Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rick Bragg is My New Favorite Author

I love the "Choice Reads" section of our public library. Two A-frame racks stand about five feet apart, each with approximately twenty books on them that have recently been read and appreciated by library staff. The books themselves range wildly from non-fiction to fiction, recent releases to books that have been on the shelves for decades but were just recently discovered by a new employee. I almost always find a great book there. In fact, I'd love to know which employees are responsible for recommending which books because I suspect that it is the same two or three whose suggestions I continue to follow time and time again.

A few weeks ago, the cover of one of the books struck me as I sauntered past on my way to the children's section. Eve has this insatiable need for stacks of books which Bubba's bill rate cannot possibly keep up with, so we head to the library at least once a week to feed her soul. I wasn't even looking for a book, technically, except that I'm never NOT looking for a book. The book was Rick Bragg's latest, "The Prince of Frogtown."

The sepia tone of the photo grabbed me. The title intrigued me. The description on the back reeled me in. Bragg's writing is so authentically human, as is his approach to finding and feeding the reader a story, that for the first time in a long time, I wasn't racing through the book. I found myself slowly parcing out chapters to myself, much like the pace of his language. I loved the premise that he had lost his father, for whom he hadn't had much use as an adult, and then, at some point, gone searching for his story. I identified with that and respected the thorough way he went about discovering who his daddy was as well as the honest story he told.

By the time I finished the book, I was both sad that I had to take it back to the library and glad that someone else would get to read this, too. Mostly I was pissed that this man has written several books and I haven't heard of him yet. Amazon, watch out for me! I've managed to get the other two in the trilogy of memoirs Rick Bragg has written and spent a gloriously leisurely week reading them in the sun, soaking up the rays and the southern sentiments together.

I love learning about new authors. Especially those with multiple books to feed my soul. Thank you, Rick Bragg, for introducing me to your family and your style of writing. I look forward to more.


Carrie Wilson Link said...

Sounds amazing! LOVE the new header!

Deb Shucka said...

I love Rick Bragg, as well. It was one of Jerri's blogs that pointed me in his direction. There is definitely something about the style of southern writers that soothes. Have you had a chance to read Kathryn Magendie's Tender Graces yet?

chris said...

sounds interesting. i'll have to track this down. always looking for new reads. thanks!

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