Subscribe  |  Contact  |  Advertise  |  RSS Feed Other Publications

Wednesday, 09 June 2010 13:28

Yearning for ancient ties

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
“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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
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

Written by
Willful Creatures Stories by Aimee Bender. Doubleday & Company, 2005. 208 pages Recently, Garrison Keilor mentioned a new writer, Aimee…
Wednesday, 14 October 2009 16:04

A memoir about misguided parents

Written by
Lies My Mother Never Told Me by Kaylie Jones. William Morrow, 2009. 284 pages Memoirs by children of famous people…
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 15:27

Kephart’s novel a time capsule from bygone era

Written by
Among the varied “revelations” brought to light during the celebrations attending the 75th Anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National…
Wednesday, 30 September 2009 19:09

Rebellion reigns in historical novel

Written by
Devil’s Brood: The Last Days of the Tempestuous Marriage of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine by Sharon Kay Penman.…
Wednesday, 23 September 2009 18:17

Film highlights Asheville’s many offerings

Written by
“The Spirit of Asheville” (video) by Arthur Hancock and Katie Brugger. Time Capsule Video: Highlands. Running Time: 73 minutes. The…
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 15:51

Entering the mind of a terrorist

Written by
First up for review this week is Piers Paul Read’s The Death of a Pope (Ignatius Press, ISBN 978-1-58617-295-4), the…
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 15:01

The dark side of the Romantics

Written by
The Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein by Dorothy and Thomas Hobbler. Little, Brown and Company. 374 pages.…
Wednesday, 02 September 2009 14:46

Vivid descriptions fail to save flawed book

Written by
South of Broad by Pat Conroy. Nan A. Talese, 2009. 528 pages. In his latest novel, South of Broad (ISBN…
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 14:57

A force of lyrical storytelling

Written by
Tender Graces by Kathryn Magendie. Bell Bridge Books, 2009. 315 pages Some of the most poignant passages in literature are…
Wednesday, 19 August 2009 14:15

Goodman’s second ‘classics’ story

Written by
The Night Villa by Carol Goodman. Ballantine Books, 2008. 413 pages. Over the last decade, Carol Goodman has rightly earned…
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 13:47

Oxford American: The best magazine ever

Written by
There aren’t many things that cause my weary heart to quicken. The local bookstore, Netflix, rain crows and, yes, the…
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 13:28

Mountain granny comes to life in book by former WCU student

Written by
Former WCU student Matthew Link Baker will read from his new book, My Mountain Granny: The Story of Evelyn Howell…
Wednesday, 05 August 2009 20:14

Particular parables and perverse ponderings

Written by
Willful Creatures Stories by Aimee Bender. Doubleday & Company. 208 pages. Recently, Garrison Keilor mentioned a new writer, Aimee Bender…
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:11

Toole explores boxing from inside the ring

Written by
Pound for Pound by F.X. Toole. HarperCollins, 2007. 416 pages. Million Dollar Baby by F.X. Toole. Harper Perennial 2005. 256…