A new book festival is in the works. The Read Local Book Festival is scheduled for May 16-17 in Durham. Authors Jennifer Lohmann, Katharine Ashe, Elizabeth Hein and Carl Nordgren are scheduled to present at the festival, with more authors to be added. Organizers will offer workshops on graphic novels, children’s books and other topics.
Wilton Barnhardt talks about “Look Away, Look Away” on North Carolina Bookwatch today at noon and Thursday at 5 p.m.
Columnist Hal Crowther has written a collection of six essays delving into the life and legacy of the man who in his time was hailed as “the civilized consciousness of America,” titled “An Infuriating American: The Incendiary Arts of H.L. Mencken” (University of Iowa Press, $16, paperback).
For book lovers, October means maneuvering elbow-to-elbow to reach shelves to get to some great bargains. The Friends of the Durham Library’s annual fall sale begins Friday and continues through Sunday at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.
In “The Story of Land and Sea,” Katy Simpson Smith writes of the bonds of family, of perceived duty, of love and loss and place in late 18th century Beaufort, North Carolina. With spellbinding storytelling and historical basis, she draws readers into the literary sea with this debut novel.
The folk revival of the early 1960s has become the roots music revival of our day. The University of North Carolina Press will publish a new book Sept. 29 that gives listeners a thorough history of where those traditions were born, and how they migrated.
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.