Bookin'

Bookin'

New & Upcoming Books from North Carolina Authors

Posted November 3, 2021 4:30 p.m. EDT
Updated November 3, 2021 4:34 p.m. EDT

The Sum of Trifles

The Sum of Trifles by Julia Ridley Smith
A whimsical memento mori, Julia Ridley Smith's essay collection The Sum of Trifles sifts through the stuff of an inheritance in search of peace. When Smith's parents died, they left behind a home full of antiques, trinkets, and photographs--an overwhelming amount of materials to sort through. She delayed; she shifted pieces around. But eventually she got down to the work of deciding what to keep, donate, and sell. These essays form around objects and oddities, each of which Smith addresses in the greater context of her family stories, Southern history, and literary parallels.

Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World's Most Contested City by Andrew Lawler
In 1863, a French senator arrived in Jerusalem hoping to unearth relics dating to biblical times. Digging deep underground, he discovered an ancient grave that, he claimed, belonged to an Old Testament queen. News of his find ricocheted around the world, evoking awe and envy alike, and inspiring others to explore Jerusalem’s storied past. Under Jerusalem takes readers into the tombs, tunnels, and trenches of the Holy City. It brings to life the indelible characters who have investigated this subterranean landscape. With clarity and verve, acclaimed journalist Andrew Lawler reveals how their pursuit has not only defined the conflict over modern Jerusalem, but could provide a map for two peoples and three faiths to peacefully coexist.

Doctors and Friends

Doctors and Friends by Kimmery Martin
Hannah, Compton, and Kira have been close friends since medical school, reuniting once a year for a much-needed vacation. Just as they gather to travel in Spain, an outbreak of a fast-spreading virus throws the world into chaos. When Compton returns to her job as an ER doctor in New York City, she finds a city changed beyond recognition—and a personal loss so gutting it reshapes every aspect of her life. Hannah's career as an ob-gyn in San Diego is fulfilling but she’s always longed for a child of her own. After years of trying, Hannah discovers she's expecting a baby just as the disease engulfs her city. Kira, an infectious disease doctor at the CDC in Atlanta, finds herself at the center of the American response to the terrifying new illness. Her professional battle turns personal when she must decide whether her children will receive an experimental but potentially life-saving treatment. Written prior to Covid-19 by a former emergency medicine physician, Doctors and Friends incorporates unexpected wit, razor-edged poignancy, and a deeply relatable cast of characters who provoke both laughter and tears.

Celia, A Slave by Melton A. McLaurin
Originally published in 1991, Celia, a Slave illuminates the moral dilemmas that lie at the heart of a slaveholding society by telling the story of a young slave who was sexually exploited by her enslaver and ultimately executed for his murder. Melton A. McLaurin uses Celia's story to reveal the tensions that strained the fabric of antebellum southern society by focusing on the role of gender and the manner in which the legal system was used to justify slavery. An important addition to our understanding of the pre-Civil War era, Celia, a Slave is also an intensely compelling narrative of one woman pushed beyond the limits of her endurance by a system that denied her humanity at the most basic level.

A Natural History of the Future

Natural History of the Future: What the Laws of Biology Tell Us about the Destiny of the Human Species by Rob Dunn
Our species has amassed unprecedented knowledge of nature, which we have tried to use to seize control of life and bend the planet to our will. In A Natural History of the Future, biologist Rob Dunn argues that such efforts are futile. We may see ourselves as life’s overlords, but we are instead at its mercy. In the evolution of antibiotic resistance, the power of natural selection to create biodiversity, and even the surprising life of the London Underground, Dunn finds laws of life that no human activity can annul. When we create artificial islands of crops, dump toxic waste, or build communities, we provide new materials for old laws to shape. Life’s future flourishing is not in question. Ours is.

Myths of the Civil War : The Fact, Fiction, and Science behind the Civil War’s Most-Told Stories by Scott Hippensteel
Here is a book that tackles the long-cherished myths of Civil War history—and ultimately shatters them, based on physics and mathematics. At what range was a Civil War sniper lethal? Did bullets ever "rain like hail"? Could one ever step across a battlefield by stepping only on bodies and never hard ground? How effective were Civil War muskets and rifles? How accurate are photographs and paintings? In this genre-bending work of history, Scott Hippensteel puts the tropes of Civil War history under the microscope and says, "Wait a minute". Combining science and history, Hippensteel reexamines much that we hold dear about the Civil War and convincingly argues that memoirs and histories have gotten it wrong. This is a work of history and science for our era of "fake news"--and for well beyond. Readers will never look at the Civil War the same way again.

The Last Shadow

The Last Shadow (Other Tales from the Ender Universe) by Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card's The Last Shadow is the long-awaited conclusion to both the original Ender series and the Ender's Shadow series, as the children of Ender and Bean solve the great problem of the Ender Universe—the deadly virus they call the descolada, which is incurable and will kill all of humanity if it is allowed to escape from Lusitania.
One planet.
Three sapient species living peacefully together.
And one deadly virus that could wipe out every world in the Starways Congress, killing billions.
Is the only answer another great Xenocide?

