Two novelists visit us on Saturday afternoon, then next week we host a conversation about North Carolina's first certified organic farmer Bill Dow and his memoir What I Stand On.
See details on all of these events below.
But before we get to that...humor us while we toot our own horn for a moment. Guess who made Southern Living's list of the 20 Best Bookstores in the South? We are honored to be included among such august company! Here's the link.
BEN RATLIFF IN CONVERSATION WITH MAC MCCAUGHAN Tuesday, March 1, 2016, 7:00 pm The Mezzanine Room in The Durham Hotel, 315 E. Chapel Hill St. (please note the location) In Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty, the veteran New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff reimagines the very idea of music appreciation for our times. As familiar subdivisions like "rock" and "jazz" matter less and less and music's accessible past becomes longer and broader, listeners can put aside the intentions of composers and musicians and engage music afresh, on their own terms. Ratliff isolates signal musical traits-such as repetition, speed, and virtuosity-and traces them across wildly diverse recordings to reveal unexpected connections.
Ratliff will discuss his book in conversation with Durham's Mac McCaughan, co-founder of Merge Records.
"[Ratliff is] like a learned record-store sage . . . offering a model of music appreciation that feels engaged and expansive . . ." -David O'Neill, Bookforum
Ben Ratliff has been a jazz and pop critic for The New York Times since 1996. He lives with his wife and two sons in the Bronx.
Mac McCaughan is a co-founder of Durham-based independent record label Merge Records and the band Superchunk. He co-authored the book Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records.
PAUL GOLDBERG Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 7:00 pm Paul Goldberg will discuss his new book, The Yid, a debut novel of daring originality that guarantees that you will never think of Stalinist Russia the same again. Moscow, February 1953. A week before Stalin's death, his final pogrom, "one that would forever rid the Motherland of the vermin," is in full swing. Three government goons arrive in the middle of the night to arrest Solomon Shimonovich Levinson, an actor from the defunct State Jewish Theater. But Levinson, though an old man, is a veteran of past wars, and his shocking response to the intruders sets in motion a series of events both zany and deadly as he proceeds to assemble a ragtag group to help him enact a mad-brilliant plot: the assassination of a tyrant. The Yid is a tragicomic masterpiece of historical fiction.
"Paul Goldberg gives Soviet terror a wild spin in The Yid. When Stalin's henchmen come for an aging Jewish actor, all hell breaks hilariously loose." - More
"[A] singular debut novel....Evoking the clash of tone and subject found in movies like The Producers and The Great Dictator, The Yid is a screwball farce about atrocity...Paul Goldberg's animating intelligence gives all this madness a stunning coherence that these days we all too rarely get from either art or life." - Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air
"This novel's black humor is surpassed only by its historical audacity and literary fearlessness.... If you're looking for the next 'Catch-22,' it may be for you." - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Paul Goldberg was born in Moscow in 1959 and emigrated to the U.S. at 14. An award-winning investigative reporter, he is the author of The Final Act; The Thaw Generation (with Ludmilla Alexeyeva); and How We Do Harm (with Otis Brawley). The Yid is his first novel.
ASHLEY WARLICK Thursday, March 3, 2016, 7:00 pm The Arrangement is Ashley Warlick's fictionalized portrayal of a period in MFK Fisher's life that was never detailed in Fisher's writing or biographies. The Arrangement is a sparkling, sensual novel that explores the complexities of a marriage and the many different ways in which we love. Warlick gives us a mesmerizing story about a woman well ahead of her time, who would go on to become the legendary food writer M. F. K. Fisher.
"Stellar . . . A beautifully written treatment of love in its different forms." -Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Food writing fans may want to check out a novelization of the life of M.F.K. Fisher, focusing on... the more salacious personal details of the beloved food writer's life." -The Millions, "Most Anticipated Books of 2016
Ashley Warlick is the author of four novels, including The Summer After June and The Distance from the Heart of Things. She teaches fiction at Queens University in Charlotte, South Carolina, and is the editor of the food magazine edibleUpcountry. She is also the buyer at M. Judson, Booksellers and Storytellers in Greenville, SC, where she lives with her family.
JOHN FEINSTEIN Friday, March 4, 7:00 pm John Feinstein, the king of college basketball writers, returns to discuss his new book, The Legends Club: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano and an Epic College Basketball Rivalry. Feinstein pulls back the curtain on the recruiting wars, the intensely personal competition that wasn't always friendly, the enormous pressure and national stakes, and the battle for the very soul of college basketball allegiance in the ACC of the 1980s. Feinstein uses his unprecedented access to all three coaches to paint a portrait only he could conjure.
John Feinstein is the author of 35 books, including the two best-selling sports books of all time: A Season on The Brink and A Good Walk Spoiled. He is a graduate of Duke University and lives in Potomac, Maryland with his wife and children.
SHILPI SOMAYA GOWDA IN CONVERSATION WITH SARAH CREECH Saturday, March 5, 2016, 4:00 pm (please note the time) New York Times bestselling author Shilpi Somaya Gowda (Secret Daughter) joins Sarah Creech (Season of the Dragonflies) to discuss Gowda's new book The Golden Son, an unforgettable story in which two childhood friends from India-a young doctor and a newly married bride-must balance the expectations of their culture and their families with the desires of their own hearts.
"A stellar follow-up to Gowda's excellent debut. Vivid, heart-warming, and absorbing, The Golden Son succeeds as an immigrant's tale and love story..." -Heidi Durrow, author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and graduated from the UNC- Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain scholar. She lives in California with her family.
Sarah Creech teaches English and Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte and lives in North Carolina with her two children and her husband, a poet. Season of the Dragonflies, a story of flowers, sisters, practical magic, old secrets, new love, and set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is her first novel.
BART EHRMAN Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 7:00 pm Bart Ehrman, the bestselling author of Misquoting Jesus, will discuss his new book, Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior. Ehrman examines oral tradition and its role in shaping the stories about Jesus we encounter in the New Testament-and ultimately in our understanding of Christianity.
Bart D. Ehrman is one of the most renowned and controversial Bible scholars in the world today. He is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
A CONVERSATION ABOUT ORGANIC PIONEER BILL DOW AND HIS MEMOIR, WHAT I STAND ON, WITH FRED BROADWELL Thursday, March 10, 2016, 7:00 pm Decades before the blossoming of the food movement, Bill Dow founded farmers' markets, sold directly to restaurants and experimented with organic methods. Before he died in 2012, Bill Dow-- NC's first certified organic farmer-- sat down to tell this account of his lifelong food activism and path-breaking farming methods. These stories became the basis of his memoir, What I Stand On-- a feast for all who care about food, farming and our future.
"Bill Dow transformed not just our local food scene, but impacted the direction of our community and health for generations." -- Andrea Reusing, James Beard award-winning chef/owner, Lantern and The Durham
The discussion of What I Stand On will be led by Fred Broadwell who has worked in the food movement in the Carolinas since the late 1990s. He is the Founder and Project Manager of Local Organic Y'All, a newly-launched effort to create more transparency in the local/organic purchasing practices of supermarkets and food wholesalers. He previously served as Education Director and on the Board of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association.