• Writing

    Take Time To Write Everyday; The Benefits Of Types of Writing

    While I’ve been talking about writing fiction over the past three weeks, and where to get started, I wanted to take this week to speak more broadly about simply writing.  There are different styles and types of writing so even if you aren’t able to create some great work of fiction, there are other writing avenues worth exploring and you may find many other benefits beyond creating a fun story. A novel, short story, or even a poem can allow for great levels and opportunities for expression.  While new writers might not want to attempt to create a book on the level of something like War and Peace, there are…

  • Libraries

    Adult Literacy and Resources In North Carolina

    I love reading and even studied English in college just so I would be required to read.  It was great getting to read books and write about, discuss, and mull over their meanings or just enjoy the stories from contemporary to classic works.  While I don’t claim to be an expert, and I’m not the fastest of readers, I will always strive to spend my free time reading. Also, reading helps with understanding.  With Google and other search engines and resources literally in our hands, we can look up almost any information or fact or figure or bit of trivia in seconds. A love of reading, or just the ability…

  • Events,  Libraries

    Unique Book Festival Mixes Books, Food, Puns, and Fun

    Being here in the Old North State, I don’t know much of the goings-on in other areas across the country unless I read about them, and I stumbled across a fantastic event in California that was new to me.  Mind you, North Carolina has a number of fantastic, fun, and unique events going on each week, but I really enjoyed reading about the “Edible Book Festival” at University of California, Berkeley. I’d never heard of this event, again I think it may be because we’re way across the country, but this sounds like a fantastic time for book and food lovers alike. Sadly, the event has already taken place, I…

  • Reviews

    Books From My Younger Days- Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen

    So, I want you to read this book but I don’t want to give anything away so please bear with me as I try to be vague but also tell you of the joys of this short, children’s book.  I really like Gary Paulsen and read through a few of his books growing up. However, Harris and Me is one of the first books, not just of Paulsen’s, but of any book I’ve read, where I couldn’t put it down.  I think someone loaned me their copy of this, which they’d gotten on loan from our tiny, local library and I read it in one or two evenings.   It’s…

  • Bookstores

    Needle Exchange Controversy in Asheville Bookstore Ends

    Earlier this month we learned that the controversy surrounding a bookstore in Asheville, which was the site of a needle exchange program, was cited for violating zoning rules in the area.  WLOS reported that an agreement was reached between Firestorm Bookstore, the Steady Collective and the City of Asheville. Concerns for public health and the use of the space as a “homeless shelter” were main arguments against the program and it was said the services were in line with zoning violations because the bookstore was acting more like the city’s definition of a shelter.   It seems the agreement was reached (see more details at the link below) so the…

  • Books To Film

    They Filmed The Book-Murder on the Orient Express

    The classic by Agatha Christie featuring detective Hercule Poirot is a novel that has been read by countless folks over the years and is a unique “who-done-it” novel with a bit of a surprise ending.  While the book was one I really enjoyed, I’m typically more critical of movies as I do tend to be one of those “the book was better” people. Apologies. However, I think this movie stayed pretty true to the novel in a way that made it exciting but also brought the book’s pages to the screen.  I find it difficult to decide how I feel about such situations. For one, I like when a movie…

  • Non-Fiction Of Note

    Nonfiction of Note-When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

    I listened to this as an audiobook and the reader did a great job, in my opinion, of capturing the author’s story but whether you read or listed to this one, I think it’s a great memoir.  I was really taken aback by the story of Dr. Kalanithi and it was a beautiful and heartbreaking story. *Spoilers ahead*  While studying to be a neurosurgeon, Dr. Kalanithi discovers he has metastatic lung cancer.  While this is a terrible revelation, the book is more than just the discovery of his illness. The beginning of the book is fantastic and details Dr. Kalanithi’s early life, his love of literature and writing, and about…

  • Reviews

    Buncombe Brief Book Review-The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock

    This book was one I really enjoyed but it is almost like a southern Gothic work in its themes and the overall story.  Most of the characters are unlikable and in many cases it’s hard to be sympathetic, because of their violent or warped natures. The book also weaves various storylines into one overarching tale when we get closer to the end of the.  Religion, lust, violence, and murder spur on many of these characters and the ending many of them meet is far from the “happily ever after” some of us want in our fiction. I was interested in the story as it started but when a few tragic…

  • Banned Books

    Banned Book Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

    Looking for Alaska is another Banned Book that people have decried for having foul language, sex, alcohol, and drug use.  These are often common complaints from parents and, in this case, it was reported that one person who complained counted the number of swear words used.  This does make me wonder, if there an appropriate amount of swear words or is there a tipping point? Nevertheless, I am, as you may have gathered from previous banned book reviews, strongly against censoring novels when they tell the truth. This book takes place in a boarding school and follows Miles Halter and Alaska Young, their budding friendship/relationship, and their life with their…

  • Non-Fiction Of Note

    Nonfiction of Note: Andy and Don by Daniel de Visé

    I am a huge fan of the Andy Griffith Show and when I was growing up, and we could only get one or two channels on the television due to living in the mountains of Western N.C., one of the constants on television was the Andy Griffith Show.  I remember, one of the joys of my television-watching youth was when a relative in town was able to record eight hours of the show when a marathon was on. Since cable didn’t reach my house until I was in Middle School, having limited access to my favorite show was difficult but I was able to get my fill growing up. Now,…