Sunday, May 20, 2018
Books

What's Attica Locke reading?

Nightstand

Attica Locke

In her novel The Cutting Season, Locke links a present-day tourist attraction with the long-ago disappearance of a slave. The author's inspiration for the mystery, which was released in paperback in September, was a visit to Oak Alley Plantation, a Greek Revival mansion between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. While walking the property, she became intrigued with the lives of the slaves who once worked the sugarcane fields there during "the cutting season.'' Locke also is the author of Black Water Rising, which was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an Edgar Award and an NAACP Image Award. She will be a featured speaker during Eckerd College's Writers in Paradise Jan. 18-25.

What's on your nightstand?

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian writer. It's stunning. It's a love story that straddles between Nigeria and America. I recommend it. ... I also recommend that everyone go out right now and buy Big Brother by Lionel Shriver.

Can you describe what makes it so good?

It's about the author's ability to sit right in the middle of the question, are we our brother's keeper? In the book, a woman goes to the airport to pick up her brother, a jazz musician, but she doesn't even recognize him. She realizes he's gained like 200 pounds. If anyone has a friendship or a relationship with a sibling who has a self-destructive thing going on, read this book. It is just an amazing story.

Piper Castillo, Times staff writer

Comments
The real stuff is how Tom Wolfe best used his write stuff

The real stuff is how Tom Wolfe best used his write stuff

om Wolfe’s best writing lifted real people into legend: car designers and astronauts and disciples of LSD. With that writing, Wolfe lifted himself into legend as well.The author of 16 books, including such bestsellers as The Right Stuff and The Bonfi...
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Review: In Stephen King’s ‘The Outsider,’ evil can’t be true but must be true

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On a July day, Terry Maitland, one of the most popular men in Flint City, Okla. — high school English teacher, Little League coach, husband and father, recently named the town’s man of the year — attends a teachers convention in a city over an hour’s...
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Events: Gilbert King to discuss ‘Beneath a Ruthless Sun’ at Inkwood in Tampa

Book TalkCutter Wood (Love and Death in the Sunshine State: The Story of a Crime) will discuss and sign his nonfiction book about a murder on Anna Maria Island at 6 p.m. May 14 at Bookstore1, 12 S Palm Ave., Sarasota.The Gulfport Historical Society p...
Published: 05/11/18
Notable: As Mother’s Day nears, these new books are timely

Notable: As Mother’s Day nears, these new books are timely

NotableMore about mothersFor Mother’s Day, three new books offer a range of takes on motherhood.Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience (Random House) by Allison Pataki is a memoir by a novelist whose 30-year-old husband ...
Published: 05/11/18
Review: A criminal’s confession is just the beginning in Michael Koryta’s compelling ‘How It Happened’

Review: A criminal’s confession is just the beginning in Michael Koryta’s compelling ‘How It Happened’

It’s what every investigator hopes for: a tough case finally solved when one of the criminals confesses, providing solid details and even describing where the bodies are buried.Or, in Michael Koryta’s compelling new psychological thriller How It Happ...
Published: 05/10/18
Anthony Award nominees include Tampa’s Michael Connelly, Down & Out Books

Anthony Award nominees include Tampa’s Michael Connelly, Down & Out Books

When the World Mystery Convention, a.k.a. Bouchercon, takes place in St. Petersburg in September and hands out its coveted Anthony Awards, the Tampa Bay Area will be well represented among the nominees.The award nominees, announced May 9, include Tam...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/10/18
Review: In Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘Barracoon,’ the voice of slavery’s history speaks

Review: In Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘Barracoon,’ the voice of slavery’s history speaks

It has taken Zora Neale Hurston’s book Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" 87 years to see print. But maybe it happened at just the right time.Just a week before the book’s May 8 publication date, rapper Kanye West opined in a TMZ intervie...
Published: 05/09/18
Review: Rick Bragg’s ‘The Best Cook in the World’ a loving food memoir about his mother

Review: Rick Bragg’s ‘The Best Cook in the World’ a loving food memoir about his mother

When Rick Bragg told his mother that his new book about her would be titled The Best Cook in the World, Margaret Bragg protested: "I wasn’t even the best cook that lived on our road." Bragg writes, "I told her we couldn’t call it The Thi...
Published: 05/09/18
Review: Ace Atkins takes an artful turn with Spenser in ‘Old Black Magic’

Review: Ace Atkins takes an artful turn with Spenser in ‘Old Black Magic’

Art can bring us joy, enlarge our perspective, even enlighten us. Sometimes, though, it can make us behave badly.In Ace Atkins’ new novel, Old Black Magic, art makes people behave very badly indeed.Three works of art, to be specific. A Picasso sketch...
Updated one month ago
Events: Gilbert King to discuss ‘Beneath a Ruthless Sun’ in Sarasota

Events: Gilbert King to discuss ‘Beneath a Ruthless Sun’ in Sarasota

Book Talk Writing coach Roy Peter Clark (Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer) will hold a 90-minute workshop on finding your voice at 2 p.m. May 6 at the Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Registration $5 at bit.ly/2J9b...
Updated one month ago