The Vote Collectors: The True Story of the Scamsters, Politicians, and Preachers Behind the Nation's Greatest Electoral Fraud by Michael Graff & Nick Ochsner
In November 2018, Baptist preacher Mark Harris beat the odds, narrowly fending off a blue wave in the sprawling Ninth District of North Carolina. But word soon got around that something fishy was going on in Bladen County. At the center of the mess was a local political operative named McCrae Dowless. Dowless had learned the ins and outs of the absentee ballot system from Democrats before switching over to the Republican Party. Bladen County's vote-collecting cottage industry made national headlines, led to multiple election fraud indictments, toppled North Carolina GOP leadership, and left hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians without congressional representation for nearly a year. In The Vote Collectors, Michael Graff and Nick Ochsner tell the story of Bladen County, exposing the shocking vulnerability of local elections and explaining why our present systems are powerless to monitor and prevent fraud. In their hands, this tale of rural corruption becomes a fascinating narrative of the long clash of racism and electioneering—and a larger story about the challenges to democracy in the rural South.

Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook

The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook by Tiffany Dahle
Whether you’re unboxing a brand-new bread machine or pulling a well-worn model from the cupboards, Tiffany Dahle’s flavor-packed recipes will get you more excited to bake bread than you thought possible. With this beautifully photographed modern guide, enjoy everything from bakery-style loaves to breads featuring unique fruity fillings, savory mix-ins and streusel swirls. Get creative with your machine's unique features to effortlessly whip up gorgeous buns, cinnamon rolls, focaccia or pretzels. With just a handful of ingredients and the press of a button, you can make delicious, freshly baked bread a daily occurrence, no matter how hectic your schedule is.

On Holy Ground: Plays from the National Black Theatre Festival
This new collection brings together plays and monologues from the National Black Theatre Festival, the premier biennial gathering of Black theatre companies and artists from around the country, featuring an extraordinary array of performances, workshops, films, spoken word poetry, and more. This volume includes three full-length plays produced at the festival—Looking for Leroy by Larry Muhammad, Berta, Berta by Angelica Cheri, and Maid's Door by Cheryl Davis—as well as 15 monologues selected from plays performed at the festival. This collection will also feature texts from notable figures who have spoken at the festival, including Maya Angelou. These works showcase the phenomenal artistic talent on display at the festival, celebrating the legacy of this remarkable convening that strives to ensure a vibrant future for Black theatre in America.

Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships

Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz
For the last year, yacht stewardess Jo Walker has been attempting to complete a bucket list of thirty things she wants to accomplish by her thirtieth birthday. Jo has almost everything she's ever wanted, including a condo on the beach (though she's the youngest resident by several decades) and an exciting job (albeit below deck) that lets her travel the world. Jo is on track until the death of her nephew turns her life upside down, and the list falls by the wayside. But when her two nieces show up unannounced with plans to stay the summer, they discover her list and insist on helping Jo finish it. Though the remaining eight items (which include running a marathon, visiting ten countries, and sleeping in a castle) seem impossible to complete in twelve weeks, Jo takes on the challenge. When she summons the courage to complete item number five--kiss a stranger--and meets Alex Hayes, all bets are off. As her feelings for Alex intensify and Jo's inability to confront difficult emotions about her family complicates her relationships, she must learn to quit playing it safe with her heart before she loses what matters most.

Elemental Witchcraft: A Guide to Living a Magickal Life Through the Elements by Heron Michelle
Elemental Witchcraft shares a wholly unique esoteric approach to developing partnerships with elemental allies and deities and ultimately merging with the Divine Mind. Author Heron Michelle provides dozens of rituals, meditations, spells, and journal reflections as you explore the principles of Hermeticism and the magick of the four classical elements--earth, air, fire, and water. On this journey, you will discover how the chakras and the magickal pentacle correspond to the five bodies: mental, emotional, will, physical, and spiritual. You will also explore how the astrological cycles and the wheel of the year relate to the elements and the witch's tools as well as to the paths of power, truth, sovereignty, and completion. Opening the elemental gateways and developing relationship with the goddesses and gods can be profoundly transformative work—this book guides you through this subtle path as you learn to balance the magickal elements and construct your own astral temples at the crossroads of the Self.

The Midnight Lock

The Midnight Lock by Jeffrey Deaver
A woman awakes in the morning to find that someone has picked her apartment’s supposedly impregnable door lock and rearranged personal items, even sitting beside her while she slept. The intrusion, the police learn, is a message to the entire city of carnage to come. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are brought in to investigate and soon learn that the sociopathic intruder, who calls himself "the Locksmith,” can break through any lock or security system ever devised. With more victims on the horizon, Rhyme, Sachs and their stable of associates must follow the evidence to the man’s lair… and discover his true mission. Their hunt is interrupted when an internal investigation in the police force uncovers what seems to be a crucial mistake in one of Rhyme's previous cases. He’s fired as a consultant for the NYPD and must risk jail if he investigates the Locksmith case in secret.

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About this Blog:

Quail Ridge Books and WRAL.com present "Bookin' with Quail Ridge Books", featuring all of the best book news, reviews, author interviews, reading lists and literary event coverage from the Triangle and beyond. A new episode of the Bookin' podcast, featuring interviews with local, national and international bestselling and prize-winning authors, is released every Monday morning.