Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

December 12, 2016
by jenniferpuryear

Nashville Special: Busy, Busy Hillsboro Pike

Anthony Bourdain offered a surprising vision of Nashville in his travel and food show Parts Unknown in October. Tattoos as party favors made the biggest impact in my conversational circles. Is this the Nashville we live in?  Well, yes! We also live in a Nashville that hosted Mississippian period Native American dwellings, Civil War redoubts, and antebellum mansions  – all on Hillsboro Pike. No one knows these stories, and …

Continue reading

March 23, 2015
by jenniferpuryear

A Field Guide to Happiness

Book Title: A Field Guide to Happiness: What I Learned in Bhutan about Living, Loving, and Waking Up

Over Spring Break, I had a chance to take a deep breath and feel some peace inside.  It’s not hard when I’m walking on a beach, especially on a cool day when the sky is grey and it’s mostly just me and the gulls.  In Nashville I often feel pulled in many different directions, and crowded days make a cluttered mind.  It’s also true that a cluttered …

Continue reading

November 25, 2014
by jenniferpuryear

Guest Post: Louise Bryan on The Burgess Boys

Book Title: The Burgess Boys

Louise Bryan was losing sleep.  It wasn’t any one thing.  I promise you she’s not complaining, but sometimes the stresses of parenthood, other family and volunteer obligations, and her work at Vanderbilt add up.  In the dark hours of the night she found herself picking up a book; and that is how, over a period of a few months, Louise caught up on her reading. Louise …

Continue reading

March 4, 2014
by jenniferpuryear

Treading Time Like Water Going Nowhere While We Wait

Book Titles: This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Wave, The Goldfinch, On Such a Full Sea, Stitches

The dark days of February are behind us, and Spring lies just ahead – but March in Nashville tries our patience.  The world stays gray and cold and all is tedium; the dogs are restless, and we with them.  We are treading time like water going nowhere while we wait. These are the days when a good book is a time machine – a change …

Continue reading

March 2, 2014
by jenniferpuryear

Sydney Man Charged with Cannibalism and Incest

Book Title: The News: A User's Manual

In The News:  A User’s Manual, Alain de Botton examines with his usual thoughtfulness and wicked humor the state of news reporting today.  His conclusion:  Journalists fail us, utterly!  DeBotton is well known for his deep dives into subjects that interest him; bestsellers include How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Art of Travel and The Architecture of Happiness.  (He also wrote How to Think More …

Continue reading

March 1, 2014
by jenniferpuryear

Orange Is the New Black

Book Title: Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

You’ve probably seen or heard of the hot Netflix series, Orange is the New Black, which has introduced many of us to such concepts as “gay for the stay” and “going to the SHOE” (Solitary Housing Unit).  Based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, the TV show follows the adventures and misadventures of a blonde, well-heeled 30-something doing time in federal prison for a 10-year-old drug …

Continue reading

March 1, 2014
by jenniferpuryear

“Gay for the Stay” and Other Phrases You Might Learn in Women’s Prison

“Going to the Shoe” means solitary confinement (the Special Housing Unit/SHU).  “Feelin’ some kinda way” means having a low day, while “feelin’ it” means everything’s great.  If you’ve seen the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” you’re feelin’ it!  Based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, the TV show follows the adventures and misadventures of a blonde, well-heeled 30-something doing time in federal prison …

Continue reading