Thursday, July 29, 2010

Short Takes: Avoid Newt Eating

ForeWord Reviews on JOHN OLIVER KILLENS: "Gilyard’s affection and admiration for his subject shine through his words without falling into hero worship. This book certainly deserves consideration for college Black Studies courses, as well as a place in any African American Studies library collection."

New AWP Creative Nonfiction Award winner Danielle Deulen is also the winner of the University of Arkansas Press Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize; profile in Salt Lake Tribune.

Monroe News Star editorial reflects on the selection of LOUISIANA WOMEN as the summer reading book for the community: "And what a book it is."

The forthcoming CROSSROADS OF CONFLICT, a guide to the Civil War sites of Georgia, mentioned in the Athens Banner-Herald.

The Aiken Standard announces SALAMANDERS OF THE SOUTHEAST: ‎"None of the Southeastern species of salamanders are harmful to humans, Gibbons said, though the newt would be poisonous in the unlikely event someone ate one."

The Baton Rouge Advocate thanks the late Charles East for bringing to light THE CIVIL WAR DIARY OF SARAH MORGAN; an exhibit on Morgan has opened at the Old State Capitol.

"Marsh provides a readable and compelling work on Georgia’s formative years and effectively uses family and gender to help explain the colony’s transformation into a southern stronghold": GEORGIA'S FRONTIER WOMEN reviewed on H-Net.

JOHN PORTMAN: ART AND ARCHITECTURE exhibit, curated in Atlanta, now on display in Shanghai, where John Portman and Associates has several completed and current projects.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Short Takes

Publishers Weekly reviews THE DANCE BOOTS by Linda LeGarde Grover, noting the story collection's "bright and determined vitality." The book, winner of the Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Award, is forthcoming in September.

ForeWord Reviews includes BLACK NATURE and the University of Georgia Press in a feature on finding the best new poetry titles: "Dungy’s selection of poems is an invitation to read far beyond these pages... The work of ninety-three poets, from Phillis Wheatley to Patricia Smith, Richard Wright to Tim Seibles, shows a range of concerns that will broaden our understanding of what constitutes nature poetry. This is an important addition to a library or personal collection."

The director David Lynch tweets that Anna Journey's IF BIRDS GATHER YOUR HAIR FOR NESTING is "magical".

Allen Matusow (THE UNRAVELING OF AMERICA) asked to comment by the Houston Chronicle on the year 1964 in anticipation of the new season of Mad Men opening Sunday.

LEGACY: A Journal of American Women Writers included MARGARET FULLER: WANDERING PILGRIM in an essay review of recent biographies of Fuller: "At its finest moments, Murray's biography does an excellent job balancing Fuller's life and writing, illustrating that the personal is the political."

Now available:
Edited by Charles T. Bryson and Michael S. DeFelice
Principal photography by Arlyn W. Evans and Michael S. DeFelice

Editors Bryson and DeFelice follow up their well-received guide to the weeds of the south with a volume covering potentially problematic plants from northern Kentucy to southern Manitoba and Ontario, and from eastern South Dakota to Ohio. A particularly useful feature of both guides is the use of up to four color photographs to show the plant in seed, seedling, plant and flowering stages.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Short Takes

Chesapeake Quarterly has an engaging review of the award-winning THE OYSTER QUESTION: "Keiner, in sharp detail, lays out the tangled history of Maryland's oysters — not only the leasing controversy, but the hunt for them, the struggle to manage them, the battle to bring them back. . . . Keiner's book is well researched, well thought out, and well written. Her attention to detail is impressive. Every library with marine-related holdings should have a copy. Indeed, for anyone wanting the deep backstory on Maryland's colorful oyster past, The Oyster Question is itself something of a treasure."

The winner of the 2010 Associated Writers & Writing Programs Creative Nonfiction Award is Danielle Cadena Deulen for her manuscript "The Riots." The award includes publication by the University of Georgia Press.

JURY DISCRIMINATION included on the Chronicle of Higher Education's New Scholarly Books list.

