Books Sandwiched In for 2015-16

The Friends kicks off its monthly book discussions August 5 with The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown.  This is the acclaimed true story of a group of young men on the rowing team of Washington University in competition for gold in the 1936 Olympics; it contains a great deal of 1930’s history. The team is made up of sons of loggers, shipyard workers and farmers and was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain.  Meeting room C, August 5, 11:30-12:30.  Bring a sandwich.

See all 2015-16 books.

Meet the Author Tea – Katy Simpson Smith and Jeremy Hawkins

Monday, August 17
Refreshments: 3:30    Program: 4:00 – 5:00
Chapel Hill Public Library, Room B
Free and open to the public

We are pleased to present, not one, but two authors to kick off our 2015-16 Meet the Author Tea season.   They are Katy Simpson Smith and Jeremy Hawkins whose first novels have just been published. They asked if they could present at the same program – and so they shall.

Katy Simpson Smith is the author of The Story of Land and Sea, her debut novel. She has also written We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835, published in 2013

Thekaty Story of Land and Sea is an original and powerful story about love–that between a man and a woman, a father and his motherless daughter, a slave and her first born son—that  sneaks up on you, compelling you to its heart-breaking conclusion.  It is set in a small coastal town in North Carolina at the end of the American Revolution.  It follows three generations of family—fathers and daughters, mother and son, master and slave. These characters yearn for redemption amidst a heady brew of war, kidnapping, slavery, and love. Drawn to the ocean, ten-year-old Tabitha wanders the marshes of her small coastal village and listens to her father’s stories about his pirate voyages and the mother she never knew.

In this elegant, evocative, and haunting debut, Katy Simpson Smith captures the singular love between parent and child, the devastation of love lost, and the lonely paths we travel in the name of renewal.

Jeremy Hawkins’ debut novel, The Last Days of Video, describes in fictionalized form some of his experiences working at VizArt, the video store (now closed) in Carrboro. His book has been listed as an April 2015 Indie Next Great Reads selection and it received a starred review in Kirkus.

jeremyThe Last Days of Video is a quirky story of redemption for a loveable group of outcasts, and a love letter to the presence of movies in all of our lives. It’s set in 2007, video stores are dying. And people don’t care. They’ve got Netflix and Redbox and a DVR, so why deal with VHS tapes or scratched DVDs? Why deal with the grumpy guy at the worn-down independent video store. .

Jeremy Hawkins holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UNC Wilmington where he studied under Southern fiction writer Clyde Edgerton, who became his mentor. Jeremy has also published short stories in Pacifica Review, Diagram, Independent Ink Magazine, The Molotov Cocktail and other venues. He has edited novels, essays, non-fiction books and poetry collections. He also teaches creative writing at the Carrboro Arts Center

Jeremy lives in Chapel Hill and works at Flyleaf Books.

Banned Books Week 2015

Back and Bigger than Ever

Banned Books Week is September 27 – October 3, and the Chapel Hill Public Library will celebrate with the third set of Banned Books Week Trading Cards.

“The Banned Books Trading Cards project grows in popularity each year,” says Library Director Susan Brown.  “While the cards showcase great local artists, the message of the project – celebrating the freedom to read – is universal. We have shipped cards all over the county and the world and the project has been featured in local, state, and national media outlets.”clockwork_small

Once again artists from Orange, Durham, Wake, Chatham, and Alamance counties are encouraged to submit small scale works that are in some way inspired by a banned or challenged book or author. A jury will select seven pieces to be printed as a series of trading cards that will be given away at the Library during Banned Books Week Deadline for submissions is August 17 and the exhibit will open with a preview party on September 25.   For more information see or call (919) 968-2777.

This year the Library has received a grant from the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund at the Freedom to Read Foundation which will allow it to take Banned Books statewide.  CHPL is one of only six libraries nationwide to receive an award this year, and the only one to win more than $1,000. The $1,500 grant allows CHPL to work with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Civic Education Consortium to develop a curriculum associated with Banned Books Week.  The Consortium will create the curriculum and make it available to educators; the Library will print an additional 5,000 sets of trading cards and make them freely available to classrooms across North Carolina.

A limited number of sets of the 2013 and 2014 trading cards are available for sale in the Friends Book Store at the Library. The Banned Books Trading Cards receive annual support from the Friends of CHPL and the CHPL Foundation.