Parnassus Books

Melt With You by Jennifer Dugan

Fallon would rather forget about her hookup with her BFF Chloe right before Chloe left for college, but her mom’s ice cream truck business has other plans. Fallon is a protagonist who is easy to cheer for, and I was so invested in the rivals-to-lovers, will-they-won’t-they romance. This is a delightful, perfect novel for summer, made even better by the ice cream puns.

Melt With You by Jennifer Dugan, (List Price: $17.99, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 9780593112564, May 2022)

Reviewed by Chelsea Stringfield from Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN

Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

A June 2022 Read This Next! Title!

I get that the term "transportive" is overused in blurbs, but I don’t know how else to describe this gorgeous novel from Kali Fajardo-Anstine. I was swept away by Woman of Light, which follows five generations of the Lopez family from the nineteenth century into the 1930s, spanning across the Western territories of America. In beautiful, decadent prose, Fajardo-Anstine shows us everything from traveling circus acts and fortune tellers, to turn of the century Denver nightlife, house parties and wedding festivities. This is a love letter to the American West that was left out of the classic cowboy films, to the Indigenous and Latinx communities who have lived there for centuries. I loved every word.

Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, (List Price: 28, One World, 9780525511328, June 2022)

Reviewed by Lindsay Lynch, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Kings of B’more by R. Eric Thomas

This is truly a novel for both teens and adults. I’m Gen X and saw Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in the theater back in the day and absolutely loved this plot! R. Eric captures the essence of teen friendship – how it really is your whole world once you start getting ready to fly the nest. His characters all have really interesting relationships with both peers and parents – no one is having the same experience yet they are all listening to and supporting one another. R. Eric is the funniest man on earth, and I knew I’d love this book.

Kings of B’more by R. Eric Thomas, (List Price: $18.99, Kokilas, 9780593326183, May 2022)

Reviewed by Sissy Gardner, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang

Bold and breathtaking, Four Treasures of the Sky redefines the American Western novel. Jenny Tinghui Zhang’s debut spans from China to Idaho, following the journey of Daiyu, a young Chinese girl kidnapped from her home and sent overseas to America. In Daiyu, Zhang has given us one of the most memorable narrators I’ve ever come across–even as Daiyu endures the racism and brutality of the American West, she speaks with resilience and grace. Daiyu’s story might be set in the nineteenth century, but it resonates so strongly with today’s world. This is the kind of historical fiction that prompts us to reevaluate what we know of this country’s history and leaves us better for having done so. I can’t wait to see what Jenny Tinghui Zhang does next.

Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang, (List Price: $27.99, Flatiron Books, 9781250811783,  April 2022)

Reviewed by Lindsay Lynch from Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Goldenrod by Maggie Smith

Poignant, raw, and fresh, Smith’s new collection of poems explores motherhood, grief, divorce, and the many complexities of weathering a pandemic. Her clear voice and effortless creation of images makes this collection a delight to read.

Goldenrod by Maggie Smith, (List Price: $20, Atria/One Signal Publishers, 9781982185060,  July 2021)

Reviewed by Hannah Kerbs, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Graceland, At Last by Margaret Renkl

Margaret’s weekly New York Times columns about culture in The South call out our many failures while describing in beautiful detail what makes our part of America so beautiful. Just when I think there’s no possible way to capture the tension between the terrible and the special, Margaret’s words are there to express what I am feeling.

Graceland, At Last by Margaret Renkl, (List Price: $26.00, Milkweed Editions, 9781571311849, September 2021)

Reviewed by Sissy Gardner, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee


I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys tackles the little-known subject of communist Romania with the gut-wrenching, suspenseful story of Cristian. He dreams of writing but instead is blackmailed to turn on everyone he loves. His story explores the endurance of the human spirit even in the toughest circumstances.

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys, (List Price: $18.99, Philomel Books, 9781984836038, February 2022)

Reviewed by Chelsea Stringfield from Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee


The Eye Test by Chris Jones

Jones looks back on a career of studying fascinating individuals for his journalism, and in doing so reveals a truth he’s learned: analytics are helpful, but human passion, experience, and imagination are the things that count in the end. A great storyteller, Jones’s subjects include doctors, sports figures, entertainers, writers, cops, scientists, businesspeople, and more. He found that effective specialists learn, watch, and then act in a way that pushes society towards being better. They use both expertise and their minds. Models and formulas help with this, but they are limited because they rely on what has happened before. Sometimes new and crazy things happen; then they’re kind of useless. My favorite quote: “We do our best work when we remember our humanity, especially when it’s hard to remember it.”

The Eye Test by Chris Jones, (List Price: $29.00, Twelve, 9781538730676, January 2022)

Reviewed by Sissy Gardner, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson

As a Patricia Highsmith superfan, I’m always drawn to a sleek novel about the harrowing secrets and misdeeds of the upper class. I’m pleased to say that Antoine Wilson delivers. His latest, Mouth to Mouth, is a compact tour-de-force featuring an intoxicating antagonist with a level of self-delusion that would make Highsmith proud.

Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson, (List Price: 26, Avid Reader Press, Simon & Schuster, 9781982181802, January 2022)

Reviewed by Lindsay Lynch, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Written with sharp humor and a keen eye, Olga Dies Dreaming is one the most exciting debuts I’ve read in a long time. Xochitl Gonzalez has given us an unforgettable cast of characters—I loved unraveling the Acevedo family history in all of its messiness and tenderness. Don’t miss this one!

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez, (List Price: $27.99, Flatiron Books, 9781250786173, January 2022)

Reviewed by Lindsay Lynch, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord

Millie’s summer is turned upside down when she finds her father’s old Livejournal that hints at her absent mother’s identity. Already obsessed with Mamma Mia! and all things Broadway, Millie tracks down three women and wedges herself into their lives. With a great cast of secondary characters and a slow-burn romance, Millie’s journey of self-discovery and growth is a delightful read.

When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord, (List Price: $18.99, Wednesday Books, 9781250783349, January 2022)

Reviewed by Chelsea Stringfield, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Some Things I Still Can’t Tell You by Misha Collins

I loved this collection. Collins lets his reader know that he is writing for himself, fully knowing he is not an established poet. I normally do not read poetry, and I felt relaxed and ready to see what he had to say. It was a treat to see a very public person open up like this.

Some Things I Still Can’t Tell You by Misha Collins, (List Price: $14.99, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 9781524870546, October 2021)

Reviewed by Sissy Gardner, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Ian Miller

A Fall Read This Next! Selection

I don’t know that I’ve ever come across a book more satisfying to my inner-misanthrope than The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven. Anyone who constantly longs for quiet, feels prickly in an overcrowded space, loves the idea of unfettered alone time: this book is for you. Set in the early twentieth century, The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven follows a man who literally goes to the edge of the earth and settles in the Arctic with a loyal dog as his only companion. Nathaniel Ian Miller has written a novel that, in showing us extreme isolation, reminds us how vital our bonds to this world are. I adored it.

The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Ian Miller, (List Price: 28, Little, Brown and Company, 9780316592550, October 2021)

Reviewed by Lindsay Lynch, Parnassus Books in Nashville, North Carolina


Mennonite Valley Girl by Carla Funk

After reading the very first page, I knew I’d love this book. Funk’s language is poetic, and the humor is soft and subtle. I braced myself for trauma, but was so delighted to find the interior life of a young girl who wants more out of life than what she sees around her. Universal, old as time, yet fresh and gripping. I saw myself in every page.

Mennonite Valley Girl by Carla Funk, (List Price: 27.95, Greystone Books, 9781771645157, September 2021)

Reviewed by Sissy Gardner, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

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