About This Week at Quail Ridge Books: April 23 – 29

Sunday, April 23 at 2 pm: Lee Smith, Dimestore (paperback)

Lee Smith with Dimestore

She’s one of our favorite people; every time she’s here, it’s like a party.  Lee (Guests on Earth; The Last Girls) returns to us for the paperback edition of Dimestore on Sunday, April 23, at 2 pm.  In her first work of nonfiction, Smith deploys the wit, wisdom, and graceful prose for which she is beloved to conjure her early days in the small coal town of Grundy, Virginia:  a place of coal miners, mountain music, and her daddy’s dimestore. It was in that dimestore – listening to customers and inventing life histories for the store’s dolls – that she began to learn the craft of storytelling.

Sunday, April 23 at 4 pm: Bonnie Rochman, The Gene Machine

Bonnie Rochman

DNA research and genetic testing can tell us so much more about babies’ futures.  But how much do parents want to know?  Award-winning journalist Bonnie Rochman shares The Gene Machine: How Genetic Technologies Are Changing the Way We Have Kids–and the Kids We Have on Sunday, April 23, at 4 pm.  New technology means new questions and bioethical debates, but also valuable, even lifesaving information for families.  Rochman keeps her findings very human, focusing on the men and women grappling with tests, their results, and just what the repercussions are.

Monday, April 24 at 7 pm: Edward J. Balleisen, Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff

Edward Balleisen with Fraud

Swindlers, hucksters – American history is rife with those out to deceive. Edward Balleisen shares his new Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff with us on Monday, April 24, at 7 pm.  Where is the line between aggressive business people and out-and-out con men?  The Associate Professor of History and Senior Fellow in the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University documents the relationship between deregulation and rises in fraud. Is what’s good for business always good for consumers?  Join us for an always-timely subject.  In conversation with David Zonderman (NC State History Dept. Chair); Kevin Anderson (NC Senior Deputy Attorney General); and Brad Miller (former Raleigh Congressman).

Tuesday, April 25 at 7 pm: Jennifer Ackerman, The Genius of Birds

Jennifer Ackerman with The Genius of Birds

Lovely to hear, fascinating to watch – but did you know how intelligent birds are? New research shows the many forms birds’ intelligence takes. Jennifer Ackerman shares findings from studies of birds all over the globe on Tuesday, April 25, at 7 pm with the paperback release of The Genius of Birds.  You’ll have new respect for the avian Einsteins in your backyard and around the world.

Wednesday, April 26 at 4 pm: Marcus Sedgwick, Saint Death

Marcus Sedgwick with Saint Death

Marcus Sedgwick is one of YA’s stellar authors – winner of the Printz Award for Midwinterblood; shortlisted for Britain’s Carnegie Medal six times, and recipient of two Printz Honors, for Revolver and Ghosts of Heaven.  He returns for an afternoon program on Wednesday, April 26, at 4 pm for Saint Death.  (Sorry, his flight’s time was changed.  If you have to rush here from school, he’s worth it!)  Set on the Mexican-American border near Juarez, Saint Death‘s setting is jarring.  So too are the struggles of friends Arturo and Faustino. Brutally realistic, and infused with cold fury at the injustices wrought by society, Saint Death will leave you pondering how to make a difference in the world.  Ages 14+.

Wednesday, April 26 at 7 pm: Paul Hawken, Drawdown:The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Paul Hawken with Drawdown

Climate change is here, and predictions seem dire. But Paul Hawken, founder and Executive Director of the non-profit Project Drawdown, offers a ray of hope.  Actually, 100 rays of hope: one for each already-implemented proposal in his book.  He joins us on Wednesday, April 26, at 7 pm with Drawdown:The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.  History, graphics, impact and more are shown for each of the 100 solutions.  Perhaps you recognize his name as co-founder of the Smith and Hawken retail company?  We’d like to find out more about his work with Dr. Martin Luther King’s staff in Selma, or his research on deforestation while traveling into dangerous sections of Burma (now Myanmar), or… well, you get the idea. The man has many stories to tell.

Friday, April 28 at 7 pm: Ted Kemp, The Ragged Edge (on the Iraq War)

Ted Kemp with The Ragged Edge

US Marine Michael Zacchea arrived in Iraq eager to train Iraqi troops. What he found was a lack of materiel, language difficulties, cultural misunderstandings, and ragged men. How he immersed himself in his troops’ Iraqi culture to put together the Fifth Battalion that would fight at Fallujah is both an inspiring account and a cautionary tale, as detailed by author Ted Kemp.  As more combat takes the form of training foreign troops to fight insurgents, how do we promote brotherhood and cooperation?  Join us for an enlightening look into today’s military on Friday, April 28, at 7 pm when Ted Kemp shares Zacchea’s story in The Ragged Edge: A US Marine’s Account of Leading the Iraqi Army Fifth Battalion.

Saturday, April 29, 9 am – 9 pm: Independent Bookstore Day!

SO many events, activities, surprises, treats – we’re giving this its own event listing.  We couldn’t fit it all here anyway!  Join us for a fabulous, fabulous day.