Off the Shelves – January 19

The following items are available at the Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road. For more information on the library’s collection or to reserve a title, visit

Adult Fiction

“The One Man,” by Andrew Gross

It is 1944. In this historical thriller, Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp where his life’s work — his books, his papers — are tossed on a roaring fire. Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge — knowledge that could start a war or end it. Nathan Blum works a desk job at an intelligence office in Washington, D.C., and longs to make a meaningful contribution to the war effort. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, young and scrappy and a refugee from a Polish ghetto. Suddenly, he’s useful to the government. Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz to find and escape with one man: Alfred Mendl.

Story continues below gallery

Adult Non-Fiction

“Hank: the short life and long country road of Hank Williams,” by Mark Ribowsky

After his death at 29 in the backseat of a Cadillac, Hank Williams — frail, flawed and country music’s most compelling star — instantly morphed into its first tragic martyr. Having hit the heights with songs of heartache and star-crossed love, he would, with that outlaw swagger, become a template for the rock generation to follow. Author Ribowsky returns us to country music’s origins in 1920s Alabama, where Williams was born into the most trying of circumstances: a dictatorial mother, a henpecked father and an agonizing spinal condition. Tracing the rise of a music legend from the street corners of the Depression-era South to the now-immortal stage of the Grand Ole Opry, and finally to a haunting, lonely end on New Year’s Day 1953, Ribowsky uncovers the real man beneath the myths, reintroducing us to an American original whose legacy, like a good night at the honky-tonk, promises to carry on.