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In a Different Key: The Story of Autism

Photo Mar 18, 9 10 37 AM In their breakout tome In a Different Key: The Story of Autism, journalists John Dovan and Caren Zucker explore the ebb and flow science that once skewed our view of what we now call the autism spectrum. We hold this nonfiction account of autism history dear due to the fact that the first diagnosed person was born in Forest, Mississippi over seventy years ago. Donald Gray Triplett, born in the September of 1933, showed signs of challenged social interactions. In 1937, his parents committed him until 1938. In October of that very same year, Triplett was examined by a psychiatrist, in Baltimore, who was unable to diagnose him. Ultimately, Triplett attend high school, and in 1958, he received a bachelor’s degree in French from Millsaps College.
In a Different Key: The Story of Autism, doesn’t just illustrate the life and struggles of Triplett; it shows the good and bad motivations of autism research. Such a story, without a doubt, climbed its way to the top of Non-Fiction Pick of the Month.

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Laurie Parker: “Hush, swing, hush”

image343Set in Meridian, Mississippi in 2008, Hush, Swing, Hush is the third novel by author/artist Laurie Parker. Dee Loder, a forty-year-old divorcée and school librarian in Meridian, Mississippi has a lot on her plate in the spring of 2008. First and foremost, she is dealing with the ongoing challenges of being the mom of a special-needs child, an eleven-year-old boy with Asperger Syndrome, whose dad is a loudmouthed high-school football coach and little help with their son. Then, when her book-hoarding father passes away suddenly, Dee, a book lover herself, is left to deal with both the memories of a man she never really knew, as well as the overwhelming number of boxes he crammed into the Craftsman bungalow in which she grew up. Romance is the last thing on the mind of this mother of a misfit and daughter of a mystery—that is, until handsome Leland Dixon arrives in town from Dallas,Texas with a guitar and a gallant willingness to help her out. Before she knows it, life begins dishing out a heaping helping of bombshells, and she is hit head-on with the heavy realization that she may have to rewrite more than just her own history.

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Review: “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee

A1rBZedGc0LAfter fifty years, readers return to Maycomb County, the setting for Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning coming-of-age novel To Kill a Mockingbird, and the characters we grew to love are unrecognizable. Namely, Scout goes by Jean Louise, and you find out early on that her brother, Jem, has died. If you have any expectation that the novel will have you reminiscing about the adventures of Scout, Jem, and Boo Radley, you are sorely mistaken. Jean Louise returns home from New York City in order to see her arthritis-ridden father. She grew up to be what seems to be a compelling woman for her time. Unlike most, she goes off to college and fends for herself while voices of her past suggest that she come home and get married. The novel reveals a new, main character Henry Clinton— a man who follows in the footsteps of Atticus Finch. And, Jean Louise, at one time, seems like she may marry that man.

The book exposes strong, witty, and sometimes funny internal banter regarding love, family, and small town politics. Lee captures the true nature of the Southern, small town of which some is still applicable to today. The writing exceeds bounds which many books of today have set. However, the plot seems to be a bit under-edited. Jean Louise over-exaggerates a lot of what happens to her; the book gives much insight into her tendencies to build mountains out of molehills. However, with that said, such over-dramatization emphasizes the experience most go through. Namely, we realize everything changes, and people aren’t always what we expect them to be. The novel embodies a plot similar to Lee’s staple, the coming-of-age story. However, this story happens later in life exposing that age is irrelevant: we all have growing up to do.

Furthermore, the book exposes Jean Louise’s struggle with the racial bias that exists within her home— Maycomb County. She realizes that racial turmoil existed in her past which crushes her view of her childhood. Atticus Finch has been the character under the microscope for most. However, if you were to read the book without comparing him to the way he was perceived in To Kill a Mockingbird, the change wouldn’t be so earth-shattering which proves bittersweet to the overall plot. Namely, with a comparison, Atticus’s dark side shines a bit darker which gives the plot a stronger twist. However, if the book is read fresh, or without comparison, the transformation doesn’t seem to be that potent.

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6 Bestselling Books Local to Mississippi

We all know Mississippi produces some of the most highly regarded authors— from William Faulkner to Greg Iles. The authors mention in this post are recent additions to Mississippi’s collection of outstanding wordsmiths. Such books will make you proud of the South. Namely, they expose culture lost, changed, and maintained. Some will make you, if you’re from Mississippi, homesick; others will make you want to visit and see what Mississippi has to offer.

