All about the Carltons
 

All about the Carltons

Dr. Barbara Carlton will autograph copies of her book, This Nearly Was Mine: A Journey Through Carlton Country at 2…
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Storytime with puppets
 

Storytime with puppets

Jackson County resident Josie Williams will be guest storyteller at a special children’s storytime at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July…
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A grim look at Appalachia
 

A grim look at Appalachia

Authors often dig into their childhood to mine for the coal and diamonds of their books. Sometimes they use the…
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Fiction author to appear at Sylva
 

Fiction author to appear at Sylva

Susan Gregg Gilmore, author of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen, will read from her new novel, The Improper…
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Twenty regional authors at Blue Ridge Book Fest
 

Twenty regional authors at Blue Ridge Book Fest

Blue Ridge Book Fest: A Regional Author Festival will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct.…
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“Therapy Dog” sales to support animal shelters
 

“Therapy Dog” sales to support animal shelters

Dianna K. Klingel will be signing her book, Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog, from…
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An irresistible adventure
 

An irresistible adventure

Some novels ask for a close reading. Entranced by the author’s language, intrigued by an intricate plot, and in some…
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Jackson County Public Library observes twenty-ninth annual Banned Books Week
 

Jackson County Public Library observes twenty-ninth annual Banned Books Week

The twenty-ninth Banned Books Week Sept. 25 through Oct. 2 celebrates not only the freedom to choose what to read…
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Southern stories don’t disappoint
 

Southern stories don’t disappoint

The publication of New Stories from the South 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of this prestigious series. Obviously, the folks…
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Words speak louder than actions
 

Words speak louder than actions

A Postcard From The Volcano: A Novel of Pre-War Germany by Lucy Beckett. Ignatius Press, 2009. 520 pages World War…
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First-ever Southeast Indian Writers Gathering lined up
 

First-ever Southeast Indian Writers Gathering lined up

Native American writers from the Southeast are invited to participate in the first-ever Southeast Indian Writers Gathering, to be held…
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First annual “Celebration of Books” in Highlands
 

First annual “Celebration of Books” in Highlands

Twenty-eight Carolina authors will be selling and signing their books at the Celebration of Books from 9 a.m. to 3…
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Meet Lin Stepp, author of the Smoky Mountain series of novels
 

Meet Lin Stepp, author of the Smoky Mountain series of novels

Lin Stepp will sign copies of Tell Me About Orchard Hollow from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18,…
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Putting the spotlight on Whittier
 

Putting the spotlight on Whittier

My Mountain Granny by Matthew Link Baker. Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, Inc., 2010. In the opening pages of My…
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Literary journal honors contemporary literature from the Cherokee community
 

Literary journal honors contemporary literature from the Cherokee community

Readers will be in for a surprise when thumbing through the pages of the all-Cherokee issue of Appalachian Heritage literary…
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Learning to play the Angel’s Game
 

Learning to play the Angel’s Game

The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Doubleday, 2009. 470 pages.A few days after completing The Shadow of the Wind,…
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WCU Authors Hal Herzog and Anna Fariello at City Lights
 

WCU Authors Hal Herzog and Anna Fariello at City Lights

Western Carolina University psychology professor Hal Herzog will celebrate his new book, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We…
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Choice of victims makes this a disturbing read
 

Choice of victims makes this a disturbing read

Stephen Hunter’s I, Sniper (ISBN 978-1-4165-6515-4, $26) brings to readers once again that intrepid sniper, now old and aching from…
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A fascinating murder story
 

A fascinating murder story

On a hot July night in 1935, a young Wise County, Virginia, school teacher named Edith Maxwell came home late.…
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New “Blue Ridge” Anthology features local authors
 

New “Blue Ridge” Anthology features local authors

A reading and book signing for the new anthology Echoes Across the Blue Ridge will take place from 1 to…
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Coffee with poet Bill Everett
 

Coffee with poet Bill Everett

Poet Bill Everett, author of Red Clay Blood River, will appear at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, as this month’s…
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Authors release photographic history of Waynesville
 

Authors release photographic history of Waynesville

Michael Beadle and Peter Yurko have published a new photographic history of Waynesville in honor of the town’s bicentennial this…
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Authors of two new mountain memoirs speak
 

Authors of two new mountain memoirs speak

Jean Boone Benfield, of Asheville, will read from her new book, Mountain Born: A Recollection of Life and Language in…
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‘Moonshiner’s Daughter’ author at Blue Ridge Books
 

