Several months ago we picked this book up at a shop in West Virginia. I gave it a quick look and figured at 300 plus pages (and a reasonable $15 cover price) it was worth a gamble.
"Way Out in West Virginia" by Jeanne Mozier is easily one of the most enjoyable books about a state I have ever read. This one gets a solid A.
The book is very different from other basic easily available travel type books, in that it is organized by topic (art, architecture, oddities, shopping, etc) instead of by region. This was one thing that almost made me think twice about purchasing the book, but this system actually works well for the book. For example, I might skim the chapter about shopping, but I will likely read the chapter titled "Historic Oddities" very carefully!
Something else unique about "Way Out in West Virginia" is the author's unashamed pride in her state. I have read a lot of travel guides, brochures, websites, etc. where the author tried to, but could not hide their lack of enthusiasm. Ms. Mozier does not have that problem. She knows her state has a lot to offer, and she wants to tell you all about it. The book is full of great exciting detail- and absolutely no filler.
We have made several trips to West Virginia over the last few years, and I have developed a real love for the state. It has grown on us, and there are several well known sites I really want to see soon in the area. I have found a lot of general info online about the state. "Way Out in West Virginia" has given me a lot of additional information on some great sites. I can't wait for my next drive through the area to check out some interesting theaters, places to eat (ice cream, peperoni rolls, fish sandwiches), toy museums, and other novel destinations.
Something else worthy of note in this book is Mozier's great descriptions of the places she discusses. Some of the entries in her "Mother Nature's Wonders" section are poetic. You will get a good idea of exactly what to expect at each location.
I hope other writers hoping to publish a book about the great sites in their states read Jeanne Mozier's book first. She knows her state, and she enthusiastically wants to tell you about why you should spend some quality time there.