Novelists, poets, historians, biographers, and more — we bring both new authors and old favorites to talk with you about their latest books. We also host book groups and celebrate new releases and other special occasions.
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Sunday, November 19, 2 p.m.: Book signing with UT Law Professor Benjamin H. Barton, co-author of Rebooting Justice: More Technology, Fewer Lawyers, and the Future of Law.
America is a nation founded on justice and the rule of law. But our laws are too complex, and legal advice too expensive, for poor and even middle-class Americans to get help and vindicate their rights. Criminal defendants facing jail time may receive an appointed lawyer who is juggling hundreds of cases and immediately urges them to plead guilty. Civil litigants are even worse off; they usuall get no help at all navigating the maze of technical procedures and rules. The same is true of those seeking legal advice, such as planning a will or negotiating an employment contract.
Rebooting Justice presents a novel response to longstanding problems. The answer is to use technology and procedural innovation to simplify and change the process itself. In the civil and criminal courts where ordinary Americans appear the most, we should streamline complex procedures and assume that parties will not have a lawyer, rather than the other way around. We need a cheaper, simpler, faster justice system to control costs. We cannot untie the Gordian knot by adding more strands of rope; we need to cut it, to simplify it.
Saturday, November 25: Shop Indies First on Small Business Saturday.
Celebrate Indies First on Small Business Saturday, November 25! Shop at Union Ave Books, Knoxville’s Independent Bookstore, and receive 10% off your purchase.
Enjoy warm cider and cookies while you browse.
Thank you for shopping local and supporting independent businesses!
Wednesday, November 29, noon: The Bookaholics will discuss A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler.
“It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon….” This is how Abby Whitshank always describes the day she fell in love with Red in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate an indefinable kind of specialness, but like all families, their stories reveal only part of the picture: Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets.
From Red’s parents, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to the grandchildren carrying the Whitshank legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn house that has always been their anchor.
Wednesday, December 6, 6 p.m.: Norma Watkins will read from and sign copies of her new memoir, That Woman From Mississippi.
This sequel to The Last Resort opens with Norma Watkins’ flight from Mississippi during the civil rights movement and explores the consequences of exile. The nurturing mother is our model, and society does not easily forgive a woman who leaves her children. Partnered with the powerful and attractive civil rights lawyer who carried her away, Watkins tries to balance the love she feels for him and for graduate school and teaching with guilt over that loss. In the face of betrayal, she realizes how ridiculous it was to free herself from one man by fastening herself to another. Humorous and discerning, the book shows how excruciating it is for women to do what men take for granted: Find a harmony in love, work and parenting.
Wednesday, December 20, 6 p.m.: The Southern Writers Book Group will discuss The Awakening by Kate Chopin.
When first published in 1899, The Awakening shocked readers with its honest treatment of female marital infidelity. Audiences accustomed to the pieties of late Victorian romantic fiction were taken aback by Chopin’s daring portrayal of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage,who seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the straitened confines of her domestic situation.
Although the theme of marital infidelity no longer shocks, few novels have plumbed the psychology of a woman involved in an illicit relationship with the perception, artistry, and honesty that Kate Chopin brought to The Awakening. It offers a powerful and provocative reading experience to modern readers.
Wednesday, December 27, noon: The Bookaholics Book Group will discuss All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews.
Elf and Yoli are sisters. While on the surface Elfrieda’s is an enviable life (she’s a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, and happily married) and Yolandi’s a mess (she’s divorced and broke, with two teenagers growing up too quickly), they are fiercely closeraised in a Mennonite household and sharing the hardship of Elf’s desire to end her own life. After Elf’s latest attempt, Yoli must quickly determine how to keep her family from falling apart, how to keep her own heart from breaking, and what it means to love someone who wants to die.
All My Puny Sorrows is Toews at her finest: a story that is as much comedy as it is tragedy, a goodbye grin from the friend who taught you how to live.