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Mark & Wendelin are touring the country in their van, stopping along the way to talk about books, writing, and what it’s like to be a writing couple. Expect arguments!

Wendelin Van Draanen, the author of the Sammy Keyes series, The Running Dream, Flipped, the Shredderman series, and other award-winning books for kids and young adults.

Mark Huntley Parsons, long-time non-fiction writer and now the author of Road Rash, a band-on-the-road YA adventure which released in February.

Come meet Wendelin and Mark on Thursday, April 24, at 5:30pm.

Tour Trailer

Book Trailer for Road Rash

Full disclosure: Lorrie Moore is my favorite writer.

Moore is a master of the short story and it has been sixteen years since her last short story collection (Birds of America) was published.  A lot can happen in sixteen years. In 1998, no one had heard of Barack Obama or Facebook, the economic downturn had not yet taken its toll, and the events of September 11, 2001 could hardly have been imagined.

The stories in Bark, which have appeared individually in various magazines and are now collected into a whole, show just how much the world has changed. In “Subject to Search,” you will find allusions to the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. “Foes” revolves around the polarizing politics of 21st century America. In “Thank You for Having Me,” a character, saddened by the death of Michael Jackson says, “I tried to think positively. ‘Well, at least Whitney Houston didn’t die,’ I said to someone on the the phone.” And yet, those concrete examples of the date and time, or the passage of time as it were, are only part of the issue. Lorrie Moore’s wonderfully-written dialogue simply wouldn’t sound right in a story from another time. There is something intangible yet undeniably effective in the way Moore portrays us.

It is us, after all, that she’s writing about. We’re there, in her words. Her characters struggle through dating after divorce, marriage before divorce, and parenting alone. One of my favorite stories in the collection is “Wings,” which speaks so much to the discrimination one generation uses on another and the undesired aimlessness of modern youth.

As I said to start, Lorrie Moore is my favorite writer. At least once in every story, I’ll come to a line that makes me stop and read it again over and over. Bark is another master work by one of America’s greatest living writers.

Available in hardcover, MP3 audiobook, and eBook.

Our Holiday Catalog is here!

Whether you’re hoping to give or to receive, click here to start browsing all the fabulous books for this Christmas.

Look for a paper copy of our catalog in the Nov. 29 edition of the Dickson Herald. We have copies in the store, too.

We especially recommend the gift idea and children’s sections.

“We have no milk, no bread, no potatoes—just rotten peels. The boys now have to go far into the fields to pull frozen tulip bulbs from the ground. We grind the pulp and make thin soup and watery porridges from them. They are bitter, practically inedible, but we choke them down because otherwise we would starve.” Anonymous Dutch housewife, circa 1944

This quote in the preface of The Tulip Eaters intrigued me immediately. I knew I had to find out more.

A young Nora returns to her Houston home to find her mother murdered and her infant daughter missing. As she races through the house searching for her, she discovers another body. This time it’s a stranger on the floor. Is he the murderer? If so, how did he die? Who killed who?

As the police investigation continues, it is discovered that the stranger may be Dutch, as is Nora. Nora becomes more and more frustrated with the progress of the official inquiries. She must find her daughter! Desperate, Nora frantically searches for clues. She discovers a box in her parents’ room that contains papers that puzzle her and lead her to believe the only way to solve the mystery and find her daughter is to go to Amsterdam. Meanwhile, a couple in Amsterdam are enjoying their new baby daughter.

Nora’s search for her daughter leads her to the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam during World War II and the effect it had on her parents’ lives; the sorrow and hatred that took them to America and still festers in the hearts of those they left.

The lack of food alluded to in the opening quote was only one of the many issues Nora’s family dealt with during the occupation, some becoming members of the resistance and some complying with the Nazis. As the story of Nora’s family unfolds, and she gets closer to finding answers, the book becomes harder and harder to put down.

Recommended by Mary

**Update** We didn’t make it to round three, but we are very grateful for all the support we received!

We’re taking part in a contest with small businesses all over the country to win a Super Bowl ad! A boost of that size would be such an amazing opportunity for us. Please take a moment to cast your vote for us!  You can vote every day. Click here to view our profile and find out more about us. Thank you so much!

Nashville television station NewsChannel 5 did a story about our participation in this contest. Check it out:
NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather

October 8, 3:00-5:00pm
We are thrilled that the Diary of a Wimpy Kid HARD LUCK TRUCK will be at our store! Wimpy Kid book 8 will release on November 5, 2013, and is one of the biggest books of the year. Come one, come all to get free Wimpy Kid goodies, see Wimpy Kid book trailers, get your photo taken and emailed to you, and preorder book 8 and buy favorite backlist books.

NOTE: Jeff Kinney will not be making an appearance with the Hard Luck Truck.