Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Author Charlie Lovett to Visit UNCG on Thursday, February 5

Bibliophile and best-selling author Charlie Lovett will visit and talk about his books in the Hodges Reading Room of Jackson Library on Thursday, February 5 at 7 pm.  The event is free and open to the public. Copies of his books will be available for sale and signing.

It is appropriate that the talk be in the Library’s Special Collections Reading Room for a number of reasons. Lovett is a former antiquarian bookseller, and remains an avid collector, especially of books by and about Lewis Carroll.  Attendees will also be able to view a new exhibit about William Shakespeare, marking the campus celebration of Globe & Cosmos: Celebrating 450 Years of Shakespeare and Galileo.  Not only is Lovett knowledgeable about the subject, the Bard and his work are important elements of his first novel, the best-selling The Bookman’s Tale, which introduced scores of readers to the meaning of the word bibliophile.

In his second novel, First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen, Lovett once again immerses readers in a world where books hold closely guarded secrets that threaten to turn the literary world upside down. For Lovett, old books hold a power like none other; in his mysteries, their contents become matters of life and death. Careful Austen scholars will note that First Impressions was the original title for Pride and Prejudice.

Here’s a synopsis of the new novel:  In 1796, Jane Austen is living in Hampshire and working on her first book, an epistolary novel tentatively titled Elinor and Marianne, when she strikes up an unlikely friendship with an aging cleric named Richard Mansfield. An author himself—albeit of a less-than-artful book of allegories—Mansfield soon becomes Jane’s closest literary companion. On long walks through the countryside and engaging chats by the fire, they offer each other not only friendship, but also professional advice. Neither can foresee the impact their collaborations will have on future generations. In present day London, Sophie Collingwood is a lifelong book lover bereft at the loss of her beloved Uncle Bertram. After his books are sold off to pay debts, Sophie takes a job at an antiquarian bookshop hoping to earn enough to slowly buy back the books and restore his collection. When, on the same day, two customers request a copy of the same obscure book—the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield—Sophie is drawn into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice. Sophie, a dogged researcher and devoted Jane Austen fan, is quickly drawn into a frantic search for a book that threatens not just Jane Austen’s reputation, but Sophie’s own life.

Combining a very Austen-like love triangle; a portrait of one of our greatest literary legends; and a tribute to the typesetters and printing presses of the eighteenth century, First Impressions may appeal especially to  bibliophiles and Jane Austen lovers. It’s also a tale well told.  Lovett pulls readers into his world where true joy comes from a life lived in books.

Charlie Lovett is a member of The Grolier Club, the preeminent club for bibliophiles in North America. He and his wife split their time between Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Kingham, Oxfordshire, in England.  He is also the recently-elected President of Bookmarks, the Winston-Salem-based organization known for putting on North Carolina’s largest and best-attended annual book festival for the past ten years.

For more information, see

Monday, December 1, 2014

Friends of the UNCG Libraries – Looking Back on 2014

 For those inclined to look back on the past year, here's a review of Friends of the UNCG Libraries events and celebrations.

Throughout the year, Friends members enjoy

•    Access to a book collection of more than 1 million volumes

•    A DVD collection of more 5000 items

•    Current literature and paperback collections of popular titles for year-round reading

•    Beautifully furnished libraries full of comfortable seating

•    A helpful and professional group of library employees dedicated to helping patrons find the information they need when they need it

Kathy and David Crowe create endowments to support the University Libraries through planned gifts.

Others wishing to make major gifts through planned giving or other means should contact Director of Development Linda Burr at or by phone at 336-256-0184.

Ron Cassell leads a book discussion of Robert Graves’ Goodbye to All That.

The Digital Media Commons in Jackson Library hosts an open house recently to show off its newly minted Gaming Lab and 3D printing service.

The Friends of the UNCG Libraries Dinner features An Evening of Love and Laughter with Poet Nikki Giovanni despite an impending snow storm.

Carolina Peacemaker editor Afrique Kilimanjaro speaks at Jackson Library

Georgann Eubanks speaks on the topic “Why Are There So Many NC Writers?” This project is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

UNCG faculty member Terry Kennedy reads from his new book of poetry in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Reading Room on the second floor of Jackson Library.

Keith Cushman leads a book discussion of Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier.

The Digital Projects unit launches the Teachers, Textiles & Troops Digital Project with an address by Dr. Kevin Cherry, NC Deputy Secretary for Archives & History, NC Dept. of Cultural Resources, delivered at the Greensboro Historical Museum, one of the project partners.

Reference Librarian and Diversity Coordinator Gerald Holmes is honored with a special Outstanding Service Award by the African American Studies Program at UNCG.

Tim Bucknall, Assistant Dean of Libraries and Head of Electronic Resources and Information Technologies at UNCG, receives recognition as the 2014 Association of College and Research Libraries' (ACRL) Academic/Research Librarian of the Year.

Bill and Wilma Bates give to renovate and support the Bates Collaboratory in the Jackson Library Tower to provide versatile functionality, group study equipment, and comfortable seating.

Pat and Ira Gruber make a planned gift of a Discretionary Endowment to benefit the University Libraries.

Charlotte Holder Clinger and Noel W. Clinger establish the Colonel Charlotte Holder Clinger ’65 Oral History Fund to support the Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Project.

Author and storyteller Doug Elliott comes to UNCG and to the Bookmarks Festival in Winston-Salem under UNCG sponsorship with support from the Pam and David Sprinkle Children’s Book Author and Storyteller Fund.

Keith Debbage leads a book discussion of Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited.

UNCG Faculty Members David Roderick and Lee Zacharias, give readings from their new books for the MFA Writing Program, co-sponsored by the Friends of the UNCG Libraries.

Dr. Joy Kasson of UNC Chapel Hill presents a talk about author and illustrator Lois Lenski, whose papers are in UNCG’s Special Collections.

The University Libraries host the inaugural event for a new series, “Margaret Maron Presents Women of Mystery” This year’s guest is author Nancy Pickard.

Retired UNCG professor Fred Chappell reads from his new book of poetry, sponsored by the MFA Writing Program in partnership with the Friends of the UNCG Libraries.

Anne Hershey leads a book discussion of Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food.

Richard A. DeMillo, author of Abelard to Apple: The Fate of American Colleges and Universities opens a series created by the University Libraries and the Provost’s Office called What Is College For?

Beth Macy, author of Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - and Helped Save an American Town speaks about and signs copies of her book.

Keith Cushman leads a book discussion of  Carson McCullers’ The Member of the Wedding: the Play in conjunction with performances of the play by Triad Stage.

Many Friends and other supporters choose to make a year-end gift to the University Libraries.  You may do so online at

Before the Libraries close for the Winter Break Holiday and a short winter’s nap, coffee and other hot beverages are provided by the Friends of the UNCG Libraries for hard-studying students preparing for exams.  Post exam and holiday hours may be found at