Sunday, July 6, 2014

Book Review-Grandfather Mountain: Images of America

Hardy, Michael C. Grandfather Mountain (Images of America). Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2014. 128 pages. ISBN 9781467121040, $21.99.

If you have ever been to a historic location or been in a new bookstore you are most likely familiar with the Images of America series. These price friendly books can provide a quality reminder of a vacation while possibly adding to the visitor's knowledge of an area. They are a standard in many cities and unfortunately sometimes serve as the only book available.

It would seem possible that at some point the well would run dry on opportunities for this series. It hasn't yet though and veteran North Carolina writer Michael C. Hardy has recently published a volume on Grandfather Mountain, the nearly 6,000 feet high North Carolina mountain that is the highest peak in the eastern Blue Ridge Mountains.

Depending on your point of view Grandfather Mountain is a mountain, a state park, or a non-profit organization. Mr. Hardy does a good job covering these aspects in the limited amount of text he is given. Books in the Images series rely almost exclusively on photos and have limited text other than brief photo captions. Good captions are what can turn a plain book of photos into a worthwhile purchase. In Grandfather Mountain Mr. Hardy delivers the goods.

Chapters include: first photographs, famous faces, Grandfather Mountain from Afar, Grandfather Mountain's Winding Roads, Singing on the Mountain, Highland Games, State Park, Flora and Fauna and Visitors From Near and Far. Chapters are usually around 10-12 pages long and have many photos with in-depth captions.

Annual events such as Singing on the Mountain and the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are looked forward to by many people each year. Singing on the Mountain has attracted some of the biggest names in music and religion including Johnny Cash and three generations of the Graham family. The highland games has grown from a single day event to one that now spans over four days of competition. Both events receive their own chapter and have plenty of interesting photos.

The story of the completion of the Blue Ridge Parkway through the property of Grandfather Mountain is well told photographically. Grandfather Mountain is home to an incredible and diverse variety of plants and wildlife. Come face to face with the famous bear, Mildred, in the pages of this book.

Far from telling the whole history of the Grandfather Mountain property and the men who have owned it this book is not trying to do that. It succeeds admirably in what it sets out to do which is to showcase, in photos, the beauty and history that is Grandfather Mountain. For those wanting more reading material on what appears to be a fascinating history there is a small bibliography included.

Highly recommended!

Please consider visiting Michael C. Hardy's website and ordering a signed copy direct from the author. Visit by clicking here.

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