Books roundup: Book explores power of making music

Jul. 12, 2013 @ 08:28 AM

Why do people get together to sing – not professionals, but amateurs? For author Stacy Horn, singing “is the one thing in my life that never fails to take me to where disenchantment is almost nonexistent and feeling good is pretty much guaranteed.”
The passage comes from her new book “Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing with Others” (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, $15.95, paperback).
Horn has been singing with the Choral Society of Grace Church of New York since 1982, and in “Imperfect Harmony,” she discusses some the pieces she has sung with the choir – among them Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” Handel’s “Messiah” and Eric Whitacre’s “Water Night.” Horn’s essays are celebrations of music that also weave in her impressions of New York, along with the history of that city and Grace Church. “Imperfection Harmony” (now on book shelves) is recommended for anyone who sings, or plays an instrument, for mental health.  

Here are some more readings and releases:
-- Anne Drapkin Lyerly started the Good Birth Project in 2006 when she worked in obstetrics at Duke University Hospital. Lyerly conducted interviews with women from diverse backgrounds “to develop a full account of what constitutes a good birth . …”
Lyerly, now an associate professor at UNC Chapel Hill, has published a book based on that research, “A Good Birth: Finding the Positive and Profound in Your Childbirth Experience” (Avery, $26).  In “A Good Birth,” Lyerly tries to get beyond two polarized ideas about childbirth: the idea that it is “normal and natural and not the proper place for medicine or … the notion that birth is complicated, potentially risky, and responsibly undertaken only in the context of medical care, in a hospital.”
Lyerly will discuss her book at 7 p.m. Aug. 1 at Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, and at 2 p.m. Aug. 4 at McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village in Pittsboro.

-- Novelist Alice Wisler (“Rain Song,” “Hatteras Girl”) will give a motivational talk based on her recent devotional book “Getting Out of Bed in the Morning.” Wisler’s talk will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. July 23 at the Durham County Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.
Wisler will discuss how writing can help people through times of grief and loss, and lead participants through some writing exercises. A discussion will follow. Admission to this talk is free. 

-- Chapel Hill artist Josh Taylor will read his newly illustrated children’s book “The Legend of Lick: A North Carolina Folktale” (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, $12.64, paperback) during the pre-school story time event at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday.
Written by Karen Matthews of Sanford, the book has a cast of frogs and lizards who tell the story of how the town of Lizard Lick in North Carolina got its name
during a dispute over water.
Taylor will be providing children with an illustration from the book
to color and will be available to sign any books purchased during the event.

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