Escape Into These 8 Perfectly Beachy New Reads (No Invitation Necessary)

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You might typically be a green salad and egg-white omelet type, but it’s hard to resist the pull of fried shrimp and frozen margaritas at this time of year. Summer’s starting, and even those of us stuck in landlocked Tennessee are thinking of the beach. So pass the cocktail sauce, and in exchange, let us serve up some books that fit the mood, starting with Dorothea Benton Frank’s latest, By Invitation Only.


Opening at a barbecue engagement party in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, By Invitation Only throws two families together for an entertaining tale of clashing cultures. The groom’s parents are down-to-earth peach farmers; the bride’s are movers and shakers in the moneyed world of Chicago finance. Get ready for secrets and plot twists.

“The thing about Dottie Frank is that her readers count on her and she always delivers,” says Ann Patchett. “Her novels are funny, infectious, quick-paced and full of heart. Good women find love and security and sometimes a fortune to boot. They deserve it. We root for them. By Invitation Only is a great example of a champion at the height of her game. I can hardly wait to see her in Nashville.”

Get the Book, Meet the Author
Go ahead and wear flip-flops to the library if you want: Together with our Salon@615 partners, we’re delighted to host Frank at the Nashville Public Library for a book-signing and special talk with Ann Patchett on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, at 6:15 p.m. (Reserve your seat by clicking here.)

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Love a good summer escape? Don’t miss these:


Freshly out in paperback and perfect for vacation, this funny, heartwarming novel won the Pulitzer Prize this year. (It’s a Parnassus staff favorite, too.) Laugh your way around the world with Arthur Less, a novelist nearing his 50th birthday who goes on a whirlwind speaking tour to outrun the painful reality of his ex’s upcoming wedding. And come meet the author! Andrew Sean Greer will be here in the bookstore on Saturday, June 9, at 2 p.m.

9781101967386Love and Ruin 

Set against the backdrops of Havana and Madrid as the world teetered on the brink of World War II, Paula McLain’s new historical novel immerses you in the tumultuous relationship between headstrong journalist Martha Gellhorn and the rising literary star of the era, Ernest Hemingway.

Two Super-Beachy Reads:

Whether you’re getting away to the shore for a weekend or re-stocking the shelves at your seaside pad, grab the latest releases from these two ever-reliable writers of summertime fiction. You can practically feel the sand between your toes as you turn the pages.

9781250126061The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews


Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe

9780399585050The Queen of Hearts 

If the experience of binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy were a book, this would be it. Two successful physicians in North Carolina have to face the fallout of an exposed secret when a former colleague shows back up in their lives. The New York Times called it “insightful about many aspects of long-term female friendships, especially the blind spots that they often contain.” Martin will be here, together with fellow author Anna Quinn (The Night Child) on Thursday, June 7, at 6:30 p.m.

Coming Soon . . .

9780544748064Visible Empire (available June 5)

This novelization of true events will take you back in time to 1962, when a plane carrying more than 100 arts patrons from Atlanta crashed during takeoff in Paris, killing nearly everyone aboard and cutting a swath of loss through Atlanta society. A Georgia native who now teaches at the University of Kentucky, Hannah Pittard imagines how that event affected individual lives and changed the city forever. Join us when Pittard discusses and signs the book here at Parnassus on Wednesday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m.

9780316392389Calypso (available May 29)

Speaking of true stories: Sedaris is the master of the the authentic personal essay, and this summer he’s back with a collection that just may be his finest. In his inimitable voice, he delves into deeper territory than ever before, tackling not only life’s everyday absurdities but the existential epiphanies that come with aging and loss. You might shed a tear or two, but you’ll also laugh so hard you spill your drink on the pages. David Sedaris will be here at Parnassus on Friday, June 15. (You can still click here to purchase a signing-line-only ticket — which comes with a book! Sedaris will stay until he’s signed every copy and met everyone.)