Ann’s Blog

Patrick Ryan Nails the Tricky Ending (and Tells Ann Patchett All About It)

Posted on Updated on


Patrick Ryan and I met in Italy in 1999 and have been pretty much inseparable ever since. What more do you need to know? He’s the brother I always wanted. Given the circumstances of our friendship (part of this book was written in my house), our regular author interviewer and Musing editor Mary Laura Philpott decided to take the day off and let me drive the interview bus. Here are the results of that conversation. – Ann Patchett Read the rest of this entry »

How Do You Pick the 75 Best Books of the Past 75 Years?

Posted on Updated on

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 12.32.59 PM.png

When Parade asked Ann Patchett to make a list of the best 75 books of the past 75 years to celebrate the magazine’s 75th anniversary, she initially responded, No way. Why? Because, she says, “I could picture the mountains of furious letters . . . about all the great works of literature I’d left off.” Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: Ode to Joy

Posted on Updated on

(Still a work in progress, but already bringing book-lovers great joy.)

I loved dear Lindsay Lynch’s recent piece on the books that made her cry. Sometimes a good sob is just what a reader needs. Lindsay’s choices engendered a great deal of back office conversation among the staff at Parnassus. We reminisced about what books had caused us to mist up and what books made us cry so hard we couldn’t see the pages. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: True Story

Posted on Updated on

Let’s see if I can make this analogy work. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: Late to the Party

Posted on Updated on

FullSizeRender 117
Some books make you think about childhood friends. Tavia Cathcart, Trudy Corbin, and Ann Patchett at St. Bernard Academy, Nashville, 1971

Somewhere in the middle of the second volume of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series, I emailed my friend Beverly Lowry and asked her if she’d read the books. Beverly wrote back saying, “My life has not been the same since I read the last page of the fourth book. I even considered going immediately back to page one, book one. I was totally absorbed and in love with every word.” Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: When Breath Becomes Air

Posted on Updated on

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 8.05.41 AM
(Image via

Paul Kalanithi was finishing his residency in neurosurgery at Stanford when he found out he had a very aggressive form of lung cancer. He decided to use part of the little time he had left to write a book, and that book, When Breath Becomes Air, is going to be published today. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: Back to the Book Report

Posted on Updated on

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 12.56.15 PM
The set of Bel Canto, image via Lyric Opera of Chicago

I feel like I excused myself from the table at a restaurant to go put money in the meter and never came back. I’ve been gone from this column a long time, and I apologize. Read the rest of this entry »