With Staff Picks, we would like to offer recommendations from our staff to you. These picks will be from a variety of reading, listening or viewing tastes. You might find stuff you've checked out before, or you might be intrigued enough to find a new favorite.

Something Rich and Strange by Ron Rash

Bleak and often terrifying, life in rural Appalachia was marred by the Great Depression. In this short story collection, award-winning author Ron Rash describes the individuals and families who struggled to survive when the land that was their home refused to provide even basic sustenance. This book provides a glimpse into the hard-scrabble lives of proud people whose desperation is almost palpable in the text. It is both heart-wrenching and beautifully, honestly written.

I highly recommend this short story collection to anyone who enjoys stories of Appalachian life, especially fans of the works of Lee Smith and/or James Agee.

If Something Rich and Strange interests you, feel free to request and check it out. We'll be back next Wednesday with a different Staff Pick.