This Black Friday I made a point of having at least two good books ready to keep me company all that day.
Loretta clipped store advertisements and intended to join the craziness. I may shop online for some good books to give the kids and grandkids. I can’t think of a better gift than a good novel by an Appalachian author. So before the weekend is over, I’ll be perusing the inventory on Heritage Nook’s website and writing a check.
I trade at Heritage Nook because the owner, Brenda Salyers, does more to promote central Appalachian writers than anybody I know and, if you search her catalogue, you’ll also discover that she stocks well over two hundred titles written by folks from the hills that I call home.
Heritage Nook Books is located at 8009 Main Street, P.O. Box 373, Pound, Va. 24279. Check out the website at www.heritagenook.com or call Brenda Salyers at 276-796-4604.
You can stop by the store and browse next time you’re in Pound. You save a bunch of money by shopping in the store.
Hot on the heels of “Clinch River Justice” comes Honaker, Va. native and recently retired dean of Eastern Kentucky University Business School Alfred Patrick’s latest book entitled “Clinch River Echoes.”
Readers may recall a recent review of Al’s “Clinch River Justice” in this column last month. Echoes is not a sequel to the first book, but the setting, deep in the rugged hills and hardscrabble farms of southwest Virginia is the same and a few characters from Justice do make cameo appearances in the second book. If you liked “Clinch River Justice,” you will absolutely love “Clinch River Echoes.”
Al Patrick’s hobby is hiking our nation’s premier trails. “With C.R. Echoes” he has certainly found his literary stride. The tale is another murder mystery romance in which the author also explores the ignorant ugliness of bigotry and violent crime.
Al continues to capture our mountain language (“the copperhead was quiled in the middle of the path”) and his writing style makes me feel like I was right there.
Heritage Nook ships the book for $19, $24 for Justice or $36 for both when bought as a set, a savings of $7. Or order directly from the author: Al Patrick, P.O. Box 2077 Richmond, Ky. 40476. Email Al at: athiker37@ bellsouth.net or phone him at 859-623-4290.
My favorite novel last year, also previously reviewed here, was “The Dark and Bloody Ground,” by Jenkins native and great friend Roberta Webb. This one is an epic tale of the fictional first families to settle in the uppermost reaches of The Big Sandy River near what is now Jenkins. The story follows family descendants from the late 18th into the mid-20th century. It is 381 hair-raising pages that kept me reading into the wee hours for several nights. Heritage Nook ships it for $25.
“Eastern Kentucky Short Stories” by Maynard C Adams is a 400 plus pages illustrated collection of historical essays, articles and photographs authored by a native of McRoberts. It is a fixture on my nightstand; ships from Heritage Nook for $30.
“The Strange Tale of Jonathan Swift and the Real Long John Silver” by Robert Prather explores the whereabouts of the legendary Swift treasure and silver mine that persists to this day throughout eastern Kentucky. It is 376 pages including numerous photos and documents. $27 shipped from Heritage Nook and yet another one that had me gut hooked.
My good friend and fellow Letcher Countian Jim Cornett (PO Box 336, Burnside, KY 42519), has written and self-published, self-printed and hand-bound, two excellent short novels as well as several how to and Appalachian cookbooks. All Jim’s work sells for less than $10 per book, including S&H. If you want more information, you can email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 606-219-8302, cell phone: 606-561-5620 and have him send you a price list. Or mail him $20, tell him you want both novels and whatever else 20 bucks will buy.
All the literature I’ve mentioned here is suitable for adolescents, young adults and even old timers like your’s truly. I simply believe that the best way to keep ourselves and our youth in touch with their cultural heritage is to read it.
What little store shopping I do will be at Top Drawer Gallery (202 Broadway in The Old Town Section of Berea ) where my old Letcher High School buddy Terry Fields has arguably the best collection of Appalachian wood crafts, furniture, pottery and regional cookbooks you will ever find under one roof.
Terry is open from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday as well as Sunday afternoons. Take a gander at his website, www.topdrawergallery.com to get an idea of what you’re going to find.