book

Garden & Gun

"Southern women  ⁠— unlike women from Boston, Des Moines or Albuquerque , are leashed to history."  Editor Alison Glock wrote those words in a 2011 essay for Garden & Gun.

The piece, titled "Redefining the Southern Belle" got more responses than anything she'd written in her nearly 30-year career. Much was positive, some not, but all opening up further exploration of what a "Southern woman" meant then and now. 


John Paul Filo / CBS Broadcasting Inc

Mo Rocca follows the world of the living as correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, panelist for Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, and host of The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation.

His other beat is the departed. He is host of the Mobituaries podcast, now in its second season. In it, Rocca tells stories of people and things that have passed through this earthly plain with too little notice, and uncovers little known facets of iconic figures who did get a lot of ink.


Abrams Press

On Tuesday, July 30, 1996, Richard Jewell was praised as a hero on NBC’s Today Show. The security guard hired for the Summer Olympics in Atlanta spotted a suspicious knapsack at Centennial Olympic Park, where tens of thousands of visitors gathered.

Two people died and 111 were injured when the bomb inside the knapsack exploded. Jewell’s vigilance and the evacuation that followed likely saved hundreds of lives. But less than 12 hours after chatting with Katie Couric, Jewell was being questioned by the FBI as the primary suspect in that bombing.


Heidi Ross

Singer-songwriter Allison Moorer has recently released her 11th album, along with a companion memoir. They are both called Blood.

They tell a story she's avoided talking about directly throughout her career. When Allison was 14 years old, her father killed her mother — and then himself — leaving Moorer and her sister, the singer Shelby Lynne, orphans.


Melissa Schmidt

Ava King is a newly divorced mother of a teenage son when she moves into her grandmother’s posh New Orleans home. Ava is the descendant of slaves, grandma Martha is about as WASP-y as they come, and their connected pasts are one of the plot twists in The Revisioners, a new novel by National Book Award finalist Margaret Wilkerson Sexton.

There is some magic in The Revisioners, but it’s less fantasy than testament to intergenerational bonds — in this case between Ava and her great-great-great grandmother, born enslaved on a Louisiana plantation.

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton joined On Second Thought to unpack her vision for The Revisioners, and her aim to look deeper at the power passed down through generations of African American families.


Ben Selkow

Anthony Bourdain was highly regarded as a chef, author, TV show host and world traveler who, for many, epitomized the essence of cool. He was seen as a stylish and sophisticated character with good taste and a subversive edge.

It has been about a year and a half since the famed food connoisseur died by suicide. His death was unexpected by many — from family and friends to his vast and devoted fanbase — and revealed a stark contrast to what many people perceived as the enviable lifestyle he led.


Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers

Laurel Snyder has made a career of picture books and middle-grade novels that don't shy away from the facts of life. Her newest novel, My Jasper June, follows Jasper and Leah as they embark on a summer of urban adventures and navigate the messy path between childhood fantasy and grown-up realities.


Leighton Rowell / GPB

Whether you go yellow or white, sweet or savory, grits are a Southern food staple now popping up on menus all over the country.

Food writer Erin Byers Murray goes deep in Grits: A Cultural and Culinary Journey Through the South, talking with growers, millers and chefs to understand the origins and evolution of grits. Along the way, she examines how race, gender and politics simmer in the significance of grits.


Vadim Ghirda / AP Images

Dacre Stoker tells On Second Thought "Dracula" derives from old folk tales and superstitions. For decades, Stoker has been piecing together clues about what moved his great grand-uncle, Bram Stoker to write Dracula.


AP

Atlanta-based author and primatologist Frans de Waal has observed animal behavior for 40 years. He's since challenged prevailing scientific notions of animals as stimulus response machines. His new book, Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions, details findings on jealousy and reconciliation.

La'Raven Taylor/GPB

You may have heard of Ruby Bridges or the "Little Rock Nine" walking through a gauntlet of jeering protestors as they made their way to school. Just a few states over in Georgia, Dr. Michael McBay was among less-photographed pioneers.

In 1967, McBay along with six other students were among the first African-American students to attend the Westminster Schools, an elite private school in Buckhead. McBay's younger brother, Ron, later enrolled at Westminster Schools in 1968. Shortly after, Vic Bolton enrolled in the institution.