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Our Booksellers

Our team includes a New York Times bestselling author, a publishing veteran, an anthropologist, poets, musicians, and extraordinary booksellers. Get to know them and their favorite books below.

Ann Patchett, Co-Owner

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, and State of Wonder. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories, 2006, and has written three books of nonfiction, Truth & Beauty, about her friendship with the writer, Lucy Grealy, What now? an expansion of her graduation address at Sarah Lawrence College, and, most recently, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, a collection of essays that examines the theme of commitment.

See Ann's Recommended Reading List

Karen Hayes, Co-Owner

Karen moved to Nashville when she was twelve years old and it made her very happy. She has lived here ever since, except for a short stint in Italy, which she loved, but she was still very happy to come back to Nashville. Her charmed life continued when she fell by chance into the book business at the age of twenty. She has never left it (except for that stint in Italy). Besides reading, Karen loves travel, the outdoors, music, photography and her friends.

See Karen's Recommended Reading List

Mary Grey James, Manager of Books for Young Readers

For someone whose next life will be as a jazz pianist who writes critically-acclaimed novels on the side, Mary Grey finds her life in Nashville to be just about perfect. She devotes her free time to volunteering at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and the Nashville Jazz Workshop and is also a past national president of the Women’s National Book Association. Books, music…throw in a beach, and MG’s contented.

See Mary Grey's Recommended Reading List

Princess Niki Leia Coffman, Director of Events and Marketing

Niki adds sparkle to Parnassus Books, whether it's through her personality or her vast array of glittery shoes. With an extensive background working for a literary agency in New York and as the Campaign Coordinator for the Nashville Public Library Foundation, Niki brings an editor's eye and a marketer's talent to Parnassus. If you've ever talked to her in the store, you probably know that her favorite book is Little Bee by Chris Cleave. (If she hasn't made you read it yet, just wait. She will.) Niki is also the proud owner of part-time store dog Gracie, and Gracie’s rambunctious sister, Sam, who is not store dog material.

 See Leia's Recommended Reading List

Tristan Charles, Inventory Manager

Tristan Charles graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2011 with a major in English.

See Tristan's Recommended Reading List





Andy Brennan, Floor Manager

After serving sixteen years with the New Zealand Foreign Service, Andy moved to a small village in the Caribbean for several years before finally settling down in Nashville with his wife. His many travels around the world have instilled in him a love for mystery and a particular passion for World War II novels. He is currently working on restoring a vintage 1927 Bristol Bulldog biplane.

See Andy's Recommended Reading List


Sissy Gardner, Assistant Floor Manager

Sissy is an Augusta, GA native and Sewanee graduate. She has a cat named Garp, is the Queen of the Loose Women Book Club, and is a mom to J.C. Her husband Jim says she uses the superlative too much. Her favorite book is The Secret History … and also, maybe, Until I Find You. She has told the book club the best book ever is The Magicians, but told another friend it is I Capture the Castle. She was not lying when she told her high-school English teacher her favorite book is All the King's Men. She is certain the most fascinating novel set in Tennessee is Body of a Girl, but then of course she has to mention the best short story collection in Nashville, which is Ladies and Gentlemen. Her favorite writers are Mary Laura Philpott and J.D. DuPuy.

See Sissy's Recommended Reading List

Mary Laura Philpott, Social Media Maven and Editor of Musing

Mary Laura is the voice behind our interactions online. The author of Penguins with People Problems (forthcoming from Perigee / Penguin Random House in 2015), as well as the co-author of a Parnassus staff-pick book of humorous poetry, she's an award-winning writer, comic artist, and computer nerd who has written for The New York Times, The Toast, The Barnes & Noble Book Blog, Book Riot, The Queen Latifah Show, and a variety of other publications. As editor-and-muse-in-chief of Musing, she produces our original articles and interviews, stoking the conversation between readers and authors. If you see her crawling around the store floor with a camera, she's probably taking photos for Shop Dog Diaries -- just step over her.

Ashton Hickey, Events Manager

Ashton graduated from The University of Tennessee with a degree in psychology, which she now uses to analyze all her coworkers. She followed her great love of books and her big brother, Tristan, to Parnassus, where she works tirelessly to help plan and staff our events with visiting authors. Store manager Andy Brennan believes it is a thrill and an honor for Ashton to work with Andy Brennan.


Kathy Schultenover, Bookseller and Book Club Coordinator

Kathy Schultenover is our Book Club Coordinator. She facilitates store book clubs and directs outreach to local book clubs, a job she also held for 17 years at Davis Kidd Booksellers. Her specialty and interest is fiction, both contemporary and classic.

See Kathy's Recommended Reading List




Miriam Mimms, Bookseller

Miriam brings a long history of retail experience to our little corner of the world. Among other things, Miriam has built a log cabin, marketed lingerie, worked on the sale of Hank Williams' publishing catalogue, edited a rock climbing guide, and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane from two miles up. A ninth-generation Deep South Texan, she studies creative writing at Vanderbilt.

 See Miriam's Recommended Reading List

Nathan Spoon, Bookseller

What do Keats's "Ode to a Nightingale," Susanna's aria in the garden in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, and bookselling all have in common? Nathan would like to find that out. His library--a contained catastrophe in progress--includes his paintings, philosophical essays, handmade dolls, poems, and limestone sculptures. When going out, he selects a small stack of books as carefully as one chooses an outfit. Truthfully, sometimes the stack is larger than small, which he says has been pointed out to him on more than a few occasions ...

See Nathan's Recommended Reading List

Bill Long-Innes, Bookseller

Bill Long-Innes is our self-help and social sciences expert. He comes to us after a long and storied career as both an okra connoisseur and romance novelist.





Yashwina Canter, Bookseller

Yashwina loves words, books, books about books, and people who love books. If you can't find her, ask for the "cheerful girl who always has a flower in her hair."

See Yashwina's Recommended Reading List






People who make our store better, even if they don't work here on a daily basis.

Ginger Nally, Bookseller 

A former employee of Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Ginger joined our team as a bookseller and now leads our offsite events, helping to bring the joy of books to Nashville at large.

See Ginger's Recommended Reading List




Margy Smith Roark, Bookseller

Margy (with a hard "g") has been reading from an early age. She has been known to hide from her three kids in order to read a few more pages. She reads The New Yorker magazine from back to front. Poetry and short stories make up most of her reading list, although the occasional non-fiction gets on there if it's not too longwinded. Latest feat: teaching Shakespeare's poetry to her daughter's Brownie troop.

See Margy's Recommended Reading List