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Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:25

Authors release photographic history of Waynesville

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Michael Beadle and Peter Yurko have published a new photographic history of Waynesville in honor of the town’s bicentennial this…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:25

Authors of two new mountain memoirs speak

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Jean Boone Benfield, of Asheville, will read from her new book, Mountain Born: A Recollection of Life and Language in…
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:36

‘Moonshiner’s Daughter’ author at Blue Ridge Books

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Mary J. Messer, author of the newly published Appalachian memoir Moonshiner’s Daughter, will be at Blue Ridge Books at 3…
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 20:13

Free writers workshops in Waynesville

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Upcoming free workshops at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville will offer writers behind-the-scenes tips on getting published and provide guidance…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:48

Storytime with puppets

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Jackson County resident Josie Williams will be guest storyteller at a special children’s storytime at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:47

An official Star Wars party

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Join the fun at a Star Wars party at 2 p.m on Saturday, July 31, at Blue Ridge Books. The…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:47

All about the Carltons

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Dr. Barbara Carlton will autograph copies of her book, This Nearly Was Mine: A Journey Through Carlton Country at 2…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 20:41

Shakespeare still valuable in space

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Muse of Fire by Dan Simmons. Subterranean Press, 2008. 105 page In recent years, it has become fashionable for writers…
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:27

O’Connor’s life and characters

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Two weeks ago, a friend and I traveled down into Central Georgia looking for Flannery O’Connor. My friend, whom I…
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:16

Government is in need of a little belt-tightening

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Most Americans are surely aware our economy is still in trouble. The downswing in the last year of the Bush…
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:32

Slow corruption

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The Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell. Plume/Penguin Group, 2008. 196 pages. Several years ago, I read an amazing…
Wednesday, 16 June 2010 14:24

Holding on to an identity

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Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf. Clarion Books, 2007. 208 pages. On May 27, 1942, resistance fighters who had…
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 13:28

Yearning for ancient ties

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The Memory of Gills by Catherine Carter. Louisiana State University Press, 2006. 59 pages. Recently, when Catherine Carter was asked…
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 20:17

Juggling through books

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In Spite of Myself: A Memoir by Christopher Plummer. Knopf, 2008. 656 pages. Like most readers, I usually have a…
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:34

Reading Nina Simone’s tragic life

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Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone, by Nadine Cohodas. Pantheon Books, 2010. 449 pages. The first time I…
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:34

The tannery and the Green Fly

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During my first year at Western Carolina Teachers College (now Western Carolina University) in 1953, I managed to offend my…
Thursday, 20 May 2010 17:06

Bringing poetry back to life

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Once upon a time the queen of literature, poetry finds itself nowadays, like the tale of Cinderella run in reverse,…
Wednesday, 19 May 2010 13:19

Self-help without the sugar

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Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness by William Spiegelman. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2009. In Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary…
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 15:18

Learning to play the Angel’s Game

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The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Doubleday, 2009. 470 pages.A few days after completing The Shadow of the Wind,…
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 15:14

In Next, life changes in a day

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Next by James Hynes. Reagan Arthur Books, 2010. 320 pages. In The Lecturer’s Tale, previously reviewed in The Smoky Mountain…
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 17:37

Taking readers down a deep spiral

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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Penguin Books, 2005. 487 pagesLet’s begin with a marvelous story —…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

Bring poetry to the people

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“April is the cruelest of months, breeding/ lilacs out of the dead land” — so wrote T.S. Eliot in the…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

A modern take on Chaucer’s classic

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eoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales: a Retelling by Peter Ackroyd. Viking Press, 2009. 436 pages Being an old English teacher,…
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 17:37

Obsessing over grammar

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Twelve years ago, while teaching Latin at a local high school, I was discussing a point of grammar — I…
Readers will be in for a surprise when thumbing through the pages of the all-Cherokee issue of Appalachian Heritage literary…
Horns by Joe Hill. William Morrow Publishers, 2010. 370 pages. Ignatius William Perrish (“Iggy” to his friends) awoke one morning…
Wednesday, 24 March 2010 19:03

