A WORD ON WORDS with Yaa Gyasi

"If I had known how much research it was going to take when I started writing this, I never would have written it."

This week, my intrepid co-host Mary Laura Philpott takes the reins and chats with literary wonder Yaa Gyasi about her brilliant debut novel, Homegoing. Gyasi's novel tells the story of two half sisters born in Ghana in the 18th century. The girls grow up never knowing each other, then their lives diverge even further—one marries a British slaver, the other is sold into slavery—and the book follows their descendants to the present day. 

Yaa and Mary Laura talk how this novel was born, the importance of family lineage, and about LeVar Burton. 🦋 Check it out!

A WORD ON WORDS with John Hart

"Humans are flawed creatures. The things that make them great aren't always bright and shiny."

So true, John Hart. So true.

Watch this brilliant interview with my co-host, Mary Laura Philpott, and her Davidson College co-alum, thriller novelist John Hart. Redemption Road is a phenomenal book, go check it out!

10.16.16 - Sunday Smatterings: Southern Festival of Books edition

Welcome to another Sunday! It's been a special weekend in Nashville--Southern Festival of Books time!  Three days packed with books, authors, panels, food, and friends... really, what more can you ask for? Here are a few shots of my weekend, starring, in order: my panel, with Jaden Terrell and I cutting up (photo courtesy of Genny Carter), the awesome Megan Abbott, my buddy Laura Hill from Reading Rock Books, Paul from NPT in my favorite shirt ever, the divine Victoria Schwab, snacks at the Oak Bar, my housewife crush, Helen Ellis, the adorable Meg Mitchell Moore, comrade-in-arms Ariel Lawhon, pointing and in hat, ghostly hands in the men's room at the Hermitage and a pile of housewives (photos courtesy of Helen Ellis), and my book haul. 

A good time was had by all.

Now, on to the links!

A most fascinating story that backs up something I've always believed: The Secret Life of Trees: The Astonishing Science of What Trees Feel and How They Communicate 

Solid productivity advice: To take control of your email inbox, think about it like your IRL mailbox.

From Bustle: 11 Desk Accessories Every Book-Lover Needs In Their Working Space

One of my favorite series is Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy. I've been rereading A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES this week, and say this awesome short video: Yoga and The All Souls Trilogy (cc @DebHarkness)

In case you didn't already know this, LitHub edifies Why Calvin and Hobbes is Great Literature.

This is a fantastic piece for my fellow writers. I don't mean to provoke any sort of existential crisis, but deciding "What Kind of Writer Are You?" if a great exercise. 

And closer to home: We Made A Book! 

Here are all the details you need to purchase THE FIRST DECADE in PRINT!!!!

And a little piece I wrote about it on the Tao Plus a short piece about friendship and books on the divine Laura Benedict's blog

Thanks for being here. We'll see you next time. Have a great week, and #keepreading!



Southern Festival of Books Nashville

Every October, Nashville has a stellar literary party, a weekend of major authors, lots of readers and a ton of books. And the best part? It's FREE!

The Southern Festival of Books, sponsored by Humanities Tennessee, is my favorite weekend of the year. All the Nashville authors get to strut their stuff (and trust me, there's a lot of us) but there's also major authors from around the world who attend. Two favorites of mine are going to be here this weekend, Audrey Niffenegger (I'm reading THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE and loving it) and Robert Goolrick, plus my dear friend Erica Spindler who is coming in Friday. I see a lot of good wine and girl time ahead. 

So come one, come all! I've got a panel on Saturday at 1:30 in the Old Supreme Court building with Erica and Libby Fisher Hellman, moderated by Gail Kerr, who has a lovely write up on the festival in THE TENNESSEAN this morning. I'll be wandering around the grounds, enjoying the amazing weather we have in store - 80 degrees, sunny and not a cloud in our cerulean October skies.

See the scheduled lineup here - and be sure to come by and say hi!