Meet the Author — D. G. Martin

Thursday, October 20, 2016
Refreshments: 3:30   Program: 4:00 – 5:00
Chapel Hill Public Library, Room B
Free and open to the public

D.G. Martin is well known to thousands of Tar Heels as the genial host of UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch which he has hosted since 1999.  He is the author of Interstate Eateries, a guide to restaurants in North Carolina.  His newest book, North Carolina Roadside Eatemartin_eateriesries, is a follow-up based on a personal tour of more than 100 notable eating spots in the state. These are not only places to eat but are fixtures of their communities.

D.G. (David Grier) Martin is a retired lawyer, politician, and university administrator. In addition to his weekly newspaper column, he writes for Chapelboro.com.  He is a frequent contributor to Our State magazine and has participated in many other UNC-TV productions. He currently shares “A Page from D.G. Martin’s Notebook” on WCHL radio in Chapel Hill on a weekly basis.

He grew up in Davidson, NC where his father served as President of Davidson College.  D.G. attended Davidson and played on the basketball team.  He then served a stint in the US Army Special Forces as a Green Beret before completing a law degree at Yale and returning to the North Carolina to practice law and politics.dg_martin

He has been the Vice Chancellor for Development and University Affairs at UNC-Pembroke and at NC Central University.  He served as a Director for the Trust for Public Lands and the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund.  He has held leadership roles at Davidson College, the YMCA, United Way, and the National Conference for Christians and Jews.

Meet the Author — Henry Petroski

Thursday, November 17, 2016
Refreshments: 3:30   Program: 4:00 – 5:00
Chapel Hill Public Library, Room B
Free and open to the public

Henry Petroski is the author of an impressive shelf of books, all of them engaging and enlightening.  His books detail the fascinating story of how everyday things work…and why they sometimes fail.

Dr. Petroski holds a chaired professorship of civil engineering from Duke with a secondary appointment as a professor of history.  His petroskidoctorate is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He was born in Brooklyn and received a bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College.  He writes a regular column for The American Scientist and occasional pieces for The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.  He lectures widely and is frequently interviewed on radio and television and recently appeared on NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show.    He has received many academic honors including several honorary doctorates.

His most recent book, The Road Taken, tells the story of our nation’s roads, bridges, water systems and public transit.  Dr. Petroski provides a history of the humpetroski_roadan choices and negotiations that helped to form these in the shapes now familiar to us.  The book includes old photographs including one of a 1920s art deco-style traffic signal tower in New York City and many anecdotes.  The title comes from Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken and chapter headings include poem fragments.

His first book, To Engineer is Human: the Role of Failure in Successful Design, was a best seller when it came out in 1985.  Since that time, he has steadily produced books on topics as mundane as The Pencil and the Toothpick.   All of his books focus on the importance of good design, wise choices, and the role of engineers in creating our built environment.

Meet the Author and Photographer — Bland and Ann Simpson

Thursday, September 15, 2016
Refreshments: 3:30   Program: 4:00 – 5:00
Chapel Hill Public Library, Room Blittle_rivers
Free and open to the public

Bland Simpson, Kenan Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at UNC, is a man of many talents with a long and prolific career.  He has a number of books to his credit often focused on the beauty of the North Carolina coastal plain and enhanced by the beautiful photographs taken by Ann Cary Simpson.   The Simpsons will join us and share material from their most recent book, Little Rivers and Waterway Tales, published by the UNC Press.

Bland Simpson is also known for his fine baritone voice, his skill in piano playing, and in the many songs he has written.  He performs solo and also frequently appears with the Red Clay Ramblers, a Carolina string band that has been around for 44 years.  Their performances include old time mountain music, bluegrass, country rock, New Orleans jazz, gospel and American musicals.

Ann Cary Simpson is a consultant with Moss and Ross of Durham, a company that assists non-profit organizations in a variety of wsimpsonsays.  She has recently worked with NC Catch, a nonprofit group supporting fishermen and local seafood.

In the book, Little Rivers and Waterway Tales, Simpson with his wife and collaborator Ann tell the stories of the people and communities who live and work in North Carolina’s sound country where the web of rivers flow into the Atlantic Ocean.  The book is a travelogue, a history lesson and a call for conservation.  It includes nearly sixty of Ann Simpson’s stunning photographs and joins their two previous works, Into the Sound Country and The Inner Island in documenting eastern Carolina’s particular beauty.  Little Rivers has been called “a love letter to North Carolina.”