The Ultimate Book Giveaway

Ultimate Book Giveaway Harper Lee
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Alright, so last year we had an amazing time getting ready for the Go Set a Watchman book release  on July 14th. Well, this year we would like to do something else big to give back to our loyal followers. So we have decided to give away a signed Go Set a Watchman Special Edition!

How you can win the Ultimate Book Giveaway

All we want you to do is sign up for our newsletter and like us on Facebook and share this on Facebook and on July 14th of this year we will give away a signed copy of Go Set a Watchman. It really is the Ultimate Book Giveaway! These are very limited and worth upwards of $2,000 so this giveaway is going to be pretty sweet for the lucky winner, but that’s not all…  You see, I am a goal setter and I want our little book store to grow just like anyone wants their small business to grow. So, on top of the Go Set a Watchman giveaway we are going to give away a signed copy of To Kill a Mockingbird! That’s another $2,500 prize to a different winner. The books will be given to two separate people and all we want from  you is your help in getting the word out.

The Ultimate Book Giveaway: Our Goal

Now, the To Kill a Mockingbird giveaway comes with reaching a goal of  100k people subscribing to our newsletter, and 100k people liking us on Facebook. Now, I know this will be an easy task and we might do other giveaways if you blow it out of the water– so share this post with all your friends and family and don’t forget to join our newsletter by going to and signing up!

Also, please remember that we are a full service book store and if you cannot find something you’re looking for on our website, you can always give us a call and we can get it for you. If you do not have a local book store, we would love to be your local store no matter where you’re located. Our Shoppe is very small and each and everyone of our customers make a huge impact in our small community. Your orders from us have a very personal impact on our lives and the lives of our employees. You make a difference shopping with us and we appreciate you guys more than you can imagine.

Why the Ultimate Book Giveaway Means so much to us

When Go Set a Watchman came out last year, a lot of people thought we were a corporate-sized store with unlimited resources because we sold over 10,000 copies. The world soon found out the Book Shoppe is actually a 2,000 square foot house and each package was hand wrapped, stamped, and processed. We learned lot and we experienced some very real growing pains as a small business, but it was worth every moment.  Of course, it’s our desire to continue to serve you guys–to really be your hometown bookstore. So visit us online, in the store, or call us and let us know how we can help you today.

Black Belt Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Luncheon


On January 29th, 2016 a luncheon was held inducting two new members into the Black Belt Hall of Fame. The luncheon was held at the Bell Conference Center at The University of West Alabama, located in Livingston, Alabama. The purpose of the Black Belt Hall of Fame is to bring recognition to and honor individuals who are associated with the Black Belt region and have had an influential impact on the region, State, nation, and the world through their contributions of art, business, education, industry, medicine, politics and science.

The 2016 honorees were Dr. Wayne Flynt and Nelle Harper Lee. Dr. Flynt and his family were there for his induction, and a small group of family and friends of Ms. Lee were there to accept the induction on her behalf, since she was not able to attend.

The Luncheon

The luncheon began with a welcome from Dr. Tim Edwards, provost of The University of West Alabama, followed by an invocation led by local minister, Rev. Barrett Abernethy from the First Presbyterian Church of Livingston. Then a buffet style lunch was served. As lunch was winding down, Ms. Amy Christiansen, archivist at The University of West Alabama presented the 2016 inductees.

Dr. Wayne Flynt

Dr. Wayne Flynt was born on October 4, 1940 in Pontotoc, Mississippi. He attended Howard College and received both an MS and PhD from Florida State University. He taught at Samford University for twelve years and then became a member of the faculty of Auburn University. He has been an instructor there for twenty-eight years and has become a distinguished Professor Emeritus. Dr. Flynt has written and co-authored twelve books, including Dixie’s Forgotten People, Alabama Baptists, Alabama in the Twentieth Century and a personal memoir entitled Keeping the Faith. Dr. Flynt was the first editor for the Encyclopedia of Alabama, which is an online publication. He has received numerous awards, including: the Lillian Smith Book Award, the Clarence Cason Book Award, the Clarence Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing, two Alabama Literary Association awards, two James F. Sulzby awards, the Judson-Rice Award and an induction into the Alabama Academy of Honor.

