July 6 — Things that excite me: local book stuff.
CHRISTIANSBURG — Kiera Cass dreamed of a fairy tale life when she worked at the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop in Blacksburg six years ago.
John Donoghue’s first novel is a piece of historical fiction filled with multifaceted characters that make the reader leave the book emotionally confused yet strangely psychologically clear. Set in two different times, 1940s Auschwitz and Amsterdam in 1962, Donoghue is able to paint a realistic picture of life within the extermination camp as well as life as a survivor of it.
Readers fond of the whimsical 2008 best-seller “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” will no doubt be eager to check out this new release by one of its co-authors, Annie Barrows.
Earlier this year, I wrote about the Virginia Festival of the Book and the strong showing from the Roanoke region.
The new reading room at the Villages at Lincoln community center will give kids a “jump start” on the coming school year, parent Rodney Bumbry said Tuesday.
Got a book signing, book sale, or some other book-related event going on? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 29 — When I first moved to Roanoke, I lived just off Williamson Road. I didn't have Internet in those days and often went to the library there to get online. The setup wasn't convenient; there were few places to both sit and plug in my laptop. When I visited the main library downtown, I was surprised by how vast and sophisticated it was compared to my local facility.
Joseph J. Ellis has made many scholarly contributions to the literature of the founding of the United States of America. His latest, “The Quartet,” is a group biography of the four men who imagined and implemented the American republic.
Humorist Michael Perry’s new novel, “The Jesus Cow,” despite a few missteps, is an interesting and humorous work set in the small Wisconsin town of Swivel.
People who frequent the Williamson Road Library want more space for children, more outdoor seating and more parking when construction begins on the multimillion-dollar renovation and expansion project.
It's tough to make it in the self-published world, and it's about to get harder if you publish through Amazon.
One of my colleagues enjoys American history. He reads a lot of books about the Civil War and biographies of presidents — material in which I have no interest. He has no taste for the literature I devour either: generous portions of young adult and historical stories, with a side of contemporary novels and just a sprinkling of nonfiction.
Six-year-old Rayjon Johnson is thrilled about Roanoke’s new “Books on Buses” initiative.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do for a living? Have you always lived in Stuart?
The turn of a few pages is all it took for me to fall in love with Matthew Quick’s latest homage to the subtleties of joy, “Love May Fail.” The perceptive writer of “Silver Linings Playbook” has once again illuminated the fact that, though we may not always get what we want, we almost certainly get what we need. Not since “Playbook” have I enjoyed a trip through such a madly quirky, utterly lovely world.
David McCullough’s latest exploration of American history is a story about the two brothers who solved the scientific problem of powered human flight. In “The Wright Brothers,” McCullough brings to life the taciturn, sometimes anti-social Wilbur and Orville Wright.
I am speaking, of course, of "Go Set a Watchman," the sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird" that comes out July 14.
Many have been the tales of man against nature, the struggle for survival among icy peaks in a howling wilderness — some fictitious (Jack London’s “To Build a Fire”), others far too true (“Alive”). Few if any have chronicled such an epic battle as this, the journey of a lone airman from near death to life, in the course of which might be seen a series of miracles, fortified by his indomitable will to survive.
“Disjointed” is just one word that comes to mind when describing Sarah McCoy’s newest novel, “The Mapmaker’s Children.” Set before, after and during the Civil War and present-day New Charlestown, West Virginia, this novel revolves around two women.
It’s a truth nearly universally acknowledged in women’s fiction that a single woman over the age of 25 is in search of a wedding and a husband.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do for a living? Have you always lived in Roanoke?
Back in February, I asked people if they were excited about the upcoming "50 Shades of Grey" movie. Now I'm asking — who's excited about the upcoming new book?
Lead from a Wythe County mine, salt from Saltville and the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad had “extraordinary significance” in the Civil War, according to a study by Robert C. Whisonant, geology professor emeritus at Radford University.
“This, then, is the legacy of January 1973. The ‘me generation’ found its voice, religion became a political force, poverty and civil rights became someone else’s problem, and the national will for concerted action for the common good of all its citizens was scattered into ‘a thousand points of light.’”
