Monday, September 29, 2014

There's music in the air--and at The Regulator


Music and Authors--together! 

We've got a couple of upcoming events where you can hear wonderful live music, learn about the music, and buy beautiful books about the music. If you like Southern blues or traditional Southern mountain music, you are not going to want to miss these evenings.


First, this Friday at 7:00 we will be hosting Timothy and Denise Duffy to celebrate the Music makers publication of their brand new book, We Are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of America's Music. Musical accompaniment will be provided by Durham's own acoustic blues legend John Dee Holman. The Duffys' Music Maker Relief Foundation has been helping improve the lives of Southern blues musicians since 1994, and We Are the Music Makers showcases dozens of the musicians they have been involved in helping. Its the first book I've ever seen with quotes on the back from Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, and Taj Mahal! See for more.


Then on Wednesday October 1st, Fiona Ritchie, the host of NPR's "The Thistle and Wayfaring Strangers Shamrock," comes to town from Edinburgh, Scotland to talk about her new book, Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia. Ritchie will be joined by her co-author Doug Orr, President Emeritus of Warren Wilson College, and by the musical duo Little Windows (Mark Weems and Julie Glaub) for an evening of music, storytelling, and a fascinating look at the roots of the music of our Southern mountains. Wayfaring Strangers, a beautiful and informative book, comes with a 20 track CD with music from folks like Doc Watson, Pete Seeger and Dolly Parton. Please note that this event will be held at Motorco Music Hall, 723 Rigsbee Avenue, 7:00 p.m.


James Brown and Clyde Edgerton

While we are on the subject of music, the new film about James Brown, "Get On Up," reminded me of Clyde Edgerton's great 2011 novel, The Night Train, which centers around a band of white teenagers who in eastern North Carolina in 1963, learn, note by note, Brown's seminal 1963 release, Live at the Apollo. A bit of a scandal erupts when the white kids perform some of Brown's music on a live radio show. The Night Train makes an excellent follow-up for anyone who liked "Get On Up," and gives yet another view of the power of music.

Wolf in White Van rolls into Durham

Durham songwriter John Darnielle's new novel, Wolf in White Van, has been getting lots of media attention in the last few days. He was on NPR's "Weekend Edition" show on Sunday: His book was reviewed on the NPR web site here: And he was interviewed on NPR's "Fresh Air" here: 


Here's the ending of the NPR review: "John Darnielle is a great songwriter, tipping light toward every kind of human suffering, and his powers are on full display in Wolf in White Van. The prose lives like Sean's imagination: a breathing, growing thing. In Darnielle's novel, as in his songs, the monstrously true and unbelievably beautiful press up against one another. Together, they begin to dance."


John Darnielle will read from and talk about his new book tomorrow (Thursday) night at 7:30 at Motorco Music Hall. Tickets, available at the door, are $5.00 and are good for $5.00 off the purchase of the book.

Upcoming Events:


Motorco Music Hall - please note the location

Thursday, September 18, 7:30 p.m. - please note the time

Admission is $5 - good for $5 off the price of the book

Join us for a night to celebrate the literary talents of Durham's own John Darnielle. Known for his work as the lead singer and and songwriter for The Mountain Goats, Darnielle shows us a new side in his debut novel Wolf in White Van. Praised as inspiring "gasps of reflection and astonishment and gratitude" Wolf in White Van unfolds in reverse until we arrive at both the beginning and the climax (John Hodgman). Isolated by a disfiguring injury since age seventeen, Sean Phillips crafts imaginary worlds for strangers to play in. As the creator of Trace Italian-a text-based, role-playing game played through the mail-Sean guides players from around the world through intricately imagined terrain, which they navigate and explore, turn by turn, seeking sanctuary in a ravaged, savage future America. Lance and Carrie are high school students from Florida, explorers of the Trace. But when they take their play into the real world, disaster strikes, and Sean is called to account for it. John Darnielle is a writer, composer, guitarist, and vocalist for the band the Mountain Goats; he is widely considered one of the best lyricists of his generation.



Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m.

We Are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of American Music  

is the result of Tim Duffy's 20 years of work with roots musicians of the American South at the Music Maker Relief Foundation. After founding Music Maker in 1994, Tim and wife Denise have traveled throughout the South photographing and recording musicians hidden by poverty and geography. The Foundation works to assist these musicians in earning an income from their work, while booking them gigs, sharing their music with the world and also helping to alleviate their poverty by providing artist grants through their sustenance program. This release is a followup to 2002's Roots of America. We Are the Music Makers features over 65 photographs taken by Tim Duffy over the past 20 years, along with the stories and songs from these musicians. Bonnie Raitt praises the book as showing the "deep love and dedication the Duffys have for both preserving traditional Blues culture" and the musicians who make it. Durham acoustic blues legend John Dee Holman will provide musical accompaniment.



