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Ashe County Happenings: Girl Scouts and Book Publishing!

A message from some terrific local folks:

“Girl Scout Cadette Troop #10304 had a fun time during their recent visit to McFarland.  (The girls have been working on earning their Book Artist badges.)  We are so fortunate to have such a great publishing company in our own back yard where the very real process of book making may be seen.  We’re grateful to president Rhonda Herman (coming in after-hours!) for showing us around and speaking to the girls about different careers in the industry.  They really enjoyed watching the “chopper” through the equipment window, checking out some of the unique titles on the shelves in the warehouse, and they especially liked rooting through the trash/recycle bin!   Thanks to Rhonda and Rory for letting the troop come by and for being so kind and encouraging to all of the girls.”

We love our community!

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Opening Day Sale!

It’s Major League Baseball’s opening day, and we’re condensing our usual Weekly Deal into a one-day-only mega-sale on ALL of our baseball books! That’s 20% off the list price of each of our nearly 600 baseball books in print! Use the coupon code MLB at checkout, but hurry, because the sale ends tonight!


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OFF TO THE PRINTER: Symbolism and Sources of Outlander

978-0-7864-9952-6 As if the return of the Outlander television series for its second half of its first season (April 4, 9:00 p.m. EST) wasn’t enough excitement for kilt aficionados, we’ve just sent Valerie Frankel’s The Symbolism and Sources of Outlander: The Scottish Fairies, Folklore, Ballads, Magic and Meanings That Inspired the Series off to the printer!  In addition to its literary, historical and mythological references, Gabaldon’s writing is also rich with its own symbolism: heather and white roses, the dragonfly in amber, Claire’s blue vase and wedding gown, her wedding rings and pearl necklace. This book untangles the myriad of myths, legends, symbols and literary references found in the series.

The book is expected later this April…pre-orders now being accepted.


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BOOKSHOPS & BREWPUBS: Portland, Oregon

We’re in Portland, Oregon, preparing to exhibit at the conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).  Outside of exhibiting, we strive to apply the “Bookshops & Brewpubs” philosophy to our travels–in Portland, so far so good!  Powell’s City of Books was today’s destination.  In all candor, “city” is no exaggeration!  Hardly left time for the second portion of our philosophy…  #indiesfirst #acrl2015 #drinklocal

Brewpub Powells1 Powells2 Powells3

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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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Kudos to Robert Kuhn McGregor, whose A Calculus of Color: The Integration of Baseball’s American League not only cracked the starting lineup for Library Journal’s annual Baseball Roundup but received the only starred review among the seven books featured.  The article, which reviews the best new and forthcoming baseball titles for the year ahead, hailed A Calculus of Color as “a best sports book of 2015, and one that will stand the test of time,” adding that McGregor “slams a home run in dealing with racism in baseball and the larger picture of American life.”  


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Library Journal Review: JRR Tolkien, Robert E Howard and the Birth of Modern Fantasy

978-0-7864-9537-5About Deke Parson’s J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard and the Birth of Modern Fantasy , Library Journal says:  “Parsons discusses the influence of the 1930s on three writers … J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings), Robert Howard (Conan the Barbarian), and Jerry Siegel (cocreator, Superman) … elegant and thought provoking … recommended for readers interested in the fantasy genre, as well as those who wish to learn more about literary criticism and pop culture.”

For more about the book, or to order your copy, see the book in the McFarland online catalog.

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Ernie Banks


Like many baseball fans throughout the country, we mourn the passing of Ernie Banks, who died last Friday.   Banks, who started his career in the Negro Leagues, became the first black player in Cubs history, and he went on to become one of the franchise’s greatest.  He was also one of the team’s most beloved figures, in part because of his boundless optimism in the face of a decades-long tradition of losing.  Whatever the record or the attendance, Chicago was his kind of town.  He was our kind of Cub. 


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AWARDS: 2015 Edgar Finalists Revealed

978-0-7864-7769-2Congratulations to Charles Brownson (The Figure of the Detective: A Literary History and Analysis) and Jim Mancall (James Ellroy: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction) whose works were nominated by The Mystery Writers of America for the 2015 Edgar Awards’ Best Critical/ Biographical category.

