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Crystal Spangler lives in rural Appalachia. She's the apple of her mother's eye -- not yet beautiful, but she will be. She's the most popular girl at Black Rock High. She makes cheerleader, gets good grades, and is elected beauty queen. Crystal discovers God, goes to college, and falls in love. When she comes home, she's disheveled and confused. Crystal becomes a wealthy politician's wife. But there's something calling her, drawing her back to where it all began, in the shadow of Black Mountain . . .
The New York Times bestselling author of The Last Girls presents one of her most compelling novels, acclaimed by Anne Tyler, Annie Dillard, and more... Everywhere about her, from the traffic on Highway 460 to the river that's gone black with coal dust, Crystal Spangler sees a current flowing from the mountain town of Black Rock into the wider world. As a teenager, she is elected beauty queen, gets good grades, and-despite her many enviable qualities-manages also to be well-loved. Everyone knows that she is destined to leave town and do great things.And she does.But no one expects her return; drawn back home by some sort of memory, as if the current that had taken her away had changed its mind...
[from inside flaps] "This heartwarming story of three generations of Christmas letter writers is about family tradition, family love, family strength--the perfect story to give at Christmas, and to read yourself. Birdie Pickett, her daughter Mary, and her granddaughter Melanie are all storytellers at heart. Their letters-- folded inside their Christmas cards-- tend to be long ones because they write to explain their lives as much to themselves as to far-flung family and friends. Birdie writes the first one in 1944: "It is the day before Christmas and though I know I should be so happy with my own sweet angel baby Mary who lies right here beside me as I write this letter, I will tell you the truth. I am weepy, and cannot hold back my tears." Birdie's new husband, Bill Pickett, is fighting World War II in the Pacific, having left his wife and baby in his parents' care. "Well," writes Birdie, "it is the other way around, if you ask me." Much of the story is also told through shared recipes. As Mary says, "I feel as if I have written out my life story in recipes! The Cool Whip and mushroom soup years, the hibachi and fondie period, then the quiche and crepes phase, and now it's these salsa years." Melanie photocopies her first Christmas letter in 1996 and shares her big news: "I've started a novel ... luckily, Mom saved all of Grandma's letters." In these vivid, familiar, gossipy letters, Lee Smith's skill at capturing women's voices renders the "clash of generations"-- heard here at very close range-- as the music of our ever- evolving American family life. It's the perfect music to listen to at Christmastime." More novels by Lee Smith are in the Bookshare Collection.
This loving tribute to country music and its artists traces the history of this uniquely American tradition through several generations of the Bailey family of Grassy Springs, Virginia. Starting in 1833 with the marriage of Moses Bailey, a preacher's son who thinks fiddle music is the voice of the Devil laughing, to Kate Malone, who comes from a fiddle-playing family, the Baileys are torn between their love of God and their love of music. Plain Baptist hymns and haunting Appalachian ballads shape the lives of the early generations. Grandsons R.C. and Durwood marry Lucie and Tampa, who, as the Grassy Branch Girls, take part in the early "hillbilly recordings" of the 1920s. Rose Annie and Blackjack Johnny Raines are the "King and Queen of Country Music" in the Rockabilly 1950s until Rose Annie shoots Johnny after he's cheated on her once too often. Cousin Katie Crocker abandons the bland Nashville sound of the 1960s when she cuts a traditional record with her family at the Opryland Hotel.
Now back in print from the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Girls. It was in 1833 or '34 that Moses Bailey brought young Kate Malone down to Cold Spring Holler to be his wife. But Moses, wanting to become a preacher like his daddy was, left Kate time and again to look after the kids while he went out in search of a sign from God. Though he warned them about the evils of playing the fiddle, a kind of music he likened to the devil's own laughter, it passed the time for his bride and children, and soon became not just a way of life for the Baileys, but a curse that would last for generations.
