Stuart Rojstaczer, a former professor of geophysics at Duke University, has written a poignant and at times funny novel that is a celebration of human endurance and the life of the mind.
It is the saga of the Karnokovitch family, an eastern European Jewish family who escape Stalinist Russia and thrive as mathematicians in Wisconsin. Alexander “Sasha” Karnokovitch is the principal narrator of this story. He is the son of Rachela Karnokovitch, a renowned genius in math, and Viktor Karnokovitch, also a mathematician. Sasha’s narrative about the death of his mother and the shiva (or mourning period) that follows is interspersed with chapters from his mother’s autobiography “A Lifetime in Mathematics,” which Sasha also is translating from Rachela’s native Polish.
In “The Wishing Tide,” the second novel from North Carolinian Barbara Davis, three characters both seek and flee lives they led and could lead.
As Ellen Hopkins was “finding herself as a writer,” she published hundreds of articles, wrote 20 non-fictions and picture books for children and escaped into poetry and short fiction to feed her creative soul. She had no intention of writing for teens until the idea for her first novel “Crank” (McElderry) came to her.
Bookstores are building on an idea their colleagues in record stores have tried. Since 1997, record stores have celebrated Record Store Day every April, with special releases and other deals from musicians and music labels. Now owners of independent bookstores are planning to observe a national bookstore day, according to the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.
Gregory Sherl’s debut novel “The Future for Curious People” (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, $14.95), combines speculative fiction with two love stories. The love stories center on Evelyn and Adrian, who at the beginning of the novel are breaking up, and Godfrey and Madge, who are discussing marriage.
A novel under a new name but by a familiar author, “The Art of Arranging Flowers” is a gentle, comforting read about small-town life and opening up. The author is Lynne Branard, which is the married name of author Lynne Hinton, whose novels include “Pie Town” and “Friendship Cake.”
A little different than her previous novels, “The Art of Arranging Flowers” is set in the Pacific Northwest fictional town of Creekside -- a place where there’s routine even in the abrupt life events. A florist knows there will be weddings, funerals, births and celebrations all year, and Ruby is at the center of it all.
In a taped June 22, 1972, conversation with Bob Haldeman, his chief of staff, President Nixon compared the Watergate break-in to “a comic opera, really.” Nixon and Haldeman were discussing the rumors that were starting to surface around the bizarre burglary attempt at Democratic headquarters in Washington. The operation, Haldeman said, was “so badly done, that nobody believes we could have done it.”
Tom Earnhardt talks about “Crossroads of the Natural World: Exploring North Carolina with Tom Earnhardt” on North Carolina Bookwatch today at noon and Thursday at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV.
The setting: Northern Africa, present day. The enemy: a new terrorist group using chemical weapons on civilians. The U.S. Marine: Gunnery Sgt. A.E. Blount. The result: a realistic, engaging, action-filled novel that is “Sand and Fire” by Tom Young.
Lee Zacharias writes with a bittersweet nostalgia about the year 1970 in “The End of Counterculture,” one of the 12 essays in her new collection titled “The Only Sounds We Make” (Hub City Press, $16.95).
Josh Hardy, a 7-year old battling cancer for most of his life, has been discharged from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital after going on an experimental drug from Chimerix in March, according to his mother, Aimee Hardy’s, Facebook page
When someone asks you for a great book to read, usually you pause and think about genre and authors and then give a few options. But every now and then, there’s a book you tell everyone to read, because it is that good. “Dollbaby” by Laura Lane McNeal is that book. You haven’t heard of her before because this is her debut novel. What a way to start.
In my experience, readers either love or hate Ernest Hemingway’s writing. I am among the former, but even Hemingway disciples have disagreements over which novels and short stories are the greatest, or the worst.
Civil rights advocate and Congressman John Lewis’ graphic novel “March: Book One,” has been chosen the Durham Reads selection for 2014. Lewis, along with co-author Andrew Aydin and illustrator Nate Powell, will begin the monthlong series of events with a talk Oct. 4 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. at B.N. Duke Auditorium at N.C. Central University.
It’s beach read season, and Mary Alice Monroe of South Carolina’s Lowcountry is back this summer with the second in a trilogy of novels about three sisters spending the summer at their grandmother’s home on Sullivan’s Island. Just published, “The Summer Wind” follows last summer’s “The Summer Girls.”