Books for Independent Readers

Upcoming Events

 


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.

Sign up below for our email news for the latest information on our events and special occasions. And keep up with all the goings-on downtown by reading Inside of Knoxville!

  

Sunday, April 22, 2 p.m.: Book signing with Larry Burk, who will read from his new book, Dreams That Can Save Your Life: Early Warning Signs of Cancer.

Your dreams can provide inner guidance filled with life-saving information. Since ancient Egypt and Greece, people have relied on the art of dreaming to diagnose illness and get answers to personal life challenges. Now, dreams are making a grand reappearance in the medical arena as recent scientific research and medical pathology reports validate the diagnostic abilities of precognitive dreams. Are we stepping back into the future as modern medical tests show dreams can be early warning signs of cancer and other diseases?


Wednesday, April 25, noon: The Bookaholics Reading Group will discuss This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett.

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage takes us into the very real world of Ann Patchett’s life. Stretching from her childhood to the present day, from a disastrous early marriage to a later happy one, it covers a multitude of topics, including relationships with family and friends, and charts the hard work and joy of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore.

As she shares stories of the people, places, ideals, and art to which she has remained indelibly committed, Ann Patchett brings into focus the large experiences and small moments that have shaped her as a daughter, wife, and writer.


Saturday, April 28: Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day at Union Ave Books!


Saturday, April 28, 1–3 p.m.: Book signing with J.L. and Lin Stepp, authors of Discovering Tennessee State Parks. Lin Stepp will also sign copies of her new Smoky Mountain Novel, Lost Inheritance.


Saturday, May 5, 2 p.m.: Book signing with Kaitlyn Sage Patterson, who will read from her new YA novel, The Diminshed.

A rare few are singleborn in each generation, and therefore given the right to rule by the gods and goddesses. Bo Trousillion is one of these few, born into the royal line and destined to rule. Though he has been chosen to succeed his great-aunt, Queen Runa, as the leader of the Alskad Empire, Bo has never felt equal to the grand future before him.

When one twin dies, the other usually follows, unable to face the world without their other half. Those who survive are considered diminished, doomed to succumb to the violent grief that inevitably destroys everyone whose twin has died. Such is the fate of Vi Abernathy, whose twin sister died in infancy. Raised by the anchorites of the temple after her family cast her off, Vi has spent her whole life scheming for a way to escape and live out what’s left of her life in peace.

As their sixteenth birthdays approach, Bo and Vi face very different futures — one a life of luxury as the heir to the throne, the other years of backbreaking work as a temple servant. But a long-held secret and the fate of the empire are destined to bring them together in a way they never could have imagined.


Sunday, May 6, 2 p.m.: Debby Schriver, author of Whispering in the Daylight: The Children of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries and Their Journey to Freedom., will read from and sign copies of her book.

Beginning in the 1960s in California, erstwhile music producer Tony Alamo became interested in authoritarian religion and, along with his charismatic wife, Susan, began gathering followers. By the 1970s, Tony Alamo Christian Ministries had established particularly strong footholds in Arkansas, as well as maintaining outposts in California. The ministry gained a legion of followers, with branches not only in the U.S. but in places as diverse as Africa and Sri Lanka. Even through their leader’s eventual imprisonment under federal charges (related to transporting minors across state lines for sexual purposes), Alamo’s vision survived — and his community survives him today.

Whispering in the Daylight is based on numerous interviews from group members and, more importantly, on interviews with the children — second and third-generation followers. Schriver chronicles how this group was formed, documenting its many abuses and its gradual adoption of cult-like behaviors and practices. Like many cult leaders, Tony Alamo had different faces. The public saw him as a somewhat self-important but harmless music promoter and designer of bedazzling denim jackets. Schriver’s interviews, particularly those with children, illuminate the real horrors of the Alamos’ behavior, ranging from economic exploitation, extreme forced fasts, and beatings, that resulted in permanent injury.

Schriver’s extensive research —including interviews with Tony Alamo himself, harrowing visits to Alamo compounds, and witnessing gut-wrenching confrontations between freed children and their unreformed parents — tells the story of a closed group whose origins and history are unlikely ever to be definitively unraveled.


Sunday, May 13, 2 p.m.: Book launch and signing with Laura Mansfield reading from her new book, Geezer Stories: The Care and Feeding of Old People.

We are the Taffy Generation, pulled into two different directions. As we live longer and have children later, we find our parents becoming frail and helpless, just as our children are becoming independent and leaving the nest (or not, but that’s a whole ‘nuther conversation). Just as our babies didn’t come with an operator’s manual, there is no how-to guide for taking care of old folks. We’re all flying blind as our parents slide into their second childhoods.

