Author Appearance

Dave Waldrop's New Book of Puns

Webster writer Dave Waldrop and Whittier artist/musician Alma Russ combined their unique talents to create a visual language experience in Roll Your Eyes Now.  Alma's vivid colors and non-linear style capture Dave's puns and bring them to life for the reader. Kids' humor for all ages. They will present Roll Your Eyes Now at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva on Sunday; October 31 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. 

Here's what our friend Ben Woody had to say about the book: ''If you live in a small town, there are instances when you see someone coming toward you on the street, or down the aisle at the grocery store, and you frantically think of ways to avoid them. The inevitable small talk will be mind-numbing. You have known this person your entire life and you know nothing interesting has happened to them in 16 years. This is a dreaded encounter. Dave Waldrop is not one of these people. Folks go out of their way to run into Dave Waldrop, and, my friends, I know why. Dave Waldrop is a born story-teller. Entertainment and language flow into each other and out of Dave like a rushing river. He has the gift of gab, sure, but he also cultivates it. The very breath of Life is in him. Dave creates, collects, and spins great stories. His writing is an extension of his life. He has done for others. I can't think of anyone I would rather read, talk to, and just be with except for maybe Bob Dylan; but Bob Dylan doesn't live in Sylva and Dave Waldrop does.'' 

To reserve copies of the book please call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499. 

Meet Ed Southern, Author of Fight Songs

Ed Southern will visit City Lights Bookstore on Friday, October 22 at 5 p.m.  He will present his new book, Fight Songs: A Story of Love and Sports in a Complicated South. The publisher says it is, “A wry and witty commentary on college sports and identity in the complicated social landscape of the South.” Ed Southern, lifelong Wake Forest University Demon Deacons fan, set out to tell how he got tangled with the two giants of his favorite sport: the Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers. He set out to tell how a North Carolina native crossed the shifty, unmarked border between Tobacco Road and the Deep South and how the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant, from beyond the grave, introduced him to his wife, a Birmingham native and die-hard Alabama fan. While he was writing that story, though, 2020 came along. Suddenly his questions had a new focus: Why do sports mean so much that so many will play and watch them in the face of a global pandemic? How have college sports shaped how southerners construct their identities, priorities, and allegiances? Why is North Carolina passionate about college basketball when its neighbors to the South live and die by college football? Fight Songs explores the connections and contradictions between the teams we root for and the places we plant our roots; between the hopes of fans and the demands of the past, present, and future.


Ed Southern, a resident of Forsyth County, NC, is well-known to the state’s literary community as the director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Discussion of his book will be a thought-provoking pre-game activity ahead of the Mustangs’ home football game vs. the Mountaineers. Masks will be required for attendance at the book event. To reserve copies of Ed’s book please call us at 828-586-9499. 

Fight Songs: A Story of Love and Sports in a Complicated South Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781949467697
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Blair - September 7th, 2021

Seasons of A Magical Life Book Signing

Teacher, folklorist, and writer H. Byron Ballard will return to City Lights Bookstore on Saturday, October 23rd at 3 p.m.  She will present her latest book, Seasons of a Magical Life: A Pagan  Path for Living. This book is for those who are inspired to reconnect with the seasons, whether they live in the country, the city, or anyplace in between. Seasons of a Magical Life serves as a guide to earth-based spirituality and ritual living.

A resident of Asheville, H. Byron Ballard is a senior priestess and is the co-founder of Mother Grove Goddess Temple and the Coalition of Earth Religions

Seasons of a Magical Life: A Pagan Path of Living                                                     Cover Image
By H. Byron Ballard, Amy Blackthorn (Foreword by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781578637232
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Weiser Books - August 1st, 2021

Roots, Branches & Spirits: The Folkways & Witchery of Appalachia Cover Image
By H. Byron Ballard, Alex Bledsoe (Foreword by)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780738764535
Availability: No new copies on our shelves but maybe in used, now or arriving soon. Ask us.
Published: Llewellyn Publications - February 8th, 2021

Celebrating the Natural World: Brannen Basham and Jill Jacobs Booksigning

Join us at Bicentennial Park in downtown Sylva for a celebration of the natural world on Saturday, October 9th at 1 p.m. Brannen Basham and Jill Jacobs will present Brannen’s A Guide to the Wonderful World Around Us and their collaborative book, Finding Home: A Story of Mason Bee

A Guide to the Wonderful Around Us explores sixty nature-based topics broken down into six chapters. Finding Home, written by both Basham and Jacobs, shows readers an inside look at the lives of six beneficial native creatures through an engaging and educational tale of a mason bee’s search for a new home.

Brannen Basham and Jill Jacobs are owners of Spriggly’s Beescaping. Spriggly’s is a nature education and habitat restoration business with a special focus on supporting native plants and pollinators. Visit sprigglys.com to discover other publications, informative videos, and educational resources.

To reserve copies of their books or for more information please call City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC at 828-586-9499. 

A Guide to the Wonderful World Around Us: Notes on Nature Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781093979305
Availability: No new copies on our shelves but maybe in used, now or arriving soon. Ask us.
Published: Independently Published - April 30th, 2019

Ann Melton Book Signing

Ann Melton returns to City Lights Bookstore on Saturday, October 2nd at 3 p.m. She will present her most recent book, When God’s In It, a collection of stories that deliver the message that blessings follow those who follow the Lord.

