Monday, December 01, 2014


In late October I listed some of the books I had recently read. That post generated 15 comments. So I thought...maybe our readers like to discuss books, and share what books they are reading. Below is a list of books I've read since October 20. You might notice that I've been reading a little bit more fiction. This time I added one sentence describing each book.

Leave a comment and tell us what you've been reading and/or what you recommend.

Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell (A 1932 classic American novel about Georgia sharecroppers)

A Historian's Coast by David Cecelski (Delightful essays written by a coastal North Carolinian)

21 Stories by Graham Greene (Thought-provoking short stories by a celebrated writer described as "the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man's consciousness and anxiety.")

My Notorious Life by Kate Manning (An historical novel loosely based on the life of a Victorian-era midwife and abortionist described as the "wickedest woman in New York")

Pilgrim's Wilderness by Tom Kizzia (The story of a highly dysfunctional Christian family living in the Alaskan wilderness)

The Watery Part of the World by Michael Parker (A novel set on "Yaupon Island" [Portsmouth Island])

What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell (A somewhat controversial evangelical pastor shares his views about God)

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (A classic English-language novel written by a Polish author [1857-1924] with a brilliant command of his third language)

Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman (As the subtitle says, "The story of America's most Secretive Religion")

Ghosts Among Us by James Van Praagh (See for an exposé of this man)

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson (A short novel; Sophia, a six year old girl, and her grandmother spend the summer on an island in the Gulf of Finland)

God Bless America by Karen Stollznow (Best described by its subtitle: "Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States")

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is the seldom told story of the 1837 murder of Willis Williams by Jacob Gaskill. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous7:48 AM

    Have you read My Family ad other Animals by Gerald Derrell?

  2. I have not read My Family and Other Animals. Had not even heard of it...but I just read several reviews. Sounds like a book I would enjoy. Thanks!

  3. Hi Philip,
    I think you might enjoy Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat by WCU prof Hal Herzog. (Piggybacks--so to speak--with your earlier post about islanders' former dining habits.) If you enjoy reading Michael Pollan at all, you will like this one, too!

  4. Debbie Leonard9:17 AM

    I just finished reading The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. She is one of my favorite writers....her command of language is precise and sparse but it's the characters that really draw me to her books; she is able to articulate so well their experiences and feelings. She writes primarily about Indian immigrants. I had never been interested in the Indian culture until I read her. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Pulitzer Prize for her inaugural work, An Interpreter of Maladies (my favorite of her works).

  5. I'm mainly a non-fiction reader, currently looking at Freedom's Forge by Arthur Herman. It's about the ramping up of the U S war effort by private business for WW II.

    Another that I found interesting was Coasting Captain: Journals of Captain Leonard Tawes. I read it years ago when I worked on an oyster boat on Chesapeake Bay. Tawes ran a commercial schooner along the east coast.
    His home was in Crisfield, Maryland.

  6. Death of a King. The last year of MLK's life. Riveting.