Our Booksellers

To see the latest books our staffers are reading and loving these days, make sure to check out the Staff Picks section of our online magazine, Musing! Meanwhile, meet our booksellers:

Ann Patchett, Parnassus Books Co-Owner

Ann Patchett is the author of eight novelsThe Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Bel Canto, RunState of Wonder, Commonwealth and most recently, The Dutch House. 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 This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, a collection of essays that examines the theme of commitment.

10 books Ann loves to recommend: Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood by Mark Harris; The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford; Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford; Endless Love by Scott Spencer; Lab Girl by Hope Jahren; True Grit by Charles Portis; Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed; Act One by Moss Hart; Independent People by Halldor Laxness; Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

See what Ann's been reading lately -- click here to read her blog!


Karen Hayes, Parnassus Books Co-Owner

Quick description of what you do here: Managing Owner

Favorite book as a kid: The Once and Future King, by T.H. White

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm ... at home working or reading with my cat Fay, taking a walk in Percy Warner, or spending time with friends. I love to travel, go to live music venues and take photographs, too.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Epice.

Favorite author event we've had: Hard to choose between David Sedaris and Doris Kearns Goodwin. They both are a dream to work with, have a great sense of humor, and obviously love what they do.

Books I recommend most: The River of Doubt by Candace Millard; Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier; At Home by Bill Bryson; Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke; This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett; The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood; Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty; Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi; Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley.

Andy Brennan, Store Manager

Quick description of what you do here: I’m the store manager, which is sometimes called “floor manager” — so I manage the floor. Dust bunnies, etc.

Favorite book as a kid: Gerald McBoing Boing by Dr. Suess

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm ... hanging with Opie and dreaming of Tortola.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint

Favorite author event we've had: So many to choose but if I can only pick one – Doris Kearns Goodwin. I would never otherwise have known of her special relationship with Ron Burgundy.

Books I recommend most: Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Falada; Troublesome Young Men by Lynne Olson; Barbarian Days by William Finnegan
 

Elyse Adler, Events Director

Quick description of what you do here: I partner with publishers, publicists, authors and other community organizations to provide great programming for the public — promoting the written word and the greatest bookstore!

Favorite book as a kid: I was a reluctant reader – until my dad gave me copy of O Henry Short Stories Collection – was a game changer!

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm ... hiking, reading, making music.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Slim and Husky’s.

Favorite author event we've had: Gloria Steinem.

Books I recommend most: The Prince of Tides, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.

Lindsay Lynch, Inventory Manager and Adult Buyer

Quick description of what you do here: I order the adult titles for the store, which involves a mixture of re-ordering books our customers have loved in the past and finding new ones for them to love in the future. Also, spreadsheets, lots of spreadsheets.

Favorite book as a kid: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm ... working on my own writing, jumping down obscure research rabbit holes, or reading the unruly stacks of books that keep growing in every corner of my apartment. 

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Look, I'm not saying that the Gobi Manchurian at Woodlands is a large part of why I moved back to Nashville, but the Gobi Manchurian at Woodlands is a large part of why I moved back to Nashville.

Favorite author event we've had: Zadie Smith in conversation with Ann for Swing Time — it was a masterclass on writing and also just existing as a person in the world. 

Books I recommend most: French Exit by Patrick DeWitt; The Friend by Sigrid Nunez; The Secret History by Donna Tartt; The Tradition by Jericho Brown; Ali Smith's Seasonal QuartetThe Summer Book by Tove Jansson; Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker.
 

Rae Ann Parker, Director of Books and Events for Young Readers

Quick description of what you do here: I choose what to stock for our baby, picture book, chapter book and YA shelves. I also oversee the ParnassusNext and Spark Book Club teams.

Favorite book as a kid: Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm... enjoying a good book or movie or a walk with my dog.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Fido

Favorite author event we've had: Jessica Young’s event for My Blue Is Happy which included bluegrass music and blue snacks!

Books I recommend most: The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley; After the Fall by Dan Santat

Heather Patchett, Special Sales and Office Manager

Quick description of what you do here: I do hoop jumping supervision, online orders, B2B bulk orders, packing, labelling, and shipping of books, dog walking, special orders, and all of our subscription program memberships. I also answer questions about where things are, and I order snacks, dog treats, and other essentials for the store. (Editor's note: Heather does EVERYTHING)

Favorite book as a kid: Nancy Drew. Loved them all. Little House on the Prairie (and I lived near Walnut Grove for a time!)

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm ... hanging out with my dogs, working on my house, building things, gardening and growing things, making fun things, and planning my next visit with my grandsons.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Cole's Kitchen is my favorite in Green Hills, along with Brixx (half pizza and pear and arugula salad). Close to home, it's Siam Cafe.

Favorite author event we've had: Antoni Porowski. Want to see my pictures? He was so kind - everything you see on Queer Eye and more! And he Facetimed my daughter (his idea!) which made her day!

