Published: Jul 08, 2008 02:45 PM
Modified: Jul 08, 2008 02:45 PM
What are you reading this summer? Each year about this time I give a few suggestions of new and interesting books that have North Carolina connections.
1. Frances Mayes, bestselling author of "Under the Tuscan Sun," moved to North Carolina recently. Her latest book, "A Year in the World: Travels of a Passionate Traveler, " is a personal, reflective, and perceptive day-by-day report of her year-long tour of Europe and the Mediterranean. (July 11, 13)
2. Jesse Helms' death reminds us of the question, "How is it that the same state could elect both a rock-ribbed conservative like Helms to the Senate five times and a progressive like Jim Hunt as governor four times?" Rob Christensen's new book, "The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics" deals with this question and many more from North Carolina's 20th Century political history. (July 18, 20)
3. Robert Morgan, author of "Boone: A Biography," brings his story-telling skills and his poet's care with words to this non-fictional saga of one of America's legendary figures. His account of Daniel Boone is one of my all-time favorite books. (July 25, 27)
4. Imagine, if you can, that you are a young African-American girl growing up in the sleepy, segregated Raleigh of the 1920s. Then you are sent away to live in Harlem. How do you adapt to an entirely different world? In "Celeste's Harlem Renaissance," author Eleanora Tate sets her readers right down in that little girl's shoes. (Aug 1, 3)
5. Wake Forest professor Eric Wilson thinks that our worship of happiness is misguided. In "Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy," he explains why times of sadness might be important seasonings for a genuinely satisfying life. If you are looking for some serious and thought-provoking reading, consider "Against Happiness." (Aug 8, 10)
6. Wayne Caldwell's first novel "Cataloochee," is, like Charles Frazier's "Cold Mountain," about a Confederate veteran who returns to the mountains to make a life. But, unlike Frazier's Inman, Caldwell's Confederate veteran goes on to live a long life -- a hard mountain life of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. (Aug 15, 17)
7. Most of us know that North Carolina Native Americans were rounded up and sent west on the Trail of Tears in the 1830s. But a lot of what we think we know is not all true. "The Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears" by Theda Perdue and Michael D. Green is a short, manageable history that describes the political background and complicated maneuverings from the sides of both the Cherokees and the American government. (Aug 22, 24)
8. Bernie Harberts sailed a boat alone around the world. When he got back to North Carolina, he says that he decided that equine travel actually made more sense. So he traded his boat in for a mule and pony and rode them across America. He tells about these travels in "Too Proud to Ride a Cow: By Mule Across America." (Aug 29, 31)
9. Raleigh native Jean Anderson is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than 20 cookbooks. Her latest, "A Love Affair with Southern Cooking: Recipes and Recollections," is a cookbook, a memoir, a cultural history of our region and a celebration of southern food. (Sept 5, 7)
What is my secret agenda for sharing these book ideas with you? All these books will be featured on UNC-TV's North Carolina Bookwatch during the coming weeks (on the dates noted at the end of each paragraph above). So while I want you to consider reading the books, I really hope you will tune in on the dates indicated and hear the authors talk about their books and how they came to write them.
D.G. Martin is the host of UNC-TV's North Carolina Bookwatch, which airs Fridays at 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m.
2008 The Chapel Hill News