Rhythm & Books
Young At Heart December 15, 2015 16:15
If you've been into our children's section recently, you've noticed the array of wonderful illustrated books we have, many of them signed. We've entered a golden age of children's books, and here are some recommended titles from our current stock.
A Child's First Book Club
One of the best gifts you can give a child is a subscription to our monthly book club. Even adults are beginning to join this club for themselves. Each month you (or a child, of course) will receive a new signed picture book. Cost is the price of the book, charged each month, plus shipping. Parents love the renewed enthusiasm their kids have for books, and kids love the selections, as well as the personal pen-pal letter that comes with each package.
The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
Kids love the sassy crayons that have been lost, stepped on, or otherwise abandoned by Duncan, the recipient of the hilarious letters in this follow-up to The Day the Crayons Quit.
Lizard from the Park by Mark Pett
One of our favorite illustrators tells the story of a kid who finds a mysterious egg in the park. He takes it home, waits for it to hatch, and discovers a tremendous surprise inside. Signed!
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña and Christian Robinson
An inner city boy and his grandmother wander through the neighborhood on errands as she opens his eyes to the beauty of the world. This one reminds us of the great Ezra Jack Keats (Snowy Day).
Lenny & Lucy by Philip C. Stead & Erin E. Stead
A boy and his dog, anxious about moving to a strange new house, build themselves a new friend, Lenny, and then decide Lenny needs a friend, and so they build Lucy. Sweetly melancholic, like the best classic children's books. Signed!
Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith
One of the year's most acclaimed picture books, this intensely heartfelt, wordless story about tiny acts of kindness is a book that adults love as much as kids. Signed!
Big Names, Signed Books, Great Gifts December 12, 2015 11:06
We say it all the time: signed books make uniquely personal gifts. And this season we have no shortage of signed books, offered at list price, for casual readers as well as collectors. Here are a few signed books by big-name authors. We'll giftwrap and ship any or all of these out to you (or a loved one) straight away.
Our annual exclusive by John Grisham, America's most prolific best-seller. This novel is more episodic and packed with legal hijinks than anything we've seen from Grisham in recent years. SIGNED!
You get it all with customer-favorite Rick Bragg. This collection of his essays from Southern Living delivers humor, wisdom, and bittersweet stories that get to the heart of the South and its people. SIGNED!
David Baldacci continues to write all over the suspense fiction map. This is a thrilling new episode in the life of his government assassin, Will Robie, for those who like techno-political thrillers. SIGNED!
Mississippi governor Haley Barbour has written a compelling account of his role leading through Hurricane Katrina, perfect for aspiring leaders. But this book is just as much about the endurance and generosity of Mississippians in a time of crisis. SIGNED!
Easy elegant recipes and comfort food from celebrity chef Nigella Lawson. SIGNED!
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie), a favorite when it comes to uplifting stories, writes about music in this new novel of how talent can change your life. SIGNED!
SOIL: The Compost Interview July 28, 2015 14:28
Our own Jamie Kornegay's debut novel SOIL has been out for almost two weeks now and it has already taken the country by storm. Of course, we knew it would, but we were delighted to see how much others have enjoyed it. Check out some of the press here: Kirkus, Memphis Flyer, Clarion Ledger, Boston Globe, Mountain Xpress, Publisher's Weekly, Deep South Mag, Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jamie was even asked to write a piece for The Daily Beast about one of his favorite...er...amateur hobbies: covering up crimes. Well we thought since he was granting interviews to every hack with a keyboard, why couldn't he spare the time to answer some of OUR questions? After all, we're the ones with the gall to ask the hard-hitting questions no one else will. So here it is: the most exclusive Jamie Kornegay interview you'll read this month!
TR: Where are you right now? Shouldn't you be pushing your book in Shreveport or something?
JK: I’m on the third floor of a hotel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, eavesdropping on the valets talking trash beneath my window.
TR: You've been on the road for over two weeks and you're plowing through the Carolinas. How has the tour treated you so far? What's your most lurid tale from the road?
