Season of the Dragonflies by Sarah Creech

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Sarah Creech’s first novel, Season of the Dragonflies (William Morrow 2014), is a beautiful book and mesmerizing story. The story is about the Lenore women and their perfumery in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it is, as the synopsis promises, “a beguiling tale of practical magic, old secrets, and new love.”  Continue reading

Notwithstanding: Stories From an English Village by Louis de Bernières

What do you think of if I ask you to picture an English village? Is it something quaint? Is it the Shire, with fewer hobbits and notwithstanding2more above-ground houses? Is it a place where milk is still left on local doorsteps in glass bottles? Is it green and verdant, with a little Anglican church on the hill? Or is it a place that looks mundanely idyllic on the surface but is actually filled with all the peculiarity, nostalgia, loneliness, local legend, infatuation, hilarity, ghosts and crazy cat ladies that make up pretty much any small community worth its salt? Whichever one you’re leaning towards, Louis de Bernières has a story to tell you. A whole collection of them, actually.

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A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis

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Everyone has experienced pain of some sort, to some degree or other. I have not experienced the death of a spouse like C. S. Lewis, let alone the cruel irony that they had been married for so short a time before her death; I have not even experienced marriage. But by virtue of simply belonging to the human race, I have suffered, like everyone. And sometimes, it is an ephemeral passing-by, a mild bee sting. But other times, it is a deep and lasting anguish, something terribly overwhelming. Originally Lewis’s journal, A Grief Observed provides such a startlingly vivid portrait of the latter. Lewis explains things like a fear of forgetting details about his wife, questioning why she suffered and died and left him behind, even being angry and questioning why God would allow it. As a journal, this book provides such deep insight and personal contemplation of seemingly every angle, every facet of Lewis’s grief. Continue reading

The Week of One Year

We are still celebrating our first year anniversary, and we know that you are just as excited as we are! No one wants to be left out of the party, so here is a recap for the late-comers of our previous week to get caught up.

Monday “The Books That Are Getting Us There”

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This time last year we began a voyage…
an exploration…
a quest…
to catalog written works. We came together to share our real-life experiences and nostalgic connections brought forth through literature.

We are the Friends of Atticus; patrons of reading and reading experiences. Continue

Tuesday “The Half-Life of Facts, Samuel Arbesman”

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Girded in Duck Tales pajamas at midday, I danced a little jig as the VCR received the VHS. After a not-so-quick rewind, a peppy melody of trombones, bassoons, and clarinets announced the triumphant entry of a man of odd proportions proudly strutting in front of a stick of a girlfriend. It did not take long before a man the size of a buffalo swooned away the odd man’s girl through acts of physical greatness, usually pushing around our hero.

There was but one course of action for Popeye. He must find his source of strength, not by the sun as does Superman or by… gamma radiation as does the Hulk (bad example). Continue

Wednesday “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. Continue

“This Time Last Year: One Writer’s Beginnings”

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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

Thursday “Rivers by Michael Farris Smith”

RiversImagine for a moment the devastation brought about by a particularly bad hurricane.  Imagine if, in the wake of that first hurricane, another one headed in just a few days later.  And another.  And another.  Imagine that this happened for so long, that things got so bad, the government wrote off an entire section of the country.  Imagine the kinds of people who would stay behind in a no-man’s land battered routinely by storms of ever-increasing size.  This is the world of Rivers, the remarkable debut novel from Michael Farris Smith, out next month from Simon and Schuster. Continue

Scout’s Friends Cheat Sheet

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For the month of June, Friends of Atticus reminisced childhood by taking a look at some of our favorite children’s books. Oh, you didn’t realize that? And you missed them all? Well, we will get you caught up with Scout’s Friends Cheat Sheet.

6.04 The Lorax by Dr. Seuss brought to us by Zach MacDonald

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It’s the early nineties and depending on the year I’m five or six or seven.Sesame StreetTeddy RuxpinNinja Turtles and the Raccoons are the coolest things on the air, or at least on the two channels beamed to us from a glorified set of metal prongs called an aerial (for those who bypassed the experience), set in the branches of a tree beside our house. At night those two channels become the territory of my parents, and before long I’m sent up to bed.

Which is when I’d want a story. And very often the story I wanted was The Lorax. Continue reading »

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Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”

079I was raised to love a good story even before I could read for myself. As far back as I can remember, I recall NaNa’s famous bedtime stories. Sometimes I’d ask for the same one over and over; sometimes I’d ask her to make up a new story. Sometimes I’d ask for her own rendition of my favorite Disney movies. And she always delivered. Even now, years and years later, I can sometimes still hear her voice as I lie in bed trying to fall asleep; I remember her telling me about the jungle boy who outsmarted the tigers or how Sleeping Beauty was awakened by the prince and lived happily ever after. That was just the beginning. Then I started noticing the towering stacks of Daddy’s National Geographic magazines, and I’d flip through the glorious pictures, wishing I knew all about them. I remember wanting to be able to discover stories on my own, and not only that – to find answers to questions I had about things like the National Geographic pictures, to learn about words, to discover other people’s ideas… And reading was what opened the door to all those things I wanted. Continue reading