Let’s get this straight immediately: If you want to make friends with the good people of the mountains, you’d better pronounce the name of their home the way they do. When you say Appalachia, make it sound like ‘throw an apple atcha.’
This fabled region of the US includes parts of 12 states and the entirety of West Virginia. It encompasses forested peaks and deep hollers (the local name for valleys) along the Appalachian Mountains that stretch from Canada to Alabama.
Although the population is predominantly of white Scots-Irish or German descent, about 10% of the population is African-American. But circa the 1700s, it was a melting pot that blended white, Black, and Native Americans. That means there’s damn good food, foot-stomping music, and a lively storytelling tradition, along with long-held wisdom about the importance of kin, living in harmony with nature, and being self-reliant.
In this episode, we discuss Appalachian folklore, celebrate the magic of Dolly Parton, listen to eerie country ballads, and daydream about banana pudding. Then we recommend five immersive books that took us to Appalachia on the page.
Here are the five books we recommend on the show:
For a complete roundup of all the books we recommend, plus a full transcript and the other cool stuff we talked about, visit the Episode 37 show notes.
Subscribe to our podcast so you never miss a must-read book or thrilling destination!
If we're not available on your favorite podcast-listening platform, send us an email!
Top image courtesy of Kam.johnson210/Shutterstock.
Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is ©2023 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.