In True Stories At The Smoky View (She Writes Press, 2016, 325 pages, $16.95), Vrai Stevens Lynde — the “Vrai”…
Some authors and critics sniff at best-sellers. I suppose the idea is that a novel appealing to so many thousands…
“Southern Appalachia is a region about which, perhaps, more things are known that are not true than any other part…
Let’s go exploring. More specifically, let’s explore the American South.
New Year’s resolutions and I make for poor company. Like many reading this column, I have in the past made…
Opposites attract, so the old saying runs. We’ve all known friends, husbands and wives, and lovers who match this adage,…
In mid-October I attended the second lecture of three at my local library on the Italian artist Caravaggio (1571-1610). A…
Visit any bookshop or library and you will find loads of books telling you how to live a better life,…
Fifty years ago this past spring, on Easter Sunday, Evelyn Waugh died of a heart attack in his home in…
This is a delightful book and I am confident that it will be judged one of the best books of…
Of course, we’re intended to read from cover to cover many books — novels, histories, biographies, and more. It would…
In My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers Inc., 2012,…
One of the great joys of reading occurs when we bump into a book by an author we’ve never heard…
Nearly 20 years ago, while browsing the shelves of the Haywood Country Public Library, I came across a collection of…
Among Americans the two most egregious social stigma are smoking and obesity. We relegate smokers to sidewalks and rooftops when…
Recently, I attended “Coffee With the Poets” at City Lights Bookstore and heard the poet, Newton Smith, read and discuss…
One moment, please. To ward off the brickbats, cudgels, stones, dirt clods, and rotten tomatoes sure to come my way,…
Have you ever experienced one of those moments when you look at what you are doing and where you are…
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will…
Sometimes loss and death give little or no warning of their arrival. The doorbell rings at two in the morning,…
In House Of The Rising Sun (Simon & Schuster, 2015, 435 pages, $27.99), James Lee Burke tells the story of…
In December 1922 Hadley Hemingway set out from Paris to join her husband Ernest, then a newspaper reporter and an…
For decades, the lot of poor white Americans has worsened. Marriage rates have plummeted while out-of-wedlock births have skyrocketed. Unemployment,…
In 1968, Peter Berger, a Boston University sociologist, told the New York Times that by “the 21st century, religious believers…
This one’s for students, especially those of you in secondary school and college. Let’s get right to the point. Reading,…
It’s a wonderful day when a book surprises us with its wit, story, style, and wisdom. Recently I was talking…
Most of us like lists: “The 100 Greatest Novels of the Twentieth Century,” “The Ten Best Movies of All Time,”…
This may be the most depressing biography I have ever read. Although I frequently considered abandoning this painful trudge through…
In a 12-round heavyweight professional boxing match, at the beginning of the twelfth round there is a bell and the…
Last year a storm of controversy erupted over the destruction of writer Ray Bradbury’s home in Los Angeles. Architect Thom…
When Leo Cowan, Jackson County’s noted historian and author, died last February just after his second book was published, I…
In her novel Under The Influence (William Morrow, 2016, 321 pages, $25.99), Joyce Maynard makes her title do double duty…
For reasons unfathomable to me, I have spent the last two weeks on a fiction-reading jag. Until I was about…
Back a few months ago, when Hollywood came to town, I was fascinated and when I heard that for a…
In March, Jim Harrison, age 78, died of a heart attack. Harrison was among the most prolific of American writers,…
To review a book or to write a “book review” is to pinpoint its particular presence and its peculiarities. To…
Novels that make me laugh aloud are rare. Two novels, Confederacy of Dunces and Freddy and Fredericka, brought laughter, and…
Several months ago, I was invited to join the Senior Citizen Book Club at the Jackson County Senior Citizen Center.…
In recent years, we have seen a stream of books and authors promoting atheism. Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s…
Near the end of The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups, Dr.…
This astonishing “novel” was crafted by three multi-talented western Cherokees who live and create in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. It resembles a…
Love. What a loaded word. Let’s skip the love of country, the love of family, the love of nature, the love…
As you probably know, The Revenant, this astonishing survival tale was recently made into a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio in…
Twenty-five years ago, a pediatrician told my sister that eggs were unhealthy and that she must never serve them to…
Stephanie Storey’s Oil and Marble, which was released this spring, is not only a page-turner but an eye-opener.
Back in 1954, when I was a freshman at Western Carolina Teachers College (now WCU), the college’s drama department launched…
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” — George Orwell, 1984 For the past year, Americans have endured…
In this story, I am God. — Frank Lloyd Wright The title of this nonfiction work, Death in a Prairie…
Lent, which extends from Ash Wednesday to Easter, is for many Christians a time of fasting and prayer. Some believers…
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