Don Noble

Program Host: Book Reviews

Dr. Noble is the host of APR's book review series as well as host of BOOKMARK which airs on Alabama Public Television.  A widely published scholar specializing in American and Southern literature, Dr. Noble received the Eugene Current-Garcia Award as Alabama's distinguished literary scholar for the year 2000 and was nominated for a Regional Emmy Award in 2006 and 2011.  In addition he is on the planning committee of several literary conferences.

Dr. Noble's book reviews air during Morning Edition and feature works primarily by Alabama writers.  His reviews focus on why these writers are concerned with their particular subjects and how they succeed or fail  in addressing issues of concern to Alabama readers.

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Book Review
9:00 am
Mon April 14, 2014

The Invitation

    

“The Invitation” Author: Clifton Taulbert
Publisher: NewSouth Books
Pages: 206
Price: $25.95 (Cloth)

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Book Review
9:00 am
Sun March 30, 2014

The Shoe Burnin'

    

“The Shoe Burnin’: Stories of Southern Soul”
Editor: Joe Formichella
Publisher: River’s Edge Media
Pages: 216
Price: $34.95 (Cloth) including CD

“The Shoe Burnin’: Stories of Southern Soul.” The title has a story behind it and the subtitle is a pun.

The story is simple. On a winter’s night, near Brewton, Alabama, a group of kindred spirits were talking, singing, drinking of course, and rather than making a trip to the woodpile, they burned, one at a time, a box of old shoes.

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Book Review
9:00 am
Mon March 24, 2014

The Never List

    

“The Never List: A Novel” Author: Koethi Zan
Publisher: Viking Press
Pages: 303
Price: $27.95 (Cloth)

One rarely begins a review by quoting from the acknowledgements, but this is an unusual situation. Koethi Zan thanks a number of people including her daughters, who “are not allowed to read one word of [“The Never List”] until college.”

This is perfectly understandable.

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Book Review
9:00 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Hum

    

“Hum” Author: Michelle Richmond
Publisher: University of Alabama Press, FC2
Pages: 149
Price: $16.95 (Paper)

A native of Mobile, Michelle Richmond began her career with a volume of stories, “The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress,” which won the Associated Writing Programs prize for short fiction in 2000.

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Book Review
9:00 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Fielder's Choice

    

“Fielder’s Choice” Author: J. Mark Hart
Publisher: TradeWorks Publishing
Pages: 460
Price: $12.95

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Book Review
9:00 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Superzelda

“Superzelda: The Graphic Life of Zelda Fitzgerald”
Author: Tizania Lo Porto
Illustrator: Daniele Marotta
Publisher: One Peace Books
Pages: 175
Price: $16.95 (Paper)

Graphic books are, to me, a relatively new phenomenon. I have seen a few graphic novels and Lila Quintero Weaver’s fine graphic memoir, “Darkroom,” but this is my first graphic biography. As successful as many graphic novels may be, perhaps graphic books are not suited to biography. In biography we usually already know what the characters look like. Sometimes the faces are downright famous.

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Book Review
8:00 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Turning the Tide

  

“Turning the Tide: The University of Alabama in the 1960s”
Author: Earl H. Tilford
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
Pages: 252
Price: $34.95 (Cloth)

Earl Tilford offers what seems a very useful way to think of the history of the University of Alabama. He suggests there have been three UAs, or rather the university has been born, then faded and reborn twice. The first university dates from the founding in 1831 and ends when the Union troops burned all but four buildings in 1865.

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Book Reviews
9:00 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Bear is Broken: A Leo Maxwell Mystery

  

“Bear Is Broken: A Leo Maxwell Mystery”
Author: Lachlan Smith
Publisher: The Mysterious Press: An imprint of Grove/Atlantic
Pages: 256
Price: $24.00 (Cloth)

Since the early years of John Grisham, It has become a commonplace that attorneys write legal thrillers. Nothing new there. But few can have been as fully prepared for the job as Lachlan Smith.

Smith took a BA and MA at Stanford, where he was a Richard Scowcroft Fellow in the prestigious Wallace Stegner Writing Program, and followed these up with an MFA in fiction writing from Cornell.

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Book Review
9:00 am
Mon February 10, 2014

March With Me

text  “March with Me”
Author: Rosalie T. Turner
Publisher: Cypress Creek Publishing
Pages: 210
Price: $18.00

In her Foreword to “March With Me,” Rosalie Turner says a major motivation for writing this short novel was “the fact that most people in our country today have either forgotten or never knew about the Children’s March” in Birmingham in April of 1963.

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Book Review
9:00 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Eugene Bullard

“Eugene Bullard: World’s First Black Fighter Pilot”
Author: Larry Greenly
Publisher: NewSouth Books
Pages: 160
Price: $19.95 (Cloth)

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Book Review
9:00 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Someone Else's Love Story

“Someone Else’s Love Story”
Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 300
Price: $26.99 (Cloth)

Joshilyn Jackson has achieved the status of best-selling author with a solid reader/fan base. One can tell that from the dust jacket: her name is in larger, brighter type than the words of the title.

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Book Review
6:00 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Starting Over

“Starting Over”
Author: Elizabeth Spencer
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Pages: 208
Price: $24.95 (Cloth)

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Program Posts
12:00 am
Wed January 15, 2014

The Moon and the Stars; New and Collected Stories

The Moon and the Stars; New and Collected Stories by Marian Carcache

The Moon and the Stars; New and Collected Stories

Author: Marian Carcache

Introduction by Don Noble

Publisher: Solomon & George Publishers

Pages: 82

Price: $15.00 (Paper)

Over a period of years I had enjoyed Marian Carcache’s stories in collections like “Belles Lettres,” “Chinaberries and Crows” and “Climbing Mt. Cheaha,” so it was a pleasure to say “yes” when I was asked to write an Introduction for this volume. In this review I will repeat that these 14 stories are clever, insightful, sometimes touching, often very funny.

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Program Posts
12:00 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Local Souls: Novellas

Local Souls: Novellas by Allan Gurganus

“Local Souls: Novellas”

Author: Allan Gurganus

Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corp.

Pages: 344

Price: $25.95 (Cloth)

Allan Gurganus, after two big novels, “Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All” and “Plays Well with Others,” which is set in the early years of the AIDS epidemic in New York, has turned increasingly to the long, long story, the novella. For him, as for Henry James, it is the perfect form, the piece readable in one sitting, perhaps between dinner and bedtime, with no mood-destroying interruptions.

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Book Review
6:00 am
Mon January 13, 2014

The Path Was Steep

“The Path Was Steep: A Memoir of Appalachian Coal Camps During the Great Depression”
Author: Suzanne Pickett, with a Foreword by Norman McMillan
Publisher: NewSouth Books
Pages: 210
Price: $24.95 (Paper)

Suzanne Pickett, who sold many stories to “Weird Tales” and wrote for many years a personal column for the “Centreville Press,” passed away in 1999 but now, 14 years later, NewSouth Books has published this lucid, informative memoir of her life in Piper, West Blocton, Haig, and a number of other then-active coal mining communities in Bibb County.

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