The Heart of the Matter

What Remains, the second YA novel by Helene Dunbar, is a tale of tragedy and revelation

by Sarah Norris

May 6, 2015 What Remains, the new novel by Nashville YA author Helene Dunbar, is the story of a teenager who’s had the same best friends since first grade. When a tragic car accident upends his life, he is forced to reckon with his grief, guilt, and a new existence he’s not convinced he even wants. Dunbar will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 11, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Victims of War

In her third novel, Pamela Schoenewaldt imagines the lives of German-Americans during WWI

by Faye Jones

April 30, 2015 Pamela Schoenewaldt’s newest historical novel, Under the Same Blue Sky, tells a poignant story of the hardships that German Americans faced during World War I. Schoenewaldt will discuss the book at the Laurel Theater in Knoxville on May 7 at 7 p.m., at Barnes & Noble Vanderbilt in Nashville on May 11, and at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on June 5.

Published Thursday, 30 April 2015

There are Worse Places to Be Targeted

In her debut novel, true-crime writer Phyllis Gobbell turns to fictional mysteries in Provence

by Faye Jones

April 28, 2015 Phyllis Gobbell may be better known as the co-author of two true-crime books featuring murders in Nashville—A Season of Darkness and An Unfinished Canvas—but she is also a widely published writer of short fiction. So it should be no surprise that her first novel, Pursuit in Provence, is a worthy addition to the cozy-mystery field. Gobbell will discuss Pursuit in Provence at Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 3 at 2 p.m.

Published Tuesday, 28 April 2015

No Knack for Volition

In Hausfrau, Jill Alexander Essbaum invokes Anna Karenina and Emma Bovary to create her heroine’s erotic misadventures

by Emily Choate

April 27, 2015 When Anna—the ex-pat heroine of Jill Alexander Essbaum’s debut novel, Hausfrau—falls into an extramarital tangle with a fellow foreigner, the affair seems contrary to her entire nature as a person and threatens the passive surface of her life. Jill Alexander Essbaum will discuss Hausfrau at The Skillery in Nashville on May 1, 2015, at 7 p.m. The event, sponsored by The Porch Writers’ Collective and Parnassus Books, is free and open to the public.

Published Monday, 27 April 2015

Movie Magic

Corey Mesler’s Memphis Movie is a wild ride of a novel

by Maria Browning

April 21, 2015 An almost-washed-up movie director returns to his hometown to make an indie film that just might salvage his career. That’s the premise of Memphis Movie, Corey Mesler’s wild ride of a novel, which combines Hollywood cynicism with Memphis soul to create a comic tale with a sweet afterglow. Mesler will read from his novel at Burke’s Book Store in Memphis on April 30, 2015, at 5:30 p.m.

Published Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Something Curious to Write About

A revealing one-sided correspondence is at the heart of Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt

by Tracy Barrett

April 16, 2015 In Dear Hank Williams, National Book Award-winning children’s author Kimberly Willis Holt tells the story of an eleven-year-old in 1940s Louisiana through letters the girl writes to Hank Williams. Holt will appear at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on April 22 at 6:30 p.m.

Published Thursday, 16 April 2015

Tax Fraud

The Patriot Threat, Steve Berry’s new thriller, ponders what it would mean if the federal income tax had never been properly ratified

by Kathryn Justice Leache

April 15, 2015 In The Patriot Threat, Steve Berry’s latest thriller, Cotton Malone searches for evidence that the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been illegal from its inception—and that for more than a hundred years all federal income tax has been collected fraudulently. Berry will appear at the Nashville Public Library on April 22, 2015, at 6:15 p.m. as part of the Salon@615 series.

Published Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Hidden Treasure, a Haunted House, and an Unlikely Trio of Detectives

In this debut novel, a boy braves bullies and worse to try to save his family home

by Tracy Barrett

April 13, 2015 In Matthew Baker’s debut middle-grade novel, If You Find This, eleven-year-old Nicholas breaks his grandfather out of a nursing home and enlists the aid of two unlikely allies to find the family heirlooms his grandfather insists he hid years earlier—all to keep his parents from having to sell their family home. Baker will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 17, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.; and again in Furman Hall, Room 114, at Vanderbilt University on April 20, 2015, at 7 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Published Monday, 13 April 2015

L.A. Dark

In Sweet Nothing, mystery writer Richard Lange draws terse poetry from the lives of downtrodden Angelinos

by Ed Tarkington

April 10, 2015 Recovering drug addicts, compulsive gamblers, teenage mothers of teenage mothers, alcoholic philanderers—these are Richard Lange’s people. In his new collection, Sweet Nothing, Lange improbably draws elegant poetry and tragic, lingering beauty out of the thwarted, misbegotten denizens of twenty-first century Los Angeles. He will appear at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis at 6:30 p.m. on April 17, 2015.

Published Friday, 10 April 2015

A Finely Drawn Character

Robert Gipe’s illustrated debut novel, Trampoline, introduces a troubled teen coming of age during an Appalachian coal war

by Michael Ray Taylor

April 7, 2015 It’s been a while since anyone produced a great American coming-of-age-novel, but Kingsport native Robert Gipe hits the mark with Trampoline, an inventive debut set in the coal country of Eastern Kentucky. Narrator Dawn Jewell, fifteen, is as smart as Scout Finch, more profane than Holden Caulfield, and as tough in a fight as Mattie Ross. Gipe tells her story not only in flawless prose but also with 220 comics-style drawings that keep the book grounded in the world of an Appalachian teenager.

Published Tuesday, 7 April 2015

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