Thursday, October 16, 2014

New Non-Fiction by Carolinas writers

A Stack of New Books: Parenthood, football, Lincoln, the afterlife and haunted hospitals

"Beautiful Eyes: A Father Transformed," by Paul Austin. Norton, $25.95. After the birth of their first child, the obstetrician asks Austin and his wife Sally if they've chosen a name. Austin writes: "We'd been planning to name the baby Sarah if it was a girl. But I didn't know if I wanted to still use that name. We'd been expecting a different child. A normal one." This is Austin's journey of accepting his daughter who is born with Down syndrome. An emergency-room doctor in Durham, Austin is the author of another memoir, "Something for the Pain."

"The Blue Divide: Duke, North Carolina and the Battle on Tobacco Road," by Johnny Moore and Art Chansky. Triumph Books, $28.95. Two insider perspectives on the famous rivals only ten miles apart: the Duke Blue Devils and the North Carolina Tar Heels. Learn about the origins and history of these teams. Black and white as well as color photos. Foreword by Jay Bilas, Duke forward, 1982-86.

"Rise: A Soldier, a Dream and a Promise Kept," by Daniel Rodriguez with Joe Layden. At 26, Rodriguez is the oldest player on the team at Clemson University, where he is a senior and an honors student. He's a distinguished military veteran with both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with Valor. Before he joined the Army and was shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan -- he was 18, confused and bereft over the death of his father -- Rodriguez made a promise: When I get out, "I'm going to play college football."

"Lincoln's Dilemma: Blair, Sumner and the Republican Struggle over Racism and Equality in the Civil War Era," by former Charlottean Paul Escott, now Reynolds Professor of History at Wake Forest University. (University of Virginia Press, $29.95.) Says UNCC historian David Goldfield: "This really is a new perspective of the period and on the men."

"The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife," by Eben Alexander, M.D., with Ptolemy Tompkins. (Simon & Schuster, $21.99). The author of the controversial bestseller, "Proof of Heaven," the Charlotte-born neurosurgeon (educated at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke) is back with another look at what might lie beyond death.  Alexander, the adopted son and grandson of neurosurgeons, remains convinced that we are "far grander than just our physical bodies."

"The Ghost Will See You Now: Haunted Hospitals of the South," by Randy Russell. John Blair: $19.95. Great idea for a book. The yammering ghost in Atlanta's Peachford Hospital; Alicia May Goodwin, trapped forever at the scene of her death along I-26 near Newberry, S.C.; the girl-without-hands ghost in Charlotte's Founder's Hall, built on the site of a former medical college; the ghosts who wander the grounds of the old Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh; the floppy-headed ghost who traipses near the abandoned nurses' residences at Charles George VA Medical Center in Oteen. You'll love this gruesome read just as Halloween descends.