Alabama Bookshelf

Alabama Living Magazine

In this periodic feature, we highlight books either about Alabama people or events, or written by Alabama authors. Summaries are not reviews or endorsements. We also occasionally highlight book-related events. Email submissions to Due to the volume of submissions, we are unable to feature all the books we receive.

USS Alabama: Hooray for the Mighty A!

By Karyn W. Tunks, illustrated by Julie Dupre Buckner, Arcadia Publishing, $19.99 (children) Home to thousands of U.S. sailors, the USS Alabama fought bravely in World War II, but after she finished her service, the battleship was set to be scrapped. The people of Alabama decided they had to save the ship named for their proud state. No one was more determined than Alabama’s schoolchildren. The author traces the story of the children’s efforts in this informative account.

Financial Guide for Retirement

By Mark Fagan, $27.99 (business and economics) The book provides practical information for those who are saving for retirement; are making choices about the investments in their retirement accounts; are working with financial professionals; or are investing on their own. The author is a professor who retired from Jacksonville State University after 32 years; among his seven books is a history and economic impact of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

God Calls Us To Do Hard Things:
Lessons from the Alabama Wiregrass

by Katie Britt, published by Twelve, $27 (Christian self-help) The junior U.S. senator from Alabama shares candid advice for overcoming personal challenges, appreciating blessed moments, making life more fulfilling and prioritizing faith in God, family and country. Britt believes that even in today’s challenging political environment, there are ways to listen to one’s heart, serve and inspire.

Leave Your Footprint

by Ann Bedsole, Curran Research and Writing Services, $15.99 (memoir) Candidly and often as not, humorously, Ann Bedsole tells the story not just of her life, but of the Alabama of her day, from growing up in rural Southwest Alabama in the 1930s and 1940s, to having three children, and, at age 48, starting a career in Alabama politics. She was the first woman elected to the Alabama State Senate, as well as the first Republican woman to serve in the Alabama House of Representatives.

100 Things to do in Auburn Before You Die

by Connie Pearson, Reedy Press, $18 (Travel) The author, a travel writer and blogger, details the cultural events of the area; offers ideas for exploring the outdoors; shares the best places to eat; and (of course) mentions the sporting event venues familiar to most Alabamians. The book offers suggestions that even in-state rival fans can enjoy. The author graduated from Auburn and married into a family of Auburn alums.

Odyssey of a Wandering Mind: The Strange Tale of Sara Mayfield

by Jennifer Horne, University of Alabama Press, $34.95 paperback (women’s biography) Sara Mayfield was born into Alabama’s governing elite in 1905 and grew up in a social circle that included Zelda Sayre, Sara Haardt and Tallulah Bankhead. Her extraordinary life included working in theater in New York, inventing a plastic compound, freelance writing and eventually a commitment by her family to Bryce Hospital for the Insane. After her release, she was able to finally achieve her dreams of becoming an author of books and her own life. The book is set for release on Jan. 11, 2024.


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