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Carmen Deedy and Thomas Gonzalez

Carmen Deedy joins us to showcase her exciting, colorful new book, 14 Cows for America. Wonderfully illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez—who like Deedy is a native Cuban now living near Atlanta—it is an inspiring, delightful story produced in collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah.  It begins in 2002 in a far-flung village in western Kenya where hundreds of the Masai people have gathered to make a most unusual, heartfelt gift to the American people in the tragic wake of the September 11 attacks.

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Jan Karon

One of America’s most popular authors, Jan Karon, joined us to talk about her latest, eagerly anticipated novel, In the Company of Others: A Father Tim Novel. Karon’s novels, marvels of gentle, arresting storytelling, have sold tens of millions of copies, and there are over 30 million in print, making her one of the country’s top bestselling authors. In the latest novel, Father Timothy Kavanagh and Cynthia arrive on the west coast of Ireland to research his ancestry and encounter some very unexpected, surprising activities. Karon’s Mitford novels, set in a small North Carolina town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, include A Light in the WindowAt Home in Mitford, and Out to Canaan. This was one of only seven stops in the author’s fall tour around the country. A new edition of her  Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader is being released at the same time.

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Hoda Kotb

The popular anchor for NBC’s Today Show, Hoda Kotb, shares her life story in a revealing, fascinating, behind-the-scenes new book, Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee.With humor and grace, she shows how we all have the capacity to turn a crisis into a blessing, and the lessons she has learned, from growing up with immigrant Egyptian parents to reporting from dangerous war zones all over the world, from surviving breast cancer to getting along with her Today Show colleagues. Hoda Kotb has been co-anchor of the fourth hour of Today since 2007. She has been a Dateline NBC correspondent since 1998 and hosts the weekly series Your Total Health. She is a winner of the prestigious Peabody Award and a four-time Emmy nominee and also received the 2002 Edward R. Murrow Award for her reporting.

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Sal Cilella Jr.

Sal Cilella Jr., the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Atlanta Historical Society, discusses his new book. Upton’s Regulars is a history of an important Civil War regiment, the 121st New York Infantry, which took part in some of the war’s bloodiest battles, including Antietam.  Mr. Cilella visited the library on September 17, 2009.

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Amanda C. Gable

Atlanta author Amanda Gable has written a richly imagined and heartwarming new novel, The Confederate General Rides North. It’s a whimsical, totally original story about an endearing young heroine, 11-year-old Katherine McDonnell, a precocious Civil War buff, and her touching relationship with her mother. It’s set in Georgia in the 1960s, and we’re predicting it will emerge as one of the finest debut novels of the year! Ms. Gable came to read at the library on August 11, 2009.

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James Braziel

James Braziel, author of the acclaimed novels Birmingham and 35 Miles, visits us with a powerful, mesmerizing new book, Snakeskin Road. It’s a cautionary tale about a woman’s harrowing journey of survival through the southeastern United States after it has been devastated by catastrophic climatic changes. It’s a frightening depiction of a familiar landscape which has become lawless, corrupt and extremely dangerous.

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Stephen L. Carter

Stephen L. Carter, whose brilliant debut novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park, was a New York Times bestselling novel, returns with something different: a new book, Jericho’s Fall, centered on the shadowy world of spies, government secrecy and financial fraud. It”s a riveting thriller for Carter, professor of Law at Yale University since 1982. His other books include Palace Council and New England White.

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Rhythm Ranch (formerly Cowboy Envy)

Rhythm Ranch is a new group anchored by two members of the beloved all female western band, Cowboy Envy. Berné Poliakoff (aka Frenchy) and Kathleen Hatfield (aka Buffalo K) were the lead singers of this hugely popular band. Their work has garnered much praise and multiple awards, including the “Best Harmony” award from the Western Music Association (twice). Their vocals have been described as “heavenly…with harmonies to die for” (Atlanta Journal Constitution).  Together, Frenchy and Buffalo K have performed at festivals and concerts from Alaska to South Carolina. Their history has been highlighted by appearances at Spoleto Festival, Detroit Arts Festival, Music Midtown and two concerts at the Kennedy Center. They have toured with The Indigo Girls and performed with numerous acts including Riders in the Sky, Shelby Lynn, Confederate Railroad and Sweethearts Of The Rodeo.

With Rhythm Ranch, the girls have joined up with an amazing fiddler (Al Pieper) and an extraordinary bassist (L.A. Tuten). Together they deliver dynamic performances, filled with wonderful music and great humor, delighting audiences of all ages.  They performed at the Decatur Library on May 13, 2010.

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Anne Lamott

The renowned author of many bestselling books including Traveling Mercies and Grace: Thoughts on Faith, visits us with a tough and touching new novel, Imperfect Birds. “Heartbreaking and delightful, moving and hopeful, the novel reminds us how our children are connected to and independent of us, and that no matter how difficult our struggle is with them, love underlies it all and saves us. This novel captures the deepest, purest, most terrifying experience of parents fearing for their children. With great insight and humor, Anne Lamott shows us what it means these dangerous days to be a parent, what it means to be a child, and what it means to be a family.”  She visited us at the First Baptist Church Decatur on April 9, 2010.

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Thomas Cahill

New York Times’ bestselling author of How the Irish Saved Civilization and Mysteries of the Middle Ages, discusses his powerful new book, A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green. It’s a deeply moving and true narrative about a man transformed as he faced an unjust execution. Archbishop Desmond Tutu says of the book, “Dominique Green was a wonderful man whose life demonstrated the power of God to heal and transfigure even the most unlikely people and places. Who could have expected that Texas Death Row would be made into an avenue of divine grace?—which is exactly what happened through Dominique’s instrumentation. Though this is a book that ends in death, it does not end in despair. Read it and discover how even the obscenity of capital punishment can be transformed into an occasion of light and peace.”

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