Dr. Flynt’s induction was introduced by Nancy Anderson, retired English professor at Auburn University at Montgomery, and long time friend of Flynt. Then Dr. Flynt gave his speech, and his induction plaque was unveiled by Ms. Christiansen.

Dr. Wayne Flynt, and OCBS employee Kristen Chandler

Nelle Harper Lee

Nelle Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama on April 28, 1926. She has had a huge literary impact on Alabama, America and the world. She attended Huntingdon College and the University of Alabama. Lee then moved from Alabama to New York to pursue her writing career. It was in New York that she wrote and later in 1960, published her literary treasure, To Kill A Mockingbird. Lee received a Pulitzer Prize for her debut novel and it has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Lee also wrote Go Set A Watchman in 1956, but it was not published until 2015. Watchman was at one time intended to be the first novel in a trilogy. She has also written several short stories and essays, including “Christmas to Me.” Ms. Lee’s awards include the Presidential Award of Freedom and the National Medal of Arts.

Dr. Wayne Flynt, fellow inductee and long time friend of Ms. Lee, introduced the induction of Lee. At the time of this luncheon, Ms. Lee was still alive but unable to attend an event so far from home. Ms. Lee’s nephew, Herschel H. “Hank” Lee made the induction speech in Lee’s honor, telling not only of her great achievements but memories he had of Nelle and Alice, from his own childhood. Ms. Lee’s plaque was then unveiled.

Friends and family of Nelle Harper Lee with her plaque
The induction plaque for the 2016 induction of Nelle Harper Lee into the Black Belt Hall of Fame

Dr. Tina Naremore Jones, Executive Director of The Division of Economic Development and Outreach gave the closing remarks. Dr. Flynt had a table set up with his books, available for purchase, after the luncheon. Ol’ Curiosities and Book Shoppe was honored to be asked to have a table selling various editions of To Kill A Mockingbird and Go Set A Watchman on behalf of Ms. Lee.

Did you attend the Black Belt Hall of Fame luncheon? Do you know anyone that has been previously inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame? We would love to hear your thoughts!


Go Set a Watchman: Going Home Again

Go Set a Watchman: Going Home Again

Woman and vintage suitcase on railway roadSequels, prequels, continuing series…whenever a book, movie, or television show finds success, there are always people clamoring for more. While some believe the original work stands alone– and it often does–it’s undeniable that others enjoy returning to the same characters as they embark on new journeys. Fans plead with creators for one more chapter, one more story, one more look. A well-told tale creates an emotional connection with its characters, and one of the pleasures of revisiting them in new contexts is learning new    details, seeing how their behavior changes (or doesn’t), and reacting to these changes based on your prior understanding of those characters.

Go Set a Watchman:  The Ultimate Sequel

Go Set a Watchman was anticipated with such fervor precisely because it would deliver what fans never thought possible: a chance to go to Maycomb again, to see what Scout and Atticus were up to, and to live another experience in the town many readers cherish as a slice of their own childhoods. While a considerable amount of press has been devoted to the behavior of Atticus Finch, the connection that many felt most in the new novel was its insight into Scout, now an adult of 26 and going by her given name, Jean Louise.

Go Set a Watchman: Scout Remembered

She is both the precocious girl we remember, with her comedic, mischievous edge, but Scout also a slightly troubled adult, caught between the world of New York and her childhood home. As I read the opening chapters, covering Jean Louise’s arrival via train and first evening in Maycomb, I was reminded of the first time I returned home from college. I had never been away for more than a few days, and only four months later, nothing had changed, yet everything felt different. My mind had been taken from this place and deposited elsewhere, and for the first time I could see my hometown as an outsider might.

