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All Over but the Shoutin’, Rick Bragg

It’s easy to see after the first two chapters why this book was a NY Times bestseller back in 1997. Bragg is one of the most eloquent Southern writers of our day. His story of growing up in rural Alabama, dirt-poor, with an absent father and a strong-willed loving mother will make you step back a few steps on how fortunate your own life is growing up. His attempts for atonement and to avenge the mistakes and wounds of his past are profound. I’ve been reading his articles for years, as well as a previous book I believe (too many books can make you forget sometimes) and this one by far had the most effect on me. I don’t want to say much more about the book itself. Some books do that to you. After your eyes finish that last page you just want to put it down and reflect, keep what impacted you from inside where it can grow and nurture you, keeping it close to your heart. This book does that. It may guide you to call your Mother right away and tell her how much you love her. There’s a reason why a certain group of people love to read. We are becoming a rare bunch these days it seems. This book should be in a high school syllabus for required reading. It should be read by every Yankee north of the Mason-Dixon line on what it’s like to grow up in the deep South. One’s perspective on a life… his life growing up through winning the Pulitzer Prize and buying a home outright for his Mom in 1996. Before cell phones were even a thought. Before they began deteriorating the human mind into short phrases and text bursts. Bragg can write just as well as the best, better than almost anyone, and it’s a gift from him, to you the reader, that we can all be thankful for.


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