Father’s Day gift-giving guide

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 19, and we’ve got your gift-giving covered. Treat Dad to a great book on his favorite subject! 

For the fisherman…

Brook Trout and the Writing Life: The Intermingling of Fishing and Writing in a Novelist’s Life by Craig Nova

In this memoir, novelist Craig Nova explores the interconnections between his work as a writer, his personal life, and his passion for fly-fishing. Nova leads the reader into his courtship, marriage, the birth of his children, and his life as a father, husband, writer, friend, citizen, and angler. Just as the author observes the life of the elusive and beautiful brook trout in the tea-colored streams, he finds interconnections to his daily life.

Unpredictable and keenly observed, Nova leads us through the terrain of the life of an artist. The one constant is the stream and the brook trout which offer both respite from the demands of his life and a wellspring of inspiration and strength. It is a paean to nature and the beauty of the brook trout.

This autobiography is a reprint and expansion of Nova’s highly regarded memoir originally published in 1999. This new edition includes substantial sections of new work and an introduction by Ann Beattie.

Fishing North Carolina by Mike Marsh

Thanks to well-known fishing expert Mike Marsh, North Carolinians finally have a definitive guide for the entire state in one handy volume. Fishing North Carolina is the only book that covers the multitude of fishing opportunities in all of the state’s regions: mountains, Piedmont, and coastal plain. Whatever type of fishing you prefer, Fishing North Carolina has something for beginning and advanced fishermen, longtime North Carolinians, newcomers, and tourists alike. This book will tell you where to go, how to get there, what fishing regulations are in effect, the best time to fish, the best way to fish (from boat, dock, or shore), key species at each locale, and the best lures to use. Detailed maps, descriptions of the fishing, and general information about the locations will help you know whether or not to expect snagged lures or an enjoyable fishing experience for the whole family.

For the Civil War buff…

 Touring the Carolinas’ Civil War Sites 2nd Edition by Clint Johnson

History buffs and tourists have been following the signs to famous Civil War sites in the Carolinas for years, among them Fort Fisher in Wilmington, North Carolina, and Fort Sumter off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. However, many of the sites from the states’ rich Civil War heritage are off the beaten path.

Touring the Carolinas’ Civil War Sites helps travelers find the states’ battlefields, forts, and memorials, as well as the lesser skirmish sites, homes, and towns that also played significant roles in the war. The book’s 21 tours cover the entire Carolinas, combining riveting history with clear, concise directions and maps. As fascinating to read as it is fun to take on the road, this second edition includes additional historic houses in Charleston, a new battlefield in New Bern, updated driving directions, new photos for each site, and more.

So You Think You Know Gettysburg? by James and Suzanne Gindlesperger

Authors James and Suzanne Gindlesperger have visited Gettysburg an average of five times annually over the past twenty years. So You Think You Know Gettysburg? shows why they find it a place not only of horrible carnage and remarkable bravery but endless fascination.

Who, or what, was Penelope? Whose dog is depicted on the Eleventh Pennsylvania Monument, and why? What are the Curious Rocks? Why does Gettysburg have two markers for the battle’s first shot, and why are they in different locations?

The plentiful maps, the nearly 200 site descriptions, and the 270-plus color photos in So You Think You Know Gettysburg? will answer questions you didn’t even know you had about America’s greatest battlefield.

For the sports fan…

Chasing Moonlight: The True Story of Field of Dreams’ Doc Graham

In Chasing Moonlight, Brett Friedlander and R. W. Reising prove that truth is more interesting than fiction. The real-life Moonlight Graham didn’t play just a half-inning for John McGraw’s New York Giants, as depicted in Field of Dreams. Neither did he retire from baseball after his lone major league appearance. Rather, he became a fan favorite during a noteworthy professional career, all the while juggling baseball with medical residencies.

Graham’s life apart from baseball was just as eventful. He was a physician who sat with patients through epidemics and wrote a blood pressure study that was required reading at medical schools worldwide. But he was also a failed inventor and small-town character who built perpetual-motion machines and filled his home with tennis balls and empty oatmeal boxes.

W.P. Kinsella rescued Moonlight Graham from the scrap heap. Field of Dreams made him famous. Now, Chasing Moonlight establishes him as a man. The good doctor would be pleased.

They Call Me Big House by Clarence E. “Big House” Gaines, with Clint Johnson

Winning games, building character, and crossing over the divide between black and white are the dominant themes of coach Clarence Gaines’s autobiography, They Call Me Big House, written with Clint Johnson.

College teammates and coaches started calling the 6’5” Gaines Big House because, as one of them said, “the only thing I’ve seen as big as you is a house.” His admirers still call him Big House because few can measure up to his influence.

“No single person has been better for basketball or meant more to the sport than Big House Gaines,” said retired coach Bob Knight, one of the few with more career wins than Gaines. “Very simply, Big House Gaines is very special.”

Though Gaines displays an impressive memory of individual games and almost every player who suited up for him, relatively little of They Call Me Big House takes place on the court. Gaines’s autobiography is as much a look at a crucial period in history as it is a study of X’s and O’s.

For everyone else…

Tales from a Free-Range Childhood by Donald Davis

Davis has remarked that he “didn’t learn stories, I just absorbed them” from a family of traditional storytellers that has lived on the same western North Carolina land since 1781. Among this collection of 18 chronologically arranged stories, Davis explains why 28 second-graders petitioned the school board to reestablish paddling as their preferred form of punishment, instead of the new policy of “suspension.” He also spins family tales about how his mother was finally convinced to give his brother Joe’s naturally curly, “wasted-on-a-boy” hair its first cut; how he and his cousin Andy got fired from their job of “watching the baby”; how his brother convinced their mother to adopt her first cats; and how he got a chemistry set designated for children over 10 when he was only eight.

Through his tender, often humorous stories about his life experiences, Davis captures the hearts and minds of readers while simultaneously evoking their own childhood memories. One reviewer described Davis’s storytelling style this way: “He invites each listener to come along, to pull deep inside for one’s own stories, to personally share and co-create the common experiences that celebrate the creative spirit.” Even if you can’t enjoy Davis’s storytelling live, his written voice is so strong that you will actually hear these tales as you read them.

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