FNV: Jodi Picoult

This installment of Friday Night Videos brings you National Geographic Live with Jodi Picoult.
Delve into the life and mind of one of America's most popular and prolific contemporary writers, Jodi Picoult, as she discusses her latest work, Leaving Time. Picoult reveals the personal experiences that helped shape the story, including her own familial relationships and her trip to Botswana, where she learned about the urgent crisis facing elephants. The National Geographic Live series brings thought-provoking presentations by today’s leading explorers, scientists, photographers, and performing artists right to you. Each presentation is filmed in front of a live audience at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The plan for this series is to point our readers one Friday each month to an online video featuring New Hampshire authors and their work. If you have a suggestion for a video we should include please let us know in the comments. 


Book of the Week #41

American Sweepstakes: How One Small State Bucked the Church, the Feds and the Mob to Usher in the Lottery Age  by Kevin Flynn (Lebanon, NH: ForeEdge, 2015)
By 1963 public lotteries—a time-honored if tarnished method of raising revenue for everything from the Roman roads to Washington’s Continental Army—had been outlawed in the United States for seventy years. The only legal gambling in America was found in Nevada, where mob involvement had at first been an open secret, and then revealed as no secret at all. In New Hampshire—a conservative, rural state with no sales tax and persistent problems with funding education—state legislator Larry Pickett had filed a bill to establish a lottery in every legislative session since 1953. To the surprise of many, it won passage a decade later and was signed into law by John King, the state’s first Democratic governor in forty years.
American Sweepstakes describes how King assembled an unlikely group of supporters—including a celebrated FBI agent and the staunchly conservative publisher of the state’s leading newspaper—to establish the first state lottery in the nation, paving the way for what is today a $78 billion enterprise. Despite the remonstrations of the Catholic Church, the threat of arrest by the federal government, the strident denunciations of nearly every newspaper editorialist in the country, and the very real fear that the lottery would be co-opted by the mob, eleven thoroughbred racehorses leapt from the gate on September 12, 1964, in the first New Hampshire Sweepstakes, ushering in the lottery age in America. - Jacket copy.

Kevin Flynn will be at Gibson's on Friday, October 9 starting at 7pm to talk about this new book. Kevin will also be the subject of our next NH Author Q&A coming up on 10/21/15.


Book of the Week #40

Massacre on the Merrimack:Hannah Duston's Captivity and Revenge in Colonial America by
"Early on March 15, 1697, a band of Abenaki raided the English frontier village of Haverhill, Massachusetts. Striking swiftly, the Abenaki killed twenty-seven men, women, and children, and took thirteen captives, including Hannah Duston and her week-old daughter, Martha. A short distance from the village, one of the warriors murdered the squalling infant by dashing her head against a tree. After a forced march of nearly one hundred miles, Duston and two companions were transferred to a smaller band of Abenaki, who camped on a tiny island located at the junction of the Merrimack and Contoocook Rivers, several miles north of present day Concord, New Hampshire. The Abenaki intended to make the captives run the gauntlet at their village in Quebec, after which they would be sold as slaves.
This was the height of King William’s War, both a war of terror and a religious contest, with English Protestantism vying for control of the New World with French Catholicism. The fact that the two religions could not have worshipped a more similar God is an ironic footnote to the carnage that would ensue.
After witnessing her infant’s murder, Duston resolved to get even. Two weeks into their captivity, Duston and her companions, a fifty-one-year-old woman and a twelve-year-old boy, moved among the sleeping Abenaki with tomahawks and knives, killing two men, two women, and six children. After returning to the bloody scene alone to scalp their victims, Duston and the others escaped down the Merrimack River in a stolen canoe. They braved treacherous waters and the constant threat of attack and recapture, returning to tell their story and collect a bounty for the scalps.
Was Hannah Duston the prototypical feminist avenger, or the harbinger of the Native American genocide? In this exquisitely researched and riveting narrative, bestselling author Jay Atkinson sheds new light on the early struggle for North America." -publisher's blurb
On Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 4pm Gibson's will host a launch party for this latest book from Jay Atkinson who was a recent guest on The Exchange.


Book of the Week #39

Nobody's Perfect by David Elliott; illustrated by Sam Zuppardi.(Candlewick Press, 2015)

David Elliott's latest picture book shows us that it is OK to be less than perfect and is filled with fun illustrations by Sam Zuppardi--how our narrator's room looks after he cleans it is fabulous. If you are looking for even more David Elliott (and why wouldn't you be?) check out the trailer for This Orq (he cave boy) which is a Ladybug Picture Book Award nominee this year.

This seemed like a good book to choose as I am trying to get back on track after having missed quite a few weeks of book-of-the-week this summer. I have a big stack of great looking books from New Hampshire authors (some new, some old friends) lined up to tell you about in the coming weeks.