A Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer will discuss his acclaimed “The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt,” at Whitworth University at 7 p.m. Thursday.
T.J. Stiles achieved a double feat with this outstanding book – he won both the 2010 Pulitzer and the 2009 National Book Award for nonfiction. It’s a riveting story about a self-made man who became the very definition of a “tycoon,” yet this book also is the story of America’s rise to economic power.
Whitworth history professor Dale Soden said that Stiles will be able to “provide us with some important historical perspective” on America and its economy.
Stiles is the author of a previous well-received biography, “Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War.”
This will be the university’s 2011 Simpson-Duvall lecture, at the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall on the campus. It’s free and open to the public.
A true life Butte mystery
Christy Leskovar, a native of Butte and raised in Kennewick, discovered at a family gathering that her great-grandmother was arrested for murdering her great-grandfather. And then there was talk of a fire and a corpse.
Leskovar went on a quest to find the true story, and she has produced two books, “One Night in a Bad Inn,” and her newest, “Finding the Bad Inn: Discovering My Family’s Hidden Past” (Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., $25).
Leskovar is an engineer who now lives in Las Vegas. But to research these books, she had to “morph into a true-crime detective, archival archaeologist and ground-level historian.”
She’ll be reading from her books at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave.
If the name Alison Kartevold rings a bell, it’s because she was a well-known reporter and producer for KSPS-7, as well as KXLY-4 and Northwest Public Radio.
Now, she’s the author of a fantasy novel, “KenKarta: Battle of the Onoxmon” (The Artists’ Orchard) aimed at middle-grade readers. It’s the story of two princesses who must resist the power-hungry Lord Leamoldae. She wrote the book in collaboration with her two young daughters.
Kartevold will be signing the book at the University of Idaho’s main bookstore from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Kartevold grew up just north of Moscow and currently lives in Pittsburgh with her family.
Here are two new entries in the (evidently) burgeoning genre of Spokane crime noir:
• “Spokane Is Still Deader Than Dead” (Dark City Books, $14.95) – A collection of crime and suspense stories set in Spokane, written by number of Spokane writers, including Steve Oliver, Barbara Curtis, Colin Conway, Mark Shilo, Linda Bond, Dave Alling, Carol Crigger and Darin Krogh. It’s a follow-up to a previous anthology, “Stories for a Dead Night in Spokane,” published last year.
A number of these authors will read their work on Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave.
• “And Every Man Has To Die” (Gray Dog Press, $15.95) – This is local author Frank Zafiro’s fourth book in the River City crime novel series set in a fictional (but somehow familiar) city in Eastern Washington. Frank Zafiro is the pseudonym of Frank Scalise, a Spokane police officer.
The book will have a free launch party at Hallett’s Chocolates, 1003 E. Trent Ave., from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The author will also read at Auntie’s Bookstore at 7 p.m. May 5.