The annual prize is named after beloved writer Edgar Allan Poe, awarded to the best authors in the mystery genre since 1945.  These awards recognize the following categories: novel, first novel, paperback original, fact crime, critical/biographical, short story, juvenile, young adult, play, and TV episode.

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Game of Thrones

978-0-7864-9416-3Game of Thrones Presentation at the Company Theater near Boston! Award-winning author Valerie Estelle Frankel discusses Game of Thrones, inspiration for her five books including Women in Game of Thrones. Learn how George RR Martin’s prophecies and the classic heroine’s journey foretell the ending. Daenerys’s surprising path becomes clear as she “wakes the dragon” and harnesses a surprising magic. Is Jon Snow destined to be her lover, her nemesis, her sacrifice, or all three? And what of Tyrion? Or Arya? What does Varys really want? Discover the deeper meaning of black dragons, golden roses, seasons, heraldic colors, and all the symbols of ice and fire. Share your secret longings and fears for the upcoming season, as we prepare for the oncoming storm. Saturday, February 28, 2015 – 8:00 pm. The event is on sale–tickets are down to $10 for a short time.

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Football Time of Year: Part 2


Ohio State defeated Oregon in the inaugural CFP National Championship, marking an official end to the college football season. It wasn’t an especially memorable game, but it did feature multiple award-winning  Marcus Mariota (Heisman Trophy, Davey O’Brien Award, etc., etc.) at quarterback, albeit in a losing effort. The Buckeyes claimed their eighth national title, but not to worry Michigan fans—you have Jim Harbaugh and his khakis to look forward to. And who knows, he could be the next Bump Elliot.

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Weekly Deal: Elvis

Elvis would’ve turned 80 last week – some might say he did turn 80 on his own private island, or that he spent his birthday drinking coffee at an Arby’s in Terre Haute – and we’re celebrating the King in style. Through January 18, 2015, get 20% off the following books when you enter the coupon code TCB!








Elvis Cinema and Popular Culture

Big Mama Thornton: The Life and Music

The Man Who Made the Jailhouse Rock: Alex Romero, Hollywood Choreographer

Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Biker, Beach, and Elvis Movies

Drive-in Dream Girls: A Galaxy of B-Movie Starlets of the Sixties

Fall Girl: My Life as a Western Stunt Double

Trippin’ with Terry Southern: What I Think I Remember

Catch That Rockabilly Fever: Personal Stories of Life on the Road and in the Studio


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EXAM COPIES AVAILABLE: Language in the Visual Arts: The Interplay of Text and Imagery


Language in the Visual Arts: The Interplay of Text and Imagery by Leslie RossInstructors, to examine Language in the Visual Arts as a prospective textbook for your course, contact us using our exam copy request form.

Language in the Visual Arts: The Interplay of Text and Imagery by Leslie Ross — This book discusses text and image relationships in the history of art from ancient times to the contemporary period across a diversity of cultures and geographic areas. Focusing on the use of words in art and words as art forms, thematic chapters include “Pictures in Words/Words in Pictures,” “Word/Picture Puzzles,” “Picture/Word Puzzles,” “Words as Images,” “The Power of the Word,” and “Monumental and Moving Words.” Chapter subsections further explore cross-cultural themes. Examining text and image relationships from the obvious to the elusive, the puzzling to the profound, the minor to the major, the book demonstrates the diverse ways in which images and writing have been combined through the ages, and explores the interplay between visual and written communication in a wide range of thought-provoking examples.



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WEEKLY DEAL: Tolkien Studies

978-0-7864-6482-1McFarland & Company, at your service!  (Thank you, Bilbo, for teaching us proper etiquette.)  While we’d like to offer you all ale, seed-cake, mince pies, buttered scones, apple tarts and cheese, we do have some fine scholarship about Tolkien to share (links listed below).  And in lieu of burgling a dragon’s hoard for you, we’re extending a 20% discount with the coupon code HOARD.  This “weekly” deal is good through New Year’s.  (New deal coming January 2, 2015.)

