So you’ve heard all about the #READdifferent campaign but you’re not sure where to start on your journey of literary exploration and discovery. We’re here to help! Each week we will be featuring a new theme or genre that you can use to #READdifferent at the 2015 AJC Decatur Book Festival.
This week’s #READdifferent blog focuses on #factorfiction. These works may be true stories that are hard to believe or fictional ones based in historical truth. They serve to inspire and enthrall us through their tales of bravery, austerity, and seemingly impossible situations. Luckily, this year’s DBF has a great lineup of authors bringing books that teeter on fact or fiction — check them out below if you’re looking for a great way to #READdifferent at #dbf2015.
The second book in the Penn Cage trilogy, The Bone Tree, by New York Times best-selling author Greg Iles, is set in the 1960’s on the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement. Though a fictional story, this book has multiple historically realistic elements, including the KKK and the John F. Kennedy assassination. Cage, a Southern prosecutor, is caught up in the storm of racial politics when the death of his father’s African American nurse puts cracks in his family, and he is sent on a wild goose chase in pursuit of his father, who has run. Suspenseful and eye-opening, The Bone Tree uses true events to weave a narrative of race, identify, and family.
No Better Friend: One Man, One Dog, and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in WWII is a true story by Robert Weintraub about Frank Williams, a Royal Air Force Technician, and his loyal companion Judy, a purebred pointer. They met in a World War 2 internment camp, where Judy helps the prisoners and becomes a beacon of hope for them. She was the only canine POW of WWII, and her and Frank’s story lives on as one of the most touching—and unknown—war stories to this day.
Innocent Blood is the seventh book in the John Jordan mystery series by Michael Lister. This book flashes back as Jordan, an ex-cop and prison chaplain, as he travels back to Atlanta and works to solve one of the greatest mysteries the city has ever faced. As a 12-year-old, Jordan confronted the murderers, and now it’s his turn to figure out the truth behind the crime. Innocent Blood sees a young John Jordan fall in love, deal with alcoholism, and experience faith all for the first time, and leads the reader on a dramatic journey through the streets of Atlanta.
Though this true story might not be completely hard to believe, it’s still shocking enough that it deserves a place on this list. Pamela Newkirk, an award-winning journalist and professor, digs deep to uncover details about a particularly shameful moment in American history in Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga. This intriguing historical narrative reveals more about the racial prejudice of the early twentieth century by telling the story of an African man used as a zoo exhibit.