise Productions, LLC and Sony Pictures Classics

Documentary Turn Every Page deep-dives into historic publishing partnership

Movie Review

There have been many famous partnerships in the world, from musical ones like Hall & Oates to business ones like Bill Gates and Paul Allen. But one of the more underrated partnerships is that between authors and editors, a relationship that can be mysterious for those not well versed in the process.

The new documentary Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb, takes deep dive into the ineffable bond between Caro, author of The Power Broker and four (and counting) biographies of Lyndon B. Johnson, and Gottlieb, his longtime editor at publishing company Knopf. Caro is notorious for taking his time with his books, releasing only one about every 10 years since 1974.

The film, directed by filmmaker (and daughter of Robert) Lizzie Gottlieb, features a variety of “talking head” interviews from people as diverse as Conan O’Brien, TheNew Yorker editor David Remnick, and President Bill Clinton, but cedes the majority of its time to hearing from the two men themselves. Both have lived extraordinary lives, but – despite their strong connection – in very different ways.

It would be fair to call Caro “obsessive,” as his career has focused on hefty non-fiction tomes devoted to just two men. The Power Broker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning, 1,300+ page book about urban planner Robert Moses, goes into great detail about how Moses shaped the landscape of New York City, and not always for the better. He has also published four volumes of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, all detailing Johnson’s life before he was president. The yet-to-be-published fifth volume is highly anticipated, to say the least.

In addition to the books of Caro, Gottlieb has edited books by Joseph Heller (famously providing the title number for Catch-22), John Cheever, Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Ray Bradbury, Michael Crichton, Bill Clinton, and many others. Astonishingly, he has also had time to write eight of his own books, serve as editor of The New Yorker, program both the New York City Ballet and Miami City Ballet, and more.

Lizzie Gottlieb gives each man plenty of space to tell their own story, with perhaps a slight bias toward her father. Caro is 87 and Gottlieb is 91, yet neither shows any significant mental decline. In fact, their ability to recall the many important moments of their lives and continue to ruminate at a high level is intimidating, and a testament to their intellectualism.

Among the many amazing stories that made the cut of the film are how Gottlieb had to get Caro to cut 350,000 words – or around 700 pages – from The Power Broker just for it to be small enough to be bound, and another about how Caro, in his extensive research about LBJ, discovered just how Johnson literally stole a primary election in his first run for the Senate.

The mark of any good documentary is its ability to engage viewers who may not be intimately familiar with its central subjects. While it’s the professional lives of Caro and Gottlieb that are most notable, the film includes just enough information about their personal lives to make them into full human beings, unlocking what for many have been mysterious figures.

Turn Every Page may be most interesting to those who have read and loved Caro’s books over the past five decades, but there’s enough there to open the film wide for the uninitiated. The lives of Caro and Gottlieb are large, and the documentary provides a great glimpse into how they became that way.


Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb is screening at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, February 24-26.

Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb
Photo by Martha Kaplan / courtesy of Wild Surmise Productions, LLC and Sony Pictures Classics

The young author and editor in Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb.

Dave Neligh Photography, Inc.

North Richland Hills Library presents Behind the Book with C.J. Box

North Richland Hills Library will present New York Times bestselling author C.J. Box in celebration of the release of Storm Watch, a riveting new adventure in the Joe Pickett series.

A ticketed reception hosted by the Friends of the NRH Library will take place before the free speaking event. Reception admission includes a copy of Storm Watch, a light lunch, and reserved seating at the public event.

Photo courtesy of John Wayne: An American Experience

John Wayne: An American Experience presents Marisa Wayne and Anita LaCava Swift Book Signing

Marisa Wayne, John Wayne’s daughter, and Anita LaCava Swift, the actor’s grandchild, will visit John Wayne: An American Experience to sign copies of the books John Wayne: The Official Cocktail Book and DUKE: The Official John Wayne Movie Book. Copies of the books will be available for purchase.

The signings will go from 1-3 pm. While the book signing is free, guests are invited to purchase tickets to tour the exhibit and get an immersive tour of the life of the late actor.

Patrons of the exhibit will have exclusive access to never-before-seen family photos and correspondences that have been curated by the Wayne family to give guests a holistic view of the icon. Guests who show ticket stubs from the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo get $1 off paid admission to John Wayne: An American Experience January 21 through February 4.

Photo courtesy of Talking Animals Books

Grapevine cracks open its first and only indie bookstore

A New Chapter

Grapevine is finally getting an independent bookstore, and it's women-owned, to boot. Talking Animals Books, located at 103 W. Worth St. in Grapevine, is throwing open its doors to the public on February 2.

Founded by Katy Lemieux and co-owned with Valerie Walizadeh, the shop will also double as an arts venue, with the popular Shakespeare in the Bar becoming its resident theater company.

Customers can expect a wide selection of new and used books, including adult and children’s literature, modern fiction, true crime, romance, cookbooks, foreign-language titles, art books, plays, poetry, and YA, as well as the regular spotlighting of local authors.

