Chris’s Favorite Books
Chris Eaton has been in the book industry for nearly thirty years. He is usually to be found in the history section, perfecting our selection, or in the back, as our inventory manager.
Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Bragg
Because it's by Rick Bragg and Rick Bragg is a bada** writer.
Bragg is most famous for All Over but the Shoutin', a ridiculously engaging memoir that recounts his childhood living in poverty in north-eastern Alabama.
Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story has that same Rick Bragg flair, but with the added allure of telling the story of rock and roll legend, Jerry Lee Lewis, straight from the source.
Witness to the Revolution by Clara Bingham
A book forged from 100 original interviews, Witness to the Revolution is a unique, firsthand account of the chaos that encapsulated the 1960s and 70s. Just in 1969 and 1970 America saw nine thousand protests and eighty-four acts of arson or bombing, the My Lai massacre investigation, the Cambodia invasion, Woodstock, and the Moratorium to End the War, plus the rising death toll in Vietnam.
This quick, easy read is great history of the changes of the 60s and 70s, chock full of first hand accounts that give the history meaning and connection.
Mary's Favorite Books
Mary Eaton has also been in the book industry for nearly thirty years. She’s a folk artist with a passion about making literature accessible to everyone, no matter their income level. She loves dogs, especially her furbabies.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo follows Edmond Dantès, a romantic sailor falsely accused of treason in post-Napoleonic France, and it intrigued me even as a teenager. With all the improvising that you had to do to survive those horrific conditions, and the story! It was just slap-dab the best case of revenge ever.
Published in 1844, it's been a popular historical romantic adventure ever since, and it's been nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read. If you're looking for a classic to try, this one may be a great fit!
Shannon's Favorite Books
Shannon Dominy is a writer and book lover from Warner Robins, Ga. She graduated from UGA in 2016 with a bachelors in Journalism and English with an emphasis in creative writing. She’s a lover of tea, a novelist, a crocheter of cuddly things, a potter, a dog mom, and a wife, in no particular order. She reads mostly young adult and fantasy books, but is broadening her horizons through Normal Books book clubs and events.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Imagine taking the rush of emotions and fangirling (or boying) joy that you felt devouring the Twilight series for the first time, and aiming it at a book with writing that makes your heart sing, characters who develop and grow, and a main female heroine with agency and power. That's how I felt reading A Discovery of Witches for the first time. Even if vampire tween novels aren't your thing, the magic and adventure of this book, which follows Oxford professor Diana Bishop, a witch suppressing her own power, who somehow finds herself in the center of a struggle for the survival of the magical world around her, will capture you.
Luna by Julie Anne Peters
Luna, sometimes known as Liam, is a beautifully written transgender teen. Written with care and layered complexity, Luna's character is a fascinating, lovely glimpse through eyes I'd never looked through before. The story is perhaps made more accessible to cisgender readers because it is told through Luna's cisgender sister, Regan.
Luna is a teen novel that gently took me by the hand and showed me that even when a protagonist is living a different life than mine, there is something to learn from and connect with in everyone.
This is a novel about transgender issues, sure, but it's also a character study in how we treat those we love and what it means to be yourself. Plus, it's a lovely read.
Hannah's Favorite Books
Hannah Echols is a senior Journalism and English student from Augusta, Ga. She came to Normal Books with a desire to learn more about the industry with the dream of potentially opening up her own shop one day. She has an affinity for coffee, writing, laying in grass, the beach, hiking, and, of course, reading. You will most likely catch her with a classic, a memoir, or a book on faith and spirituality- and on the best days, with all three at once.
Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario
This is the true story of a Honduran boy who, through intense trial and error, immigrated to the United States. Enrique's Journey paints a picture of immigration to the United States through a holistic, unbiased perspective that is missing in so much of today's media. The politics can easily be stripped away from this book, but the gripping human story of what it means to dream, struggle, and be flawed cannot. I can really say that reading this book better taught me to focus on the important things.
The picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
This book seems to perfectly balance the art of telling an intriguing story with cultural criticism. I have caught myself stopping mid-page to chew over delicious sentences, thought provoking and fresh ideas, and my own moral convictions. If you've ever felt like you live through multiple identities or wish you could adopt and discard several different philosophies, this book is for you. This is such a worthwhile read- The Portrait of Dorian Gray will have you looking in the mirror at yourself rather than at the "portrait" by the end!