Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Bob Mehr to sign Trouble Boys at Booksellers

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 4:04 AM

Trouble Boys is the first definitive, no-holds-barred biography of one of the last great bands of the twentieth century: The Replacements. With full participation from reclusive singer and chief songwriter Paul Westerberg, bassist Tommy Stinson, guitarist Slim Dunlap, and the family of late band co-founder Bob Stinson, author Bob Mehr is able to tell the real story of this highly influential group, capturing their chaotic, tragic journey from the basements of Minneapolis to rock legend. Drawing on years of research and access to the band's archives at Twin/Tone Records and Warner Bros., Mehr also discovers previously unrevealed details from those in the group's inner circle, including family, managers, and musical friends and  collaborators.

“Bob Mehr’s raucous, ribald, and oft-times harrowing book takes us behind the scenes, to the bottom of the bottle, all the way to the end of the road, and then further still—revealing the story of the Replacements, a band that gave away its soul on every record and refused to sell its soul to a corporate world.” —Robert Gordon, author of Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion

Tuesday, March 1st
6:30 p.m.
The Booksellers at Laurelwood
387 Perkins Road Extended

Monday, February 29, 2016

Greg Sestero, author/actor, to appear at the Mid-South Book Festival

Posted By on Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 2:30 PM

As everyone with any current culture awareness knows, Room is the Best Picture-nominated, and Best Actress-winning (Brie Larson) movie of this week's Academy Awards ceremony. 

This blog post is not in any way about that movie, but it is why I was confused when Kevin Dean, executive director of Literacy Mid-South, contacted me today to tell me that someone connected with the film had been booked for this September's Mid-South Book Festival.

I am clearly on the low end of pop-culture consciousness because The Room, as it turns out (with its all-important article), is the cult classic starring Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero. Dean implored me to stop whatever it was I was doing (poking around Facebook) and get a copy, as though this journalistic locomotive might be so quickly halted. "It's epic," he reiterated. 

The Room has been called "the best worst movie ever made" and "the Citizen Kane of bad movies." And people love it. In fact, it sells out showings all over the place and fans have watch parties in their homes. 

The book The Disaster Artist is a bestselling look behind the scenes of the making of the movie that cost $6 million to produce and earned a total of $1,800 at the box office. From Goodreads: "Readers need not have seen The Room to appreciate its costar Greg Sestero’s account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and interpersonal relationships to achieve the dream only he could love. While it does unravel mysteries for fans, The Disaster Artist is more than just an hilarious story about cinematic hubris: It is ultimately a surprisingly inspiring tour de force that reads like a page-turning novel, an open-hearted portrait of a supremely enigmatic man who will capture your heart."

"We are excited to add Greg Sestero to the Mid-South Book Festival," Dean told me. "Cult film enthusiasts will be thrilled to know that his presentation at the festival will be free and open to the public, and we are working with Indie Memphis to have a screening of the film before the festival. Even more exciting is that the movie version of The Disaster Artist will open in theaters one month after our festival." That film version is directed by and stars James Franco.

The announcement of Sestero comes on the heels of the news that Lauren Groff, author of the bestselling Fates and Furies, will also be a part of the fall festival. In only its second year, 2015's event saw 80 authors and 5,000 attendees. And that's way more than attended the first run showing of The Room when it was released in 2003. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Author Ed Tarkington to visit story booth at Crosstown Arts

Posted By on Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 1:25 PM

Ed Tarkington will visit story booth at Crosstown Arts this Thursday for a discussion of his debut novel, Only Love Can Break Your Heart.

Welcome to Spencerville, Virginia, 1977. Eight-year-old Rocky worships his older brother, Paul. Sixteen and full of rebel cool, Paul spends his days cruising in his Chevy Nova blasting Neil Young, cigarette
 dangling from his lips, arm slung around his beautiful, troubled girlfriend. Paul is happy to have his younger brother as his sidekick. Then one day, in an act of vengeance against their father, Paul picks up Rocky from school and nearly abandons him in the woods. Afterward, Paul disappears.

Seven years later, Rocky is a teenager himself. He hasn’t forgotten being abandoned by his boyhood hero, but he’s getting over it, with the help of the wealthy neighbors’ daughter, ten years his senior, who has taken him as her lover. Unbeknownst to both of them, their affair will set in motion a course of events that rains catastrophe on both their families. After a mysterious double murder brings terror and suspicion to their small town, Rocky and his family must reckon with the past and find out how much forgiveness their hearts can hold.

Praise for Only Love Can Break Your Heart:

“A lush mystery-within-a-coming-of-age-tale-within-a-Southern-Gothic. If a book could have an Instagram filter, Tarkington’s would be set on something called ‘Nostalgic’ . . . interesting, readable and beautifully written.”—NPR Books

“Tarkington’s writing is talky, devoid of flash, and calls to mind a young Pat Conroy . . . propulsion is its primary attribute. Not mere plot propulsion—though there’s plenty of that, especially after the corpses turn up—but emotional propulsion: Tarkington’s fidelity to period and place is matched by his fidelity to human contradictions, to the gray area between heroism and villainy in which most of us reside. The gothic elements add spice, but the protein in this assured debut—the part that sticks to your ribs—is the beautiful but ever-threatened connection between Rocky and Paul. Only Love Can Break Your Heart is a novel about brotherhood, most of all, about the delicate fortress of that bond.” — Garden & Gun

“Well-written and observed  . . . Tarkington carefully lays out his elaborate storyline and sensitively depicts his troubled characters.” — Kirkus Reviews

Ed Tarkington
story booth
438 N. Cleveland Street
Thursday, February 11th
6 - 8 p.m.

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