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Book Notes: May 5, 2013

By Staff reports
'A Woman of Courage'FAIRMONT, W.Va. -- Robert Thompson, author of "A Woman of Courage on the West Virginia Frontier: Phebe Tucker Cunningham," will be making several appearances in north-central West Virginia on May 11 and 12.Thompson tells the story of Cunningham, married at Pricketts Fort in 1780, who lost four children at the hands of the Wyandot tribe and was held captive for three years until legendary renegades Simon Girty and Alexander McKee arranged her freedom."Thompson describes in vivid detail early colonial life in the Alleghenies and the ways of the Wyandot, providing historical context for this unforgettable saga," a news release said.Thompson, a historian and a former career military officer, has a graduate degree in military studies, Civil War, from the American Military University. He lives in St. Louis.From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 11, he'll be at Marion County Museum, 211 Adams St., Fairmont; at 2 p.m. at Morgantown History Museum, 175 Kirk St.; and at 2 p.m. May 12 at Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation, 88 State Park Entrance Road, Fairmont.Natural Appalachia MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Steve Stephenson, a University of Arkansas research professor, has written a new book, "A Natural History of the Central Appalachians."The book was published in March by the West Virginia University Press. Stephenson was a professor for 27 years at Fairmont State College.The book features more than 120 color images, examines the biology and ecology of the plants, animals and other organisms of the region. It also touches on the history of humans in the region, beginning with the arrival of the first native peoples.
In his years on the FSC faculty, Stephenson carried out numerous research projects in the woods of the Appalachian Plateau.According to a news release, Stephenson is one of the world's leading experts in the field of slime mold research. For his book, Stephenson rewrote and expanded "Vegetation of West Virginia" by Earl L. Core, a longtime botanist at West Virginia University.A native of south-central Virginia, Stephenson writes about his lifelong fondness for central Appalachia, which he refers to as "this special place.""Standing on a mountain ridge and looking down at a fog-filled valley in early morning," he writes, "observing the breathtaking beauty of the springtime profusion of wild flowers and flowering shrubs, being surrounded on all sides by the brilliant fall colors in a deciduous forest or discovering a fresh fruiting of an intriguing fungus on a log -- these were often things done in the context of some research project in which I was involved, and which I invariably took a moment to enjoy for their own sake."This is Stephenson's seventh book. He has also written "Myxomycetes: A Handbook of Slime Molds" and "The Kingdom Fungi: The Biology of Mushrooms, Molds, and Lichens."
Authors at TamarackBECKLEY, W.Va. -- The following authors will be at Tamarack to sign copies of their books:May 10, 18 and 24: Pat Call, "Vincent & Nadine"May 11: Cat Pleska, "Fed From The Blade"May 19: Mary Warstler, "Angels We Have Heard"May 26: Bonnie Thurston, "Women in the New Testament"
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