Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

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 19, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

Saturday Special: So You Want to Be a Writer?

Book Titles: Kind is the New Classy, Educated, Lie to Me, A Woman is No Man, Godric

Ami McConnell – founder of WriterFest Nashville and former Editor-in-Chief and Vice President at Simon & Schuster – stops in this morning for a conversation about books, roots, and wings; heaven on earth; new directions; imposter syndrome; and Kind Is The New Classy (co-authored with Candace Cameron Burke). She offers advice to aspiring writers that seems to me the best I’ve ever heard.

September 22, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

The Moment of Lift

Book Titles: The Moment of Lift, Late Migrations

I’ve been thinking about Melinda Gates and her New York Times bestseller, “The Moment of Lift.” I’ve been thinking about women in community. I’ve been thinking about my friends Wendy Martin, Carrington Fox, and Lawrence Cook. Please join me in the Bacon Neighborhood today for a few reflections (including thoughts from my friend Lawrence)…

September 19, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

Ann Patchett is In The House

Book Title: The Dutch House

Nashville friends, I bet you already know this, but just in case you don’t – Ann Patchett will talk about her new novel “The Dutch House” at Montgomery Bell Academy on Monday, September 23rd, at 6:15 pm. You’ll need to reserve a ticket if you’d like to go (click here). Books will be available for purchase, a day early; the official release date is September …

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August 25, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

Maria Browning: On Life and Lit

Book Title: Any Other Place

“My favorite words about the meaning of life come from a commencement speech Tim Minchin gave a few years back – ‘Don’t go looking for it. Searching for meaning is like searching for a rhyme scheme in a cookbook: you won’t find it and you’ll bugger up your soufflé,’” said Maria Browning, new Editor of, Tennessee’s online literary journal. One would hate to bugger …

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July 4, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

4th of July Special: Music, a Poem, an Eagle, Jon Meacham, and Tim McGraw

Book Titles: Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation, Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation, The Best American Poetry 2018

Perhaps you are up early, dear friend, as I am. Perhaps you have a moment to call your own before the day begins. I’d love to share some music and poetry and a book with you. Plus the bald eagle at Nashville International Airport which is – you know – surprising.

June 30, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

Love, Loss, and Margaret Renkl

Book Titles: Late Migrations, Nothing to See Here, At Briarwood School for Girls, Mozart's Starling

I am overwhelmed – and awed – by the beauty of Margaret Renkl’s new book, Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss. There is nothing new under the sun, we are told by a reliable source. That being said, each person brings her own eyes and personal history to the world. Margaret’s vision is dark – radiant – peaceful – mournful – and …

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March 31, 2019
by jenniferpuryear

I Miss You When I Blink: Interview with Mary Laura Philpott

Book Titles: I Miss You When I Blink, I am, I am, I am

This week – seeking comfort – I returned to an old favorite, The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff. “While Eeyore frets and Piglet hesitates and Rabbit calculates and Owl pontificates, Pooh just is.” I’m not sure that the Tao is my road to inner peace, but I’m not opposed to borrowing its wisdom. And I’m in favor of Pooh in all circumstances.

October 2, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

Help Wanted: Southern Festival of Books

Book Titles: Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo, Turning Pages, The Great Believers, She Would Be King, Beautiful Country Burn Again, Fire Sermon, Rush, Varina

Dear Bacon Friends – I don’t want to do this alone. I’d be so grateful for your help! I imagine you joining me – we’re up there together on stage interviewing Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere) and Tayari Jones (An American Marriage) at the Southern Festival of Books. We’re hoping to start a good conversation. What serious OR not-so-serious questions shall we ask? The sky’s …

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