Arts & Culture

5 Must-Read Books By Charlotte Authors

June 25, 2012 6:00 AM

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Locally-based authors are doing great things, both at home and abroad. These featured Charlotte-area authors offer fascinating subject matter. Fortunately, no matter where in the world these writers have been published, their books are available here in Charlotte. Take a trip to a local bookstore. Experts behind the counter would be happy to help you find these works.
paulabroadwell 5 Must Read Books By Charlotte Authors


“All In: The Education of General David Petraeus” – Paula Broadwell and Vernon Loeb

Based in Charlotte, Paula Broadwell recently co-authored “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus” with Vernon Loeb. Released on January 24, 2012, “All In” examines the career of General Petraeus and his great influence on today’s U.S. military. Research on Broadwell’s novel was based on time spent in Afghanistan and prior work on her doctoral dissertation. While in Afghanistan in 2011, Paula got hours of interviews with the General and military men of all ranks to get perspectives on his wartime leadership.

Broadwell graduated with academic, leadership and physical fitness honors from the United States Military Academy at West Point. She earned her Master of Arts with honors from the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies, is a research associate at Harvard University’s Center for Public Leadership and is a PhD candidate in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. 15 years of military service and work in geopolitical analysis, counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations have taken her to more than 60 countries. She has served the U.S. intelligence community, U.S. Special Operations Command and FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

This book is available on her website, and at Park Road Books, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.

Related: Best Comic Book Shops In Charlotte

markdecastrique 5 Must Read Books By Charlotte Authors


“The Sandburg Connection” – Mark de Castrique

Mark de Castrique was raised in the North Carolina mountains in Hendersonville and currently lives in Charlotte. He is known for a mystery series with a detective named Sam Blackman who operates an agency with his girlfriend in Asheville, another famous mountain region of North Carolina. A recent publication is “The Sandburg Connection,” which takes the reader to Connemara, the hometown of poet Carl Sandburg in Flat Rock, North Carolina, where Sam has to solve a gruesome murder.

Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degrees in English literature and radio, television & motion pictures from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His Master of Arts in English literature was garnered from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He serves as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Not only is he a novelist, but he is also a television and film producer, whose work has earned Emmy, Clio and Telly awards.

His books are available at Park Road Books, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.

activist 5 Must Read Books By Charlotte Authors

(credit: AMV Publishing)

“The Activist” – Tanure Ojaide

Nigerian-born Tanure Ojaide is an adjunct professor in the Africana Studies Department of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Environmentalism is a recurring theme in Ojaide’s writing. Recent works include “The Beauty I Have Seen” (2010), “The Tale of the Harmattan” (2007) published in South Africa and “The Activist” (2006) published in Nigeria.

In “The Activist,” a young person who has lived in the United States goes home to Nigeria to make some changes in the Niger Delta environment. Due to the fictional Bell Oil Company’s prospecting, a legacy of pollution has been left behind which the activist fights to rectify, ultimately becoming the Governor of his state.

Dr. Ojaide is an internationally-renown poet who has also written critical essays and novels. According to his website, “He has won major national and international poetry awards, including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Africa Region (1987), the BBC Arts and Africa Poetry Award (1988), the All-Africa Okigbo Prize for Poetry (1988 and 1997) and also the Association of Nigerian Authors’ Poetry Prize (1988 and 1994).”

His books are available at Park Road Books, Books-A-MillionBarnes & Noble and the UNC-Charlotte bookstore.

spiderbones 5 Must Read Books By Charlotte Authors

(credit: Kathy Reichs)

“Spider Bones”- Kathy Reichs

Another UNC-Charlotte faculty member, Dr. Kathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist who detects information from human remains. Her career path has led her to identify victims of genocidal acts, war dead that are several decades gone and victims of the 9/11 attacks in New York City. This real-life experience and expertise led to her becoming a producer of the show “Bones.”

Her first novel, “Déjà Dead,” opened doors for her literary career as a New York Times bestseller. Protagonist Temperance Brennan is an investigator and a perennial presence in all of her novels. In “Spider Bones,” Temperance travels to Quebec. He must determine how a drowning victim, a Vietnam veteran thought to have been long gone and buried in North Carolina, could possibly have died twice. Exhumation, examination, sex; such elements are blended by Reichs’ fertile imagination.

Dr. Reichs divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal, where she consults for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec.

Her books are available at all major distributors. Local store Park Road Books has Spanish and German translations of some titles. NOOK books are available at Barnes & Noble.

tamarmyers 5 Must Read Books By Charlotte Authors


“The Headhunter’s Daughter” – Tamar Myers

Mystery-writer Tamar Myers lives in Charleston, South Carolina, a hop and a skip from Charlotte. Being our neighbor, and a prolific writer, she is an author certainly worthy of note. Stories of her youth open doors to the African experience that most will never enter. Her recent work, “The Headhunter’s Daughter,” has overtones of her life as the daughter of missionaries in what was formerly the Belgian Congo. The daughter in the novel is a blue-eyed foundling rescued by Bashilele headhunters who lives with their tribe. A missionary woman who hears of the girl, called Ugly Eyes by the people who raised her, wants to bring the child out of the jungle and back to the western world. This proves not to be so simple.

Myers is known for her Den of Iniquity series and her Pennsylvania-Dutch series with recipes. Her tour to promote a new murder mystery in her African series, “The Boy Who Stole the Leopard’s Spots,” included a stop at Charlotte’s Park Road Books in May.

Her books may be found at Park Road Books, Barnes & Noble, and other major bookstores.

Related: Best Local Charlotte Arts Programs To Support

Jacquelin Celeste Peters has produced award winning radio programs at WPFW Pacifica-Washington. She is a Culture and Events Examiner in Charlotte, North Carolina, which she calls home. Her work can be found at

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