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Beginning Friday, Feb. 10, the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center will begin hosting a free book club once a month.

The year-long series, to be held at 11:30 a.m. at the museum, will continue every second Friday of the month. Participants are encouraged to bring a bag lunch and a copy of the month’s chosen reading selection to participate in a casual discussion of themes, questions and musings. Coffee and tea will be provided. 
The books in the series span a range of titles and include fiction, nonfiction, poetry and prose and focuses on themes related Western North Carolina and the whole of the Appalachian region. Authors include Ron Rash, Sharyn McCrumb, Jim Wayne Miller and others. 
The first discussion will center on "Corn From A Jar: Moonshining in the Great Smoky Mountains" (Great Smoky Mountains Association 2013) by Daniel S. Pierce.

Pierce is the NEH Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at UNC Asheville, where his work focuses primarily on the study of moonshining, NASCAR and the history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Pierce will be join book club participants in a discussion, signing books and serving as moderator.

"Corn From A Jar" is Pierce’s latest work, following "Real NASCAR: White Lighting, Red Clay and Big Bill France" (UNC Press, 2010) and came directly as a result of his study of NASCAR. His goal for the work, he said, was to “humanize the moonshiner” and trace the development of moonshining in the mountains not as the practice of a handful of outlaws but as an industrial business for what would become some of the region’s most well-known figures. 
The club will meet at the museum on the following dates:
Friday, Feb. 10: "Corn from a Jar: Moonshining in the Great Smoky Mountains," Daniel S. Pierce (published 2013)
Friday, March 10: "I am One of You Forever," Fred Chappell, 1987
Friday, Apr. 14: "The World Made Straight," Ron Rash, 2007
Friday, May 12: "Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York," Frank X. Walker, 2003
Friday, June 9: "A Land More Kind Than Home," Wiley Cash, 2012
Friday, July 14: "The Education of Little Tree," Forrest Carter, 1976
Friday, Aug. 11: "The Ballad of Tom Dooley: A Ballad Novel," Sharon McCrumb, 2012
Friday, Sept. 15: "Creating the Land of the Sky: Tourism and Society in WNC," Richard D. Starnes, 2010
Friday, Oct. 13: "Nightwoods," Charles Frazier, 2012
Friday, Nov. 10: "Requiem by Fire," Wayne Caldwell, 2010
Friday, Dec. 15: " Every Leaf a Mirror: A Jim Wayne Miller Reader," 2014
Joining the club is free, and registration is preferred. Register and find out  more at swannanoavalleymuseum.org. Or visit the museum Facebook event page or call it at 669-9566.

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