Good books you won’t see on Bookwatch
Here are some important new books you will not learn about on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch.
Before I explain, let me tell you a little bit about the books.
Popular novelist Clyde Edgerton’s “Papadaddy’s Book for New Fathers: Advice to Dads of All Ages” is based on what he has learned as the older father of three young children. He will be 69 on May 20.
Edgerton embraces the opportunities young children present to an older parent and laughs at the multiple challenges. After all, those extra years of writing, teaching, and living have taught him some things that young parents might not know.
He has learned to laugh at himself. You can see his smile when you read about how he recommends installing the car’s child’s seat weeks before the baby comes because, he says, it took him weeks to learn how to accomplish that task.
Just as Edgerton’s wonderful novels give us a record of our changing region and its peoples, so does Charlotte Observer retired chief photographer Don Sturkey in “This Old Wheel Will Roll Around Again: A Pictorial History of the South, 1950-1990.” Sturkey fills his book with more then 200 photos of mill workers, tenant farmers, civil rights protesters, Ku Klux Klan rallies, Vietnam protesters, and famous people, interspersed with lovely and provocative pictures of ordinary life in our region.
The book opens with an essay by Frye Gaillard about our state’s progress on racial matters. It is illustrated by Sturkey’s classic photograph of 15-year-old Dorothy Counts making her way through an angry white mob to integrate a Charlotte high school in September 1957.
Gaillard praises school board member Ward McKeithen, who explained, according to Gaillard, “People could support the public schools or see them destroyed, and for many Charlotteans the decision was obvious, even if it was hard. They would do what they could to make the best of the change.”
In “The Seventh Angel,” Ward McKeithen’s son, Alex, chronicles his experience as a Davidson College student on his junior year abroad when what he calls “the happiest time of my life” exploded into a full-blown manic episode in Paris. Thinking he was the Seventh Angel described in Revelation, he ran nude through Paris warning that the last day had arrived. Arrested and confined in mental institutions, his account of his painful recovery and return to a productive life is griping and inspirational.
Similarly, in “Cobalt Blue,” Peggy Payne's fictional character, a 38-year-old Pinehurst artist, is consumed by uncontrollable sexual arousal and activity, a condition that may be explained by a feature of a brand of Asian yoga known as “kundalini rising.”
The book’s vivid descriptions led Peggy Payne's husband to warn that his wife’s new book is “not for the faint hearted.”
Tom Earnhardt, also a product of Davidson College, is host of the popular UNC-TV program “Exploring North Carolina.”
His new book, “Crossroads of the Natural World: Exploring North Carolina with Tom Earnhardt,” has been called a “love letter to the wild places and natural wonders of North Carolina.”
Earnhardt takes his readers across our state, explaining its rich diversity and illustrating it with striking photographs.
Danny Bernstein, takes us across North Carolina in a different way in her new book, “The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina: Walking a Thousand Miles through Wildness, Culture and History.”
Although the trail is a work in progress, Bernstein persuaded this reader that the sites and experiences along the way make the long journey well worthwhile.
You will not see these authors on North Carolina Bookwatch, which in July begins repeats from the current season. Meanwhile, North Carolina Now, UNC-TV’s weekday news program, will feature timely interviews about these and other new North Carolina books.
D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs Sundays at noon and Thursdays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV. For more information or to view prior programs visit the webpage at www.unctv.org/ncbookwatch