Now that’s a wall of books


Circle City Books in Pittsboro, N.C., has just completed an eye-catching mural: a side of a building covered in books. Huge, oversize books, with titles that even this myopic passerby could read.

What’s on it? Forty-eight titles, some of which are widely known: “Light in August” by William Faulkner, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, and “Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier.

Others are harder to recognize. “The Hope of Liberty” by George Moses Horton, who lived near the store, was the first book by an African American author published in the South when it appeared in 1829, writes bookstore owner Myles Friedman on The Bookshop Blog (via Shelf Awareness). The complete list is below.


“More than anything else,” Friedman writes, “the wall reflects my bookshelf at home.”

Pittsboro is a small town -- population 3,764 at last count -- not far from Chapel Hill and Raleigh. The store is one of its newer residents; it held its grand opening celebration Nov. 3, 2012. Friedman has decades of experience selling books and music in the region.

As for the mural, it’s not finished. Friedman has decided to add a couple more books across the top of those already shelved (as you do; or at least, I do). Visitors to the store this winter and spring are invited to suggest three titles to be added. “It will be especially interesting to me to see if the choices favor local authors or nationally known authors,” he writes, after noting that local authors had asked how they might find a place on the wall. The victorious book titles will be painted on in June.

The books on Circle City’s wall:

  1. “The Lost Colony,” Paul Green
  2. “Only in America,” Harry Golden
  3. “Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal,” William Leuchtenburg
  4. “Look Homeward, Angel,” Thomas Wolfe
  5. “From Slavery to Freedom,” John Hope Franklin
  6. “Raney,” Clyde Edgerton
  7. “Big Fish,” Daniel Wallace
  8. “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Doris Betts
  9. “The Hope of Liberty,” John Moses Horton
  10. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” Maya Angelou
  11. “Tantalus in Love,” Alan Shapiro
  12. “Cold Mountain,” Charles Frazier
  13. “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” Carson McCullers
  14. “Light in August,” William Faulkner
  15. “A Gallery of Southerners,” Louis Rubin
  16. “With the Lightnings,” David Drake
  17. “The Light in the Piazza,” Elizabeth Spencer
  18. “Woodrow’s Trumpet,” Tim McLaurin
  19. “Gather at the River,” Hal Crowther
  20. “Children of Heaven,” Roxanne Henderson
  21. “Old Southern Apples,” Lee Calhoun
  22. “Lusty Wind for Carolina,” Inglis Fletcher
  23. “Silk Hope, N.C.,” Laurence Naumoff
  24. “Bootlegger’s Daughter,” Margaret Maron
  25. “Literary North Carolina,” Richard Walser
  26. “Accidental Birds of North Carolina,” Marjorie Hudson
  27. “Kate Vaiden,” Reynolds Price
  28. “Biodiesel Power,” Lyle Estill
  29. “Proud Shoes,” Pauli Murray
  30. “Dagon,” Fred Chappell
  31. “Oldest Living Confederate Woman Tells All,” Alan Gurganus
  32. “The Conjure Woman,” Charles Chesnutt
  33. “They Called Him Stonewall,” Burke Davis
  34. “Debby,” Max Steele
  35. “The Parchman Hour,” Mike Wiley
  36. “The Four Million,” O. Henry
  37. “Clash of Angels,” Jonathan Worth Daniels
  38. “Blood Done Sign My Name,” Timothy Tyson
  39. “The Mind of the South,” Wilbur J. Cash
  40. “Oral History,” Lee Smith
  41. “Still Valley,” Manly Wade Wellman
  42. “Dragonbreath,” Ursula Vernon
  43. “Literary Trails of North Carolina,” Georgann Eubanks
  44. “The Cheerleader,” Jill McCorkle
  45. “Ellen Foster,” Kaye Gibbons
  46. “Winter People,” John Ehle
  47. “Seeking the Hook,” Lou Lipsitz
  48. “Mural Painting,” Friedman and Kerscher


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