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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Book Reviews
2:15 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Larry Brown: A Writer’s Life

  “Larry Brown: A Writer’s Life”

Author: Jean W. Cash

Publisher: University of Mississippi Press

Pages: 400

Price: $35.00 (Cloth)

Late in the evening of November 23, 2004, the Mississippi writer Larry Brown said to his wife, Mary Annie, what were just about his last words. “I’m ready to go to bed….Life’s good now, ain’t it?”

Brown died of a heart attack the next morning.

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Book Reviews
12:00 am
Mon February 11, 2013

The Cruise of the Rolling Junk

The Cruise of the Rolling Junk
Author:  F. Scott Fitzgerald

“The Cruise of the Rolling Junk”

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Introduction by Julian Evans

Foreword by Paul Theroux

Publisher: Hesperus Press Limited

Pages: 92

Price: $11.95 (paper)

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Book Review
12:00 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: Echoes of the Bible and Book of Common Prayer

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“Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: Echoes of the Bible and Book of Common Prayer”

Author: A. E. Elmore

Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press

Pages: 265

Price: $32.95 (Cloth)

Over the past few years, there has been, upon this continent, a rebirth in public interest in Abraham Lincoln.

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Book Review
12:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Fear Not the Jackal

Fear Not the Jackal

Author: Miles DeMott

Publisher: Word Truck 2012

Pages: 221

Price: $14.95 (paper)

Miles DeMott had considerable success with a self-published novel, “Family Meeting,” in 2010 and now is back with “Fear Not the Jackal.”

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Book Review
12:00 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Alabama Football Tales: More Than a Century of Crimson Tide Glory

“Alabama Football Tales: More Than a Century of Crimson Tide Glory”

Author: Lewis Bowling

Publisher: The History Press

Pages: 128

Price: $16.99 (paper)

Since the University of Alabama had the most revered football coach ever in Paul “Bear” Bryant, often has the best football team in the country and is supported by millions of devoted fans and alums, it is no surprise that there is a huge demand for books about the Crimson Tide. Sports writers are well aware of this demand and do their best to meet it.

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Books
11:00 am
Tue December 18, 2012

My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop

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My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop

Editor: Ronald Rice and Booksellers Across America

Introduction by Richard Russo

Illustrations by Leif Parsons

Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.

Pages: 378

Price: $23.95 (Cloth)

There is a wave of justified anxiety moving among the bookstore owners and patrons of America; the number of independent bookstores has been declining steadily since the 1990s.

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Books
10:48 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Sins of the Father: The True Story of a Family Running from the Mob

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Sins of the Father: The True Story of a Family Running from the Mob

Author: Nick Taylor

Publisher: Pocket Star Books

Pages: 485

Price: $9.99 (Paper)

Much of the narrative “Sins of the Father” will be familiar to viewers of the TV show “In Plain Sight.” The U.S. Marshall’s Service takes those who are to testify in high profile cases, whose lives would definitely be in danger because of that testimony, and puts them into the Witness Protection Program.

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Books
10:35 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Leaving Tuscaloosa

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Leaving Tuscaloosa

Author: Walter Bennett

Publisher: Fuze Publishing

Pages: 313

Price: $16.95 (Paper)

A novel called “Leaving Tuscaloosa” is simply irresistible to a resident, past or present, of Tuscaloosa. Bennett, who grew up in Tuscaloosa and has had a long career as a lawyer, law professor and judge, now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and has studied fiction writing with Lee Smith, among others.

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Books
10:27 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Doc: The Story of a Birmingham Jazz Man

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Doc: The Story of a Birmingham Jazz Man

Author: Frank “Doc” Adams and Burgin Mathews

Publisher: The University of Alabama Press

Pages: 267

Price: $34.95 (Cloth)

The reader can tell that Burgin Mathews put in a heap of work on this book, interviewing “Doc” Adams dozens of times, transcribing the interviews from nearly a hundred cassette tapes, and editing, cutting, and arranging the material.

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Books
10:17 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Tasia’s Table: Cooking with the Artisan Cheesemaker at Belle Chevre

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Tasia’s Table: Cooking with the Artisan Cheesemaker at Belle Chevre

Author: Tasia Malakasis, Photography by Stephanie Schamban

Publisher: NewSouth Books

Pages: 143

Price: $29.95

We are used to chef stories like that of Jacques Pepin, who worked as a child in his mother’s restaurant in France, or Anthony Bourdain, who began as a young fellow and worked his way up.

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Books
1:13 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

They Came To Nashville

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“They Came to Nashville”

Author: Marshall Chapman, with a Foreword by Peter Guralnik

Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press

Pages: 282 Price: $25.00 (Cloth)

Marshall Chapman, Nashville singer-songwriter, is now the author of about 400 songs and has cut 12 albums at last count.

Her songs have been recorded by musicians ranging from Conway Twitty to EmmyLou Harris to Jimmy Buffett.

She was an unlikely country star. Far from being a coal miner’s daughter, Chapman was a mill owner’s daughter, a debutante from Spartanburg, South Carolina.

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Books
12:57 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

The Lost Ones: A Quinn Colson Novel

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“The Lost Ones: A Quinn Colson Novel”

Author: Ace Atkins

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Pages: 339

Price: $27.50 (Cloth)

Ace Atkins has been working harder than ever, simultaneously writing two detective/action series. He was chosen to write the Spenser novels after the death of Robert B. Parker and in 2011 began the Quinn Colson series with “The Ranger.”

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Books
12:45 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

The Books That Mattered: A Reader's Memoir

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“The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir”

Author: Frye Gaillard

Publisher: NewSouth Books

Pages: 206

Price: $27.95 (Cloth)

A few writers, even in mid-career, will deny that they read anything much. Faulkner denied, disingenuously, that he had read Joyce’s “Ulysses,” for example, probably for fear readers would feel he had been unduly influenced by Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness experiments.

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Books
3:06 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Bartolomé de Las Casas and the Conquest of the Americas

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“Bartolomé de Las Casas and the Conquest of the Americas”

Author: Lawrence A. Clayton

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (Viewpoints)

Pages: 188

Price: $24.95 (Paper)

Bartolomé de Las Casas is one of those historical figures that, one must sadly admit, one knew nothing about. But this concise, informative book by UA history professor Lawrence Clayton can fix that.

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Books
2:55 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

The Weight of Memory: A Novel

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“The Weight of Memory: A Novel”

Author: Jennifer Paddock

Publisher: MacAdam/Cage Publishing

Pages: 254

Price: $24.00 (Cloth)

Jennifer Paddock is a young woman who writes novels about young women.

Her first, “A Secret Word,” 2004, tells the stories of three girls, friends, growing up in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Paddock’s home town. The three girls were close and were all in love privately with Trey, who died in a wreck.

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