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Personal Picks

  • Patti Callahan Henry: Coming Up for Air

    Patti Callahan Henry: Coming Up for Air
    This author recently moved to Birmingham, and she’s already made lots of friends. It wasn’t hard; her bestselling books preceded her. Besides, she’s a really fun and intriguing person. Her newest book, set on the Alabama coast, is about marriage and motherhood and one woman’s desire to become the person she really wants to be. Ellie Calvin has her hands full already when her controlling mother dies and she runs into her ex-boyfriend at the funeral. The old boyfriend is making a documentary on Ellie’s late mother and has questions only Ellie can answer—with the help of a long-forgotten diary. (*****)

  • Hillary Jordan: When She Woke

    Hillary Jordan: When She Woke
    Hillary Jordan’s debut novel, Mudbound (winner of the 2006 Bellwether Prize for fiction), was an international literary hit. That one was set firmly in the rich soil of a Mississippi Delta farm in the mid 1940s. When She Woke, on the other hand, is futuristic and quite chilling. Here’s an America that we won’t recognize completely but might well be able to imagine. The book begins: “When she woke, she was red. Not flushed, not sunburned, but the solid, declarative red of a stop sign.” Hannah Payne wakes up in a bare room wearing only a paper gown. She has been turned into a “chrome.” Chromes are criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to reflect their crimes. Murderers are red. There are hints of The Scarlet Letter here in this nightmare world where politics and religion come together in a mighty scary way. (*****)

  • Susan Haltom: One Writer's Garden: Eudora Welty's Home Place

    Susan Haltom: One Writer's Garden: Eudora Welty's Home Place
    Oh, this is a lovely book with great photos of the famous writer and her family and neighbors. But the real gems are the colorful photographs of the garden Welty tended with her mother. Chestina Welty designed their modest garden and taught her daughter well. Welty, of course, is known for weaving Southern flora into her writing; much of her knowledge came from time spent in her own garden. Near the end of her life Welty still resided in her family home, but the garden had become neglected. Co-author Susan Haltom is a garden designer, and she offered to help preserve the garden and spent a decade doing that. This beautiful book, organized by seasons and decades, contains previously unpublished writings, including literary passages and excerpts from Welty’s private correspondence about her garden. (*****)

What's on my nightstand...

  • Susan Rebecca White: A Soft Place to Land: A Novel

    Susan Rebecca White: A Soft Place to Land: A Novel
    This is a book about sisterhood and the often-complicated love that go along with it. When their parents die in an airplane accident, 13-year-old Ruthie and 16-year-old Julia are sent away from their Atlanta home to live separately in distant parts of the country—in drastically different cultures. The story spans nearly two decades and follows the sisters from this familiar Southern home to bohemian San Francisco, a Virginia mountain town, the campus of Berkley and the lofts in Brooklyn. Once close, the sisters grow up and apart and their relationship becomes complicated by anger, resentment and jealousy. But then another shocking accident changes their lives once again. White is the author of the critically acclaimed Bound South, in which she writes lovingly and insightfully about Atlanta, where she was born and raised.

  • Frances Mayes: Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life

    Frances Mayes: Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life
    Celebrated travel writer and bestselling author Frances Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany) is back and continuing her decades-long love affair with Tuscany’s people, art, cuisine and lifestyle. This is a deeply personal account of her present-day life in Tuscany, detailing the changes she has experienced since the success of her first two books and her reflections on the unchanging beauty and simple pleasure of Italian life.

  • Robin Lane Fox: Travelling Heroes: In the Epic Age of Homer (Vintage)

    Robin Lane Fox: Travelling Heroes: In the Epic Age of Homer (Vintage)
    The myths of the ancient Greeks have inspired us for thousands of years. But where did these stories come from? How did they spread around the world? Fox draws upon the latest archaeological evidence, his own travels and his vast knowledge of the ancient world to answer these questions. He explores how the Mediterranean seafarers of 8th-century B.C. Greece encountered volcanic mountains, vaporous springs, huge prehistoric bones and more and then weaved them into their legends of gods, monsters and heroes.

  • David Ebershoff: The 19th Wife: A Novel

    David Ebershoff: The 19th Wife: A Novel
    My bookgroup is reading this one right now. This book combines historical fiction with a murder mystery, and my bookgroup is reading this one right now. One story line, set in 1875, involves Ann Eliza Young, who has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Ann Eliza begins a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife.
 A second story is the tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father’s death.
Both narrative intertwine to create a larger story of love and faith.

For book groups . . .

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September 03, 2008

Comments

Shiori

while i agree that Obama/soetoro is still a citizen of iondnesia, the underlying fact remains that obama's father was british, which translates as to obama/soetoro being born a dual citizen. it is constitutionally IMPOSSIBLE for such a man, especially the son of an englishman (refer to citizenship swapping laws between usa and great britain at the time of obama/soetoro's birth) (( those laws state that one (country) may NOT steal citizens from another)).on the matter of gathering the people i did not suggest that mr berg rally them under his own steam. on the contrary. he should invite them to get more involved in ALL scotus related issues, thus ensuring the people' are up to date with what their lawmakers are doing, which in turns, gives them the chance to voice their support, or lack thereof .. the point is this, people MUST attend the courts, and especially on this matter.the people have a right to voice their opinions. that is all i was trying to say. without being in front of the media on all matters, not just this one, the people will lose thier voice every time. maybe mine is not the way, but something must be done soon. otherwise, there will be no alternative but to suffer this usurper of the constitution, and subsequently, all who would follow him in the future.i do want to add one more thing though ..obama was an islamist at birth, under islamic marriage laws. i won't give you the details in full, but to marry an infidel , the infidel must submit to islam in one of three states of loyalty to islam for the mariage to be valid in islamic tradition an interesting fact when you think that a muslim can never renounce his faith without consequence ..what will the consequence be for america?????

Amr

It's irrelevant whehter Bay or Fox is telling the total truth. Reality probably is that there is a hint of truth from both sides. Maybe just one big explosion with one yelling "your fired!" at the same time the other is screaming "I quit!". The only real truth that not many people will dispute is the damage done to this franchise by one of them. Here are just a few examples of the piss poor leadership these films have had. 1. The Twins (really!?! WTF!), 2. Devastator's Testicles ("Look at those big balls daddy", quote from my 5yr old), 3. Jazz's over the top Ebonics (What's Crackin'), 4. Shia (Take a little Ritalin and chill out), 5. Why only GM products (This completely alienates 3/4 of the original characters, none of which they have used anyway so never mind this one), 6. Jetfire (These beings are supposed to live for millenniums, but he had to retire after 1980?), 7. The rehashing of the same Transformers with different colors throughout Revenge of the Fallen (including but not limited to Blackout/Grindor and all of the Constructicons), 8. John Turturro (How do you go from Joey Knish to showing yourself in a thong for a couple bucks?), 9. Bumblebee (Why the "F" can't you speak?), 10. Optimus Prime's paint job (We should have known you'd choose Flames!")

Jessica

SouthernLady,I agree that Soetoro/Obama is not doing well for our Country. But, our focus is on the fact he is not constitutionally elbliige and is illegally maintaining the office of the United States Presidency.If in fact he is Muslim, which is not our focus, and how the Muslims treat each other is not our concern. We do not wish any harm upon anyone. Again, this is strictly a legal question regarding Soetoro/Obama’s citizenship status and his constitutional eligibility or lack thereof and making sure our Constitution is upheld.

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