Category Archives: Book Column

Harper Lee Letters up for Auction

There are 11 of Harper Lee’s letters set to be sold by November 8th. You can get the full details and keep up with the results over on the auction site. I was surprised how unique many of the letters are. There seems to be a personal tone to each of them. Most correspondence we see from author’s these days is a little more formal, a little more template-driven and even a little less polite.

These letters run from the 1960s-1990s. Harper Lee seems to be one of the most curious and sweetest of famous Southern authors. But then I know a lot of our senior ladies down South would probably fit this bill as well. They should all just put pen to paper.

Even if you never get the chance to bid on one of Lee’s letters, it’s worth a couple of clicks and some time to read through the text of each.

My Fiction Fast is Over

I’m reading fiction again. And it feels good. Last year my non-fiction TBR pile was massive. I was so behind on reading stuff for work and other topics, that I imposed a self-inflicted fiction fast for 12 months. It ended earlier this week. It was certainly worth it. I read 32 non-fiction books over the 12 months. All of which add up to make me better at my job and to be generally better informed. I mean, we read not only to escape, but to improve ourselves. Right?

But there’s nothing like burning through some mind candy. I started out with two. I am about 50 pages into Ninni Holmqvist’s The Unit. I’m going to give it to 150 pages, before deciding if it’s recommendable. And I finished reading Brad Meltzer’s The Book of Lies yesterday. It was so-so. But it was easy and fast. Just what I was looking for.

I don’t know if you’ve ever taken the time to think about the benefits of reading fiction, but they are there. It’s something I had never thought about until my fast and it’s something I am going to have to research some more.

To Kill a Mockingbord Stamp

April 28th is the “first issue” day for the Gregory Peck stamp. This is the latest in the Hollywood Legends series and is a ‘forever’ stamp. But why I like it is that the image used for the stamp is a still from Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird.

I hear the folks over in Monroeville, AL are pretty excited about this and are already planning ways to corner the market on the Peck stamp. On the 29th, they are hosting a ‘stamp release party’ and debuting their new postmark proclaiming Monroeville as the “Literary Capital of Alabama”.

Book Purge 2010

I purged a bunch of books right at the end of 2010. All of them were fiction books and I managed to sell them all to a local used-bookstore for store credit. I hope they all found happy new homes. It feels good to have the extra space on the bookshelves again, but it was a pain in the patooty to search them all out and delete them from my LibraryThing catalog.

But sometimes you just have to purge.

I had a fiction problem last year. It’s like having too much sugar in your sweet tea. After a while it affects your taste buds (and waist line), but I digress…. So far I am on track with making 2011 a non-fiction-only year.  A little scary. With only three months under my belt I’m already “jonesing” for a fiction fix. So this may wind up only being a non-fiction-6-month experiment. Maybe like a cleansing? Detox?

I hope your reading year is off to a great start!