Tolkien and the Study of His Sources: Critical Essays

J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard and the Birth of Modern Fantasy

The Evolution of Tolkien’s Mythology: A Study of the History of Middle-earth

The Hobbit and Tolkien’s Mythology: Essays on Revisions and Influences

Tolkien and the Modernists: Literary Responses to the Dark New Days of the 20th Century

Picturing Tolkien: Essays on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy

The Body in Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays on Middle-earth Corporeality

Tolkien and Shakespeare: Essays on Shared Themes and Language

Tolkien in the New Century: Essays in Honor of Tom Shippey

Middle-earth Minstrel: Essays on Music in Tolkien

Tolkien’s Intellectual Landscape


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Rhonda Herman New McFarland President


Rhonda Herman, 2014.
Rhonda Herman, 2014.

McFarland founder Robert Franklin announced that he has passed the job and title of President to Executive Vice President Rhonda Herman.  Franklin will assume the new title of Founder and Editor-in-Chief.  Rhonda Herman joined the company in 1982 as Business Manager.  She was promoted to Vice President in 1991 and to Executive Vice President in 2004.  While she has worked at various times in her McFarland career in every corner of our operations, she spearheaded the initiative to establish an in-house printing facility and has focused on designing information systems in the last decade.  She planned and implemented our ebook strategy during the last five years. Most recently she re-vamped technology relating to cover design and book production (400 a year). Ms. Herman graduated magna cum laude from Appalachian State University’s College of Business in 1977 and is also active with groups promoting regional economic development.

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Merry Christmas from Sales & Marketing!


The night is not Silent with these angels around!

“Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.”
~ Larry Wilde, author ‘The Merry Book of Christmas’.

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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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CALL FOR REVIEWERS: Tales of Superhuman Powers

talesofsuperhumanpowersAre you a book review editor, reviewer, or folklorist interested in receiving a media copy of Tales of Superhuman Powers: 55 Traditional Stories from Around the World?  McFarland has a supply of review copies available upon request.  Contact us via our review copy request form, filling out the form completely, to receive your copy.

Csenge Virág Zalka, a Hungarian storyteller, has collected 55 foltktales from around the world about supernatural abilities like superhuman strength, invulnerability, flying, heightened senses, speed, invisibility, healing, agility, precognition, telepathy, fire manipulation, teleportation, water powers, and shifting.  These tales represent powers that people have dreamed of, conjured up and strived for through the ages.   Many of the powers are present in popular culture, making the superheroes who wield them the direct descendants of characters such as the princess who could see through walls or the invulnerable Isfandiyar.  Zalka excluded stories about magic or about gods with divine powers, and focused on less well-known stories.  She included information on similar heroes, the ability in the story, sources of the powers, the origin of the story, teachings in it, the recommended age group, sources, variants, and comments.

#folklore #superheoes #comics #popculture

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THROWBACK THURSDAY: King Arthur for the Classroom

It was fall semester 1991 that I acquired two prized possessions:  Pearl Jam’s Ten and the “gray King Arthur book.”  Ever since the one-of-a-kind Dr. Dennis J. McKevlin, Jr., taught his Arthurian Legends class at Western Carolina University, I’ve treasured the gray book.  We used Arthur, King of Britain: History, Chronicle, Romance & Criticism, with Texts in Modern English, from Gildas to Malory (edited by Richard L. Brengle, Prentice-Hall, 1964) as our sole textbook, though generously supplemented by notes and handouts from McKevlin.  For the majority of us, it was our first time encountering persons and works such as Bede, Nennius, Gildas, Wace, Layamon, The Mabignogion, and the Historia Regum Britanniae.  Now, William W. Kibler and R. Barton Palmer have brought us a very useful book for the classroom, Medieval Arthurian Epic and Romance: Eight New Translations.   The just published book offers new translations from Latin, Middle English and Old French of texts that exemplify the most important traditions of Arthurian literature in the Middle Ages.  On my bookshelf, this one is going to line up right beside the gray book!  — Karl-Heinz Roseman, Vice President, Sales and Marketing

For more about Medieval Arthurian Epic and Romance,  go to the book’s page in McFarland’s online catalog.  For teaching academics who would like to examine a copy for possible use in their classroom, use our exam copy request form.

#tbt #kingarthur #books #wcu

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Throwback Thursday


Looking forward to tomorrow’s 35th anniversary celebration but also looking back.  Weren’t we a lovely bunch five years ago?  (We still are.)  And hey, authors—hope you’ll join us—RSVP ASAP!