Masks are required to attend the event. To reserve copies, please call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499. 

Meet the Author: Mike Jones

Mike Jones will visit City Lights Bookstore on Saturday, August 14th, at 3 p.m. to help raise money for the Community Table. He will present his novel, Dear Old Town, where Francis Todd returns to his Southern coastal hometown to lay his father to rest, but a host of memories from his childhood, centering around the unsolved 1956 murder of a schoolmate, threaten the closure he seeks. Will he succeed in keeping the ghosts he left behind at bay? Or will he finally make sense of the past and come to terms with the present?

Robert Michael "Mike" Jones is a retired Episcopal priest. He lives with his wife Beth in Sylva, N.C., with a large yellow dog of indeterminate breed. They have 4 children and 6 grandchildren, of whom they are inordinately proud. The author has a number of post-graduate degrees, some of which are legitimate. He follows the Chicago Cubs and collects vintage tea cozies. This is his first novel.   A portion of the sales from the event will be donated to the Community Table, which does fine work feeding folks in need here in Jackson County. To reserve copies of Dear Old Town, please call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499. 

Book Signing: Michael Amos Cody

Michael Amos Cody will visit City Lights Bookstore on Saturday, August 28th at 3 p.m. He will present his new story collection, A Twilight Reel. Cody, a native of Madison County, NC, and a professor of English at East Tennessee State University, is becoming widely recognized as one of the leading voices of contemporary Southern Appalachian literature. Writer Leah Hampton, the author of F*ckface, describes his writing this way: “Cody blends traditional and modern elements, wry humor, spooky darkness, and his intimate knowledge of the region to bring us a deftly rendered Appalachian story cycle.”

This collection, with a story set in each of the twelve months of 1999, chronicles life in the fictional western North Carolina town of Runion, which first appeared in Cody’s 2017 novel Gabriel’s Songbook. Like Thomas Wolfe’s Altamont, Runion stands in for places Cody grew up in and knows as only a native son can.

Masks are required to attend this event. To reserve copies of Cody's books please call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499. 

A Twilight Reel: Stories Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781942016663
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pisgah Press LLC - May 27th, 2021

Gabriel's Songbook Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781942016366
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pisgah Press LLC - September 1st, 2017

Avram Friedman Book Signing

Avram Friedman will visit City Lights Bookstore on Saturday, September 4th at 3 p.m.  He will present his latest book of fiction, Asteroid Hits the White House.  On November 2, 2020, the day before the national election in the United States of America, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, tremendous social upheaval over racially charged police brutality, and the worst extended hurricane season in recorded history, an asteroid came very close to hitting the earth. This actually happened. 

In this literary work of alternate-reality immersed in dark humor, the asteroid doesn't miss. The resulting consequences and reactions are dramatic, horrifying, inspiring, hopeful, sad, and sometimes hilarious.

Avram Friedman, a resident of Jackson County, NC, is a life-long political/environmental/social activist, former Director of the Canary Coalition, VP of the local NAACP branch, solar energy technician, writer, video-documentarian, journalist, and licensed plumbing contractor. Asteroid Hits White House is his first venture into satirical Science Fiction and his second published work of historical fiction after The Silver Maple Conspiracy. To reserve copies of Avram’s books please call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499.  

Asteroid Hits White House Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9798505411346
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avram Friedman - June 1st, 2021

The Silver Maple Conspiracy Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781506132167
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform - January 11th, 2015

Book Signing: Jayne Zanglein

Meet the author of The Girl Explorers, Jayne Zanglein, on Saturday, June 26th beginning at 3 p.m. She will greet folks and sign books.

The Girl Explorers is the inspirational and untold story of the founding of the Society of Women Geographers--an organization of adventurous female world explorers--and how key members served as early advocates for human rights and paved the way for today's women scientists by scaling mountains, exploring the high seas, flying across the Atlantic, and recording the world through film, sculpture, and literature. Some notable members include Blair Niles, Amelia Earhart, Gloria Hollister, and Anna Heyward Taylor.


Jayne Zanglein is a lawyer by profession and The Girl Explorers is her first non-law book. A Professor Emeritus, she teaches law at Western Carolina University.

The Girl Explorers: The Untold Story of the Globetrotting Women Who Trekked, Flew, and Fought Their Way Around the World Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781728215242
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks - March 2nd, 2021

Charles Dodd White Drive-Up Book Signing

 Help us celebrate the release of Charles Dodd White’s new novel, How Fire Runs, by driving up and saying hello on Saturday, October 17th, starting a 3 p.m. We’ll have Charles set up outside the store signing books. To get books signed be sure to social distance and have a mask or face shield on. 

How Fire Runs is set in rural Appalachia and told through the voices of three different present-day narrators. This harrowing novel about white supremacists attempting to take over a small town focuses an unflinching eye on America's ongoing, fraught relationship with racial and political injustice. David Joy, author When These Mountains Burn, said of White’s writing, "Line for line, White is one of the most talented writers at work in the American South."


Charles Dodd White is the author of the novel In the House of Wilderness, also from Swallow Press. He has received the Appalachian Book of the Year Award and the Chaffin Award for his fiction. He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he teaches English at Pellissippi State Community College.

How Fire Runs: A Novel Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9780804012287
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Swallow Press - October 13th, 2020

In the House of Wilderness: A Novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780804012102
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Swallow Press - September 10th, 2018

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