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Author of the Week: John Stewart


It’s Celebrate an Author Wednesday and our hats are off to John Stewart, winner of numerous reference book awards, and a McFarland author for more than three decades. (Really!)

His latest work is Jefferson Davis’s Flight from Richmond, a thorough study of the events surrounding April 2, 1865, when Richmond, the Confederate capital, was evacuated and burned, when the government fled, when slavery was finished in North America, and when Union forces entered the city and the outcome of the Civil War was effectively sealed.  The book closely examines all relevant source material, much of it newly discovered by Stewart himself.

For more info or to order this title (or his many others), click through to the pages in McFarland’s online catalog.

African States and Rulers, 3d ed.

Confederate Spies at Large

Byron and the Websters


Italian Film

The Acrobat

Moons of the Solar System

African States and Rulers, 3d ed.

Broadway Musicals, 1943-2004

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Photographs by Wilbur D. Jones Jr


Coastal NC folks: stop by for a look at works by our busy and talented Wilbur D. Jones, Jr. 

Photographs by Wilbur D. Jones Jr.

4-8 p.m. February 25, 2015

Hannah Block Historic USO / Community Arts Center

120 South Second Street / Downtown Wilmington

This exhibit of photographs spanning seven decades by a globe-trotting Wilmington native will be on display fromFeb. 25 through March 26, 2015. The exhibit will open with a reception from 4 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 25 in the USO/Community Arts Center, featuring beer, wine, hors d’ouevres and music by Duke Ladd. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The public is invited and admission is free. The photographs are the work of Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., a Wilmington author and military historian. A retired Navy captain, former assistant to President Gerald Ford and World War II historical tour leader, Jones took photographs in dozens of countries all over the world from 1956 to 2014. His wide variety of images cover the people he encountered, landscapes and cityscapes, cultural sites and the aftermaths of wars, both ancient and modern. While his historical specialty took him to numerous World War II battlefields in Europe and the Pacific, some of which are featured in the show, Jones’ photographs span a much broader range. Examples include street life in Hong Kong and Japan in the 1950s, ruins of medieval castles along the Rhine, and the present-day waterways and domestic life of Holland. Jones’ travels have taken him to 30 countries on four continents, plus most of the major island groups in the Pacific, and to dozens of the world’s greatest cities, from Amsterdam to Tokyo. He is a member of the Cape Fear Camera Club and of the Wilmington Art Association.


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Kyra Hicks – Black Threads: An African American Quilting Sourcebook


It’s Celebrate an Author Wednesday and we’d like to call your attention to Kyra Hicks’ Black Threads: An African American Quilting Sourcebook.

One million African Americans spend approximately $118 million annually on quilting. Some believe that recent studies of oral histories telling of the role quilting played in the Underground Railroad have inspired African Americans to take up their fabric and needles, but whatever the reason, quilters like Faith Ringgold, Clementine Hunter, Winnie McQueen, and many others are keeping the African American traditions of quilting alive.  Hicks’ work is the first comprehensive guide to African American quilt history and contemporary practices.

What the review media says about Hicks’ Black Threads:  “Extraordinary…an impressive annotated bibliography…recommended”—Choice; “unique and invaluable”—Midwest Book Review; “most comprehensive and fascinating…a wealth of valuable information”—Quilt Connection; “comprehensive…an amazing reference book”—The Professional Quilter.

Black Threads is available in hardcover with a color insert for $35!  To order, or for more information about the book, go to the book’s page in the McFarland online catalog.

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Weekly Deal: Christmas

The office tree is decorated, and we’re sharing the Christmas spirit with this week’s deal – through December 14, 2014,  get 20% off the following books when you enter the coupon code WENCESLAS!








The Christmas Encyclopedia, 3d ed.

Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men: The Origins and Evolution of Saint Nicholas, Spanning 50,000 Years

A Christmas Carol and Its Adaptations: A Critical Examination of Dickens’s Story and Its Productions on Screen and Television

Holiday Parties for Children: A Complete Planning Guide

Encyclopedia of New Year’s Holidays Worldwide

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Throw Back Thursday!

RhondaWe’re pretty certain she’s more Firefly than Forbidden Planet, but executive vice-president Rhonda Herman sure looks like she intends to “keep watching the skies!”  On her desk are more than 3000 pages of science fiction movies that from 1950 through 1962 terrified and fascinated a generation with robots and invading aliens of every kind. #tbt

Keep Watching the Skies!
American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, The 21st Century Edition
by Bill Warren

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McFarland Celebrates 35 Years

mainofficeOn April 1st, 1979, founder Robert McFarland Franklin departed Plainfield, New Jersey, heading south in a Volkswagen bug towing a U-Haul.  With wife Cheryl behind the wheel, Robert began company operations on a yellow pad in his lap.

Thirty-five years ago, libraries provided almost the sole market (but a robust one!) for the heavily-researched books that McFarland made its specialty.  Over the decades, the company won ever-growing numbers of devoted readers who appreciated the care McFarland and its authors lavished on our books.  Our authors, a throng of thousands now, teach us something new every day.

We’re having an open house Friday, June 20, from noon until 5:00.  Join us for tours, conversation, punch, finger food, art and books.

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Call Your Mummy on Mother's Day?

