Book Reviews

This Is Your Brain on Metaphor

Patricia Lockwood brings her mind-bending poems to the Southern Festival of Books

by Steve Haruch

October 1, 2014 Patricia Lockwood’s Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals is at times gut-punch funny, and it is wildly inventive throughout, but the book’s center of gravity is “Rape Joke,” the poem that went viral last year. Lockwood will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 10-12, 2014. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Wednesday, 1 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

Leaving Home

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow recalls his difficult youth in Fire Shut Up in My Bones

by Maria Browning

September 25, 2014 In his memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, New York Times op-ed columnist Charles M. Blow tells the story of a small-town Southern childhood marked by poverty and sexual abuse. Blow will speak at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 10-12, 2014. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Thursday, 25 September 2014

Lullaby Pictures

Nashville clay artist Susan Eaddy has created enchanting illustrations for a new bedtime book

by Julie Danielson

September 24, 2014 A welcome addition to the bedtime picture-book shelf, My Love for You Is the Sun is just right for drifting off to sleep—after, that is, you’ve oohed and aahed over Susan Eaddy’s charming clay illustrations. Eaddy will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on September 29, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. She will also appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 10-12, 2014.

Published Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Fighting Against War

Lawrence Wright takes readers behind the rancorous scenes of the Camp David Accords

by Chris Scott

September 23, 2014 In 1978, Jimmy Carter brought Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin to Camp David in one of the highest-stakes diplomatic moves ever made by a U.S. president. The talks, as chronicled by Lawrence Wright in his new book, Thirteen Days in September, were a struggle of faith and personality that resulted in a triumph of peace over war. Wright will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 10-12, 2014. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A Vision of Redemption

In Zion, poet TJ Jarrett explores the fierce possibilities of love and forgiveness

by Maria Browning

September 19, 2014 The poems in TJ Jarrett’s stunning second collection, Zion, are shaped by the desire to summon mercy and forgiveness in the face of terrible wrong, and they celebrate, without a trace of sentimentality, the sustaining power of love. TJ Jarrett will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on September 26, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. and again at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 10-12, 2014.

Published Friday, 19 September 2014

The Story That Takes Hold

Ishmael Beah writes lyrically in Radiance of Tomorrow about a village recovering from the horrors of war

by Michael Ray Taylor

September 18, 2014 In 2007, Ishmael Beah received widespread praise for his memoir, A Long Way Gone, a troubling account of his life as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. In his first novel, Radiance of Tomorrow, Beah lyrically explores a village much like his own as it struggles toward normal life after a wartime massacre. Beah will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 10-12. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Thursday, 18 September 2014

One Tough Broad

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York writes an exceptionally honest new book about her path to politics and the issues women face

by Liz Garrigan

September 17, 2014 Kirsten Gillibrand is only the sixth—the sixth—woman in history to give birth while serving in Congress, and though she has unfortunately few peers, she gets the challenges facing contemporary women. Her new book, Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World, is a call to arms urging women to get involved and change the outcome on issues important to them. Gillibrand will discuss her book at a ticketed event at Belmont University’s McAfee Concert Hall on September 20, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Ugly Magic

In John Darnielle’s Wolf in White Van, a disfigured young man struggles with his demons

by Sean Kinch

September 16, 2014 With Wolf in White Van, John Darnielle, singer and lyricist for The Mountain Goats, has produced an LP of a novel that delves into the damaged psyche of a disfigured young man who retreats into a role-playing game he has invented, a fantasy world where he—and others—can feel safe. Darnielle will discuss Wolf in White Van at Parnassus Books in Nashville on September 24, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Ethnic Identity Theft

In Joshua Ferris’s To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, cyber-stalking leads to personal revelation

by Sean Kinch

September 15, 2014 The new novel by Joshua Ferris, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, tells the story of a Manhattan dentist, Paul O’Rourke, whose practice is in perfect working order but whose personal life is an unqualified mess. Ferris, who is on the short list for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, will appear at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville on October 11, 2014, at 3 p.m. in Room 1AB at the Nashville Public Library. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Monday, 15 September 2014

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