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Kevin Powers, Paula McLain and more

Dear Gentle Reader,

Sarah, Johanna and Anna have been working overtime to get their kids’ line up ready for summer. They have a writing workshop, book clubs, and other cool events lined up. So much to tell you about that we will be sending out a separate newsletter with all the deets, so stay tuned!

Last call for Ready Readers. We are moving full speed ahead with our plans to give each upcoming third grader a book of their own to take home for the summer. Third grade reading level outcomes are indicators of so much in terms of future achievement, so reading over the summer is vital. Help us get books into these students’ hands by please calling the bookstore (919) 542-3030 or dropping by the shop with your $25 donation.

And one more last call for tickets to the Literary Luncheon with Paula McLain on Wednesday, May 23 at noon. This novel is getting so many great reviews, don’t miss out! For tickets, call the bookstore (919) 542-3030 or online.

“Wonderfully evocative . . . [Paula] McLain’s fans will not be disappointed; this is historical fiction at its best, and today’s female readers will be encouraged by Martha, who refuses to be silenced or limited in a time that was harshly repressive for women.” — Library Journal (starred review)



“McLain has perfected her dramatic and lyrical approach to biographical fiction, lacing Marty’s ardent inner life into electrifying descriptions of place and action. . . . McLain’s fast-moving, richly insightful, heart-wrenching, and sumptuously written tale pays exhilarating homage to its truly exceptional and significant inspiration.” — Booklist (starred review)

“If you loved McLain’s 2011 blockbuster The Paris Wife, you’re sure to adore her new novel, which is just as good, if not better.” — AARP



“Romance, infidelity, war – Paula McLain’s powerhouse novel has it all.” — Glamour

Thursday, May 17th at 4pm
Bookends Books Club discusses David Lodge’s classic novel, Small World
Come one, come all to this book club sponsored by McIntyre’s and led by our friend and neighbor, Dr. Wayne Pond. Small World is available at McIntyre’s at a 20% discount.

Friday, May 18th at 10:30am
Friday Storytime
Today’s Theme: Dinosaurs Roar

Friday, May 18th at 6:30pm
Kevin Powers discusses A Shout in the Ruins
Come drop by for a terrific evening at Fearrington. Join us for this event and then drop by Roost for some pizza from our wood fired oven in the beer garden and enjoy The Boys from Carolina on the porch.

Set in Virginia during the Civil War and a century beyond, this novel by the award-winning author of The Yellow Birds explores the brutal legacy of violence and exploitation in American society.

Spanning over one hundred years, from the antebellum era to the 1980’s, A Shout in the Ruins examines the fates of the inhabitants of Beauvais Plantation outside of Richmond, Virginia. When war arrives, the master of Beauvais, Anthony Levallios, foresees that dominion in a new America will be measured not in acres of tobacco under cultivation by his slaves, but in industry and capital. A grievously wounded Confederate veteran loses his grip on a world he no longer understands, and his daughter finds herself married to Levallois, an arrangement that feels little better than imprisonment. And two people enslaved at Beauvais plantation, Nurse and Rawls, overcome impossible odds to be together, only to find that the promise of coming freedom may not be something they will live to see.

Seamlessly interwoven is the story of George Seldom, a man orphaned by the storm of the Civil War, looking back from the 1950s on the void where his childhood ought to have been. Watching the government destroy his neighborhood to build a stretch of interstate highway through Richmond, he travels south in an attempt to recover his true origins. With the help of a young woman named Lottie, he goes in search of the place he once called home, all the while reckoning with the more than 90 years he lived as witness to so much that changed during the 20th century, and so much that didn’t. As we then watch Lottie grapple with life’s disappointments and joys in the 1980’s, now in her own middle-age, the questions remain: How do we live in a world built on the suffering of others? And can love exist in a place where for 400 years violence has been the strongest form of intimacy?

Written with the same emotional intensity, harrowing realism, and poetic precision that made The Yellow Birds one of the most celebrated novels of the past decade, A Shout in the Ruins cements Powers’ place in the forefront of American letters and demands that we reckon with the moral weight of our troubling history.