978-0-7864-4880-7Ken Jeremiah, author of Living Buddhas: The Self-Mummified Monks of Yamagata, Japan and Christian Mummification: An Interpretative History of the Preservation of Saints, Martyrs and Others, was featured in a recent article by iO9 about how to mummify yourself.  As one might imagine, the monks of Yamagata did not decide to mummify themselves on the spur of the moment.  According to Jeremiah, there was “a 3,000-day training process for turning an ordinary ascetic’s body into a mummy’s. The key element of the process is dietary; Japanese ascetics would commonly abstain from cereals, removing wheat, rice, foxtail millet, pros so millet, and soybeans. Instead, they would eat things like nuts, berries, pine needles, tree bark, and resin (which is why the diet of the sokushinbutsu was called mokujikyo, or tree-eating.”  Go here for io9’s entire article about self-mummification.

And good for the month of May, there is a 20% discount on mummy books with the coupon code MUMMY.  Mummy Books from McFarland:

Living Buddhas: The Self-Mummified Monks of Yamagata, Japan

Christian Mummification: An Interpretative History of the Preservation of Saints, Martyrs and Others

Mummies in Nineteenth Century America: Ancient Egyptians as Artifacts

The Mummy Unwrapped: Scenes Left on Universal’s Cutting Room Floor

The Mummy in Fact, Fiction and Film

Modern Mummies: The Preservation of the Human Body in the Twentieth Century

The Corpse: A History

The Egyptian Pyramids: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Reference

Ancient Egypt in the Popular Imagination: Building a Fantasy in Film, Literature, Music and Art

Boris Karloff: A Critical Account of His Screen, Stage, Radio, Television and Recording Work


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Celebrate 2014 with the best possible gift: books!

Our holiday sale ends today, Dec. 31st, so don’t delay!   Best wishes to all from your McFarland friends…happy reading!  Enjoy 20% off your order through today.  On the McFarland website, use coupon code HOLIDAY in the cart as you are checking out. Or, call toll-free 800-253-2187 (Mon-Fri 8:00am to 4:30pm Eastern Time).

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North Carolina Civil War Monuments

Love North Carolina?  Love history?  Have a listen to author Doug Butler who recently discussed his North Carolina Civil War Monuments on NPR’s WFDD.  Enjoy!


Just a reminder folks, enjoy 20% off your order through December 31st.  On the McFarland website, use coupon code HOLIDAY in the cart as you are checking out. Or, call toll-free 800-253-2187 (Mon-Fri 8:00am to 4:30pm Eastern Time).

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REVIEW: Encyclopedia of Fairies

Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology is “meticulously researched” and “most helpful” according to the American Library Association in the most recent issue of Booklist.   From the A-senee-ki-waku of northeastern North America to the Zips of Central America and Mexico, this encyclopedia includes more than 2,500 individual beings and species of fairy and nature spirits from a wide range of mythologies and religions from all over the globe.  Entries include variations of the fairy name, as well as sources for that particular entry.  There is a lengthy introduction to the subject, an extensive bibliography and a complete index.


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REVIEW: Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology

Move over, Elf on the Shelf, we’re thinking about fairies!  A recent Library Journal review of our Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology says: “More than 2,000 individual fairies and species of fairy from around the world and across time, as well as helpful entries on the phenomenon as observed in various geographic areas. Well done. For writers, mythologists, and fairy tale lovers and scholars in high school, public, and academic libraries.”  Check it out for all kinds of history, mischief, and magic!

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Ashe County Literary Festival

Local folks: it’s a beautiful day in the mountains and we’re currently at the Ashe County Literary Festival here in town–come see us at the Ashe Arts Center.  While you’re at it, add this to tomorrow’s agenda–at 10:00 am our very own Stephen Shoemaker and Janet Pittard (Stephen Shoemaker: The Paintings and Their Stories) will be at the Ashe County Farmers’ Market with books on hand.  Be sure to stop by for a visit!

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Author and Sociologist Robert Bartholomew on Mass Hysteria in Schools










The Atlantic Monthly magazine ran a major article about recent outbreaks of mass hysteria in two United States schools apparently spread by Facebook.  McFarland author and sociologist Robert Bartholomew, who lends his expertise to the article, “is is not surprised by the outbreak in the slightest.”  Go here for the full article.

Books authored and coauthored by Robert Bartholomew:

Mass Hysteria in Schools: A Worldwide History Since 1566

The Martians Have Landed! A History of Media-Driven Panics and Hoaxes

Little Green Men, Meowing Nuns and Head-Hunting Panics: A Study of Mass Psychogenic Illness and Social Delusion



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Icelanders in the Viking Age: The People of the Sagas

Noted authority Dr. William R. Short, the author of Icelanders in the Viking Age: The People of the Sagas, is having an active summer.   Once again, he is teaching a summer course in Iceland at Háskólasetur Vestfjarða (University Center of the Westfjords).  Short is also prominently featured in the documentary Viking Fighting Moves from the Sagas, newly released through the non-profit Hurstwic organization.  The documentary is the third in a series produced by Hurstwic.

Icelanders in the Viking Age (“highly recommended” by Choice) is now on sale through McFarland with a coupon (see the weekly coupon here).

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INTERVIEW: D.G. Martin Speaks with Stephen Shoemaker and Janet Pittard

UNC-TV’s NC NOW program broadcast D.G. Martin’s interview with Stephen Shoemaker and Janet Pittard (Stephen Shoemaker).   The history of their collaboration and stories from several of Stephen’s paintings were discussed:

http ://video. unctv .org/video/2365046985.   A more comprehensive interview will air on UNC’s radio station WCHL within the next few weeks.   Stay tuned!