Literary Notes: Christensen Guest on 'Bookwatch'
How can a state be represented by Jesse Helms and John Edwards at the same time?
In his book, "The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics," journalist Rob Christensen answers that question and navigates a century of political history in North Carolina, one of the most vibrant and competitive Southern states, where neither conservatives nor liberals, Democrats nor Republicans, have been able to rest easy.
In an all-new episode of UNC-TV's local literary series North Carolina Bookwatch with D.G. Martin, premiering Friday, July 18, at 9:30 p.m., The News & Observer of Raleigh political reporter shares this new book and explores this eclectic political climate that the author argues enabled North Carolina to rise from poverty in the 19th century to become a leader in research, education, and banking in the 20th.
Although party divisions and the issues of race that often distinguish them are deeply rooted, Christensen explains, North Carolina voters remain loyal to candidates who focus on issues such as education and building a business-friendly infrastructure. With Christensen as a guide, readers may find there is sense after all in the topsy-turvy nature of Tar Heel politics.
"I had been thinking about a book I wanted to readsomething that would tie everything together," says Christensen. "Politics in North Carolina was like stepping back in history, and I saw all these little threads and I wanted to put it all togetherand answer some real questions about several political paradoxes."
In answering these questions, Christensen takes us to picket lines and debates and through numerous red-baiting and race-baiting political campaigns. Along the way we are introduced to many remarkable characters, including a U.S. senator who was a Nazi sympathizer, a candidate for governor who was a Soviet agent, a senator who helped bring down Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon, and a TV commentator who helped usher in the Reagan Revolution.
Rob Christensen has covered North Carolina politics for 34 years at the newspaper.
An encore episode will air at 5 p.m. Sunday, July 20.
For additional information about series guests and airdates, plus links to the Bookwatch blog and online book club, visit www.unctv.org/ncbookwatch.
County Reading Program
The Moore County Library invites all children up to age 12 to come in and "catch the reading bug" as part of its summer reading program this year.
Sign-up for the reading program is already under way at all branches (Aberdeen, Carthage, Pinebluff, Robbins and Vass) and on the bookmobile. Children are asked to complete a reading sheet and tell about the books they read. They earn a prize for each sheet turned in.
Parents are encouraged to read to younger participants as well, and can turn in reading sheets for each book read to their child.
The libraries will also be having free programs in July and early August involving music, magic and, of course, plenty of bugs. Special prizes will be awarded at the final program on Aug. 6 at the Agricultural Center in Carthage.
- "Bug Show and Tell," presented by Weymouth Woods -- Wednesday, July 16, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Carthage, and 3 to 4 p.m., Robbins, and Thursday, July 17, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Vass, and 3 to 4 p.m. Pinebluff.
- "Catch the Bluegrass Bug," with Charles Pettee -- Wednesday, July 23, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Carthage, and 3 to 4 p.m., Robbins; Thursday, July 24, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Vass, and 3 to 4 p.m., Pinebluff.
-n "Bugs" -- Wednesday, July 30, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Carthage, and 3 to 4 p.m., Robbins.
- "Bug Catchers," presented by the N.C. Zoo -- Thursday, July 31, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Vass, and from 3 to 4 p.m., Pinebluff.
"Captain Jim Is Magic" -- awards luncheon, 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6, at Moore County Ag Center, Carthage.
Call 947-5335 for further information.
Trustees Meeting Set
The Sandhill Regional Library System Board of Trustees will hold its regular quarterly meeting Thursday, July 17, at the Blair House in Troy. Luncheon is at 1 p.m, and the meeting follows at 2 p.m.
The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) announces the winners of the 2008 SIBA Book Award, celebrating the best of Southern literature, as chosen by independent booksellers throughout the South.
- Fiction -- "Garden Spells," by Asheville resident, Sarah Addison Allen
- Poetry -- "The House On Boulevard Street," by David Kirby
- Cookbook -- "A Love Affair with Southern Cooking," by Raleigh resident, Jean Anderson
- Nonfiction -- "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," by Barbara Kingsolver
- Children's -- "Deep in the Swamp," by Donna Bateman
Each year, hundreds of booksellers across the South vote on their favorite hand-sell books of the year. These are the Southern books they have most enjoyed selling to customers; the ones that they couldn't stop talking about; the ones most often pushed into a customer's hands with the words, "You have got to read this!"
The SIBA Book Award was created to recognize great books of Southern origin, as determined by people whose business it is to know great books -- the independent booksellers of the South.
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