Archive for April, 2010

Mary Ann Neeley and Matthew Blue featured in Montgomery Advertiser

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 by Andrew

NewSouth author and preeminent local historian Mary Ann Neeley is receiving high praise from fellow historians and was recently featured in a Montgomery Advertiser article surrounding the publication of her newest work, The Works of Matthew Blue, Montgomery’s First Historian, a landmark volume about the early days of Montgomery, Alabama.

The Montgomery Advertiser Teri Greene noted Neeley’s passion for and devotion to the history of her hometown of Montgomery. “This is what happens when two passionate Montgomery historians—separated by more than a century—join forces,” she said. “A new book, one that some are calling a landmark volume, is created, merging a distant past with a modern city.”

The newspaper’s not the only one heaping praise on Neeley’s work. The Works of Matthew Blue remains “the single most important source of information we have on early Montgomery,” according to Dr. Ed Bridges, director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, who provided the introduction to the book.

Painstakingly researched, edited, and annotated by Neeley, The Works of Matthew Blue is ten years in the making. It comes complete with the 1878 City Directory of Montgomery, Matthew Blue’s other writings about early churches, and the genealogy of the colorful Blue family, plus a Civil War diary by Blue’s sister, Ellen. This new volume includes 183 nineteenth-century photographs and maps; a detailed index; and a profile of Matthew Blue, written by Neeley.

The Works of Matthew Blue is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online retailer.

NewSouth Books issues limited-edition Kathryn Tucker Windham booklet for Alabama Book Festival

Monday, April 26th, 2010 by Suzanne La Rosa

Simon Went Fishing on Sunday by Kathryn Tucker WindhamCall it a deliciously different catfish dish, or the expression of our enduring friendship with beloved author and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham. It’s a signed and numbered limited-edition booklet titled Simon Went Fishing on a Sunday, which NewSouth produced on the occasion of its tenth anniversary and the 2010 Alabama Book Festival.

The idea for the booklet was conceived by company co-founder and editor-in-chief Randall Williams. Elegantly designed and based on a song the author’s Aunt Bet sang to her as a child, it warns against fishing on Sunday, but concludes “Please be assured the catfish you are enjoying tonight are safe to eat! They were not caught on Sunday! And the blessing has already been said.”

Simon Went Fishing on a Sunday was presented to guests at the ABF’s author reception, of which NewSouth Books was the proud sponsor, and the remaining copies are being offered to the public. In all, 150 copies were printed. Only a few copies are left. Kathryn Tucker Windham fans, make note: The catfish is going fast.

Visit the Simon Went Fishing on a Sunday page for more details.

Rheta Grimsley Johnson memoir reviewed in Columbus Dispatch and others

Friday, April 9th, 2010 by Andrew

Rheta Grimsley Johnson’s new memoir Enchanted Evening Barbie and the Second Coming is receiving high praise from fellow writers and rave reviews from newspapers and magazines from Tupelo, Mississippi to Columbus, Ohio. Newly published from NewSouth, Enchanted Evening Barbie is Johnson’s cathartic and introspective look at her life as a daughter of the South and an award-winning writer in a male-dominated newspaper world.

Leslie Criss of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal said, “Each essay, written in true Rheta-style, only added to my assurance that I was reading something wise, something witty, something wonderful, something oh-so worthwhile.”

Jake Mabe, reviewer for the Hall/Founain City Shopper-News in Knoxville, Tennessee said, “It’s the loving chapters devoted to the love of [Rheta’s] life that make this book such a keeper. Rheta has long possessed a talent for making her subjects come alive.” He continued, saying, “Reading Rheta is one of life’s true treasures.”

Mike Harden of the Columbus Dispatch also writes fondly of Rheta’s style and skill with words, stating “Possessed of an ear for the laconic remark that defines the moment, Johnson could write anywhere.”

Citing Johnson’s past awards and achievements, Dave Helms of the Mobile Press Register is quick to note how little such accolades mean to Johnson’s loyal fan base. He said, “More importantly to her readers, she can quote long strings of ‘Andy Griffith’ dialogue and Hank Williams’ lyrics.”

Enchanted Evening Barbie is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite local or online retailer.