Swannanoa Valley Museum's annual book club is back

Special to Black Mountain News
The Swannanoa String Band, pictured here in 1895, is one example of the local music and dance heritage that will be discussed when the Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center's book club meets for the first time this year, at the Black Mountain Library, on Feb. 8.

The Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center’s book club will restart for its third year at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, at the Black Mountain Library. The year-long series will continue every second Friday of the month through December.

Participants are encouraged to bring along a copy of the month’s chosen reading selection to participate in a casual discussion of themes, questions, and musings.

The books read by the club span a range of titles and include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and prose and focus on themes related to Western North Carolina and the whole of the Appalachian region. Authors include Ron Rash, Barbara Kingsolver, Carl Sandburg, Silas House, Gurney Norman, and Dan Pierce.

The February discussion will center on Fred Fussell’s guidebook, "Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina." 

The guide contains “more than 150 color photos, seven maps, and a wealth of information about the people and places that make North Carolina’s mountain music and dance heritage so special.”

Though the book and discussion will focus on traditional music and dance in all of western North Carolina, Museum staff will provide special attention to these traditions within the Swannanoa Valley area of eastern Buncombe County.

Book club participants are encouraged to visit at least one of the sites mentioned in the book prior to the meeting and share their experience with the group.

Joining the club is free, and preregistration is preferred. You can register and find the full list of dates on the Museum’s website at

The club will meet at the Museum on the following dates:

Friday, Feb. 8
Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina Guidebook by Fred C. Fussell

Friday, March 8
A Parchment of Leaves by Silas House

Friday, April 12
The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home (Biltmore Estate) by Denise Kiernan

Friday, May 10
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Friday, June 14
Bearwallow: A Personal History of a Mountain Homeland by Jeremy B. Jones

Friday, July 12
Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg

Friday, Aug. 9
The French Broad by Wilma Dykeman

Friday, Sept.13
Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash

Friday, Oct.11
Real NASCAR by Dan Pierce

Friday, Nov. 8
Divine Right’s Trip by Gurney Norman

Friday, Dec. 13
The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson