Sarah Addison Allen, the Asheville author whose novels are set in familiar Southern places – mostly imagined, but familiar all the same – is back with a wonderful new book. “Lost Lake” is set in Georgia, at an aging getaway spot that has been a place of sanctuary, friendship, love, loss, solace and new life.
Wiley Cash was working at Pomegranate Books in Wilmington in support of Small Business Saturday when he got a call that he was on the long list for the first Crook’s Corner Book Prize. “It was a real surprise for me to be on the long list,” he said during his acceptance speech for the prize earlier this week at the restaurant.
Wendy Webb, who writes gothic mysteries set in old houses, has recently published the newest in her series, titled “The Vanishing” (Hyperion, $17, paperback). It opens with a séance in 1875 that goes awry, then switches to the present day, narrated by Julia Bishop. After her husband’s death (and the fallout from his investment swindle), Bishop gets a visit from the son of Amaris Sinclair, who asks Bishop to live with his mother.
Columnist Leonard Pitts will read from his novel “Freeman” March 1. Pitts, photographer Jose Galvez and author Mur Lafferty are among the guests who will speak and give presentations during the winter-spring Humanities Programs series at the Durham County Library. All programs are free and open to the public.
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill recently published the paperback edition of Gabrielle Zevin’s novel “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” ($14.95). Zevin will read and sign copies of the novel at 7 p.m. Feb. 17 at Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill.
If you are planning to sit down with a good book Saturday afternoon, you can also participate in the first National Readathon Day.
Sarah Addison Allen’s sequel to ‘Garden Spells’ set in small town North Carolina
Gayle Forman is coming to Flyleaf on Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. where she’ll appear with local young adult superstar author, Sarah Dessen. They will be celebrating the release of Gayle Forman’s fifth novel, “I Was Here” (book from Viking, audio from Listening Library, ages 14 and up).
Judy Hogan’s book-length poem “This River, an epic love poem” takes readers on a journey anchored on the Haw River in Chatham County but not limited to that place. The real sojourn takes place in the poet’s heart, soul and imagination.
James Maxey, a Hillsborough-based speculative fiction author, has been selected as the region’s 2015 Piedmont Laureate. During 2015 Maxey will appear at workshops, reading programs and speaking engagements throughout Durham, Orange and Wake counties.
Columnist Susie Wilde picks her top books of 2014.
Philip Gerard talks about “Down the Wild Cape Fear: A River Journey through the Heart of North Carolina” on North Carolina Bookwatch Thursday at 5 p.m.
Every year, columnist Susie Wilde presents her Wilde Awards for best reads of the year. This week, she is presenting the best picture books of the year; next week, she will present the best longer books.
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill has published Tim Johnston’s novel “Descent” ($25.95, hard cover). Caitlin, 18, has come to the Rocky Mountains with her family before she leaves for college on a track scholarship. She views the high altitude as an endurance challenge. When she goes biking with her brother Sean, she does not return, and her family begins a long search for her.
“Ten Years and Four Events: Select Works by Through This Lens Members”; “Whether, Collaborative Work by Diana Duncan Holmes and Wendy Collin Sorin”; “The Church of Photography, Photographs by Jean-Christian Rostagni”; and “Memories Lost by Bruce Mitchell,” at Through This Lens, 303 E. Chapel Hill St., Durham, through Dec. 13.
“The Georgetown Set: Friends and Rivals in Cold War Washington”
By Gregg Herken (Alfred A. Knopf, $30)
From the end of World War II until the demise of the Soviet Union, a group of columnists, diplomats and spies would meet for Sunday suppers, many of them held at the home of newspaper columnist Joseph Alsop, who with his younger brother Stewart penned the influential newspaper column “Matter of Fact.” Fueled by alcohol and cigars, this group and others connected with their circle “inspired, promoted, and – in some cases – personally executed America’s Cold War strategy ….,” Gregg Herken writes in “The Georgetown Set,” a fascinating history of this circle of friends who lived in the Washington neighborhood known as Georgetown.