Books I recommend most: Anything by authors Ann Patchett, Gregory Boyle, Sandra Boynton, and Kate DiCamillo. I read mostly mystery/thriller and memoir, and every week there are more wonderful books!

Sissy Gardner, Assistant Floor Manager

Quick description of what you do here: I’m the assistant floor manager, and I specialize in shelving children's and YA books, telling coworkers to go to lunch, climbing ladders, patting Bear, and balancing the registers.

Favorite book as a kid: The Long Winter and Thirteen Georgia Ghosts

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm ... sleeping, reading, or wine tasting.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? blvd nashville

Favorite author event we've had: Mary Laura Philpott & JD DuPuy

Books I recommend most: Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans; The Reason You're Alive by Matthew Quick

 

RJ Witherow, Events Manager

Quick description of what you do here: I'm (officially) the events manager and (less officially) the Wings of Fire expert. I help organize the author events (and also recommend books about dragons.)  

Favorite book as a kid: Redwall by Brian Jacques

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm... usually home, with my own dog and my own books. I like to write, watch baseball, and scavenge cool stuff from thrift stores.   

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? The Food Company 

Favorite author event we've had: Long before I started working here, I came as a customer to a John Scalzi event. It was my first time seeing an event at Parnassus, and it's still one of my favorite memories!

Books I recommend most: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin, This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender and Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas.
 

Kathy Schultenover, Bookseller and Book Club Coordinator

Quick description of what you do here: As the book clubs manager, I serve as a liaison to community book clubs, as well as a bookseller here in the store.

Favorite book as a kid:The Little House on the Prairie series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which my fourth grade teacher started me on

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm ... reading (of course!) or taking care of my grandkids.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Picnic Court (the chicken salad is to-die-for)

Favorite author event we've had: Amor Towles for Rules of Civility (super smart and suave)

Books I recommend most: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins; Euphoria by Lily King
 

Peter King, Does Everything/Receives Books

Quick description of what you do here: I receive the books from shipping and enter them into our inventory system.

Favorite book as a kid: The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm... usually at home. Sometimes I go other places.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? 2-Boots Pizza

Favorite author event we've had: My favorite so far has been Carol Bradley with Last Chain on Billie

Book I recommend most: The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Seonmi Hwang

 


Sarah Arnold, Marketing and Communications Manager, Musing Editor

Quick description of what you do here: I work on the store’s website, social media feeds, and email newsletters, while also coordinating with our wonderful orders and events folks. I'm also editor of our online magazine, Musing

Favorite book as a kid: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm... hanging out with friends, playing guitar, watching Criminal Minds, and reading.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Frothy Monkey and Fido

Favorite author event we've had: It's hard to beat Joe Biden in conversation with Jon Meacham at the Nashville Symphony.

Book I recommend most: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore, The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini


Erin Cox, Bookseller

Quick description of what you do here: Bookseller

Favorite book as a kid: Pretty much any book with a total lack of adult supervision getting in the way of the characters doing things. And then when I got middle-grade angsty, The Perilous Gard (Elizabeth Marie Pope) felt like a secret handshake.

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm: working on my writing, learning to coexist with the idiosyncrasies of a hundred-year-old house, or running away from both with a good road trip.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Some days I want breakfast for lunch, and those days I go to The Pfunky Griddle.

Favorite author event we've had: Leigh Bardugo and her fans were absolutely lovely.

Books I insist we keep in stock: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Stuart Turton); Under the Black Flag (David Cordingly); Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line (Deepa Anappara)

 

Chelsea Stringfield, Bookseller

Quick description of what you do here: I am primarily a children's bookseller, but I also read romance, sci-fi/fantasy, and mysteries.

Favorite book as a kid: The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm: cheering on the Predators, reading a book, or lounging with my dogs and cats.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Loveless Cafe - you can get breakfast any time!

Favorite author event we've had: I wasn't an employee at the time but seeing Jessamyn Stanley on her book tour for Every Body Yoga changed my life.

Books I insist we keep in stock: Sabriel by Garth Nix, Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw, Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, and Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert.

 

Ben Groner, Bookseller

Quick description of what you do here: I help people find books they'll (hopefully) love, with particular focus on the fiction, poetry, and literary collections sections.

Favorite book as a kid: His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman.There's parallel worlds, philosophical questions, heartbreak, and action galore. Each is better than the last.

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm... writing poetry, hiking, going to Irish jams and bluegrass shows, playing tennis, or enjoying Nashville's diverse food scene!

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? La Mulita Express #2 for $1.25 tacos, or Sunflower Cafe for creative and tasty vegetarian dishes.

Favorite author event we've had: Ocean Vuong for On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. His answers to interview questions were unfailingly thoughtful, and toward the end he sang "Bright Morning Stars" so beautifully it felt like everyone was holding their breath. I'd been on the store phone behind the register, so I'm not exactly sure how that moment transpired, but it was a treat.

