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All along the watchtower

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• Concord resident Peter Barr's book Hiking North Carolina's Lookout Towers (John F. Blair; $11.21) is a must-have for any hiking enthusiast. Barr, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the director for the North Carolina chapter of the Forest Fire Lookout Association. His work with the chapter and own personal experiences led to the creation of this book. The majesty of the N.C. mountains attracts many a day-packer and tourist; Barr's book includes entries for 26 lookout towers along with photographs, their history, information about the mountain each tower stands on and a rating scale for the hiking trails up to the towers.

• The May/June issue of North Carolina Signature Magazine is on newsstands now. This month's issue of the Greensboro-based magazine focuses on the N.C. coast, everything from the biggest mansions to the smallest bungalows. Take a trip to Bald Head Island, visit the coastal cottages at Prices Creek in Southport, or spend a day in the small town of Cedar Point.

• The latest issue of Oxford American is also on stands. The theme is "The Home Sweet Home Issue," and the cover story, "The Cult of House Worship," is by award-winning N.C. writer Hal Crowther, whose syndicated column used to run in CL. The issue also contains a piece by Wilmington writer Kate Sweeney, about an eco-friendly burial center in South Carolina.

(Local Lit is a regular column showcasing book events involving the Carolinas.)

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