Smart Girls (Funny Ones, Too) at the Book Party

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In her new book, Yes Please, Amy Poehler speaks candidly about comedy, success, failure, marriage, kids, and divorce. She’s equally candid about letting readers know what she won’t talk about (the nitty-gritty details of her family life, for example). Her trademark kindness and humor are ever present, but she neither sugarcoats nor over-salts her memoir of life thus far, and I love that. Read the rest of this entry »

Our Impromptu Playdate with Chef Sean Brock

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We’re not supposed to admit to having favorites, so we won’t. But if we did have favorite authors, they’d be the ones who are down to earth and up for a little fun behind the scenes. Case in point: James Beard Award winning superchef Sean Brock (of the growing restaurant empire that includes Husk in Nashville and Charleston) came by to sign copies of his beautiful first cookbook, Heritage, and we ended up having a little spontaneous hangout. Read the rest of this entry »

Author Sharon Draper: “We need to discuss race, and we can do it through great literature.”

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If we were to list all of The New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper’s many honors for her writing and teaching, it would take up your whole screen and you wouldn’t be able to see her thoughtful interview below. So, just to give you a taste . . . Read the rest of this entry »

Ann Patchett Interviews Héctor Tobar

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As you may recall, Ann fell in love with a book recently: Deep Down Dark — The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Héctor Tobar, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and novelist who blended the best of both types of writing to tell the personal drama behind the news story we all remember from 2010. Trapped and starving inside a mountain of rock for 69 days, the miners agreed that if they lived through the experience — a possibility that seemed extremely remote — they would tell their story only as a group. Tobar is the writer they chose to hear and tell their tale.  Read the rest of this entry »

Bestselling Novelist Jodi Picoult Finishes Our Sentences

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Jodi Picoult, author of the immensely popular novels you see tucked into bags at airports, open on laps in waiting rooms, and wedged into purses everywhere, boasts some impressive numbers: The #1 New York Times bestselling author has written 23 novels, with more than 40 million of her books now in print in 35 countries, including four that were turned into TV movies, plus one that made it to the big screen (My Sister’s Keeper, starring Cameron Diaz). People have different favorites among her books, but rarely do you run into someone who has read only one. Her readers are collectors, and they count down the days until her new releases. (Zero more days, folks. Leaving Time is available now.) Read the rest of this entry »

Martina McBride: The Hostess With the Mostest

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You knew Martina McBride was a great entertainer, as in singing to sellout crowds of thousands, but did you know she’s also a knockout entertainer of the dinner-party variety? Tonight, October 13, she joins us in Nashville to present her new book, Around the Table. Read the rest of this entry »

Going to the Southern Festival of Books? Here’s Your Guide

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Mary Grey James, Parnassus Books Manager of Books for Young Readers, rocks her “Authors Are My Rock Stars” shirt at last year’s Southern Festival of Books. (image via Carin Siegfried –

It’s HERE! The book-lovers’ Lollapalooza, the readers’ Bonnaroo, the writers’ Coachella . . . This weekend marks the 26th annual Southern Festival of Books, the extravaganza celebrating the written word, put on in Nashville by Humanities Tennessee. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 10-12, will be packed with visiting authors, thrilling speakers, autograph opportunities, writerly wisdom, and books, books, books. The quality and diversity of sessions makes this festival stand out. You’ll kick yourself if you miss it, so let us help you break it down and make a game plan. Read the rest of this entry »