Book Reviews

Into History

In Fresh Water from Old Wells, Cindy Henry McMahon confronts her family’s tumultuous path toward social justice

by Emily Choate

May 21, 2015 In Fresh Water From Old Wells, Cindy Henry McMahon reveals a tumultuous family history that encompasses both civil-rights activism and backwoods hippie enclaves as she seeks to restore her own fractured memories. McMahon will discuss Fresh Water from Old Wells at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on May 31, 2015, at 2 p.m.

Published Thursday, 21 May 2015

From Cold Cases to Hot Pursuit

What Lies Behind, J.T. Ellison’s new thriller, whiplashes Samantha Owens from a crime of passion to a global conspiracy

by Kathryn Justice Leache

May 20, 2015 Samantha Owens, the protagonist of What Lies Behind, J.T. Ellison’s latest thriller, has left crime-scene investigation to take a plum job in academia. Then a brutal crime pulls her back in. Ellison will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 26, 2015; at Reading Rock Books in Dickson on May 28, 2015; and at Books-A-Million at Nashville on May 29, 2015. All events are free and open to the public.

Published Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Bad Moon, Good Story

Betsy Phillips’s new novel, The Wolf’s Bane, launches a new series of limited-edition books

by Joe Nolan

May 19, 2015 Betsy Phillips’s new book, The Wolf’s Bane, is the inaugural project of the Nashville Limited Edition Club. Founded by Jennifer Knowles of Brown Dog Bindery and Chuck Beard of East Side Story, the club will connect authors, artists, and bookbinders to create one-of-a-kind books published by Knowles and distributed by Beard. Phillips will launch The Wolf’s Bane with a reading at East Side Story in Nashville on May 22, 2015, at 6 p.m.

Published Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Source of an Artistic Soul

In Hold Still, photographer Sally Mann interrogates the past that shaped her

by Maria Browning

May 18, 2015 Photographer Sally Mann’s body of work—which includes haunting images of her family and the Southern landscape, as well as unsettling studies of death and decay—is remarkable for its beauty and singular intensity. Hold Still, her new memoir, is a fascinating meditation on the sources of that work, as well as a reckoning with the unreliability of both memory and photography as ways of preserving the past. Mann will discuss the book in a conversation with novelist Ann Patchett at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville on May 21, 2015, at 6:15 p.m.

Published Monday, 18 May 2015

The Seething Pot

In a new thriller, Lyndsay Faye examines crime and corruption in 1840s New York

by Faye Jones

May 15, 2015 In The Fatal Flame, Lyndsay Faye continues her popular Edgar-nominated series with a thriller in which Timothy Wilde is forced to confront his intense fear of fire to pursue an arsonist. Faye will discuss The Fatal Flame at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on May 17, 2015, at 3 p.m.

Published Friday, 15 May 2015

One Giant Step Back

Margaret Lazarus Dean bids a nuanced farewell to American spaceflight

by Michael Ray Taylor

May 14, 2015 In 2011, Margaret Lazarus Dean drove repeatedly from her home in Knoxville to Cape Canaveral in Florida to watch the final launches of the three surviving craft in the American space-shuttle fleet. In Leaving Orbit: Notes From the Last Days of American Spaceflight, she recounts these trips and reflects eloquently on what it means to have lost the ability to launch humans into space from U.S. soil. Dean will appear at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on June 18, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Thursday, 14 May 2015

Bop Symphony

Richard J. Alley delivers life, hot and cool, in his debut novel, Five Night Stand

by Randy Fox

May 12, 2015 In his new novel, Five Night Stand, Memphis author Richard J. Alley weaves the lives of three characters into a bop symphony that’s driven by hopes, dreams, doubt, and the redemptive power of music. Alley will appear at Burke’s Book Store in Memphis on May 21, 2015, at 5:30 p.m.

Published Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Trouble Broaching

Caki Wilkinson’s The Wynona Stone Poems is a comic novel in verse

by Maria Browning

May 11, 2015 Caki Wilkinson’s second collection, The Wynona Stone Poems, tells the story of a smart, spirited woman who, in spite of having her fair share of talent and passion, can’t quite make her life happen.

Published Monday, 11 May 2015

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

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