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
On the cusp of the local newspaper's 150th year of printing, "The Monroe Journal" reproduced their history-filled anniversary edition from 1991. It features many photos of popular buildings throughout our town's history along with all sorts of interesting facts and tidbits.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.
Riley's Crossing is the story of Capt. Thomas Mercer Riley who lived in Monroe County, Al. during the 19th and 20th century. We learn how "Cap't Tom,"--or "Cappy" as he was known, created his own empire of wealth in the "Piney Woods" after a devastating war, and how his secret, forbidden love shaped not only his world, but the world to come.
Riley's Crossing as told by author Kathy McCoy, is an uncommon tale, given its time in history, but one that stands to teach even the modern world a lesson in compassion and in blazing one's own trail.Learn More
The McCrary's have been farming here since before Alabama was a state and at the rate they're going, they might be here long after. Author Joseph M. Jones traces the life and fortunes of these original settlers and brings illumination to the development of the entire region in his book The Wondrous McCrarys. Jones, who spent much of his life in the country with the late kin of the original McCrarys, brought to life the history of this amazing family.Learn More
From reconstruction to rockets, Remembering Huntsville provides a stunning pictorial history gleaned from archives. Jacquelyn Reeves carefully selected more than one hundred black-and-white photographs that capture two centuries of growth in one of the South's most prosperous cities. Remembering takes us on a journey from Huntsville's humble beginnings, rich reconstruction, and its point of pride as Rocket City, U.S.A.Learn More
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Real Courage: The Story of Harper Lee is a young adult biography delving into the life of famous author, Harper Lee. Katherine Don does an exceptional job of telling not only Harper Lee's story but also a history of the time. This gives young readers a better grasp of the events that shaped Lee as a writer and a person. Real Courage gives the bigger picture view of Harper Lee's life making her seem less obtuse.Learn More
Monroeville: The Search for Harper Lee's Maycomb is a short, photograph-dense book about Harper Lee's hometown. Inside you'll find many photographs of the town Harper Lee modelled her iconic Maycomb after in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Along with the photos, there are short and informative chapters devoted to places and characters made famous by To Kill a Mockingbird.Learn More
Historic Photos of Huntsville is a stunning collection of notable photographs and their visual history of Huntsville Alabama. Jacquelyn Reeves, with the help of other noted historians, put together a collection that captures the rich history of Huntsville from the 1850's to the more recent 1970's.Learn More
In today's hustle and bustle of instant communication it's easy to forget a time not so long ago when life was slow and communication was even slower. If Perfectly Agreeable is one families treasure trove of letters written between 1880 and the late 1890's. The main correspondents are Joe Harrison and Fannie McDavid. They only live on opposite sides of the Escambia River, but at that time it might as well be worlds away.Learn More