Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

October 2, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

Help Wanted: Southern Festival of Books

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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September 4, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

Bacon Bit: Historians Have No Heroes

My high school history teacher became a lawyer – since retired. With his PhD in American history, he taught at several colleges (as well as my high school) before pivoting to a more secure profession. Somewhere along the way, he also became a friend. I saw him in Raleigh this weekend while visiting my parents. He and my classmate Lyn and I shared a bottle …

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August 5, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

A Quick History of Modern China (And Top Three Book Recommendations)

China may be the country we most need to understand in today’s world. (Apart from our own, of course.) With 1.3 billion people, the world’s second largest economy, and its most powerful leader since Mao in Xi Jinping, China sings both ancient and modern songs. Today’s post features two memoirs and one collection of short stories I read traveling to and from Beijing (and during …

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July 4, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

4th of July Special: Don’t Despair! #TheConstitution

It worries me – dear Bacon friends – when you despair for our country. I’ve had conversations with several of you lately. Lend me your ears, if you will, for a moment! It’s a great day to be inspired by Joseph Tartakovsky, author of The Lives of the Constitution: Ten Exceptional Minds that Shaped America’s Supreme Law. Tartakovsky’s recent essay in The Wall Street Journal is …

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June 27, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

True Crime: The Feather Thief

It’s fun to pull for the bad guys in a summer flick, especially when they’re not Too bad. I just rewatched Ocean’s Eleven – George Clooney! Matt Damon! Brad Pitt! Even without popcorn and a coke, this was a good way to spend a few hours getting in the mood for Ocean’s Eight. Nothing lately has made me happier than pulling for the young vagabond Han …

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June 14, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

Summer Reading 2018: What is Love?

I’ve just finished up a year of “Leadership Nashville,” which involved 14-hour days and field trips and a lot of time on the bus with strangers who – thankfully, wonderfully, quickly and sometimes slowly – became friends. In our group of 44: a sparkling news anchor, a beautiful rabbi. An editor of our newspaper and a museum curator. The heads of Metro Nashville Sports Authority, …

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May 20, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

”I Am A Warrior”

Thank God for the people who survive their harrowing childhoods and live to tell their warrior tales. Thank God for the novelists who imagine courage in the worst of circumstances. They inspire us – the truth tellers – for truth and bravery take many forms. Mary Raymond returns to Bacon today with a compelling account of two hot current reads featuring heroines who transcend dire …

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May 17, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

Hope Remains

I don’t feel great in the fearsome months of May and December – do you? (Speaking as a person who’s wound pretty tight already.) I’m grateful that mental health gets a lot more attention than it used to. Matt Osborne returns to Bacon today with a feature on Mental Health Awareness Month and the provocative, heart-wrenching work of artist Derek Hess. (You can find Hess’s work …

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