On 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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Beer Release & Trivia Night is here!


Senior management launches new product.
Senior management launches new product.
Commemorative pint glass.

The day has arrived!  The McFarland Anniversary Scottish Ale will be released starting at 5:00 at Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant.  Purchase a pint and keep a McFarland commemorative pint glass, and grab a dinner special from Boondocks.  Trivia starts at 7:00, with a focus on local history, Scottish lore and general book pop culture.  Trivia will be in teams of five, so come up with a team name and be ready for fun!

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Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant Commemorates McFarland’s 35th Anniversary with Special Brew on June 17

McF_glass_promoWEST JEFFERSON, North Carolina – June 12, 2014 – Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant has crafted another brew with both local ties and old country roots.  In honor of the Jefferson-based publisher’s 35th anniversary, a special McFarland Anniversary Scottish Ale will be released on Tuesday, June 17, starting at 5:00.  Purchase a pint and keep a McFarland commemorative pint glass.  Boondocks will be offering dinner specials.  Tuesday trivia night starts at 7:00, with a focus on local history, Scottish lore and general book pop culture.

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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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TEXTBOOK: An Introduction to World Cinema, 2d ed

An Introduction to World CinemaIn print since 2000 and now in its second edition, this textbook provides two things: the history of film as an art form and an analysis of its impact on society and politics. Chapters are arranged chronologically, covering the major developments in film, like the advent of talkies or the French New Wave. Each era is examined in the context of several exemplary films commonly viewed in film studies courses. Thus students can watch Birth of a Nation and Intolerance while studying the innovations made by D.W. Griffith from 1910 to 1919. The scope is global, embracing the cinematic traditions of Asia, Latin America and Africa, as well as the ever important American and European output. Thoughtful articles from film scholars are included.

The flexible structure of An Introduction to World Cinema allows a variety of options for classroom use or personal study. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

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BOOK REVIEW: Isabel Allende: A Literary Companion

978-0-7864-7127-0Allende, anyone?  Booklist recently reviewed Isabel Allende: A Literary Companion thusly: “an expertly crafted study guide and tribute…the entries are rich in relevant historical detail, insightful literary criticism, and reflections on Allende’s place among contemporary writers of serious fiction…engaging essays on specific Allende writings…an erudite, affectionate, and wonderfully rich treatment of Isabel Allende and her work.”

We couldn’t agree more.  Allende–”la Famosa” to her fellow Chileans–is the world’s most widely read Spanish language author.  Her bravura study of the interwoven roles of women in family history opens the minds of outsiders to the sufferings of women and their children during years of social and political nightmare.  Her powerfully honest, revelatory works touch the pulse points of humankind.  This reference work provides an introduction to Allende’s life as well as a guided overview of her body of work. Designed for the fan and scholar alike, this text features an alphabetized, fully-annotated listing of major terms in the Allende canon, including fictional characters, motifs, historical events and themes. A comprehensive index is included.

For more about the book, or to purchase directly from McFarland:

For more McFarland Literary Companions:


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THROWBACK THURSDAY: Aprons at McFarland?

When the 1990s began at McFarland, one could spot some neon colors and oversized sweaters in the office.  However, the popular fashion trend was aprons…radiation protection aprons.  Every expectant mother on staff (and there were a lot!) got one.  You might ask yourself, “What, was the typesetting equipment powered by nuclear reactors?”  We can’t be certain, but the equipment was most definitely large enough to contain said reactors.  We have photographic evidence…

Nuclear reactor contained within.
Nuclear reactor contained within.
Radiation protection apron.
Radiation protection apron.












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Senior Acquisitions Editor Signs up 12-Volume Mark Grace Bio

Senior acquisitions editor Gary Mitchem has signed up a new manuscript to the baseball line titled Taking Care of Business: The Mark Grace Story in 12 Volumes.  Grace (a Winston-Salem, North Carolina, native) played first base for the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks and owns the 148th best career on-base percentage in the majors.

“While all details are not yet set, we plan for one volume to exhaustively cover Grace’s doubles, another to do the same for his sac flies, and another volume to be completely dedicated to his relief pitching career,” said Mitchem.