JK: The tour has been great. I’ve been heartened by the fact that, at every stop, there’s at least one person from Mississippi who has come out to say hello. Virtually all have spent time in Greenwood and a large percentage have been to Turnrow, which is great to hear. Nothing too lurid thus far, although I did compare raccoon penises with George Singleton in South Carolina. Photo attached [editor's note: state law prevents us from publishing this photo].
TR: Let's get personal. In the compost heap of the world, what are you? A worm? Dirty napkin? Coffee filter? Engorged zucchini?
JK: I think an old nasty sweet potato with an eye sprout that refuses to die.
TR: These days everything is getting a film adaptation (children's books, board games, Twitter feeds, etc.) and authors have more control than ever (see Gillian Flynn writing the screenplay for Gone Girl). When SOIL is turned into a movie, is there a way you can use your influence to resurrect Steve Guttenberg's career?
JK: I haven’t seen Steve in a while, so I don’t know how old he looks. I wonder if he can do a convincing Southern accent. Maybe he could play the deputy in charge of the missing persons case, the one relocated from St. Louis. Is it terrible that I don’t remember that character’s name? I’d look it up, but I left the book down in the car.
TR: Who would do a better job directing the film adaptation of SOIL -- Wes Anderson or Michael Bay?
JK: Anderson. It would lose its regional identity, perhaps, but it would be worth it. Maybe he’d get Owen Wilson to play the deputy and Bill Murray to play Hatcher, the hippie neighbor.
TR: In other interviews with far more reputable publications, you've cited Fyodor Dostoevsky and Barry Hannah as major influences. Cut the crap. Who's the biggest influence on you that no one else could have guessed?
JK: Quentin Tarantino. I wonder if he’s free to direct.
TR: Ben has been your loyal employee for eight years and even played a major role in the creation of this book. Why did you decide to immortalize him as a rotting corpse in SOIL?
JK: The dead guy was from Ohio and died on Ben’s birthday. I know you won’t believe this, but it was totally subconscious. But somehow deserving, don’t you think?
TR: Be honest: how many animals were mutilated, cremated, or otherwise injured in the writing of this book?
JK: At least two, not counting myself.
TR: What's the stupidest question anyone has ever asked an author at a Turnrow appearance?
JK: I can’t remember anyone asking an author a stupid question. Let’s put this one in the running.
TR: Which character in SOIL most deserves a spinoff?
JK: Granger, supposed guru of Danny Shoals. Sam Jackson can play him if Tarantino directs.
TR: Which autobiographical part of the book would readers be most surprised by? Please keep it mildly tasteful.
JK: Someone really took a dump in my compost. I was so mad about it, but now I’m grateful. It was the impetus for the story.
TR: In your experience as a writer, which of these pieces of furniture is most conducive to imaginative writing: swivel chair, barstool, beanbag, bamboo mat, pile of goo, wicker chair?
JK: Probably a bar stool and all that comes with it. You can make a spark at the bar, really sit there and soak up stories. I’ve scribbled ideas on plenty of bar napkins. I don’t think I could sit at a bar and drink and write. There’s a fast dulling effect that comes after that quick spark, at least for me.
TR: When will you let your children read your work?
JK: I’ve thought about preparing a redacted manuscript, with certain words and lines crossed-out CIA style. My legion of young fans is dying to read it, but I tell them, it’s about adult problems and you’ll just be bored.
TR: There are internet rumors that Simon & Schuster is planning to release a limited edition 'Scratch-n-Sniff' SOIL, for true fans. Did you actually approve this?
JK: I didn’t approve it, per se, but I certainly approve of it. I could even help wrangle the scents.
TR: If Larry Brown were alive today, what would you want to hear him say about SOIL?
JK: “Damn, dude, that was pretty cool.”
TR: If Eudora Welty were alive today, what would you want to hear her say about SOIL?
JK: “Damn, dude, that was pretty cool.”
TR: Which stop on your whirlwind tour are you most looking forward to?
JK: I’m anxious to hit them all, but at this moment in my day, Greenwood is looking pretty nice.