Go Set a Watchman: Drawing Parallels

As I was still tender toward my home’s creature comforts, and I loved the spirit of Jean Louise and her boyfriend Henry’s late night swim– running around the way young people do– but now old enough to go beyond the front yard to do it. I also remember being more assertive about what I disliked at home and why, so I understood Jean Louise’s feelings about Maycomb and being stuck in the past, even when her attitude goes beyond wry and becomes rude and confrontational. It’s a common struggle new adults have: the desire to reject their pasts, but does must it mean rejecting loved ones as well? Immersed in an environment guided by family for so long, we grow up believing what we know, and then adulthood comes with its own Catch-22, as we’re challenged with new experiences and the old ones become their own challenge to confront!

The conflicts can be very serious. Jean Louise discovered a life in New York that just didn’t mesh with what she found on her latest visit home, and Jean Louise’s relationship with her family explodes because of it. While their conflicts reflect an understanding of race relations very specific to their time and place, the idea of a family in conflict over a break in values is universal. The question is: Does Jean Louise behave the way fans would expect based on what we know of the 6 year-old Scout we have loved for years? I believe she does. Jean Louise continues to grow, learn, and adapt to these changes in her thinking, while maintaining the willful, independent qualities readers remember from To Kill a Mockingbird. For anyone who wonders what Scout would be like, Harper Lee gracefully lets readers see how her classic “juvenile desperado, hell-raiser extraordinary” takes on one of the toughest challenges anyone can face: her own family.

Signed Edition of Go Set a Watchman: The Unboxing

Signed Edition of Go Set a Watchman

Signed Edition of Go Set a WatchmanThere have been few things more exciting in the literary world than the release of Harper Lee’s second book, Go Set a Watchman.  Book lovers everywhere speculated as to the contents of the new work and sought out the book as it appeared online and on bookstore shelves.  They immersed themselves in the story as soon as it was available, posting their opinions online and talking about the book around the water cooler at work.  It was big news, and readers all over the world were excited.

More exciting news about the signed edition of Go Set a Watchman

Then, perhaps even more exciting news was shared: There were a very limited number of Signed Editions of Go Set a Watchman.  These books, each hand-signed by Harper Lee were just in time for the holiday season. 500 copies have been made available–and having been put on the market very recently–many of them are already gone.  The good news is that we received some of these books and have a few in stock.

Unboxing a signed edition of Go Set a Watchman

We considered it a very special occasion indeed when we received our highly anticipated allotment of these books. In honor of this special occasion, we decided to do an unboxing video so our readers can see all of the gorgeous details of this special, signed edition of Go Set a Watchman. What better way to celebrate than opening a Signed Edition of Go Set a Watchman to share it with our followers?  Please check out the video of our unboxing of a signed edition of Go Set a Watchman below and pay close attention the beautiful details of the book.

We hope that book lovers everywhere have enjoyed our unboxing presentation of this gorgeous, signed edition of Go Set a Watchman.   Remember, if you–or someone you know–are interested in obtaining a copy for your very own, you still have a chance at owning this amazing piece of literary history. Please give us a call at 251-494-9356. Or, if you prefer, you can order one through our website.

Thank you and we appreciate every one of you!

Special Edition Signed Copies of Go Set a Watchman

Signed Go Set a Watchman Limited Edition

Another surprise announcement was made this morning concerning Harper Lee and Go Set a Watchman.

CUqLd2lUYAAXfWXLimited Number of Special Signed Editions Available

The Associated Press has reported that HarperCollins, Ms. Lee’s publisher, made the announcement this morning that there are 500 special editions of Go Set a Watchman in print. These particular copies were signed over the past few months by Ms. Lee. This is a surprise to many, because for a long time, signed copies of G0 Set a Watchman were not expected at all. In addition to being signed by the author, the book itself is hardcover bound in leather with gold gilded edges, and gold foil stamping. The book comes in a beautiful velvet lined cloth box, with a magnet closure. This would be a perfect gift for the Harper Lee fan or book collector on your Christmas list.

