Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Quaker fiction and local history

Jennifer Hudson Taylor visited the bookshop last weekend and brought her new Quaker historical novella, Quakers of New Garden.

She brought her Scottish historicals, too, and we celebrated with real shortbread "biscuits" (and American coffee).

I'd been looking forward to Jennifer's visit because we have a lot in common. She sets Christian-themed stories in the times and places that her ancestors lived. I'm writing a novel about my heritage, too. We both have Quaker ancestors, and they all ended up in the North Carolina Piedmont!

Quakers of New Garden is a collection of four stories about the Wall family.

Jennifer wrote the first one, "New Garden's Hope," set in 1808 Greensborough, N.C. The other authors followed generations of the Walls to Indiana, including their involvement with the underground railroad.

I have a few signed copies of Jennifer's books in the shop. If you live far away and would like to order an unsigned one, or if you have a Nook reader, please click on the title above.

The book signing topped off a very bookish weekend. Friday I "rescued" several armloads of science and history from a last-minute school renovation. Saturday, I picked out several boxloads of modern reads from a local thrift shop that's closing its doors.

My best finds came Friday night at the High Point Library's preview book sale. Although I had to pay to get in, I struck gold with lots of local history. I found this lovely 1945-46 High Point City directory, complete with business ads from my parents' and grandparents' time — like furniture, hosiery mills, and railroads.

Besides the residential and business phone listings (with four-digit numbers), it has a street directory on pinkish-purple pages in the back. You can look up a street and see who all the neighbors were, even who owned the property.

Some of those neighbors might be relatives — very helpful for genealogists!

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