Friend Favorites

One of the unique aspects that we feel Friends of Atticus provides is the opportunity to hear from different authors. As we mentioned in “The Books That Are Getting Us There”, we have collectively read 79 different books with reviews from 16 different authors. While we feel that you should probably read everyone of our reviews (they are entertaining), here are a few posts our authors have held in high esteem.

Sean Stanhill’s Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader, Bradley K. Martin


“I really enjoyed Sean Stanhill’s Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader review. It was inciteful, and a perfect blend of personal experience and subject matter.”

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a mystery to most Westerners. The “Hermit Kingdom” has been closed off since the 1950’s and is protected by the most heavily fortified border on the planet. The DPRK, formerly backed by the USSR, is the last hold-out of the Cold War era. How did it all begin? What’s this about nuclear testing? Who is this Kim Jeong-eun character who looks like a Korean version of Eric Cartman? Continue…

Bethany Cheatwood’s Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

“I really liked how she tied her skydiving experience into the review by finding a connection with that experience and that of Jon Krakauer and the Everest climbers in the book, in the sense of doing something truly exhilarating and “living outside four walls.”  She illustrated what she has taken from that experience, as well as that of reading the book, into her own life in a big way.”


I have a rather newly developed thirst for adventure.  For most of my life, I found enough in the books I read: treasure hunting and killing pirates with Robert Louis Stevenson, resurrecting dinosaurs with Michael Crichton, perpetuating the prophecies of witches with William Shakespeare, even – reluctant as I am to admit it – falling in love with vampires with Stephenie Meyer (although I really prefer werewolves).  But more recently, I found that while great books are nigh-perfect conveyors of information and emotion, they simply can’t provide a substitute for all life’s experiences.  Some experiences must be lived. Continue…

John Estes’s One Writer’s Beginnings, Eudora Welty

Photo Aug 04, 2 21 35 PM“I liked it because of the relationship he pointed out between what he read and what he was experiencing in Jackson himself. It was more than just a review; it was a statement of what his reading meant to him personally. Books are meant to be experienced rather than to be passively observed, and that’s what he pointed out. It was a refreshing read.”

Early morning in mid March, I found myself driving through a neighborhood of Jackson Mississippi that openly displays its development throughout the years with a patchwork of architectural styles. Driving down Peachtree Street, one can see Tudor style houses from the early twentieth century adjacent to stucco laden art deco houses from the 1960’s. Large live oaks hang over the streets like parasols giving the illusion that the day light emits directly from the green lawns. Suddenly, the housing grid opens up to the downtown campus of Belhaven University, a quaint liberal arts college founded in the late 1800’s. Continue…

Trey McCain’s Ishmael, Daniel Quinn

DanielQuinn_Ishmael“As someone who enjoys “philosophical treatise more than fiction” and keeps a well worn dog eared copy near my desk, the review immediately drew my interest. Trey brilliantly outlines the dominate ideas of the book by exploring his personal connections with those ideas.”

I first heard of Ishmael in a semantics course taught by my adviser in college. Since I had (and still have) a lot of respect for her teaching and her work, it seemed natural to give it a read. A classmate readily lent it to me (he never got it back). After a couple of weeks in which I barely got through the first few parts of the book, I laid it aside. While I found some of the ideas expressed in the beginning apropos to some personal experience and my studies, the writing style quickly bored me, and I moved on. Four years later, I pulled it from my bookshelf and began berating myself for abandoning it. Continue…

Adam Willard’s The Dispossed, Ursula K. Guinn

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

“Adam somehow took several broad topics such as religion, phyics, and economics, highlighted their intricate connection, and attached them to an interesting narrative about a sci-fi novel. Well-written and captivating, I had to read it twice.”

“The grass is always greener on the other side.”  Until you get there, of course.  And if you had to travel far enough to get there, you realize that, greener or not, the grass isn’t the only thing that’s different.  When you make the journey to a new land, you always get a lot more than you bargained for, and it’s rarely what you expected.  So as I sat in an airport waiting to fly home to USA from Madagascar and read Ursula K. Le Guin’s classic novel, “The Dispossessed”, I found quite a lot to relate to. Continue…

Sean Stanhill’s How to be Black by Baratunde Thurston


“Not only does the book sound really entertaining while still holding serious purpose, but I also appreciated Sean’s commentary on his own situation of choosing to live in Korea where he sometimes faces racist comments and discrimination. Living overseas myself, I have also experienced such feelings, but it’s important to remember that we are living in other countries of our own free will, and we have total freedom to leave if we desire. Sean’s discussion of this situation was a really poignant reminder for me.”

“Be not afraid of blackness. Some are born black. Some achieve blackness, and others have blackness thrust upon them,” attributed to Shakespeare in the introduction of How To Be Black by Baratunde Thurston. This…adaption(?) of the Bard sets the tone for Thurston’s book, a dialectic in both seriousness and humor. It’s hard to tell what this book offers at face value but that may just be the notion that, at its heart, Thurston is trying to buck. Continue..


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