Nonfiction

Clever Monster

In Octopus, Richard Schweid considers the cephalopod

by Maria Browning

October 22, 2013 Richard Schweid, a Nashville native who now lives in Barcelona, has written books on eels and cockroaches, and with Octopus he continues his fascination with the less-cute creatures of the natural world. This lively book introduces readers to a creature who is strange, tasty, and surprisingly intelligent.

Published Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Race and Justice in Reconstruction-Era New Orleans

Michael A. Ross recovers the fascinating story of a forgotten kidnapping case that reveals the complexities of Reconstruction-era politics

by Peter Kuryla

October 21, 2014 In The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case, historian Michael Ross adapts the genres of true-crime narrative and courtroom drama to recover a forgotten story that captured national attention nearly 150 years ago. In clear, bright prose Ross deftly sorts through the complexities of Reconstruction-era politics to tell the story of two mixed-race women accused of abducting a white toddler. He will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on October 28, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Tuesday, 21 October 2014

When It Works, It Never Ends

Michael S. Roth argues for the necessity of a liberal-arts education

by Tristan Charles

October 17, 2014 Liberal education, argues Michael S. Roth, is a tool that “matters far beyond the university because it increases our capacity to understand the world, contribute to it, and reshape ourselves. When it works, it never ends.” Roth will give a free public lecture at Rhodes College in Memphis on October 23, 2014, at 6 p.m.

Published Friday, 17 October 2014

Long Player

Sparks fly from poetry, prose, art, and music in Language Lessons, the first title released by Nashville’s Third Man Books

by Randy Fox

October 16, 2014 The first publication from Nashville’s Third Man Books, Language Lessons: Volume One, is a diverse collection of poetry, prose, art, and music. Editors Chet Weise and Ben Swank present material in a unique format that demonstrates the excitement of human language beyond the simple printed page.

Published Thursday, 16 October 2014

Long-Haired Country Boys

Scott B. Bomar talks with Chapter 16 about Southbound: An Illustrated History of Southern Rock

by Randy Fox

October 15, 2014 Rumbling out of the South at the beginning of the 1970s, Southern rock was a mix of back-to-basics rock and roll, blues, country, and soul—wrapped in a new vision of the American Southland. Scott B. Bomar chronicles the history of this uniquely American music and its legacy in Southbound: An Illustrated History of Southern Rock. Bomar will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on October 20, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Party Primer

A Chapter 16 writer takes Martina McBride’s new cookbook for a spin

by Susannah Felts

October 13, 2014 Dinner-party mavens and newbie entertainers alike will find bright ideas in Martina McBride’s debut cookbook, Around the Table, which offers four seasons’ worth of themed gatherings. With recipes, decorating ideas, shortcuts, and even music playlists, each chapter guides the host through all the paces of pulling off a terrific, memorable party. McBride will discuss the book at the Harpeth Hall School in Nashville on October 13, 2014, and at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on October 14, 2014.

Published Monday, 13 October 2014

All Together Now

A Chapter 16 writer considers the collective spirit of the Southern Festival of Books

by Maria Browning

October 10, 2014 The Southern Festival of Books is big, varied, and one of the most inclusive cultural events around. Chapter 16’s Maria Browning considers the special pleasure of the festival’s collective spirit. The twenty-sixth annual Southern Festival of Books will take place in Nashville October 10-12, 2014, at Legislative Plaza and the Nashville Public Library. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Friday, 10 October 2014

Under Fire

For memoirist Frances Mayes, childhood was a powder keg

by Lyda Phillips

October 7, 2014 In Under Magnolia, Frances Mayes recalls her childhood in South Georgia, trying to survive in the overwrought atmosphere created by her high-strung, alcoholic parents. It is a moving account of the coming-of-age of a young woman destined to be a poet, teacher, and bestselling memoirist. Mayes will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 10-12, 2014.

Published Tuesday, 7 October 2014

An Impossible Idea

Alexis Coe talks with Chapter 16 about Alice + Freda Forever, a true tale of crime in Gilded-Age Memphis

by Stephen Trageser

October 3, 2014 On January 25, 1892, on a busy Memphis sidewalk, Alice Mitchell slit the throat of Freda Ward, a crime that made national headlines because Alice’s motive—jealousy in a homosexual relationship—was inconceivable to a nineteenth-century audience. Alexis Coe’s new book about the case, Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis, is a window into how gender, class, and race shaped society of that day. Coe will appear at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on October 9, 2014, and again at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 10-12.

Published Friday, 3 October 2014

Walking the Good Path

Linda Leaming, who found happiness in Bhutan, has some advice for worried Westerners

by Faye Jones

September 29, 2014 In A Field Guide to Happiness: What I Learned in Bhutan about Living, Loving, and Waking Up, Linda Leaming combines fascinating descriptions of a mystical country with funny, touching, and sometimes harrowing stories about her life there. It’s enough to make even the most travel-phobic reader dream about buying a plane ticket for this hard-to-reach land. Leaming will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on October 1, 2014, and at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 10-12, 2014.

Published Monday, 29 September 2014

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