Book Reviews

Bayou Treasure

Tom Cooper’s crime-fiction debut, The Marauders, crackles with dark humor and hope

by Randy Fox

August 28, 2015 First-time novelist Tom Cooper delivers a profane and rollicking tale of obsession and absurdity in The Marauders. Cooper will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015.

Published Friday, 28 August 2015

Maps and Mayhem

Barry Wolverton’s middle-grade novel, The Vanishing Island, is a charming romp of a tale

by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

August 27, 2015 Barry Wolverton’s The Vanishing Island is a story of big dreams and of breaking away. It is a story of seeking riches, and the way deeply hidden treasure is somehow more valuable than easily obtained wealth. Wolverton will appear at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on September 3, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. He will also appear on a panel with Kristin O’Donnell Tubb at the Mid-South Book Festival in Memphis on September 12 at 2:30 p.m.

Published Thursday, 27 August 2015

Not a Partridge, or a Ruby

In her debut poetry collection, Caroline Randall Williams considers the identity of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady

by Erica Wright

August 26, 2015 In her debut poetry collection, Caroline Randall Williams explores a game-changing theory that Shakespeare’s Dark Lady was a London madam named Black Luce. Williams will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Wednesday, 26 August 2015

A Painful History Hidden in Plain Sight

Kristen Green’s new memoir tells the shameful story of Prince Edward County’s response to integration

by Clay Risen

August 25, 2015 Kristen Green’s new book is a hybrid approach—part personal history and part scholarly research—to the decision to block integration in Prince Edward County, Virginia, by shutting down the school system. Green will discuss Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015.

Published Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Forgotten But Not Gone

A psychologist is forced to reckon with a past she thought she’d escaped in Jenny Milchman’s As Night Falls

by Kathryn Justice Leache

August 21, 2015 Jenny Milchman’s latest psychological thriller, As Night Falls, explores the boundaries of culpability as the victim of childhood trauma tries to save her family from a sadistic figure from her past. Milchman will discuss her novel at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on August 29, 2015, at 2 p.m.

Published Friday, 21 August 2015

Women of the Past Come Alive

Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times sheds new light on the history of the Volunteer State

by Brenda Jackson-Abernathy

August 20, 2015 With the second volume of Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times, editors Beverly Greene Bond and Sarah Wilkerson Freeman have published the highly-anticipated companion to their first book by the same title, which appeared in 2009. Bond and Freeman will discuss Tennessee Women at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Thursday, 20 August 2015

Turning Prayer Into Action

Jena Lee Nardella’s memoir tells the story of her work, with the Christian rock band Jars of Clay, to bring clean water and blood to tens of thousands of Africans affected by HIV

by Sarah Norris

August 18, 2015 Jena Lee Nardella’s memoir, One Thousand Wells, tells the story of how she—along with members of the Christian rock band Jars of Clay—founded Blood:Water, a nonprofit organization that advocates for AIDS clinics and clean water in African communities. On August 24, 2015, at 6:15 p.m. Nardella will appear at the Nashville Public Library in conversation with Dan Haseltine, the lead singer of Jars of Clay. She will also appear at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville, on August 26, 2015, at 6 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Published Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Tracing the Shadow of a Tragedy

Nancy Reisman’s Trompe L’Oeil is the story of a family’s life after loss

by Maria Browning

August 17, 2015 In Nancy Reisman’s novel Trompe L’Oeil, the horror that befalls an unexceptional, upper-middle-class clan pervades every family member’s consciousness and ripples down the years, creating pain and existential uncertainty even in those not yet born when it happened. Reisman will give three public readings in Nashville: at Parnassus Books on August 20, at Vanderbilt University on September 10, and at the Southern Festival of Books, held October 9-11, 2015.

Published Monday, 17 August 2015

After the Flood

The characters in Tiffany Quay Tyson’s Three Rivers search for redemption as the floodwaters subside

by Kathryn Justice Leache

August 14, 2015 In Three Rivers, Tiffany Quay Tyson plumbs the tension between consequence and chance in the lives of three central characters as they struggle to survive a terrible flood in the Mississippi Delta. Tyson will discuss her debut novel at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on August 20, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

Published Friday, 14 August 2015

What Happened to Us?

In Barefoot to Avalon, David Payne meditates on his brother’s death, his family’s tragedies, and his own shattered psyche

by Sean Kinch

August 13, 2015 David Payne has always written about his family’s adversities, though only through the veil of fiction. In his new memoir, Barefoot to Avalon, he steps around the curtain to tell the real story of his brother’s death and his family’s history of self-destruction. Payne will appear at the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Thursday, 13 August 2015

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