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Paperbacks and Coffee Chats

An intimate, documentary-inspired portrait session with singer/songwriter, Johnny Thomas. Captured by Mollie Crowe at Mac's Backs in Cleveland on March 18th, 2023.

Upon arriving at Phoenix Coffee Co., I saw their dark roast was named "Blackbird" and knew it was an omen that my session with Johnny Thomas, a singer/songwriter from Wooster, Ohio. After meeting over coffee and lemon blueberry muffins, Johnny and I took a stroll through Coventry. We walked past enticing shop windows with bold fashion on mannequins, fresh greenery, and my personal favorite: paperback books.

When Johnny first inquired with me, he shared the idea of being "Caught in a place with essentially all the words and thoughts that could solve the world's problems". Mac's Backs - Books on Coventry, proved to be the perfect backdrop and Johnny, surrounded by some of the finest pieces of literature and their memorable characters and imaginative worlds, fit right in among the stacks. The locally-owned shop holds an impressive selection of independently published material, fiction and non-fiction, history, graphic novels, and all the classics.

I call it fate when a book that's been on my Amazon wish list since 2018 ended up jumping out at me from the bottom shelf of the sociology section: Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship by Kayleen Schaefer. The memoir shares Schaefer's personal experiences with girlfriends throughout her life, as well as provides insight, research, and interviews from other women. Now, more than ever, I think we can collectively agree there's a thirst for the power in sisterhood. By working together to unlearn what society has taught us - keep quiet, keep house, and believe every other woman is a threat to be destroyed - we can truly begin to heal and do the necessary work to take back our voices. Bottom line, I cannot recommend this read enough.


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