On Sunday (Sept. 24) from 2 to 4 p.m., we're serving triple duty in hosting Karen Spears Zacharias, who spent her early years in Rogersville and just completed the final title of the “Christian Bend” trilogy which is set historically in Hawkins County. Karen will be signing all three books in the trilogy - plus “After the Flag has been Folded,” her memoir about growing up with a “Hero Mama” (the original book title) raising the family after her dad, Dave Spears, was killed in Vietnam.
On Monday, Karen is a featured speaker at the dedication of the new monument at the Kingsport Veterans Memorial for Gold Star Families, in honor of American families who lost a family member in defense of our country in the armed services.
Karen has been a storyteller for many years, mainly dealing in factual events as a newspaper reporter and as a non-fiction book writer; later lending her skills to the novel genre featured in this “Christian Bend” Appalachian fiction trilogy. Come out and join us at I Love Books on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking of storytellers, the Appalachian fiction genre in particular and Southern fiction in general tend to portray real life situations and events by using the cover of fictionalized characters. That trait has aided the wide success of Appalachian fiction writer Sharyn McCrumb, who will be our guest in a few weeks. Sharyn has won multiple awards for her writing accomplishments, stories often based on actual historic events with minimal details for which McCrumb fills in the blanks of what 'might' have actually happened (or somewhat similar) based on her well-researched understanding of the cultural context and regional traditions, indigenous beliefs, and mountain life. Several of her books are set in our region.
Sharyn McCrumb will be doing a book talk and signing event at I Love Books on Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. Her newest, just-released book is “The Unquiet Grave,” a novelized version of a real murder that occurred in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, and the unusual twists and turns of the story that led to the unlikely conviction of a murderer.
Earl Carter's book “Appalachian Album” has truly been a phenomenon. Originally released in March of this year, we've nearly sold out the entire printing in just a few months. The collection of magnificent photographs reflecting life in Appalachia over 50 years time is indeed a work of art. Some have called it 'the best photographic representation of life in Southern Appalachia for all times.' If you haven't gotten a copy, we encourage you to pick one up soon, along with Vince Staten's “An UnCONVENTIONAL History of Kingsport.”
We'll have lots of advertised and unadvertised specials throughout the rest of the year, so keep in touch. I'm celebrating my 50th year of bookselling and still buying about 1,000 books per day. Come by and let me make you an offer you can't resist.
I Love Books Bookstore is located on the upper level of the Fort Henry Mall in Kingsport, near JCPenney and Italian Village. We're open seven days per week to serve you.