Adam Phillips in the sales department is particularly optimistic about the book’s prospects. “With Mark Grace, the glass is always at least half-full,” said Phillips.

A lettered, limited edition for left-handed readers will hit the market Summer 2014, with the library edition following late in the year.



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OBITUARY: Robert G. "Hank" Utley

HankThirdBaseNCStateAuthor Robert G. “Hank” Utley passed away Wednesday, March 19.  Hank was a gifted storyteller with an incredible heart, and was very passionate about his community.  McFarland has been a big fan of Hank’s ever since he and coauthor Scott Verner first shared their manuscript about the independent Carolina League.  Through his own books and his research contributions to others, Hank introduced us to the mill town institution of outlaw ball.  Well, Hank Utley is also a mill town institution.  Hank’s books were not just about baseball; they were about the people.  Whether he was covering intense rivalries like that of the Kannapolis Towelers and the Concord Weavers, or relating the many facets of mill town life, Hank did an incredible job with his research and preservation.  Thanks to Hank, we will always remember this fascinating slice of history.  Hank, too, will always be remembered.


Obituary in the Independent-Tribune

Article about his work with the Boys & Girls Club

Author’s Personal Website

The Independent Carolina Baseball League, 1936–1938: Baseball Outlaws by R.G. (Hank) Utley and Scott Verner

Outlaw Ballplayers: Interviews and Profiles from the Independent Carolina Baseball League  by R.G. (Hank) Utley , and Tim Peeler with Aaron Peeler

The Easter Monday Baseball Game: North Carolina State and Wake Forest on the Diamond, 1899–1956 by Tim Peeler

Baseball in the Carolinas: 25 Essays on the States’ Hardball Heritage edited by Chris Holaday



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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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Some Portions of Online Catalog Temporarily Unavailable

As of Wednesday, December 10, at 10:53 EST, some portions of the online catalog (such as list prices) are temporarily unavailable.  McFarland is refreshing the catalog database, and we expect for all portions to be accessible later this morning.

If you experience trouble ordering online, please call toll-free 800-253-2187.  Our customer service reps can take your order  and will apply your holiday discount coupon over the phone.


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CALL FOR PAPERS: Veterans in Society

“Veterans in Society: Broadening the Discourse”
2nd Annual Veteran Studies Research Conference 2014 (VSC2014)
Virginia Tech & Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke, VA April 27–28, 2014


Call for Papers

An interdisciplinary conference, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society (CSRS) at Virginia Tech, will be held at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center to bring together multiple perspectives on the many issues surrounding veterans in society. Our goal is for the conference to lead to the formation of a multi-disciplinary, international scholarly community with its own calendar of events and digital presence. This year’s conference will broaden the discussion by focusing on the role of the arts and the humanities in shaping policy and addressing some of the difficult social issues faced by veterans and their families.

Topics may address but are not exclusively restricted to the following questions:

  • When governments and the private sector offer services to veterans, they project identities on people they label “veterans.” In what respects are there blind spots or problematic assumptions in the existing research and service-delivery agendas that disadvantage some veterans?
  • Who “counts” as a veteran? Have some kinds of service, experiences, needs, or potentials arbitrarily been privileged (or devalued) over others?
  • How have veterans themselves made meaning of their military and civilian experiences?
  • What do historical, comparative, and literary perspectives bring to our understanding of military service and the post-military experiences of veterans vis-à-vis their civilian societies? Conversely, in what respects might such “lessons” be spurious?

Finally, because this research area of veterans studies is broadly defined, we solicit research that

  • Invites scholars and service providers – and veterans – to examine the experiences of military personnel and veterans from countries other than the United States, other wars than the recent American-led conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan, and other settings than active duty in hot conflicts;
  • Discusses other people whose experiences substantially paralleled and even intersected those of wartime military veterans (e.g., diplomats, journalists, civilian contractors in their various capacities) but who are not usually regarded as veterans;
  • Analyzes veterans’ use of politics and civil society, not as clients with needs defined by service providers but as active participants;
  • Analyzes representations of veterans in literature, film, social media, or other genres;
  • Discusses / represents how veterans use literature, music, and other creative media, whether as creators expressing themselves or as audiences for whom those creations may have special significance or value.

