Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

February 6, 2020
by jenniferpuryear

Book Tour Cancelled Because of Everything That is Wrong in America

You’ve heard about the controversy rocking the literary world, right? It’s hard to avoid, even if you try to keep a safe distance from the news while remaining informed. The 40-city book tour for “American Dirt,” by Jeanine Cummins, has been cancelled. Oprah was asked to rescind it as one of her picks. The question of the hour: Is Cummins villain or victim? 

December 29, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

Hold My Hand, and I’ll Hold Yours…

Book Titles: Sula

With only a few days left in December, January’s hopes wait in tender places inside us.  I’ve been reflecting on some books that touched me this year. The top three that come to mind are Say, Say, Say by Lila Savage, Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl, and How to Catch a Mole by Marc Abrams. I was also deeply moved and troubled by Toni Morrison’s Sula. I’d …

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December 22, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

A Top Pick of 2019: Guest Post by Todd Jones

Book Title: The Dearly Beloved

  Todd Jones, former senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Nashville, offers a meditation today on one of the best novels he’s read this year – The Dearly Beloved, by Cara Wall. Was it the best book he read this year? “Honestly, I read too many good novels on our transatlantic cruise to say any particular one was THE favorite. I’ve been like a kid …

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December 18, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

Emergency Book Buying Guide, December 2019

Book Titles: Disappearing Earth, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, Trust Exercise, Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves, A Primer for Forgetting: Getting Past the Past, The Nickel Boys

We’re down to the wire on Christmas gifts. Waiting much longer is hazardous to your health. Unbelievably, I’ve finished my shopping, so I’ve got the luxury of offering some advice. Here are several recommendations if you’re still looking for the right book for someone on your list.

December 15, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

Top Five Reads of 2019: Guest Post by Sean Kinch

Book Titles: Lost and Wanted, The Flight Portfolio, Unquiet, Trinity, Inland, The Gay Place

I always pay attention to what Sean Kinch – an extraordinary English teacher, by all reports – is reading. He agreed to share his Top Five Reads of 2019.  “I really enjoyed putting this together, finding ways to tout novels I loved,” he told me. “I kept my top five to 2019 releases but couldn’t resist the chance to advocate for a Billy Lee Brammer …

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November 28, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

Thanksgiving Special: The Testaments

Book Title: The Testaments

I hope you find yourself in the company of people you like today, even if they sometimes make you crazy; I hope you find yourself at a bountiful table! I hope you enjoy a delicious Pinot Noir with your turkey – or sweet tea, if that’s your pleasure. I hope the marshmallows on your sweet potato casserole are perfectly puffed and browned. I hope the …

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November 14, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

History Informs the Future: Six Not To Miss in Nashville

Book Titles: Famous in Cedarville, With All Due Respect, Portrait Painting: My Point of View

Nashville hosts a week of remarkable authors beginning tonight. I thought you might like a gentle reminder, Bacon friends! Thursday night, 11/14, 6:30 pm: Portrait artist Michael Shane Neal at Parnassus (“Portrait Painting: My Point of View”).     Friday night, 11/15, 6:30 pm: Novelist and poet Erica Wright at Parnassus (“Famous in Cedarville”).       Saturday morning, 11/16, 11:00 a.m., Historians Walter Isaacson …

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November 3, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

Local Bacon: Anne Byrn + Andrew Maraniss + Shane Neal

Book Titles: Skillet Love, Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler's Germany, Portrait Painting: My Point of View

November’s glories include three new books by Nashville authors – Andrew Maraniss (“Games of Deception”), Anne Byrn (“Skillet Love”), and Shane Neal (“Portrait Painting: My Point of View”).  

October 27, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

A Streetcar Named Desire – Retold

Book Title: A Streetcar Named Desire

Blanche DuBois is falling apart. Shaken – shattered – she’s left her home and moved to New Orleans to live with her sister Stella. There, Blanche falls under the sway of her sister’s husband, played with such heat by Marlon Brando in the 1951 movie. Things don’t end well.  Nashville Ballet brings a new version of the Tennessee Williams story to life November 1st to …

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