Ann Patchett Welcomes You to Nashville!

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dog book

Welcome to Nashville and the Southern Festival of Books! We hope you’ll have a wonderful time exploring all the festival has to offer, as well as the fabulous dining, sightseeing, art, and music that make Nashville such a fun place to live and to visit. We’ve learned over the past couple of years that there’s always a little flurry of visitors to Parnassus just before the Festival kicks off at noon; so this year, we’ve prepared a special welcome!

On Friday, October 9, from 10 a.m. – 12 noon, feel free to stop by on your way downtown to the Festival. While you’re here, meet our co-owner, novelist Ann Patchett, who has just written the foreword to the adorable Dogs As I See Them, by Lucy Dawson. Originally published in the 1930s, this beautiful sketchbook of canine portraits has been reprinted with Ann’s new introduction (which includes mention of her own pup, our beloved shop dog Sparky). Officially, it doesn’t hit shelves until October 20 — but just for you, we’ve got some early copies.


Ann writes:

“Lucy Dawson’s genius — and I can’t imagine how such a thing is done — is her ability to draw the personality of every dog she met. With no fanfare or wallpaper or sofa cushions or forest backdrops to set the mood, she captured the central part of each dog’s being . . .

Art is the gift of immortality. I look through these pages at so many alert ears and shining eyes and think that all of these dogs are gone now, along with their puppies, and their puppies’ puppies, far down the line. And then I think they’re right here, all of them, thanks to Lucy Dawson’s extraordinary talent and insight.” 

IMG_5779If you know Parnassus, you know we love dogs. So please, come say hello, pick up this darling new book, and if you like, give one of our shop dogs a pat. (They’re also happy to pose for photos.) And have a wonderful Festival weekend!

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Dogs as I See Them 

Can’t be here this weekend? No worries. We’d be happy to mail you a signed copy. Just write “SIGNED” in the notes at checkout online.

The Book Festival of Our Dreams

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Are you looking for our shop-people? Coming up this weekend, October 9-11, you can find them at the Southern Festival of Books. They’ll be in the big Parnassus bookselling tent down at War Memorial Plaza in downtown Nashville on Friday (12-5 p.m.), Saturday (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.), and Sunday (12-5 p.m.). Meanwhile, we — the shop dogs of Parnassus Books — will be taking advantage of the brainstorming time to come up with a festival of our own. Read the rest of this entry »

36 Books We Love Right Now

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ruth recommends

What do booksellers read when they’re not selling books? Mystery, YA, literary fiction, poetry, nonfiction . . . you name it. These are the books actually sitting on our nightstands, desks, and coffee tables right now. Some of these authors are coming to town soon, too; so don’t forget to check out what’s coming up on the very busy fall events calendar! Read the rest of this entry »

Cured by Cake: Ruth Reichl’s Recipes for Recovery

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Ruth Reichl (photo by Fiona Aboud)
Ruth Reichl (photo by Fiona Aboud)

When Condé Nast abruptly shut down Gourmet magazine in 2009, 10 years into Ruth Reichl’s tenure as editor in chief, Reichl was as surprised as Gourmet’s readers; she hadn’t seen it coming. Shocked, reeling, and no longer sure what lay ahead for her professionally, she retreated to her country house with her husband, where she immersed herself in her writing and — as she has always done when things get tough — her kitchen. Read the rest of this entry »

The One-and-Only Jenny Lawson Comes to Nashville

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furiously happy

I had been reading Jenny Lawson’s blog, The Bloggess, for a while before I saw the post that made me fall madly in love with her voice. Remember Beyoncé the giant metal chicken? (If you’re one of the two humans on earth who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a look.) When I read it, I laughed the kind of shaky, tears-rolling-down-my-face laugh that I do when something so ridiculous, so perfectly tuned to my own sense of humor comes along — something that maybe 9 out of 10 people would find completely bizarre, but that 10th person would find exquisite in its twisted hilarity. So I forwarded it along to all the 10th-people I knew. Then they forwarded it, too. So did everyone who saw it and thought, I’m not the only one who thinks like this.  Read the rest of this entry »

10 Signs You Might Be a Comma Queen (or King)

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the real comma queen

Enforce the rules long enough, and eventually the rules become a part of you. Mary Norris, who spent three decades fine-tuning the text of some of our nation’s most celebrated journalists and authors at the copyediting desk for The New Yorker, came to internalize the magazine’s exacting standards of editorial style in a way word nerds will absolutely love. Her new book, Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen — part memoir, part usage guide — is both poignant and funny in unexpected ways. Read the rest of this entry »

Jonathan Franzen and the Book Everyone’s Talking About

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Jonathan Franzen (Farrar Straus Giroux)
Jonathan Franzen (Farrar Straus Giroux)

“There can be a soothing pleasure in watching someone juggle three balls really well, but I think most of us would agree that it’s more fun, and certainly more impressive, to watch someone juggle 10 balls. Especially when eight of those balls are on fire, and three balls are swapped out for a butcher knives, and the last one turns into a chainsaw. That’s when you can’t help but marvel, How is he doing that? That’s how I felt reading Jonathan Franzen’s new novel, Purity. I kept stopping to wonder, How?” — Ann Patchett Read the rest of this entry »