Best of 2011: Books
Published 12/28/2011 at 12:00 p.m. 0 comments
I wish I could say I liked more books than I did in 2011. I really do. There were so many books I was excited to read, and so few of those lived up to my expectations.
Holiday Book-Giving Guide: Books for (Most) Everyone on Your List
Published 12/7/2011 at 10:52 a.m. 0 comments
Christmas shopping season is upon is, but there’s no need to stress. Who doesn’t like books? The problem is finding the right one for everyone—books for the nonreader, books for the picky reader, books for the precocious young adult. We ...
A Conversation About Jeffrey Eugenides' 'The Marriage Plot'
Published 11/9/2011 at 10:55 a.m. 0 comments
CG: I decided this morning that I think The Marriage Plot is not about deconstructing 19th-century novels so much as it is Eugenides’ anxiety about the 20th-century ones.
A Preview of 'The Obed: A Climber’s Guide to the Wild and Scenic'
Published 10/12/2011 at 11:36 a.m. 0 comments
A preview of 'The Obed: A Climber’s Guide to the Wild and Scenic' by local author Kelly Brown, with photos by Mark Andrew Large.
Alice Feiring Wants to Convince You That Naked Wine Is Better
Published 9/28/2011 at 9:52 a.m. 0 comments
Naked Wine is not merely an exhortation to embrace vin naturel. Veering between travelogue, history, and a how-to manual, Naked Wine jumps back and forth between Feiring’s attempt to make her own wine using the methods she endorses and her ...
Fall A&E Preview: Books
Published 9/14/2011 at 4:00 p.m. 0 comments
Luckily for Knoxville lovers of literature, this fall provides ample opportunity to get out and mingle with each other. There are readings from locally renowned poets and nationally renowned poets. There are book signings by romance novelists, mystery novelists, and ...
In Defense of Chick Lit: Jennifer Weiner, “Women’s Fiction,” and Franzenfreude a Year Later
Published 9/7/2011 at 11:05 a.m. 0 comments
Here we are, in 2011, 300 years after the novel emerged as a real, actual thing in the English language, and the romance is as derided as it was then.
'Tomatoland' Explores the Seedy Side of Florida's Tomato Industry
Published 8/10/2011 at 12:04 p.m. 2 comments
Right now, in the height of tomato season, it seems impossible to think that in just a few short weeks, all our gardens’ bounty will be gone and we will once more be forced to turn to tasteless grocery store ...
Ann Patchett's 'State of Wonder' Takes Readers Deep Into the Jungle
Published 6/29/2011 at 10:34 a.m. 0 comments
It is an overstatement because it seems to denigrate the magical quality of Patchett’s prose to say that it is full of symbols. If there is one thing above all else that makes State of Wonder worth reading, it is ...
Meghan O'Rourke Researches Grief in Her Memoir 'The Long Goodbye'
Published 5/18/2011 at 11:17 a.m. 0 comments
Grieving is a universal process, but wading through that morass of grief is something everyone handles differently. Some try to numb the pain with alcohol; others throw themselves into their work. When Meghan O’Rourke’s mother died in 2008, she turned ...
Children, Dogs, and Sanity Come and Go at Will in Kate Atkinson’s 'Started Early, Took My Dog'
Published 4/27/2011 at 10:29 a.m. 0 comments
The weathered, harried British private detective Jackson Brodie is hardly traditional hardboiled heartthrob material. He’s adept with wisecracks, but the humor generally eludes whomever he’s speaking to. He likes his whiskey, but not too much of it. He’s divorced and ...
John Szwed's Biography of Alan Lomax Illuminates a Legend
Published 4/6/2011 at 9:54 a.m. 0 comments
It’s hard to imagine how music in the 20th century would have evolved in quite the same way if, as a sickly child, Alan Lomax had succumbed to one of his many illnesses, or if his chronic ear infections had ...
Karen Russell’s 'Swamplandia!' Takes Readers Deep Into the Heart of Florida
Published 3/16/2011 at 10:20 a.m. 0 comments
Now that the pre-release hype has subsided a bit, what remains is an assured and classic story of innocence lost—think Huck Finn with gators, casinos, and the occasional video game.
Kevin Brockmeier Muses on the Nature of Pain in 'The Illumination'
Updated 3/4/2011 at 5:36 p.m. 0 comments
The Illumination is about just that: At 8:17 p.m. on a Friday evening, in the present era, light begins to radiate from anywhere there is pain on the human body. All of a sudden, all around the world, you can ...
Lynda Barry's 'Picture This' Defies Categorization
Published 1/12/2011 at 1:45 p.m. 0 comments
You cannot read Lynda Barry’s Picture This. You just can’t. You can’t read a book this profoundly exquisite, this acutely emotional, this deeply weird. “Reading” is simply the wrong word for the experience of leafing through the 225 pages of ...