Nashville’s Ode to the Book


Nashville hosts the best and brightest in Southern Books this weekend, October 10-12, and it’s wide open to the public. Even Oprah’s next book pick will be there. If curling up with a stirring novel or a fascinating dive into history suits you, keep reading this post for my own "Cliff’s Notes" of how to best experience the Southern Festival of Books.

Top Three Events for the Bookish: Vanderbilt Professor Houston A. Baker, who you might remember for his quite interesting memoir I Don’t Hate the South, will present his latest look into the issue of race. This new book is titled, Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Movement. Baker, you can be sure, will be fiery in his opinions. In fiction, David Wroblewski, Oprah’s latest author pick, brings the Music City his book, Story of Edgar Sawtelle.  The New York Times called it the most enchanting debut noivel of the summer." Lastly, for history buffs, writer John Seigenthaler will read from his book on James K. Polk, a maverick President in his time, known for overriding objection to the second largest land growth in US history.

Top Three Music Events: Live music will plug in on the War Memorial Plaza’s cafe stage. Find a link to better info here. I suggest three acts specificially, but, knowing this city, they’ll all be great. The Dean Martinis, a jazzy throwback Dean himself would dance to; Pat Haney, a weather-worn, working-man’s country performer; and, and old friend of mine, Tommy Womack, who lives in East Nashville. 

Top Three Nashville Non-Festival Things to Do: Buy a watermelon popsicle at Las Paletas and remember summer. Take a long walk through Vanderbilt, so full of old trees it’s a National Arboretum space. Visit the Station Inn, bluegrass pickers mecca on 12th Avenue.

For all the info and scheduling concerning the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, visit their website.   


  1. Rachel Joiner

    Thanks for plugging the festival this weekend – it’s going to be great. Make sure you also stop by and see Frank Durham as he discusses his new novel, Cain’s Version.

    October 9, 2008 at 3:51 pm

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