Turnrow Players Present: 'Glengarry Glen Ross' July 01, 2015 14:24
We've hosted some exciting events this year at Turnrow. Our own Jamie Kornegay launched his debut novel Soil here at the store on March 10. A few weeks later we packed the house for Greg Iles, who signed and spoke about The Bone Tree, the second installment in his Natchez Burning trilogy. Later in the spring we hosted DJ and musicologist Robin Tolleson who presented a 'spin-terview' on Greenwood's native jazz pianist, the late Mulgrew Miller. And this August Turnrow will present its own theatrical production for the first time. Performances of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1983 play Glengarry Glen Ross will run from August 13-15 right here in the front of our store.
Glengarry Glen Ross takes place over two days in a downtrodden Chicago real estate office. Prompted by a particularly cutthroat sales competition, the realtors take increasingly desperate measures to hang on to their jobs. Pandering, deception, bribery, blackmail, and robbery are only the beginning. And Mamet lets his characters stretch and distort every possible means of 'selling' something, whether it's property or their own integrity. The original productions of the play in London and on Broadway led to a film adaptation in 1992 with an all-star cast that quickly became a cult classic.
Proceeds from tickets will directly benefit our partner the Greenwood Mentoring Group, which provides tutoring and activities for area youth. Tickets can be purchased for all three nights at our website or here at the store. Get your tickets early! We expect to sell out every show very soon. Doors will open at 6:30 with drinks available to purchase. Some surprise guests will be joining us for a special event each night at 6:45 and the show starts at 7:30. Please note: this play contains pervasive adult content and language. No person under 18 will be admitted.
Preview: Skip Horack and Michael Kardos March 19, 2015 14:29
On March 26 at 5:30 we'll be hosting two of our favorite Southern authors working today. Skip Horack and Michael Kardos will return to Turnrow for a spring doubleheader, and both writers will sign and speak about their new books out this month. Skip's The Other Joseph (HarperCollins) has been earning rave reviews from loyal customers who have been enthralled with his work ever since The Southern Cross in 2009. Michael's Before He Finds Her (Perseus) is surging in popularity here in Greenwood, where our customers are steeped in the rich background of brilliant Mississippi mystery writers: Grisham and Iles fans have been loving it.
Roy Joseph splits time between an Airstream trailer in Grand Isle, Louisiana and an oil rig in the Gulf. But his inner existence is punctured with unspeakable grief and the consequences of impulsive mistakes. His older brother Tommy jumped off a chopper into the Persian Gulf in 1991 and disappeared. The Navy presumed him dead. Still grappling with the unknown fate of their son, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph are killed in a car accident shortly afterward. Teenaged Roy is left alone in the shadow of these dual tragedies, and he deals with it about as successfully as you'd expect. Now Roy receives an email from a 15-year-old girl in San Francisco claiming to be Tommy's daughter. Attempting to answer the lingering questions of his cursed family and seeking a future in which he can drop anchor, Roy sets out for the West Coast. His encounters and misadventures along the way (which include backyard llama-raising, hunting endangered fowl in the Rockies, and shopping for a Russian bride) reminded us why we fell in love with Skip's writing in the first place.
And when others speak of Louisiana as a backwater or third-world they usually mean places like these, places that are falling, sinking, eroding into the suck of slinking salt waters, and nowhere as badly or as quickly as this fading fifteen crow-fly miles between my island and the harder ground that finally appeared after the Bayou Lafourche lift bridge. All that was behind me would one day be gone. But I was safe now.... Homes and businesses and solid ground, yes, but now that dark bayou to follow as well. Diesel rainbows, eddies of foamed trash. Ahead: Golden Meadow, Galliano, Cut Off, Larose, then another big bridge. The crossing of the Intracoastal. Agriculture, sugarcane. The backwater becoming a banana republic here. Some of the farmers burning their fields preharvest. The land all around me on fire and smoking.
In Before He Finds Her, Kardos crafts a classic Hitchcockian thriller. One beautiful September day on the Jersey Shore, Ramsey Miller throws a massive block party and invites all the neighbors. After the bash he apparently snaps, strangling his wife to death and fleeing into the Atlantic with his 3-year-old daughter. Police and the FBI never find him and the daughter is presumed dead. But everyone's wrong. The daughter was whisked away into witness protection and has been raised for fifteen years with an aunt and uncle in West Virginia. Now new evidence indicates that Ramsey is back -- and he's coming for the daughter he left behind that fateful night. Kardos skillfully weaves between dual narratives: what was Ramsey thinking the night he ended his world? And will his daughter uncover the truth before her father tracks her down? Every customer we've teased with that synopsis hasn't been able to resist this book, and we're sure you'll enjoy it too.
