Book Reviews


With In It For The Long Run: A Musical Odyssey, Jim Rooney takes readers on the ride of his life

by Stephen Trageser

April 17, 2014 In a music career spanning six decades, Jim Rooney has worn nearly every hat—from stage hand, promoter, and performer to producer, publisher, and biographer— and crossed paths with all manner of luminous talents: Bob Dylan, Howlin’ Wolf, John Prine, and Iris DeMent, just to name a few. Rooney will discuss and sign copies of his autobiography, In It For The Long Run, at Parnassus Books in Nashville at 6:30 p.m. on April 23, 2014, and at The Station Inn in Nashville on April 24, 2014, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Published Thursday, 17 April 2014

In Praise of Moderation

Todd S. Purdum’s new book about landmark civil-rights legislation looks back at a Congress capable of compromise

by Peter Kuryla

April 16, 2014 In An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, his highly readable popular history of the politics behind the groundbreaking civil-rights legislation, Todd Purdum is open to messy, multi-causal explanations involving a large cast of historical characters. Purdum will appear at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on April 23, 2014, at 3 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Everyone Wanting Only the Best

In The Vacationers, Emma Straub’s characters head to Mallorca amid simmering conflict

by Ed Tarkington

April 14, 2014 Just as Jim and Franny Post prepare to embark on a two-week jaunt to Mallorca—a final family trip before their youngest child leaves for college—their perfect life falls apart. Emma Straub will discuss The Vacationers on April 17, 2014, at 7 p.m. in Buttrick Hall, Room 102, on the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville. The event is free and open to the public.

Published Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Take it From Mama Rena

When it comes to comfort food, Pat and Gina Neely are onto something

by Susannah Felts

April 14, 2014 With their third cookbook, Memphis restaurateurs and Food Network celebrities Pat and Gina Neely offer a charming celebration of handed-down traditions, memories preserved through meals. The Neelys will discuss Back Home with the Neelys at the Nashville Public Library on April 17, 2014, at 6:15 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Published Monday, 14 April 2014

Tennessee’s First Hero

Gordon Belt and Traci Nichols-Belt examine how history has treated Tennessee founding father John Sevier

by Ralph Bowden

April 10, 2014 John Sevier was widely recognized as a hero during his own time. Later writers and historical societies frequently revisited his legend, producing literature and monuments that reflected their own historical context. In John Sevier, Tennessee’s First Hero, Gordon T. Belt and Traci Nichols-Belt dig into those books, pamphlets, speeches, sermons, editorials, and letters to see how Sevier’s reputation has evolved over the years. The Belts will appear at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on April 13, 2014, at 2 p.m.

Published Thursday, 10 April 2014

Highway to Hell

Sallie Bissell is back with another Mary Crow thriller in which death and disappearance are frequent travelers on an infamous North Carolina roadway

by Liz Garrigan

April 9, 2014 Two gay men near Asheville, North Carolina, are brutally murdered, possibly in connection with a backwater preacher’s shocking anti-gay bombast on YouTube, and North Carolina Governor Ann Chandler is worried. Clearly, this is a case for special prosecutor Mary Crow. Sallie Bissell will discuss Deadliest of Sins, her sixth Mary Crow mystery, on April 12, 2014, at Mysteries & More in Nashville at 2 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A Darkly Funny Dystopia

Margaret Atwood brings her apocalyptic trilogy to a close with MaddAddam

by Maria Browning

April 8, 2014 With MaddAddam, the final book in Margaret Atwood’s trilogy about a bioengineered apocalypse, the story takes a turn toward the comic, transforming a dystopian vision into a darkly funny fairy tale for grown-ups. Atwood will discuss MaddAddam at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville on April 11, 2014, at 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Published Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Circular Perfection, Infinite Hope

Robin Layton’s photographs capture the origins of basketball dreams

by Sean Kinch

April 2, 2014 Robin Layton’s new book of photography, hoop: the american dream, captures the romance of basketball through images of lone baskets around the country. Ranging from urban playgrounds to suburban parks to backboards nailed to the sides of Iowa barns, Layton’s subjects are as various as the people who play the game. Robin Layton will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 4 at 6:30 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Freedom Turns Fifty

In The Bill of the Century, Clay Risen explores the fascinating twists and turns of groundbreaking civil-rights legislation

by Michael Ray Taylor

March 31, 2014 Clay Risen, a frequent Chapter16 contributor, garnered widespread praise for A Nation on Fire, his 2009 account of the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Risen returns to the historic struggle for civil rights in The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act, a penetrating account of the heroic effort to pass the landmark 1964 legislation.

Published Monday, 31 March 2014

Vista to Somewhere Else

In Tova Mirvis’s Visible City, entangled neighbors catch startling glimpses into each other’s lives

by Emily Choate

March 28, 2013 The characters in Tova Mirvis’s novel Visible City dwell in the glittering flux of New York, constantly exposed to moments of potential clash and change. They play their official roles—stay-at-home mother, lawyer, therapist, art historian—as seamlessly as they can manage, but inside they seek routes of escape. Mirvis, a Memphis native, will discuss Visible City at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on April 2, 2014, at 6 p.m.

Published Friday, 28 March 2014

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