Kevin Powers is the author of The Yellow Birds, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and was a National Book Award Finalist, as well as Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, a collection of poetry. He was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, and holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Michener Fellow in Poetry. He served in the US Army in 2004 and 2005 in Iraq, where he was deployed as a machine gunner in Mosul and Tal Afar.

Saturday, May 19 at 11am
Jenny Milchman floats down Wicked River
Six million acres of Adirondack forest separate Natalie and Doug Larson from civilization. For the newlyweds, an isolated, back country honeymoon seems ideal: a chance to start their lives together with an adventure, on their own. But just as Natalie and Doug begin to explore the dark interiors of their own hearts, as well as the depths of their love for each other, it becomes clear that they are not alone in the woods.

Because six million acres makes it easy for the wicked to hide. And even easier for someone to go missing for good.
As they struggle with the worst the wilderness has to offer, a man watches them, wielding the forest like a weapon. And once they are near his domain, he will do everything in his power to make sure they never walk out again.

Jenny Milchman teaches writing and publishing for New York Writers Workshop. She founded Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, a holiday which went viral, enlisting booksellers in all 50 states and internationally. She co-hosts the literary series Writing Matters, which draws authors and publishing professionals from both coasts to events held at a local independent bookstore. Jenny features Edgar winners, international bestsellers, and independently published authors in the Made It Moments forum on her blog, Suspense Your Disbelief. Her short fiction has been published in a collection called “Lunch Reads” from Istoria Books.

Saturday, May 19th at 2pm
Norah Gaskin launches her novel, The Worst Thing
When Kellah Mace’s parents are killed in an accident—when Kellah is fifteen years old—she overhears someone say, “She’ll go through life knowing the worst thing has already happened.” Numb from loss and grief, Kellah takes these words to mean she need fear nothing. Only one thing can hurt her again: the loss of someone else she loves.

The Worst Thing begins with the intense friendship of Kellah and Angel, forged on the window ledge outside of their rooms at boarding school—and in the mirror during a hair-cut makeover.

After high school, these intrepid young women move to an apartment in the city. Angel jumps into a modeling career and her allure is not lost on the world—she’s suddenly, it seems, everywhere. While Angel is at late night parties and photo shoots, Kellah finds the college library her refuge, until Albert shows up.

Albert Darwin, called Ape by acquaintances, has a story of his own. He was a frightened little boy, grown up to be a desperate man. As he becomes a computer repairman, he muses, how stupid people think the worst thing might happen when they hit their computer reset button. Living off the grid, often invisible, often lurking on the Internet, Albert’s single-mindedness brings new meaning to “the worst thing.”
With fascinating contemporary realism, Gaskin’s novel The Worst Thing turns commonplace objects from young lives— selfies, cellphones, Google maps, glossy magazines, vintage fashion, haircuts, and ponytails— into elements of suspense.

Nora Gaskin is the author of two previous books: Time of Death: The True Tale of a Quest for Justice in 1960s Chapel Hill, and a mystery, based on a true crime, Until Proven: A Mystery in 2 Parts. As the founder, editor, and publisher of Lystra Books (an eclectic and growing publisher, based in Chapel Hill, NC), Gaskin has stewarded 23 books into publication.

Saturday, May 22nd at 10:30am
Storytime with Miss Sarah
Today’s theme: Zoom!

Saturday, May 23rd at 12:00pm
Ticketed Event
Literary Luncheon with Paula McLain for her new novel, Love and Ruin
The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century.

In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha Gellhorn travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in the devastating conflict. It’s the adventure she’s been looking for and her chance to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. But she also finds herself unexpectedly – and uncontrollably – falling in love with Hemingway, a man on his way to becoming a legend.

In the shadow of the impending Second World War and set against the turbulent backdrops of Madrid and Cuba, Martha and Ernest’s relationship and their professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man’s wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that could force her to break his heart, and hers.

Paula McLain brings Gellhorn’s story richly to life and captures her as a heroine for the ages: a woman who will risk absolutely everything to find her own voice.

Paula McLain is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Circling the Sun, The Paris Wife, and A Ticket to Ride, the memoir Like Family: Growing Up in Other People’s Houses, and two collections of poetry. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, O: The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She lives in Ohio with her family.

All the best from the usual suspects:
Pete, Sarah, Mouse, Billy, Johanna, Anna, Kelley, Hazel and Keebe