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BOOK BIZ: Jessica Chambers slaying inspires newest Ace Atkins novel

» The Innocents
By Ace Atkins
July 12, 2016 • $27.00

At the beginning of Ace Atkins’ new Quinn Colson novel, The Innocents, we are right back in the middle of Tibbehah County, a fictional community hidden away in the hill country of north Mississippi.  It’s the setting for what Atkins’ himself has described as a “redneck Game of Thrones.”  Lillie Virgil is the County’s sheriff, having replaced former Army ranger ...

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JACK WEATHERLY: A British writer cottons to Mississippi, and vice versa

» Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta  
By Richard Grant  
Published by Simon and Schuster       
$16.00 softback

Richard Grant, a British expat, came to the nether regions of the Mississippi Delta, was quickly mesmerized and decided to write a book about what he saw and experienced. He vowed to relate his impressions of this rarest slice of the Deep South through critical but nonjudgmental eyes. Uh-oh. Here we go again. Another “outsider” tells Mississippians who they are. Well, ...

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BOOK BIZ — An arresting memoir about childhood, illness and loneliness

» Autobiography of a Face    
By Lucy Grealy
Published by Harper Perennial        
$14.99 softback

Lucy Grealy’s remarkable memoir, “Autobiography of a Face,” was published over twenty years ago. Discovering it now leaves me wondering how I missed it all this time, but grateful that I finally read it. Grealy was diagnosed at age nine with Ewing’s sarcoma, an extremely rare form of bone cancer that most often affects children and adolescents. For Grealy, the ...

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Book Biz: An Irish story, coming of age in America

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Perhaps some readers saw the 2015 movie version of this book. I did not, but I liked the book. It’s a heart warming coming-of-age look at an immigrant’s story that was new to me. We’ve all read of families who come to America to start new lives — stories that continue to this day. Brooklyn is the story of a ...

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BOOK BIZ — This classic from Eudora Welty stands the test of time

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Returning to the works of Eudora Welty feels like returning to the company and comfort of an old friend. Her writing is familiar in a way that particularly speaks to small-town Southerners and perhaps especially to small-town Mississippians. She writes about the people you grew up with, the people you’re related to, and the people you remember from your childhood ...

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Harper Lee, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ author, has died at 89

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Harper Lee, the elusive novelist whose child’s-eye view of racial injustice in a small Southern town, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” became standard reading for millions of young people and an Oscar-winning film, has died. She was 89. Lee died peacefully Thursday, publisher HarperCollins said in a statement Friday. It did not give any other details about how she died. “The ...

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BOOK BIZ — From the worst of circumstances, a tale of hope

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Growing up in a small town in the Canadian province of Alberta, Amanda Lindhout dreamed of a life filled with travels to exotic places. After buying old issues of “National Geographic” from a local thrift shop, she would spend hours retreating into them, hours when her mind took long journeys away from her chaotic and sometimes-violent childhood. At the age ...

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BOOK BIZ — Celebrating the brain’s amazing ability to change

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For many years, the prevailing view in brain science held up three beliefs as staunch truth. First, that once past certain developmental stages, our brains were unable to adapt or grow in any significant way. Next, that when parts of the brain were damaged, either from disease or by accident or injury, that damage was largely permanent. And third, that ...

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