A New York Times Notable Book of the Year This haunting, harrowing, gloriously moving recollection of a life on the American margin is the story of Rick Bragg, who grew up dirt-poor in northeastern Alabama, seemingly destined for either the cotton mills or the penitentiary, and instead became a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times. It is the story of Bragg's father, a hard-drinking man with a murderous temper and the habit of running out on the people who needed him most. But at the center of this soaring memoir is Bragg's mother, who went eighteen years without a new dress so that her sons could have school clothes and picked other people's cotton so that her children wouldn't have to live on welfare alone. Evoking these lives--and the country that shaped and nourished them--with artistry, honesty, and compassion, Rick Bragg brings home the love and suffering that lie at the heart of every family. The result is unforgettable. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A correspondent for "The New York Times" recounts growing up in the Alabama hills, the son of a violent veteran and a mother who tried to insulate her children from poverty and ignorance
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From the beloved, best-selling author of All Over but the Shoutin', a delectable, rollicking food memoir, cookbook, and loving tribute to a region, a vanishing history, a family, and, especially, to his mother. Including seventy-four mouthwatering Bragg family recipes for classic southern dishes passed down through generations. Margaret Bragg does not own a single cookbook. She measures in "dabs" and "smidgens" and "tads" and "you know, hon, just some." She cannot be pinned down on how long to bake corn bread ("about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the mysteries of your oven"). Her notion of farm-to-table is a flatbed truck. But she can tell you the secrets to perfect mashed potatoes, corn pudding, redeye gravy, pinto beans and hambone, stewed cabbage, short ribs, chicken and dressing, biscuits and butter rolls. Many of her recipes, recorded here for the first time, pre-date the Civil War, handed down skillet by skillet, from one generation of Braggs to the next. In The Best Cook in the World, Rick Bragg finally preserves his heritage by telling the stories that framed his mother's cooking and education, from childhood into old age. Because good food always has a good story, and a recipe, writes Bragg, is a story like anything else.
In this final volume of the beloved American saga that began with All Over but the Shoutin’ and continued with Ava’s Man, Rick Bragg closes his circle of family stories with an unforgettable tale about fathers and sons inspired by his own relationship with his ten-year-old stepson. He learns, right from the start, that a man who chases a woman with a child is like a dog who chases a car and wins. He discovers that he is unsuited to fatherhood, unsuited to fathering this boy in particular, a boy who does not know how to throw a punch and doesn’t need to; a boy accustomed to love and affection rather than violence and neglect; in short, a boy wholly unlike the child Rick once was, and who longs for a relationship with Rick that Rick hasn’t the first inkling of how to embark on. With the weight of this new boy tugging at his clothes, Rick sets out to understand his father, his son, and himself. The Prince of Frogtown documents a mesmerizing journey back in time to the lush Alabama landscape of Rick’s youth, to Jacksonville’s one-hundred-year-old mill, the town’s blight and salvation; and to a troubled, charismatic hustler coming of age in its shadow, Rick’s father, a man bound to bring harm even to those he truly loves. And the book documents the unexpected corollary to it, the marvelous journey of Rick’s later life: a journey into fatherhood, and toward a child for whom he comes to feel a devotion that staggers him. With candor, insight, tremendous humor, and the remarkable gift for descriptive storytelling on which he made his name, Rick Bragg delivers a brilliant and moving rumination on the lives of boys and men, a poignant reflection on what it means to be a father and a son. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Rick Bragg
The author continues his personal history of the Deep South with an evocation of his mother's childhood in the Appalachian foothills during the Great Depression and the inspiring story of the man who raised her.
The Most They Ever Had
Author: Rick Bragg
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
A Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and author of The Prince of Frogtown evokes the hardscrabble lives of those who lived and died by a single surviving American cotton mill by offering the searing true stories of those who worked in the Jacksonville, Alabama establishment. Reprint.
My Southern Journey
Author: Rick Bragg
Publisher: Liberty Street
From celebrated New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Rick Bragg, comes a poignant and wryly funny collection of essays on life in the south. Keenly observed and written with his insightful and deadpan sense of humor, he explores enduring Southern truths about home, place, spirit, table, and the regions' varied geographies, including his native Alabama, Cajun country, and the Gulf Coast. Everything is explored, from regional obsessions from college football and fishing, to mayonnaise and spoonbread, to the simple beauty of a fish on the hook. Collected from over a decade of his writing, with many never-before-published essays written specifically for this edition, My Southern Journey is an entertaining and engaging read, especially for Southerners (or feel Southern at heart) and anyone who appreciates great writing.
