Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Maria Browning

Semi-Tragic Romance

In Manette Ansay’s fictional world, men and women are doomed to disappoint each other

Good Things I Wish You is Manette Ansay‘s eighth book and arguably her most ambitious. Ansay originally conceived it as a historical novel, but it evolved into a story that, she says, “leans backwards out of the present world and into the 1860s.”

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Voices of Stone

Poetic interpretations of a master sculptor’s work

Nashville sculptor William Edmondson believed he worked at God’s command. In a collection of poems for young readers, Elizabeth Spires gives his creations voices of their own.

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In Praise of Doubt

Grappling with ethical and existential dilemmas (religion optional)

David Dark—a schoolteacher, scholar and evangelical gadfly—urges his readers to question everything, including the whole of orthodox religion and even their belief in God. Consequently, although his new book was clearly conceived with a Christian audience in mind, Dark’s thoughtful iconoclasm invites anyone to, as he puts it, “submit everything we’re up to, at work and at play, to the discipline of sacred questioning.”

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Good Clean Crime

With The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime, Michael Sims assembles a collection of tales about genteel fin-de-siècle con artists

Michael Sims is a longtime fan of early crime fiction, with a particular taste for caper stories told from the criminal’s point of view. His new book features a dozen colorful miscreants, including little-known creations by O. Henry and Sinclair Lewis, along with background material and author profiles.

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The Humanitarian's Dilemma

A soft touch navigates the food chain

One freezing Monday in January, I stopped at the big box pet emporium to buy my dogs their kibble and treats. As I stepped out of the car I saw a white mutt standing about thirty feet away, surveying the parking lot with that mixture of confidence and wariness that is the hallmark of long-term strays. I called him. As I expected, he acknowledged me but kept his distance. Dogs that are newly lost will either come straight to you or run away in a panic. This guy was clearly hardcore homeless.

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