That Month In Tuscany serves up romance and adventure

At the public library that is my third home — my first home is a basement apartment, and my second…
Read More

Comment

 

Deserving books that may pique your interest

On the red wooden chair near my desk, 14 inches high, is a mound of books waiting for review. Three…
Read More

Comment

 

Still jazzy after all these years

I first discovered Lawrence Ferlinghetti in high school and his book Starting From San Francisco and have read everything he’s…
Read More

Comment

 

A trip to the beach without leaving home

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever…
Read More

Comment

 

When love is illuminated

Sarah Hall, born in the Lake District of the Cumbria region of northwestern England in 1974, began to take writing…
Read More

Comment

 

Author treats death and grief with realism

Some will understand more fully than others. On a Wednesday you arrive home to find the one you love collapsed…
Read More

Comment

 

Something satisfying in a good mystery

Jack Reacher is back. In Past Tense (Delacorte Press, 2018, 382 pages), Lee Child, author of 21 novels about Jack…
Read More

Comment

 

The art of writing can certainly be learned

“What we have here is failure to communicate.” So says The Captain, the warden of a prison, in the movie…
Read More

Comment

 

A quick run through some fine books

Spring-cleaning. Those two words conjure up images of washing windows, storing away the winter clothes, and carting off odds-and-ends to…
Read More

Comment

 

Jennie Churchill was anything but a prude

Mrs. Patrick Campbell, famed Victorian actress, was renowned for her sharp wit. On hearing about a sexual relationship between two…
Read More

Comment

 

Yiddish noir novel hits the mark

So, how many Yiddish authors do you know? If you’re like me your answer would be none. That is until…
Read More

Comment

 

Falling in love with a writer

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and I have fallen in love. Again. Three years ago, Nina George entranced me with…
Read More

Comment

 

A poet offers thoughts on life and death

When someone dies, we look for words to assuage our grief and the grief of others. We deliver eulogies, we…
Read More

Comment

 

When the fault lies in ourselves

I used to teach seminars in composition, history, literature, and Latin to homeschool students. One day a bright young man…
Read More

Comment

 

The unbelievable kindness of Mr. Rogers

My online dictionary defines hagiography as “the writing of the lives of the saints, adulatory writing about another person, or…
Read More

Comment

 

Graham Greene, redemption, and us

Let’s start the new year with some old books. We begin with two suppositions. First, you are a good person…
Read More

Comment

 

Making a small dent in the book pile

So many books, so little time. Many booklovers may have uttered that old saw with a sigh, but in my…
Read More

Comment

 

Playing with a net: ‘Formal Salutations’

When I was teaching homeschool students in AP Literature, I would on occasion ask them to write a sonnet. The…
Read More

Comment

 

What a woman! Why I love Camille Paglia

Fierce. Honest. Libertarian.  Those are just three of the reasons why author and professor Camille Paglia has fascinated me for…
Read More

Comment

 

You can’t make this stuff up

One of my favorite and most often used aphorisms in this lifetime has been “you can’t make this stuff up.”…
Read More

Comment

 

A fine novel about a fascinating literary era

The writers who lived and practiced their art between the two world wars of the twentieth century continue to exert…
Read More

Comment

 

Cookbooks make nice holiday gifts

So there I was on a Wednesday afternoon in October in one of my favorite spots in town: the public…
Read More

Comment

 

Book explores Trump’s election victory

Want to know why Donald Trump won the 2016 election in one of the most stunning upsets in American history?…
Read More

Comment

 

Halloween suggestions for the young and old

In 2015, online blogger Amanda Russo posted a humorous piece “Why Halloween Is Actually A Pretty Weird Holiday.” As Russo…
Read More

Comment

 

A book for those who wonder what ails them

Time to move away from novels and histories, and look inside some general gift books. First up is How Psychology…
Read More

Comment

 

A start on that ever-growing pile of books

So many books, so little time. Many booklovers may have uttered that old saw with a sigh, but in my…
Read More

