Author took long path to get to ‘Heaven’

Today’s Books page highlights “The Heaven of Mercury” (Norton, $23.95), an earthy new Southern novel by Brad Watson. Other writers have been especially impressed with this complicated, darkly humorous and sometimes disturbing tale. Larry Brown called it “As mythic and miraculous as Faulkner and Mrquez” and Barry Hannah declared “Each page a deep pleasure.” Reviews in the press have been mixed, however, and squeamish readers should be warned of the book’s strong sexual content (necrophilia, rape, masturbation and more). “The Heaven of Mercury” stirs many emotions.

During a recent telephone interview, Watson spoke about his background, influences and literary aspirations. Though he is now writer-in-residence at the University of West Florida, Watson revealed that his path to the writing life was anything but direct. Born and raised in Meridian, Miss., he “was not a serious student.” What he really wanted to do was act, and as a teen-ager he traveled to California to chase his dream. After some time on the West coast, he returned to his native Mississippi and enrolled in college. He credits an early teacher, Buck Thomas at Meridian Junior College, with turning him into “a serious reader.” Matured by his California experience and guided by Thomas, Watson plowed through the works of William Faulkner, Eudora Welty …

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Bookmobile expands route to include more communities

ROBERTSDALE — From Magnolia Springs to Little River, the county bookmobile continues make its rounds.

Its fall schedule includes several new stops, including one in the parking lot of Bruno’s grocery at Blakeley Square Shopping Center at U.S. 31 and Alabama 225 in Spanish Fort.

The bookmobile makes 37 stops every two weeks at schools, retirement communities and community centers.

In addition to the 3,000 books and audiotapes on the bookmobile, items can be borrowed from any library in the county.

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The bookmobile is managed by the Baldwin County Library Cooperative in Robertsdale. The cooperative also maintains collections at deposit stations in nursing homes, mental health centers and centers for the aging throughout the county. These collections are rotated every three to six months to bring in new materials.

The staff of BCLC also manages the integrated library system used by nearly all of the libraries in Baldwin County. The collections of most libraries in the county, except Lillian, are now in the catalog and material can be acquired from across the county at your home library, even if your home library is the bookmobile, cooperative officials said.

The Baldwin County Bookmobile runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Oct. 8 and 22 and Nov. 5 and …

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