- Jo reconnects with her college professor, novelist and former NC Poet Laureate, Fred Chappell.

A little about her...

Jo was born in Fredrichsfeld, Germany, and raised in Winston-Salem. She majored in English Literature at UNC Greensboro. Jo moved to Western North Carolina from Charlotte in 2007 to take the job as manager of Blue Ridge Books. Before the move, Jo worked for a real estate appraiser and then for Joseph-Beth Booksellers. The mountain home she shares with her two dogs is often visited by neighboring bears. In addition to reading, Jo enjoys watching classic movies and attending as many Carolina Panthers games as she can. Her favorite genre of books is definitely mystery/thriller, but she also reads novels and biographies of movie stars of the golden age.

Jo's Staff Picks


- Allison introduces Dr. Bart Ehrman, professor from Allison’s alma mater.

A little about her...

Allison is a SC native who moved to NC at age 18 to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in Religious Studies. She’s been calling North Carolina home ever since. Allison began work at Blue Ridge Books in 2010, shortly before she and Jo purchased the store. Having worked at 3 bookstores previously, the opportunity came at the perfect time for her both personally and professionally. Allison lives in Hazelwood with her husband and 17 year old son. In addition to reading, her hobbies include thrift store and flea market shopping, making crafts and camping. Allison enjoys reading novels, memoirs and young adult fiction.

Allison's Staff Picks



A little about her...

Christina was born and raised in Charlotte, NC and moved to Western North Carolina with her family when she was 18. She is a single mom to a seven year old little boy who loves reading, as well as being read to. In addition to reading, Christina spends her free time making jewelry, seeing movies with friends and fishing with her son. Her reading choices include children’s books, young adult novels, suspense and fantasy.

Christina's Staff Picks


A little about her...

Born in Birmingham, AL., Mary developed her lilting southern accent growing up in Charlotte, NC. She received her BS-Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill. After living on the coast for four years, Mary moved back to Charlotte, started her family and fell in love with books working at the Little Professor Book Store where she met Pat Conroy. She treasures her hardback collection of his books. Mary, her husband Bill and their two young girls were delighted to move to WNC in 1997 and then to Waynesville in 2001. Mary has worked in various clinical fields. Her love of music led her to teach Kindermusik for 10 years. You can find Mary knitting, cooking, playing her violin or curling up with a good mystery, but not sitting still. She enjoys old movies, B&W sitcoms, college Basketball and SNOW! Ask her about historical fiction, Southern authors and mysteries.

Mary's Staff Picks


A little about him...

Matt was born near Buffalo, NY and moved to North Carolina in 2011. Matt teaches Middle School science during the week but spent so much time reading at the bookstore on weekends that he decided he may as well work there. Besides reading Matt enjoys playing video games, Netflix binging, fishing and hunting. His reading choices include a lot of Young Adult books (have to keep up with the kiddos!), Dystopian science fiction, and fantasy. Matt can also be found venturing out of his typical genres when a student asks him to read a book they enjoyed.

Matt's Staff Picks

Our former booksellers have moved on to other endeavors, but still help out when their time allows.


Ellese has a degree in psychology and now divides her time between a full-time job, more college classes, playing an occasional softball game and reading what she describes as “anything that is extraordinary”.

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