The Owatonna Public Library hosted a local author event on Monday. An award-winning movie will be shown Thursday as part of the Indie and World Films series.

I attended Derek Sullivan's book reading for his first book, Biggie, on Monday night. The former sports editor at the Owatonna newspaper now works for the Rochester Post-Bulletin. He found time to write a book around being a husband and father of three boys. His book is a young-adult tale of a high school junior who is overweight and deals with his very uncomplimentary nickname. He avoids gym class but eventually is forced to go and finds a knack for throwing a wiffle ball. This turns into a chance to go out for the high school baseball team.

Sullivan read several of the chapters and answered questions. He talked of the inspiration for the lead character, which included some of his own experiences of playing little league baseball. He said it took two years from the time he finished the book until it was purchased by a publisher on Valentine's Day 2014. Sullivan said the original manuscript was over 400 pages and contained considerably more baseball details than the final product. The book is 266 pages long.


The Owatonna library will host the movie Birdman on Thursday, March 26, as part of its ongoing series. The movie tells the story of a washed-up actor (Michael Keaton) who used to be a big star as the superhero Birdman. He is trying to make a comeback on Broadway.

Thursday's showings are at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

This movie is not a superhero movie with wild special effects. It is a well-told story of this man's efforts to become relevant again and whether he should even be trying to. The performances by Emma Stone and Edward Norton were both powerfully done. The Best Director Oscar was awarded to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. My wife and I found it to be an amazing movie. She predicted it would win the Best Picture Oscar. And she was right, of course.

Biggie was Monday and Birdman is Thursday at the Owatonna library.