Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Jim Patterson

A Connection to the Earth

Brooks Lamb works to preserve the family farm

Family farming is hard work, acknowledges Brooks Lamb in Love for the Land: Lessons from Farmers Who Persist in Place. But he says it’s also a rewarding lifestyle worth saving, for the sake of the environment and ourselves. Lamb will discuss the book at Novel in Memphis on July 29.

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Ministering to the Least of These

A family learns about grace from a death row prisoner 

He Called Me Sister: A True Story of Finding Humanity on Death Row, by Suzanne Craig Robertson, chronicles the relationship between her family and death row prisoner Cecil Johnson. Robertson will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 21.

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Your Brain on Music

Richard Manning explores the mysterious allure of song

In If It Sounds Good, It Is Good, Richard Manning makes a case for learning music by ear and explains why it’s a shame music-making is left more and more to professionals. Manning will appear at the 2022 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville on October 14-16.

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Always Graceful

Margaret Renkl discusses her new essay collection, Graceland, at Last

Graceland, at Last: Notes on Hope and Heartache from the American South collects 60 of Margaret Renkl’s essays for The New York Times. Her fascinating explanations of the natural world are the standouts, but she also weighs in with authority on politics and culture. Renkl will discuss the book at a free ticketed event held in Harpeth Hall’s Frances Bond Davis Theater in Nashville on September 14, at a virtual event hosted by Novel in Memphis on September 16, and at the online 2021 Southern Festival of Books.

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Politics for Christians

Former governor Bill Haslam discusses the role of faith in government

Former Tennessee governor Bill Haslam does a deep dive into the two subjects not fit for polite conversation in Faithful Presence: The Promise and the Peril of Faith in the Public Square. Haslam, also the former mayor of Knoxville, outlines a way of approaching the role of religious faith in the hardball arena of politics. He will appear at the online 2021 Southern Festival of Books.

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