Monday, September 22, 7:00 p.m

Years from now, America is slowly collapsing. Crops are drying up and oil is running out. People flee cities for the countryside, worsening the drought and opening the land to crime. Amid the decay, Above All Men's veteran protagonist David Parrish fights to keep his family and farm together. However, the murder of a local child opens old wounds, forcing him to confront his own nature on a hunt through dust storms and crumbling towns for the killer. Shonkwiler's writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Fiddleblack, [PANK] Magazine, and Midwestern Gothic. Eric will be joined by two local writers, Belle Boggs and Alice Osborn. Belle Boggs is the author of Mattaponti Queen, which Bakeless Prize and the Library of Virginia Award and was Kirkus Review's Top Fiction Debuts for 2010. Poet Alice Osborn's latest collection is After the Steaming Stops. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her previous collections are Right Lane Ends and Unfinished Projects. Alice is also the editor of the short fiction anthology, Tattoos, and the forthcoming, Homes.



Wednesday, September 24, 7 p.m.

Acclaimed novelist Wiley Cash returns with a resonant novel of love and atonement, blood and vengeance. Set in western North Carolina, This Dark Road to Mercy involves two young sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins. Narrated by a trio of alternating voices, This Dark Road to Mercy is a story about the indelible power of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go. Wiley Cash is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home. A native of North Carolina, he has held residency positions at Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony and teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Southern New Hampshire University. He and his wife live in Wilmington, North Carolina.



Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m.

Black women are strong. At least that's what everyone says and how they are constantly depicted. But what, exactly, does this strength entail? And what price do Black women pay for Too Heavy it? In Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength, Chanequa Walker-Barnes, a psychologist and pastoral theologian, examines the burdensome yoke that the ideology of the Strong Black Woman places upon African American women. She demonstrates how the three core features of the ideology-emotional strength, caregiving, and independence-constrain the lives of African American women and predispose them to physical and emotional health problems, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and anxiety. She traces the historical, social, and theological influences that resulted in the evolution and maintenance of the Strong Black Woman, including the Christian church, R & B and hip-hop artists, and popular television and film. Drawing upon womanist pastoral theology and twelve-step philosophy, she calls upon pastoral caregivers to aid in the healing of African American women's identities and crafts a twelve-step program for Strong Black Women in recovery. Walker-Barnes holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Miami and an M.Div. from Duke University. She is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University.



Tuesday, September 30, 7:00 p.m.

Interested in learning more about the paleo diet? Learn how to incorporate this growing food trend into your diet with nutritionist Leanne Ely. While it has many benefits, getting started can be intimidating and confusing. In Part-Time Paleo, nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author Leanne Ely helps remove those obstacles. In her book, she addresses how to equip and stock your kitchen for success, how to simplify life with menu planning, encourages using slow cookers, and provides dozens of delicious gluten-free and dairy-free recipes. Part-Time Paleo makes going Paleo fun, easy, and delicious. Leanne Ely, CNC, is a nutritionist and author of six published books, most notably Body Clutter and the Saving Dinner series. She writes "The Dinner Diva" column which is syndicated in 250 newspapers and runs the site. She also contributes to Marla Cilley's


FIONA RITCHIE AND DOUG ORR with musical guests Julee Glaub Weems and Mark Weems

Wednesday, October 1, 7:00 p.m. at Motorco Music Hall - please note the venue

Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a steady stream of Scots migrated to Ulster and eventually onward across the Atlantic to resettle in the United States. Many of these Scots-Irish immigrants made their way into the mountains of the southern Appalachian region. They brought with them a wealth of traditional ballads and tunes from the British Isles and Ireland, a carrying stream that merged with sounds and songs of English, German, Welsh, African American, French, and Cherokee origin. Their enduring legacy of music flows today from Appalachia back to Ireland and Scotland and around the globe. In Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia, Fiona Ritchie and Doug Orr guide readers on a musical voyage across oceans, linking people and songs through centuries of adaptation and change.


From ancient ballads at the heart of the tradition to instruments that express this dynamic music, Ritchie and Orr chronicle the details of an epic journey. Enriched by the insights of key contributors to the living tradition on both sides of the Atlantic, this abundantly illustrated volume includes a CD featuring 20 songs by musicians profiled in the book, including Dolly Parton, Dougie MacLean, Cara Dillon, John Doyle, Pete Seeger, Sheila Kay Adams, Jean Ritchie, Doc Watson, David Holt, Anais Mitchell, Al Petteway, and Amy White.

Fiona Ritchie is the founder, producer, and host of National Public Radio's The Thistle & Shamrock®; she was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 2014. Doug Orr is president emeritus of Warren Wilson College, where he founded the Swannanoa Gathering music workshops.



