“It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up with themselves like grass. Yet regardless of where they came from, I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them–with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself.”
-Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings
This Saturday, December 7th, we will celebrate our love of the physical book and the books of Eudora Welty from 2:00-4:00.
Carolyn Brown will be on hand to sign and inscribe her biography of Eudora Welty, A Daring Life. Lee Anne Bryan will also be here from the Welty House. If you’ve never been to The Welty House and Museum, it’s a great time to get some information and plan a tour with some friends.
We will have on display rare editions of Miss Welty’s work as well as some of our favorite trade editions of her novels and stories. Our first edition rooms will also be open for browsing. You never know what you might find!
We’re calling Saturday Welty Day. We hope you’ll join us in the spirit of community, in the very community Miss Welty loved so much.
The idea for Welty Day came from a group called Cereus Readers–a book club that is open to anyone who would like to read Eudora Welty’s work and also the writers she knew and loved.
We will be resuming our regular meeting schedule on January 23rd and we are still open for new people to join. If you’d like to learn more or be added to our e-mail list, please send a note to: lisa at lemuriabooks dot com.
Above: Eudora Welty on top of the Lamar Life Building with the Standard Life Building in the background. (Mississippi Department of Archives and History)
Written by Lisa
That Grinch gets a bad rap, being cuddly as a cactus and charming as an eel.
But this Christmas Season, he’ll be visiting us at Lemuria and helping kids grow their hearts 3 sizes by doing good deeds in your community! While the Grinch’s past misdeeds included a plan to STOP Christmas from Coming, he wants all of YOU to help out, all-the-while humming!
So what does this mean?
1.) Pick up your 25 Days of Grinch-mas Bingo Cards at any time, as they include 25 different good deed ideas for you (and your parents too) such as “Read or tell a story to someone younger than you.”
2.) Finish a row on your Bingo Card and receive a, “I Grew My Heart 3 Sizes!” button and a special Christmas present from us at Lemuria Books.
3.) When you have completed your good deeds, we will mail the Grinch a postcard of 3 of the good deeds you’ve done in your community. We’re partnering with Random House, and for every 3 GOOD DEEDS you accomplish, Random House will donate a book to First Book here in Jackson, MS.
Amidst your fun and good deeds, the Grinch HIMSELF will be stopping by Lemuria to check on everyone. On December 10 at 4 PM he will be in this very store teaching you what the Christmas Spirit is all about by playing BINGO, coloring CHRISTMAS CARDS, TAKING PICTURES and other fun games!
December 20 is your last day to turn in your Bingo Cards, so hurry and be of good cheer because Christmas Day is PRACTICALLY HERE!
Written by Emily
Whether you’re young or old, we all know the frustration that ensues when memory fails us. It’s easy to find techniques on how to improve memory, but while researching for an article on memory competitions, Joshua Foer decided to formally train his memory and see if he could actually win the USA Memory Championships.
Moonwalking with Einstein is Foer’s narrative as he trains for the competition, learning ancient techniques that Cicero and medieval scholars used to memorize entire books. I found myself fascinated with Foer’s efforts while also learning about what memory is, what can go wrong with it, how we can improve as well as a history of memorization techniques.
This is book you’ll pass on to family and friends, and don’t be surprised if you end up putting yourself and others to a memory challenge. Joshua Foer did better than he ever imagined; he memorized 52 cards in one minute and 40 seconds, winning the 2006 “speed cards” event while setting a new record for the USA Memory Championship.
Written by Lisa
Who loves pizza more than life? Raccoon. Who would eat tacos till the end of the world? Dragons. Join us for story time this Saturday at 11:00, because we’ll be reading two hilarious books by the comical duo Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri: Dragons Love Tacos and Secret Pizza Party! It’ll be a crazy fun time, so bring yourself and your friends!
Written by Hannah
Do you remember the star athlete at your high school? You know the one who excelled at every sport with ease? Maybe he or she was a natural. Or was it just disciplined training? For as long as humans having been competing, we’ve been debating nature vs. nurture. David Epstein, senior writer for Sports Illustrated, takes a look at both sides of the debate in The Sports Gene.
Since the sequencing of the human genome, scientists have been able to better understand the relationship between biological endowments and athletic training. This research sheds light on why the discipline to train may be innate and the lightning fast reaction of a baseball batter may be learned. Epstein also explores sensitive questions concerning race and gender. Are black athletics naturally better runners? Should males and females be separated in athletic competitions? Should kids be genetically tested for athletic ability? And could this genetic testing determine who might be more at risk for injury?