Cornerstones of the Event

The event will begin on Sunday night with a production by Outside the Wire (, a social impact company that uses theater and a variety of other media to address pressing public health and social issues, such as combat-related psychological injury. Their Theater of War (ToW) presents readings of Sophocles’ Ajax as a catalyst for a facilitated town hall discussion about suicide, combat stress, alcohol and substance abuse, and the impact of war on families. For the past three years, this groundbreaking initiative has been a catalyst for powerful dialogue at military installations worldwide, as well as at colleges, universities, and regional theaters. More than 100 acclaimed actors have participated, including Blythe Danner, Paul Giamatti, Charles S. Dutton, Terrence Howard, David Strathairn, Debra Winger, and Dianne Wiest. At least one actor of this caliber will perform.

The second foundational element of our event will feature a session entitled, “Growing Up Military,” led by Donna Musil, the founder of the nonprofit Brats Without Borders, who wrote and directed the award-winning film Brats:

Our Journey Home. This film documented the “hidden American subculture” of more than 15 million people raised in the military system. After screening key sections of the film, Donna Musil will discuss her experiences working with military brats of all ages, including considerations of the ways in which today’s young (~18 and under) military kids—having grown up in a decade of war—might also be seen as veterans.

In addition, we will offer a panel entitled “Support Our Troops? A Community in Dialogue.” In August 2013, a Virginia Tech professor published a controversial op-ed piece with on why he objects to corporate fundraising campaigns that use the phrase “support our troops.” In the weeks that followed, community members participated in wide-ranging discussions responding to the article and language choices surrounding the military in society. This panel will include representatives from both military and civilian perspectives; panelists will address strategies for making conversations across ideological differences more productive.

We welcome all suggestions for the conference, as well as offers to chair sections and round-table discussions.


Submission Guidelines

The conference organizers anticipate that most successful proposals will be for papers presenting completed research and technical papers. However, we encourage proposals that present promising, provocative work in progress as well as academically sound research that may use nontraditional formats/media.

Authors should submit abstracts of no more than 500 words for blind review: do not include author names, affiliations, or other personally identifiable information.

All submissions should conform to a widely accepted style that will be intelligible to an interdisciplinary audience (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).


Important Dates

  • Jan 10, 2014: Submission due
  • Jan 30, 2014: Notification (Accept, Conditional Accept, or Reject)
  • July 1, 2014 (estimated): Submission of contributions to proceedings
  • Sept 15, 2014 (estimated): Public availability of proceedings



As previously, we hope the findings presented at VSC2014 will generate wide-ranging conversations that span disciplines, institutional affiliations, generations, and veteran/military/civilian status. We encourage high-level participation from all quarters, including professionals in fields pertaining to veterans, independent scholars, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates.

Authors will present their research in two phases:

  1. Proposals. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words prepared for blind peer review and a cover letter providing contact information for the author(s). The results described must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  2. Contributions to proceedings. Authors will have a reasonable, limited time to revise their formal presentation’s content and formatting for publication in the online conference proceedings. Authors may also include slide decks of the presentations, handouts, and other supplemental materials as part of the proceedings. Multimedia elements such as video or audio clips may be incorporated into the papers or submitted as supplemental files. Contributions to the proceedings will be curated by the Virginia Tech libraries to promote their widespread discovery, access, and preservation at no cost to authors or the public. Authors will retain their own copyrights.
If you would like additional information about VSC2014, contact Dr. Jim Dubinsky ( or Dr. Bruce Pencek (
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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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The Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon: 30 Years Old Today

Over on GeekDad, contributor John Booth writes about how Dungeons & Dragons came to Saturday morning cartoon land 30 years ago.  The cartoon was beloved by gamers and non-gamers alike.  Regarding the D&D game the cartoon was adapted from, Booth says:

“I loved it.  I was 12 years old, and, although I had a Fiend Folio and several AD&D modules, I never really learned to play the game for real.  My friend Mike and I rolled up characters — often cheating terribly: You’ve never seen so many 18s — and took turns guiding each other through adventures in a manner that would be an insult to the term “DMing.”  But we had fun, and our imaginations were sparked by the books and settings.”

Read more at GeekDad.