 


Before He Finds Her
by Michael Kardos

Everyone in the quiet Jersey Shore town of Silver Bay knows the story: on a Sunday evening in September 1991, Ramsey Miller threw a blowout block party, then murdered his beautiful wife and three-year-old daughter. But everyone is wrong. The daughter got away. Now she is nearly eighteen and tired of living in secrecy. Under the name Melanie Denison, she has spent the last fifteen years in small-town West Virginia as part of the Witness Protection Program. She has never been allowed to travel, go to a school dance, or even have internet at home. Precautions must be taken at every turn, because Ramsey Miller was never caught and might still be looking for his daughter. Yet despite strict house rules, Melanie has entered into a relationship with a young teacher at the local high school and is now ten weeks pregnant. She doesn’t want her child to live in hiding as she has had to. Defying her guardians and taking matters into her own hands, Melanie returns to Silver Bay in hopes of doing what the authorities have failed to do: find her father before he finds her. Weaving in Ramsey’s story in the three days leading up to the brutal crime, Before He Finds Her is a stirring novel about love and faith and fear–and how the most important things can become terribly distorted when we cling to them too fiercely.

 

Bone Tree by Greg Iles

Greg Iles continues the electrifying story begun in his smash New York Times bestseller Natchez Burning in this highly anticipated second installment of an epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice, featuring Southern lawyer Penn Cage. Former prosecutor Penn Cage and his fiancée, reporter and publisher Caitlin Masters, have barely escaped with their lives after being attacked by wealthy businessman Brody Royal and his Double Eagles, a KKK sect with ties to some of Mississippi’s most powerful men. But the real danger has only begun as FBI Special Agent John Kaiser warns Penn that Brody wasn’t the true leader of the Double Eagles. The puppeteer who actually controls the terrorist group is a man far more fearsome: the chief of the state police’s Criminal Investigations Bureau, Forrest Knox. The only way Penn can save his father, Dr. Tom Cage—who is fleeing a murder charge as well as corrupt cops bent on killing him—is either to make a devil’s bargain with Knox or destroy him. While Penn desperately pursues both options, Caitlin uncovers the real story behind a series of unsolved civil rights murders that may hold the key to the Double Eagles’ downfall. The trail leads her deep into the past, into the black backwaters of the Mississippi River, to a secret killing ground used by slave owners and the Klan for over two hundred years . . . a place of terrifying evil known only as “the bone tree.”The Bone Tree is an explosive, action-packed thriller full of twisting intrigue and deadly secrets, a tale that explores the conflicts and casualties that result when the darkest truths of American history come to light. It puts us inside the skin of a noble man who has always fought for justice—now finally pushed beyond his limits. Just how far will Penn Cage, the hero we thought we knew, go to protect those he loves?

 

Gray Mountain by John Grisham

The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer’s career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track—until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the “lucky” associates. She’s offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she’d get her old job back.
In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about. Mattie Wyatt, lifelong Brady resident and head of the town’s legal aid clinic, is there to teach her how to “help real people with real problems.” For the first time in her career, Samantha prepares a lawsuit, sees the inside of an actual courtroom, gets scolded by a judge, and receives threats from locals who aren’t so thrilled to have a big-city lawyer in town. And she learns that Brady, like most small towns, harbors some big secrets. Her new job takes Samantha into the murky and dangerous world of coal mining, where laws are often broken, rules are ignored, regulations are flouted, communities are divided, and the land itself is under attack from Big Coal. Violence is always just around the corner, and within weeks Samantha finds herself engulfed in litigation that turns deadly.

 

 

Stennis by Don H. Thompson

Upon the death of Theodore Bilbo in 1947, John Cornelius Stennis won a special election to fill Bilbo s U.S. Senate vacancy. In 1952, he won the general election and served in the senate for 41 years. Much of our state’s progress is due to Stennis devotion to those who struggled to make a living he dedicated his entire working life to helping others. Despite his allegiance to Mississippians, his vision also encompassed both the nation and the world. Among his colleagues, Stennis was known as Mr. Integrity. He wrote the first Senate ethics code and cautioned unilateral entrance into the Vietnam Conflict. Stennis was also labeled the Father of America s modern navy. The supercarrier USS John C. Stennis was named in his honor. Stennis wanted his state and country to prosper and he believed in government of, by, and for the people. Dr. Donald Zacharias, President Emeritus of Mississippi State University, said of Stennis, We see qualities in your life that we want in our own lives. Life is better for each of us for what you have done.

