Contributed Photo from John Popham / Lisa M. Russell

New book club flips the script

Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St., is launching a book club this month with a gathering to discuss the issues raised by Kenneth Lonergan's play "Lobby Hero."

Participants should read the script before the meeting, to be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 22, in the Mainstage lobby. Each monthly meeting will discuss a play that addresses social issues.

"Lobby Hero" is the story of four New Yorkers in the midst of a murder investigation — a young security guard, his strict supervisor, a rookie cop and her unpredictable partner — who must face the consequences when emotions conflict with principles.

Meetings are free, but reservations are required at (click on Order Tickets to reserve space). Communication about the book club will be through a private Facebook group (Chattanooga Theatre Centre Book Club). For more information, call the box office at 423-267-8534.


Georgia Author of the Year nominee

Lisa M. Russell, an English instructor and assistant dean of dual enrollment at Georgia Northwestern Technical College's Gordon County campus, has received her second nomination for Georgia Author of the Year in the history category for her newest book, "Lost Mill Towns of North Georgia.

Hers is one of 13 history titles in contention. Altogether, 94 books in 11 categories are being considered for awards by the Georgia Writers Association. Winners and finalists will be announced at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 12, on Facebook Live.

What started as a desire to learn more about her grandparents, who lived and worked in a mill village in Camden, New Jersey, led Russell to begin researching the lives of people in North Georgia mill towns.

"I try to tell the story of the average mill worker," she said. "I use all facts, but I tell their stories as a narrative."

Russell conducted her research by reading old newspaper articles, sifting through documents in local, state and national archives and by interviewing people with firsthand and secondhand accounts of the region's mill villages. The book looks at mill towns in Bartow, Chattooga, Cherokee, Cobb, Douglas, Floyd, Gordon, Hall, Polk, Walker and Whitfield counties as well as the rise and fall of what she calls the "Mill Village Era."

Her publisher, The History Press, nominated Russell for the award. This is her third book, following "Lost Towns of North Georgia" and "Underwater Ghost Towns of North Georgia." For her next book, Russell wants to look at influential but unrecognized women of North Georgia.

— Compiled by Lisa Denton