Fox 6 Books: October

Fall for these great reads! Here are the books I brought to WBRC Fox 6 this month.

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

I read this stand-alone novel by Jane Harper while waiting for her book, The Dry, which is part of a series. Not only is The Lost Man well written, but it’s also compelling from the very first pages when two brothers meet for the first time in months on the edges of their adjoining properties in the vast Australian outback to identify the body of their third brother. Cameron, the middle son who ran the family homestead, appears to have walked away from a working truck full of water and supplies; he died within 24 hours under the unrelenting sun. Why he did it is a mystery. But there are other mysteries here, too, and they quickly unfold when Nathan and Bub and Nathan’s son return to Cameron’s ranch and those he left behind—their mother, Cameron’s wife and two young daughters, a long-time employee and two new seasonal workers. This is a family full of secrets, and these secrets come to light in a clever, twisty plot. Harper’s setting is just as intriguing as the characters. When your nearest neighbor is a three-hour drive away and you herd cattle with helicopters, just reading about how people live here is absolutely fascinating. 

Behind the Magic Curtain:  Secrets, Spies, and Unsung White Allies of Birmingham’s Civil Rights Days by T.K. Thorne

A lot has been written, of course, about Birmingham and its role in the Civil Rights moment that changed our city, our country, and the world. This new book by Birmingham writer T.K. Thorne, and published by NewSouth Books, goes beyond what we know to reveal little-known or never-told stories of progressive members of the Jewish, Christian, and educational communities. The book is filled with firsthand recollections of a newspaper reporter who embedded with law enforcement and witnessed secret wiretapping and intelligence operations. Thorne understands this perspective:  She served for more than two decades in the Birmingham police force, retiring as a precinct captain. She was the executive director of City Action Partnership (CAP) before retiring to write full time. This book about intrigue and courage offers a look at The Magic City that most of us haven’t seen before. 

Fix-It and Forget-It Mediterranean Diet Cookbook:  7-Ingredient Healthy Instant Pot and Slow Cooker Recipes by Hope Comerford

Easy? Check! Healthy? Yes! This book is full of good-for-you recipes that don’t take a lot of hands-on cooking time. With healthy, low-fat Greek and Italian meals and dishes from other Mediterranean countries, this cookbook part of the New York Times bestselling Fix-It and Forget-It series. The Mediterranean Diet is known for its health benefits—lowering cholesterol and improving heart health and increasing longevity.  Studies show this type cuisine of has anti-inflammatory benefits and helps with weight loss and weight maintenance. And good, clean food gives you more energy, too. The 127 recipes here require only a handful of ingredients and very little prep time when you use an Instant Pot or slow cooker or other multicooker. There’s something for every time of day—breakfast, lunch and dinner, even snacks—and for every taste. You’ll find recipes for Fresh Veggie Lasagna, Chicken and Chickpea Stew, Italian Frittata, Garlic and Lemon Chicken, Moroccan Spiced Stew, Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bars and more. 

100 Years of the Best American Short Stories by Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor

So much in one book! This anthology features 100 years of the very best in American storytelling from masters including Ernest Hemingway, Flannery O’Connor, James Baldwin and more. To celebrate the centennial of this annual series, Lorrie Moore (herself a master storyteller) has chosen 40 stories from the more than 2,000 that have been published in previous editions.  Series editor, Heidi Pitlor, offers behind-the-scenes anecdotes (William Faulkner admitted in his biographical note that he began to write “as an aid to love-making.”). And she looks at writing and reading trends decade by decade. Ernest Hemingway’s first published story is here. Nancy Hale writes about the far-reaching effects of the Holocaust; Tillie Olsen writes about the desperate struggles of a single mother; James Baldwin depicts the bonds of brotherhood and music. From Charles Baxter and Jamaica Kincaid to Junot Díaz, Mary Gaitskill, ZZ Packer and Sherman Alexie, this is a carefully curated guided examination in stories of what it means to be American. 

I link to Amazon to show you exactly what book I’m talking about, but I love to shop locally at Church Street Coffee and BooksThe Alabama Booksmith, Little Professor Book Center, and I often visit our local libraries in person and online.

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