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 […]

Hillbilly Elegy: Appalachian Readings

While contemplating which books to read as part of my resolution, a light bulb came on. I realized that my true reason for this project was to re-immerse myself in Appalachian literature in order to respond intelligently to Hillbilly Elegy. Once I connected those dots, I decided to get it over with. Hillbilly Elegy is […]

Dear Appalachia: Appalachian Readings

Continuing my 2018 resolution to read more books about Appalachia, I chose Dear Appalachia: Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878 by Emily Satterwhite for February. In Dear Appalachia, Satterwhite looks at reader responses to popular Appalachian regional fiction from the late 1800s to present day. I’ll admit, I haven’t read all the books Satterwhite discusses, but I’ve […]

On Homesickness: Appalachian Readings

A resolution of mine for 2018 is to read more books about Appalachia. I was an Appalachian studies minor back in the day at Berea College, and my writing and, honestly, my identity are wrapped up in the region. Because I do best with goals, I decided to read one book on Appalachia each month. […]