As the winter solstice draws near, time is speeding up. Classroom bells ring too fast, teachers who are normally punctual show up late, a pumpkin decomposes in minutes, and what appears to be a solid world is no longer solid. Edward’s Aunt Kit warns him, “Something’s been set loose that shouldn’t have been. You’d better get up. Your help may be needed.”
Sahar, the narrator of author Sara Farizan’s first novel “If You Could Be Mine,” and her best friend Nasrin have been in love since they were young children. Now in their teens, they struggle with how to express their love in a country where their feelings are forbidden.
Edward, Feenix, Nasrin and Sahar are among the characters Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill will introduce with its new line of books for young readers. This fall, Algonquin Young Readers will publish five titles geared toward readers ages 7 to 17.
Durham multi-instrumentalist Alex Weiss has published “Peruvian Adventures,” a memoir of his adventures hiking and traveling in that country with his wife, Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss. His instruments – a pocket trumpet, a flute, a harmonica, and sometimes hand drums – were also constant companions, and Weiss and friends often would play music in open spaces.
UNC professor William Ferris calls the South “a land of talkers” in his coming collection of interviews, “The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists” (University of North Carolina Press, $35, hardcover). The book is a collection of interviews Ferris has conducted during his life as a writer and historian. He groups the interviews according to professions – writers, scholars, musicians, photographers and painters. “I sought out these individuals,” he writes in his introduction, “because their work helps me understand my life as a southerner.”
Why do people get together to sing – not professionals, but amateurs? For author Stacy Horn, singing “is the one thing in my life that never fails to take me to where disenchantment is almost nonexistent and feeling good is pretty much guaranteed.”
Children's literature author, educator and musician John Claude Bemis, the region's 2013 Piedmont Laureate, will be presenting six programs in Durham County, co-sponsored by the Durham Arts Council and the Durham County Library.
Ron Rash talks about “The Cove” on North Carolina Bookwatch today at noon and Thursday at 5 p.m.
Ken Ilgunas graduated from the University of Buffalo with $32,000 in student loan debt. Determined to pay off that debt before going to graduate school, Ilgunas worked as a tour guide, cook, maintenance worker and other jobs.
Anna Jean Mayhew talks about “The Dry Grass Of August” on North Carolina Bookwatch at noon today and Thursday at 5 p.m.
In her latest novel “King of Cuba,” Cristina García (“Dreaming in Cuban,” “The Lady Matador’s Hotel”) merges the exhaustive research of historical fiction with the suspense of a thriller. Think of “King of Cuba” as a beach read with great depth, the ideal vacation book for anyone interested in the history and culture of that embargoed island to the south.
Charles Frazier talks about “Nightwoods” on North Carolina Bookwatch today at noon and Thursday at 5 p.m.
“Cold Mountain” author Frazier’s most recent book, “Nightwoods,” is set in his beloved North Carolina mountains. Engaging characters and a compact story line of suspense give a wider audience an opportunity to enjoy Frazier’s magnificent gifts.
Durham novelist Summer Kinard will celebrate the publication of her first novel “Can’t Buy Me Love” (available from Durham publisher Light Messages) with a launch party today at Fullsteam Brewery, 726 Rigsbee Ave.