The next best thing to a good book is a good recipe. I love to cook and bake — and eat. As the grocery shopper and cook in my house, food is often on my mind, and I gravitate toward cookbooks as readily as any novel or nonfiction.
Suntan lotion, bathing suit, toothbrush — you've packed all you need for your summer vacation except the most important thing of all: a good book. If you're looking for something to get lost in as you while away time on the beach, at the park or just in the hammock in your own back yard, Roanoke Times staff and book reviewers have got you covered. Whether you enjoy fantasy or autobiographies, thrillers or sports, there's a book for everyone on this list.
Why is it so difficult for us as a culture to believe a woman when she says she was raped?
I assume most baseball fans, like me, know a lot more about Big Papi than Big Data. We wish to view baseball as a leisurely, pastoral game, unscripted and disconnected from time. That’s our sunshine idyll. Meanwhile, on the professional level, baseball is changing from intuitive to analytic.
Woods in fairy tales hold dangerous creatures — the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood,” the witch’s cottage in “Hansel and Gretel.”
Rail workers and rail fans often attribute human qualities to venerable locomotives like the Norfolk & Western Class J 611.
May 25 — I love it when a little book news happens.
Among the rugged, dedicated brotherhood of U.S. Army Airborne troops, the ceremony of “pinning” the silver jump wings on a newly certified parachutist has, in the past, shown a touch of blood sport.
Thanks to everyone for all the recommendations. If you were stumped by this requirement for the 2015 expand your reading challenge, I hope this list helps. The winner is Sandi Saunders — Sandi, I looked up "Death Note" and it sounds eerie, fascinating, and something I would enjoy. Fingers crossed I'll get to it before the end of the year. Please send a mailing address to email@example.com and I'll get this book out to you ASAP.
Anne Boleyn has fascinated writers for hundreds of years. Countless books and movies seek to decipher this mysterious, complex queen who divided opinion the day she caught Henry VIII's eye. Laura Andersen does not take a stance on Anne in her books set in Tudor England; in fact the queen exists only so Andersen can explore an interesting question: What if she had delivered the coveted son?
Tim McBride spent much of his life importing marijuana into the United States, and that’s the focus of this new memoir, “Saltwater Cowboy.”
A car crash that robs a man of his memory — it’s a common scenario in movies and books, but Robert Glancy spins it in delightful directions in his novel “Terms and Conditions.”
Winners get to write history, but that doesn’t mean the losers go away. They skulk on the sidelines, hoping someone will give them a voice. Good news and bad news for them: Michael Farquhar did, but not in the way they would like. His newest book, “Bad Days in History,” doesn’t excuse, explain or justify people who wound up on the losing side of various historical events, just highlights them. Lots of them, one for each day of the year.
“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” — Walter Cronkite, 1995
BLACKSBURG — Pam Puckett Frazier was about to become a work of art, and she was nervous about it.
George Sand, born Amandine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin (her father insisted she be called Aurore) in Paris in 1804, became one of the most accomplished and notorious literary figures of 19th-century France. She wrote avant-garde novels, most autobiographically based, dressed in men’s clothes, smoked cigars, and took as lovers many of the most important artists of the period, including the famous actress Marie Dorval and the composer Frederic Chopin. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, one of her many admirers, aptly defined her gender-bending nature in a sonnet to her: “Thou large-brained woman and large-hearted man.”
Ever since the publication of “Intern” by Dr. X in 1965, the reading public has shown an excellent appetite for stories of that medical year of trial by fire known as “internship.” Perri Klass, Sandeep Jauhar, William Nolen and others have successfully recounted the trials and tribulations of that first year after medical school. Here is the latest offering: Dr. Matt McCarthy’s first year as a resident in internal medicine at Columbia. How well did four years at Harvard Medical School prepare him?
In the late 18th century, the British colonies on the American continent declared their independence from Britain. There was a long war. There were formal declarations. There were pamphlets and newspapers spreading the views of the effort to replace royal sovereign with the sovereignty of the people (well, at least the white male property owners).
Last week a couple of books landed on my desk and I immediately got excited. Even though I hadn't heard of them or even the authors.