Standing over her -- she was so, so pretty -- he wanted to wake her, to lie wordlessly beside her at the beginning of their last day together. But the curtains were open, and the light would wake her soon enough. How incredible, he thought, moving toward the window and looking out above the rooftops across the way, that this morning look exactly like every other. There was no way to see those eight other planets dragging themselves mindlessly into position. But they were. He could already feel it, the inevitability.
So drop in with us tomorrow night for a reception and book signing with these two greats at 5:30. Afterward we'll ask them to read a bit and speak on their craft. We'll also ask them about the eerie connection between their two new books: characters presumed dead who nevertheless survived. If that's our theme, you never know who might walk through the door. Don't miss it.
Turnrow 20 Spotlight: God'll Cut You Down February 03, 2015 14:31
John Safran is a specialist in offensiveness, especially when it comes to things like race, religion, and gender. As the host of Race Relations in his native Australia, Safran managed to switch Palestinian and Israeli sperm samples, walk around Chicago in blackface, and get himself crucified in the Philippines. For one such stunt, he appeared at a white supremacist's young athletes rally here in Mississippi, where he announced to a puzzled audience that the event's organizer, Richard Barrett, tested positive for African DNA. After Barrett and his lawyers threatened legal action over the prank, the video footage got cut from the show. And that was that.
Until one year later.
Back in Melbourne, someone tipped off Safran about a bizarre murder in Rankin County, MS. Richard Barrett—the white supremacist whom he spoofed on his show—had been brutally stabbed to death and set on fire inside his rural home. The accused killer was 23-year-old Vincent McGee, an African American man who had been doing yard work for Barrett. Unable to resist the potential of a sensational trial (he of course proclaims himself a "race trekkie"), Safran strapped on his best Truman Capote hat and flew back to Mississippi. What he found was even more disturbing and complex than he could have imagined.
Safran's book chronicles every twist, turn, trap, and rabbit hole that he fell into during the ensuing months he spent around Jackson, MS. As a Jewish Australian, Safran is the ultimate outsider. He claims to know very little of Mississippi or its reputation elsewhere in the U.S., which makes him the perfect investigator and author on the case. This sets him up for moments that are hilarious, awkward, and sometimes poignant. Cozying up to the host of a white nationalist radio show, he ends up counseling the middle aged man on his love life:
"'My problem is,' he says, 'it's hard to get the kind of girl I want when they see that trailer and they know I am unemployed.' 'I'd spin it around,' I tell him. It seems like you're self-employed.'"
Mis-hearing McGee’s mother recalling the death of her other child from "crib death," he prods, "Crip death? Is that gang-related?" He even gets duped into buying flowers and transcribing love letters for Vincent McGee during his incarceration. Via his own buffoonish ignorance, Safran successfully portrays himself as a naive journalist. And no one he covers looks squeaky clean, either.
By the time you reach the closing chapters, you'll come to the same conclusion that Safran did: everyone is lying to some degree, and nothing is even as remotely simple as it seems. Was Barrett actually an FBI informant? Were he and McGee engaged in a sexual arrangement? Does the Mississippi Dept. of Corrections routinely deny black families visitation rights? Why did Barrett include the Government of Iran in his will? And most tantalizingly elusive of all: what on earth actually happened that night in Barrett’s house? When you read about the only item hanging in Barrett’s closet, all assumptions vanish out the window.
Fans of The Fall of the House of Zeus and the film Zodiac (in which the investigators also bite off more than they can chew) will love this book, as long as they have a sense of humor. Since Safran apparently videotaped and recorded so much of his experience, perhaps the story would've been more successful as one of his documentaries. It would've at least cut down on most chapters opening with some variant of “Turning on my Flip cam, I entered the Rankin Co. Judicial Building….” But for a strange adventure down the darkest alleys of Mississippi’s cursed history of racial tension, God’ll Cut You Down is a new classic from the unlikeliest of sources.