Don Noble's Book Reviews

Mondays at 7:35 a.m and 4:44 p.m.

Recently retired as English professor at The University of Alabama, Dr. Noble's  specialties are Southern and American literature.  He also hosts Bookmark on Alabama Public Television.

Don Noble's reviews can be heard most Mondays at 7:35am and 4:44pm.  and have been made possible in part through grants from the Alabama State Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

To listen to the audio version of Dr. Noble's reviews, just click on the book title to be taken to the full page.  Audio is found either at the very beginning of the transcript or at the bottom of the page.

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Credit Alabama State Council on the Arts

Dr. Noble's Book Reviews are made possible in part with a grant from The Alabama State Council on the Arts, with the support of The University of Alabama, and from the generous support from our listeners.  Thank you!

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Book Review
8:00 am
Mon July 21, 2014

The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee

“The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee”
Author: Marja Mills
Publisher: The Penguin Press
Pages: 278
Price: $27.95 (Hardcover)

Before describing or evaluating this book, one must first express astonishment that it exists at all.

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Book Review
8:00 am
Mon July 14, 2014

The White Lie

“The White Lie: A Novel”
Author: Philip Shirley
Publisher: Mindbridge Press
Pages: 276
Price: $15.95 (Paperback)

Philip Shirley, originally an Alabamian, has had a highly successful career in advertising and public relations in Jackson, Mississippi. Nevertheless, from time to time, Shirley has made forays into writing other than copyrighting: “Endings,” a volume of poetry, “Sweet Spot: 125 Years of Baseball and the Louisville Slugger,” a nonfiction work, and the respectable fiction debut, “Oh Don’t You Cry for Me,” a volume of short stories.

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Book Review
8:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

The Newspaper Boy

"The Newspaper Boy: Coming of Age in Birmingham, Alabama, During the Civil Rights Era"
Author: Chervis Isom
Publisher: The Working Writer Discovery Group
Pages: 359
Price: $27.95 (Hardcover)

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Book Review
8:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

A Time to Reap

  “A Time to Reap: A Novel”
Author: William Cobb
Publisher: SixFinger Publishing
Pages: 268
Price: $18.99 (Paperback)

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Book Review
8:00 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Birmingham Then and Now

  “Birmingham: Then and Now”
Author: Todd Keith
Publisher: Trafalgar Square Publishing
Pages: 144
Price: $19.95 (Hardback)

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Book Review
8:00 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Waffle House Rules

    

  “Waffle House Rules”
Author: Joe Formichella
Publisher: River’s Edge Media
Pages: 183
Price: $16.00 (Paperback)

Joe Formichella has had considerable success with a book on a black baseball league in Pritchard, Alabama, “Here’s to You, Jackie Robinson,” and a first novel, “The Wreck of the Twilight Limited,” nearly a true-life novel about the catastrophic 1993 Amtrak train wreck on a bridge over Bayou Canot north of Mobile.

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Book Review
8:00 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Send the Alabamians: World War I Fighters in the Rainbow Division

  “Send the Alabamians: World War I Fighters in the Rainbow Division”
Author: Nimrod Frazer, with a Foreword by Edwin C. Bridges
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
Pages: 344
Price: $34.95 (Hardback)

On May 9, 1919, the 167th Infantry Regiment, the Alabama regiment, of the 42nd Division returned from Europe in triumph. They were to be mustered out in Camp Shelby, Mississippi, but their three special troop trains stopped for celebrations in Huntsville, Decatur, Anniston, Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile.

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Book Review
9:24 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Booty Bones

  “Booty Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery”
Author: Carolyn Haines
Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group, Minotaur Books
Pages: 355
Price: $24.99 (Hardback)

Carolyn Haynes has now published 14 Sarah Booth Delaney “Bones” mysteries over the past 15 years.

What started as a series set at Dahlia House, in Sunflower County, Zinnia, in the Mississippi Delta, has done some travelling.

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Book Review
9:14 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Fear and What Follows: The Violent Education of a Christian Racist

  “Fear and What Follows: The Violent Education of a Christian Racist: A Memoir”
Author: Tim Parrish
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi: Willie Morris Books in Memoir and Biography
Pages: 263
Price: $28.00 (Hardback)

A river of books has come out of the civil rights moment: large-scale general histories like Taylor Branch’s three volume “America in the King Years” and more focused studies such as Diane McWhorter’s investigation of the Movement in Birmingham, ”Carry Me Home.”

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Book Review
9:08 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Come Landfall: A Novel

  “Come Landfall: A Novel”
Author: Roy Hoffman
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
Pages: 232
Price: $29.95 (Cloth)

The novels of Roy Hoffman seem to flow from two sources.

First, as a writer for the “Mobile Press-Register,” Hoffman wrote scores of stories, profiling the citizens of the city. Character sketches of interesting though not conventionally important people were a specialty. In doing this work he of course came to realize more fully than most how multi-ethnic the population of Alabama actually is.

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Book Review
8:00 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Lion Plays Rough: A Leo Maxwell Mystery

  “Lion Plays Rough: A Leo Maxwell Mystery”
Author: Lachlan Smith
Publisher: The Mysterious Press: An Imprint of Grove/Atlantic
Pages: 246
Price: $24.00 (Cloth)

Just last year, 2013, Lachlan Smith, a Birmingham attorney practicing civil rights and employment law, published his debut thriller, “Bear Is Broken.” Smith was well prepared to write that novel, having studied writing at Stanford and Cornell and then getting a law degree from UC Berkeley in 2009.

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Book Review
8:00 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Brother Sid: A Novel of Sidney Lanier

  “Brother Sid: A Novel of Sidney Lanier”
Author: May Lamar
Publisher: The Donnell Group
Pages: 265
Price: $22.95 (Cloth)

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Book Review
8:00 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Second Cup

  “Second Cup of Coffee: Collected Columns”
By Mary Adams Belk
Introduction by Joe McAdory
2014
Auburn, Alabama
Solomon & George Publishers
$18.00 (Paper)
209 pp.

Mary Belk has written a weekly column for the “Opelika-Auburn News” for many years and of course her readers have urged her to collect these columns and make them available as a single volume.

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Book Reviews
8:00 am
Mon April 21, 2014

The Secret of Magic

“The Secret of Magic”
Author: Deborah Johnson
Publisher: P.G. Putnam’s Sons
Pages: 394
Price: $26.95 (Cloth)

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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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