Book Reviews

Of Love and Terror

Tim Johnston brings depth and lyricism to the thriller genre with Descent

by Ed Tarkington

July 29, 2015 How does one survive the unthinkable? How does a parent live without knowing what’s become of a missing child? How long can a person go on without abandoning hope? These are the questions that frame Descent, the new literary thriller by Memphis novelist Tim Johnston. He 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, 29 July 2015

Soul-Full

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

by Nicki Pendleton Wood

July 28, 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 Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015. All festival events are free and open to the public..

Published Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Stand By for a Fighter Pilot

With The Death of Santini, Pat Conroy delivers an emotional farewell to his titanic father

by Ed Tarkington

July 23, 2015 “In the odd, bewildered world of children, we knew we were in the presence of a fabulous, overwhelming personality, but we had no idea we were being raised by a genius of his own mythmaking,” write Pat Conroy in his new memoir. With The Death of Santini, the beloved author of runaway bestsellers like The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, and, of course, The Great Santini, lays bare the origin of his storytelling impulse. Conroy 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, 23 July 2015

Homecoming

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

by Maria Browning

July 22, 2015 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 the Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 9-11, 2015. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Poetic Thrills

Erica Wright demonstrates her range with a debut crime novel

by Liz Garrigan

July 20, 2015 The protagonist in Erica Wright’s debut crime thriller, The Red Chameleon, is Kathleen Stone, a retired NYPD cop once on the organized-crime beat. At just twenty-five, Stone is already a veritable has-been, a P.I. who now parlays her gift for disguises into spying on marital philanderers and other seemingly less dangerous pursuits. Then she wanders into her client’s murdered husband in an Upper East Side bar. Erica Wright 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 Monday, 20 July 2015

Buried Secrets

In Heroes Are My Weakness, the latest novel by bestselling romance author Susan Phillips, a woman revisits her haunted past in a search for her future

by Sarah Norris

July 17, 2015 Susan Elizabeth Miller’s 2014 novel, newly published in paperback, reads like a Jane Austen novel crossed with a Led Zeppelin song. A prolific, bestselling novelist, Phillips will discuss Heroes Are My Weakness at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on July 29, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Friday, 17 July 2015

Her Own Girl, Actually

In Jesse’s Girl, Miranda Kenneally creates another strong female character for YA readers

by Corabel Shofner

July 15, 2015 Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally is a girl-meets-boy romantic romp through a star-crossed high-school Career Day in a story that quickly calls to mind Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Kenneally, a Manchester native, will read from her new YA novel at Parnassus Books in Nashville on July 26, 2015, at 2 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Backwoods Refrain

Feuding turns mystical and musical in Long Black Curl, the third volume in Alex Bledsoe’s Tufa series

by Emily Choate

July 9, 2015 In Long Black Curl, the latest installment in Alex Bledsoe’s Tufa series, Appalachian blood feuds recur through the generations like repetitions of an Irish reel. When Bo-Kate Wisby, an exiled daughter of Cloud County, returns home, she initiates a brutal power struggle that will test her entire community. Alex Bledsoe will discuss Long Black Curl at Parnassus Books in Nashville on July 18, 2015, at 2 p.m.

Published Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Many Meanings of Wilma Rudolph

In (Re)Presenting Wilma Rudolph, Rita Liberti and Maureen Smith prod us to consider how we remember our sports heroes

by Aram Goudsouzian

July 8, 2015 In (Re)Presenting Wilma Rudolph, historians Rita Liberti and Maureen Smith deliberately complicate the way we tell the story of the Olympic champion of the 1960s.

Published Wednesday, 8 July 2015

A Plague of Troubles

Brad Thor conjures a host of perils in his fifteenth Scot Harvath thriller

by Chris Scott

July 7, 2015 With Code of Conduct, bestselling Nashville novelist Brad Thor turns up the heat on his superspy, Scot Harvath. Plagues and terrorism, secret cabals and patriots, make for a worthy summer thriller. Thor will discuss Code of Conduct at the Nashville Public Library on July 13, 2015, at 6:15 p.m. The event, part of the Salon@615 series, is free and open to the public.

Published Tuesday, 7 July 2015

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