How SCBWI Helps Launch Careers: A Conversation with Four Authors

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Audiences at our author events are often made up of not only avid readers but also aspiring writers and illustrators. When those folks raise their hands to ask the inevitable questions — “Where did you get your start? What should I do next?” — the answer is commonly a tongue-twisting abbreviation: SCBWI. It stands for the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, an international organization with regional chapters offering conferences, education, and networking for people at all levels of experience in making books for young people. Some of our favorite Nashville writers and illustrators, including Ruta Sepetys, David Arnold, Susan Eaddy, and Jessica Young, credit SCBWI with playing an integral role in their creative development and success. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: The Basic Self

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Let’s imagine that for each of us there is a basic self and an extraneous self. The basic self is simply who you are, the boiled down version of you, very simple, possibly naked. Say the basic self is represented by your fingerprints, your height, your DNA. The extraneous self is composed of all the optional parts of our personality, the things we love and hate, the things we’re attracted to, the things we try on and cast away. It’s still us, it’s just the more fluid version of us. The basic self is you in the bed. The extraneous self is the bed, the mattress, the mattress pad, the fitted sheets, the top sheet, the light summer blanket, the pillows, the pillowcases, the pajamas. You get the picture. Read the rest of this entry »

What Next? Books to Inspire Graduates (And Anyone Facing a Major Milestone)

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When someone you love is taking a big step — graduating from school, striking out on their own, or making a big life change — it can be tough to know what to say beyond the usual platitudes: Go get ’em! You can do it! (And if you’re a parent, you can’t always be sure you’ll be heard.) That’s why we’re lucky to have books to say important things for us. Read the rest of this entry »

29 Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day (Plus Your Soon-to-Be-Favorite New Books)

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In his autobiography, Mark Twain wrote: “My mother had a good deal of trouble with me but I think she enjoyed it. She had none at all with my brother Henry, who was two years younger than I, and I think that the unbroken monotony of his goodness and truthfulness and obedience would have been a burden to her but for the relief I furnished in the other direction.” If that experience feels a little familiar, let us remind you that Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, May 13, 2018, and Parnassus can help you pay Mom back for all the “relief” she put up with from you. Read the rest of this entry »

Shop Dogs Conduct Annual Employee Reviews in Preparation for Independent Bookstore Day

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Hello, everyone. I, Opie, boss-dog of the shop dogs here at Parnassus Books, would like to thank you for joining me for this important business discussion. Let’s begin by having this year’s canine staff performance review, so that all of our four-legged booksellers can get their game in top form before this Saturday’s big event, Independent Bookstore Day. Read the rest of this entry »

50 Staff-Picked Books For Readers of All Ages

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Love mysteries and thrillers? Known to stay up far too late, entangled in a family story or a quirky romance? Are you a literary fiction fan or a sucker for little-known histories? Or maybe you’ve got a young reader at home who’s ready to be spellbound by a new story. Look no further. Your next read is right inside this HUGE new list of bookseller recommendations. Read the rest of this entry »

“A Time of Firsts” — Meg Wolitzer on Her New Novel, The Female Persuasion

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A recent profile on novelist Meg Wolitzer in The New York Times noted that “at a time when our attention is so easily splintered, [Wolitzer] writes big, substantial, old-fashioned books that allow her characters room to breathe, change and grow into adulthood and beyond.” While Wolitzer’s 10th novel, The Female Persuasion, may feel retro in size and scope, read it and you’ll see it delves into themes both timeless and contemporary. Read the rest of this entry »