Author Graeme Cameron’s first novel, “Normal,” comes with an author bio that reads more like disclaimer, an insulation, perhaps, against a class-action lawsuit from disgruntled readers. We learn that he “has never worked as a police detective, ER doctor, crime reporter or forensic anthropologist.” It’s hard to understand the purpose of such a statement, unless it is either an apologia or a bit of braggadocio. After reading “Normal,” it is still hard to tell.
Sadness, jubilation. Despair, exultation. Cowardice, heroism. Incompetence, brilliance. All find their measures in this thoroughly researched, engagingly written drama, the concluding scenes of a war that had stretched over four years of time, and 200 years of powerful events, and which forever changed the face and spirit of our nation.
War typically is the domain of men, especially in the mid-19th century, and especially in the male-dominated culture of India.
Continuing on the theme of William Shakespeare (happy birthday/deathday, by the way), let's talk about plays.
I got excited about lots of your responses; not going to lie, I want to watch "Henry V" with Fred and act out "Twelfth Night" with Hannah. But Samantha Leigh, you won me over with the trivial tidbit about the bunnies and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and for that you win a big book about Shakespeare. E-mail me a mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get this book out to you ASAP.
April 20 — Thursday saw the second big Roanoke book event with the Roanoke Book and Author Dinner. I was out of town for it this year, but my colleague Mike Allen did an interview beforehand with author Garth Stein, one of the event's draws. Let me know if you went and if you enjoyed it; one of the Times' photographers was there was a guest and said it was good.
Beverly Anne Caviness, 75, of Vinton, Va., went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. She was born on September 11, 1939, to the late Whitmer Walter Wade Beveridge and Virginia LaVerne Beveridge. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her loving husband of 58 years, Roy William Caviness Sr.; and fiance, Ray Bayless.She was employed with Roanoke County Schools for 12 years as a bus driver and employed as a special needs bus aide with Bedford County from 2010 to 2013. Children were her passion. She was an avid bowler at the Vinton Bowling Center for many years and was an avid NASCAR fan. She spent many hours crocheting afghans for her family and friends. She had a great love for the beach and enjoyed going every summer and was best known for being a fantastic cook and baker.She was a loving mother to Robin Caviness Kelley and fiance, Chris Gaither, Rebecca Dawn Caviness, and Roy William Caviness Jr. She is also survived by brothers, William Beveridge and wife, Theresa, and Gary L. Beveridge and wife, Kathy; grandchildren, Ashley Kelley and friend, Laiken Simmons, Morgan Brickey and husband, Daniel, Kristen Kelley Reiland and husband, Jason, Ryan Caviness and wife, Elicia, Mariah Caviness and fiance, Colin, and Patrick Caviness; great-grandchildren, Kiersten Greenway, Aiden Reiland, Addison Brickey, Annalise Faiella, and Eliza Faiella; special friends, Kathy Camper, Teresa Carr, Nancy Lloyd, Thomas Foutz and many more; and numerous nieces and nephews.She never met a stranger. A very special heartfelt thanks to Sara Crews, the Dogwood Restaurant, and son-in-law, Bobby Kelley.Memorial Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 11, 2015, at Charity Baptist Church, 2320 Lover's Lane, Vinton, VA 24179 with the Rev. Maurice Pendleton officiating. There will be a gathering to receive friends immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Charity Baptist Church. "All that I am or ever hope to be I owe to my angel mother"
Claude Sterner Proffitt, 71, of Buchanan, Va., died Saturday, July 4, 2015. Memorial Service will be 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at Mount Joy Church on Buffalo Road. Arrangements by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory, Lexington, Va., 540-463-2912.
Mary Madeline Fitzgerald Shanks, 90, of Buchanan, Va., passed away Friday, July 3, 2015. Graveside Service will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at Green Hill Cemetery, Buena Vista. Arrangements by Buchanan Chapel of Botetourt Funeral Home, 540-254-3000.
Cienna Tyree, six months old, of Roanoke, Va., passed away Monday, July 6, 2015. Arrangements by Lotz Funeral Home, Salem, Va., 540-389-9208.