Two Weeks in Iceland

For the first two weeks of September, Casey and I drove the Ring Road in Iceland in a camper van to celebrate our fourth anniversary. It. Was. Epic. Itinerary After a few days in Reykjavik, we headed clockwise around the Ring Road, with a detour around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula at the beginning and a detour […]

Never Justice, Never Peace: Appalachian Readings

For October’s Appalachian book, I went with WVU Press’s Never Justice, Never Peace, by Lon Kelly Savage and Ginny Savage Ayers. Ayers took up the mantle for this book from her father, who sadly passed before the project was finished. She used his manuscript and research and masterfully pieced the book together. The authors look closely […]

Southernmost: Appalachian Readings

Continuing my 2018 resolution to read one Appalachian book a month, September’s title was Southernmost by Silas House. House has long been a favorite author of mine due to his lyrical writing voice (I even named a dog Anneth after a character in The Coal Tattoo), so I was quite excited to read his latest novel. I […]

Salvation on Sand Mountain: Appalachian Readings

For my August reading selection, I chose a title that kept popping up in conversation with both Appalachians and folks outside the region: Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia by Dennis Covington. The copy I read was a 15th anniversary edition published in 2009, and it includes a new afterword by […]

The Climb from Salt Lick: Appalachian Readings

As part of my 2018 resolution of reading one Appalachian book a month, I just finished The Climb from Salt Lick: A Memoir of Appalachia, by Nancy L. Abrams. This is another beautiful book from my friends at WVU Press, which has just been on fire lately. (I started this journey with another of their titles: On […]

The Long Weeping: Appalachian Readings

This month, for my Appalachian reading resolution, I picked up The Long Weeping: Portrait Essays by Jessie van Eerden. Published by Orison Books last November, it had been on my wish list for a while. It’s always exciting to see a collection of essays get this much attention. It won the 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year […]

Uneven Ground: Appalachian Readings

Before I jump into this month’s book, I want to take a moment to celebrate a dear family member we lost on Memorial Day. Great Uncle George was an inspiration to so many, and it is fitting that he left us on a holiday meant to remember those who died while serving this country. He […]

What You Are Getting Wrong about Appalachia: Appalachian Readings

For April, I chose to read What You Are Getting Wrong about Appalachia, Elizabeth Catte’s response to Hillbilly Elegy. Catte states that her book has two objectives: “to provide critical commentary about who benefits from the omission of . . . voices” and “to openly celebrate the lives, actions, and legacies of those ignored in popular commentary […]

California Dreamin’

Way back in October, I joined my brother, Sam, who is based out of Knoxville, on a three-day business trip to California. While he worked, I played. After a two-hour flight delay in Indianapolis because the plane “smelled weird,” I finally landed in LA, greeted by my brother, his friend Christian, and an awesome In-N-Out […]