Monroeville: Literary Capital of Alabama is a wonderful photographic journey from the town's humble beginnings as a crossroad to an internationally known launch pad for some of the most notable names in the world of literature. Kathy McCoy has painstakingly documented the changing face of Monroe County and has added an additional layer of depth with the release of this visual companion. Monroeville is divided into chapters that include the diversions, politics, and--of course--two of its most well known inhabitants. Each photograph is accompanied by a brief history lesson that is both informative and intriguing. McCoy covers the meager beginnings of the town's beloved square and the courthouse that has been immortalized in the screen adaption of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. No book covering the town of Monroeville would be complete without a portion devoted to Harper Lee's novel. Included are several pages immortalizing the courthouse, the annual run of the play, and Harper Lee herself. McCoy includes plenty of information on Lee's childhood friend and fellow author,Truman Capote, as well. Monroeville is a welcome addition to any Mockingbird fan's library and gives a stunning look into the town that boasts a plethora of artists, authors, peacemakers, and politicians.Learn More
Author Kathy McCoy has a special place in her heart for Monroe County, Alabama. Crossroads is one of three works devoted to this historically rich area. McCoy begins with the earliest native inhabitants then moves all the way to the Reformation and Restoration of the south. The book is broken into seven chapters, each with a different historical period as the main focus. Crossroads also includes period letters, pictorials, and news articles that add depth and dimension to its historic story. McCoy herself stated that Crossroads would make an excellent companion for students taking Alabama history, but it is an enjoyable standalone account of a county older than the State itself. It is a quick and excellent read for those interested in the background of the area that has produced some of the most notable authors in modern history.Learn More
In the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot introduces us to Henrietta Lacks, the "real-life woman" behind one of the greatest scientific advances ever discovered. Henrietta wasn't a scientist though, she was a black woman who's cervical cancer cells took on a life of their own after being harvested without her consent in 1951. These cells labeled as HeLa cells, became known as "the immortal cells" when they not only lived, but thrived outside of Henrietta's body. To date, more than fifty million metric tons have grown from that tiny unremarkable initial sampling. Scientists soon discovered that these cells were the perfect catalyst for engineering medication, understanding the nature of cancer, and revealing the aging process.
As a teenager in 1988, Rebecca Skloot was given a brief explanation of what HeLa cells were and thankfully, something about these mysterious cells sparked an interest that would turn into this work of non-fiction. It didn't take very long for Skloot to discover that although Henrietta's cells were biological celebrities, Henrietta died relatively unknown and certainly without knowledge of her contribution to science and humanity. Twenty years and innumerable scientific publications pass before Henrietta's family are even made aware of the HeLa cells' extraordinary life. Skloot traces the emotional rollercoaster and the toll it has taken on Henrietta's family. She befriends Deborah, Henrietta's daughter, who points out the paradox between the necessity of the HeLa cells and her struggle to pay for medication that only exists because of them.
Skloot treads the fine line between haunting biography and narrative scientific report. Her life and the lives of Henrietta's children, cousins, and kin are irrevocably intertwined. Skloot spent thousands of hours researching not only the human side of HeLa cells, but the scientific side, making this read as informative as it is engrossing. It's no small wonder that The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has sparked the interest in millions of readers world-wide. Skloot's devotion to the business of fact-finding does not bog down the narrative nature of this biography and her no-holds-barred approach to writing makes it an approachable work.
Wanderings of My Heart is book full of short stories and wonderful advice. Author Peggi Helms writes with the authority that only comes from those with kind hearts and earnest lives. She draws her guidance from forty plus years of marriage and almost as many as a mother, grandmother, and Christian.Learn More
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.
As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.Learn More
Having appeared over the last 40 years on over 3,000 network affiliate television and radio shows, Jon McClure found station after station requesting him back. Jon is a total food expert who worked in the grocery, seafood, bakery/deli and meat departments of the top national food chains. Later, after teaching radio, TV and communication in college for five years, Jon went on to several cooking schools to refine his food experience.
Jon McClure moved to Alabama in 1983 and wrote his best selling Birmingham's Best Restaurants' Cookbook, appearing as a regular on the "Tom York Show" and later started Mediacom Marketing, a Gregerson's Foods subsidiary, where Jon produced food, home, health, recreation and home builder shows in convention centers across the country and in cities throughout Alabama. This statewide travel over a 20-year period hatched the idea for Alabama's Best Restaurants' Cookbook.Learn More
This cookbook is a great collection of southern recipes--everything from Lancaster County Ham to Uncle Johnny's Scuppernong Wine. It has sections including:
- Appetizers & Beverages
- Soups & Salads
- Vegetables & Side Dishes
- Main Dishes
- Breads & Rolls
- Cookies & Candy
- This & That
It was created by writer Amanda Walker, a longtime columnist with the Wilcox Progressive Era in Camden, Alabama. Be sure to also check out her book The Tears and Laughter of a Southern Voice Calling.Learn More
Who in their right mind would come along and tear down Harper Lee's old rambling childhood home? Why, didn't they know that everyone would want to walk up on the front porch and sit on the swing hanging from the rafters; see Nelle and her beloved sister Alice's rooms; find where her mother Frances' piano sat; see where she and her father A.C. Lee worked crossword puzzles and where she and her brother Ed read books or walk to the back door to peer into the yard where Nelle, Truman Capote and Truman's cousin Big Boy climbed up in the tree house in the big chinaberry tree?
You will find the answers to when and why the house was torn down in this collection of short stories.Learn More
I Am Scout is Charles J. Shields' adapted version of Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee. It is written for younger readers and students, but in no way did I find it lacking in information. Like its predecessor Mockingbird, I Am Scout covers Harper Lee's life as a writer and her adventures as a both a child and adult.
Don't let the idea that this is a children's biography dissuade you from reading I Am Scout; it hits home on all the important subjects with none of the speculation or unnecessary sensationalism. I Am Scout is very contextual, so it's probably best read after reading and discussing To Kill a Mockingbird. Shields has once again included excellent notes and a formidable biography that is a perfect starting place for adult and young readers alike to go out on their own Mockingbird journey.Learn More
Here are Reese Witherspoon's most essential quotations culled from her speeches, private notebooks and other sources.
Learn about the lady's wit and wisdom from her own words.Learn More