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Free for All: Brad Taylor, "full circle" and the First Ever Indie Craft & Design Fair

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It'll be a homecoming of sorts for author Brad Taylor when he stops at Murder by the Book for a reading and signing session on Friday. Taylor, though born in Japan, grew up in the Lone Star state and graduated from the University of Texas. Taylor's Enemy of Mine, his newest release, is another Pike Logan thriller and focuses on the threats made to an American envoy brokering a peace deal between Israel and Palestine.

Few authors write about espionage, terrorism and clandestine hit squads as well as Taylor does and with good reason; He spent more than 20 years in the Army before retiring as a Special Forces lieutenant colonel. His boots-on-the-ground insight into the situation in the Middle East and special skills in "irregular warfare" and "asymmetric threats" give his writing a realistic, graphic tone.

Brad Taylor appears at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, visit the store's website or call 713-524-8597.

Artists working with repurposed materials take things some would consider to be at the end of their usefulness and create something new. That's the premise behind the "full circle" exhibit at the Art Car Museum, which has its opening reception on Saturday. The show features new works created from recycled and reappropriated items, from newspapers to garbage, by five artists. Among them is Kenn Coplan, who spends his days working in Hollywood as an art director and production manager. His artwork involves mind-reeling creations that challenge the ideas of decay and beauty. Among his most well-known work is his Rust Angels series, an ambitious project to create 1,000 seraphic icons using discarded metal Coplan has found in the desert. (The series emulates the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who tried to make 1,000 paper cranes in an effort to win good health after she was irradiated in the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima during World War II.) One piece Coplan will be exhibiting at "full circle" is a startling work built from the remains of a printing press. The piece shows a young boy, arms raised as in the famous Holocaust image of a Warsaw ghetto being emptied, trapped behind a concentration camp-style fence. David Best, Tania Botelho, Susan Spjut and Brian Cavanaugh are also exhibiting.

There's an opening reception 7 to 10 p.m. January 19. Regular viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Through June 2. 140 Heights. For information, visit the museum's website or call 713‑861-5526.

On Sunday, it's the first ever Folk Market a monthly Indie Craft & Design Fair, presented by Pop Shop Houston. Handmade and locally produced goods are the focus of the fair (the unofficial motto is: Don't spend a dime on corporate junk!) with art, clothing, jewelry, music and more being offered. The program includes activities and there will be plenty of beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) for sale. Future fairs are already scheduled for February 17 and March 17.

Shop from noon to 6 p.m. at AvantGarden, 411 Westheimer. For information, visit the event's website.

Jef with One F contributed to this post.

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