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Wednesday, 20 April 2011 12:13

Holman’s novel dubbed compelling, tantalizing

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When I was a teenager, I became addicted to a late-night horror movie host named Bestoink Dooley. Based in Atlanta,…
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 19:29

A Southern siren among Manhatten’s literati

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In A Ticket to the Circus: A Memoir (978-1-4000-6794-7, $26), Norris Church Mailer gives an account of her marriage to…
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 19:45

Sentimental story is also very memorable

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The Memory of Running is a “road book.” In some respects it resembles what critics in the 19th century called…
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 19:31

Biography recounts the life of a quiet hero

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In “Twelfth Night,” Shakespeare wrote: “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have…
Wednesday, 23 March 2011 19:45

Stephen King collection gets the thumbs-up

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At the conclusion of this collection of four novellas: Full Dark, No Stars, Stephen King adds an “Afterword.” In acknowledging…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:29

Hiking the Pacific Coast Trail with Skywalker

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Some The Smoky Mountain News readers may remember a review here several seasons ago of Bill Walker’s Skywalker: Close Encounters…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:11

Love, devotion and a restless journey

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The great kite of the crucified Christ loomed and caused the crowd to vibrate. Like a pyre before him, the…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:03

Battling weight problems and ensuing baggage

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Though heroin and cocaine are dangerous and illegal, both drugs carry with them a cachet, the dark romance of, say,…
Wednesday, 23 February 2011 20:50

Vampire saga lacks traditional horror appeal

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For quite some time now, the literary genre known as “science fiction/horror” has been undergoing radical changes. The “creatures of…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:44

A novel that sparkles with quality writing

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In Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand (ISBN 978-1-4000-6893-7, 2010, $25), first-time novelist Helen Simonson has created a superb portrait of life…
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 20:44

Area storytellers featured in new book

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In view of the fact that Southern Appalachia is acknowledged to be a massive reservoir of traditional storytelling, Saundra Kelley’s…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:09

Author recounts unique parenting journey

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Some novels call to mind certain family members. There are the wise old stories that remind us of our grandparents,…
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 21:08

A grisly war novel that stands apart

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“It took Karl Marlantes 30 years to write his thunderous, brutally granular account of scorched-earth combat in Vietnam. Matterhorn was…
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 19:58

Revisiting one of the last raids of the Civil War

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Anyone who has driven state roads between Asheville and Winston-Salem has quite possibly seen those state historical markers commemorating the…
Wednesday, 12 January 2011 13:22

This is quality Southern writing

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How many times have you heard the lament, “They don’t write southern novels the way they used to”? This statement…
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 20:49

A cautionary tale of the dangers of excess

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“The rich are different from you and me,” F. Scott Fitzgerald once famously said to Ernest Hemingway, to which Hemingway…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:21

In new novel, outlook is grim without technology

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Let me begin this review by confessing that I never heard of E.M.P. (Electromagnetic Pulse), and I was distressed to…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:04

Waynesville Inn to play host to second-annual Winterfest

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Haywood County residents looking to brave the ice and leave their firesides this January can find an afternoon of respite…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:44

Leavitt creates emotional story, realistic characters

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In her previous novels — two of which, Coming Back To Me and Girls In Trouble, have been reviewed here…
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 21:05

A dark story about death, love and loss

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Dear readers, if you decide to purchase this amazing novel, please consider the following advice: forget George Romero and the…
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 20:58

A bunch of possibilities for your book lover

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To buy affordable holiday gifts for men past the age of 30 can be difficult. When confronted with men who…
Wednesday, 01 December 2010 21:27

Lehane’s latest as good as it gets

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For over a decade, Dennis Lehane’s name has been synonymous with skillfully crafted crime novels. Both Mystic River and Shutter’s Island…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:05

Find the perfect gift at your local bookshop

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For many people, Thanksgiving is a holiday that delivers on its promises. The table sags beneath platters of ham and…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:33

Zafón back… but not, this time, in Barcelona

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For millions of readers, Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind proved to be one of the most captivating…
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 21:00

Book explores the value of silence

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The sound of silence. Silence is a rare commodity in our world today. Of course, perfect silence doesn’t exist. The…
Thursday, 04 November 2010 03:46

McCrumb gets sidetracked in book about famous trial

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Several months ago, I reviewed a marvelous non-fiction work by Sharon Hatfield titled Never Seen the Moon: The Trials of…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 20:43

Taking readers to a warm and colorful place

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As cooler weather plucks leaves from the trees, stripping the branches bare as a freshly-barbered poodle, as that wonderful green…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 20:08

Unwieldy story still packs a punch

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Reading So Cold the River may give many readers a weird sense of déjà vu — a feeling that they…
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:32

A new collection of mountain writers

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Many of us have attended a Methodist or Baptist “dinner on the grounds.” At these events, once popular across the…
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 20:17

Crews’ world is full of blood and bone

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Getting Naked with Harry Crews, edited by Erik Bledsoe. University of Florida Press, 1998. The first time I ever heard…
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 12:29

An irresistible adventure

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Some novels ask for a close reading. Entranced by the author’s language, intrigued by an intricate plot, and in some…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:37

Southern stories don’t disappoint

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The publication of New Stories from the South 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of this prestigious series. Obviously, the folks…
Wednesday, 15 September 2010 19:19

Words speak louder than actions

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A Postcard From The Volcano: A Novel of Pre-War Germany by Lucy Beckett. Ignatius Press, 2009. 520 pages World War…
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 20:15

Putting the spotlight on Whittier

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My Mountain Granny by Matthew Link Baker. Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, Inc., 2010. In the opening pages of My…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:11

Choice of victims makes this a disturbing read

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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…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:40

A fascinating murder story

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On a hot July night in 1935, a young Wise County, Virginia, school teacher named Edith Maxwell came home late.…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:23

A grim look at Appalachia

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Authors often dig into their childhood to mine for the coal and diamonds of their books. Sometimes they use the…
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:28

Memoir project a mixed bag

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The design of this book’s cover, in addition to being visually attractive, quite possibly serves as an inadvertent assessment of…
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 20:15

Searching for God and the self

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Home. The word is as twisted with complications and mystery as all those other household words we use every day:…
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 13:00

Tales of alienation and horror

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For the past few years, internet literary critics of fantasy/supernatural novels have been raving about about a writer of “punk…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 18:49

Piecing together a picture of home

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Although Americans are known for their wandering ways, traveling to California in Conestoga wagons, taking the train to find a…
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 13:57

Crowe wins prestigious poetry award

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Tuckasegee poet Thomas Crowe won the George Scarborough Prize for Poetry during the recent Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at Lincoln…
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 00:00

Half-price sale at Friends of the Library bookstore in Sylva

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A half-price book sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 and from noon to…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:42

Author to discuss AT journey

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Writer Amy Allen will discuss her journey along the Appalachian Trail as she presents her book, Summoning the Mountains: Pilgrimage…
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 01:15

Events for readers and writers

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Author’s works come to life The Touring Theater of North Carolina will present “Look Back the Maytime Days: From the…
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:01

News in brief for readers and writers

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Library showcases author for book discussion  Kimberly Brock will do a presentation based on her novel, The River Witch, at…
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:43

Adult writing group to meet

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A creative writing group for adults age 18 and over will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at the…
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:42

Watkins to discuss Goll’s translation

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Jackson County writer (author of the heralded travel memoir East Toward Dawn) and translator Nan Watkins will be giving a…
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:41

Author to speak about citizen empowerment

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Paul Loeb, a writer who has spent more than 30 years researching citizen responsibility and empowerment, will deliver a lecture…