by Jim Ridley
Summitt, the legendary Lady Vols coach and college athletics titan, will be at Parnassus Books noon Friday to sign copies of her new memoir Sum It Up — assuming you can get anywhere near the parking lot for the ticketed event. (See links below for more information.) But a quick look at the Parnassus schedule for the next two months scans an imposing slate of best-selling authors and rising literary figures.
Regarding the former, mark your calendar for Salon@615 events (in partnership with Humanities Tennessee and Nashville Public Library) featuring Becca Stevens, Anne Lamott, Elizabeth Strout, Cheryl Strayed and Isabel Allende, while the bookstore itself will host celebrity food and travel mavens The Lee Bros. and Running with Scissors memoirist Augusten Burroughs. As for the latter, we're thrilled to see Beautiful Ruins author Jess Walter returning to Nashville after a triumphant appearance at last year's Southern Festival of Books.
A few items of special note: We've been hearing about Maria Semple's novel Where'd You Go, Bernadette for months, and it's exciting to have her coming to Nashville for a reading. The same is true for Kevin Powers, whose Iraq War novel The Yellow Birds is among the most acclaimed debuts of recent years. Historian and Vanderbilt professor Joel Harrington's The Faithful Executioner has a grotesquely fascinating premise (peering behind the mask of a real-life Renaissance executioner). And advance buzz on Jill McCorkle's new novel Life After Life suggests a book-club favorite on arrival.
Below, we've excerpted and arranged the Parnassus calendar listings so far:
March 12, 6:15 p.m.
Please join us for a discussion and signing with local author Becca Stevens for the release of Snake Oil, as a part of our Salon@615 series. Stevens will discuss her new book, which details her experiences as founder of Magdalene House and Thistle Farms, two nonprofits that help give purpose and healing to women who have endured sex trafficking, prostitution and sexual abuse. (Note: The event will be held at the downtown Nashville Public Library.)
March 12, 6:30 p.m.
Kara and Jeff Oliver
Please join us in welcoming local authors Kara and Jeff Oliver to Parnassus Books for a discussion and signing of their book Our Journey: Called to Malawi.
March 14, 6:30 p.m.
Dr. Jennifer Howard
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Jennifer Howard for a discussion and signing of her new book Your Ulitmate Life Plan.
March 15, noon
Parnassus is thrilled to announce that on Friday, March 15th from 12-1:30, Pat Summitt will be appearing for a special in-store meet and greet for her new memoir, Sum It Up. To attend, all you need to do is pre-purchase a copy of Sum It Up on our website or in-store. With your purchase, you'll receive a signing line group assignment, which will serve as your ticket to the event. Already bought your signed book from us, but still want to attend the meet and greet? Click here for instructions on how to get your meet and greet line ticket.March 19, 6:30 p.m.
Join Parnassus in welcoming local author and Vanderbilt University faculty member Joel Harrington for a discussion and signing of his latest book The Faithful Executioner. Based on the rare and until now overlooked journal of a Renaissance-era executioner, the noted historian Joel F. Harrington’s The Faithful Executioner takes us deep inside the alien world and thinking of Meister Frantz Schmidt of Nuremberg, who, during 45 years as a professional executioner, personally put to death 394 individuals and tortured, flogged, or disfigured many hundreds more. But the picture that emerges of Schmidt from his personal papers is not that of a monster. Could a man who routinely practiced such cruelty also be insightful, compassionate — even progressive?
April 2, 6:30 p.m.
The Lee Bros.
We are very excited to welcome Matt and Ted Lee to Parnassus for an introduction and signing of their latest book Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen.
April 3, 6:15 p.m.
Please join us for a discussion and signing with best-selling author Anne Lamott as a part of our Salon@615 series. Anne Lamott will be appearing in conversation with Nashville's own Ann Patchett. New York Times bestselling author Anne Lamott had always wanted to be a grandmother. But with her son standing barely on the brink of twenty, she wasn’t quite ready for the experience. “But who asked me?” she writes in Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son (Riverhead Trade Paperbacks; April 2013), her funny, searching, and moving memoir of the first year in the life of her grandson, which she has coauthored with her son, Sam Lamott. (Note: This event will be held at the downtown Nashville Public Library.)
April 4, 6:30 p.m.
Please join us in welcoming Charles Holt for a discussion and signing of his latest book Intuitive Rebel: Tuning into the Voice that Matters. In his dynamic book debut, Holt describes the Voice as one’s most precious possession — an innate gift that holds the keys to our greatest achievement and our greatest potential.
April 8, 7 p.m.
