Add These 3 Books by Local Authors to Your Reading List

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The tale of student-athlete Charlie Scott and his coach

Game Changers Cover ImageThe year is 1966. The Civil Rights Movement is still roiling the South, and Chapel Hill is struggling to embrace desegregation. Amidst all this, UNC men’s basketball coach Dean Smith is determined to recruit the best African- American player he can find and begin the road to integrating the team.

Enter Charlie Scott, the first black athlete to be signed on scholarship to the university. Drawn together by college basketball and momentous change, the pair team up to help transform a university, a community and the racial landscape of sports in the South.

But that’s just part of the story. In “Game Changers,” local veteran sportswriter Art Chansky explores the myths that surround this period to reveal an intense saga of race, college sport and small-town politics.

Drawing on interviews and other sources, Art takes readers beyond the basketball court to highlight the community that supported Dean and Charlie during those tumultuous years, from assistant basketball coach John Lotz to the Rev. Robert Seymour of Binkley Baptist Church to pioneering African-American Mayor Howard Lee.

More than 50 years later, it’s hard to imagine our town’s fitful path to integration given its progressive bent. This book will prove a gripping read to Tar Heel fans and enable them to reflect on just how far we’ve come, and how we got here.

A collection of stories about food and the Tar Heel State

Whether it’s chef Bill Smith’s salty recollections of cleaning crabs for his family’s hard crab stew (“It usually involves beer, a garden hose, and mosquitos.”) or Hillsborough writer Lee Smith’s explorations of her mother’s recipe box, “The Carolina Table” dishes up a collection of stories that offer a glimpse of the true North Carolina through food.Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 11.27.10 AM

Edited by Randall Kenan – Duplin County native and UNC Professor of English – and published by Eno Publishers of Hillsborough, the anthology includes more than 30 writers offering up their own distinct – and often quirky – experiences. But all speak to what North Carolinians know to be true – our foodways contain our culture, our history, our priorities, our health and our souls.

Some tales will amuse – such as Celia Rivenbark’s recollections of working in a Down East barbecue restaurant – while others will conjure up feelings of nostalgia or even homesickness – like poet Jaki Shelton Green’s talk of family reunions and the power of fried gizzards and leftover meatloaf.

“We taste North Carolina through the pens of these talented folk,” writes Randall in his introduction. “To me these are food songs, ballads to hunger, hymns of satiation, odes to gustatory joy; but also ditties to disaster, and madrigals of misunderstanding. The generous nature of these writers serves up such a complex portrait of our state, our ways, and our people with which few can argue.”

You don’t have to be a food buff to get drawn into these sumptuous tales of shared memories and rituals. Take a seat at the table and join the feast as this big book on North Carolina foodways explores the Tar Heel State’s cuisine.

Follow a young man’s quest to save his first love

Around town, Adam W. Jones is known for running his property management firm, Mill House Properties, and fixing up historic houses.Fate Ball.HZ Flat cover

Now people are getting to know him for his other calling – published author.

For almost two decades, he’d been working on and off on a novel, the unfinished manuscript collecting dust on a shelf in his Gimghoul home. That is, until his wife, Susan, gave him an ultimatum: Finish the book, or never mention it again.

That was the final push he needed. This year, Adam, 53, becomes a first-time novelist with the release of Fate Ball,published by Wisdom House Books, about a young man’s quest to save his love from addiction.

Adam says the story is loosely based on a real-life love affair he had in his early 20s. “I’d say it’s 25 percent true,” says the UNC alum, who worked in advertising before starting up Mill House in 2002.

Now a published writer, he reflects: “It’s exciting, but also a relief and scary. When you do anything creative, to put yourself out there is daunting. Fortunately, feedback has been great.”

When he’s not managing properties or writing (he has a children’s book due out next spring), he and Susan are raising daughters Lilly, 8, and Ainslie, 4, who both attend Durham Academy.

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Chantal Allam

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