Village Lights Bookstore will host an author signing and discussion by Hanover College graduate Mark Nichols on his book, "From Azaleas to Zydeco."

The book covers Nichols' 4,600-mile quest through 10 southern states to find the defining sights, sounds, tastes and culture of the place he has called home most of his life.

The signing at Village Lights will be Thursday, March 13 from 5 to 7 p.m.

In the book, Nichols travels to 82 cites and partakes in eating dandelion salad, drinking Cheerwine soda and listening to swamp rock. He also finds himself rubbing elbows with a variety of people, including struggling musicians, crawfish "bawlers" and even a fashion mogul.

The book includes photographs, and Nichols plans to bring music from the areas he visited that will play through the bookstore.

"It's a fun read," said Village Lights owner Nathan Montoya.

Montoya said the book covers the off-the-beaten path aspects of each city or location and "paints a picture."

"It's not a guide to travel; it's a cultural log," Montoya said.

Nichols was born in Tennessee and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Hanover College in 1974. He earned a law degree from the University of Arkansas.

He now lives in Little Rock, Ark.

A map of Nichols' tour can be found at