I don’t generally have great expectations when celebrities of any stripe cross genres to write a book. I hold out some hope for actors and actresses whose understanding of characterization and pacing has the potential to show up in their writing.
In the opening to his scholarly study “Spirits Rejoice! Jazz and American Religion” (Oxford University Press, $29.95), Jason C. Bivins writes: “Could the very abstraction of the music, its elusiveness in terms both commercial and aesthetic, be conducive to the sorts of self-realization, collective purpose, or sense of being-in-the-world linked with religions?”
In “Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope,” Eileen Flanagan writes a memoir about decades of her life, focusing on how serving in Botswana in the Peace Corps in the 1980s is connected to her recent involvement in Quaker environmental activism.
In her memoir, “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War” (Blackstone Audio, 9 hours), Lynsey Addario creates an immediate and horrifying snapshot of her life as a conflict photographer. It’s March 2011 in Ajdabiya, Libya. She and other colleagues ready themselves to capture images of a bombed out car “with human remains splattered all over the back seat.” She pans out, sets the scene succinctly by describing the beginning of Egyptian Spring,” the revolution that has become a war.”
Armed with giant scissors, Girl Scout Troop 3064 cut the ribbons on four new additions to the community last week, marking the culmination of a nearly two-year project. The troop planned, built and installed Little Free Libraries, a wooden home for books where community members can share literature by taking a book home and leaving one in return.
Students who helped to write and self-publish the teen fiction novel “Running for Hope” will be celebrated Thursday at the school board’s regular business meeting.
“Auto Biography: A Classic Car, an Outlaw Motorhead, and 57 Years of the American Dream,” by former Virginian-Pilot writer Earl Swift follows a ’57 Chevy station wagon through 13 different owners.
Jim Grimsley, author of several novels and a professor of English and creative writing at Emory University, has written a memoir of his childhood in the eastern North Carolina town of Pollocksville, “How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood” (Algonguin Books, $23.95).
Earlier this year I was startled to find myself grieving for my mother on her March birthday and I knew her death date was almost exactly a month away. “It’s been four years since she died, why am I still grieving?” I asked myself.
Adam Rex is one of the craziest writers in children’s books. He has a tickle-your-funny-bone sense of humor, flavored with a bit of the ridiculous.
Author Frances Mayes, New York Times bestselling author of “Under the Tuscan Sun,” will read from her memoir “Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir” at 7 p.m. Monday, April 6 at the Durham Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro Road.
Sisters Mary Widdifield and Elin Widdifield began to seek out stories from parents of children with mental illness after Erin’s son was diagnosed with mental illness. They have collected their stories in their new book “Behind the Wall: The True Story of Mental Illness as Told by Parents” (Langdon Street Press, $16.95). The Widdifields interviewed parents from all over the country, keeping their identities anonymous.
Is there something special about the way we talk here in North Carolina? The best person to answer is Walt Wolfram, who has studied the speech patterns in our state since 1992 when he became the first William C. Friday Distinguished University Professor of English Linguistics at N. C. State.
Eight white Duke students met all-black NCCU team in 1944: The writing of “The Secret Game,” Scott Ellsworth’s new book about the South’s first integrated “college” basketball game, “happened by chance,” Ellsworth said.
It has been more than five years since Ron Rash first talked on North Carolina Bookwatch about his best-selling novel, “Serena.” UNC-TV is re-airing that program to coincide with the release of the movie, finally.