Please join us for a discussion and signing with Pulitzer-Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout for the release of The Burgess Boys, as a part of our Salon@615 series. She will be appearing in conversation with her Random House editor Susan Kamil. When Strout set out to write her follow-up to Olive Kitteridge, she revisited an old manuscript in which a fatherless family named Burgess were minor characters. Using an actual case in Maine as a model for one of the character’s legal troubles, her own time as both a Maine and New York local, and her expertise as a former lawyer, Strout brought these deeply human protagonists into the present day and made their story the crux of The Burgess Boys. (Note: This event will be held at Harpeth Hall's Frances Bond Davis Theatre.)
April 10, 6:30 p.m.
Hunter Armistead proudly presents the first title from his international series of 100 strangers photographed on the street in one city in one day. Brilliantly designed by Native Magazine designer Hannah Lovell and featuring unbeatable characters from the hottest strip in the country, this groundbreaking photography book joyously sets a new standard for depicting a place in time.
April 11, 6:30 p.m.
Jamie Quatro and Jessica Francis Kane
Please join Parnassus in welcoming Jamie Quatro and Jessica Francis Kane for a special author event! Jamie will be discussing her latest book I Want to Show You More and Jessica will be introducing This Close.
April 13, 2 p.m.
Will Schutt and Joshua Robbins
Please join Parnassus in welcoming Will Schutt and Joshua Robbins for a special poetry event! Will Schutt is the author of one collection of poetry, Westerly (forthcoming from Yale University Press), which won the 2012 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. Joshua Robbins teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Tennessee. Praise Nothing is his first collection of poems.
April 16, 6:30 p.m.
Please join Parnassus in welcoming acclaimed novelist Jill McCorkle for a reading and signing of her first novel in seventeen years, Life After Life. Life After Life is alive with the daily triumphs and challenges of the residents and staff of Pine Haven Estates, a retirement facility now home to a good many of Fulton, North Carolina’s older citizens.
April 18, 6:15 p.m.
Please join us for a discussion and signing with New York Times bestselling author Cheryl Strayed for the paperback release of Wild, as a part of our Salon@615 series. (Note: The event will be held at the downtown Nashville Public Library.)
April 24, 6:30 p.m.
Please join us in welcoming acclaimed author John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) for a discussion and signing of his latest book The House of Special Purpose. Eighty-year-old Georgy Jachmenev is haunted by his past — a past of death, suffering and scandal that will stay with him until the end of his days. Living in England with his beloved wife Zoya, Georgy prepares to make one final journey back to the Russia he once knew and loved, the Russia that both destroyed and defined him.April 30, 6:30 p.m.
We couldn't be more excited to welcome Maria Semple to Parnassus for a discussion and signing for the paperback release of Where'd You Go Bernadette. Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence — creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a daughter’s unflinching love for her imperfect mother.
May 3, 6:15 p.m.
Please join us for a discussion and signing with distinguished author Isabel Allende for the release of Maya's Notebooks, as a part of our Salon@615 series. This contemporary coming-of-age story centers upon Maya Vidal, a remarkable teenager abandoned by her parents. Maya grew up in a rambling old house in Berkeley with her grandmother Nini, whose formidable strength helped her build a new life after emigrating from Chile in 1973 with a young son, and her grandfather Popo, a gentle African-American astronomer. When Popo dies, Maya goes off the rails. Along with a circle of girlfriends known as "the vampires," she turns to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime — a downward spiral that eventually leads to Las Vegas and a dangerous underworld, with Maya caught between warring forces: a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI, and Interpol. (Note: The event will be held at the downtown Nashville Public Library.)
May 4, 2 p.m.
Please join us in welcoming Nell Dickerson for a signing and discussion of Porch Dogs. Porch Dogs combines fine-art portraits of man's best friend with beautiful architectural documentation of the Southern porch.
May 7, 6:30 p.m.
Please join us in welcoming best selling author Augusten Burroughs for a discussion and signing of his latest book, This is How: Surviving What You Think You Can't. If you're fat and fail every diet, if you're thin but can't get thin enough, if you lose your job, if your child dies, if you are diagnosed with cancer ... if you don't want to have sex with your spouse and don't know why, if you feel so ashamed, if you're lost in life. If you have ever wondered, 'How am I supposed to survive this?' This is How.May 8, 6:30 p.m.
We are very excited to welcome Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins) to Parnassus for a discussion and signing of his collection of stories, We Live in Water. The first collection of short fiction from New York Times bestselling author Walter — a suite of diverse and searching stories about personal struggle and diminished dreams, all of them marked by the wry wit, keen eye, and generosity of spirit that has made him one of America's most talked-about writers.
May 14, 6:30 p.m.
Please join us in welcoming Kevin Powers for the paperback release of his critically acclaimed novel, The Yellow Birds. A novel written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, The Yellow Birds is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive. In Al Tafar, Iraq, 21-year old Private Bartle and 18-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city.