Don Noble

“Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads”

Author: Paul Theroux, with 24 color photographs by Steve McCurry

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pages: 441

Price: $29.95 (Hardcover)

“The Tongues of Men and Angels: A Novel”

Author: Marian Carcache

Publisher: Solomon & George Publishers

Pages: 125

Price: $15.00 (Paper)

Marian Carcache is the author of a short story collection, “The Moon and the Stars.” “The Tongues of Men and Angels” is her first novel, if novel is what it is.

Her author information reads that Carcache’s father was a Justice of the Peace in Russell County and she often eavesdropped on his court. I am pretty sure she did not hear this tale in her father’s court.

“The Mobile River”

Author: John S. Sledge

Publisher: The University of South Carolina Press

Pages: 304

Price: $34.95 (Hardcover)

John Sledge, senior architectural historian for the Mobile Historic Development Commission, in addition to his collection “Southern Bound: A Gulf Coast Journalist on Books, Writers, and Literary Pilgimages of the Heart,” has already written books, fairly narrow in scope, on Mobile ironwork, Mobile cemetery art and Greek revival architecture in Mobile.

"We Were Brothers" By Barry Moser

Oct 8, 2015

“We Were Brothers”

Author: Barry Moser

Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill   

Pages: 192

Price: $22.00 (Hardcover)

Barry Moser is a name familiar to many, but not as an author. An artist, Moser is the illustrator or designer of 350 books, including “Moby Dick,” “Frankenstein,” “The Divine Comedy,” and  even the King James Bible, and he won a National Book Award for his edition of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

“We Were Brothers” is utterly divorced from that world of fine art and beauty.

“Of Goats and Governors: Six Decades of Colorful Alabama Political Stories”

Author: Steve Flowers

Publisher: NewSouth Books             

Pages: 288

Price: $29.95 (Hardback)

There can be few Alabamians better situated to write this book than Steve Flowers. In this political memoir Flowers devotes chapters to the major figures of Alabama politics—elected officials such as Wallace, Folsom, Richard Shelby, and powerful forces such as Paul Hubbard and Judge Frank Johnson Jr., —and sketches the story of his own life in politics.

“Captain Billy’s Troopers: A Writer’s Life”

Author: William Cobb

Publisher: The University of Alabama Press   

Pages: 205

Price: $34.95 (Cloth)

Only a small percentage of alcoholics are writers but the public may be forgiven for thinking a large percentage of writers are alcoholics. After all, writers write their memoirs and are written about, and a number of America’s most famous writers—Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, O’Neill, to name just a few—were also famous drinkers.

“The Headmaster’s Darlings: A Mountain Brook Novel”

Author: Katherine Clark, with a Foreword by Pat Conroy

Publisher: University of South Carolina Press: Story River Books

Pages: 248

Price: $29.95 (Hardcover)

Two fine Southern writers have teamed up on a couple of ambitious new projects, and the enterprise needs some explaining. Katherine Clark‘s first book was “Motherwit,”(1989) an as-told-to biography of midwife Onnie Lee Logan. Then Clark published “Milking the Moon,”(2001) Mobile writer Eugene Walter’s life story, again as-told- to.

“Among the Swamp People : Life in Alabama’s Mobile-Tensaw Delta”

Author: Watt Key; Illustrations by Kelan Mercer

Publisher: University of Alabama Press

Pages: 198

Price: $29.95 (Cloth)

“Swamp People” is a combination of memoir, nature writing and personal essay. Key, raised in Point Clear, on Mobile Bay, writes of his nearly life-long fascination with the Mobile-Tensaw Delta at the north end of the bay.

“The Scribe”

Author: Matthew Guinn

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.

Pages: 287

Price: $25.95 (Hardcover)

Matthew Guinn’s first novel, “The Resurrectionist,” published in 2013, told the story of a cache of bones found in the basement of a medical school in Columbia, South Carolina. They were human bones, buried for decades, but whose? Guinn published the novel as literary fiction with a fresh subject, and it was a great success. Surprisingly, “The Resurrectionist” was nominated for an Edgar, a mystery writers award.


“The Forest and the Trees”

Author: Floyd McGowin

Publisher: NewSouth Books

Pages: 334

Price: $27.95 (Trade paper)

Floyd McGowin, of the Chapman, Alabama, McGowins, the owners of the W.T. Smith Lumber Company, was born in 1931 and died in 2010, but this memoir takes his story basically up to 1966.

