To read “Elsey Come Home,” the new novel from Susan Conley, is to come into contact with any search for self that any individual might ever have experienced. The novel is an intimate declaration of independence. It’s a story told many times over, true, but Conley tells it with such understan…

In the past year since her feature film “Best Mom” premiered, former Anniston resident Meg Weidner has been on an emotional roller coaster. “I probably need to make a playbook about what to do, and what not to do, for the next go-around,” she said. “In order to minimize the stress and maximi…

Virtuosity is spotlighted in two ways this month as we applaud people featured in the arts. There’s no doubt that Leonard Bernstein, the subject of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra performance at Knox Concerts on Feb. 16, was a virtuoso. But in the eyes of a certain Alabama artist, a cr…

This month brings to light the works of celebrated composers and an equally celebrated area photographer. The JSU Civic Symphony and an art exhibit at Nunnally’s Noble Frame and Gallery have much to do with the composers’ and artist’s passion for making art — even if these works didn’t find …

The essence of “A Ladder to the Sky,” the new novel for adults from Irish author John Boyne, is an old proverb. Late in the novel, Maurice Swift, the amoral writer at the novel’s center, tells a much younger writer: “And you’ve heard the old proverb about ambition, haven’t you? … That it’s l…

The “Winters” in this new work from Tom Barbash are the members of the Winters family who live in the Dakota, the famous residence in the heart of New York City. “The Dakota Winters” is a novel populated by characters both fictional and actual, and it is a novel that is very much about the l…

First of all, there’s the cover art. Against a bright, red-orange background are Joe Biden at the wheel of a Dodge Charger, safety belt harnessing him in, while Barack Obama stands through the car’s sunroof with an absolute sense of urgency, pointing ahead while his tie flaps over his should…

How can we keep the spirit of Christmas cheer and giving aglow after the last candle grows dim? I have two suggestions: First, follow an Anniston family’s example in creativity by placing 24 trees in your home. And second, see an oil painting in Nunnally’s art exhibit that motivates giving f…

Just as the Star of Wonder guided the Three Kings to the Christ Child’s manger, just think: Our calendars are schedules of wonder, too! The number of holiday events is amazing. The calendar is full as plays, concerts and parades guide us toward the Christmas spirit.

Finding Christmas early in the season is easily possible this week in two ways: Attend JSU’s A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers concert today at 2:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Anniston, and see “The 1940s Radio Hour” by Theatre of Gadsden on the weekends of Nov. 30-Dec. 8 at…