Thursday, October 2, 2014 7:00 p.m.

Maurice Horwitz is a serial visitor to Durham, known as the "Diet Capital of the World." He first came as a "Ricer" in 1981 and returned a few times. He's also been a frequent visitor over the past four years at Structure House. Horwitz has packed what he learned from his stays at these residential diet centers along with life experience into his debut self-help book, My Life As a Diet: Understanding and Healing for Never-ending Dieters. The book is for anyone struggling with weight issues or wanting to change their life for the better. Horwitz shares his simple yet powerful, transformational plan for healing and living a healthier life. Horwitz was born and grew up in Houston, Texas, where he resides most of the year. He has a Bachelor's in Theater Arts from the University of Houston, and a Master's in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.



Tuesday, October 7, 7:00 p.m.

From the author of the eye-opening and controversial essay on poverty read by millions on the Hand to Mouth Huffington Post ("This is Why Poor Peoples Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense" ) comes Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, the real-life Nickel and Dimed. In this memoir, Linda Tirado details life for the working poor in America.. Linda Tirado, in her brutally honest yet personable voice, takes all of our preconceived notions of poverty and smashes them to bits. She articulates not only what it is to be working poor in America (yes, you can be poor and live in a house and have a job, even two) but what poverty is truly like-on all levels. In her thought-provoking voice, Tirado discusses how she went from lower-middle class, to sometimes middle class, to poor and everything in between, and in doing so reveals why "poor people don't always behave the way middle-class America thinks they should."


Learn more about these and all of our upcoming events by visiting   the events calendar on our web site.
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Tom Campbell
Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC 27705
(919) 286-2700
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why Indie Bookstores Are on the Rise Again'

"Independent bookstores never had to answer to the dictates of public markets. Many of their proprietors understood, intuitively and from conversations with customers, that a well-curated selection--an inventory of old and new books--was their primary and maybe only competitive advantage.... And while indies cannot compete with Amazon's inventory, Amazon evidently cannot supplant indies as shopping and social experiences.

"The independent stores will never be more than a niche business of modest sales and very modest profitability. But the same is true for many small businesses, which makes them no less vital.... The independents, meanwhile, offer something neither Amazon nor the chains can: attention to the quirky needs of their customer base. For the Upper West Side and thousands of other neighborhoods, those stores have turned out to be irreplaceable."
--Zachary Karabell in a Slate piece headlined "WhyIndie Bookstores Are on the Rise Again"

Friday, September 5, 2014

Amazon's Power Is a 'Position of Responsibility'

Amazon continues to make it difficult for people to buy books from the publisher Hachette (a.k.a. Little Brown) as Amazon pressures Hachette to make the publisher sell their books to Amazon at lower prices. 

Author Douglas Preston wrote yesterday that  “Amazon is continuing to sanction books: 2,500 Hachette authors and over 7,000 titles have now apparently been affected. Hachette authors have seen their sales at Amazon decline at least 50% and in many cases as much as 90%. This has been going on for six months.” (Preston spearheaded an ad in the New York Times, on August 10th, signed by more than 900 authors, that took Amazon to task for its behavior).

Amazon has been heedless of the effects that its tactics are having on books, authors, and the culture of the written word. It clearly sees books as just another "product" that it sells, and treats them just like office products or appliances. Some of us feel that books are a lot more valuable to our culture than even the latest smartphone. We find it frightening that a company with Amazon's mindset--that financial gain should trump the free expression of ideas-- already dominates more than 60% of the market for books in the U.S. In the long run, the flowering of free expression requires a diversity of authors, publishers and retailers. Yet Amazon's stated goal is to dominate both the publishing and selling of books.

The author Janet Finch eloquently pointed out some of these feelings in an open letter to Amazon's Jeff Bazos:

Amazon's Power Is a 'Position of Responsibility'

"The sheer amount of power you have gained in the literary marketplace negates any disingenuous argument that it's just 'business as usual.' With the amount of wealth and power Amazon has accumulated, you've also put yourself into a position of responsibility--wanted or unwanted--for the intellectual life of the country. You have seated yourself at that table. I urge you to consciously accept that responsibility, and respond to it by treating the small amount of your business which is represented by literature with fairness and even--understanding how important to the life of our society books are--preferential treatment.

"The difference between a symbiotic and a parasitic relationship is that in symbiosis, the host is not harmed in any way. The two organisms work together for mutual benefit. In a parasitic relationship, the growth of the secondary organism outstrips the ability of the host to sustain itself. Unlike symbiosis, a parasite kills its host, and eventually, itself."

--Author Janet Fitch, from a letter she wrote to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos July 5 "in the hopes of reaching him directly. As I never heard from him, I've decided to make it an open letter."