Book Reviews

“In 1814 We Took a Little Trip”

Archivist Tom Kanon examines Tennessee’s role in the War of 1812

by Chris Scott

February 27, 2015 The nearly forgotten War of 1812, with the related Creek War, made Andrew Jackson a hero and launched Tennessee to national prominence. In Tennesseans at War, 1812 – 1815: Andrew Jackson, the Creek War, and the Battle of New Orleans, state archivist Tom Kanon details the causes, facets, and consequences of a fight that should be more remembered.

Published Friday, 27 February 2015

Restless Cravings

With Into the Savage Country, Shannon Burke delivers a grand adventure in the tradition of Jack London

by Ed Tarkington

February 26, 2015 Set in the Wild West of the early nineteenth century, Shannon Burke’s new historical novel, Into the Savage Country, is a deftly written novel of love and adventure that evokes the classic tales of Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson. Burke will appear at the Laurel Theater in Knoxville on March 5, 2015, at 7 p.m. in an event sponsored by the Knoxville Writer’s Guild. On April 6, 2015, at 7 p.m., he will give a reading at the John C. Hodges Library on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville as part of the Writers in the Library series.

Published Thursday, 26 February 2015

A Collection of Oddities

Mosquitoland, a debut YA novel by David Arnold, introduces a snarky but beguiling teen protagonist

by Susannah Felts

February 25, 2015 Mosquitoland, the debut novel from former Nashvillian David Arnold, introduces a beguiling new voice in young-adult fiction. Edgy, insightful, and full of heart, the novel is a road narrative that readers of all ages should fall for. Arnold will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on March 3, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Shadow of Death

The young hero of Where All Light Tends to Go, David Joy’s debut novel, struggles to overcome a legacy of crime

by Sean Kinch

February 24, 2015 Jacob McNeely, the eighteen-year-old hero of David Joy’s Where All Light Tends to Go, dreams of starting a new life somewhere else but feels stuck in his piddling Appalachian home town, doomed to follow the path of his meth-dealing father. David Joy will appear at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on March 3, 2015, at 6:30 pm.; at Parnassus Books in Nashville on May 1, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.; and at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on May 2, 2015, at 2 p.m.

Published Tuesday, 24 February 2015

A More Perfect Chaos

Poet Sarah Gorham considers the imperfect world in Study in Perfect

by Maria Browning

February 23, 2015 The essays in Sarah Gorham’s Study in Perfect wander through a disparate collection of subjects, from poisonous mushrooms to the nature of selfishness, offering a reminder that amid the chaos of living, we all desire a life more nearly perfect. Gorham will appear at Vanderbilt University in Nashville on February 26, 2015, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Published Monday, 23 February 2015

Sin City Badges

Bill Loehfelm’s latest thriller finds an honest cop the target of a cop-killing ring

by Liz Garrigan

February 20, 2014 Maureen Coughlin, the protagonist of Bill Loehfelm’s debut thriller, The Devil She Knows, is back in Doing the Devil’s Work, but she’s still finding her way in the notoriously corrupt New Orleans Police Department. Loehfelm will appear at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on February 24, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Friday, 20 February 2015


Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams remember the kitchens of their ancestors—and offer healthful versions of family staples

by Nicki Pendleton Wood

February 19, 2015 Soul Food Love, the new cookbook memoir by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams, is an elegy for the foods that nourished their ancestors, as well as an up-to-the-minute collection of flavor-forward recipes for sustainable, healthful eating. The mother-daughter duo will appear at the Nashville Public Library on February 28, 2015, at 2 p.m. as part of the Salon@615 series.

Published Thursday, 19 February 2015

Mother Lode

Kelly Corrigan’s third memoir, Glitter and Glue, is a poignant tale of learning to love her mother

by Sarah Norris

February 18, 2015 In her newest memoir, Glitter and Glue, Kelly Corrigan weaves together the complicated story of her relationship with her own mother and her 1992 experience as a nanny for a motherless family in Australia. Kelly Corrigan will discuss her third memoir, Glittler and Glue, at Gilda’s Club in Nashville on February 25, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include a paperback copy of the bestselling memoir.

Published Wednesday, 18 February 2015


In a gently fictionalized memoir, Alan Lightman recalls his remarkable family and his Memphis boyhood

by Maria Browning

February 12, 2014 Novelist Alan Lightman is the grandson of M.A. Lightman, who founded the Malco movie theater chain and was the formidable patriarch of a smart, talented, temperamental family. In Screening Room Lightman recounts the history of his remarkable kin and the Memphis they helped to shape. He will appear at Crosstown Arts in Memphis on February 19, 2015, at 6 p.m., and at Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 20, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Thursday, 12 February 2015

Hidden Treasure

In We Are Pirates, Daniel Handler offers the same mixture of weirdness, social satire, and bad behavior that delighted children in A Series of Unfortunate Events

by Michael Ray Taylor

February 9, 2015 As Lemony Snicket, Daniel Handler is the bestselling author of A Series of Unfortunate Events. His latest novel for adults, We Are Pirates, adapts his trademark social satire to a nuanced story of unhappy urban life and piracy along the California coast. Handler will discuss We Are Pirates at the Nashville Public Library on February 14, 2015, at 2 p.m. The event, part of the Salon@615 series, is free and open to the public.

Published Monday, 9 February 2015

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