Monday, March 14, 2016

Third Man Books Birthday Party Celebrates Past and Future Works — Including a Stooges History Told by Iggy Pop

Posted By on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 3:38 PM

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Third Man Books' first birthday party, celebrated with a sold-out crowd at Third Man's Blue Room on Friday, was a celebration of everything that's going right in a contemporary media landscape rife with doomy scenarios.

Where instant communication and instant gratification are supposed to have eroded complicated ideas and tangible printed words, they've established a strong track record for presenting material with a reputation for being heady and obscure as democratic and down-to-earth, selling thousands of copies of poetry and photography books like the anthology Language Lessons Vol. 1, Patrick Pantano's visual diary If You Don’t Have a Picture Then You Didn’t Catch a Fish, a collection of poems by current and former Contributor vendors called Acknowledge and more.

Before the festivities began, TMB jefe Chet Weise took a few moments to express his appreciation and drop some tantalizing tidbits about future projects. These include a science fiction title and — not surprisingly for the publishing wing of a record label with a keen interest in preservation and deep roots in the Motor City — a work of rock 'n' roll nonfiction, namely an oral history of Detroit's fabled garage scions The Stooges as told by frontman Iggy Pop himself. To put the book in context, it's an introspective and retrospective time for Pop, who has floated the idea of retiring with a bang following the tour for Post Pop Depression, his new album with Josh Homme and friends. More details on the books as they become available.

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Author Event With Jeff VanderMeer, Author of the Southern Reach Trilogy, Tonight at Vanderbilt

Posted By on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 9:01 AM

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  • Photo by Kyle Cassidy
Author Event With Jeff VanderMeer
: 7 p.m. Monday, March 14
Where: Vanderbilt's Wilson Hall, Room 126

The province of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy is Area X — a deserted Lovecraftian zone inspired by the author’s hikes through St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge near Tallahassee, but which makes the post-airborne-toxic-event madhouse of Don DeLillo’s White Noise seem like a KOA campground. Here there be monsters, and sentient fungi, and other anomalies that have already claimed 11 previous expeditions as 2014’s Nebula Award-winning Annihilation opens; the 12th launches an inquest that resumes in the subsequent novels Authority and Acceptance, entwined with the workings of the shadowy Southern Reach organization that sponsored (and sabotaged?) the expeditions.

VanderMeer’s new futuristic novel Borne is coming this year from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, while Ex Machina’s Oscar-nominated writer-director Alex Garland prepares the movie version of Annihilation; in the meantime, VanderMeer will give a free reading and lecture on climate fiction as part of Vanderbilt’s Eos Project, a campus-wide effort to increase understanding of environmental issues. 

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Third Man Books Birthday Party, Tonight at Third Man Records

Posted By on Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 3:04 PM

Happy birthday, Third Man Books! In just one year, Third Man Records’ literary arm has managed to release a consistent stream of intriguing titles including a visual diary from Dirtbombs drummer Patrick Pantano titled If You Don’t Have a Picture Then You Didn’t Catch a Fish as well as Pain: The Board Game, a collection of poetry by Sampson Starkweather. The latter caused a bit of a stir last year when four local presses refused to print it due to “objectionable content.” Cool look, Nashville.

Anyway, to celebrate the imprint’s first anniversary, Third Man is throwing a remarkable party featuring readings from Starkweather, Ana Božičević and Adia Victoria, a short documentary from Best of Enemies filmmaker Robert Gordon (who’s also directed videos for Cat Power and Mojo Nixon) and a solo performance from “Little” Jack Lawrence of The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs and The Greenhornes.

Tickets to the all-ages event have sold out, but Third Man has posted the above clip of Starkweather reading "The Real Dream" from Pain, illustrated with a series of video snippets.

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Stephen King Schedules Nashville Stop at the Ryman June 11

Posted By on Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 6:42 PM

It's been far too long since Stephen King's made an official stop in Nashville. We have fond memories of watching him perform "These Boots Are Made for Walkin' " with the Rock Bottom Remainders more than two decades ago at the old 328 Performance Hall (led by Amy Tan in dominatrix gear — talk about joy and luck!).

Now comes word that King has selected Nashville as one of the stops on the tour for his upcoming novel End of Watch, the final installment in the crime-novel trilogy he started with Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers focusing on Detective Bill Hodges. The lucky bookstore? Parnassus Books. King's official website has a date of June 11 listed. King's appearance is scheduled for the Ryman in conjunction with Parnassus and Salon@615.

Tickets won't come any hotter than this. Check out the Parnassus website for info on how to sign up for their newsletter, which will carry full details.

