After the recent final weekend of the holidays, North Carolina booksellers seem to be MORE than rested up for the new year. A glance at the schedule over the next few days shows some big events lined up. First, bestselling author Steve Berry makes a couple of stops in the area with his latest book, The Paris Vendetta, which got a rave review in the Huffington Post last month: “Steve Berry gets better and better with each new book,” wrote critic Jackie K. Cooper, “and The Paris Vendetta continues along that positive trajectory. He has created a story that holds your interest and challenges your mind.” Berry visits the Barnes & Noble in Greenville on Thursday evening, January 7, and then comes to Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh on Tuesday, January 12.
A couple of events of local interest (and more than local interest) also take place this coming weekend: Sam Stephenson, a writer and instructor at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, will discuss his latest book, The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue, 1957-1965, at McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village on Saturday morning, January 9. The book offers the fruits of seven years Stephenson has devoted to cataloguing and archiving Smith’s photographs and recordings of jazz legends including Roy Haynes, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Roland Kirk, Alice Coltrane, Don Cherry, and Paul Bley. Check out this great profile of Stephenson and the book at New York Magazine.
On Sunday, Quail Ridge Books celebrates a trio of North Carolina poets: Terri Erickson, author of Telling Tales of Dusk; Linda Ferguson, author of Dirt Sandwich; and Eric Weil, author of Returning from Mars. That event takes place Sunday afternoon, January 10.
Then next Wednesday, January 13, brings a trio of heavy-hitters:
- Neil Sheehan, winner of the Pulitzer Prize two decades ago for A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam, offers up A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon (reviewed here, favorably, by the Washington Post); he’ll be at McIntyre’s Books at 4 p.m.
- Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle, melds fiction and memoir in her latest: Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel (reviewed here by the Post, but not so favorably in this case); she’ll be at Meredith College at 7:30 p.m., in an event hosted by Quail Ridge.
- And Elizabeth Kostova, author of the bestselling debut novel The Historian, tries to avoid the sophomore slump with The Swan Thieves; she’ll be at Durham’s Regulator Bookshop on Wednesday at 7 p.m., with an additional reading at Quail Ridge Books on Thursday night.
Kostova’s appearance comes just on the heels of the novel’s official release date (Tuesday, January 12) so expect a flurry of reviews over the next week or so; I’ll update as I see them. And for a full schedule of upcoming events in the Triangle and Eastern North Carolina, visit the MetroBooks calendar here.