The Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center book club schedule

Press release from The Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center: 

The Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center will continue hosting its local interest book club on the second Fridays of each month at 11:30 am at the museum in 2018. This will be the second year the museum has hosted the book club which gathers to discuss works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry that have some relation to western North Carolina or the Southern Appalachian region. Last year was the first time the museum hosted the gatherings, and Assistant Director, Katherine Cutshall, who leads the discussion was delighted with the interest and turnout. “I thought maybe four or five folks would be a victory,” she said, “but this has turned into a steady group of at least fifteen who all have something to share. It has really delighted me to see how the group has come together and been so warm, welcoming, open to new ideas, and excited to learn more about the place we call home.”

The group is made up of long time WNC residents and brand new transplants, all eager to chat about the read of the month. Jill Jones, former director of the museum, is a book club regular, and a long time resident of WNC. She enjoys what the book club adds to the museum’s programming, saying “In addition to the incredible hiking programs that acquaint people with the outdoor history of the Swannanoa Valley, the book club offers both entertainment and education about the history and culture of the region.”

After taking a break for the month of January, this year the SVM book club will kick off by discussing This Was My Valley by Fred Burnett (1960). This Was My Valley recounts life in the North Fork Valley before it was taken by the city of Asheville to be flooded out and used as a water source, creating the Burnett Reservoir that exists today. The book is rare and expensive, however, the museum is loaning facsimile copies to those interested in joining the book club.

The museum encourages readers to purchase copies of the March – December reads from local booksellers like Malaprop’s Bookstore where they will receive a 10% discount on books on the book club list.Other booksellers like Black Mountain Books, Downtown Books and News, and Mr. K’s Used Books and Music also tend to have copies of the books. If you choose to purchase your book online, SVM staff suggest using Amazon Smile so that a portion of each purchase will support the museum.

You can RSVP for the book club online at the museum Facebook page, on the museum website, or by calling or e-mailing the museum: Katherine Cutshall, Assistant Director (828) 669-9566 |

The book club meets on the second Friday of each month at 11:30 at the museum. Meeting dates and works to be discussed are as follows:

  • February 9, This Was My Valley (1960), Fred Burnett

  • March 9, Welcome To Our City (1923), Thomas Wolfe

  • April 13, That Bright Land (2016), Terry Roberts

  • May 11, Pisgah National Forest: A History (2014), Marci Spencer

  • June 8, Return to the Innocent Earth (1994), Wilma Dykeman

  • July 13, Affrilachia (2000), Frank X. Walker

  • August 10, No One is Coming to Save Us (2017), Stephanie Powell Watts

  • September 14, The Last Ballad (2017), Wiley Cash

  • October 12, Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab (2016), Steve Inskeep

  • November 9, The Road (1967), John Ehle

  • December 14, Bloodroot: Reflections on Place by Appalachian Women Writers (2000), Joyce Dyer, ed.

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