- D.G. Martin Searching for the real Black Beard and the real Jesus
What does North Carolina coastal historian Kevin Dufuss have in common with New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman? If you asked them, each might tell you he is a truth seeker about a man whose life is shrouded in myth. In his book, “The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate,” Dufuss challenges some fundamental beliefs […]Read More
- D.G. Martin How the ordinary becomes the extraordinary in Susan Woodring’s 'Goliath'
Susan Woodring’s new book, “Goliath,” establishes her place as one of North Carolina’s finest young writers. She will talk about “Goliath” on North Carolina Bookwatch this weekend (Friday at 9:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m.) Goliath is the name of a small, seemingly ordinary, one-factory North Carolina furniture town, which Woodring begins to describe […]Read More
- D.G. Martin Make room at the top of your book pile!
The summer is fast coming to an end. And I bet there is a stack of books by your bed or somewhere in your house, ones that you meant to read this summer. But there were just too many other things you had to do. Watch out! Here comes another batch of new North Carolina […]Read More
- D.G. Martin Wiley Cash's "A Land More Kind than Home" on North Carolina Bookwatch
What is it about Madison County this year? At least three important North Carolina novels this year are set in that mountain county, which lies along the Tennessee line. Why all this literary attention to this isolated county, that is mostly known as the home of Mars Hill College, the site of the Civil War […]Read More
- D.G. Martin This dad can finally brag about his son
Maybe you did not notice. Last week the governor signed House Bill 799 (HR 799), a bill that makes it easier for military spouses to get the certification they need to work in North Carolina if they have been licensed for their occupation in another state. For service men and women who have been trained […]Read More
- D.G. Martin What makes Miss Julia tick??
Is popular North Carolina author Ann B. Ross the model for Miss Julia, “the main character in Ross’s popular series? Tune in to UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch to find out. It airs at 5:00 this Sunday afternoon. I will give you a big hint. Ross says that she is definitely not Miss Julia. But Miss […]Read More
- D.G. Martin Where is church? Looking for an answer.
“Where is Church?” is the provocative title of a provocative new book by a former Presbyterian minister, former board chair and interim CEO of Habitat for Humanity, and former top level leader of the John Crosland and Centex real estate development and construction businesses. The author, Paul Leonard, is my longtime friend. I have admired […]Read More
- D.G. Martin The Cézanne-like genius of Ben Fountain
Before you watch acclaimed author, North Carolina native Ben Fountain, on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch this weekend (Friday at 9:30 p.m. or Sunday at 5 p.m.), you should read Malcolm Gladwell’s 2008 New Yorker article titled “Late Bloomers: Why do we equate genius with precocity?” Have you already tossed that old magazine? Not to worry. […]Read More
- D.G. Martin Separated by slavery, longing to reunite
“Babies was snatched from their mothers’ breasts and sold to speculators. Children was separated from sisters and brothers and never saw each other again. Course they cry; you think they not cry when they was sold like cattle? I could tell you about it all day, but even then you couldn’t guess the awfulness of […]Read More
- D.G. Martin A character from Margaret Maron's past plays a new role
Who is Sigrid Harald? She is Margaret Maron’s lead character in a popular series of mystery novels. “Wait a minute!” you are shouting. “I know Margaret Maron, and the lead character in her novels is Judge Deborah Knott, a good old North Carolina country girl from a rural county east of Raleigh, the daughter of […]Read More
- D.G. Martin Carolina in my mind in Nantucket
“Carolina in My Mind.” It was the closing hymn at my niece’s wedding a few days ago. Just before the benediction, an a capella group stood up in the rear of the church and sang: “In my mind I’m goin’ to Carolina. Can’t you see the sunshine? Can’t you just feel the moonshine…” “What is […]Read More
- D.G. Martin A voice like Sheriff Andy
Who is going to take the place of Andy Griffith as North Carolina’s modest, aw’shucks, good-old-boy, mountain-accented celebrity? My nominee: Ron Rash. Maybe you don’t know about him yet. But this time next year, when the movie based on his best-selling novel “Serena” is playing in theaters across the country, you will be beaming with […]Read More
- D.G. Martin Who was that candidate who went to the wrong Rockingham?
A few years ago I wrote a column about a mythic U.S. Senate candidate who showed up in the city of Rockingham, instead of Rockingham County where he was supposed to be campaigning. Lots of people have asked me, “Who was that candidate?” Well, I am now prepared to tell you who it was…but only […]Read More
- D.G. Martin Seven new books every North Carolinian should know about
There is no way to read them all. No, and we cannot even know about all of the more than 1,000 books about our state or by authors with North Carolina connections. But every year there are a few books that, for one reason or another, are so important or interesting that we should know […]Read More
- D.G. Martin Clyde Edgerton: Translating memories into fiction
Is he just writing about himself? The many fans of Wilmington-based author Clyde Edgerton often ask this question when they are reading his books a they come to parts that are just too real to be made up. As Edgerton explains on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch Sunday afternoon at 5:00 p.m., his latest book, “Night […]Read More
- D.G. Martin How to save a mountain
There were lots of reasons some people in Avery County wanted to stop a rock mining operation on the beautiful Belview mountainside. *Tracy and her Aunt Ollie, because preliminary blasting operations had cracked the foundation of their house. *Faye Williams, whose home adjoined the mine site, because of the unbearable noise and dust; and *Jay […]Read More
- D.G. Martin How To Write A Best-Selling Book: An Expert's Advice
How would you like for Nicholas Sparks to teach you how to write a best-selling book? The author of New York Times #1 bestselling books will tell us how it is done on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch this (Sunday) afternoon at 5:00 p.m. Sparks says that he does not start writing until he has a […]Read More
- D.G. Martin Back In Time, Jill McCorkle's Timelessness
About Jill McCorkle’s upcoming new novel, Lee Smith says it is McCorkle’s “best ever.” Wow! This news will stir up the enthusiastic fans that McCorkle earned with her novels (“The Cheer Leader,” “July 7th,” “Tending to Virginia,” “Ferris Beach,” “Carolina Moon” and “Tending to Virginia”) and collections of short stories (Final Vinyl Days,” “Creatures of […]Read More
- D.G. Martin Who’s cleaning up for the convention company coming?
“Working with a bunch of orthopedic surgeons.” This was Dr. Dan Murrey’s answer to my question about why he thought he could handle a task that seems so unmanageable. Murrey is the executive director of Charlotte’s host committee for the National Democratic National Convention in early September. He manages an effort to raise $36 million, […]Read More
- D.G. Martin Phillip Manning and Andrea Reusing on Wednesday's Bookwatch
Good news for book fans! Two authors, Phillip Manning and Andrea Reusing, will be featured this week on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch. Manning and Reusing will appear Wednesday, June 6, on UNC-TV’s MX channel, which is available on Time-Warner Cable digital channels #172 or 4.4. Phillip Manning’s “Islands of Hope: Lessons from North America’s Great […]Read More