Ivy Rowe, Virginia mountain girl, then wife, mother, and finally "Mawmaw," never strays far from her home-but the letters she writes take her across the country and over the ocean. Writing "to hold onto what's passing," she tells stories that are rich with the life of Appalachia in words that are colloquial, often misspelled, but always beautiful. From childhood, when teachers encouraged her gift for language, to her rebellious teenage years when she swore against motherhood-only to then become a mother-and on through life, Ivy writes with insight, honesty, and a passion for living that is sure to be infectious.
Who dunnit? is almost beside the point in FAMILY LINEN, a rollicking comic novel which also explores the profound mystery of families and how they work, and of our intrinsic aloneness within them. Part murder mystery, part family history, FAMILY LINEN introduces the reader to a cast of characters who just won't shut up--until finally it all comes out in the wash, and the wash is hung out for all the world to see--the world of Booker Creek, that is, a little town somewhere in the mountains of Virginia not far from the North Carolina line, where everybody has known the Hesses for generations. It starts with Sybill, a middle-aged adult-education teacher from Roanoke, Virginia, who learns through hypnosis that her recurrent headaches result from her having witnessed, in early childhood, a gruesome murder--her mother, the very proper local poetess Miss Elizabeth, killing Jewell Rife, her father, with an ax. Can this be true?
When Sybill Hess drives over to the hypnotist's office, she hopes he can cure her of the headaches interrupting her sleep the way her friend Betty once saw a woman on TV cure a woman's stammer. But what Dr. Diamond uncovers from Sybill's subconscious goes much deeper than her nervousness over a new tenant who seems to want a date. A shocking memory from Sybill's past threatens to upend everything she thinks she knows about herself and her family. But is it even real?
beautiful June day in 1965, a dozen girls classmates at a women's college- launched their homemade raft (inspired by Huck Finn's) on a trip down the Mississippi.
Now in its 8th edition, MATHEMATICS FOR PLUMBERS AND PIPEFITTERS delivers the essential math skills necessary in the plumbing and pipefitting professions. Starting with a thorough math review to ensure a solid foundation, the book progresses into specific on-the-job applications, such as pipe length calculations, sheet metal work, and the builder's level. Broad-based subjects like physics, volume, pressures, and capacities round out your knowledge, while a new chapter on the business of plumbing invites you to consider an exciting entrepreneurial venture. Written by a Master Plumber and experienced vocational educator, MATHEMATICS FOR PLUMBERS AND PIPEFITTERS, 8th Edition includes a multitude of real-world examples, reference tables, and formulas to help you build a rewarding career in the plumbing and pipefitting trade.
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK "Extremely powerful...Me and My Baby View the Eclipse is about striving and the secret nobility of people who live in a small-town American South. In these stories--thank heaven--not everything fits: they are loose, they are sometimes awkward, but just about every one shines with revelation and awe in the face of momentary greatness and tragedy....Nearly every one of these stories could move a reader to tears, for in almost every one of them there is a moment of vision, or love, or unclothed wonder that transforms something plain into something transcendent."--The New York Times Book Review "Remarkable...Lee Smith is a Southern storyteller in the very best tradition, combining an unmistakable voice with an infallible sense of story.... Her craft is so strong it becomes transparent, and, like the best storytellers, she knows how to get out of the way so the story can tell itself."--San Francisco Chronicle "From its wonderful title to its final sentence, this book brims with the poetry of the South."--Los Angeles Times Book Review "Marvelously entertaining...These are stories you want to read again to catch all the things you missed the first time around."--The Boston Globe
New York Times bestselling author Lee Smith offers her signature mix of wit and heartbreak, as well as her "unerring ear for the lyrical and the down and dirty," (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) in this superb collection of stories.
When a college student returns to her childhood home of Hoot Owl Holler with a tape recorder, the tales of murder and suicide, incest and blood ties bring to life a story of a family.
From the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of The Last Girls.
