Friends of the Library: News

Shades of Brown Newsletter

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February Book Review

Friends Book Review for February

Friends Book Reviews resume February 5, 2021. Louisa Stone will present a review of Casey Cep’s book Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee.

Stone says that like many people, she read To Kill A Mockingbird in high school. Later at Bloomsburg University, she could refer to it because all her students had read it. And, like many readers, she also read true crime, a genre that actually started in the 1500s, but is immensely popular today largely due to the success of Truman Capote’s 1966 novel, In Cold Blood.

When Stone heard about Cep’s book, she was curious. She knew Lee and Capote were friends, and she had read In Cold Blood, but wanted to know what Lee had to do with murder and fraud.

In Cep’s book,the author gives us a well-written account of the people and events in this strange tale in Alabama in the 1970s. Part I is the story of Reverend Willie Maxwell, accused of killing five family members for insurance money. Part II explains the complex relationship of the lawyer, Tom Radney. Part III is where we learn how Harper Lee fits in. In each part, Cep includes the social and racial context. It is a fascinating read.

Stone grew up in the Chicago area, received two degrees in English from the University of Michigan, and one in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. She taught at Lycoming College and Penn College, then in the 1980s began teaching English at Bloomsburg University. After retiring from teaching, Stone and her husband David co-founded Williamsport Bicycle Recycle in the Pajama Factory.

Participants will need to register by Wednesday, February 3, using the online reservation calendar on the Library website ( where you will find a prompt for reservations. Please note that you will need to provide your e-mail address when you register so we can send registrants the Zoom address/link a couple days prior to the event. Additionally, please send any questions/topics that you would like the panelists to discuss during the virtual book review to our gmail account: