Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

July 23, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Interview with Corabel Shofner (“Bravery is Contagious”)

Book Title: Almost Paradise

Hi Corabel! Your book for middle grade readers – Almost Paradise –reminded me that a great book is a great book, no matter what age its primary audience. I’m thinking of Corduroy and The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Winnie the Pooh and Charlotte’s Web. I believe you have written something beautiful and timeless and also, very much, of its time; of …

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June 14, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Father’s Day Special: A River Runs Through It

“Son, brother, father, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars,” wrote Victor Hugo. Today’s post features a bright constellation of books recommended by Mike Duncan, Randy Kinnard, Brent Moody, Gary Shockley and me for Father’s Day – and beyond.  Bacon Picks: A River Runs Through It, by Norman Maclean I have rarely been so …

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April 29, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

The Bell Witch Returns: Interview with Don Winston on “Our Family Trouble”

Book Title: Our Family Trouble

I saw “Amityville Horror” on TV as a kid but don’t remember exactly where, or who I was with.  All I remember is the anguish and dread and the question inside my head – “Why don’t you just leave that house? I would leave that house!” What the screenwriters knew, writers of fiction also know: viewers and readers like to be asked by a story, “What …

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April 4, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Thunder in the Mountains: Interview with Vanderbilt Professor Dan Sharfstein

History lurches forward – “Let Freedom Ring!” we cry. And it does. But sometimes in one person the heartbreaking contradictions of our society – its imperfect dreams of freedom – darkly flourish. Vanderbilt Professor and author Daniel J. Sharfstein illuminates the life and times of General Oliver Otis Howard – leader of the Freedmen’s Bureau after the Civil War – who subsequently chased down and defeated Chief …

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December 12, 2016
by jenniferpuryear

Nashville Special: Busy, Busy Hillsboro Pike

Anthony Bourdain offered a surprising vision of Nashville in his travel and food show Parts Unknown in October. Tattoos as party favors made the biggest impact in my conversational circles. Is this the Nashville we live in?  Well, yes! We also live in a Nashville that hosted Mississippian period Native American dwellings, Civil War redoubts, and antebellum mansions  – all on Hillsboro Pike. No one knows these stories, and …

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November 30, 2016
by jenniferpuryear

December Chills and Thrills: Top Picks

Book Titles: Our Family Trouble: A Domestic Thriller, A Gentleman in Moscow, Mister Monkey, The Underground Railroad, The Pocket Cathedral: A Collection of Prayers, Moonglow, Testimony

December can be stressful.  Correction:  December is stressful.  Give yourself a break here and there!  A puppy video.  A salted caramel hot chocolate.  A book or author event.  Today’s Bacon features four thrilling novels plus three upcoming author events in Nashville.   Don Winston frightens delightfully with Our Family Trouble: A Domestic Thriller, in which the Bell Witch returns after nearly a century’s rest.  The Bell …

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November 25, 2016
by jenniferpuryear

Black Friday Special: Living Your (Retail) Dream

“I fulfilled two dreams this year,” said Joelle Herr, smiling, “opening a bookstore and naming a dog ‘Scooby’.”  Scooby joined Maisie, named after the heroine in a Henry James novel, and Her Bookshop joined the ranks of wonderful Nashville booksellers owned by authors. Joelle calls Her Bookshop “a nook for people who love beautiful books,” and you won’t find a lovelier little jewel box of …

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November 21, 2016
by jenniferpuryear

Thanksgiving Special: American Cake

Anne Byrn and I were talking about Hummingbird cake, Red Velvet cake, and that famous Carrot cake from the Silver Palate cookbook as we noshed on a scone.  “Holidays preserve what the everyday loses,” she suggested.  More frighteningly:  “Cakes wouldn’t even be around except for the holidays.”  “Happy Holidays” has a whole new meaning for me! Sharing a scone at Dozen Bakery in Nashville is …

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November 4, 2016
by jenniferpuryear

Election Special: Political (and Non-Political) Reading Recs from Jon and Keith Meacham

Presidential historian Jon Meacham and his wife Keith have been paying close attention to the election. Like the rest of us! (Unless you’ve had to avert your eyes at this point.) Keith answers a few questions for Bacon today, and you’ll find their latest recommendations following the brief Q and A. Hi, Keith!  Thanks for stopping in at Bacon today!  What’s up? Jon is traveling all …

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