At that time, the W.T. Smith Company was sold and McGowin started the Rocky Creek Logging Company and ran it for 42 years, covered here in an epilogue of only six pages.

“The Reading Circle”

Author: Ashton Lee

Publisher: Kensington Books

Pages: 234

Price: $15.00 (Trade paperback)

In a recent comic novel, “Love’s Winning Plays,” in which he dared to satirize SEC football, Inman Majors also made fun of book discussion groups. He has his lonely hero, Raymond Love, join one in order to meet women. It sort of works; book club membership is overwhelmingly female.

“The Woman in the Photograph” 

Author: Dana Gynther

Publisher: Gallery Books

Pages: 352

Price: $16.00 (Paper)

Dana Gynther made her debut as a novelist in 2012 with “Crossing on the Paris,” a novel set aboard a transatlantic liner on her maiden voyage from Le Havre to New York. As the ship sails west, three women, one from first class, one from second and one from steerage, strangers until then, meet and exchange their life stories with rich flashbacks to their very different experiences in Paris

“Raising Aphrodite: A Novel”

Author: Kirk Curnutt

Publisher: River City Publishing

Pages: 413

$26.95 (Hardcover)

In Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical “Carousel,” Billy Bigelow, the erstwhile carousel barker, now married to Julie Jordan, is overjoyed when he learns he is to be a father. In the song “Soliloquy” he sings of his boy Bill. He’ll “teach him to wrestle and dive through a wave.” Bill might be a boxer or president.

“The Redeemers: A Quinn Colson Novel”

Author: Ace Atkins

Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Pages: 370 pp.

Price: $26.95 (Hardcover)

Ace Atkins is generating a shelf of novels at an astonishing pace. “Redeemers” is his seventeenth.

After graduation from Auburn where he played football, Ace—his real name—worked as a reporter in Florida, mainly crime. He has several standalone crime novels—historically based like “Wicked City,” set in Phenix City, and investigative/biographically based such as “Infamous,” about Fatty Arbuckle .

“Go Set a Watchman: A Novel”

Author: Harper Lee

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages: 288

Price: $27.99

This is a book review, a description and evaluation of Harper Lee’s novel “Go Set a Watchman,” read on a Kindle.

With an important book like this I would normally be reading an ARC—Advance Readers Copy—or a review copy, but these were not distributed. This novel had all the publicity it needed and the publishers obviously felt there was nothing to be gained and perhaps something to lose by letting reviewers see it.

“German Rocketeers in the Heart of Dixie: Making Sense of the Nazi Past During the Civil Rights Era”

Author: Monique Laney

Publisher: Yale University Press

Pages: 320

Price: $35.00 (Hardcover)

“Southern Made Fresh: Vibrant Dishes Rooted in Homegrown Flavor”

Author: Tasia Malakasis

Publisher: Oxmoor House

Pages: 297

Price: $26.00 (Hardcover)

The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession

Jul 1, 2013

“The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession” 

Author: Charlie Lovett

Publisher: Viking

Pages: 352

Price: $27.95 (Cloth)

The title of “The Bookman’s Tale” is meant, I think, to remind one of Chaucer: “The Knight’s Tale,” “The Pardoner’s Tale,” etc. It sets an appropriately antiquarian mood, and much of this novel deals with the antiquarian, the rare and antique.

A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwells’ Story of Survival

Jun 18, 2013

“A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwells’ Story of Survival”

Author: Julie Hedgepeth Williams

Publisher: NewSouth Books

Pages: 194

Price: $21.95 (paper)

The Darkling

Jun 18, 2013

“The Darkling”

Author: R.B. Chesterton

Publisher: Pegasus Crime

Pages: 348

Price: $24.95

R.B. Chesterton, author of “The Darkling,” is in fact Carolyn Haines, known best for her “Bones” series of detective novels set in Mississippi. This is not a secret; it is on the title page.

Haines intends here to begin a series of horror stories, supernatural chillers, in the vein of Stephen King or V.C. Andrews.

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.

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.

Leaving Tuscaloosa

Dec 18, 2012

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.

Doc: The Story of a Birmingham Jazz Man

Dec 18, 2012

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.

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.

book cover "Over Time, My Life as a Sports Writer"
New York Times

Author: Frank Deford

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

Pages: 354

Price: $25.00