Backlist Review: Cataloochee

Between the Civil War and the government’s creation of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park lives were lived in Cataloochee, a town in the mountains of North Carolina.

P1030130.JPG

You can visit when the roads are open. It’s a great alternative to the crowded main parts of the park. And if you do go read this book, because the multi-generational family saga is the perfect compliment to a day spent exploring the trails, crossing the creek, and exploring abandoned homesteads.

The book begins with gunshots. In the chapters that follow we go back and learn the story of Ezra Banks, and the years of hard work and darkness that brought the shots on. This book is everything I love in a novel. It’s a slow build of a multi-generational classic.

For fans of Cataloochee:

Note: links to amazon.com are affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

April 2017 Quick Lit

Flowers at Biltmore Estate

Flowers at Biltmore Estate

Each month I link with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit as a way to talk about the books I liked, but didn't review.

I had a slow reading month in March, but I'm hoping the warm weather will get me back on track.

I thought the story in Girl Waits With Gun was a little slow, but I liked the characters so much I might give the next book in the series a try.

After I came home from North Carolina last month I had to read At Home in Mitford again. There are parts of this book that really get on my nerves - everyone is divided into two categories, evil doers and Episcopalians. Plus the only African American calls everyone "honey" and seems to spend all of her time cooking greens. But, there's something about this town that I find enchanting, and I keep coming back.

I picked up Bed and Breakfast because I needed something soothing to read on the metro. This fit the bill, but I wish I hadn't picked out a book about Christmas in April.

I also read A Clearing in the Distance and Appalachian Odyssey while on vacation. Read more about it here.

Note: Links to amazon.com are affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

Homesick for someplace fictional

I'm sure I'm not the only reader who gets homesick for places they've read about in books, but don't actually exist. Walking around Asheville, NC last week made me come home and read a Mitford book. Sometimes I eat croissants and pretend I'm in Three Pines. I'm still waiting for my Hogwarts letter.

What fictional towns do you get homesick for?

Note: Links to amazon.com are affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

Vacation Book Review

This year was my first in memory that I tried to match my vacation reading to my location. Usually when I travel I pick something that's easy to read. I've been known to devour a whole trilogy in a week. I also have a thing for reading scary books by the beach.

Last week when I traveled to the mountains of North Carolina with my family I switched things up a bit, and matched my books with my vacation destination.

I've been meaning to read A Clearing in the Distance for years. It worked out well though that I got to read it in the same week I was visiting the Biltmore Estate.  Olmsted laid out Biltmore as an older man, and I got so much insight into the process by reading this book. I even got to read some of it while sitting on a bench in the gardens of the estate.

My husband downloaded all ten million hours of Fortune's Children for us to listen to in the car. This book was actually very funny, and gave a good background into exactly why someone would want to build a really huge house.

My husband bought me a signed copy of Appalachian Odyssey for Christmas, and I put it aside until our trip. I turn 40 this year, and appreciate stories about people who continue to hike past the age of 30.

How do you pick your vacation books? I liked this approach, but did kind of feel myself wishing for a novel at the end of some days!

Note: links to amazon.com are affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

I read about it in a book, and now I must go...

I finished The Wright Brothers last week, and now I am itching to travel to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. I've been there before, but David McCullough's book is so rich with detail that I need to figure out a way to see it again. I barely remember it, and I'm sure I didn't appreciate it enough. Luckily it's only about a four hour drive from here (when traffic is good.)

Have you ever done that? Read about a place, and gone there? As much as I read it usually works the opposite for me. I read about a place because I've just been there, or because I have plans to go there.

A new adventure! How exciting!

Five Facts I Never Knew About the Wright Brothers

I started listening to the audiobook version of David McCullough's The Wright Brothers, and I'm hooked. It's the kind of audiobook that has you driving around aimlessly just so you can listen to it a little bit longer. I'm amazed that there is so much that I didn't know about these famous brothers. Here are my top five favorite new to me facts about the Wright Brothers:

  1. We think of them as geniuses, but at the time most people thought they were crazy.
  2. They lived in a tent while they built the first plane.
  3. They learned to fly from watching birds.
  4. They gave leftover plane material to a local to make dresses for her daughter.
  5. There was a Wright sister, and she was awesome.

If you love this book, you might also like:

Note: links to amazon.com are affiliate links. Thanks for your support.