Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

April 19, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

Haunted Songs

Last week I found myself on a small stage but in big company with Alice Randall, Adam Ross, and Gary Shockley. We were talking about Lincoln in the Bardo, the Man-Booker-Prize-winning novel by George Saunders. (Thank God all I had to do was ask the questions.) The novel imagines Lincoln on the night after his 11-year-old son’s death in February of 1862. Newspapers reported that …

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June 14, 2017
by jenniferpuryear

Father’s Day Special: A River Runs Through It

“Son, brother, father, lover, friend. There is room in the heart for all the affections, as there is room in heaven for all the stars,” wrote Victor Hugo. Today’s post features a bright constellation of books recommended by Mike Duncan, Randy Kinnard, Brent Moody, Gary Shockley and me for Father’s Day – and beyond.  Bacon Picks: A River Runs Through It, by Norman Maclean I have rarely been so …

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December 9, 2016
by jenniferpuryear

Bob Dylan’s Nobel: How Does It Feel?

Thank you, Nobel Committee – we needed something else to divide our nation!   Friends, neighbors, and co-workers have been shocked by the Committee’s decision to award Bob Dylan the Nobel Prize for Literature, sparking heated discussions across the land. I convened a symposium of four friends who are passionate about music and literature, and here’s what they have to say…  From George Cassidy, author, songwriter, …

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June 25, 2015
by jenniferpuryear

Top 10 Free Summer Reads: He Said

Blazing hot summers and over air-conditioned libraries are a match made in heaven.  Can’t you just feel that whoosh of cool air when the sliding glass door opens and you walk through?  That delightful artificial chill invites you to come on in and stay a while.  Then you notice the distinctive aroma of paper and ink and book bindings, with notes of people and undertones of carpet.  Yes, this is just …

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November 6, 2014
by jenniferpuryear

The Perils and Pleasures of Life on a Knife’s Edge: It’s Midnight in Europe

Book Title: Midnight in Europe

On a rainy Saturday, Gary Shockley likes to read.  He also likes to get in a run and work in the yard (“there’s always something”).  On a sunny Saturday, the same – only drier.  What is it about the yard work, rain or shine?  He admits that he loves trimming hedges and weed-eating “for the illusion of wresting order from chaos, even if only briefly.” …

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