 

 

 

 

Gone by Shelby Foote and Nell Dickerson

Photographer and architect Nell Dickerson began her exploration of antebellum homesteads with encouragement from her cousin-in-law renowned Civil War historian and novelist Shelby Foote. Her passion for forgotten and neglected buildings became a plea for preservation. Gone is a unique pairing of modern photographs and historical novella. Foote offers a heartbreaking look at one man s loss as Union troops burn his home in the last days of the Civil War. Dickerson shares fascinating and haunting photographs, shining a poignant light on the buildings which survived Sherman’s burning rampage across the Confederacy, only to fall victim to neglect, apathy and poverty. GONE is a powerfully moving volume that will change how you see the forgotten buildings that hide in obscurity across the Southern landscape. From the photographer: The Civil War had been over for exactly ninety years in 1954, when my cousin, Shelby Foote, published–PILLAR OF FIRE–as part of his novel, Jordan County: A Landscape in Narrative. The book’s stories painted a vivid picture of a fictitious Mississippi county steeped in Southern culture. PILLAR OF FIRE took readers into a heartbreaking and commonplace scene late in the Civil War, when Union troops moved through the civilian South destroying not only plantations but also ordinary homes and cabins. Those troops, battle-hardened and bitter from the loss of their own brethren, shared the tragic effects of war. In PILLAR OF FIRE, they take no joy in burning a home in front of its dying, elderly owner and his frail servants. The cruelty of the circumstances is as much a given for them as the dying man’s grief over all the memories that burn with his house. Now, on the eve of the Civil War’s 150th commemoration, my mission is to draw attention not only to the architectural heritage devastated by the war but also the heritage we’ve lost since then: to neglect, to poverty, and to shame, as the war’s infamy colored the attitudes of later generations and tainted the homes those generations inherited. What the war didn’t take, time and apathy did. And yet those grand old homes whether mansion or cabin deserve our reverence and protection.

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles

#1 New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles returns with his most eagerly anticipated novel yet—Natchez Burning—the first installment in an epic trilogy that interweaves crimes, lies, and secrets past and present in a mesmerizing thriller featuring Southern lawyer and former prosecutor Penn Cage growing up in the rural Southern hamlet of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned everything he knows about honor and duty from his father, Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor is accused of murdering Viola Turner, the beautiful nurse with whom he worked in the early 1960s. A fighter who has always stood for justice, Penn is determined to save his father.The quest for answers sends Penn deep into the past—into the heart of a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the Double Eagles, a vicious KKK crew headed by one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the state. Now Penn must follow a bloody trail that stretches back forty years, to one undeniable fact: no one—black or white, young or old, brave or not—is ever truly safe.

 

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7 Things Only MSU Bulldog Fans Will Understand.

1. Tailgating is essential. The feel of a fall night and a cold beer in the junction is unlike anything you have ever experienced. Strangers treat you like family, and the sound of a cowbell ringing ignites your Bulldog pride while preparing for game time.

Photo Credit: (https://hailstatebeat.wordpress.com/page/26/?ATCLID=934916&SPSID=90889&SPID=10997&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=16800)

2. Cowbells! Whether you ring responsibly, or not, the MSU staple represents a tradition worth keeping. Also, the cowbell embodies the ringer: everyone applies their own personal touch.

Photo Credit: (http://www.alumni.msstate.edu/s/811/images/editor/cowbell.jpg)

3. Maroon!!! White!!! When you say Maroon, they say White.

4. The Chapel of Memories: Bulldogs never forget, nor do they wish to. The Chapel of Memories stands as a reminder of the past, and how we stay true to our traditions.

Photo Credit: (http://weddingmapper.s3.amazonaws.com/photos/2/9/3/5/9/7/293597_l.jpg)

5. We say “Y’all.” Not only are we Southern, we stay on our P’s and Q’s. We represent true sportsmanship.

6. Left Field Lounge has a place in the heart of every Bulldog, big or small. Left Field Lounge has its own traditions: There are no words for how Bulldogs celebrate Baseball.

Photo Credit: (http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/30404/no-lounging-for-razorbacks-on-road-trip-to-mississippi-state)

7. MSU Cheese, or Edam Cheese, visitors can’t leave campus without buying MSU made cheese. However, be quick, you have to get it while supplies last. Namely, Bulldogs are wild about the stuff.

Photo Credit: (http://farmflavor.com/us-ag/mississippi/animals-livestock-mississippi/celebration-mississippi-cheese/)

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5 Books You Should Definitely Take to the Beach

Summer sun, sand, saltwater, and a good book: it makes you want to quit your day job and become a beach bum. We asked our staff what they think. Their recommendations have something for everyone— from YA adventures to darkly comic murder mystery.

