Arts & Life

Books
3:27 pm
Mon February 1, 2010

"In the Sanctuary of Outcasts" by Neil White

Neil White had it made. A good-looking fellow, the son and grandson of lawyers, White had graduated from Ole Miss after four years as a self-satisfied Kappa Sigma, married a beautiful girl, Linda, and was the father of two adorable children, Neil and Maggie. The family lived in Oxford, Mississippi, where Neil was the founding publisher of the "other" newspaper, the "Oxford Times."

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Books
2:31 pm
Mon January 25, 2010

"Broken Wing" by Thomas Lakeman

Within a few pages, though, the reader realizes everybody's personal life is to go on hold as Yeager is recruited to go undercover to New Orleans, to rescue a young woman kept hostage and break up a particularly vicious organized crime ring. He will go as a "broken wing," an agent disgraced and drummed out of the Bureau and, now "rogue," willing to join the bad guys and seek revenge for his terrible disgrace.

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Books
10:43 am
Tue January 19, 2010

In and Out of Madness: a fictionalized account of a true experience

This book comes heavily blurbed, including one by a psychiatrist, and the blurbs all say essentially the same thing: "In and Out of Madness" is powerful, raw, brutal and honest. I guess it is all those things. It was not for me, however, a satisfying piece of fiction.

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Books
3:30 pm
Mon December 7, 2009

"Masques for the Fields of Time" by Joe Taylor

Joe Taylor, Professor of English at the University of West Alabama, is the author of a novel, "Oldcat and Ms. Puss: A Book of Days for You and Me," and two volumes of stories, "The World's Thinnest Fat Man" and "Some Heroes, Some Heroines, Some Others."

Joe Taylor, Professor of English at the University of West Alabama, is the author of a novel, "Oldcat and Ms. Puss: A Book of Days for You and Me," and two volumes of stories, "The World's Thinnest Fat Man" and "Some Heroes, Some Heroines, Some Others."

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Books
2:57 pm
Mon November 30, 2009

"Twelve and Counting: The National Championships of Alabama Football" edited by Kenneth Gaddy

As the Alabama football team moves to the end of a so-far undefeated season and hopes are very high for a national championship, this seems like a perfectly reasonable time to take a look at "Twelve and Counting."

As the Alabama football team moves to the end of a so-far undefeated season and hopes are very high for a national championship, this seems like a perfectly reasonable time to take a look at "Twelve and Counting."

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Books
12:05 pm
Mon November 23, 2009

"Undeniable Truths" by A. M. Garner

A.M. Garner, who has been teaching for some time in Florence, at the University of North Alabama, and before that at Virginia Commonwealth University, holds the MFA degree in fiction writing from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

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Books
9:43 am
Mon November 16, 2009

"Dixie Noir" by Kirk Curnutt

Curnutt is a good-natured man but not a comic writer. I had hoped, and for a few pages felt, that "Dixie Noir" was something lighter. It seemed at first as if Curnutt were having some fun with noir, that this novel might be a send-up of the noir genre, something like what Garrison Keeler does in Guy Noir, Private Eye, but this turned out definitely not to be the case.

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Books
12:50 pm
Mon November 9, 2009

"The Most They Ever Had" by Rick Bragg

Many of these stories are sad stories. The reader is more likely to weep than smile, but they will affect you.

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Books
10:49 am
Mon November 2, 2009

"Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard's Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power"

Some mark the start of the modern Civil Rights Movement with the Montgomery bus boycott. Some, closer to correct, mark it at the murder of Emmett Till. But no mass movement starts big, all of a sudden.

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Books
11:58 am
Mon October 26, 2009

"The Best of Alf Van Hoose"

Alf Van Hoose is a name surely well known to many Alabama newspaper readers. Van Hoose worked at the "Birmingham News" for 43 years.

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Books
12:02 pm
Mon October 12, 2009

"The Pillared City: Greek Revival Mobile," by John S. Sledge, Photography by Sheila Hagler

In Alabama, Greek Revival may have flourished best in Mobile, but when planters from the Black Belt came to town to meet with their cotton factors and to shop, they liked what they saw and sometimes had their country rural places built in this style.

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Books
3:00 pm
Mon September 28, 2009

"Mighty by Sacrifice: The Destruction of an American Bomber Squadron, August 29, 1944"

WWII veterans are passing on now at a rapid rate and the generation that came home and resumed civilian life and said so little about their experiences will soon be silent forever. Their stories, like the ones the Noleses have captured in this book, must not be lost.

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Books
11:48 am
Mon September 21, 2009

Alabama Illustrated: Engravings From 19th Century Newspapers

Although the five illustrated newspapers from which the engravings in Alabama Illustrated were taken were all published elsewhere, two in New York, two in Boston and one in London, the readers of these papers had a strong curiosity about life in the American South.

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Books
10:26 am
Mon September 14, 2009

"The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement,"

This is a story told calmly, without bitterness or self-aggrandizement. I admired Zellner's candor about his adversaries, without a smarmy mellowness. He has, as a Christian, mostly forgiven, but he has not forgotten.

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Books
4:59 pm
Mon September 7, 2009

"When the Buddha Met Bubba: A Novel," by Richard "Dixie" Hartwell

This clever tale ranges widely, making references not only to Buddhism, the Talmud and Christian foot-washing, but also Cesar Milan, the dog whisperer, and new age ideas such as "wherever you are that is where you are supposed to be."

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