Monday, May 16, 2016

Good Reading and Good Barbecue

Escape into a Good Book!
If the news these days leaves you feeling frazzled, we have the cure. Get lost in a good book! After only an hour or so you may find yourself thinking that "trump" is merely an expression used in a card game. See below for some of our recommended therapeutic reading.

We also have a number of therapeutic events here at the bookshop in the coming weeks. Get out of the house, meet an author, hear some good music, sample some good 'cue. It will all be happening at The Regulator, as a glance at our events schedule will show.

And look at the end of this email for a short list of "Literary Links," connections to articles we've found to be entertaining and enlightening. 
Good Reading
Recommended recent releases, first in hardback:
-Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo. My favorite novel Everybody's Fool Cover Imageof the year. Small town America, great writing and old-fashioned storytelling, and a cast of characters-some of them true characters indeed-that you want to sit and drink a beer with. Signed copies available!

--Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett. Regulator staff member Wander highly recommends this new novel, as does the playwright Tony Kushner, who calls it " of the great books about loss and mourning and the ineluctable laws that govern the political economies of families..."

--LaRose by Louise Erdrich. Brand new and gathering marvelous reviews, this is a novel of anger, love, hurt and joy among a group of families living in a small community in North Dakota. Signed copies available!

--The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church. This month's number one pick on the Indie Next List, "a thought-provoking examination of the sacrifices women make in life and the courage needed for them to soar on their own." Another fine book published by our friends down the road at Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

--Paper: Paging Through History by Mark Kurlansky. A fascinating history of one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology. Here at The Regulator we love paper! As you might expect, this book is beautifully printed and bound on very handsome paper--a treasure just to hold in your hands.

And some of our favorites now out in paperback:

--The Wright Brothers by David McCullough.
--Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot by Mark Vanhoenacker
--The Sympathizer: A Novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen (which just won the Pulitzer Prize)
-- The Vinyl Detective: Written in Dead Wax by Andrew Cartmel. A fun mystery novel involving a P.I. who sets out to find a priceless lost recording!
--and be sure to check out the latest edition of the literary magazine Granta, (issue 135), whose focus is "New Irish Writing." Yes, the Irish can (still) write.
Upcoming Events
Thursday, May 19, 7:00 p.m.
Join New York Times bestselling author Michael Perry ("Truck" and "Population 485"), with musical guest Phil Cook, for a reading and book signing of Perry's novel, The Jesus Cow, an affectionately skewed and big-hearted depiction of one miraculous bovine and the chaos it unleashes.

Life is suddenly full of drama for low-key Harley Jackson: A woman in a big red pickup has stolen his bachelor's heart, a predatory developer threatens to pave the last vestiges of his family farm, and inside his barn is a calf bearing the image of Jesus Christ. His best friend, Billy, urges him to avoid the woman, fight the developer, and get rich off the calf. Harley takes the opposite tack, hoping to avoid a scene. But the secret gets out and Harley's "miracle" goes viral. Within hours pilgrims, grifters, and the media descend on his quiet patch of Swivel, Wisconsin, looking for a glimpse (and a percentage) of the calf. Does Harley hide the famous, possibly holy calf and risk a riot, or give the people what they want- and raise enough money to keep his land-and, possibly, win the woman and her big red pickup truck?

Michael Perry is a humorist, radio host, songwriter, and the New York Times bestselling author of several notable nonfiction books, including Visiting Tom, Coop, and Truck. He lives in northern Wisconsin with his family and can be found online at

Phil Cook is an American banjoist, pianist and singer. He is a member of the freak-folk band Megafaun. Cook works at the Center for Inquiry Based Learning at Duke University.

Friday, May 20, 7:00 p.m.
Ashton Applewhite will discuss her new book, This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism -- a smart and stirring call to wake up to the ageism all around us, embrace a more positive and accurate view of what life holds in store, and mobilize against the forces that frame aging as decline.  Lively, funny, and deeply researched, This Chair Rocks traces Applewhite's journey from apprehensive boomer to pro-aging radical, and in the process debunks myth after myth about late life. Whether you're older or hoping to get there, this book will shake you by the shoulders, cheer you up, make you mad, and change the way you see the rest of your life.

