Casey Cep’s Furious Hours (2019)

Furious Hours

Harper Lee is famous for her beloved classic To Kill A Mockingbird-just last year it won The Great American Read and was so universally popular that it always led the public’s voting for favorite book by a wide margin for the entire duration of the vote.

However, Lee is perhaps just as famous for the fact that To Kill A Mockingbird is her only book. Sure, publishers released her Go Set a Watchman a few years ago, but in truth, that was just the very early draft of To Kill A Mockingbird and not a new book.

That’s not to say that Lee never tried to write another book, however.

According to Casey Cep’s debut Furious Hours, Lee worked for years on a true crime manuscript about a bizarre case of murder and insurance fraud in 1960s/1970s Alabama. . . .

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Old Favorites: Agatha Christie

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2019, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

Though she’s been dead for over 40 years, Agatha Christie is a perennial favorite with mystery readers. Her mysteries still circulate very well at our library, and I’ve been an avid reader of her work since I was a teenager.

I’ve blogged before about her work that we have at the library–here and here–and even written a guide to how to survive an Agatha Christie novel. 🙂

But since this week also marks the 129th anniversary of her birthday, I thought books that celebrate her life would be the best way to honor her. Because, even beyond her career as a writer, Dame Agatha had a fascinating life. . . .

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Book Buzz: Neurotics Broadening Their Horizons, 19th Century Frontier Romances, Real-Life WWII Partisans

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For August, we’re looking at a surprisingly sweet romance, a trilogy of historical romances set in 19th century Oklahoma, and a history of British secret operations in France during WWII.

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Shawn Levy’s The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont (2019)

The Castle on Sunset

“If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont”–Harry Cohn

“If you want to be seen, go to the Beverly Hills Hotel. If you don’t want to be seen, go to Chateau Marmont.”–pretty much everyone who was anyone in Hollywood since the 1930s

Need a relatively quiet place to write a screenplay or stay while you film a project in town? Check into the Chateau Marmont!

Need a private place to stay after your spouse kicked you out of the marital home? Check into the Chateau Marmont!

Need a discrete place to stay for, ahem, extracurricular activities that could endanger your reputation? Check into the Chateau Marmont!

(Obviously I missed my calling writing ad copy for this place. . . .)

Continue reading “Shawn Levy’s The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont (2019)”

Old Favorites: Larry McMurtry

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2019, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

Larry McMurtry celebrated his 83rd birthday earlier this month. Anyone who’s known me any length of time knows I’m a big Lonesome Dove fan. But there is a lot more to McMurtry’s work than that series, great as it is on its own, or even just his Western novels. And if you’re interested in exploring more of his work, well, the library has you covered. . . .

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Nita Gould’s Remembering Ella (2018)

Remembering Ella

One of the more infamous crimes in our local area is the gruesome 1912 murder of Ella Barham in rural Boone County, which is just next door to us here in Berryville. I must confess, I had never actually heard of the crime until I read this book. Author Nita Gould has family ties to the case–Ella is a cousin, though one who died long before Gould was born. As Gould quickly learned when she started researching the case, local oral tradition of the case is unreliable and contradictory, so she instead turned to the extensive news coverage of the crime and court files to detail the murder of the vivacious eighteen-year-old and the subsequent arrest and trial of one of her neighbors. Thank you to Julie for ordering this book for me!

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Book Buzz: Books in Bloom 2019

The 14th annual Books in Bloom literary festival is going to be May 19, 12-5 pm, at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. You’ll have the chance to mingle with authors, listen to them give talks, and even get your books signed by them. This year’s authors include Brooks Blevins (whom I really enjoyed meeting back in 2016 when he was last at Books in Blooms), Jeffrey Deaver, and Chris Bohjalian.

Here are a few newer books you might want to check out in the weeks leading up to Books in Bloom, so you can already start researching which talks to attend and which authors to meet.

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