Between my full-time job with AVLtoday and my full-time job as a mama, I don’t get the opportunity to read as much as I’d like. I’m sure many parents can relate. But this weekend marks a day when we’re all encouraged to unplug, pick up a book + indulge in the joy of reading: National Read a Book Daytakes place Sun., Sept. 6. So whether you’re into crime, historical fiction, noir, new age, nature, or graphic novels, here are nine brand spankin’ new releases from WNC authors — ranging from best-selling to first-time writers — to inspire you to take a trip without ever leaving your house.
📚 “When These Mountains Burn” by David Joy I Release date: Aug. 18, 2020. I “Appalachian noir at its finest…Joy’s storytelling is top-notch (and not for the faint of heart), and you’ll find yourself turning pages deep into the night. But it’s his knack for capturing a sense of place that really brings the hammer down.”— Garden & Gun
📚 “All Together Now” by Hope Larson I Release date: Aug. 4, 2020 I “Larson’s artwork is crisp and bold; perfectly suited to her story and characters . . . The visual portrayal of Bina’s love of music, and her joy in losing herself in the creative process, is especially wonderful.” ―The New York Times
📚 “The Exiles” by Christina Baker Kline I Release date: Aug. 25, 2020 I “Gripping…Filled with surprising twists, empathetic prose, and revealing historical details, Kline’s resonant, powerful story will please any historical fiction fan.” — Publishers Weekly Protip: Buy the special signed edition of The Exiles from Malaprop’s Bookstore & Cafe and your name + email address will be added to the invitation list to catch a virtual conversation between Christina Baker Kine + Wiley CashFri., Sept. 4 at 7 p.m.
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Weather ○ 89º | Mostly sunny | 20% chance of rain
Civic ○ The North Carolina State Board of Elections has launched an online Absentee Ballot Request Portal to make the process quicker + easier. The portal allows folks to submit their request online. Officials anticipate the portal will make the turnaround time much quicker. More than a half a million Tarheel residents have requested absentee ballots in advance of the Oct. 27 absentee ballot deadline. Click here for more info.🖥️ (WLOS) ○ Want to see your sample ballot? They’ll be available starting tomorrow via the NC Voter Search page. Just enter your name (as you registered) and go to the Sample Ballots tab. DYK: There are 42 days until Early Voting begins, and 61 until Election Day. 🗳 ○ Work on the Haywood Streetscape Project is underway for the next two weeks to stay on schedule for completion this month. Expect to see larger sections of Haywood Rd. get concrete installation + granite curb. Where the sidewalk has been demolished, gravel + ramps will be in place temporarily. 🚧
DYK ○ Good news for those who plan to travel this weekend. Gas prices are predicted to drop in time for the Labor Day weekend. According to travel + navigation app GasBuddy, drivers haven’t seen prices this low since 2004. The national average is currently $2.22 per gallon, and experts anticipate it will be down to $2.19 by the weekend. Prices in NC are currently even lower, at $2.12, and in the Asheville area, it’s $2.13. 🚗
Arts ○ Like many events, this year’s Show & Tell Pop-up Shop is going virtual. Home For the Holidays, featuring killer handmade, fair trade + vintage wares, takes place from Nov. 1 to Jan. 10 and will offer curbside pickup, local delivery + shipping options. Wanna be a part of it? Applicationsare open through Sept. 15. 🛍️
Edu ○ An Asheville primary school, previously known as Charles B. Aycock School, will receive $316,000 in NC lottery money. The money will go towards the remediation of mold + renovation work within the school, as well as the construction of new office spaces. 🏫 (Asheville Citizen Times)
Vote ○ What’s the coolest thing made in NC? You can cast your vote for your personal fave in this contest organized by the NC Chamber. Local finalists for the first round include products from Moog Music, Diamond Brand Outdoors, SylvanSport, and The Rustic Lamp. The contest recognizes + awards manufacturers in the Old North State. The first round of voting closes today. 🏆
FeaturedDeal ○ Hosting a virtual event? Now through 9/30 we’re offering 25% off all event listings. Submit your event here and guarantee that it’s included in our daily newsletter and website. Use promo code 25VIRTUAL at check out. Ⓟ
FeaturedEvent ○ Mike Wiley returns to the NC Stage Company for a one man show titled Blood Done Sign My Name. The series will take place virtually from Sept. 10-27 withperformance times at 7:30 p.m on Thurs.-Sat. and at 2 p.m. on Sun.. Tickets start at $20. Click here to learn more about the event and purchase tickets. Ⓟ
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○ Check out the latest COVID-19 stats for NC from the Department of Health and Human Serviceshere. As of Wednesday afternoon, 2,517 cases and 72 deaths have been reported in Buncombe County.
○ Bars, indoor performance venues + clubs still can’t open under Safer at Home Phase 2.5. While some bar + club owners and employees are critical of the decision, the Texas Medical Association has ranked going to a bar among the highest-risk activities for contracting COVID-19. Local bar owners say they would implement safety + social distancing measures if allowed to reopen, which could be in Oct. (Asheville Citizen-Times)
○ After a COVID-19 cluster of 17 cases was reported at Western Carolina University Monday, school officials are urging students + staff to follow protocols and safety measures, including avoiding parties, keeping physical distance, and wearing a mask. Officials are hoping to keep campus open and classes running in person. (WLOS)
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Answered: It’s official – over half of you who took our poll have experienced major disruptions to internet connectivity since the pandemic began. Check out our deep dive into broadband access in WNC and the state here. 💻
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