"...Within four or five wise, passionate pages, I had found insight, illumination and inspiration. I never use the word empower, but this book has empowered me."
-- Anne Lamott, New York Times bestselling author

Ashton Applewhite has been recognized by the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism. She has written for Harper's, Playboy, the Huffington Post, and Generations, the journal of the American Society on Aging. In 2015, Ashton was included in Salt magazine's list of 100 inspiring women-along with Angelina Jolie, Germaine Greer, Arundhati Roy, and other remarkable activists-who are committed to social change.

Saturday, May 21, 10:30 a.m.
Courtney Saffie is a former preschool teacher and current dance educator in the Triangle. She is looking forward to sharing all of her favorite children's books with your children, ages 3 to 8. Courtney holds her cozy, inspired story-times every other Saturday morning at 10:30.

RIEN FERTEL (introduction by Dan Levine, 'cue from Picinc!)
Friday, May 27, 7:00 p.m.
Join us for books and barbecue! Historian Rien Fertel will be at the bookshop to discuss his new book, The One True Barbecue: Fire, Smoke, and the Pitmasters Who Cook the Whole Hog. In the spirit of the oral historians who tracked down and told the stories of America's original bluesmen, this is a journey into the southern heartland (the Pork Belt) to discover the last of the great roadside whole hog pitmasters who hold onto the heritage and the secrets of America's traditional barbecue. Fertel finds the gatekeepers of real southern barbecue to tell their stories and pays homage to the diversity and beauty of this culinary tradition.

Fertel will be introduced by Dan Levine, co-founder (with John Shelton Reed) of The Campaign for Real Barbecue. There will be some true 'cue courtesy of Picnic Durham and some beer to wash it down with!

Rien Fertel is a Louisiana-born and based writer, historian, and teacher.  His work has appeared in Oxford American, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Spirit, Saveur, The Local Palate, and many other publications. He holds a PhD in History and teaches in New Orleans.

Monday, May 30 at 6:30 p.m. (please note the time)
As an alternative to the usual parades and Memorial Day celebrations, the local Eisenhower Chapter of Veterans For Peace (VFP) will offer an evening of reflection in poetry, prose, and song. Local U.S. veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other conflicts will be among the presenters. Founded in 1985 by U.S. military veterans, VFP is a national non-profit organization that works to "heal the wounds of war, expose the true costs of war, and build a culture of peace." This event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, June 2, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
Authors Bronwen Dickey (The Pit Bull: Battle over an American Icon) and John Lane (Coyote Settles in the South) join us to discuss the role of their respective breeds in the American landscape.

When Bronwen Dickey brought her new dog home, she saw no traces of the infamous viciousness in her affectionate, timid pit bull. Which made her wonder: How had the breed-beloved by Teddy Roosevelt, Helen Keller, and Hollywood's "Little Rascals"-come to be known as a brutal fighter? Her search for answers takes her from 19th-century New York City dog fighting pits- to early  20th century movie sets; from the battlefields of Gettysburg and the Marne, to desolate urban neighborhoods where the dogs were loved, prized-and sometimes brutalized. With unfailing thoughtfulness, compassion, and a firm grasp of scientific fact, Dickey offers us a clear-eyed portrait of this extraordinary breed, and an insightful view of Americans' relationship with their dogs.

Coyote Settles the South is the story of John Lane's journey through the Southeast, as he visits coyote territories: swamps, nature preserves, old farm fields, suburbs, a tannery, and even city streets. Along the way, he meets, interrogates, and observes those who interact with the animals-trappers, wildlife researchers, hunters, rattled pet owners, and even one devoted coyote hugger -- and encounters sensible, yet sometimes perplexing, insight concerning the migration into the Southeast of the American coyote, an animal that, in the end, surprises him with its intelligence, resilience, and amazing adaptability.

Bronwen Dickey is an essayist and journalist who writes regularly for the Oxford American. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Slate, The Best American Travel Writing 2009, Newsweek, and Outside, among other publications. She lives in Durham.

John Lane is a professor of English and environmental studies at Wofford College. His books include Waist Deep in Black Water, Chattooga: Descending into the Myth of Deliverance River, Circling Home, and My Paddle to the Sea (all Georgia). He has published several volumes of poetry, essays, and a novel, as well as a selection of his online columns, The Best of the Kudzu Telegraph.
Literary Links
His Brief Candle Burns On: 25 Authors on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death

Shop Independent Durham
Tom Campbell
Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC 27705
(919) 286-2700

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