The Road to There
Author: Val Ross
Publisher: Tundra Books
Winner of the 2004 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian children’s non-fiction Honor Book for the Society of School Librarians International’s Best Book Award – Social Studies, Grades 7-12 Shortlisted for the Children's Literature Roundtable Information Book of the Year 2003 winner of the Mr. Christie’s Book Award Seal Shortlisted for the 2004 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-fiction Included on VOYA’s ninth annual Nonfiction Honor List Selected for inclusion in CCBC Choices 2004: the best-of-the-year list published by the Cooperative Children’s Book center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Named Notable Book by the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award in the intermediate nonfiction category Road maps; sailor’s charts; quilts; songlines; gilded parchment covered with jewel-like colors; computer printouts – to guide us through the strange, vast, beautiful, and mysterious frontiers of the world of maps, Val Ross presents the men and women who made them. Here are some of the unexpected stories of history’s great mapmakers: the fraud artists who deliberately distorted maps for political gain, Captain Cook, the slaves on the run who found their way thanks to specially-pieced quilts, the woman who mapped London’s streets, princes, doctors, and warriors. These are the people who helped us chart our way in the world, under the sea, and on to the stars. With reproductions of some of the most important maps in history, this extraordinary book, packed with information, is as fascinating and suspenseful as a novel. From the Hardcover edition.
Somebody Told Me
Author: Rick Bragg
Presents a collection of articles that focus on such topics as the victims of natural disasters, prison inmates, economic inequality, the elderly, race, Louisiana bayou culture, and schools.
Author: Rick Bragg
With the same emotional generosity and effortlessly compelling storytelling that made All Over But the Shoutin’ a national bestseller, Rick Bragg continues his personal history of the Deep South. This time he’s writing about his grandfather Charlie Bundrum, a man who died before Bragg was born but left an indelible imprint on the people who loved him. Drawing on their memories, Bragg reconstructs the life of an unlettered roofer who kept food on his family’s table through the worst of the Great Depression; a moonshiner who drank exactly one pint for every gallon he sold; an unregenerate brawler, who could sit for hours with a baby in the crook of his arm. In telling Charlie’s story, Bragg conjures up the backwoods hamlets of Georgia and Alabama in the years when the roads were still dirt and real men never cussed in front of ladies. A masterly family chronicle and a human portrait so vivid you can smell the cornbread and whiskey, Ava’s Man is unforgettable. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Michael Patrick MacDonald
Publisher: Beacon Press
A breakaway bestseller since its first printing, All Souls takes us deep into Michael Patrick MacDonald's Southie, the proudly insular neighborhood with the highest concentration of white poverty in America. Rocked by Whitey Bulger's crime schemes and busing riots, MacDonald's Southie is populated by sharply hewn characters like his Ma, a miniskirted, accordion-playing single mother who endures the deaths of four of her eleven children. Nearly suffocated by his grief and his community's code of silence, MacDonald tells his family story here with gritty but moving honesty.
I Am a Soldier, Too
Author: Rick Bragg
Private First Class Jessica Lynch tells of her life in Palestine, West Virginia and recounts the details of her capture, imprisonment, and dramatic rescue during the Iraq War.
New York Times Bestseller The greatest Southern storyteller of our time, New York Times bestselling author Rick Bragg, tracks down the greatest rock and roller of all time, Jerry Lee Lewis—and gets his own story, from the source, for the very first time. A monumental figure on the American landscape, Jerry Lee Lewis spent his childhood raising hell in Ferriday, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi; galvanized the world with hit records like “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls of Fire,” that gave rock and roll its devil’s edge; caused riots and boycotts with his incendiary performances; nearly scuttled his career by marrying his thirteen-year-old second cousin—his third wife of seven; ran a decades-long marathon of drugs, drinking, and women; nearly met his maker, twice; suffered the deaths of two sons and two wives, and the indignity of an IRS raid that left him with nothing but the broken-down piano he started with; performed with everyone from Elvis Presley to Keith Richards to Bruce Springsteen to Kid Rock—and survived it all to be hailed as “one of the most creative and important figures in American popular culture and a paradigm of the Southern experience.” Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story is the Killer’s life as he lived it, and as he shared it over two years with our greatest bard of Southern life: Rick Bragg. Rich with Lewis’s own words, framed by Bragg’s richly atmospheric narrative, , this is the last great untold rock-and-roll story, come to life on the page.
