Wayfaring Strangers traces the evolution of Appalachia­n music

When Fiona Ritchie (the presenter of NPR’s long-running program, “The Thistle and the Shamrock”) first came to North Carolina, “people heard my accent and they’d say, ‘Oh, I’m Scots-Irish,’” she remembers. “I was confused. I thought they meant one parent was Scottish and one was Irish. It took me a wee while to realize this […]

Building a mystery

Local author Sallie Bissell returns to her Mary Crow series Sallie Bissell describes herself as a “flatland Southerner,” and you can hear it in her voice. But this Nashville native who grew up reading Nancy Drew and the historical fiction of William O. Steele (now her touchstone for a good read), developed an ambition to […]

The funny side of the bar

Man v. Liver is a book by Asheville native and illustrator Neil Hinson and author Paul Friedrich that centers around a simply drawn figure called “man” and his Dean Martin-esque one liners. Hinson describes the book as “a 100-page collection of sayings that we wish we remembered saying at the bar.”

Have a Comic Christmas: five great graphic novels for younger readers

Has this happened to you? You’re in the library or (worse) the bookstore, and your child approaches full of enthusiasm for a book that turns out to be a graphic novel. As a parent of an 8-year-old, I know I’ve been there, and I’ve talked to quite a few parents who seem gun-shy about spending money for something their son or daughter will read in less than an hour. Or which might contain inappropriate material.

As focus on e-books and downloadab­le material grows, library asks for input

Books aren’t dead, according to Buncombe County Public Library Director Ed Sheary, but he admits that libraries cannot ignore the growing popularity of e-books and digital audiobooks. As part of a federal grant, the library is seeking public input about the North Carolina Digital Library, the virtual place where patrons can check out downloadable materials. The survey closes July 7. (Photo courtesy of Pack Memorial Library)