It’s uncomfortable to talk about the unpleasant realities of growing old, and having those end-of-life discussions borders on being downright taboo. But if we can somehow find the humor and humanity in it, perhaps we ease the pain a little — maybe enough to get us through the soul-crushing times. After all, what choice do we really have? None of us are getting out of here alive.

Geezer Stories is about finding the happy in the heartache. It’s about forgiveness, letting go of the past, loving imperfectly. It’s about accepting our parents’ failings as well as our own. It’s about finding that intangible sense of community and support we all need as we face this uncharted journey of parenting our parents together with compassion and shared understanding.


Wednesday, May 16, 6 p.m.: The Southern Literature Book Group will discuss Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharon McCrumb.

The year is 1936, and society provides no safety net for newly widowed Ellie Robbins, a woman in a small mountain town who suddenly has to support her family on her own. She’s not trained to be a teacher or a nurse, the only respectable careers for a woman. So in order to care for her children, Ellie takes the only job available: that of her late husband, the sheriff.

Ellie has long proven that she can handle herself, and her role as sheriff is largely symbolic. Yet the wariness of her male subordinates and the townspeople is palpable. Soon, as dark secrets come to light, Ellie is forced to grapple with the tenuous ties she shares with a convicted killer and the small-town superstitions that have plagued her for years.

When a condemned killer is sentenced to death for his crime, her opportunity to do so presents itself in a way she never expected. There’s one task that only a sheriff can carry out: the execution of a convicted prisoner.


Thursday, May 17, 6 p.m.: Book signing with Ashley English, who will talk about her newest cookbook, Southern From Scratch.

Build a from-scratch Southern pantry with 50 essential recipes. Then discover the versatility and flexibility of cooking from your larder with 100 more recipes for fresh takes on Southern favorites. Learn how to make the most of local ingredients with recipes for pickles and relishes, jams and spreads, sauces and vinegars, and more that use whole, natural, and in-season produce. With these flavorful bases and embellishments on hand, Ashley English opens up a world of Southern cuisine by sharing ideas and recipes that incorporate these classic staples.


Wednesday, May 30, noon: The Bookaholics Reading Group discusses The Muse by Jessie Burton.

Two women. Two ears. One painting that ties them together.

July 1967, Mayfair, London: A painting is left propped on the doorstep of the Skeleton Gallery, discovered by Odelle Bastien, a Caribbean emigre trying to make her way in London. The painting is rumored to be the work of Isaac Robles, whose mysterious death has confounded the art world for decades. The excitement over the painting is matched only by the tension around the conflicting stories of its discovery. Odelle is unsure who or what to believe as she is drawn into a complex web of secrets and deceptions.

Thirty years earlier, Olive Schloss, the daughter of a Viennese Jewish art dealer, follows her parents to a village in southern Spain that is rife with unrest. It is here Olive meets Maria Teresita, the young housekeeper, and Maria’s half-brother Isaac Robles, an ambitious painter newly returned from the Barcelona salons. The illegitimate offspring of the local landowner, neither sibling has anything to lose when by exploiting these new guests in their poverty-stricken town. As they insinuate themselves into the family, the consequences are devastating and echo into the decades to come.


Sunday, June 10, 2 p.m.: Best-selling author Silas House will read from and sign his new novel, Southernmost.

When a flood washes away much of a small community along the Cumberland River in Tennessee, Asher Sharp, an evangelical preacher there, starts to see his life anew. He has already lost a brother due to his inability to embrace his brother’s coming out of the closet. Now, in the aftermath of the flood, he tries to offer shelter to two gay men, but he’s met with resistance by his wife. Furious about her prejudice, Asher delivers a sermon where he passionately defends the right of gay people to exist without condemnation.

In the heated battle that ensues, Asher loses his job, his wife, and custody of his son, Justin. As Asher worries over what will become of the boy, whom his wife is determined to control, he decides to kidnap Justin and take him to Key West, where he suspects that his estranged brother is now living. It’s there that Asher and Justin see a new way of thinking and loving.

Southernmost is a tender and heartbreaking novel about love and its consequences, both within the South and beyond.

Our book descriptions are excerpted from INDIEBOUND.ORG or from the publisher’s website.

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Union Ave Books

Union Ave Books
The Daylight Building
517 Union Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902
(865) 951-2180 | mail [at] unionavebooks.com

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