Our friends at Nautilus here in Oxford put four books on our list this year, with Al Povall’s Tapestry of Red & Blue (#16), Robert Khayat’s Education of a Lifetime (#24), Jeffrey Stayton’s novel, This Side of the River (#83), and Billy Watkins’ book on Bo Wallace (#7). As always, writers with the local connection do well for Square Books, including John Hailman and his two Guntown books (43 & 68), Ace Atkins’ The Redeemers (46), Lisa Howorth’s Flying Shoes (69), Curtis Wilkie’s Fall of the House of Zeus (31) and his Assassins, Eccentrics, Politicians (28), Alysia Burton Steele’s Delta Jewels (33), Bill Boyle’s Death Don’t Have No Mercy (79), Troutmouth by Ron Borne (51), Wright Thompson’s edition of the 2015 Best American Sports Stories (44), How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others by Kiese Laymon (96), Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (56), Barry Hannah’s durable Airships (95), Turn Around by Leigh Anne Tuohy (41), In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White (30), William Faulkner (3 titles, beginning at #37), Every Day by the Sun by Dean Faulkner Wells (67), Soul Food Love by Caroline Williams and Alice Randall (43), Murder in the Grove by Michael Henry (41), Bright Fields by Bruce Levingston (39), Soil by Jamie Kornegay (7), UM grads Harrison Scott Key’s The World’s Largest Man (61) and M. O. Walsh’s My Sunshine Away (71), Riot (25) by Ed Meek, and John Currence, whose Pickles, Pigs and Whiskey (5) remains strong in its third year.
".. for really good writers, sports offer an opportunity to express all the pleasure and passion of life." -Nicholas Dawidoff
Mamacita, longtime store cat at Off Square Books, died peacefully earlier this week. She was born c. 2001, and spent her early life at the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society, coming to Off Square in 2003, where she charmed many visitors and Oxonians, young and old. (One of Mamacita's more unusual feline traits was her remarkable tolerance for the "affection" of very young children, including pinching, tickling, and tail-grabbing). She may be best known for sleeping on the sales counter, where she enjoyed washing Slade Lewis' head, strolling through author readings (she once leapt up on the podium during a reading and reclined on the author's open book) and Thacker Mountain Radio, and attacking dogs who thoughtlessly entered her domain without permission. She loved people and spent a great deal of time napping with friends at Mitchell McNutt Law Office, visiting at Neilson's Department Store (once locked in overnight) , and, in her youth, cruising the Square late-night. In recent years she retired to the country estate of Beckett Howorth IV, where she was livin' the dream. Mamacita was preceded in death by two daughters, Pickle and Alma. She leaves behind two good dog friends, Joe and Rivers, and many fans and admirers who have followed her on Facebook and corresponded with her. She was an excellent cat who will be greatly missed. Memorials in honor of Mamacita may be made to the OLC Humane Society, 413 McElroy Dr., or to www.9livescatrescue.com.
On the right side of the law. Sort of.
Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. He works out of a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, fine leather chairs, a hidden gun compartment, and a heavily armed driver. He has no firm, no partners, no associates, and only one employee, his driver, who’s also his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddy. He lives alone in a small but extremely safe penthouse apartment, and his primary piece of furniture is a vintage pool table. He drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun.
Sebastian defends people other lawyers won’t go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult, who is accused of molesting and murdering two little girls; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his house. Why these clients? Because he believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even if he, Sebastian, has to cheat to secure one. He hates injustice, doesn’t like insurance companies, banks, or big corporations; he distrusts all levels of government and laughs at the justice system’s notions of ethical behavior.
Sebastian Rudd is one of John Grisham’s most colorful, outrageous, and vividly drawn characters yet. Gritty, witty, and impossible to put down, Rogue Lawyer showcases the master of the legal thriller at his very best.