Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

January 14, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

Old Friends and New Enchantments: Guest Post by Sean Kinch

Sean Kinch returns to Bacon today with a delicious fiction roundup featuring his favorite novels published in 2017. Stop in and enjoy this tempting Top Ten! You’ll recognize old friends – and discover new enchantments. From Sean: Twenty-seventeen started slowly on the fiction front, but by mid-year the pace quickened. As the fall heavyweights rolled off presses, I felt like Lucille Ball in the candy …

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January 7, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

Top Pick 2017: Lions in Winter, Lions in Love

Lions bridge in Sofia, Bulgaria Today’s post features my favorite read of 2017: The Ninth Hour, by Alice McDermott. I’m trying hard to be fair to the other novel in today’s post, which most of my couples’ book club enjoyed. But you could read between the lines. (Essay first published in NFocus, January 2018.) Winter comes for us, if we’re lucky – the winter of …

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December 31, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Fiction Lovers 2018: Go Big!

Friday’s Bacon featured a year’s worth of nonfiction reads for 2018. Today’s post offers only one recommendation for fiction readers: if you haven’t devoted yourself to a big brick of a novel lately – one that could be used as a doorstop or weapon – make this the year!  I just finished Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 and might open an extra bottle of champagne. I’ve been dragging …

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December 18, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

The Once and Future Nutcracker: Guest Post by Paul Vasterling

Even a joyful holiday ballet like The Nutcracker nods gently towards madness, darkness, and fear: in the dangerous Mouse King, first and foremost, and also in the mysterious magician and uncle, Drosselmeier. E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story – on which it is based – tells a darker story than Tchaikovsky’s ballet. Darker yet is Gregory Maguire’s new novel Hiddensee: The Once and Future Nutcracker. “As evidenced especially …

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December 3, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Why We Read (and Re-Read): Guest Post by Peter Taylor

Sometimes a gift comes to you – unbidden – from God, the universe, or your local bookstore. A few months ago, I was chatting with Peter Taylor, a high school senior, at Parnassus. He was behind the counter, working part-time (he’s Passionate about books). He was leaving for a year in Bolivia soon, he told me, and offered to send a guest post from there. …

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November 29, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Bacon Meditation Challenge AND Top Picks for December

Several weeks ago, Mary Raymond wrote a guest post called “The Mysterious Discipline” – by far the best explanation of meditation I’ve ever read. For the first time, it made sense to me. Inspired by her piece, I offered a Bacon Meditation Challenge: please join Mary and me for Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day Meditation Experience – Manifesting Grace Through Gratitude – beginning December 1st. The commitment: 20 …

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November 5, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

It’s Not You, It’s Me: Guest Post by Laura Cooper

Today, Laura Cooper stops in at Bacon to dish on a troubled relationship – and her journey to happily ever after. From Laura: I’ve spent the year estranged from an old and dear friend. I’ve tried everything you’re supposed to do in such a case: time apart; time together in a fresh environment. I’ve tried mixing it up, seeking out surprise and even a little …

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October 22, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Mary Oliver Saved My Life

  I worry myself to death over things I didn’t say quite right – in a meeting, at a party, to a friend. This is a terrible idea, sort of like having that third Krispy Kreme. But sometimes you can’t help yourself. At the unfortunate hour of 4 am, worrying, I opened Mary Oliver’s latest collection of poetry, Devotions. In this large volume, she features …

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October 11, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Southern Festival of Books Special: Top Ten

Nashville’s 29th Annual Southern Festival of Books roars to life this weekend – Friday October 13th to Sunday the 15th – with authors and booklovers converging on War Memorial Plaza (and the Library) in high spirits! Brand new this year: Humanities Tennessee partners with Watkins College of Art to bring Handmade & Bound, celebrating the art of handcrafted zines, artist books, and all things printed …

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October 4, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Love the Wine You’re With

A Bacon Recommendation for good times, or bad: Step away from the computer. Set your phone on do not disturb. Open a book. And savor a glass of the wine you’re with! Today’s post features wine and book pairings prepared for the University School of Nashville’s “Fall Book Frenzy” – their annual Used Book Sale and Silent Auction taking place this Thursday through Saturday, October …

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