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.”
Anyone who has devoted time to learning an instrument in youth and rediscovered it years or decades later will want to read “The Late Starters Orchestra,” Ari L. Goldman’s memoir of rediscovering the cello as he approached his 60th birthday. I am drawn to Goldman’s story for personal reasons: I once seriously studied the cello, but put it down, only to play it on occasions in fits and starts.
Jennifer Lohmann will read from her latest novel “Weekends in Carolina” (Harlequin Superromance, $6.75) today the Southwest Regional Library, 3605 Shannon Road. A book signing will follow the reading.
When it comes to cars, I look for reliability. I don’t care about a sleek shape, a shiny paint job, a flashy color. When I was young, my stepfather handed me down his Riviera which he called a “classic.”
While looking through his deceased mother’s papers in the early 1990s, Carlton Harrell found several letters from the War Department. In one of them, dated April 1942, Capt. Adolph Rosengarten Jr. of the 11th Infantry asked his mother Nellie Harrell, “Will you aid in the defense of your country as a civilian observer?”
There is going to be a new free summer music series in downtown Durham next month, and local bands have a chance to be in it.
Seven crime authors will be reading and signing books at the bar 106 Main (located at 106 E. Main St.) in Durham during the city’s first “Noir at the Bar” event. This reading, signing and mingle event begins Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and continues until 9:30.
Author Beth Hoffman, whose “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt” was a bestseller, has a new novel out in paperback, “Looking for Me.” It is set in two locations, one quite a bit more famous than the other – rural Kentucky and Charleston, South Carolina. But it is a Kentucky farm that is most vividly depicted, not just for the nearby wilderness but the emotional attachment felt by the main character, Teddi Overman. Teddi leaves home for the coast and a job restoring antiques and furniture and eventually, her own shop. But that’s not what her mother wanted, a woman whose approval Teddi both rejects and seeks. Her mother isn’t the only person drawing her back home. Her brother Josh disappears as a teenager, assumed gone into the wild, but Teddi doesn’t know for sure. As she learns more about her mother’s life, she learns more about herself, her brother and also her father.
“A Long Time Gone” (NAL, hardcover, $25.95) is Karen White’s best novel to date. It’s hard to explain exactly why, but if you’ve read her other work and then pick up this one, you’ll see. The relationships are more fraught. Mississippi is more vivid. Emotions are not just at the surface, but above it. Details bring you further into the story. And White’s writing draws you into small-town Mississippi in 1927 before the flood and in 2013 when another storm unearths a body buried long ago. “A Long Time Gone” has characters who are each intriguing, likeable and unlikeable, sometimes all on the same page.
Durham County Library will celebrate the start of Summer Reading 2014 with a kickoff at Northgate Mall on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dozens of performers and activities will be on tap, including Scrap Exchange, Paint Savvy, North Carolina Zoo, Museum of Natural Sciences, Durham Arts Council and other organizations.
Northgate Mall is at 1058 W. Club Blvd. The kickoff will take place both indoors and on the outdoor plaza between entrances 2 and 4. The event is free and open to the public.
William D. Cohan’s “The Price of Silence” is the fifth book about the Duke lacrosse case. Why another? Cohan, a Duke graduate who has written books about Wall Street, claims to have unearthed new viewpoints, but critics can’t find any.
What is the price of silence that William Cohan writes about in this new book on the Duke lacrosse scandal of March 2006?
Music fans probably know Jamie Anderson from her concerts at The ArtsCenter and other local venues. Born in Arizona, Anderson moved to Durham, where she lived for 11 years before moving to Canada. She has released CDs and numerous songs (“When Cats Take Over the World,” “Menstrual Tango”) and collected more than a few stories during her travels to folk clubs and festivals.
She has put some of those stories on paper in “Drive All Night” (Bella Books, $16.95), available locally at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill and The Regulator Bookshop in Durham.