By D.G. Martin 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
  • Books for summer: Mountains and Military

    June 21, 2016 at 1:00 am

    If you want some more tips for good summer reading from recent books by North Carolina authors, I have four suggestions, two set in the mountains, two about our military. An obvious choice if you are planning a trip to the mountains is Randy Johnson’s book, “Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian […]

  • Voting for the devil?

    June 14, 2016 at 1:00 am

    “You would vote for the devil if he were a Democrat, wouldn’t you?” Thus begins an old story that makes fun of an old-time party-loyal, “yellow-dog” Democrat. His friend was teasing him about his unwillingness ever to stray from his party’s candidates even if they were obviously unsuited to hold public office. “Well,” the yellow-dog […]

  • Putting Trump aside; remembering Ali and Patt Derian

    June 7, 2016 at 1:00 am

    The death of Muhammad Ali last week took away Donald Trump’s monopoly of television news coverage, at least for a time. There was some irony, of course, as the “I am the greatest” clips from Ali replaced similar campaign assertions by Trump. Ali and Trump are certainly the two most unapologetic and unabashed public proclaimers […]

  • A jackass or a carpenter?

    June 1, 2016 at 1:00 am

    “Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build one.” Using a saying from UNC President Margaret Spellings’s native Texas, one attributed to Sam Rayburn, the long-time speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Tom Lambeth was beginning his tribute to Spellings’s predecessor, Tom Ross. In an evening filled with […]

  • Get to Ayden before it’s too late

    May 24, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Can a Louisiana food writer tell us something about North Carolina barbecue that we did not already know? Rien Fertel gives it a good try in his new book, “The One True Barbecue: Fire, Smoke, and the Pitmasters Who Cook the Whole Hog.” Fertel caught the “whole-hog” bug in Tennessee, where a restaurant owner and […]

  • The next big high-tech product: Why Concord?

    May 17, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Why would Alevo, a European company seeking to develop and manufacture a powerful groundbreaking battery, choose Concord, North Carolina, as the site of its operations, rather than some other place anywhere in the world? There are several answers to this question that I will share in a minute, but first some background about Alevo and […]

  • Finding our way out of a locked bathroom

    May 10, 2016 at 1:00 am

    What can we do about House Bill 2? Polls show North Carolinians divided about the new law. Answers to polling questions depend upon how the questions are asked. Most North Carolinians, even supporters of transgender rights, do not want men to barge into women’s bathrooms. And most, even those who disagree with the lifestyles of […]

  • Summer reading and lessons about campus names and renaming

    May 3, 2016 at 1:00 am

    What can Yale University teach UNC-Chapel Hill and other universities about naming and renaming college buildings and programs? What does Yale’s solution have to do with North Carolina and one of the books I recommend for early summer reading? Yale divides its undergraduates into separate colleges, where they live and eat together over four years. […]

  • Groping and hoping: Why John Hart is so good and why the latest book took so long to write

    April 27, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Can’t we just find something that we can agree upon? Thrown into a silly unnecessary bathroom dispute that has brought unwelcome international attention, good North Carolinians of all ideological, religious, and political persuasions would like to have something that brings them together. It happens on May 3 with the release of John Hart’s latest literary […]

  • Fire in Fayetteville leaves a gap in Chapel Hill

    April 19, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Why did a fire in Fayetteville cause a panic in Chapel Hill? When I got word about the April 9 fire that destroyed the Haymont Grill in Fayetteville, a little bit of me got destroyed, too. The Grill was a few blocks away from a house at 1805 Bragg Blvd., into which I and seven […]