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JMRL's busy weekend; local author's new memoir and more

Jefferson-Madison Regional Library has the following book-related events coming up in the next week:

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Central Library: Fifth annual How-To Festival offers demonstrations, presentations and information an topics from small-press printing to tea ceremonies to virtual reality. All ages are welcome.

Saturday art all branches, while supplies last: Free Comic Book Day, presented with Telegraph Art & Comics, offers free comics for all ages.

5 p.m. Tuesday at Louisa County Library: An opening reception is presented for the Lions’ Showcase, a collection of artworks by Louisa County High School students. Light refreshments will be provided. The works can be seen through May 20.

Central Library will be closed Wednesday for branch staff training day.

Kate Baer will speak at Vault Virginia on Thursday in a fundraiser for Stepping Stone, which helps provide resources for Charlottesville-area children up to age 3.

“Motherload: A Conversation with Kate Baer” will include drinks and appetizers in the Bradbury at 6 p.m., a poetry reading and panel discussion in the Vault at 6:30 p.m., question-and-answer time at 7:10 p.m. and a book signing at 7:30 p.m. Lily West of TheSheLab, who is president and CEO of the University of Virginia Alumni Association, will moderate the conversation with Baer.

Baer will explore themes from her poetry, including family, motherhood, grief, hope and love. New Dominion Bookshop will have copies of Baer’s books available for purchase.

Event sponsors include the Adiuvans Foundation, the Murlan Foundation and TheSheLab. Learn more about the event at

Carolyn McGrath’s new nonfiction book, “Two Faces of the Moon: A Small Island Memoir,” will be coming out July 24 from Brandylane Publishers in Richmond.

The Charlottesville author’s memoir traces summers spent with her dogs in a log cabin on an island in an Ontario lake savoring solitude and wildlife, and the noteworthy summer of 2001, during which she examines her relationship to her dying mother and the long-deceased father who’d left her the island.

McGrath has a degree in classics from the University of Iowa. She spent years teaching in the Department of English at Stony Brook University.

Elaine Ruggieri recently won the runner-up award in the general fiction category at the London Book Festival 2022 for her debut novel, “Retreat at St. Jerome’s.” The novel was recognized by the Hollywood Book Festival in 2021 with an honorable mention award.

Her contest-winning short stories have been published in several anthologies, including “Virginia Writers Club Centennial Anthology, 1918-2018.”

Ernest Thompson, the Academy Award-winning writer of “On Golden Pond,” will be at New Dominion Bookshop at 7 p.m. May 12 to read from and sign copies of “The Book of Maps.”

His novel recently was named a finalist for the Foreword Indies Award for Literary Fiction. Learn more at or call (434) 295-2552.


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