The Cruelest Month
By Steven Robert Allen
Book freaks, take heed! The 14th Annual Albuquerque Antiquarian Book Fair will be held at UNM's Continuing Education Center (1634 University NE, 291-9653) this Friday, April 1, from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Organizers say this is the biggest antiquarian book sale in the state. In addition to books on everything from cooking to history to the occult, you'll also find maps, plates, photographs, prints and various other bookish ephemera. The event is a benefit for the library at the university's Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. Admission is $6 for both days, or $2 if you plan on only attending Saturday, when all the best stuff will have already been nabbed.
In other book news, Bookworks is bringing in Sue Monk Kidd, famed author of The Secret Life of Bees, a novel that spent 77 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and sold over three million copies. The book is a gripping coming-of-age story about a young girl named Lily who believes she accidentally shot and killed her own mother. Kidd set her story in the '60s against a backdrop of racial unrest.
She'll be in Albuquerque on Sunday, April 24, at 5 p.m. at UNM's Continuing Education Auditorium to promote her latest novel, The Mermaid Chair. This new one has a middle-aged woman as its heroine. Advance readers have praised it for presenting characters and a plot that are at least as engaging as those found in Kidd's debut. For details about this event, call Bookworks at 344-8139.
Well, now that we've finally made it to spring, it's time to get serious about that backyard of yours. Those vegetables ain't gonna fertilize themselves, you know. Or maybe they will? What do I know? I'm no gardener.
Thankfully, you don't have to rely on the ignorance of brown thumbs like me. Every Sunday at 3 p.m. throughout the entire month of April, Master Gardeners of Albuquerque will present a series of lectures at Bound To Be Read (6300 San Mateo NE, 828-3500) on how to get the most out of your soil. On April 3, they'll be dishing out tips on how to best cultivate tomatoes. On April 10, they'll be talking about planting and caring for trees. On April 16, they'll discuss strategies for enticing children into the cult of gardening. Finally, on April 24, they'll give advice on how to care for dahlias, cannas, daylilies and gladioli. Come on down and learn yourself something.
Also at Bound To Be Read, bestselling writer Meg Cabot, she of The Princess Diaries, will make an appearance on Friday, April 8, at 7 p.m. to promote the latest novel in the series, Princess Diaries VI: Princess in Training. During the event, Cabot will be accepting donations of prom dresses for a volunteer project called A Cinderella Affair, which seeks to make every girl's prom magical. Nope, I'm not kidding. Bring in a slightly used dress, and you'll automatically be entered into a drawing for a mystery prize.
If that sounds a little froofy for your tastes, stop by the store on Wednesday, April 27, at 7 p.m. to meet Julie Mars, author of A Month of Sundays. After her sister died of cancer, Mars found herself in the midst of a genuine spiritual crisis. Instead of planting herself on the couch and gorging on lousy daytime television, she decided to do something proactive to battle this crisis, visiting a series of 31 New Mexico places of worship and recording her experiences. Her book combines a grand tour of our state's spirituality with a touching memoir about the relationship between Mars and her sister.
That's a few of April's highlights. For details, contact your favorite bookstore.
Local bookstores that want their May events considered for inclusion in this column should contact me by phone at 346-0660 ext. 251 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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