Nonfiction

A Home in Writing

A unique writers’ group in Memphis has produced a book of first-hand accounts of homelessness

by Joe Nolan

January 23, 2015 The Door of Hope Writing Group in Memphis is a weekly meet-up for homeless writers. The nonprofit’s new project, Writing Our Way Home: A Group Journey Out of Homelessness, chronicles both the hard times and big breakthroughs of writers living on the street.

Published Friday, 23 January 2015

Memphis, Key to the Mississippi

Edward B. McCaul Jr. examines the Civil War struggle for control of the Mississippi River

by Ralph Bowden

January 22, 2015 To Retain Command of the Mississippi is Edward McCaul’s thorough look at everything—strategy, politics, personnel, boats, technology, and battles—connected with the campaign to establish control of the Mississippi during the first two years of the Civil War. McCaul argues that the river battle at Memphis could have gone the other way, with consequences that might have led to Confederate independence.

Published Thursday, 22 January 2015

Be a Mule

Revered novelist Tim O’Brien talks with Chapter 16 about his forthcoming Nashville appearance with the other Tim O’Brien, a bluegrass legend

by Ed Tarkington

January 12, 2015 For more than thirty years, Tim O’Brien has been regarded as one of the definitive voices of the Vietnam War. A literary trailblazer, he melds fact and fiction in texts that are both starkly realistic and surreal. O’Brien will be in Nashville on January 17, 2015, to share the stage with Tim O’Brien, the equally legendary Nashville musician, at a special benefit in support of The Porch Writers’ Collective.

Published Monday, 12 January 2015

Rock’n’Roll Sunset

In The Next Elvis, Barbara Barnes Sims offers a down-to-earth view of the legendary Sun Records

by Randy Fox

January 9, 2015 Barbara Barnes Sims spent three years witnessing rock’n’roll history from the ground level, working at the legendary Sun Records label in the late 1950s. Her fascinating memories of that time are collected in The Next Elvis: Searching for Stardom at Sun Records.

Published Friday, 9 January 2015

More in Heaven and Earth

In The Deepest Human Life, Scott Samuelson conveys an infectious sense of wonder

by Steve Haruch

January 8, 2015 In The Deepest Human Life: An Introduction to Philosophy for Everyone, Scott Samuelson brings together a broad range of philosophical writings, poetry, stories from his students, and the occasional folk song. It is an approachable book full of insight and wonder. Samuelson will appear at Rhodes College in Memphis on January 15, 2015, at 6 p.m.

Published Thursday, 8 January 2015

Dream Big and Work Hard

Oprah’s new book offers an assortment of her distinctive personal philosophies

by Tina LoTufo

December 9, 2014 Film critic Gene Siskel once asked Oprah Winfrey what she knew “for sure.” The Tennessee State University alum calls this “the central question of my life,” and her new book takes its title from Siskel’s query. A small, attractively bound volume, perfect for gift-giving, What I Know For Sure will undoubtedly delight Winfrey’s many fans.

Published Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Priceless Peer

In a new biography of Ralph Peer, Barry Mazor untangles the roots of American roots music

by Steve Haruch

December 3, 2014 Barry Mazor’s Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music traces the life and career of Ralph Peer, who rose from Kansas City phonograph salesman to one of history’s most influential A&R scouts, record producers, and music publishers. From the birth of what came to be known as country music to the popularization of blues, regional, and eventually Latin music, Mazor tracks it all.

Published Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Farm to Table—to Bookstore

Chapter 16 talks with celebrated chef Sean Brock about his new cookbook, Heritage

by Nicki Pendleton Wood

December 1, 2014 Sean Brock used to swear he’d never write a book. The acclaimed chef and owner of Husk was too busy making food the farm-to-table way, relying on improvisation and in-season ingredients. Nevertheless, Brock has now released a cookbook titled Heritage, and it’s a big book, too: a foot tall and 334 pages long. He will discuss Heritage at POP Nashville on December 3, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Monday, 1 December 2014

Untamed Narratives

In Short Stories by Jesus, Amy-Jill Levine revisits the parables with an eye toward their first-century context

by Beth Waltemath

November 24, 2014 Short Stories by Jesus, the latest book by Vanderbilt professor Amy-Jill Levine, analyzes a misunderstood and nearly forgotten literary form: the parable. Levine, a professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt, argues that Jesus’s parables have been domesticated into easy lessons, robbed of their power to surprise, subvert, and indict.

Published Monday, 24 November 2014

Much More than Tea and Sympathy

In The Way of Tea and Justice, Becca Stevens tells the story behind Nashville’s Thistle Stop Café, a cottage industry for former prostitutes

by Tina LoTufo

November 20, 2014 “A Story in Every Cup”—that’s the motto of Nashville’s Thistle Stop Café. In The Way of Tea and Justice, Becca Stevens, Episcopal priest and founder of Thistle Farms, tells the story of the Thistle Stop Café, where, in Stevens’ words, “we recognize the dignity of each person” while providing additional employment opportunities for former prostitutes in recovery.

Published Thursday, 20 November 2014

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