1. Love Among the Walnuts by Jean Ferris
After his uncle poisons a birthday cake in order to steal the family fortune, Sandy Huntington-Ackerman’s life becomes increasingly complicated. His mother, father, and their pet chicken fall into a poison induced coma. Sandy joins together with family friends in order to survive the uncles antics and to seek revenge. This story of Good vs. Evil exposes a pure, sweet, and honest plot which shrouds an underlying depth to each character.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Before He Finds Her by Micheal Kardos
Everyone in the quiet Jersey Shore town of Silver Bay knows the story: on a Sunday evening in September 1991, Ramsey Miller threw a blowout block party, then murdered his beautiful wife and three-year-old daughter. But everyone is wrong. The daughter got away. Now she is nearly eighteen and tired of living in secrecy. Under the name Melanie Denison, she has spent the last fifteen years in small-town West Virginia as part of the Witness Protection Program. She has never been allowed to travel, go to a school dance, or even have internet at home. Precautions must be taken at every turn, because Ramsey Miller was never caught and might still be looking for his daughter. Yet despite strict house rules, Melanie has entered into a relationship with a young teacher at the local high school and is now ten weeks pregnant. She doesn’t want her child to live in hiding as she has had to. Defying her guardians and taking matters into her own hands, Melanie returns to Silver Bay in hopes of doing what the authorities have failed to do: find her father before he finds her. Weaving in Ramsey’s story in the three days leading up to the brutal crime, Before He Finds Her is a stunning novel about love and faith and fear—and how the most important things can become terribly distorted when we cling to them too fiercely.

3. Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search For My Twelve-Year-Old Bully by Allen Kurzweil
Whipping Boy , an investigative memoir, crime procedural, and revenge thriller, chronicles the author’s search for his childhood enemy who has haunted him for over forty years. The nemesis abused Kurzweil during their time at a prestigious English boarding school in the Swiss Alps. Whipping Boy is an anxiety fueled quest for revenge that takes you around the world in order to confront an enemy.

 

 

 

 

4. Brain Maker by David Perlmutter, MD
Debilitating brain disorders are on the rise-from children diagnosed with autism and ADHD to adults developing dementia at younger ages than ever before. But a medical revolution is underway that can solve this problem: Astonishing new research is revealing that the health of your brain is, to an extraordinary degree, dictated by the state of your microbiome – the vast population of organisms that live in your body and outnumber your own cells ten to one. What’s taking place in your intestines today is determining your risk for any number of brain-related conditions. In BRAIN MAKER, Dr. Perlmutter explains the potent interplay between intestinal microbes and the brain, describing how the microbiome develops from birth and evolves based on lifestyle choices, how it can become “sick,” and how nurturing gut health through a few easy strategies can alter your brain’s destiny for the better. With simple dietary recommendations and a highly practical program of six steps to improving gut ecology, BRAIN MAKER opens the door to unprecedented brain health potential.

 

5. And the Good News Is… by Dana Perino
Thoughtful, inspiring, and often surprising, AND THE GOOD NEWS IS . . . traces Dana Perino’s unlikely journey through politics and television. It’s a remarkable American story-made up of equal parts determination and clear-eyed optimism. From facing professional challenges and confronting personal fears to stepping up to a podium for a President, Dana has come to expect the unexpected and has an uncanny ability to find the good news in any tough situation. AND THE GOOD NEWS IS . . . takes us from her Western childhood in Wyoming and Colorado to a chance meeting on an airplane that changes her life entirely. Then, with refreshing honesty and humor, she recounts her frustration with a string of unsatisfying jobs and living circumstances until a key career tip leads her back to Washington, D.C. to work for the Bush Administration. Dana also shares here her best work and life lessons-tips that will help you to get your point across convincingly while allowing your own grace and personality to shine through. As someone who still believes in working together to solve the problems our nation faces, Dana offers clear, practical advice on how to restore civility to our personal and public conversations. The result is a fascinating read that can help anyone become more successful, productive, and joyously content.

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Story Time

Story Time We are now starting Story Time. Bring your kids in for an adventure only a book can provide. After our employees read, kids get a free scoop of ice cream. Story time is every Summer Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

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Book Review: The Stranger by Harlan Coben

The StrangersNot often does an author grab his audience’s attention at the first sentence; however, Harlan Coben never fails to construct a plot where it sinks its teeth into you. As expected, The Strangers is a hook, line, and sinker that carries you into an American Dream where a stranger shatters the world of the protagonist, Adam. The stranger comes out of nowhere, perhaps the supermarket, a bar, or the living room of your home. The stranger, a silent storm, appears for just a moment and the only evidence of his existence is a whisper— a secret or conspiracy that reveals underlying life shattering cloak-and-daggers. Harlan Coben’s The Stanger is a must read this summer.

Approx. 400 words

Hardcover

$27.95

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Ringing in the New Year!

IMG_20141231_120141 We hope you all have had a wonderful 2014, and we hope you all have an even better 2015. Let us know on Facebook what you are planning to read in 2015. We are still running our after-Christmas sale. 50% off all Christmas items!   Also, we will be having our New Year sale soon.   Thank ya’ll for a great 2014!

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Closed: January 1st

20141230_125641_Richtone(HDR) For the New Year, we are closing shop for the day. However, we will be in town the every other day this week; so that, you can pick up a cowbell in order to ring in the New Year.

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