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About us

Appalachian Mountain Books was established in July of 1982 after George Brosi and his late wife, Connie Brosi, managed the Appalachian Book and Record Shop in Berea, Kentucky, for the Council of Southern Mountains. From our beginnings we have sold books by mail, at libraries, and at regional conferences and celebrations. From 1982 until 1995 we published a subscription-based periodical/catalog that included articles about regional authors and books as well as lists of books for sale. From 1984 to 1989, George and Connie operated a walk-in storefront in Berea. In 1989, the Brosi family, including seven children and the business, moved to Jackson County, North Carolina, near Cherokee, and operated from there for a couple of years before moving back to Berea. The business continued in a less active phase during Connie Brosi’s struggle with cancer, her death in 2015, and a mourning period thereafter. In the fall of 2016, Jillean McCommons, who worked as a professional librarian for ten years and earned an M.S. from the University of Michigan in Information, joined the staff of Appalachian Mountain Books and brought the business - sometimes kicking and screaming - into the 21st Century. She created this website, got us set up to take credit cards, organized and entered hundreds of books onto this site, and helped in a plethora of other ways. In the Fall of 2017, Jillean embarked on a PhD program, and now Appalachian Mountain Books is in George’s hands.

George Brosi grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and worked for the Council of Southern Mountains in Berea, Kentucky, in the summer of 1963 between semesters at Carleton College. He received a B.A. in sociology from Carleton College in 1965 and worked for a variety of non-profit organizations including the Council again in 1967. In 1971 he married Connie Fearington, and they moved to a small subsistence farm near Sequatchie, Tennessee, where he worked for more non-profits, including Save Our Cumberland Mountains.  Late in the 1970s, after living briefly near Sewanee, Tennessee, in Morgantown, West Virginia, and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, George and his family moved to Berea where he and Connie worked for the Appalachian Book and Record Shop of the Council of the Southern Mountains and then created Appalachian Mountain Books in 1982. In the early 1990s the family moved to a small farm near Cherokee, North Carolina, and George received an M. A. Ed. from Western Carolina in English Education. After moving back to Berea, George taught English for the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, and the community college system, including teaching Appalachian Studies for the University of Kentucky and Appalachian Literature at Eastern Kentucky University.  From 2002 until 2013 he served as editor of Appalachian Heritage, a literary quarterly, for Berea College. He featured over 40 regional authors for each issue of the magazine and hosted each of them at Berea for presentations.  He is the co-editor of Jesse Stuart, The Man and His Books for the Jesse Stuart Foundation, No Lonesome Road: The Prose and Poetry of Don West for the University of Illinois Press, and Appalachian Gateway: An Anthology of Contemporary Stories and Poetry for the University of Tennessee Press.  He was the editor of the Images and Icons section of The Encyclopedia of Appalachia, and he wrote the article on “Appalachian Literature” for the Companion to Southern Literature. He has won awards for his contributions to Appalachian Literature from the Appalachian Studies Association, The Appalachian Writers Association, Hindman Settlement School’s Appalachian Writers Workshop, and Lincoln Memorial University’s Mountain Heritage Literary Festival.