Don Noble's Book Reviews

Mondays at 7:45 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 7:45am 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
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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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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Book Review
12:00 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Shahrazad's Tooth

 “Shahrazad’s Tooth and Other Stories”
Author: Gretchen McCullough
Publisher: Afaq Bookshop & Publishing House
Pages: 269
Price: $5.99 (E-book)

Gretchen McCullough, who earned the MFA in fiction writing at the University of Alabama, is an old Middle East hand.

She has taught in Turkey and Syria and now for many years at the American University in Cairo.

Two years ago McCullough published “Three Stories from Cairo” and now these and six more make up “Shahrazad’s Tooth.”

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Program Posts
12:00 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Justice for All

Justice for All Christy Kyser Truitt

    

“Justice for All”

Author: Christy Kyser Truitt

Publisher: Dunham Books

Pages: 268

Price: $14.99 (paper)

“Justice for All” is a legal thriller and a novel of young people overcoming personal and family difficulties and falling in love, but it is, throughout, a thoroughly wholesome Christian novel.

Truitt has been praised by best-selling author Patti Callahan Henry as “a strong new voice in Christian fiction.”

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Program Posts
12:00 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Stanislavski in Ireland: Focus at Fifty

Stanislavski in Ireland: Focus at Fifty

“Stanislavski in Ireland: Focus at Fifty”

Editors: Brian McAvera and Steven Dedalus Burch

Publisher: Carysfort

Press Pages: 245

Price: $37.95

An American girl, Deirdre O’Connell, is the heroine of this unusual history of a Dublin theatre.

Born and raised in the Bronx, of Irish immigrant parents, O’Connell studied acting at the New York Dramatic Workshop and then with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. There she was introduced to The Method, the Stanislavski System, which became the ruling passion of the rest of her life.

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Program Posts
12:00 am
Mon December 16, 2013

The Melody of Secrets

The Melody of Secrets by Jeffrey Stepakoff

“The Melody of Secrets”

Author: Jeffrey Stepakoff

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 261

Price: $24.99 (Cloth)

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Program Posts
12:00 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Pickett’s Charge: A Novel

Pickett’s Charge: A Novel by Charles McNair

“Pickett’s Charge: A Novel”

Author: Charles McNair

Publisher: Livingston Press

Pages: 331

Price: $30.00 (Cloth), $18.95 (Trade Paper)

In 1994 McNair’s first novel, “Land O’Goshen,” a dystopian novel set in the future, made a nice little stir. McNair’s career was launched.

Now after a 19-year silence while he worked successfully at public relations in Atlanta, McNair is back with a BIG novel, this time exploring, in an epic that unspools over one hundred years, the ideas of time, history, tradition and revenge.

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Program Posts
12:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Wittgenstein’s Lolita: Short Stories from William Gay

Wittgenstein’s Lolita: Short Stories from William Gay

Wittgenstein’s Lolita: Short Stories from William Gay”

Author: William Gay

Publisher: Wild Dog Press

Pages: 64

Price: $10.00 (Paper)

Bursting onto the Southern literary scene in 1998 at the age of 55 with, first, stories and then the novel “The Long Home,” William Gay published four books, three novels and the story collection “I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down.”

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Program Posts
12:00 am
Mon November 25, 2013

The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindburgh and the Epic Age of Flight

The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindburgh and the Epic Age of Flight by Winston Groom

“The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindburgh and the Epic Age of Flight”

Author: Winston Groom

Publisher: National Geographic Society

Pages: 464

Price: $30.00 (Cloth)

Winston Groom’s historical nonfiction is increasingly a great reading pleasure. Now a master of this form, he researches extensively, assimilates mountains of material and then tells the stories, smoothly, engagingly.

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Program Posts
8:50 am
Mon November 18, 2013

“Camp Redemption: A Novel”

This is a Don Noble Book Review on Camp Redemption: A Novel by Raymond L. Atkins

“Camp Redemption: A Novel”

Author: Raymond L. Atkins

Publisher: Mercer University Press

Pages: 271

Price: $25.00 (Cloth)

Raymond Atkins, an English instructor at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, has a nice little career going.

“The Front Porch Prophet” (2008) won Georgia Author of the Year Award for First Novel.

His second, “Sorrow Wood” (2009), has won The Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction, given by Mercer University. Sams’ best-known novels are “Run with the Horsemen” (1982) and “The Whisper of the River” (1984).

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Book Review
8:00 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Guests on Earth

  “Guests on Earth: A Novel”
Author: Lee Smith
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Pages: 337
Price: $25.95 ( Cloth )

Lee Smith’s seventeenth book of fiction combines the thoroughly imagined with some elements of the traditional historical novel.

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Program Posts
12:00 am
Mon November 11, 2013

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
Mon November 4, 2013

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 Reviews
12:00 am
Mon November 4, 2013

"The Tilted World"

  “The Tilted World”
Authors: Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 320
Price: $25.99 (Cloth)

In Oxford, Mississippi, Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly both write and teach writing at Ole Miss.

Tom, a novelist, is best known for “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter,” “Hell at the Breech” and other works of fiction containing considerable violence and cruelty.

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