As this is a special edition, and very few copies are available, the price is not small. This edition sells for $1,500.00

If you are interested in obtaining one of these, Ol’ Curiosities and Book Shoppe would be pleased to help you make that happen. Please call us at 215-494-9356 or email us at and we will do our best to help you.

As always, thank you for everything you do and we appreciate you!

A Reader’s Response: Go Set a Watchman Review by Mary Ann Cole

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Even now, months after the release of Harper Lee‘s newest book, we are still receiving wonderfully thought-provoking Go Set a Watchman reviews from our readers. We love to hear everyone’s thoughts on the controversial character of Atticus Finch and Jean Louise’s reaction to him. Below is Ms. Mary Ann Cole’s stimulating response to our blog post Harper Lee: The Workings of Go Set a Watchman. Her personal experience with To Kill a Mockingbird as a Southerner gives an enlightening perspective in her Go Set a Watchman review.

Mary Ann Cole’s Go Set a Watchman Review

I met Atticus Finch and family during the summer after my 8th grade year. It had already been a pretty tumultuous year with sanitation workers’ strikes, city curfews, Dr. King’s death, a President’s resignation, war in places and for reasons I still don’t understand, fears about integration, Bobby Kennedy’s death, and talks of school integration for the coming year. I guess that summer was my own “coming-of-age” summer as it was for Scout and Jem and Dill when they first saw the ugly sides of people and subsequently, of life. Here, 47 years later, I guess the difference in the response to all of those changes was filtered and affected by where we grew up: Memphis changed; it had to in order to keep up with other Southern cities. Maycomb didn’t need to, didn’t have to: it sort of contentedly preserved itself as one of those stereotypical sleepy Southern towns where hats and “yes ma’am’s” and starched shirts and pocketbooks were the norm. The difference was that in To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout saw that human ugliness presented on the cusp of change, and because there’s no “middle book,” we don’t know what changes Scout or her family actually did see in Maycomb.

This I do know, though: anybody who was raised in the South and has a half-grain of common sense and a memory of those changing times knows that what Nelle Harper Lee writes of and how she expels it was exactly the subject of many a conversation/discussion/argument in many a Southern home in the 60’s. We don’t know what happened to Jean Louise once she left Maycomb, but moving from a quiet little town to the big city, I can imagine that she saw and encountered and realized experiences that Maycomb could never offer. My own opinion is that this is still a coming-of-age novel for the college-educated Jean Louise. As with many a wet-behind-the-ears college graduate who believe that the world is theirs to conquer and whose new-found knowledge is not yet tempered with real-world experience, Jean Louise returns to Maycomb County to find the innocence and tender memories of her childhood have been replaced with the reality of what was always there, and painfully learns that her father is of that “ilk.” It’s a rude awakening for Scout as she is confronted with that “life vs. beliefs” collision. Atticus hasn’t changed; Scout has. She’s as locked into her own belief system as the town from which she came, and therein lies the bucket of cold water that Scout ultimately has to deal with. She has to learn by screaming, cursing, crying, seeing thing she was heretofore ignorant of (blissfully innocent of)—the greatest of those lessons being that her father has not changed: he was doing what many of us do (if we’re really honest with ourselves): He was putting aside his own personal beliefs to defend the defenseless and to practice civility in a world that was seeming to quickly grow uncivil. The world is a very different place to a 26-year-old than it is to an 8-year old. Wordsworth figured this out and ‘nailed’ it in his Intimation of Immortality. It’s nothing new.

What though the radiance which was once so bright       180

Be now for ever taken from my sight,

    Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

      We will grieve not, rather find

      Strength in what remains behind;                                      185

      In the primal sympathy

      Which having been must ever be;

      In the soothing thoughts that spring

      Out of human suffering;

      In the faith that looks through death,                               190

In years that bring the philosophic mind.