Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

July 25, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

Booker’s Dozen: Enquiring Minds Want to Know

Nothing says “England” like the Booker Prize. There’s a delightful pomp and propriety here: “First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction written in English,” the Booker organisation modestly states, in a delightful accent and with that fabulous spelling. Cultural power is a fascinating thing in England – and elsewhere. What are the subjects and who …

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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 28, 2018
by jenniferpuryear

Pepper and The Towhee

  A new bird has taken up residence in our yard, and he has troubling tendencies. I’d seen evidence for several weeks – plenty of evidence – but caught him in the act just yesterday. A towhee perched on the passenger side mirror of my car, pecking like crazy, pooping up a storm. Pepper and I were sitting on the front porch, reading and/or relaxing, …

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March 26, 2014
by jenniferpuryear

Wednesday Special: The Question of the Soul

On occasional Wednesdays, I’ll post a passage from a current read that is too amazing, provocative, funny, or beautiful not to share.  Today’s selection is from Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrower (reviewed in yesterday’s post).  Sandro is a successful artist in New York, the son of a wealthy Italian industrialist, and the older lover of the protagonist, Reno.  He shoots a man in the hand during …

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March 25, 2014
by jenniferpuryear

Incendiary Material: A Slow Burn and A Pipe Bomb

Book Titles: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, The Flamethrowers

Nashville’s All-City Read for 2014, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching.  From beginning to end, it simmers with feeling.  Another hot current read – The Flamethrowers – explodes with action you didn’t see coming.  Both novels feature radical experiments of the 1970’s and searing personal experiences. In We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, the novel’s central character, Rosemary, grows up …

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