Book Reviews

Before the Water Came

Amy Greene’s new novel, Long Man, tells the story of a place lost to progress

by Maria Browning

July 29, 2014 In Amy Greene’s richly told second novel, the year is 1936, and the fictional Tennessee town of Yuneetah has been doomed by a TVA dam project. Long Man is the story of a crisis among the community’s last holdouts, and it brings a lost world to life. Greene will appear at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville October 10-12, 2014. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Tuesday, 29 July 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

July 28, 2014 Clay Risen, a frequent Chapter16 contributor, 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. He will appear at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville October 10-12, 2014. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Monday, 28 July 2014

Cuss Away, Junior Ray

The third installment in John Pritchard’s series features a foul-mouthed deputy

by Michael Ray Taylor

July 24, 2014 John Pritchard’s Sailing to Alluvium may be one of the most profane novels ever published, but it’s a distinctly Southern profanity, delivering surprisingly sophisticated social commentary. It is also a real hoot. John Pritchard will appear at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville October 10-12, 2014. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Thursday, 24 July 2014

Leaving the Maid to Clean up the Mess

Ariel Lawhon’s debut novel reveals a plummy, pernicious mystery

by Sarah Norris

July 23, 2014 The Wife, The Maid, and The Mistress, the debut novel by Nashville resident Ariel Lawhon, revisits the real-life mystery surrounding the 1930 disappearance of New York Supreme Court judge Joseph Crater. Ariel Lawhon will appear at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville October 10-12, 2014. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Published Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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 21, 2014 “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 discuss The Death of Santini as part of the Salon@615 series at the Hume-Fogg Academic High School Auditorium in Nashville on October 29, 2013 at 6:15 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Published Monday, 21 July 2014

Couples Therapy at the End of the World

Edan Lepucki’s California is a uniquely domestic turn on the post-apocalyptic novel

by Ed Tarkington

July 17, 2014 Thanks to an unexpected bump from comedian Stephen Colbert, Edan Lepucki’s debut novel has been lifted up from the crowded field of post-apocalyptic novels to wide notice and acclaim. A unique take on the form, California focuses less on the sensational aspects of Armageddon than on the complications of domesticity in a crumbling world. Lepucki will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on July 29, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Thursday, 17 July 2014

Crime and Punishment in the Wyoming Wilderness

C.J. Box, author of the Joe Pickett novels, explores evil and vengeance in a new story collection

by Sean Kinch

July 16, 2014 C.J. Box’s first collection of short fiction, Shots Fired, offers a fair introduction to the author’s preoccupation with irredeemable evil. While only four of the stories feature Joe Pickett, the intrepid Wyoming game warden who appears in fourteen of Box’s novels, the rest retain Box’s fascination with sudden violence, exotic animals, and rough justice. C.J. Box will appear at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on July 28, 2014, at 6 p.m.

Published Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Going into the Shadows

Poet Jesse Graves gracefully explores difficult territory in Basin Ghosts

by Maria Browning

July 15, 2014 There is abundant love and tender memory in poet Jesse Graves’s new collection, Basin Ghosts, but Graves also goes gracefully into some of the most difficult territory of life. Graves will discuss Basin Ghosts at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on July 26, 2014, at 2 p.m., and at the Southern Festival of Books, which will be held at Legislative Plaza in Nashville October 10-12, 2014.

Published Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Defending the Homeland—Harvath Style

Brad Thor’s latest thriller pits his super-agent against a Chinese plot to destroy the U.S.

by Chris Scott

July 14, 2014 Among bestselling authors of thrillers, one of the biggest names is Brad Thor. With Act of War, Thor has proven once again why he is a favorite of the genre—and of American political conservatives. The fictional exploits of super-agent Scot Harvath provide a thought-provoking look at how far the U.S. should go to protect itself. Thor will sign copies of Act of War at the Brentwood Costco on July 19, 2014, from 12:30 to 2:30 pm.

Published Monday, 14 July 2014

Tunneling Along Memory

In his debut collection, Ghost Gear, poet Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum revisits his Nashville boyhood

by Maria Browning

July 11, 2014 In his debut collection, Ghost Gear, poet Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum excavates and explores memories of his Nashville boyhood, revisiting the past with a rough mix of tender feeling and strong, sometimes violent imagery. He will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on July 19, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.

Published Friday, 11 July 2014

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