Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Books with ties to television, real places

            Jason Mott’s gripping novel “The Returned,” which I reviewed on Nov. 24 (read it here), has been made into a series for ABC television titled "Resurrection." If you’ve been watching and enjoying the series, be sure and read the book. Mott will also be signing copies of his book at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston.
            If you’ve never heard of or visited Oak Ridge, Tenn., you’re missing a fascinating story. When the U.S. believed that Germany was in the process of creating an atom bomb, they set into motion plans for beating them to it. One of the “secret cities” developed almost overnight was Oak Ridge, created to enrich uranium. Most of the people living and working in this top secret town had no idea what they were doing for the U.S. government until the bomb was dropped on Japan.
            Denise Kiernan discusses this unique history in “The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II.” Shelf Awareness calls it “An evocative view of the Manhattan Project through the eyes of the women who worked and lived in the secret city of Oak Ridge, Tenn.--a compelling and unusual new perspective on the Project and World War II.”
            Shelf Awareness interviewed Kiernan recently and asked for her favorite line from a book. She quoted a Louisiana author John Kennedy Toole, author of “A Confederacy of Dunces,” whose first line is “A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head.”
            “Brilliant imagery to kick off what was of one of my all-time favorite reads,” Kiernan said.
            Fans of the Discovery Channel’s “Sons of Guns” will know exactly what kind of book they’re dealing with in Will Hayden’s “Sons of Guns: Straight-Shootin’ Stories from the Star of the Hit Discovery Series.” For those less informed, this book gives background into the owner of Red Jacket Firearms of Baton Rouge, subject of the reality series. Hayden, with assistance from Adam Rocke (who probably did most of the writing), offers an inside view into the weapons manufacturer, as well as some history and personal information.
            It’s a bit too much to take, but then I’m not a fan of the show. Chalking up character building to having your father push your through a wall at age five isn’t something I can get on board with, nor is the glorification of firearms. Calling yourself Cajun growing up north of Baton Rouge with Choctaw heritage didn’t set well with me either, but let’s hope that’s Rocke’s influence.