We asked some notable Charlotteans: What’s on your bookshelf this summer? Here’s what they said.
compiled by Sharon Smith
Terri L. White, president and CEO of The Charlotte Museum of History
Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, by Caroline Criado Perez. “I loved this book because it made you reflect on how everyday things that we take for granted work and think about subtle changes that could improve them. A great mindset to have professionally and personally.”
Tar Heel Lightnin’: How Secret Stills and Fast Cars Made North Carolina the Moonshine Capital of the World, by Daniel S. Pierce. “This book hit two points of interest for me: history of the Carolinas and the influence of the alcohol industry on local policies. It also highlights how diversity impacted the growth of the business and how laws were interpreted for citizens.”
Katy Kindred, restaurant owner (Kindred, milkbread and Hello, Sailor)
The Caretakers, by Amanda Bestor-Siegal and The Culture Code, by Daniel Coyle. “I’m a pretty avid reader — I often have a couple books going at once. In the summertime I love a good beach read, so The Caretakers is filling that role perfectly — a fun, suspenseful novel. We also are at a point of growth in our business and doing a lot behind the scenes to build our team, so The Culture Code is a wonderful book about building successful teams. I like to bounce back and forth often between fiction and nonfiction.”
Christopher James Lees, resident conductor, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
The Violin Conspiracy, by Brendan Slocumb, “which follows a black violinist whose humble beginnings in rural North Carolina take him and his Stradivarius to the world-renowned Tchaikovsky Competition. I’m looking forward to reading a story that bridges so many of my worlds together, and any story in which classical music plays an important role — even in prose — definitely holds my attention.”
The Infinite Game, by Simon Sinek. “A brilliant construct for looking at areas of life where simply continuing on in the game counts as a win.”
Priya Sircar, arts and culture officer, City of Charlotte
“Currently, I’m reading There There, by Tommy Orange. It’s a Pulitzer Prize finalist and one of The New York Times 10 best books of the year (2018) and was recommended to me by a helpful bookstore staffer while I was visiting family in Austin. Orange is a Native author who tells this story through the points of view of 12 characters from Native communities. I’m only part-way through, but I look forward to finishing it … it’s engaging from the beginning!”
Sharon Gaber, Chancellor, UNC Charlotte
“Recently, I’ve started reading Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus. It is a funny story set in the 1960s about a woman who gets her Ph.D. and works in a research group. But because life is unpredictable, she becomes the unlikely TV star of a cooking show. I enjoy it because it is fun, light-hearted and realistic about the unpredictability of life’s path.”
Sam Diminich, executive chef and owner, Your Farms Your Table and Restaurant Constance (coming fall 2022)
“This is the book of the summer: ZERO: A New Approach to Non-Alcoholic Drinks. I’m opening a restaurant this fall, and I’m also celebrating eight years of sobriety this fall. So I want to celebrate opportunities for our community to come into our restaurant and enjoy multiple meal courses and have an opportunity to pair those courses with nonalcoholic beverages that actually align with flavor profiles in the same way wine pairs with flavor profiles of food.”
New books by Charlotte authors to keep on your bedside table or toss in your beach bag
The Grand Design, by Joy Callaway
The Charlotte author’s newest book is based on the true story of New York socialite and acclaimed interior designer Dorothy Draper, who is determined to create a path for herself that’s very different from the one her family has in mind. Set at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.V., the book has romance, scandal, history and style.
Deadly Declarations, by Landis Wade
Wade, a Charlotte author and host of the “Charlotte Readers Podcast,” combines history, mystery, humor and suspense in his latest book. Three residents of a retirement community team up to solve a pair of mysteries surrounding the death of a 96-year-old man. The mysteries involve a handwritten will disinheriting the man’s beloved granddaughter and a missing manuscript about the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Deadly Declarations was a finalist in the thriller/adventure category of the 2022 International Book Awards.
More new titles by local authors: