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I remember watching a tornado form on April 3rd or 4th, 1974 as a teenager. It was a scary sight. Soon after that, we drove through the other side of town to check out the damages done by all the tornadoes that day. It was horrendous. Then I heard about the destruction in Xenia, Ohio and Brandenburg, Kentucky. A friend of my parents cancelled checks were found in Xenia, Ohio. We lived in Louisville, Kentucky. That began my fear of tornadoes.
This book is about the next largest group of hurricanes in a short time, 2011 in Alabama. I guess for me, this book was like driving by a wreck, you have to stop and look or at least slow down. It was just an interesting book to me and I enjoyed reading most of it. I did skip through several pages when it was describing the meteorological aspect of how tornadoes are formed. However, I did enjoy the personal stories that were added and how people dealt with the oncoming danger before and after.
It's not my usual genre, but I did enjoy reading it.
Thank you Atria Books and Net Galley for providing me with this free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
Last month’s book club pick was American-born authors. We’ve spent a couple of months reading different books on a similar topic. The Alabama Booksmith has a good list of Alabama authors. Some of them weren’t born in Alabama, but it’s easy to tell who was by reading the bios. I didn’t make it that far into the list before I picked my book. I can’t quite say what it is about this book that made me want to read it. I just thought it sounded interesting, and since I haven’t read a memoir in a while, I decided I would try it.
All Over But the Shoutin’ is mostly about Bragg’s mother and the sacrifices she made to give him a better life than she had. Bragg has always felt a sense of duty when it comes to his mother. He wanted to pay her back for everything she did for him, and I think writing this book was part of that.
If Bragg’s purpose was to give his mother the recognition and praise she deserved, mission accomplished. The story of his childhood is eye-opening and moving. I’m from a small town in Alabama, but I grew up in a different time, and I never had to deal with the kind of poverty his family lived through. Still, there are parts I really enjoyed and related to. I totally understand the experience that is the small-town Southern Baptist church. It can be… intense. Also, they love food. There’s food at everything, and it’s always amazing. It’s food like nothing you will ever taste. There’s also the boredom of living in a small town that usually leads to trouble. I’ve saw more than enough of that growing up. It fun to read things like that, and really get it. It was also interesting to read about people who’ve never left their town, never seen anything. One of the most entertaining parts was when his mother accompanied him to New York. She amazed by the plane and the tall buildings. I can only imagine what that would be like for someone who’s only ever lived in one place. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was all the information about his journalism. While, it was kind of interesting, it wasn’t what I was looking for in this book. I was more interested in his mother and his life in Alabama. At the same time, I think a good chunk of it was crucial to set up the last part of the book.
Bragg’s memoir dedicated to his mother was certainly interesting and mostly entertaining. He did a wonderful job painting a picture of a selfless woman who sacrificed so much for her children. I’m think of picking up the book about his grandfather, at some point.