Good Reads

Through Willa's Eyes

Exploring the Smokies Through Willa's Eyes

Author Robert Beatty introduced a generation of readers to Asheville’s Biltmore Estate, the setting for his wildly popular Serafina novels. Now, he’s shining a similar light on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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Guy Smalley illustration • smmalleyart.com

Now that Summer is here, it’s easier to reflect a bit more kindly on treasonous Spring. From right after New Year until Mother’s Day, I bristle in a crystalline funk, softened momentarily by a couple of exciting events such as my sister’s birthday. more

Good Reads

Sometimes a writer so imaginatively recreates a place and a people that the book becomes a time machine, sweeping us into the past so effectively that when we finish reading the last page we feel as if we have breathed the air of a different century. more

Good Reads

Our friendship began in the mid-1950s. Day after day as a teenager consumed by fly fishing, I passed an older angler on Deep Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At some point polite “Howdy” or “Any luck?” gave way to conversation. more

Good Reads

Hickory Nut Gorge

Margaret Hester photo

Geology and hydrology go a long way toward explaining the rugged landscape of the Hickory Nut Gorge, southeast of Asheville. But science can only go so far toward helping us understand the mystique of that area. more

Good Reads

Although he lived in Asheville most of his adult life, Herbert Hyde always considered himself a son of his birthplace, the Smokies. Known as “Hub” to family and friends, he revered his roots and showed this with sparkling clarity countless times. more

Good Reads

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Avery McGaha photo

In Flat Broke With Two Goats: A Memoir of Appalachia, Asheville writer Jennifer McGaha takes readers on a wild ride through disaster and triumph. more

Good Reads

I stopped doing CD and book reviews at the end of 2013, but reading Becky Mushko’s latest book Them That Go, set in the 1970s in the same Virginia mountains where I was born and raised, has inspired me to put on my reviewer’s cap one last time. more

Good Reads