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.
Karen White is known for her novels set in the South, but the plots are anything but predictable. In her new novel, “The Time Between,” set in the South Carolina Lowcountry, we have an idea of where the story might be going, but take the turns as the characters do.
On its surface, “The Banks of the Vistula,” one of seven stories in Rebecca Lee’s new collection “Bobcat and other Stories,” is about a thoughtless act of plagiarism. Margaret, the story’s narrator, pulls almost verbatim the ideas from a 1945 article about propaganda for an assignment in introductory linguistics. Her professor, Stasselova, suspicious at first of the source for the paper, eventually picks Margaret to be the keynote speaker and to deliver the paper at a symposium.
There’s a new book out that spins the real life tale of two reporters during the Civil War, taking readers on a historic, action-packed journey that is “Junius and Albert’s Adventures in the Confederacy: A Civil War Odyssey” by Peter Carlson.
Durham figures prominently in UNC professor Tony Reevy’s new collection of poems, “Old North” (Iris Press, $14). Reevy groups this collection of poems about North Carolina under the standard geographical locations of mountains, Piedmont and coast. He gives Durham a special section, titled “Tobacco Town/Tobacco County.” Reevy’s poems pay homage to the Eno River, Blind Boy Fuller, and other Bull City sites and historical figures.
Parents know about the “terrible twos” and the hormonal and emotional roller coaster of adolescence. In their new guide “When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up? Loving and Understanding Your Emerging Adult” (Workman’s Publishing, $23.95), Jeffrey Jensen Arnett and Elizabeth Fishel discuss what is proving for many parents to be an equally bewildering period – the years between 18 and 29.
As novels go, criteria for reading during the summer seems to be a seaside story setting because of the assumption we’ll all vacation at the beach at some point. What is for sure, though, is that a more consistent staple of summer down time includes our families.
The first thing Clyde Edgerton ever wrote that was published was for a high school teacher. He grew up in Bethesda, in Durham County, and the assignment he and his buddies received was to take a tadpole down into the woods and let it go. They went into the woods, got lost, and were late for school. Edgerton told his teacher what happened, and she told him to “write it up.”
Celia Szapka, Toni Peters and Virginia Spivey are among the many women who contributed their intellect and labor to the successful completion of The Manhattan Project that produced the atomic bomb.
Things really do come full circle. Remember when the earliest of the baby boomers went “back to the land” for a more authentic life experience? In “Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity” (Simon & Schuster, $26), Emily Matchar examines the many ways that a younger generation of women (and men) are raising chickens, knitting, making their own food, homeschooling, homesteading and doing any number of do-it-yourself projects.