Dianne Bynum’s Book Review

“The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek”

This book was a fun surprise. My friend got me interested in this book when she asked me if I’d ever heard about the Blue people of Kentucky. I had, of course, I’ve lived in Kentucky my whole life. We’re known for moonshine, young brides and horse racing. The Blue people were another odd piece of our crazy quilt history. I knew that they had existed but they were just another cringe causing claim to fame for my home state.

I live in Kentucky and have spent some hot summers in the Appalachian Mountains. My family helped with several church ministries in the mountains. I’ve driven on narrow roads created by heavy trucks burdened with dirty coal. I’ve seen tiny houses tucked in dark hollers. I know the suspicious eyes of people that didn’t trust anyone but Mountain people. Those summers taught me a respect for these proud people that lived difficult isolated lives. It was my first experience with real poverty, but it was a financial poverty, not a poverty of spirit. Their beautiful voices, meticulous gardens, and pride in their beautiful mountains were things I never forgot. I was curious to learn more.

The author tells a beautiful story of a strong woman sprinkled with some interesting facts about the Blues. She is respectful of the subject with reliable documentation and photos. I’d never heard of the Book Women and I was touched to know that was a part of our Kentucky heritage. I’m glad I was curious enough to give this book a try.

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Book Review – Medicine Men

A Good Read

Would you like an entertaining, easy-reading book? If you have an interest in medicine and if you love the Smokey Mountains, you’ll definitely enjoy “Medicine Men” by Carolyn Jourdan. Ms. Jourdan is a sophisticated Wall Street Journal bestselling author, who apparently never forgot her mountain roots. Her father was an “extreme Appalachian” doctor and she tells his stories as well as those of many other such physicians who she interviews. It is a fun read which made me want to return to the Smokies for a visit. 

I heartily recommend this book which can easily be read in a day. As simple and funny as the stories are they stimulate thought regarding profound subjects and questions. 

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“Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery.” John Ruskin

 

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