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Music City Word Beat: Highest Circulating and Bestselling Books in Nashville, February 2016

Posted By on Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 2:07 PM

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Each month, we check in with the Nashville Public Library and Parnassus Books to find out which books are the most popular with their patrons. It's an interesting window into reading, literature and literacy in Nashville, and we call it Music City Word Beat.

Read a good book lately? Tell us about it in the comments! Looking for a good book? Read on, and check out previous posts for more.

February's top titles include a diverse collection of nonfiction, from Marie Kondo's guide to decluttering to Deepa Iyer's exploration of how immigrant communities impact a nation. But some of the best fiction in the bunch is based on real events in history, as in Katy Simpson Smith's Free Men and Nashville author Ruta Sepetys' heartbreaking Salt to the Sea. And then there's V.E. Schwab's fantastic fantasy A Gathering of Shadows, the latest in a series that is being developed for television. Check out the full list after the jump.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Roy Blount Jr., Kate DiCamillo, Richard Russo and More Coming to Salon@615 This Spring

Posted By on Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 11:59 AM

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  • Roy Blount Jr.
For its spring season, the Nashville Public Library's visiting author series Salon@615 has announced a stellar lineup of authors.

On the bill, look for venerable humorist Roy Blount Jr., discussing a sumptuous ode to food (written in "poems and songs, limericks and fake (or sometimes true) news stories") called Save Room for Pie. Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley (yes, Brad's wife), who made our recap correspondent Ashley Spurgeon's dreamz come tru as Nashville's Peggy, comes to discuss Where The Light Gets In, a memoir of how her family learned to cope with her mother's primary progressive aphasia, a rare form of dementia.

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Author Event With Julia Claiborne Johnson Tonight at Parnassus

Posted By on Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:06 AM

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Author Event With Julia Claiborne Johnson
: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29
Where: Parnassus Books

Julia Claiborne Johnson is getting a lot of attention for her debut novel Be Frank With Me, which tells the story of 20-something publishing assistant Alice, sent to L.A. to help tend to reclusive author Mimi Banning (still writing her second novel decades after her first) and Mimi’s quirky son Frank, a fourth-grade outcast due to his Fred Astaire-style wardrobe and obsession with the golden age of Hollywood.

Parnassus is welcoming Johnson to talk about the book, which we hear is both hilarious and moving. Here’s comedian Dave Foley’s endorsement: “Read it with both eyes because it will delight both the thinky and feely parts of your brain.”

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Katy Simpson Smith, Author of Free Men, Tonight at Parnassus

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 8:33 AM

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Author Event With Katy Simpson Smith, Author of Free Men
: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25
Where: Parnassus Books

Katy Simpson Smith is probably compared to Donna Tartt a lot — they’re both Southerners who went to Bennington and write with natural but sophisticated language. But with her latest, Free Men, Smith has already been compared to even greater novelists than Tartt — namely, Herman Melville and Cormac McCarthy. And I’ll go ahead and throw another writer’s name into this mix, because if she hasn’t been compared to de Tocqueville yet, she will be soon.

The novel is Smith's third, and tells the story of three men on the run in 1788 Alabama, and the Frenchman who is trying to find them. Come hear her speak on her characters at Parnassus tonight. 

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Author Event With Ariel Lawhon, Tonight at Parnassus Books

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 10:15 AM

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Author Event With Ariel Lawhon, Author of Flight of Dreams
When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24
Where: Parnassus Books

Nashville novelist Ariel Lawhon spins fictional tales based on real-life events. In 2014 she released The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress, a noirish novel centering on the notorious disappearance of New York Judge Joseph Crater in 1930.

Her latest work, Flight of Dreams, imagines the events leading to the horrific crash of the Hindenburg, Nazi Germany’s prized zeppelin, which flamed out in a field in New Jersey in 1937. We hear that the book conjures vivid characters and setting, with a story so exciting you may wish passenger airships still sailed the skies — without the flammable hydrogen, of course. Lawhon, who is also co-founder of She Reads, a popular online book club, stops by Parnassus to read from and sign the book.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Killer Nashville Founder Clay Stafford Tonight at Parnassus

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 8:17 AM

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Author Event With Clay Stafford, Author of Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded
: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5
Where: Parnassus Books

They call it Music City. Twangtown. A place where the streets run thick with spilled dreams, and the gutters of Lower Broad run red with spilled blood. A place where you can be No. 1 with a bullet — and where you can end up 187 with one too. Sobbing steel meets hot lead in Cold-Blooded, the new noir anthology featuring alums from the city’s annual Killer Nashville crime writers’ conference — a volume where marquee names such as Jeffery Deaver and Anne Perry dish death alongside up-and-comers including Blake Fontenay and Dana Chamblee Carpenter.

The latter two will appear at this reading hosted by editor and Killer Nashville founder Clay Stafford. Authorities have been notified.

This event is rescheduled from a January 22 cancellation.

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