Exploring the legacy of Ayn Rand

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In Ayn Rand and the World She Made (ISBN 978-0-385-51399-9, Doubleday, 568 pages, $35), Anne C. Heller has given readers…
Wednesday, 10 March 2010 16:12

A requiem for Cataloochee

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Requiem by Fire by Wayne Caldwell. Random House, 2009. 335 pages Dear readers, if you have some slight respect for…
Wednesday, 03 March 2010 16:12

A guidebook for raising boys

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Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2009. 368 pages.…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

One fateful night

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The Turnaround by George Pelecanos. Little, Brown and Company, 2009. 320 pages On a sweltering summer night in 1972, three…
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 17:10

A book about beer, food, and Gnometown cooking

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Cooking with wine is familiar. Cajun chef Justin Wilson, one of television’s first real food celebrities, liberally tipped Chablis into…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

Power struggle

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Enemy of God by Bernard Cornwell. Saint Martins Press, 1998. 397 pages Several years ago, when I was reading everything…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

Fitzgerald comes to life in Asheville

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The Fitzgerald Ruse by Mark De Castrique. Poisoned Pen Press, 2009. 250 pages. Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and magazines like…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

An American original

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Devil’s Dream by Madison Smartt Bell. Pantheon, 2009. 352 pages. Although several biographies of Nathan Bedford Forrest have found publishers…
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:37

A different take on a legend

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The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell. Saint Martin’s Press, 1997. I was probably 10 years old when I discovered King…
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 16:12

A tale of both despair and hope

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Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath by Elizabeth and Michael Norman. Farrar,…
Wednesday, 13 January 2010 16:12

Suspenseful guest drives novel

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For some 30 years now, Bernard Cornwell has been one of the most prolific writers in the western hemisphere. With…
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 15:43

Characters mirror SMN readers

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Rain Gods by James Lee Burke. Simon and Schuster, 2009. 448 pages. Readers of this column know that some authors…
Drood by Dan Simmons. Little, Brown & Company, 2009. 775 pages. I must admit, I’ve never been much of a…
Wednesday, 23 December 2009 13:45

Love and sonnets meet in Shakespeare’s Italy

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The Sonnet Lover by Carol Goodman. Ballantine Books, 2007. 368 pages. In The Sonnet Lover (Ballantine Books, ISBN 978-0-345-47957-0, $24.95),…
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 12:59

Savagery taints classic town in King’s new novel

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Under the Dome by Stephen King. Scribner, 2009. 1,074 pages Before I had read 20 pages of Stephen King’s new…
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 15:13

Of golf, relationships and life

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A Son of the Game: A Story of Golf, Going Home, and Sharing Life’s Lessons by James Dodson. Algonquin Books,…
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 14:55

Judgment day arrives

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The Cleansing by Ben Eller. Fireside Publications, 2009. 292 pages In Ben Eller’s science fiction novel, The Cleansing, (2020), progress…
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 14:10

Eli Book takes us back to a nostalgic time

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Eli the Good by Silas House. Candlewick Press, 2009. 295 pages Eli Book, the 10-year-old narrator/protagonist of Silas House’s new…
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 13:37

Typical Zombie fare

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If you are a fan of the apocalypse movies that are currently common fare in American theaters, you will immediately…
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 20:00

Ivey’s ‘Up River’ offers valuable lessons

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Up River: A Novel of Attempted Restoration by George Ivey. Dog Year, 2009. 304 Pages. George Ivey’s Up River: A…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:24

A peculiar angst

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Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book by Walker Percy. Picador, 2000. 272 pages. Walker Percy not only wrote…
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 19:53

Whimsical tales defy explanation

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Willful Creatures Stories by Aimee Bender. Doubleday & Company, 2005. 208 pages Recently, Garrison Keilor mentioned a new writer, Aimee…