Late last month, a headline in The New York Times announced “Louis D. Rubin Jr., Publisher, Scholar and Champion of Southern Writers, Dies at 89.” Similarly at the top of a story in The Washington Post, “Louis D. Rubin, fount of Southern writing, dies at 89.”
One day in 1969, a letter arrived in Brandt Ayers’ newspaper office in small-town Alabama from a man he’d never heard of. Dr. Tom Naylor, a Duke University economics professor, had an invitation for him.
After a decade and half of civil rights strife following the Supreme Court’s school desegregation decision, with the states of the old Confederacy in turmoil as they coped with and fought the new order, Naylor and a few others had a vision of a New South. Soon after, Ayers joined Naylor and other young, progressive Southerners in Chapel Hill at a UNC conference center.
Every year at The Herald-Sun, we receive countless submissions of books for possible review. Every year, we pick some of our favorites from the preceding months to recommend as possible gifts. Here are a few guilty pleasures and scholarly tomes that I enjoyed, and that might make a good gift for someone:
In her first book in almost 50 years, visual artist Yoko Ono is wishing readers a “Happy Orbit!” Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill has just published “Acorn” ($18.95, hardcover), Ono’s follow-up to her 1964 book “Grapefruit.”
Books are one of the best presents to give, at the holidays or any time of year. Fall brings a bounty of book options, from novels to nonfiction to coffee table books and cookbooks. Here are some new books this reviewer recommends for your shopping list:
Today’s guest on Bookwatch is Jon Buchan, Charlotte lawyer, former newspaper reporter and author of “Code of the Forest.”
Local authors (and the archivist of the United States) will be Booksellers for a Day at The Regulator Bookshop on Saturday. Ten local authors will become booksellers for a day to help customers pick out books at Durham’s Regulator Bookshop, in observance of Small Business Saturday and the first day of Shop Independent Durham Week.
Presenting the 17th annual Wilde Awards, honoring the best books of the year for young readers. This week, the best picture books of the year. Coming in December, the best longer books. Join me for the Wilde Awards Live at Flyleaf on Dec. 5. And because there are too many books and too little print space, you’ll find more suggestions at www.heraldsun.com.
Joseph Arthur is a musician, songwriter and visual artist, perhaps best known for his albums (“Vacancy,” “Nuclear Daydream”). His latest album, due for Nov. 29 release, is “The Ballad of Boogie Christ Acts 1 and 2.” The phrase “Boogie Christ” comes from one of Arthur’s poems, “Threw the Keys on My Windshield and Cracked It,” from his new collection of poetry titled “I Miss the Zoo” (EM Press, $15, paperback).
Christmas music is already on the radio, and diligent holiday shoppers are making their lists and checking them twice. For the little ones on your list, there are a few new hardcover picture books that should be well-received by children, and another great one for kids and adults to read by the hearth.
In author James Dashner’s “Maze Runner” series, Thomas awakes, but does not remember his name. He finds himself in The Glade, or The Maze, from which Thomas and his fellow “Gladers” escape.
After they escape from The Maze, Thomas and his “Glader” friends’ quest continues in the novels “The Scorch Trials” and “The Death Cure.” Dashner’s prequel, “The Kill Order,” explains how sun flares and disease created the post-apocalyptic world of the “Maze” trilogy.
John Rice Green, a tailor; Thomas C. Battle, a brickmason; and Elizabeth and Sarah Bragg, both tailors, are among the extensive community of African-American artisans whose legacies make up the history of New Bern. A new book, “Crafting Lives: African American Artisans in New Bern, North Carolina, 1770-1900” (UNC Press, $30, clothbound) pays tribute to this skilled group of artisans.
Brian Biggs’ series of children’s books, “Everything Goes,” really do have everything a kid could look for in a book. The latest, “Everything Goes: By Sea” is no exception.
Henry and his family take a ferry, and along the way they see, well, everything that goes by sea. House boats. An aircraft carrier. A man in a bathtub. And everything in between.