Following in the footsteps of Maya Angelou, poet Richard Blanco was featured at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration in 2013.

Now the openly gay Hispanic immigrant is being featured at 11:30 a.m. March 27 during Common Hour in Mayser Gymnasium at Franklin & Marshall College. The public is invited to the free program.

Blanco is the author of “For All of Us, One Today,” which “reveals the inspiration and challenges behind the creation of the inaugural poem, ‘One Today,’ and reflects on his life-changing role as a public voice since the inauguration,” according to his website.

The poet will read from his work, which also is found in the books “City of a Hundred Fires,” “Directions to the Beach of the Dead” and “Looking for the Gulf Motel.”

City man narrates WWII memoir

Lancaster resident Norman Dietz narrates the newly released audio version of the 2012 memoir “Red Blood, Black Sand: Fighting Alongside John Basilone From Boot Camp to Iwo Jima,” by Chuck Tatum.

The book centers on Guadalcanal, where Tatum carried ammunition for Basilone, one of World War II’s legendary Marines. “Together they would lead the breakout off the beach, driving through and destroying a swath of enemy soldiers in the first man-to-man combat on Iwo Jima,” the audiobook cover explains.

The publisher calls this “the story of Chuck’s two weeks in hell, where he would watch his hero, Basilone, fall, where the enemy stalked the night, where snipers haunted the day, and where Chuck would see his friends whittled away in an eardrum-shattering, earth-shaking meat grinder of a battle.”

The author, just 18 at the height of the battle, received the Bronze Star for firing a machine gun to single-handedly cover the retrieval of two wounded comrades.

This book, which Tatum wrote at age 83, was one of four sources for the HBO miniseries “The Pacific.” Stephen E. Ambrose, author of “Band of Brothers,” said, “No combat veteran’s memoir is better.”

The unabridged audio version runs 12 hours. Dietz is the perfect choice to read it, having lots of practice with both history and memoir. In a similar vein, he also narrated “In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers,” by Ephrata author and Lancaster Newspapers reporter Larry Alexander.

Her book seeks to inspire

Lancaster County native Emma Lynn Glick has written an inspirational book connecting nature’s transformations with religious awakening.

“Metamorphosis: Freedom and Transformation Through the Cross” was published recently through CrossBooks. The title hints at one of Glick’s natural examples: caterpillar to butterfly.

What “amazes me the most about transformation is the way messes become miracles or things unattractive become extremely fascinating,” she writes. “Most of all ... I love seeing lives changed by the blood of Jesus.”

Many of the book’s 14 chapters begin with a Bible verse; most include personal anecdotes along with exhortations.

The 105-page paperback is available online for $11.99.

Book discussions planned

Everyone is invited to join in discussion of the following books, stories and plays; contact the hosting venue to register.

•Philip Roth’s “American Pastoral,” 6:30 p.m. April 1, Ephrata Public Library.

•James Joyce’s short story “Eveline” and Mary Robison’s short story “In Jewel,” 10 a.m. April 2, Lancaster Public Library.

•Robert Bartlett’s “The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization, and Cultural Change, 950-1350,” 6 p.m. April 2, Lancaster Public Library.

•Scott O’Dell’s “Island of the Blue Dolphins,” 6:30 p.m. April 7, Strasburg Heisler Library.

•Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s “Killing Lincoln,” 7 p.m. April 7, Eastern Lancaster County Library, New Holland.

•Veronica Roth’s “Divergent,” 6 p.m. April 8, Ephrata Public Library.

•Laurie Cass’ “Lending a Paw,” 6:30 p.m. April 8, Aaron’s Books, Lititz.

•Michael Chabon’s “Telegraph Avenue,” 10 a.m. April 9, Manheim Township Public Library.

•Robert Heinlein’s “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress,” 10 a.m. April 10, Lancaster Public Library.

•C.S. Lewis’ “That Hideous Strength,” 6 p.m. April 10, Moores Memorial Library, Christiana (youth).

•Patrick Rothfuss’ “The Name of the Wind,” 6 p.m. April 10, “ Lancaster Public Library.

•Taste of Home’s “Shop Smart & Eat Great: 403 Budget-Friendly Recipes,” 6:30 p.m. April 10, Ephrata Public Library. (Prepare a recipe from the book, and bring the dish along for sampling.)

•Phillip Meyer’s “The Son,” 10 a.m. April 11, Lititz Public Library.

•John Shore’s “Beneath the Marble Sky,” and Tracy Chevalier’s “Last Runaway,” 3 p.m. April 13, Aaron’s Books, Lititz.

•Hajime Isayama’s “Attack on Titan,” 4 p.m. April 16, Ephrata Public Library (ages 13-18).

•Muriel Barbery’s “The Elegance of the Hedgehog,” 6:30 p.m. April 16, Adamstown Area Library.

•Erin Morgenstern’s “Night Circus,” 6 p.m. April 17, Moores Memorial Library, Christiana.

•Jacklyn Brady’s “A Sheetcake Named Desire,” 6:30 p.m. April 17, Ephrata Public Library.

•Gary Paulsen’s “Crush: The Theory, Practice, and Destructive Properties of Love,” 4 p.m. April 21, Ephrata Public Library (tweens).

•J.R. Moehringer’s “Sutton,” 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. April 22, Milanof-Schock Library, Mount Joy.

•Diana Wallis Taylor’s “Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate,” 6:30 p.m. April 22.

•Ned Vizzini’s “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” 4 p.m. April 28, Ephrata Public Library (teens).