BOOKSELLER EMERITUS - Joyce shaped and nurtured City Lights Bookstore for over 23 years before selling the business in January 2010. She remains our mentor and landlord.
Voracious reader, Master of Library Science (University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill), Little Canada homesteader, wife of Allen, mother of Adrienne and Megan, fiber artist and owner of City Lights Bookstore from 1986 through 2009. Here's a small selection of Joyce's favorite books.
WICKED PLANTS by Amy Stewart is a small book with a poisonous green cover and a long subtitle "The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities." If you had any illusions about plants being 100% upright and beneficial, this book will soon set you straight. It's full of examples of plants that range from killers (white snakeroot) to merely bad neighbors (kudzu). It's also abundantly illustrated with elegant etchings and humorous drawings.
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Reading Pat Conroy is like smelling honeysuckle on a warm summer night. SOUTH OF BROAD, his first new novel in some years, is a welcome return to Charleston and to the complex characters that live there. Leo King, son of an ex-nun and a gentle father, is a senior in high school in 1969, nearly 10 years after the devastating death of his beloved older brother and he’s finally ready to put his shattered life back together. The friends that are a part of this rebirth, remain an important part of his life for the next two decades and it is the story of these friendships that provides the foundation of the book. I really enjoyed this book, both for the story and for Conroy’s incredibly lush narrative. --Joyce
This is a haunting novel which conjours some uncomfortable feelings. There are some lovely passages describing the New Zealand sea and landscape. It's one of the best novels I've read.
"The Name of the Wind , by newcomer Patrick Rothfuss, comes with excel- lent recommendations and a strong warning. This new heroic fantasy novel, the first in a series, has a page-turning quality that makes you stay up late, ignore your friends and family, and neglect responsibilities. It's the story of Kvothe, born into a family of traveling performers
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From Joyce: BON APPETIT, Y’ALL is my favorite cookbook of the season. It’s fun to read, the illustrations are mouth watering and the recipes I’ve tried are delicious. Virginia Willis is from Georgia, spent some time in France and has combined recipes from her mother and grandmother with her own experiences to create a satisfying blend of new and old. The recipe for Cheddar Cornbread alone is worth the price of the book. And I love having recipes for Fried Fatback and Boeuf Bourguignonne just pages from each other.
Alexandra Fuller, who wrote the memoir about growing up in Africa (Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight), here returns to visit her parents who are still living in Africa (in Zambia). She undertakes a strange journey with a white African war veteran named K. to revisit scenes of battle in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and Mozambique and to meet other veterans of the countries' wars for independence. As in her previous book, she portrays the incredible pain and contradictions that exist in Africa with great sensitivity. Her voice is unique and compelling. -- Joyce Moore
For those of us who enjoyed Haven Kimmel's A Girl Named Zippy, it's time for a second helping. She has a new book that takes up where Zippy left off. This book, She Got Up Off the Couch, tells us not only more about Zippy, but about her mother when she decides to get up off the couch, learn to drive and go back to school. It's funny, but it also digs in much deeper where it resonates with real inspiration.
The Night Journal, by Elizabeth Crook, is a multigenerational novel set in New Mexico. Three richly depicted women span four generations of a family with very deep roots in the southwestern frontier. Hannah Bass wrote detailed journals of her life as it was shaped by the westward progress of the railroad in the late 19th century. Claudia, her (by now elderly) daughter, made her academic career by editing the journals of a mother she barely remembers. Meg, Claudia's grandaughter, has spent her life rebelling against the history of her famous family. I very much enjoyed spending time with these women as they unearth (literally) a part of the saga that had never been told. Crook succeeds in weaving the many threads of the story into a satisfying whole. - Joyce Moore
Francine du Plessix Gray has created a powerful portrait of her parents in the memoir, Them. Alexander Lieberman and Titiana du Plessix were talented Russian emigres who fled occupied Paris in 1940 and soon became one of the most influential couples of the New York fashion world. They were also neurotic, selfish and opportunistic. Their skills as parents were limited. Gray tells their facinating story with affection, but without rose-colored glasses. You meet her colorful Russian grandparents and extended family as well as the many famous and exotic people who socialized with her parents. It's a beautifully written memoir about two people and the cultural milieu/history that they inhabit.
- Joyce Moore
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It is a beautifully written book. It begins in 1952 with a fight in a bar based loosely on Burrells, on the North Carolina/South Carolina line south of Cashiers. It ends nearly 20 years later when Carolina Power and Light floods a valley and displaces the people who have lived there for generations. As the waters rise, secrets that have been hidden during those years begin to float to the top. As Lee Smith said, "I read this book straight through. I had to." -- Joyce Moore
Mr. Rash has been named as the first John Parris Appalachian Scholar at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.
Larimore, with humor and sensitivity, decribes the trials and tribulations of his first year of practicing medicine in Bryson City. Young and idealistic, he describes some of the lessons that he didn?t learn in medical school at Duke University.
From his first delivery (a heifer calf named Walter in his honor) to dealing with resistance from some established doctors, Larimore paints a colorful and moving portrait of a town and its people.
-- Reviewed by Joyce Moore
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