Books I recommend most: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson; Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges; The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury; God's Silence by Franz Wright

 

Patsy Pyle, Bookseller

Quick description of what you do here: Bookseller

Favorite book as a kid: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm … traveling, reading, cooking for friends, tending my plants, listening to music

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Anatolia and etc.

Favorite author events we've had: David Sedaris and Kwame Alexander

Books I recommend most: Bonsoir Lune by Margaret Wise Brown, When You Breathe by Diana Farid and illustrated by Billy Renkl, Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, The Book of Delights by Ross Gay, Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer, Ella Martin and Dylan Thuras, Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen

 

Sydney Bozeman, Bookseller

Quick description of what you do here: I'm a part-time bookseller!

Favorite book as a kid: The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckle

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm... studying Publishing and Design Communications at Belmont University, reading, and creating artwork.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Fido

Favorite author event we've had: Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn's concert

Book I recommend most: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
 

Jenny Murray, Bookseller

Quick description of what you do here: I am a part-time bookseller, mainly in the YA and Children's sections. 

Favorite book as a kid: I moved 13 times before the age of 13. The first Big Move was when I was eight years old-- the same year I picked up Laura Ingalls Wilder's books. Despite our very obvious differences, in my mind Laura and I were the same, riding with our families towards the next Big Adventure. Needless to say, it was then that I fell in love with reading. 

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm...  I am an English teacher, an insatiable bookworm, a rock climber, and a writer. 

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Bella Napoli. I have so much love in my heart for that place. 

Favorite author event we've had: Hannah Whitten interviewing Alix Harrow -- they reminded me of all the reasons I teach, write, and read. They felt like old friends, mainly because we were all emo kids in high school. :D

Books I recommend most: Sabriel by Garth Nix, Devotions by Mary Oliver, The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, Stellaluna by Janell Cannon, and anything by VE Schwab

 

Ashby Rushing, Bookseller

Quick description of what you do here: TALK (BOOKS)! Climb (ladders). Chase (dogs).

Favorite book as a kid: ONE BOOK! Impossible! Miss Nelson is Missing... a sweet teacher "disappears" and is replaced by a horrid one until her students learn to appreciate her.. and behave! Bread and Jam for Frances... a lesson in trying new things. Danny Champion of the World... or any book by Roald Dahl.

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm... adjusting to life without our daughter at home. Luckily, we have dogs as fill-ins. I practice hot yoga, travel, volunteer, write and READ, of course!

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Thistle Farms Cafe. Amazing food. AMAZING PEOPLE. I have learned more there than from formal education, proof that LOVE is powerful!

Favorite author event we've had: Before I worked here, I came to see Jane Mount, writer and artist who paints book spines. Her story twists and turns; I realized a straight road holds no adventures.

Books I recommend most: For adults: Nothing to See Here, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, GRAPHIC NOVELS! For kids: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Fish in a Tree, The One and Only Ivan, Moxie, GRAPHIC NOVELS

Jordan Tackett, Bookseller

Quick description of what you do here: I encourage customers to buy books! When I'm not working on the floor, I am often at the shipping office packing orders for our four subscription boxes. I also spend a lot of time petting the dogs because Marlee has deemed me her personal masseuse and she makes the rules.

Favorite book as a kid: The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm...  Reading, writing, cooking, and hanging out with my husband.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Baja Burrito is my favorite!

Favorite author event we've had: Gloria Steinem, Antoni Porowski, and Glennon Doyle.

Books I recommend most: My theory is that if it is popular, it is usually popular for a reason. I always look to the bestseller list, BookTok, and the Parnassus staff rec shelf for easy recommendations.

Hannah Kerbs, Bookseller

Quick description of what you do here: I get to play book-matchmaker by pairing people with the perfect book for their needs.

Favorite book as a kid: There were many favorites on my shelf growing up, but Olivia by Ian Falconer is definitely up there.

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm...  Reading, writing, trying out a new recipe, or spending time with friends.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Vui’s Kitchen is a delicious Vietnamese spot!

Favorite author event we've had: It’s a toss-up between Ocean Voung & Antoni Porowski... Such huge fans of both!

Books I recommend most: It's no secret the Romance section is my home away from home (see me for near-infinite recommendations on that front!), but beyond that: The One Hundred Years of Lenni & Margot by Marianne Cronin, Devotions by Mary Oliver, & The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green.

 

Ella Kuhnhenn, Bookseller

Quick description of what you do here: I sell books, mostly in the children’s and YA section.

Favorite book as a kid: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

When I'm not at Parnassus, I'm... going to school at Hume Fogg, swimming, hanging out with friends, and watching movies with my dad.

Recommend a lunch spot in Nashville? Taqueria del Sol on 12th ave. It’s kid-friendly, fun, and delicious food for a cheaper price.

Favorite author event we've had: It’s a tie between John Green for Turtles All the Way Down and Maggie Stiefvater for All the Crooked Saints. John’s was cleverly structured and hilariously educational, while Maggie’s had this weirdly magical and hilarious atmosphere (plus bagpipes!)

Books I recommend most: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers, and The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater