Entertainment comes in a variety of packages. Reading an interesting historical novel is one package to unwrap in order to enter a different world far away, while the plant sale during August at the Anniston Museums’ Botanical Gardens can offer the fun of selecting lively colors and shapes f…

We first took a look at “The Ickabog,” J. K. Rowling’s new work for young readers, after 19 weekday chapters had been published online. Since the book was being published in “installments,” it was decided that this column should review the book in “installments,” too, joking, “New ways of pu…

To think of the stories of Edgar Allan Poe is to experience at least one incontrovertible shudder. How can an early story like “The Masque of the Red Death” so ably reference our current pandemic? How can a late story like “The Cask of Amontillado” make us laugh so willingly at another perso…

Both “The Minister’s Black Veil” and “The Birth-mark,” two of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic short stories, reflect the author’s concern with what are often identified as the opposing forces of religion and science. They are both forces in which Hawthorne finds potential danger and potential …

Any reader is going to immediately smile remembering “Rip Van Winkle,” Washington Irving’s legendary yarn of the Catskills. Most readers will probably not even recognize “My Kinsman, Major Molineux” as one of the many tales from Nathaniel Hawthorne. 

Since it was first read to me (and the rest of my third grade class by our teacher, and from my first copy of the book, gifted me by my father), I have no idea how many times Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” has delighted, transfixed, angered and instructed me every decade o…

Anyone taking another look at Truman Capote’s fanciful, tender short novel “The Grass Harp” will certainly be touched by the book’s examination of a young man’s search for place. But it’s possible the book will resonate more in other ways just now. 

The current pandemic has changed our lives in very specific ways. What we’ve taken as our normal for the past few years no longer really holds. Over the past few weeks what was usual has been altered. There’s been unanticipated time in our homes and with our families. There has been new cont…