Living

7 Mississippi books great for summer reading

Ready for some regional reading?

Several new titles have been released, and there's something for just about everyone, from the outdoors enthusiast to history buffs to adventure seekers.

"Deeper Currents: The Sacraments of Hunting and Fishing," by Donald C. Jackson. University Press of Mississippi, $26

Donald C. Jackson, the Sharp Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Fisheries at Mississippi State University, has written a guided journey into the places where hunters and anglers find a deep, rich connection with nature. Farms, creeks, forests, ponds, rivers, migratory routes and the Gulf all are settings for these moments of discovery.

"Gulfport: Celebration City," by Dan A. Ellis. Dan Ellis, $25 (available through Amazon)

Ellis first published his history of Gulfport in 1997-98. Seven years later, Hurricane Katrina forever changed the landscape of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Now, Ellis has released a new edition of his work. "This second edition incorporates the losses due to Hurricane Katrina and how city management has proceeded to rebuild and revive to reach some astounding goals," according to a release about the book.

"Willie: The Life of Willie Morris," by Teresa Nicholas. University Press of Mississippi, $20

Fifty interviews and research through more than 20,000 archived documents have resulted in this fresh look at the life of a beloved Southern writer and editor. Born in Jackson and reared in Yazoo City, Morris made his name in New York City at Harper's magazine, where he became the youngest editor of the nation's oldest magazine. Morris wrote 23 books, including his autobiography, "North Toward Home." Yazoo City native Nicholas addresses topics not included in other biographies as well as some photographs by David Rae Morris, Willie's son.

"Free Men," by Katy Simpson Smith, $26.99

Jackson native Katy Simpson Smith garnered acclaim with her debut "The Story of Land and Sea." In this, her second novel, Smith returns to the American South, specifically the area that would become Alabama. A black man, a white man and a Native American each flee their past in

the woods as a French adventurer leads a posse in search of them. It turns out these three have committed a murder. Backstories tell each man's tale, intertwining their women's experiences as well.

"Confessions of an Undercover Agent: Adventures, Close Calls and the Toll of a Double Life," by Charlie Spillers. University Press of Mississippi, $35

After serving with the U.S. Marines, Charlie Spillers became a member of the Baton Rouge Police Department, where he began working undercover to infiltrate criminal groups to gather intelligence. For five years after that, he worked undercover for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, where he infiltrated drug trafficking groups, drug smuggling operations and auto theft rings from the Gulf Coast to Memphis and from New Orleans to Houston. Following that, he became a career federal prosecutor and the Justice Attaché for Iraq.

"My Triumph over Prejudice: A Memoir," by Martha Wyatt-Rossingol. University Press of Mississippi, $35

The effect growing up during the civil rights era in Fayette had on her life is the subject of Martha Wyatt-Rossingol's memoir. She chronicles the conditions under which blacks lived during that time. She also had specific experiences she relates in the book. She was chosen for an early school desegregation program. Later, she married a white civil rights worker from the North, leading to disapproval from both the white and black communities. Wyatt-Rossingol also looks at the bigger picture of civil rights, and incudes a section on Charles Evers, the first black mayor of Fayette.

"Roots of Murder: A Novel of Suspense," by R. Jean Reid. Midnight Ink, $15.99

R. Jean Reid of New Orleans, a mystery writer who also works under the name J.M. Redmann, sets this novel in fictional Pelican Bay, Miss. Nell McGraw has returned to work as publisher of the Pelican Bay Crier newspaper there, following the death of her husband. A storm's fury has unearthed old bones, and it's been determined these people's lives ended in murder. McGraw battles opposition and threats to solve the mystery of the bones as well as her husband's death.

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