Here are the books I brought to WBRC Fox 6 on February 6. Memoir and mystery and lots of entertainment!
Darkroom: A Memoir in Black & White (University of Alabama Press) There’s so much to love about this young adult book by Alabama writer Lila Quintero Weaver! First of all, it’s a beautifully drawn, visually powerful graphic novel. Also, it’s set in our state’s historic Black Belt region—Marion, to be exact. And it’s a thoughtful, touching story of race and family and immigration and Alabama’s past, present, and future. The story is told by a young woman who came from Argentina to Marion. Her Latino family will witness the intense and dangerous struggles for civil rights in our state, even as they are trying to make their own home here. And Lila, as a Latina, will struggle with her own place in a town that draws strict lines between black and white.
The Queen of Hearts (Berkley) This book by Kimmery Martin will go on sale February 13, and it’s worth reserving now. This debut novel about friendship and secrets is set against an exciting and chaotic backdrop of hospitals and trauma rooms and life-or-death decisions. Zadie Anson is a pediatric cardiologist. Emma Colley is a trauma surgeon. The two have been friends since medical school. They both lead hectic, yet successful and fulfilling, personal and professional lives in Charlotte, NC—until a colleague returns and exposes a secret one of the women has been hiding for years.
The Perfect Scout: A Soldier’s Memoir of the Great March to the Sea and the Campaign of the Carolinas (University of Alabama Press) This book, by George W. Quimby with editing assistance by Anne Sarah Rubin and Stephen Murphy, grew from a large collection of personal papers written by a Union soldier who was a scout for General William Tecumseh Sherman. After his father-in-law, George Quimby, died, Stephen Murphy found his written recollections of his time in the war, and he shares them in this book. Before he joined Sherman’s army in Vicksburg, Quimby was held captive by Nathan Bedford Forrest’s troops in Western Tennessee. Once in Sherman’s army, Quimby became a scout, moving ahead of the troops to anticipate opportunities and danger, venturing into Confederate territory, and sending intelligence back to Sherman. The memoir, written in 1901, is an engaging story of narrow escapes, the suffering of civilians caught in between armies, historic events, drunken frolics, and acts of kindness from many Southerners. It reads like an adventure novel.
Shadow of the Lions (Algonquin Books) Christopher Swann‘s debut novel, a literary mystery, will remind readers of A Separate Peace, Dead Poets Society, and The Secret History. During his senior year at the Blackburne School, a prestigious boys’ boarding school in Virginia, Matthias Glass’s roommate and best friend, Fritz Davenport, disappeared without a trace after the two boys argued. Years later—struggling with writing and with life—Matthias is offered a job at Blackburne as an English teacher. He returns to the school and, once again on campus, is draw quickly into the past as he tries to find out exactly what happened to Fritz all those years ago.