Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

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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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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September 22, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Southern Gothic Reimagined: Twin Peaks – and Delicious Foods (Guest Post by Lawrence Blank-Cook)

Book Title: Delicious Foods

My husband and I have just finished watching the old “Twin Peaks” (from the 90s). I’m still trying to figure it out. There’s murder, a dwarf, a giant, a woman with superhuman strength (Nadine) – not to mention the woods, the owl, and the supernatural. Good versus evil. What does this sound like? SOUTHERN GOTHIC of course. Flannery O’Connor territory, upper Northwest style. Today, Lawrence …

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July 28, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Janesville: An American Story

Today, Sara Bhatia returns to Bacon with an in-depth report on Janesville: An American Story. Trying to understand what’s going on in our country right now? This book helps. From Sara:   Janesville is a proud union town, with a long history of Democratic politics.  On political maps, it’s a blue dot surrounded by a sea of red. A rust belt city whose jobs have dried …

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