Book Reviews

The Hunting Season

In her debut novel for adults, bestselling YA novelist Diane Les Becquets pits two very different women against the wilderness, and the past

by Emily Choate

February 3, 2016 Diane Les Becquets’s new novel, Breaking Wild, follows two women on either side of a pursuit deep into the Colorado wilderness, leading to confrontations with both the past and the present. Les Becquets will discuss Breaking Wild at Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 9, 20016, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Advice from a True Believer

Mary Karr celebrates the examined life in The Art of Memoir

by Maria Browning

February 1, 2016 Mary Karr, one of the contemporary masters of memoir, is a true believer in the transformative power of the form. In The Art of Memoir, she offers a short course in the joys and challenges of writing the story of your own life. She will appear in discussion with songwriter Rodney Crowell at the Green Door Gourmet in Nashville on February 6, 2016. The event is a benefit for The Porch Writers’ Collective.

Published Monday, 1 February 2016

Unsung Heroes of a Neglected Region

Michael E. Birdwell and W. Calvin Dickinson have collected fifteen essays on the history of the Upper Cumberland

by Ralph Bowden

January 28, 2016 The Upper Cumberland region—i.e. the watershed counties of the upstream half of the Cumberland River in Kentucky and Tennessee—was relatively isolated for much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; as a result, it was neglected by historians. Its history is rich and worth investigating, however, as editors Michael E. Birdwell and W. Calvin Dickinson prove with People of the Upper Cumberland.

Published Thursday, 28 January 2016

Carrying Disaster on Their Backs

Ruta Sepetys’s new YA novel returns to the ravaged landscape—and people—of World War II

by Jennie Fields

January 27, 2016 In Salt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys—Nashville-based author of the chillingly beautiful 2011 novel, Between Shades of Gray, about a Lithuanian family sent to a Soviet work camp—tells another tale of displacement and tragedy at the end of World War II as the Red Army advances on Prussia. Sepetys will celebrate the book’s launch at Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 2, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The Desperate Housewives of Hong Kong

In Janice Y. K. Lee’s The Expatriates, Americans abroad learn to persevere

by Sean Kinch

January 25, 2016 Janice Y. K. Lee’s new novel, The Expatriates, depicts the intersecting lives of three women in Hong Kong. When their world of privilege is thrown into disarray, they learn how to overcome trauma and rebuild their lives. Janice Y. K. Lee will read from The Expatriates at Parnassus Books in Nashville on January 26, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Monday, 25 January 2016

A Hidden Mission and Adventure

Karen Spears Zacharias’s newest novel, Burdy, is a sequel to Mother of Rain

by Ralph Bowden

January 22, 2016 Burdy is Karen Spears Zacharias’ second novel based on Christian Bend, “a way-back place” in the mountains of East Tennessee. It features Burdy, one of the vividly-drawn characters of that tiny community, as she tracks down a townsman presumed dead after the Normandy invasion.

Published Friday, 22 January 2016

Longings so Large

A woman considers her troubled childhood in Elizabeth Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton

by Maria Browning

January 19, 2016 In My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout takes readers into the mind and heart of a woman who has survived a troubled childhood, revealing a spirit that is both beautiful and deeply wounded. Strout will appear at the Nashville Public Library on January 21, 2016.

Published Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Grand Young Opry

Charles K. Wolfe’s A Good-Natured Riot tells the tale of an American icon’s infancy

by Randy Fox

January 15, 2016 A Good-Natured Riot, Charles K. Wolfe’s classic history of the Grand Ole Opry’s early years, delivers an engaging and essential history of an almost forgotten era in country music. The book, originally released in 1999, is now available in paperback.

Published Friday, 15 January 2016

A Pirate’s Tail

A clever early-reader series sets sail in Jessica Young’s All Paws On Deck

by Kathryn Justice Leache

January 14, 2016 The first early-reader chapter book by Nashville-based children’s author Jessica Young, Haggis and Tank Unleashed—All Paws on Deck, is a funny romp and clever introduction to the playful side of language. Parnassus Books in Nashville will host a launch party for the series on January 15, 2016.

Published Thursday, 14 January 2016

Kitchen Babies

Former rocker Freda Love Smith teaches her son to cook—and writes a splendid memoir along the way

by Susannah Felts

January 13, 2016 A gritty rock club and a modest home kitchen might seem like opposite ends of the earth. But in Freda Love Smith’s new book, Red Velvet Underground, the two are deliciously twined. A memoir seasoned with recipes, this story charts the coming of age of both mother and child as Smith teaches her teenage son how to cook. Smith will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on January 19, 2016.

Published Wednesday, 13 January 2016

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