Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

March 25, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

The Good Professor Returns!

I’m thrilled for The Good Professor – Vanderbilt’s Roger Moore – to return to Bacon today! The Good Professor is super-smart but not self-serious. He has an openness of spirit and delight in the world that is entirely appealing. Today, Roger shares his thoughts on a recent great read, A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot and Virginia Woolf. …

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March 17, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

Spring Recs for the Preschool Set: Guest Post by Jennifer Bostwick Owens

Sesame Street was as urban as it got for me, growing up in leafy, suburban Raleigh, North Carolina (“City of Oaks”). My parents took my sister and me on trips across the country that included big city visits, but we saw those cities as tourists. Sesame Street showed me in a more personal way – in an imaginative way – a different kind of neighborhood …

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March 4, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

What Is True?

How true – really – are the stories you tell about yourself and your childhood? If you were writing them down, would your stories be more or less “true”? Sara Bhatia returns to Bacon today for a reckoning with Laura Ingalls Wilder, her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, and the Little House books. From Sara: When my son was 7 or 8, I introduced him to …

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February 28, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

Bacon Confession and Letter from a Bookseller

Well shoot – I hate not doing what I said I would. It’s February 28th and I have failed to complete the two nonfiction books I committed to read in January and February – The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia and The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North Korea. For those of you who might be reading along: I am in process …

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January 21, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

All I Have To Do Is Dream

The Everly Brothers were not the first to croon about the power of dreams, but they did pretty much corner the market for a while. There’s a new kid in town – Matthew Walker – and Matt Osborne returns to Bacon today for a terrific discussion of his new book, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. From Matt: I love to …

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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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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 23, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Thanksgiving Special: This Blessed Earth

Book Title: This Blessed Earth

My friend Sara Bhatia is doing something hard (in addition to preparing the turkey): she’s listening. And trying to understand. A fierce and beautiful American, she wants to know what motivated other fierce and beautiful Americans in the 2016 election. “We are the swamp,” she said of herself and her husband, who live in Washington, D.C. First, she read Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance. Next, …

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November 12, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

“The Mysterious Discipline”: Guest Post by Mary Raymond

Mary Raymond’s cat Mavis has never found relaxing to be particularly complicated. I wish I could say the same! My mind does cartwheels at night and sometimes even sets off fireworks. Mary set out to convince me that meditation can help. See the end of today’s post for the Bacon Meditation Challenge! From Mary: My first foray into meditation was, at best, underwhelming. I had …

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