‘Moonshiner’s Daughter’ author at Blue Ridge Books

Mary J. Messer, author of the newly published Appalachian memoir Moonshiner’s Daughter, will be at Blue Ridge Books at 3…
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Memoir project a mixed bag
 

Memoir project a mixed bag

The design of this book’s cover, in addition to being visually attractive, quite possibly serves as an inadvertent assessment of…
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Searching for God and the self
 

Searching for God and the self

Home. The word is as twisted with complications and mystery as all those other household words we use every day:…
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Free writers workshops in Waynesville
 

Free writers workshops in Waynesville

Upcoming free workshops at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville will offer writers behind-the-scenes tips on getting published and provide guidance…
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Tales of alienation and horror
 

Tales of alienation and horror

For the past few years, internet literary critics of fantasy/supernatural novels have been raving about about a writer of “punk…
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Shakespeare still valuable in space
 

Shakespeare still valuable in space

Muse of Fire by Dan Simmons. Subterranean Press, 2008. 105 page In recent years, it has become fashionable for writers…
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Piecing together a picture of home
 

Piecing together a picture of home

Although Americans are known for their wandering ways, traveling to California in Conestoga wagons, taking the train to find a…
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O’Connor’s life and characters
 

O’Connor’s life and characters

Two weeks ago, a friend and I traveled down into Central Georgia looking for Flannery O’Connor. My friend, whom I…
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Government is in need of a little belt-tightening
 

Government is in need of a little belt-tightening

Most Americans are surely aware our economy is still in trouble. The downswing in the last year of the Bush…
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Slow corruption
 

Slow corruption

The Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell. Plume/Penguin Group, 2008. 196 pages. Several years ago, I read an amazing…
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Holding on to an identity
 

Holding on to an identity

Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf. Clarion Books, 2007. 208 pages. On May 27, 1942, resistance fighters who had…
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Yearning for ancient ties
 

Yearning for ancient ties

The Memory of Gills by Catherine Carter. Louisiana State University Press, 2006. 59 pages. Recently, when Catherine Carter was asked…
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 Juggling through books
 

Juggling through books

In Spite of Myself: A Memoir by Christopher Plummer. Knopf, 2008. 656 pages. Like most readers, I usually have a…
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Reading Nina Simone’s tragic life
 

Reading Nina Simone’s tragic life

Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone, by Nadine Cohodas. Pantheon Books, 2010. 449 pages. The first time I…
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The tannery and the Green Fly
 

The tannery and the Green Fly

During my first year at Western Carolina Teachers College (now Western Carolina University) in 1953, I managed to offend my…
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Bringing poetry back to life
 

Bringing poetry back to life

Once upon a time the queen of literature, poetry finds itself nowadays, like the tale of Cinderella run in reverse,…
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Self-help without the sugar
 

Self-help without the sugar

Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness by William Spiegelman. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2009. In Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary…
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In Next, life changes in a day
 

In Next, life changes in a day

Next by James Hynes. Reagan Arthur Books, 2010. 320 pages. In The Lecturer’s Tale, previously reviewed in The Smoky Mountain…
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Taking readers down a deep spiral
 

Taking readers down a deep spiral

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Penguin Books, 2005. 487 pagesLet’s begin with a marvelous story —…
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Bring poetry to the people
 

Bring poetry to the people

“April is the cruelest of months, breeding/ lilacs out of the dead land” — so wrote T.S. Eliot in the…
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A modern take on Chaucer’s classic
 

A modern take on Chaucer’s classic

eoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales: a Retelling by Peter Ackroyd. Viking Press, 2009. 436 pages Being an old English teacher,…
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Obsessing over grammar
 

Obsessing over grammar

Twelve years ago, while teaching Latin at a local high school, I was discussing a point of grammar — I…
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Hill recreates horror that dad Stephen King perfected
 

Hill recreates horror that dad Stephen King perfected

Horns by Joe Hill. William Morrow Publishers, 2010. 370 pages. Ignatius William Perrish (“Iggy” to his friends) awoke one morning…
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Exploring the legacy of Ayn Rand
 

Exploring the legacy of Ayn Rand

In Ayn Rand and the World She Made (ISBN 978-0-385-51399-9, Doubleday, 568 pages, $35), Anne C. Heller has given readers…
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A requiem for Cataloochee
 

A requiem for Cataloochee

Requiem by Fire by Wayne Caldwell. Random House, 2009. 335 pages Dear readers, if you have some slight respect for…
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A guidebook for raising boys
 

A guidebook for raising boys

Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2009. 368 pages.…
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