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My Perfect Read

FCPL staff can help you find it. Last Updated: Jun 2, 2024 4:18 PM

Kelly Gilbert

Kelly Gilbert reading in a field of wildflowers.

Growing up in rural Virginia with Appalachian roots I have learned that magic manifests itself in fascinating ways, whether in the eyes of an excited toddler wielding a paint brush, through the transparent lace of a butterfly wing, or in the latest Holly Black faerie adventure. As a result, I’ve managed to cultivate a quirky family of reading interests that stem from a love for the fantastic along with an affinity for Appalachian literature.

I’m a sucker for flowery illustrations, off-beat children’s stories, and stubborn mountain grandmas with a sharp tongue and a warm heart. Some favorite titles are Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith, Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver, and Gap Creek by Robert Morgan.

I enjoy magical realism because I’ve always been fascinated with nature and with magic and how they interact in fiction; it’s a way for the mysteries of reality to intersect with what we sometimes wish could happen. Storytelling is an essential Appalachian form of communication, and growing up surrounded by tales has shaped my love for books today. 

Genres of Interest:

  • Appalachian Literature
  • Young Adult Literature
  • Children’s Literature
  • Magical Realism
  • Fantasy 
  • LGBTQA+ Literature
  • Graphic Novels
  • Horror

Appalachian Literature

Magical Reads


I am usually available during regular business hours from Sunday to Thursday. If you get in touch with me on a Friday or Saturday that I am not available, please allow a day or two for me to reply.

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