Author: Jim Walsh
Publisher: Voyageur Press
Formed in a Minneapolis basement in 1979, the Replacements were a notorious rock ’n’ roll circus, renowned for self-sabotage, cartoon shtick, stubborn contrarianism, stage-fright, Dionysian benders, heart-on-sleeve songwriting, and—ultimately—critical and popular acclaim. While rock then and now is lousy with superficial stars and glossy entertainment, the Replacements were as warts-and-all “real” as it got. In the first book to take on the jumble of facts, fictions, and contradictions behind the Replacements, veteran Minneapolis music journalist Jim Walsh distills hundreds of hours of interviews with band members, their friends, families, fellow musicians, and fans into an absorbing oral history worthy of the scruffy quartet that many have branded the most influential band to emerge from the ’80s. Former manager Peter Jesperson, Paul Stark and Dave Ayers of Twin/Tone Records, Bob Mould and Grant Hart of rivals Hüsker Dü, the legendary Curtiss A, Soul Asylum’s Dan Murphy, Lori Barbero of Babes in Toyland, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, power-pop hero Alex Chilton, Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, and replacement Replacements Slim Dunlap and Steve Foley: all have something to say about the scene that spawned the band. These and dozens of others offer insights into the Replacement’s workings--and the band’s continuing influence more than fifteen years after their breakup. Illustrated with both rarely seen and classic photos, this, finally, is the rollicking story behind the turbulent and celebrated band that came on fast and furious and finally flamed out, chronicled by one eyewitness who was always at the periphery of the storm, and often at its eye. “[T]his consistently engaging and poignant work . . . . [is a] loving, appropriately ramshackle tribute to one of the most beloved rock-and-roll bands of the 1980s. . . . The band's story is an archetype of the joys and pitfalls of underground success.”--Publishers Weekly “The Replacements were superheroes: They rescued a whole planet from ’80s music. Jim Walsh’s loving, engrossing oral history is the book they deserve.”—Nick Hornby, author of High Fidelity
Author: Stephen Markley
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Best Books of Summer 2018 Selection * Vulture * Time * New York Post * The Millions * The debut of a major talent; a lyrical and emotional novel set in an archetypal small town in northeastern Ohio—a region ravaged by the Great Recession, an opioid crisis, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—depicting one feverish, fateful summer night in 2013 when four former classmates converge on their hometown, each with a mission, all haunted by the ghosts of their shared histories. Since the turn of the century, a generation has come of age knowing only war, recession, political gridlock, racial hostility, and a simmering fear of environmental calamity. In the country’s forgotten pockets, where industry long ago fled, where foreclosures, Walmarts, and opiates riddle the land, death rates for rural whites have skyrocketed, fueled by suicide, addiction and a rampant sense of marginalization and disillusionment. This is the world the characters in Stephen Markley’s brilliant debut novel, Ohio, inherit. This is New Canaan. On one fateful summer night in 2013, four former classmates converge on the rust belt town where they grew up, each of them with a mission, all of them haunted by regrets, secrets, lost loves. There’s Bill Ashcraft, an alcoholic, drug-abusing activist, whose fruitless ambitions have taken him from Cambodia to Zuccotti Park to New Orleans, and now back to “The Cane” with a mysterious package strapped to the underside of his truck; Stacey Moore, a doctoral candidate reluctantly confronting the mother of her former lover; Dan Eaton, a shy veteran of three tours in Iraq, home for a dinner date with the high school sweetheart he’s tried to forget; and the beautiful, fragile Tina Ross, whose rendezvous with the captain of the football team triggers the novel’s shocking climax. At once a murder mystery and a social critique, Ohio ingeniously captures the fractured zeitgeist of a nation through the viewfinder of an embattled Midwestern town and offers a prescient vision for America at the dawn of a turbulent new age.