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Deanna's Picks

by Streets, Annabel

“Walking is not—and has never been—boring,” writes novelist Streets in this inviting exercise guide to a year’s worth of walking. The book describes walking divided into a weekly program, with each week dedicated to a certain type of walking. This would definitely be a motivational book to read to start the new year with a goal of wellness! Examples included: “a stroll in winter”, with advantages of walking in the cold including increased cognition and reduced stress. The benefits of slow walks (shown to lower cholesterol and help regulate insulin levels), early morning treks (exposure to sunlight helps start the day off right), and post-meal strolls (which help with digestion) were also described. The information is refreshing as are the psychological and physical benefits of some movement in the “outside." We're urged to appreciate the world around us, with the added plus that there's no gym fee required!

by West, Carroll Van

So often, when we say we are from Tennessee, we get the response; “Oh, yes I love Nashville and Country Music”. This beautifully illustrated book gives us great information on all the varieties and history of art in Tennessee. The visual arts and architecture section includes chapters on sculpture, painting and photography, while the another section celebrates folk arts such as woodcraft, silversmithing, pottery, and textiles. The section on Tennessee’s literary history includes such writers as James Agee, Robert Penn Warren, and Evelyn Scott, while the performing arts are represented by a wealth of storytellers. Finally, Tennessee is home to—and originator of—much of the music that we know as distinctively American. Contributors to the music section examine gospel, blues, rock, soul, and, of course, country music. From prehistoric cave paintings to the “cow punk” music of Jason and the Scorchers, from the elegant capitol building of William Strickland to Ballet Memphis, and from the unique barns of East Tennessee to the chronicles of Alex Haley, the arts in Tennessee truly celebrate excellence. 

by Banker, Mark T.

This book has a very interesting perspective about Appalachian stereotypes. The author, Mark Banker reveals great details about life in East Tennessee in pre-pioneer times. The author interweaves his family history with the region’s economic interconnections between East Tennessee’s ‘Three Appalachias’—its tourist-laden Smokies, its urbanized Valley, and its strip-mined Plateau.”

The author focuses on the histories of three communities—Knoxville with its urban life, Cades Cove with its farming, logging, and tourism legacies, and the Clearfork Valley with its coal production—to tell a larger story of East Tennessee and its inhabitants. Combining a perceptive account of how industry shaped developments in these communities since the Civil War with a heartfelt reflection on Appalachian identity. The author provides a new lens for viewing East Tennessee and its past, and as a part of Appalachia. The book also speaks most directly to East Tennesseans and other Appalachian residents; it also carries important ideas for those of us wanting to any reader seeking to understand the crucial connections between history, self, and place. As we recall from our history classes---we know more of where we are going if we know where we have been.

by Ritchie, Fiona

This is a wonderful book that beautifully depicts intertwined musical traditions from radio host Ritchie. It gives a detailed look at migration patterns that promoted close connections between Appalachian and Scots-Irish ballad traditions. The book lends itself to a conversation with the authors. The illustrations and photographs make this historically complex topic easy for anyone to enjoy. Don’t be discouraged by the textbook-like layout, as it very friendly, informative and entertaining. It also includes a CD of recordings by musicians including Dolly Parton and Anais Mitchell and many more musicians with insightful approaches. Non-musicians will have no trouble appreciating this book and discerning the information. It was wonderful to both read and hear about my roots in music and my family’s Scot-Irish heritage that was brought to life.

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