THE BIBLE ACCORDING TO MARK TWAIN makes the Essential Freethought Library.

ISLE reviews Sharon White's VANISHED GARDENS, calling it "a four-dimensional urban ecology" and noting, "Her spare yet lyrical sentences accumulate a Proustian density in which every fragrance, every blossom, every steamy shade of green, every change of temperature and cycle of season enriches the compost of history, culture, botany, and memoir."

Eighteenth Century Studies
calls Julie Anne Sweet's NEGOTIATING FOR GEORGIA, on the relationship between early Georgia colonists and Lower Creek Indians, "the most focused study yet on this intercultural engagement," adding that "the strength of Sweet's monograph is in the impressive scope and depth of her research and the astonishing level of detail and complex analysis it allows her to provide."

Upcoming events:
August 12-14, 2010
Scribblers' Retreat Writers' Conference, St. Simon's Island
Author Karen Salyer McElmurray (SURRENDERED CHILD and STRANGE BIRDS IN THE TREE OF HEAVEN)is a featured speaker.

Salamanders of the Southeast completes a series

SALAMANDERS OF THE SOUTHEAST, the fifth and final volume of our well-regarded series of guides to the herpetofauna of the southeastern U.S., is now available.

While salamanders conceal themselves well and are seldom seen, in the southeast they far outnumber any other terrestrial vertebrate groups in species and often in population sizes. This book showcases these beautiful examples of “hidden biodiversity” and demonstrates their role as an important component of the ecology of the region.

Written by ecologists Joe Mitchell and Whit Gibbons, SALAMANDERS OF THE SOUTHEAST features 102 species, each illustrated with color photographs of typical adults and variations. Species accounts include notes on habitat, similar species, behavior, reproduction, predators and conservation status. Each account is accompanied by distribution maps for both the southeast and the U.S. as a whole, demonstrating how many species are unique to the region or in some cases to a single mountain or a few counties within the region.

The book covers Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky, a region especially rich in salamanders and also a focal point of concern for conservation of amphibian habitat.

The first book in the series, SNAKES OF THE SOUTHEAST, was published in 2005. Subsequent volumes presented accessible, authoritative information on:


(click here for a companion collection of frog and toad calls on YouTube)


Herpetological Review called books in the series “exquisite” and noted, “All are of uniformly high quality, clearly written, with an attractive layout. Each has solid introductory information, detailed species descriptions, excellent range maps and color photographs, line drawings showing defining features, and a strong conservation message.”

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Short Takes

Lori Ostlund (THE BIGNESS OF THE WORLD) makes the Dzanc Books alternate "20-under-40" fiction list, as reported by Publishers Weekly; the list includes authors who publish with a wider range of small and independent presses than those included in the New Yorker's recent "20 under 40" issue. Also, they're not all under 40 (although there are 20 of them).

CORNBREAD NATION 5 enthusiastically reviewed in the inaugural issue of the new online food mag The Zenchilada (see page 105).

Bookslut on Colin Cheney's debut collection HERE BE MONSTERS. His poem "Lord God Bird," which originally appeared in Notre Dame Review, has just been awarded a Pushcart Prize. Also a new audio interview at Scattered Rhymes, with links to Darwin's notebooks and other topics Cheney mentions.

Encyclopedia Britannica's Advocacy for Animals site recommends VISIONS OF CALIBAN: ON CHIMPANZEES AND PEOPLE by Dale Peterson and Jane Goodall as great summer reading for animal lovers, and notes that it is "approaching the status of a classic."

TENNESSEE WOMEN reviewed on H-Net: "Suffice it to say, there is not a ringer among the eighteen essays. Each is informed by the most recent scholarship in the fields of American women's history, southern history, and the history of Tennessee." From a highlight in the current issue of Mississippi magazine: "In 34 articles, the second volume of MISSISSIPPI WOMEN chronicles the interesting, intriguing, and complicated lives of past Mississippi women."