The store will also feature author events and weekly children’s story time, as well as open mic events, game nights, and many other reasons to gather.

“Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton, and Arlington all have fantastic indie bookstores, but this portion of North Texas — Grapevine, in particular — has never seen one, despite our historic Main Street and being known as the Christmas Capital of Texas," says Lemieux. "We wanted to incorporate a small indie bookstore into our town’s charming and unique economic landscape, which was already welcoming to small businesses."

Lemieux, a Fort Worth native, is an arts journalist and writer who was inspired by the pandemic and turning 40 to turn her focus to her first love: books and reading. She and her husband, actor and monologist Justin Lemieux, have been active in the Dallas-Fort Worth theater community for the last decade, with Justin appearing in plays, Katy writing about them, and the pair producing three original solo plays performed by Justin.

California native Valerie Walizadeh’s background in retail began right out of high school, and she spent most of her career managing and launching new stores with Blockbuster Video and Starbucks. After having her first child in 2007, Walizadeh earned a BA in early childhood education while pregnant with her second. She and her husband, Al, are avid readers and love to track down little bookstores whenever possible, always daydreaming about opening one of their own.

Lemieux and Walizadeh are both active in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, where their children span elementary through high school. A close mutual friend introduced them, and after a viral Kickstarter campaign, Talking Animals raised $54,100 in less than a month, exceeding the goal of $50,000.

After testing out a handful of successful holiday pop-up shops, Talking Animals is now ready for shoppers.

Talking Animals Books will feature design and art curated by local artists and event collaborations with House of Shine, among other local and small businesses. The shop also features unique gifts, T-shirts and socks, and a sitting room for reading or work. Upstairs is a kids' play area and sitting space.

Talking Animals resides inside a 122-year-old building that was once a bank robbed by the Bonnie and Clyde gang — though the titular pair was not involved that particular day, "as they had friends with money in the bank and were ironically concerned about bad blood between friends," reads a release.

Talking Animals will pay homage to the bank’s history with a micro-gallery of historical photos and narratives commemorating the town's exciting history and the bookstore’s location. The building is owned by Bermuda Gold & Silver, a family-owned store that has been in business for 40 years. Owner Debi Meeks has uncovered and restored artifacts relating to the store's history in its original form and details about the robbery and hostages that were held inside the bank vault.

And the name? It comes from C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, where the Talking Animals are a sub-category of Narnia’s inhabitants, the sentient animals who can speak to humans.

The February 2 ribbon cutting will begin at 5:30 pm, with a reception immediately following.

Parking is available behind the building on the south side of Worth Street and all surrounding street parking, including Main. Parking after 5 pm is not permitted on the north side of Worth (in the Dino’s parking lot).

Talking Animals Books

Photo courtesy of Talking Animals Books

Talking Animals Books' grand opening is February 2.

Photo courtesy of Rice Village

Buzzy new ice cream shop tops this week's 5 most-read Fort Worth stories

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Fort Worth's WestBend center scoops location of buzzy ice cream concept. The WestBend mixed-use development in Fort Worth's University District is booming, and now there's a slew of new shops and businesses lined up to join the mix, including Van Leeuwen, New York-based ice cream company that makes dairy and especially ice creams. It's opening its first store in Fort Worth.

The Key Lime Pie at Anderson Distillery. Photo courtesy of Anderson Distilling

2. Where to drink in Fort Worth right now: 5 best new bars in the 'burbs. New bars open in Fort Worth on the regular, but the ‘burbs are also buzzing with new drinking destinations. Northeast Tarrant County, in particular is hot, with several swanky lounges and new sports bars recently opened for business. Here are five new bars to visit that are the worth the trek beyond the 820 loop.

Pizza with mushroom and shaved asparagus. Funky Picnic

3. Funky Fort Worth brewpub unveils speakeasy bar with pizza on the side. A Fort Worth restaurant is about to debut an ultra-trendy new spinoff. Funky Picnic Brewery & Café, the brewpub in the Near Southside, is opening a speakeasy bar and pizza kitchen called The Back Room at Funky Picnic, which will occupy the space right next door at 401 Bryan Ave. #109 that was previously occupied by Black Cat Pizza.

100 Things to Do in Fort Worth Before you Die will be released on September 25. Courtesy photo

4. Fort Worth author’s new book compiles ultimate bucket list of 100 things to do in Cowtown. If you’re out of ideas of things to do in Fort Worth, one local author has you covered. Celestina Blok has compiled her top recommendations in her new book, 100 Things to Do in Fort Worth Before You Die. The new title, which releases Sept. 25, covers the categories of food and drink, music and entertainment, outdoors and recreation, culture and history, and shopping and fashion.

Coco Gauff is one of the top-ranked singles and doubles players. Julian Finney/Getty Images

5. How to see Coco Gauff, Iga Swiatek, and more WTA tennis stars compete in Fort Worth. Fresh off her US Open victory, the world's No. 1 female tennis player, Iga Swiatek, will lead the top eight singles players and doubles teams into Fort Worth next month for the 2022 Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Finals. The competition will take place October 31-November 7 at Dickies Arena, and tickets are now on sale.