This book is a resource for educators and parents as well as a captivating read for the casual reader. Epstein has pulled together scientific research, interviews and anecdotes in such a practical and engaging way. It seems we finally have a basis to really understand athleticism in a holistic way. We will never have a definitive answer as to why one exceeds at sports and another is unremarkable, but Epstein’s book points to the potential that we all have.
Written by Lisa
We had such a fun time on Saturday when Marshal Ramsey joined us for story time to read his newest children’s book, Banjo’s Dream, then stuck around and signed lots of stock for us. Be sure to come pick one up– they make great Christmas presents! Thanks Marshall, and thanks to everyone else who came out!
Written by Hannah
We have an exciting story time this Saturday at 11:00! We’ll be reading the Helen Stephens newest creation, How to Hide a Lion, and Marshall Ramsey’s brand spanking new children’s book, Banjo’s Dream. Stick around after story time, because Marshall will be here at 12:00 to sign!
Written by Hannah
Get ready for a super spooky Click, Clack, BOO! story time this Saturday at 11:00! We’ll be reading Doreen Cronin’s Halloween classic and wearing these fashionable masks that Austen and Andre are modeling. (I also happen to know that there will be stickers galore) So bring yourself and your friends and get ready for the best Halloween story time EVER!
Written by Hannah
If you have read Alice McDermott before, you don’t need me to tell you she is exceptional (1 National Book Award, 3 Pulitzer Prize nominations); her books always seem to make a quiet entrance but an echoing exit.
Alice McDermott’s newest book, Someone, is half Virginia Wolfe, half Betty Smith. The novel follows Marie Commeford, her growing up and aging. Foolish in love. Raising children. Watching her mother die. Like in her other novels, Alice McDermott walks the line with sentimentality. She seems to be telling the story you’ve heard before–girl born in poverty moving into the comfortable middle class by shear force of will–but this story is anything but predictable. The twists are unusually life-like. The characters cursed with physical ailments (a little Flannery O’Connor-esque) that only emphasize their shortcomings.
Marie Commeford is coming of age over and over again. Coming into the realization that we are all fools; our dreams rarely coincide with reality.
I sometimes wonder if all the faith and all the fancy, all the fear, the speculation, all the wild imaginings that go into the study of heaven and hell, don’t shortchange, after all, that other, earlier uncertainty: the darkness before the slow coming to awareness of the first light. -10
Written by Adie
When I was asked to post on the Lemuria blog in advance of Governor Winter’s biography, William F. Winter and the New Mississippi, being released, I was perplexed. What could I add that people didn’t know already? So, here is the condensed version of my journey with this remarkable man:
The sultry hot air and its oppressive ways are a well-known facet of the Neshoba County Fair, and the weather during those lumbering summer days can be pretty intense as well. Never was this more true than in the summer of 1963. Though I was only thirteen years old, I remember both the political rhetoric and the sun’s rays felt glaringly hostile. Phrases like “preserve our southern way of life” and “protecting our heritage” were just passing clouds that hardly softened the glare of vitriol and divisiveness that was tearing our home state apart.
Seemingly out of the blue a bespectacled slender fellow quietly took the stage. I watched him approach the podium and thought, Gosh, this guy looks more like a history professor than a Mississippi politician. Like a much-hoped for afternoon shower to calm the dust and break the heat, he spoke in a calm, reasoned manner, reminding us that “we, as citizens of the United States, have an obligation to follow the laws of our country” — hardly a radical thought now, but this was after hours of fist-pounding over “states’ rights” and stump speeches based on the premise that “the South will rise again!”
There then-State Tax Collector William Winter stood speaking out with his gentle Southern drawl against those operating from behind the dark clouds of fear, those actively working to prevent our fellow citizens from voting, eating in restaurants, going to decent schools, or just being treated with dignity as human beings. Though we were almost three decades apart in age, I felt a connection to this mild-mannered man and his powerful words.
As he concluded his remarks and exited the pavilion, the crowd gathered managed a somewhat tepid, smattering of applause. Waiting at the bottom of the stairs, there I was–a scrawny teenager sporting Coke-bottle glasses and slick-backed Brylcreemed hair–with my hand extended.
“Mr. Winter, my name is Dick Molpus, and I want to be on your team.”
He looked me in the eye, shook my hand, and said, “I am honored to have you on my team.”
I believe he meant it.
As I I look back over our relationship, he did, in fact, welcome me onto his “team” (and into his life), showing me through his steady dedication of a lifetime the “better angels” of human nature and what courage personified looked like. I was changed forever to have him as a boss, mentor, counselor, guide, advisor, and, maybe most importantly, a loyal, steadfast, unwavering friend.
And it all started, like so many good Mississippi political stories do, on the red dirt off the pavilion in the square at the Neshoba County Fair some fifty years ago.
Written by Lemuria