Groundhogs and Books

By on 20 February, 2015 in Fun, Karren Pell with 0 Comments

Sale PorchWell, that groundhog was not kidding, and although we have been spared the snow and ice (I do hope I am not jinxing us), we in the Deep South are not comfortable with these cold days and nights. What better way to spend a cold, dark night than to hunker down with a good book? This post recommends three good books with local connections. Better yet, all three have events that would be enlightening and fun to attend.

New South Books at 105 Court Street in downtown Montgomery has two authors working hard to promote their latest endeavors. Historian Jeff Benton will discuss his latest book, Through Another’s Eyes, during a Book Talk event at the Alabama Department of Archives and History at 624 Washington Ave. on Thursday, February 25, at noon. Jeff’s latest book is a collection of travel journal entries by a motley crew of individuals writing from the early 1800s up to the creation of the Confederate government. Some complain, some compliment; they describe their surroundings, how they are treated, and every little opinion they have about it all. The collection makes for fun and insightful reading.

Award winning writer Frye Gaillard seizes the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Civil War to, according the New South’s review, “reflect on the war–and the way we remember it-through the lens of the letters written by his family members, including great-great grandfather, Thomas Gaillard, and Thomas’s sons, Frank and Richebourg, both of whom were Confederate officers.” The new book, Journey to Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War Letters, presents real voices from the past along with the author’s own contemporary comments. Frye Gaillard will speak at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church at 2810 Atlanta Highway on Sunday, March 15, at 11:30. Both books are only two examples of the outstanding publications attributed to New South. Visit them at, or better yet, just go over and have a real live visit in their comfy reading room.

Fantabulous writer Marlin Barton will sign copies of his latest collection, Pasture Art, on Thursday March 19, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the equally fantabulous bookstore, Capitol Book and News at 1140 East Fairview Ave. The stories in Barton’s latest collection are all set in towns in the Alabama Black Belt. A review entices the potential reader by declaring: “The past and present are joined in stories that demonstrate the never-ending struggle for understanding and connection.” For more information on Marlin and his new book visit For more information on Capitol Book and News check out

So don’t let that groundhog’s prediction get you down. Don a warm coat, go see Jeff, Frye, and Marlin, buy their books, and get ready for many a delightful evening.

Karren Pell is a writer, teacher, and performer who lives with her husband, Tim Henderson, and an assortment of cats and dogs in Capitol Heights. She is the author of three books. Her musical compositions range from commercial songs to theatrical works, with five musical adaptations to her credit.

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