Ten new topics for Martin’s ‘Bookwatch’
Last spring I introduced the first 10 programs in UNC-TV’s current ‘“North Carolina Bookwatch’” season. Those programs have aired. So, will you give me a minute to tell you about the North Carolina books and authors the program will feature during the next few months on Sundays at 5 p.m.?
The second half of the season features six novels. All but one are set in North Carolina. These books teach us about our state while they entertain us. For instance, last week’s program featured Bill Morris’ Saltwater Cowboys, a murder mystery set on our coast, amid conflicts among the fishermen, shrimpers, environmentalists, developers and other folks who live and work on or near the water.
The Pleasure Was Mine is set in the Carolina mountains and foothills. It follows a family’s struggle to deal with an Alzheimer’s-afflicted loved one. The author, Asheville’s Tommy Hays, based this novel on his own family’s experience. (Oct. 2)
Greensboro author Michael Parker sets his latest novel in eastern North Carolina where he grew up. If You Want Me to Stay is a gripping and poignant story about two little boys running away from home, a home his mother and older sister have already abandoned. His father is a good father, except when his mental illness steps in. Then he can be deadly. More than a story, this book is a journey to our coast, fishing piers, and tourists’ seafood restaurants, and to disappearing small towns 35-50 miles inland. (Oct.r 23)
In 1991, a fire in a chicken-packing factory in Hamlet took the lives of 25 or more workers and tore open the soul of that community. Have you ever wished that you could really know what that tragic event did to the families involved? Maybe we can. Lawrence Naumoff, author of A Southern Tragedy, in Crimson and Yellow tells the story of the fire through the eyes of the participants. This novel is so close to truth that it has been called ‘“docufiction.’” (Oct. 30)
We have a great new author whom some are already comparing to Carson McCullers and Flannery O’Connor. Martha Witt writes about her hometown, Hillsborough, in her first novel, Broken as Things Are. It is the story of a North Carolina family that is dysfunctional in touching and sometimes very amusing ways. (Nov. 6)
What would you do if you caught your fiancÃ© making time with your maid of honor at your rehearsal party the night before your wedding? We can find out what one woman did from the author of Hissy Fit, Mary Kay Andrews. Although the story is set in small-town Georgia, you could change a few names and it would sound just like North Carolina. (Oct. 9)
The upcoming ‘“Bookwatch’” series features a variety of non-fiction books. Chapel Hill’s Amy Tiemann’s new book, Mojo Mom: Nurturing Yourself While Raising a Family shows the way for young career women to deal with motherhood successfully. Tiemann urges them to be ‘“Mojo Moms,’” facing up to the challenge positively, happily and openly. (aired Sept. 18)
In Robert F. Irwin 40 Years, North Carolina artist Robert Irwin’s written account of his life and work is vibrantly illustrated by selections from his artwork over a 40-year period. (Sunday, Sept. 25)
The great songwriter and musician, Loonis McGlohon, grew up in eastern North Carolina’s Pitt County and spent most of his career in Charlotte. But musicians around the world claimed him as colleague and friend. In Loonis: Celebrating a Lyrical Life. Jerry Shinn, formerly an editor at the Charlotte Observer, tells the life story of this true North Carolinian. (Oct. 16)
UNC-Chapel Hill professor Gerhard Weinberg’s Visions of Victory: The Hopes of Eight Word War II Leaders looks into the minds of Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo to find what they would have done if they had won the war. Weinberg also looks at the victory plans of Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, de Gaulle, and Chiang Kai shek. (Nov.13)
What a great variety of talented authors live in North Carolina! I hope you will take time on Sundays at 5 p.m. to get to know some of them.