Books roundup

Friedman to discuss Talmud history
Mar. 02, 2013 @ 11:48 AM

A few years ago Rabbi John Friedman, of Judea Reform Congregation in Durham, took a sabbatical to study at Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies. Friedman did research into the 13th-century trial of the Talmud in France.

Friedman is the co-author of a new history of that event, “The Trial of the Talmud: Paris, 1240” (published by the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies). He will be talking about the book and signing copies today at 7 p.m. at Judea Reform Congregation, 1933 W. Cornallis Road in Durham.

Here are some other forthcoming readings, signings and releases:

-- Traditional music enthusiasts will want to pick up folklorist Fred C. Fussell and Steve Kruger’s “Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina: A Guide to Music Sites, Artists and Traditions of the Mountains and Foothills” (coming in April from The University of North Carolina Press).

The authors have arranged the guidebook by regions. Each chapter discusses local traditions, with a plethora of sidebars on musicians, venues and festivals. The authors have packed the guide with plenty of photos and interviews with Donna Ray Horton, George Shuffler, Etta Baker and other musicians who made and carry on this state’s folk, blues and gospel traditions.

-- This coming June will be the 50th anniversary of the murder of Medgar Evers, the NAACP’s field secretary for Mississippi. Professor Minrose Gwin of UNC Chapel Hill has written a tribute to Evers that examines how his life has influenced a diverse universe of writers, “Remembering Medgar Evers: Writing the Long Civil Rights Movement” (The University of Georgia Press). Gwin examines Medgars as seen through the eyes of newspaper reporters during his time, writers, poets and musicians – among them James Baldwin, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan and others. For more information, visit

-- Joanne Fluke has released the latest installment in her Hannah Swensen mystery series, “Red Velvet Cupcake Murder” (Kensington Books, $25). In addition to her story, Fluke also includes real recipes for “Razzle Dazzle Brownies,” “Snappy Turtle Pie” and “Red Velvet Cupcakes.”

Fluke will be signing her new book March 14 at 7 p.m. at The Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth St. in Durham, and March 16 at 2 p.m. at McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village in Pittsboro.

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