If an award-winning bestselling author recommends a book, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a good read. But if that award-winning bestselling author is also an owner of a wildly successful independent bookstore—say, “Parnassus Books” in Nashville—that’s a top-tier recommendation right there. Ann Patchett has authored unforgettable works, including Bell Canto and The Dutch House, and we love how she takes epic moments and makes them feel intimate as we get to know the characters. Her fabulous book recommendations capture that same epically intimate feeling.
“HIS FAVORITES is exactly the book for our times. That Kate Walbert has managed to write a novel that is riveting, terrifying, and yet always charmingly buoyant, speaks volumes to how well she understands women. If you’re trying to figure out what’s going on, how these things happen, read this book.”—Ann Patchett
“SORROW AND BLISS is a brilliantly faceted and extremely funny book about depression that engulfed me in the way I'm always hoping to be engulfed by novels. While I was reading it, I was making a list of all the people I wanted to send it to, until I realized that I wanted to send it to everyone I know.” — Ann Patchett
“Tender and wise, REVIVAL SEASON explores a girl's faith in both her family and in God. Monica West's formidable talent is matched by her generosity of spirit, making the most winning combination a reader could wish for.” –Ann Patchett
The daughter of one of the South’s most famous Baptist preachers discovers a shocking secret about her father that puts her at odds with both her faith and her family in this debut novel.
“Spellbinding…Revival Season should be read alongside Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus.” —The Washington Post
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
Every summer, fifteen-year-old Miriam Horton and her family pack themselves tight in their old minivan and travel through small southern towns for revival season: the time when Miriam’s father—one of the South’s most famous preachers—holds massive healing services for people desperate to be cured of ailments and disease. But, this summer, the revival season doesn’t go as planned, and after one service in which Reverend Horton’s healing powers are tested like never before, Miriam witnesses a shocking act of violence that shakes her belief in her father—and her faith.
When the Hortons return home, Miriam’s confusion only grows as she discovers she might have the power to heal—even though her father and the church have always made it clear that such power is denied to women. Over the course of the following year, Miriam must decide between her faith, her family, and her newfound power that might be able to save others, but if discovered by her father, could destroy Miriam.
Celebrating both feminism and faith, Revival Season is a “tender and wise” (Ann Patchett) story of spiritual awakening and disillusionment in a Southern, Black, Evangelical community.
“Marra has been compared to Nabokov, Kafka, and Orwell. The word ‘brilliant’ gets used in all his reviews. MERCURY PICTURES PRESENTS is a great literary read.”—Ann Patchett
"Mary Laura Philpott is relentlessly funny, self-effacing and charming as she tells the story of living as a triple-A-plus perfectionist. Everything in her life is done on time and exactly right, until, of course, it all starts to fall apart. In her willingness to tell her own story, she taps into a universal truth for so many women: We plan to do it all until we find we can’t do anything anymore. I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK made me laugh, it made me cry. I miss it already.” – Ann Patchett
A charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-essays by acclaimed writer and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott, “the modern day reincarnation of…Nora Ephron, Erma Bombeck, Jean Kerr, and Laurie Colwin—all rolled into one” (The Washington Post), about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on a successful life’s to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list—and herself.
Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy.
But once she’d completed her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She’d done everything “right” but still felt all wrong. What’s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options?
Taking on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood, Philpott provides a “frank and funny look at what happens when, in the midst of a tidy life, there occur impossible-to-ignore tugs toward creativity, meaning, and the possibility of something more” (Southern Living). She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife and reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary. Most of all, in this “warm embrace of a life lived imperfectly” (Esquire), Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down. You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that?
“Be forewarned that you’ll laugh out loud and cry, probably in the same essay. Philpott has a wonderful way of finding humor, even in darker moments. This is a book you’ll want to buy for yourself and every other woman you know” (Real Simple).
“MEMORIAL is a tour de force, truly unlike anything I’ve read before. Bryan Washington’s take on love, family, and responsibility is as complicated and true as life itself. I can’t stop thinking about it.” –Ann Patchett
“Elizabeth Strout is one of my very favorite writers, so the fact that OH WILLIAM! may well be my favorite of her books is a mathematical equation for joy. The depth, complexity, and love contained in these pages is a miraculous achievement.” –Ann Patchett
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