25 Books Almost as Rad as Your Dad

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dad is rad

For the man who who sat patiently by your side as you sounded out that Dr. Seuss book for the 37th time, the guy who taught you to drive, the man you’ve had your differences with but still visit at least once a year, the grandfather who sneaked you candy before dinner, the stepdad who made your family complete, and the father figure, uncle, best friend, or mentor — here are a few can’t-go-wrong gifts for Father’s Day. Read the rest of this entry »

Elizabeth McCracken on Humor, Loss, and the Appeal of Broken Characters: “Life Is Full of Bad Jokes”

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photo by Edward Carey

Heads-up, members of our First Editions Club. When you receive your autographed copy of Elizabeth McCracken’s Thunderstruck & Other Stories, you’ll be taking possession of something rare. Like a solar eclipse, the stories in this book align darkness and light so precisely that they overlap to create something magical — you can see the edges of hope around each character’s despair. Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Pollan on Eating While Traveling, the Gluten-Free Craze, and More

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Photo: Alia Malley/michaelpollan.com

We’re thrilled to welcome bestselling author and leading food-thinker Michael Pollan (“food-thinker” is a term now — we just coined it) for a discussion and signing of his book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, this Wednesday. As we prepared for his visit, we wondered how someone who warns against dining out too frequently prepares for eating on the road over an extended time. Here’s what he had to say about that — plus a few other things. Read the rest of this entry »

Emma Straub’s Fantasy Literary Vacation

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straub cover

You know the summertime dilemma: Sometimes you’re in the mood to wiggle your toes into the sand and enjoy a fun story – nothing too dark and heavy — but you’re not willing to waste your time on a book that’s so silly you’ll just want to fling it into the ocean later. Is it too much to ask for a beach read to deliver multi-dimensional characters, a zippy plot, snappy dialogue you can’t help but read aloud to the person in the lounge chair next to you, and solid writing? Read the rest of this entry »

Forget “Someday” — These Kids Are Writing Novels Right Now

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Photo from ANovelIdeaNashville.com

Write a whole novel in 30 days? Sounds like a lofty challenge for anyone — much less for a teenager on summer break. Kristen House, who created the Nashville-based writing program A Novel Idea, says reaching for a crazy-big goal is exactly the kind of challenge today’s young people need. Read the rest of this entry »

Still Knocking Down Obstacles: Jovan Haye on His Inspiring Book Tour

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A couple of weeks ago, on a Thursday night, our store was packed — standing room only — with people who wanted to meet Jovan Haye, the author of Bigger Than Me: How a Boy Conquered Dyslexia to Play in the NFL. The crowd included adults, kids, football fans, and families associated with a local chapter of Decoding Dyslexia, an organization that aims to increase access to educational interventions for dyslexia-related learning differences. Read the rest of this entry »

A Basketful of Great Reads

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put the book in my basket

What to toss in your to-read basket? Well, it’s still April, and that means it’s National Poetry Month, so there’s plenty of poetry among this month’s recommendations. (Prose people, don’t fret — you’ll also find brilliant short stories, sexy novels, hilarious non-fiction, and more.) Read the rest of this entry »