When I write aboutmy boyfriend in this paper, I usually resort to gentle teasing. MostlyI do this because I don’t want to slather any sap on this paper. Nottoday. Today I am going to be sweet – sap be damned. Having aboyfriend with his own bookstore has its benefits. Okay, one benefit.Free books. Like the copy of The Gang That Wouldn’t Write Straight,Marc Weingarten’s survey of new journalism, that Mark brought home forme a few weeks ago. He’s so considerate. That book was my firstgood read of the summer and one that has inspired me to step up mygame, journalistically speaking. Next up is Michael Herr’s Dispatches,a first-hand account of the Vietnam War that gets loads of praise inWeingarten’s book. What about you? What are you reading thissummer? John F. Saunders is the latest in a long list of local authorsgoing public with new work – The Last Spartan, in this case – a crimethriller featuring the Southern equivalent of Hell’s Angels. He readsat the Greensboro Barnes & Noble at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Notyour style? Tony Craig, author of Country Stores in North Carolina, isat the Bob Timberlake Furniture Gallery in Lexington on Saturday. Relaxin a wing chair and absorb the illustrator’s take on community grocers. Here’san idea: Use the summer to get a jump on writing your own novel.Register for the NC Writers’ Network Summer Residency at QueensUniversity in Charlotte. The program runs from July 25-27 and thedeadline for registration is July 9. You do not need to be a member ofthe network to register and scholarships are available. For moreinformation visit ncwriters.org. Bloody Blackbeard (see story), written by Preston Lane with music by Laurelyn Dossett, opens Thursday at Triad Stage. EnchantedSleeping Beauty: The Legend of Briar Rose, a presentation of GreensboroChildren’s Theatre, runs this weekend at Weaver Academy. Tickets areonly $7. The Diggs Gallery at Winston-Salem State Universitypresents an exhibition of works by abstractionist Herbert Gentry thatwill bring more than 50 of the artist’s pieces to campus. The exhibit,The Man, The Master, The Magic, is free and open to the public. Infact, if you come on Friday night, they’ll even feed you. The show runsthrough mid-October. The food runs from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Sharp.