On Fri. Jan. 25 at 12 p.m., Blue Bicycle Books hosts a book signing, talk, and lunch with Tommy Tomlinson, author of debut memoir, The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man’s Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America. The event is held at Halls Signature Events and catered by Halls Executive Chef Matt Greene. Tickets can be purchased online.

Tomlinson’s memoir is an intimate account of the life of an obese man in America. Through his depiction of the scenes of daily life he endured while overweight — dreading packed subway cars, buying two seats on an airplane, and obsessing about the best place to sit at a baseball game — Tomlinson draws attention to the national crisis of obesity in the U.S. New York Times’ bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld has called the book, “…warm and funny and honest and painful and poignant. I found it genuinely unputdownable.”

Tomlinson is a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his commentary at the Charlotte Observer where he worked for 23 years. He currently hosts the podcast SouthBound in partnership with WFAE, Charlotte’s NPR station. In his memoir, Tomlinson draws on his previous experience of weighing 460 pounds — and his decision to make a change. The memoir follows a year in his life as he begins his journey of health and self-discovery, one that millions of Americans struggle with, too.

The National Institutes of Health report that more than 35 percent of adults in the United States are obese and more than 34 percent are considered overweight. With such daunting numbers, Tomlinson is able to approach the topic of obesity with heart and humor.

“Seventy-nine million American adults qualify as obese,” Tomlinson writes. “That’s more than the total attendance of every Major League Baseball game last year … In our fractured country, we all agree on one thing: second helpings.” 

Love Best of Charleston?

Help the Charleston City Paper keep Best of Charleston going every year with a donation. Or sign up to become a member of the Charleston City Paper club.