You Need Improvement (The Book, That Is)


Looking for your next favorite read? Improvement might be it. Take it from Ann Patchett, who says: “Joan Silber has been turning out reliably fantastic books for a long time. Writers adore her, reviewers love her, but somehow she stays under the radar. I would love to see Improvement catch fire. This is such a terrific book. It’s time for Joan Silber’s breakout.”

At the heart of Silber’s new novel is Reyna, a young single mother in New York who gets caught up in a smuggling scheme — then decides she wants out. Reyna’s aunt is the mysterious, world-traveling Kiki, whose backstory makes a perfect complement to Reyna’s present-day struggles. Again and again, Silber shows how one person’s decision in a single moment can impact the lives of people near and far. It’s impossible to read this novel and not think of the phrase “ripple effect” or “domino effect” — or, maybe most accurately, “butterfly effect.”

In fact, the headline of the Los Angeles Times review asked, “Are we the butterfly or the tornado?” It’s one of many glowing reviews, including those from The Chicago Review of Books, which dubbed Improvement a “world-spanning masterpiece,” and The Washington Post, which called Silber “America’s own Alice Munro.” Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies, loved it for another reason: “Improvement is so crisp and resonant a novel that it made me forget the chaos of life around me; a feat for which I’m truly grateful.” (Amen, sister.) Back here at home, Catherine, our office manager, said that as soon as she finished it she “sat back and appreciated Silber’s quiet skill.”


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Check out the fabulous review by our friends at Chapter 16, too!


We hope you’ll be here this Thursday, November 30, when Joan Silber will join us right here in the store at 6:30 p.m. for a discussion and signing. (Don’t live in Nashville? We’d be happy to send you a signed copy of Improvement. Order the book here and write your inscription request in the “notes” section at checkout. Improvement is also the December selection for our First Editions Club — so if you subscribe to the club now, it’ll be your first book! A membership always makes a great gift, too.)

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COMING UP: More literary events in Nashville!

Parnassus Classics Club – Franny and Zooey: TODAY – 11/27/2017 – 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Storytimes with Emily Arrow: Thursdays 12/7 and 12/14 at 4 p.m.; plus a special HOLIDAY SINGALONG (wear pajamas!) on Saturday 12/09 at 9 a.m.
and . . .



Sunday – 12/17/2017 – 5:30 p.m. Grammy-award winning artists Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn are performing this holiday season to raise money and awareness for nonprofits in Nashville. Proceeds from ticket sales for the Parnassus stop on their Circle Round Home tour will benefit The Porch Writers’ Collective, which offers educational and professional events and resources for writers. Tickets are $40 and include a copy of Bela & Abigail’s new record, Echo in the Valley. Click here to get tickets — while they last!

Pssst . . . speaking of signed books, here’s a Cyber Monday deal: TODAY only (Monday, Nov. 27), get 20% off our amazing selection of autographed books (while supplies last). Choose your books here and use discount code CYBER17 at checkout! (Offer valid in-store, too.)