S.C. Authors, S.C. Books

Classic Carolina Road Trips from Columbia, Palmetto Moon, Slow Boat to China

Plus: Book Reception for Patricia McNeely and John Miranda

By Free Times
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Classic Carolina Road Trips from Columbia
Author: Tom Poland
Publisher: The History Press

Want to squeeze in some family day trips in the final weeks before the kids go back to school? Or just ready to get out and see some local history and natural wonders? Then Tom Poland’s latest book is arriving just in time to help.

In numerous books, essays and newspaper columns, Poland has captured the spirit of South Carolina and the surrounding area. The Columbia resident’s love of South Carolina continues with this volume.

Some of the destinations in the book are well known, such as the revered Angel Oak on Johns Island near Charleston. Others are obscure but equally fascinating.

Poland explains his approach in his foreword: “When I pick up a map of South Carolina I don’t see colored lines and legends. I see artisans who craft beautiful and useful things. I see waterfalls and raging whitewater. I see oaks of legend, a covered bridge, a drive-in theater, and North America’s only tea plantation.

“I see vanquished civilizations, forgotten monuments, abandoned dreams, and evidence of man’s passion for conquering — then abandoning — his surroundings. If you like Rome’s ruins, you will love Old Sheldon Church, Glendale, the Chapel of Ease and Fort Fremont. Curious about the land your forbears knew? Then go back in time to see what this country looked like before we cut, dug, and burned so much of it.”

The book will be published Aug. 5.

Palmetto Moon
Author: Kim Boykin
Publisher: Berkley Books/Penguin

Vada Hadley flees Charleston one day before her scheduled high-society wedding in this novel set in 1947. She finds new friendships — and possibly new love — in a small South Carolina town. But she soon has to choose between her new life and the direction her old life was heading.

Booklist notes that Boykin’s “strong, flawed female characters should appeal to fans of Dorothea Benton Frank and Karen White.”

Boykin is the author of one other novel (The Wisdom of Hair) and several novellas. The book’s official release date is Aug. 5, but copies will be on sale at a book signing and reception at the Richland Library from 7 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 1. To register, visit
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Slow Boat to China
Author: Gregory Marshall Smith
Publisher: America Star Books

The boat of the title is space-going, not seagoing in this science fiction novel by a West Columbia author. The protagonist is a storekeeper in the Federation Navy, but he’s way above his pay grade as he battles pirates, traitors and assorted villains as millions of lives hang in the balance.


Book reception: There will be a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 1 at the Village Artists at the Village at Sandhills for author/artist Patricia McNeely and artist John Miranda. Both will be displaying their artwork, including pieces on Civil War themes by Miranda. McNeely will also discuss her soon-to-be-published book Sherman’s Flame and Blame Campaign on the burning of Columbia in 1865.

Congressman’s book: U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn will be the featured guest at the annual meeting of the Richland Library Friends at the main library at 6 p.m. on Aug. 5. Clyburn will discuss his recently published book Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black.

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