Highway 58 and some recent photos

Aaron McAlexander, Greasy Bend: Ode to a Mountain Road (Stonebridge Press, 2016), 224 pages, a few black and white photographs. Highway 58 cuts across Southern Virginia, from Cumberland Gap (Along the Tennessee/Kentucky border) to the Tidewater. The highway crosses swamps, fields of peanuts and tobacco, old industrial towns like Danville and Martinsville, then climbs the Blue Ridge … Read more Highway 58 and some recent photos


Four Books: Champagne, Skid-row, Generosity, & Mountain Midwifery

I’m catching up on some recent reading… Tilar J. Mazzero, The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It.  (Harpers Business, 2009), 264 pages.  Late last year, I listened to the author’s “Great Courses” lectures on “Creative Nonfiction.” She often used examples of her own writing including this book. I … Read more Four Books: Champagne, Skid-row, Generosity, & Mountain Midwifery


Two Books: A spy thriller and a self-congratulatory humorous look at gumption

Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer (2014)  This is the story narrated by an unnamed man who doesn’t fit in, anywhere. A bastard. His father was a French Catholic priest and his mother a Vietnamese maid. In many ways, the narrator is of two minds. Given the opportunity to study in the United States, he learns the ways … Read more Two Books: A spy thriller and a self-congratulatory humorous look at gumption


The Carroll County Courthouse Tragedy

Ronald W. Hall, The Carroll County Courthouse Tragedy (2013 printing, Hillsville VA: Carroll County Historical Society,1998). 272 pages including sources and a few b&w photos.  This is another book that I’ve read in order to learn about my new locale. In March 1912, there was a shooting at the Carroll County, Courthouse in Hillsville, Virginia. When all … Read more The Carroll County Courthouse Tragedy


Where Goodness Still Grows

   Amy Peterson, Where Goodness Still Grows: Reclaiming Virtue in an Age of Hypocrisy (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2020), 197 pages including notes. Fifteen years ago, I read Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue by Paul Woodruff. Since then, I’ve read it several times and have spent considerable energy thinking about virtues. Perhaps this itch drew me to this book. In … Read more Where Goodness Still Grows