DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Jun 18 2010

Share Reads – Try A Local Author

by ShareReads

ShareReads appears on the DCPLive blog on Fridays. Each week, a different person will share a little about what they’re currently reading, and why they like or don’t like it.  The heart of ShareReads will be responses from blog readers, and the window of opportunity here is wide. Feel free to respond and discuss the book or author being mentioned, ask or answer a question, or even take the conversation in a different direction: mention what you are currently reading, and how you feel about it.  The point of ShareReads is to have an ongoing discussion about books and reading.  Remember: posting a response also counts as an activity for the Summer Reading for Adults program.

Last week, DCPLive featured an interesting post about local, organic food. Part of the slow food movement involves buying food which is locally grown, thereby supporting local farmers. Considering this brought me to the notion that writers bring seeds of ideas to readers in much the same way that farmers grow vegetables. They keep returning to them over and over, nourishing them with patience and diligence until they’re ready for our consumption. No matter what you eat this summer, it’s the perfect time to enrich your reading diet by trying (and supporting) a local author.

We’re very fortunate that DeKalb County is the home of the Georgia Center for the Book. This organization has featured many Georgia authors in DeKalb libraries, including Terry Kay, Mary Kay Andrews, Karin Slaughter (who will be at the Decatur Library on July 1st), and Joshilyn Jackson (who will be at the Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library on June 29th).

I’ve recently finished a wonderful new book by a local author who presented a GCFTB program back in May. David C. Tucker loves to write about movies and television, and his latest book, Lost Laughs of 50s and 60s Television: 30 Sitcoms That Faded Off Screen, is a wonderful tribute to some shows which got lost in the sands of TV history. Some actors featured in the book, like Harry Morgan (Colonel Potter on M.A.S.H.) Francis Bavier (Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show), or Marion Ross (Richie’s mom on Happy Days), are much better known for their other work. Other actors have been largely forgotten. That’s a shame, and you’ll enjoy reading about them too.

Since it’s hard to see these shows today, I’m grateful that Lost Laughs includes many photos. This is truly a user friendly book, containing an appendix charting the shows in chronological order (I mention this because the shows are presented alphabetically). You can read the book in chapter order, or mix it up in any way you choose. My three favorite shows are Angel, Mrs. G Goes to College, and Wendy and Me. I’ll pique your curiosity by telling you that Angel was created by the man who brought us I Love Lucy, and Wendy and Me featured George Burns.  It’s hard for me to imagine why these three didn’t last longer, but I’m sure you’ll have your own wish list once you’ve picked up this book.

If you’d like another actor fix, I also recommend David’s other books, The Women Who Made Television Funny, and Shirley Booth: a Biography and Career Record. There’s another good dose of wit and entertainment to be found between those covers.

So, do you have a favorite Georgia author? There’s a lot of great writing to celebrate, and some of it is being created right now at a computer keyboard near you!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie D. June 18, 2010 at 11:30 PM

I am a middle school teacher, and, this past school year, I had the pleasure of inviting Georgia Author Jenny L. Cote to visit our school. It was a huge success. She gave some great tips about the writing process and provided a little insight to her latest books – The adventures of Max and Liz. This series follows dog and cat, Max and Liz, through novelizations of Biblical stories. The two that have been written thus far look at the stories of Noah and Moses. They are well-written, and she is well-spoken. It was a pleasant experience all around.

Amanda L June 19, 2010 at 9:22 AM

My favorite Georgia author is Kendra Norman-Bellamy. Although I have to admit, I haven’t read anything by her in a while. (To many books and not enough time. I have 201 book on my to read list!) I love that her characters are down to earth. She was the first African American author that I read in the Christian Fiction genre. I also like that she is a resident of DeKalb County and brings the southern flavor to her books.

Lesley B June 19, 2010 at 12:48 PM

I always have trouble picking favorites but if we’re limiting it to Georgia writers, I’d have to start with Flannery O’Connor. I read all her books in college and always wondered that such strange books came from a nice Catholic lady in Milledgeville. I’d like to read Brad Gooch’s recent biography, Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor, for a better understanding of her life and then go back and reread her stories.

Greg H. June 21, 2010 at 1:35 PM

My favorite Georgia author will always be Roy Blount Jr. He grew up in Decatur but, before I knew anything about his background, I was enjoying the pieces he wrote for Sports Illustrated back in the 1970s. He has published several volumes of his humorous essays but his most “Georgian” book has to be CRACKERS, Blount’s take on the Jimmy Carter presidency.

Tamika S. June 21, 2010 at 9:45 PM

@Amanda – Thanks for mentioning Kendra. I haven’t made the leap into Christian Fiction and this is a good time to do so since my favorite authors are in between books. I plan to pick up one by her before the end of the summer.

I have a few local authors I like but the one that stands out right now (because I just recently finished his book – Thunderland for the 2nd time) is Brandon Massey. I’m really into fiction with suspense, thrills, and the supernatural and Mr. Massey always delivers. The other local author is a crocheter – Afya Ibomu. She is the author of the Get Your Crochet On! – Hip Hats and Cool Caps & Fly Tops & Funky Flavas. She brings a hip hop, urban feel to crochet. The projects are pretty straight forward.

The Library carries titles by both authors. Take a moment and check them out!!!

Kay June 24, 2010 at 1:43 PM

I enjoy reading many Georgia authors. Two of my favorites are Anne Rivers Siddons and Celestine Sibley. Even though Ms. Siddons has moved to Charleston, S.C., she grew up in south Fulton County, where she places what I regard as her best novel, Homeplace. The first time I read Homeplace, a story of betrayal, homecoming and wise maturity, I could not put it down. I read far into the night, and I never tire of re-reading the story. You can check out many of her books from your DeKalb County Public Library. Another favorite Georgia author of mine is Celestine Sibley. The late Ms. Sibley was a longtime columnist for the Atlanta Constitution and wrote many books of fiction and nonfiction. My favorites are her novels, a mystery series starring a newspaperwoman sleuth. The first, and I think, the best, in the series is called The Malignant Heart. Among other mysteries in the series are Ah, Sweet Mystery! and A Plague of Kinfolks. Check them out at your DCPL branch library!

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