Nashville Thought-Readers

An exclusive look at the books fueling Nashville leaders.

Lucia Folk

VP, Public Affairs, CMT

Geek Love: A Novel

by Katherine Dunn

Read time* 7 hr. 36 min. | 368 pg.

Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out–with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes–to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. [Read more]

This may be the most bizarre book I’ve ever read, but it’s always the first one I think of when people ask me for a recommendation. It’s about a family of carnys. That’s all I’ll say—read it to see how captivating it is.

One of my favorite books from middle school because it was one of the first suspenseful mysteries I ever read. I couldn’t put it down. It’s still great reading as an adult.

The Westing Game

by Ellen Raskin

Read time* 3 hr. 58 min. | 192 pg.

A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger—and a possible murderer—to inherit his vast fortune, one thing’s for sure: Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game! [Read more]

Middlesex: A Novel

by Jeffrey Eugenides

Read time* 11 hr. 14 min. | 544 pg.

So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. [Read more]

This is such a beautifully written book about Cal, who is struggling with how to navigate the world while dealing with a big family secret that spans three generations.

This is told through the eyes of by Wally Lamb Dominick, whose identical twin brother, Thomas, is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. It’s a compelling story highlighting the difficulties of managing severe mental illness-not only for the person with the illness, but also for their family members and caretakers.

I Know This Much is True

by Wally Lamb

Read time* 19 hr. 10 min. | 928 pg.

On the afternoon of October 12, 1990, Dominick’s twin brother, Thomas, entered the Three Rivers, Connecticut, public library, retreated to one of the rear study carrels, and prayed to God the sacrifice he was about to commit would be deemed acceptable … [Read more]

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

by Jon Krakauer

Read time* 8 hr. 55 min. | 432 pg.

At the core of Krakauer’s book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. [Read more]

For some reason, I have always been fascinated by extreme religious beliefs, exploring their origin and trying to understand why people are drawn into them. In this case, Krakauer does an incredible job detailing the history of fundamentalist Mormons.

*Read time estimate based on 250 wpm

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