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
  • Making friends with our presidents

    December 15, 2015 at 1:01 am

    The president of the United States today sends troops to fight in distant lands for long periods, enters into binding agreements with foreign powers, and takes other extraordinary actions, all without prior approval from Congress. Presidential candidates promise to reverse their predecessors’ agreements on the first day they take office. And they confidently promise to […]

  • What book for the perfect gift this season?

    December 8, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Have you seen the TV ad with George Foreman? “People ask me all the time, George, how do I get my idea in front of companies?” Well, this time of year people ask me all the time, “DG, what is a good book for me to give this Christmas?” I don’t have one perfect answer. […]

  • Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Chapel Hill in the Bush 41 Biography

    December 1, 2015 at 1:28 am

    “Were you surprised that so much of the public attention to your book has been focused on President George H.W. Bush’s unflattering comments about the roles of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney in the administration of his son, President George W. Bush?” I asked this question to Jon Meacham, author […]

  • Our holiday longing for home

    November 24, 2015 at 1:32 am

    “There is something about the holidays,” says Chapel Hill minister Bob Dunham, “that stirs memories and longing for home. “Even if they are better in memory than they were in reality.” He explained that student homesickness is not just about freshmen. Longing for home affects everybody. There is an aching for family now separated and […]

  • Thanksgiving and Happiness

    November 21, 2015 at 5:50 am

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Why? One reason is that it is one of the very few days we have saved just for families and friends. We have done a better job of keeping the Thanksgiving holiday from getting away from us. It has not yet taken charge of our lives. No dressing up with […]

  • Celebrating connections to winners of the North Carolina Awards

    November 17, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Finally, something to brag about, I thought as I made my way to the annual dinner for the presentation of this year’s North Carolina Awards. These awards recognize contributions in the fields of fine art, literature, public service and science. I am always amazed to learn about the accomplishments and contributions of the award winners each […]

  • An important author’s struggles can help his readers

    November 10, 2015 at 4:25 am

    You can’t go home again. This is what Thomas Wolfe learned after his thinly disguised autobiographical novel cast some of his family and neighbors in Asheville in unflattering roles. It is always dangerous for a successful writer to base fictional characters on real family or neighbors. Like most of us, these people cannot be expected […]

  • Pushing Spellings into the pantheon, not the trash bin

    November 4, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Let’s help her all we can. That is what I am telling my friends in the university community when they express displeasure at the selection of Margaret Spellings as their new president, or when they complain about the UNC Board of Governors’ presidential selection process and some of its other recent actions. First of all […]

  • Who said this about whom?

    October 27, 2015 at 1:50 am

    The candidate “has the knack of doing things and doing them noisily, clamorously; while he is in the neighborhood the public can no more look the other way than the small boy can turn his head away from a circus parade followed by a steam calliope.” Can you guess who was the target of this […]

  • Good for Nicholas Sparks, good for North Carolina

    October 20, 2015 at 12:00 am

    “My books are all different,” Nicholas Sparks, the No. 1 New York Times best selling author who lives in New Bern, told a group of 500 fans at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Alumni Center last week. Except, he says, for two things. One is that there will always be a couple in love. The other is that […]