Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Tina Chambers

The Things That Come for Us All

Ann Patchett’s essays consider the gifts of life and the inevitability of death

Nashville writer Ann Patchett’s second volume of essays, These Precious Days, can be enjoyed as a grab bag of personable pieces depicting her interesting life and times. But everyone who opens the book will also be confronted by serious, universal themes — the abundant gifts of life and the tragedy of its inevitable end. Patchett will discuss the book at a virtual event with novelist Amor Towles on December 7.

Read more

The First Step to Being Brave

A young girl in 1910 New York wrestles with fears both real and imagined

“Not everything is a monster,” admits 10-year-old Essie O’Neill in J. Kasper Kramer’s new middle grade novel, The List of Unspeakable Fears. “But some things are.” Essie should know; she keeps a list. And moving to a spooky old house in the middle of an island full of dangerously sick people is about to provide a lot more entries.

Read more

So Much Is Lost

The reality of life with a profoundly autistic child

Just before turning 2, Allison Moorer’s son was diagnosed with autism, later revealed to be Level 3, the most severe degree of disability. In I Dream He Talks to Me: A Memoir of Learning How to Listen, Moorer shares her hopes and fears for her son and offers an honest look at their life together. She will discuss the book at Parnassus Books in Nashville on October 15.

Read more

Seventy-Six Pounds of Wet Hair and Poor Decisions

Rick Bragg’s canine love story about the worst dog in the world

Rick Bragg’s The Speckled Beauty is about finding the heart to love the most wayward and aggravating dog imaginable, who also turns out to be smart, tenacious, loyal, fearless, full of life, and just what the doctor ordered for a man who is learning new lessons about losing and letting go. Bragg will appear at the online 2021 Southern Festival of Books on October 9.

Read more

Leaving Hell Like a Dream Behind Them

Nazi war crimes and Cold War espionage fuel a YA historical thriller

In Bluebird, New York Times bestselling author Sharon Cameron gives her young readers a glimpse of the shocking treatment of innocent men, women, and children during World War II, contrasted with seemingly peaceful post-war New York City — but looks can be deceiving. Cameron will discuss Bluebird at an in-person session of the 2021 Southern Festival of Books held at Parnassus Books in Nashville on October 2.  

Read more

Too Big and Too Loud and Too Much

A hilarious and poignant YA novel about finding your place in the world

In How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland introduces readers to 17-year-old Moon, who longs to be loved for who she is but worries that she doesn’t deserve success and happiness — especially since everyone keeps comparing her to her more popular sister. Gilliland will discuss the novel at the online 2021 Southern Festival of Books on September 21.

Read more