I made the mistake of picking up Lee Smith’s latest collection of short stories, Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger, the week before a huge test in my Prehistoric Life class.   I should have known that after twelve novels, four collections of short stories, and multiple awards, Lee Smith would be dangerous to my grade. Continue reading

With the opening line of “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist,” Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man’s deception, a family’s complicity, and two teenage girls caught in the middle.   Set in Atlanta in the 1980s, Silver Sparrow revolves around James Witherspoon’s two families – his public one…and his secret one.Continue reading

Even before hitting bookstore shelves today, the praise for Michael Parker’s new novel has been overwhelming. Aside from glowing pre-pubs for The Watery Part of the World, authors all over the country–from Ron Rash to Lily King–have chimed in calling Parker someone who tells “a beautiful story of two families moored and mired in theirContinue reading

Happy paperback publication to Heather Lende‘s Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs! Following an almost fatal car accident, Lende introduces us to the community that helped her get back on her feet: the eccentric, fiercely independent, always fascinating residents of Haines, Alaska—Buddhists, bear hunters, Tinglit Indians, and her large, lively family. WeContinue reading

Reenactors, rejoice! This week marks the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. Appropriately, today is the publication day for Lincoln on War, edited by the highly regarded Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. From masterpieces such as the Gettysburg Address to lesser-known meditations on God’s purposes, Lincoln on War is the first book to highlight exclusivelyContinue reading