Introduces readers to all aspects of the commercial and residential plumbing trade, including home building. Safety practices are emphasized throughout. Projects provide opportunities for hands-on plumbing practice and actual application. Coverage includes basic knowledge, threaded pipe, waste systems, water systems, heating water, special cases, and fixture installation. This third edition covers current plumbing codes, and adds new pedagogical features. Useful for plumbers preparing to pass the Master Plumber exam. Annotation c. Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
Sara Foster's love of Southern fare began in her Granny Foster's Tennessee kitchen. There, the combination of down-home comfort, fresh-from-the-farm ingredients, and dedicated preparation hooked her for life. Now the award-winning cookbook author and restaurateur serves up nearly two hundred contemporary interpretations of classic dishes--Shrimp Jambalaya, Slow-Roasted Pulled Pork Butt, Cheesy Grits Casserole; refreshing drinks, including Mint Juleps and Sweet Tea; and such satisfying breakfasts as Country Ham and Hominy Hash. And a table wouldn't be Southern without the sides--Skillet-Fried Corn, Creamy Potato Salad, and Arugula Pesto Snap Beans. Be sure, too, to save room for Molasses-Bourbon Pecan Pie and Freestyle Lemon Blackberry Tart.From revealing the secret to fluffy buttermilk biscuits to giving us ideas for swapping out ingredients to accommodate any season, from providing tips for frying up chicken like a true Southerner to detailing barbecue fundamentals that put you on par with any pitmaster, Foster's helpful sidebars ensure that your dishes will turn out perfect every time. You'll also get expert tips on the essential equipment (cast-iron skillets, griddles, casserole dishes) and the ingredients no Southern pantry should be without (from stone-ground grits to Carolina Gold rice). As a bonus, Foster offers her "Sidetracked" feature, profiles of tried-and-true roadtrip destinations throughout the South where you can find the best fried catfish, barbecued brisket, big breakfast plates, and more. And finally, Foster's lessons in pickling and canning guarantee that you can enjoy your favorite flavors all year round. With its handy list of resources and Southern pantry essentials, and entertaining stories, Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen is an all-inclusive collection of Southern cooking in which simple feasts meet artisanal ingredients, traditional tastes meet modern methods, and fantastic flavors make every bite a succulent mouthful of Southern comfort.From the Hardcover edition.
With an ear for speech and a voice that most other writers can only envy, the author of Oral History has created a darkly comic and compelling novel about Gracie, blessed with a gift she doesn't want, who pursues earthly and divine love on a road that comes to a disturbing but inevitable conclusion.
This is why I have had to come back now, traveling these dusty old back roads one more time. For I mean to tell my story, and I mean to tell the truth. I am a believer in the Word, and I am not going to flinch from telling it, not even the terrible things... Florida Grace Shepherd, eleventh child of the itinerant, snake-handling Reverend Virgil Shepherd, grew up traveling across the Appalachian South. In her heart, she raged against the constant hardships that her parents insisted were part of the Lord's plan. As she got older, she learned of her father's "backsliding" with other women, and watched as it drove her mother to an early grave. Returning to Scrabble Creek, where her happiest memories took place, Grace recounts the harrowing journey of her life with the Lord, from her travels with her father to the day she finally broke free of him only to marry another preacher much older than she, as well as her own stumbles along the rocky and winding path to her own redemption.
In a provocative, timely book, a noted journalist and expert on Arab-American affairs overturns long-held Western myths about the Arab world, and offers a doctrine to help the United States correct its assumptions concerning the region. Wanting to know why September 11 happened, journalist Lee Smith moved to Cairo. There, he discovered that the standard explanation-a clash of East and West led to the attacks-was simply not the case. As Smith outlines inThe Strong Horse, the problems of the Middle East have little to do with Israel, the United States, or the West in general. The strife exists within the Arab world itself. Through clear-eyed analysis, Smith explodes the many myths permeating Americans' understanding of the Arab world: colonialism spurred the region's ongoing turmoil; Arab liberalism is waiting for U. S. intervention; technology and democracy can be transforming. In response to these untruths, Smith offers what he terms the "Strong Horse Doctrine"-that Arabs want to align themselves with strength, power, and violence. Given America's ongoing interest in the Middle East, Smith says America needs to be the strong horse in order to reclaim its role there, and only by understanding the nature of the region's ancient conflict can we succeed.