For McFarland books about gaming and gaming culture, browse here.

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Publishing Position Available

A fulltime editorial position is open.  This is an entry level, multifaceted job, involving editing, proofreading, correspondence, author relations and editorial department administrative duties.  A four year college degree (any subject) is required.  Psychological maturity, “people skills” and a flair for language are major pluses.  Good computer skills are needed.  Testing is required.  McFarland benefits include personal time off (includes vacations, sick days and holidays) based on years of service, a superior retirement plan, an insurance package that includes medical and dental as well as short and long term disability along with long term care and maternity/paternity leaves and other benefits.  There is an annual review for raises and bonuses.  Apply by September 27, 2013, at any office of the Division of Workforce Solutions (

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Huffington Post Recognizes Author Tim Peeler

Last week we posted news of Tim Peeler’s recent reading in Boston, where he was the guest of the Boston Red Sox and read from Waiting for Godot’s First Pitch.  Now one of the people who helped make it happen, George Mitrovich, has published an appreciation of the poet, which can be found online at The Huffington Post:

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Fenway Park Writers Series: Waiting for Godot's First Pitch

Tim Peeler’s two most recent McFarland books are baseball histories, but to some of us here he remains a poet first, albeit one who in writing prose sometimes hits from the other side of the plate.  It’s been more than a decade since we published his first volume, Touching All the Bases: Poems from Baseball, and wider recognition has come his way in recent years—not long ago, he was named a finalist for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Award for Poetry—but we congratulate ourselves for being among his early admirers.

Credit the Boston Red Sox, too, for recognizing a fine poet when they see one.  On Friday, August 16, Peeler will read from Waiting for Godot’s First Pitch as part of the Great Fenway Park Writers Series:

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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!

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Boondocks Brewing, McFarland Host Book Launch for Local Artist Stephen Shoemaker on Wednesday, Feb 27

North Carolina artist Stephen Shoemaker and Our State magazine writer Janet Pittard have teamed up to write Stephen Shoemaker: The Paintings and Their Stories.  A West Jefferson, NC,  native, Shoemaker is known for his dramatic railroad paintings and scenes of life in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant in downtown West Jefferson will be the site of the book launch, where together with publisher McFarland, they will be welcoming the public to meet the authors on Wednesday, February 27, at 5:00 PM.

Criticized for doodling too much in class, Shoemaker took his first art lessons at age 10 with Flossie Farr and Archie Black in the old block building across the street from the West Jefferson Elementary School.  Since, he’s gone on to be featured by UNC-TV, Our State magazine, and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, among other outlets.

“The art and stories are about things that most people can identify with,” said Shoemaker recently. “The book is basically about local events and growing up in this area.”

The art book includes Shoemaker favorites such as his Virginia Creeper series, and also includes pieces created especially for the publication.

“There’s a lot of lively storytelling, but the book also sheds light on an artist’s thought processes and how inspiration is drawn from our region’s unique culture and history,” said coauthor Janet Pittard.

According to Shoemaker and Pittard, the joint project has been more than two years in the making.  Working with McFarland, who also had released The Art of Florence Thomas, was a natural fit.  McFarland is known for its topnotch, serious books aimed at the library market, and was experienced with the ultra-high design and printing standards required for art books.

The book launch is open to the public, begins at 5:00 and will run until approximately 7:30.  The authors will be autographing books, and McFarland will have copies on site for sale at a special launch price.  Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant will be providing entrée discounts for diners who buy a book and stay for supper.  Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant can be contacted at 336-246-5222 or online at  McFarland can be reached at 336-246-4460 or online at

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James Arness Paperback Has Been Announced

The late James Arness penned one of McFarland’s all-time bestsellers.  The autobiography of the World War II vet and television icon, originally published in its library edition on September 11, 2001,  is coming to paperback soon.

There are many personal revelations of interacting with some of the Gunsmoke family ensemble, such as Miss Kitty, Doc and Festus. His own work as a producer is covered. Throughout are rare, previously unpublished photographs from the author’s personal collection. Appendices include comments by show biz colleagues and fellow Gunsmoke alumni, and a sampling of letters received from his legions of fans. Actor and fellow Gunsmoke performer Burt Reynolds has written a foreword to the book.