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'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Ultra-chic Postino WineCafe brings wine and bruschetta to Southlake

Wine News

A nationally acclaimed wine bar-restaurant has opened in Southlake: Postino WineCafé, specializing in wine, bites, and a chic atmosphere, opened a location at 1440 Main St., in Southlake Town Square, in the no-brainer slot next to Trader Joe's.

Postino is known for its daily happy hour, bruschetta boards, and menu built for sharing, as well as a laid-back atmosphere, designed for all-day hangouts with friends, date nights, client get-togethers, and family outings.

The chain first came to Dallas in 2021 when they opened a location in Deep Ellum. They closed that location two years later in March 2023 and relocated to Addison, where they just opened in August.

"We are thrilled to bring Postino to Southlake and the heart of bustling Town Square," says Postino Co-Founder Lauren Bailey. “The Dallas/Fort Worth market is very important to us, and we are excited to be expanding our footprint here so soon – just a month since debuting in Addison."

Founded in Arizona in 2001, Postino's goal is to bring people together over wine and food. Its bruschettas are a menu mainstay, artfully presented on boards made of reclaimed wood, with 12 variations including:

  • Prosciutto Di Parma, Fresh Fig & Mascarpone
  • Sweet N’ Spicy Pepper Jam & Goat Cheese
  • Brie, Apple and Fig Spread
  • Ricotta, Dates & Pistachio

Guests can mix and match four bruschetta per board, meaning you can try more than one a time. The entire menu is that way: designed without a definitive beginning or end, with the freedom to tailor your experience based on the occasion, from a meal to a swift bite.

A category called Snacky Things features chicken and filet skewers with garlic yogurt, shrimp scampi, and crispy cauliflower with sultana raisins, capers, and a Romesco drizzle.

There are entrée salads, soups, hand-pressed paninis (on ciabatta or focaccia bread), with the option to mix-and-match sandwich, salad, and soup.

Desserts include: Chocolate Bouchon with vanilla bean ice cream, Crème Brulee, and Salted Caramel Sundae with vanilla ice cream, chocolate covered corn nuts, pretzel sticks, and salted caramel drizzle.

Weekend brunch is served from 11 am-3 pm with spritzy cocktails, lemonades, and bowls

The wine list by Advanced Sommelier and Beverage VP Brent Karlicek is especially fun to sample during their 11 am-5 pm happy hour spotlighting 25-plus wines for $6 a glass, along with $6 pitchers of beer, both local and beyond.

"We fervently champion winemakers across the globe – from trailblazers like Folk Machine, Mary Taylor, and Scarpetta to the guardians of tradition like Ernst Loosen and Bonny Doon," Karlicek says in a statement. "Producers dedicated to crafting approachable, harmonious wines without sacrificing excellence truly resonate with us. Our aim is to kindle a symphony of excitement and curiosity within our patrons during their dining journey."

Decor is attuned to the neighborhood, with art installations and local/vintage finds. At Southlake, that means a tribute to the Back to The Future series, which was the original inspiration that shaped architect Brian Stebbins’s design for Town Square. An interior wall is decked with close to 400 vintage clocks, juxtaposed by plants.

A semi-private dining space can accommodate up to 14 guests for showers, parties, and other events.

Fort Worth Fire Department welcomes its largest recruit class ever

Firefighter News

The Fort Worth Fire Department must be doing something right: On September 25, the department welcomed its newest class of recruits at Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex to start their Fire Training Academy journey, a 36-week course.

With 60 recruits, the class is twice the size as the usual Academy class — making it the largest recruit class in the history of the department.

The class of 60 includes two sub-groups:

  • The first group, Class 93, consists of 10 "fast-tracked" students who already hold their Fire and EMS certifications. They'll graduate on November 17.
  • The second group, Class 94, consists of 50 brand new recruits who hold no certifications. They'll graduate on May 17, 2024.

This largest class in the history of the Fort Worth Fire Department comes after the Mayor, City Council and City Management’s vote to approve staffing levels where they need to be for a Department serving a city this size.

In August, a fire ad-hoc committee recommended increasing the fire department's staffing with 76 new positions, from 979 to 1,049 positions - particularly to cut back on overtime costs, racked up due to an increase in the number of special events they are called on to cover.

The recommendation called for the department to take on two 50-person recruitment classes, one in September and one in February, with approximately 25 percent predicted to fall out due to attrition, for a total of 76.

In addition to the increased number of recruits attending the Academy, staffing studies and negotiations with City leadership and stakeholders has made room for an additional 15 people to be added to the training team. These new training instructors, as well as the use of adjunct instructors from within the Department, will provide even more skill-based learning opportunities with experienced and tenured firefighters.

In a statement, Chief JIm Davis said, "I want to thank the Mayor, City Council and City Management for their diligence in seeing us through our staffing study and helping make the necessary adjustments to our staffing levels. I’m excited that the Department is growing alongside the City of Fort Worth and look forward to watching the new recruits go through one of the best training academy’s in the country."