H-Southern Industry reviews Marko Maunula's GUTEN TAG, Y'ALL.

Now available:
Edited by William Graves and Heather A. Smith
This collection of accessible essays by geographers, historians, and architects, examines rapid change in Charlotte from several unusual and interesting angles. Contributors look at the banking industry and the construction of a global finance center, but also NASCAR, the reuse of textile mills, gentrification in uptown, and immigrant corridors on South Boulevard and the East Side, trying to clarify what kind of place Charlotte is and how it got to be that way.

National Book Award finalists to be announced at Flannery O'Connor childhood home

This October, the National Book Foundation will announce the 2010 finalists for the National Book Award at the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home in Savannah, Georgia. (The foundation has not yet announced who will read the list of 20 finalists in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature.)

In past years, John Grisham has made the announcement from William Faulkner's home in Oxford, Mississippi. Lawrence Ferlinghetti has named the finalists from City Lights Book Shop in San Francisco, Garrison Keillor from the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Camille Paglia from the Library Company of Philadelphia.

The foundation's choice of Flannery O'Connor's childhood home (included in A LITERARY GUIDE TO FLANNERY O'CONNOR'S GEORGIA) comes in the wake of last summer's campaign to determine the Best of the National Book Award winners in fiction, with all 77 past winners in the running. Public vote selected Flannery O'Connor's Complete Stories, which won the National Book Award in 1972 -- eight years after her death -- beating out finalists John Updike and Walker Percy.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Short Takes

Dyana Furmansky's ROSALIE EDGE, HAWK OF MERCY has won the Colorado Book Award for Biography.

Urban Affairs Review includes BLOOMBERG'S NEW YORK by Julian Brash (forthcoming in February) in a roundup of books assessing recent change in New York City: "To some observers, however, including most of the above authors— Moody, Greenberg, Angotti, and Brash— Bloomberg’s mayoralty marked the culmination of a disturbing trend that began with the fiscal crisis. For them, the city is becoming a less hospitable place for people in need, as power shifts to economic elites who divide public benefits less equitably."

Emerson Society Papers
reviews PASSIONS FOR NATURE: "Johnson's interdisciplinary study breaks new and compelling ground in its establishment of a dialogue between writers, naturalists, painters, and landscape designers on the subject of nature and its role in American life."

Choice recommends THE OYSTER QUESTION ("will interest those concerned with preserving Chesapeake Bay and its natural resources, and environmental historians who focus on state resources") and GLASS CEILINGS AND 100-HOUR COUPLES ("this provocative book raises many questions but does not stoop to providing pat answers about how couples should manage the work-family balance.")

Western American Literature reviews JACK LONDON'S RACIAL LIVES: "London shifted or adjusted his racial attitudes over time as the result of his travels, and Reesman smartly and systematically charts this trajectory."

Florida Forum, magazine of the Florida Humanities Council, profiles Jack Davis, winner of the Florida Book Award for nonfiction for his biography of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, AN EVERGLADES PROVIDENCE.

Upcoming events:
Wednesday, July 14
2-4 pm
Hudson Institute conference center
Washington, DC
also streamed live:

Charles Horner (RISING CHINA) and Christopher Ford (The Mind of Empire) in a panel discussion on the role of China's past in understanding its future strategies; with Ashley Tellis (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) and Arthur Waldron (University of Pennsylvania)

Now available:
Jeannette Eileen Jones

While acknowledging the current of American thought that saw Africa as a "dark continent," Jones examines a countertrend in late nineteenth and early twentieth century cultural and intellectual history, in which early environmentalists, filmmakers, New Negro political thinkers and others turned to Africa as an important source of knowledge and enlightenment.

Christopher Waldrep

Waldrep explores the remarkable 1906 case in which white Mississippi lawyer Dabney Marshall (carrying out a plan conceived by black Mississippi lawyer Willis Mollison) successfully demanded the racial integration of juries in Mississippi, with particular focus on the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case and the consequesnces of its narrow reading of the Fourteenth Amendment.