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.

Hallowed Bones

May 17, 2004

Sarah Booth Delaney, an orphan, in her thirties, after an unsuccessful attempt to establish an acting career in New York City, has returned to the family home, Dahlia House, in Zinnia, Sunflower County, in the Mississippi Delta.

Hallowed Bones

Them Bones, Buried Bones, Splintered Bones, Crossed Bones, and now Hallowed Bones?Carolyn Haines? fifth Sarah Booth Delaney mystery novel and her best yet.

Shebang

May 10, 2004

It is not unusual for many fiction writers to set their first novels on campus or at least in the town of their artistic birth. Valerie Vogrin, has set her first novel, Shebang, on what I take to be 13th Street of Tuscaloosa, right up from Abernathy's Market.

Shebang

Inside Alabama

Apr 12, 2004

i>Inside Alabama is "a commentary, an extended essay on events and attitudes that I think made and make Alabama what it is today."

Inside Alabama

A Sunday In June

Apr 5, 2004

In A Sunday in May, Perry has produced a "prequel" to Stigmata. This novel takes place again in Johnson Creek, Alabama, south of Union Springs, and chronicles the lives of the Mobley family from 1915 until 1963.

A Sunday In June

Dirty South

Mar 29, 2004

Atkins has just published his fourth Nick Travers suspense/mystery novel. The heart of any such series is the sleuth, of course, and Nick, established in the first novel, Crossroad Blues, is quite a creation.

Dirty South

Here's the first thing you need to know about Ace Atkins: Ace is his real name. It is on his birth certificate.

The Ocean Was Salt

Mar 8, 2004

Loretta Cobb of Montevallo has watched her husband, Bill, write fiction for the last thirty years, so it's no surprise that after her retirement as Director of the Writing Center there, she took up short story writing herself. Her first collection, The Ocean Was Salt, has now been published, and the ten stories are varied and pleasing.

The Ocean Was Salt

Slow Way Home

Mar 1, 2004

Slow Way Home is rough. It sometimes appears to be a less than final draft of a novel, especially in the final third. Perhaps there was pressure on Morris to publish while there was still word of mouth about A Place Called Wiregrass.

Slow Way Home

Waiting For April

Feb 16, 2004

Waiting for April is Scott Morris's second novel. April is of a mixed nature, a tragi-comedy so to speak--as dark as rape and murder one minute and surprisingly funny the next.

Waiting For April

Waiting for April is Scott Morris's second novel. April is of a mixed nature, a tragi-comedy so to speak--as dark as rape and murder one minute and surprisingly funny the next.

Four Spirits

Feb 9, 2004

Forty years and six volumes of fiction after living through the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, AL, Naslund had achieved huge success with the novel Ahab's Wife, and has done in fiction what Diane McWhorter has done in prose: told her version of the story of that time and place.

Four Spirits

Weren't No Good Times

Feb 2, 2004

Randall Williams has entitled the book Weren't No Good Times, but readers will be startled by the mellow nature of many of the answers. The book is founded on the oral history project of the Great Depression days when writers interviewed former slaves about their recollections of the Civil War and slavery.

Weren't No Good Times

When the Finch Rises

Jan 26, 2004

In the year 2000 Jack Riggs was chosen in Nashville as one of the South's "Emerging New Voices," and now When the Finch Rises has been blurbed by Lee Smith, Jill McCorkle, Silas House, Fred Chappell, Lewis Nordan, and Clyde Edgerton. In a kind of imprimatur, Edgerton says, "Riggs's up-and-coming days are over. He's here." Well, I don't think so. Not yet.

When the Finch Rises

Redneck Riviera

Jan 19, 2004

Dennis Covington of Birmingham showed in 1995 that he belongs on the top shelf of writers of creative nonfiction with the publication of Salvation on Sand Mountain. Covington's readers have been looking forward to Redneck Riviera for almost nine years now, and, sad to say, they will be disappointed.

Redneck Riviera

Willem's Field

Jan 12, 2004

Willem is conscious of what he is doing and how he appears to others, but he can't stop himself. First he loses control of his utterances, much like a Tourette's Syndrome victim. He begins to babble, then rage, to yell at the top of his lungs.

The Spider's Web

Dec 12, 2003

At the age of fourteen, in 1954, Greenhaw, and his protagonist alter-ego Thomas Morgan Reed, developed scoliosis, a severe curvature of the spine. In The Spider's Web Thomas must endure a year of excruciating operations and body casts.

The Spider's Web

I Am a Soldier, Too

Nov 24, 2003

...her right arm was shattered. Her spine was fractured in two places, her right foot was crushed, and her left leg broken in two places. In addition, she was sexually assaulted.

Baby, Let's Make a Baby

Nov 17, 2003

A drug-crazed redneck is heading down the highway with his kidnapped girlfriend in the trunk. A nervous middle-aged man is driving on a date, and a hundred miles away a young female college professor is getting into her car with her 21-year-old-student lover to drive to Florida to declare their lesbian love to her probably unsuspecting parents.

Baby, Let's Make a Baby

A Tragic Honesty

Nov 10, 2003

In conversation, Yates was courteous, but not very communicative. Since he smoked four packs a day, had terminal emphysema, and had had pneumonia, pleurosis, and tuberculosis, he had little breath to spare.

Beyond the Burning Bus

Oct 27, 2003

The mob, which had followed in a convoy, attacked, burned the bus, and beat, brutally, the riders who fled the flames.

Beyond the Burning Bus

Lunch at the Piccadilly

Oct 13, 2003

"We need a worldwide movement that will work to make churches and nursing homes interchangeable."

Lunch at the Piccadilly

Clyde Edgerton is without doubt one of the funniest authors working today. But, in his sixth novel, Lunch at the Piccadilly, he has chosen as his subject the nursing home: old, ill, crippled, even dying people. Is this funny? Can it be made funny? Yes, it can, and at the same time a thoughtful and respectful tone is maintained.

In a Temple of Trees

Oct 6, 2003

Do not think you can give this novel to your old aunt for Christmas, but it may be, if you are made of sturdy stuff, you can read it yourself.

In a Temple of Trees

The Keeper's Son

Sep 22, 2003

German submarines sank over 400 merchant vessels and some warships before the United States got convoys organized and protected and began to bring to bear the technologies of radar, sonar, air patrols, coastal blackouts, and all the rest.

The Keeper's Son

In "A Roadside Resurrection," by Larry Brown, the first piece in Sonny Brewer's second volume of Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe, one might wish the idiot in question had been locked up by the state, but he hasn't. He's in the basement.

Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe, Vol. II

My Mother's Witness

Sep 8, 2003

Carolyn Haines, who has for the last few years been writing the delightful "Bones" mystery series, set in Mississippi, has here written her first nonfiction book. My Mother's Witness: The Peggy Morgan Story is a kind of dual biography of both Peggy Morgan and her mother, Inez.

My Mother's Witness

A Thin Difference

Sep 1, 2003

The prolific Frank Turner Hollon has just published his third novel. At first, A Thin Difference seems like many another crime novel you have read.

A Thin Difference

Goodnight, Nobody

Aug 25, 2003

Goodnight, Nobody follows the novel Divining Rod and the story collection Dogfight and Other Stories. Knight, originally from Mobile and now at the University of Tennessee, is building himself an impressive career.

Goodnight, Nobody

Summer Snow

Aug 18, 2003

Harris recounts the day in the third grade when a group of white dentists came to her elementary school and provided free services. They took no pay, but neither did they drill and save teeth: they only pulled decaying teeth.

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