Comment

 

Book examines change in rural Appalachia

In the last 75 years, the landscape and the culture of the Appalachian South have undergone enormous change. Take the…
Read More

Comment

 

A slow, beautiful tale told through letters

English farmwife and mother Tina Hopgood writes to Professor P.V. Glob. The professor had long ago dedicated his book, The…
Read More

Comment

 

God’s broadcasting station — the great outdoors

When I taught homeschool seminars in Latin, history, and literature in Asheville, I would wait for a cold spell in…
Read More

Comment

 

Tyler delivers another delightful novel

Years ago, my wife and I belonged to a Waynesville book club in which a couple would act as host…
Read More

Comment

 

Older books are still worth a read

Two days ago, I finished reading Jon Hassler’s Rookery Blues (Ballantine Books, 1995, 485 pages). Hassler focuses his novel on…
Read More

Comment

 

Joy’s third novel rooted firmly in Jackson County

In that moment, he knew that he was standing in the midst of something that would never be forgotten, something that…
Read More

Comment

 

Hiaasen’s graduation book misses the mark

About 15 years ago, I was listening to a female critic discussing the seasons’ upcoming movies. When the moderator mentioned…
Read More

Comment

 

An endearing coming of age teaching story

When we are in school, we consider ourselves fortunate when we find ourselves in the company of inspiring teachers. We…
Read More

Comment

 

A new writer with an old heart

In a prologue that will make you cry — bringing hackles of guilt to your eyes — Tommy Orange has…
Read More

Comment

 

History of American furniture a fascinating story

Oscar P. Fitzgerald’s American Furniture: 1650 to the Present (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018, 621 pages) is a door-stopper book, a…
Read More

Comment

 

Choose your summer reading carefully

The last 10 days have brought some broad swatches of time for reading. Two novels have traveled from the library,…
Read More

Comment

 

Grab some books and keep the kids reading

Most of us, of whatever age, by a simple act of memory and willpower can revisit distant summers in our…
Read More

Comment

 

Frazier’s latest novel is a marvelous read

... never acknowledging that the general culture is often stupid or evil and would vote out God in favor of…
Read More

Comment

 

Sense of time and place resonates throughout this novel

Sometimes a writer so imaginatively recreates a place and a people that the book becomes a time machine, sweeping us…
Read More

Comment

 

A nod to the genius of Thomas Wolfe

Where do I start? What can I say of that young man whose wife had left him and who spent…
Read More

Comment

 

Discovering a writer who sings to my heart

Time to have some fun. And Adultolescence (Keywords Press, 2017, 248 pages) is just the place to go for that…
Read More

Comment

 

A few books aimed at new graduates

Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go! has become as much a fixture of graduations as a bride’s white dress…
Read More

Comment

 

Mystery novel delves into the opioid crisis

In Elizabethan England, the vast majority of the population drank alcohol rather than unclean water, consuming up to a gallon…
Read More

Comment

 

Sage advice from a clutter of books

Spring cleaning. When we hear those words, we think of washing windows and dusting neglected baseboards, de-cluttering closets, going through…
Read More

Comment

 

Where local and global meet

Do I have one for you! Elaine Neil Orr’s Swimming Between Worlds was recommended to me by Wayne Caldwell and…
Read More

Comment

 

If you’re going through hell: a book and some thoughts

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill By hell, I mean neither a trivial bad-hair day nor that…
Read More

Comment

 

Short book provides intelligent insight

“History is a field of human intentions, deeds, acts. We need to look a little more closely at this field…
Read More

Comment

 

Books that help bridge the political divide

Time for spring-cleaning.  The basement apartment in which I live could use a deep cleaning: dusting, washing, vacuuming. It’s tidy…
Read More

Comment

 

Horrific twister is catalyst for insightful novel

It was April 5, 1936, Palm Sunday, about nine o’clock in the evening. People were tidying up their kitchens, strolling…
Read More

Comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.