Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Michael Ray Taylor

Home-Run Shoot-Out

A magical baseball season unites the four disparate—and often desperate—narrators of Wiley Cash’s new thriller, This Dark Road to Mercy

February 12, 2014 North Carolina-based author Wiley Cash garnered widespread praise for his 2012 debut novel, A Land More Kind Than Home, which explored a small town’s dark secret through multiple narrators. He returns to the technique in his new novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, a short, gripping thriller in which the action unfolds via four very different voices, against the backdrop of the 1998 home-run race between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. Cash will discuss and sign This Dark Road to Mercy at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on February 17, 2014, at 6 p.m.

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Switching Sides

Glenn Feldman explains how the once-blue South turned red

January 7, 2014 “The South began its move toward the modern Republican party in 1865,” writes Glenn Feldman in the opening sentence of his new book, The Irony of the Solid South: Democrats, Republicans, and Race, 1865-1944. Feldman, who earned a master’s degree in political science at Vanderbilt, spends the rest of the book backing up this surprising statement with overwhelming historical evidence.

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Fire and Hurt

Robert Hilburn captures a music icon in his rich new biography of Johnny Cash

December 4, 2013 From 1954, when he performed alongside the teenaged Elvis Presley, to his 2003 rendition of “Hurt,” recorded in Nashville months before his death, Johnny Cash held a unique power over audiences and those who knew him. Robert Hilburn, who spent more than thirty years as the chief music critic of The Los Angeles Times, has captured the roots of that power in Johnny Cash: The Life, a rich and thorough new biography.

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Funny Verse, for Better or Worse

With O, What a Luxury, Garrison Keillor skewers modern life and takes his place beside Ogden Nash and Roy Blount Jr.

October 23, 2013 Garrison Keillor’s popular NPR program, A Prairie Home Companion, has provided the basis for Keillor’s many novels and story collections, a film starring Meryl Streep, and now a volume of comic verse. Keillor will read from O, What a Luxury on October 28, 2013, at 6:15 p.m. at the Nashville Public Library. The event, part of the Salon@615 series, is free and open to the public.

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A Neat Shot

With American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye, Clay Risen chronicles the rebirth of a lost national craft

October 17, 2013 The new book by Chapter 16’s own Clay Risen, American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye, covers the history of American whiskey and investigates current practices in the industry. It also offers profiles, ratings, and tasting notes for over 200 whiskeys. Risen will launch the book at a whiskey-tasting event at Barista Parlor in East Nashville October 25, 2013, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 and include a copy of the book. All proceeds will benefit Humanities Tennessee.

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A Confluence of Greatness

Bill Bryson talks with Chapter 16 about Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and other historical figures great and small

October 9, 2013 Nonfiction author Bill Bryson may be best known for his witty travel writing, but he also has a gift for converting large swaths of history into readable narratives. His new book, One Summer: America, 1927, covers a small swath of history, but with novelistic grace and style. He recently talked with Chapter 16 prior to his appearance at the twenty-fifth annual Southern Festival of Books, held in Nashville October 11-13, 2013. All festival events are free and open to the public.

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