Notes from Ann: Turning the Tables

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(On location at Parnassus for A Word on Words. This new episode premieres Sunday, February 19, at 10:26 a.m. on Nashville Public Television.)

Mary Laura Philpott, the author of Penguins with People Problems, is often interviewing people, and whether she’s doing it on A Word on Wordsthe television series that discusses books, or right here on Musing, Parnassus’s online literary magazine (which, by the way, she created), she’s awfully good at it. So good at it, in fact, that she won an Emmy a couple of weeks ago. When one of your employees wins an Emmy, it’s best to call them into the office to have a little discussion, see what’s going on. For the record, Mary Laura strenuously objected to this interview. That’s because she always likes to be in control. But I still own half this bookstore, so I have some authority. I told her to just sit down and answer questions. – Ann Read the rest of this entry »

“Looking the beast in the face” — George Saunders on Life, Death, and Losing Control

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In February 1862, nearly a year into the bloody battles of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s 11-year-old son, Willie, dies of typhoid fever. Newspapers report that the grief-stricken President returns to the Georgetown cemetery by night to visit Willie’s body. That much is true. This much is fiction: One night, the President’s visit to the graveyard becomes a conversation with a colorful cast of ghostly characters, spirits stuck in a state of purgatory called the bardo, all of whom have a story to tell. Read the rest of this entry »

Lovable New Books for Your Kids (And Beyoncé’s, Too)

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Our booksellers who specialize in young readers really specialize in young readers. Some are full-time here at the bookstore, out on the floor talking to kids and observing which books draw the eager eyes and hands of customers. Others are with us part-time and also have roles as librarians, teachers, and YA/middle-grade novelists. The point is: they know that of which they speak, and we’re lucky to have them on staff!
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A Thank-You Note to Books in General (And Our 27 Current Favorites Specifically)

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Dear Literature,
Thank you for keeping us entertained, making us think, showing us other worlds, and offering glorious distraction when reality has us freaking out. What would we do without you? We love you forever.
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Literary Lights: Come See Beautiful New Installations from Local Artists

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“Look up, people,” says Ann Patchett. “There’s an astonishing piece of art floating just above your heads.”

“One of the best things about having more space in the bookstore is thinking up creative uses for it,” says Ann Patchett. It didn’t take long after the store’s renovation was complete for Ann and shop co-owner Karen Hayes to decide the shop needed not only more books, but more art.  Read the rest of this entry »

Divergent Author Veronica Roth Explores a Different World in New Series

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Lucky Nashville! We’re one of the destination cities for Veronica Roth’s book tour. The bestselling author of the Divergent series will present her new novel, Carve the Mark, at the Nashville Children’s Theatre on Friday, January 20, at 6:15 p.m., in conversation with Sarah Enni of the First Draft podcast. For this special edition of the Salon@615 series, your ticket includes a signed copy of Carve the Mark — a book so highly anticipated worldwide that it’s being released in 33 languages at onceRead the rest of this entry »