Michael bought Gibson’s Bookstore in 1994 and has expanded it twice to meet the needs of readers. He enjoys literary fiction, well-written commercial fiction and thrillers, and books on politics and history.
Michael's November 2019 pick
This is the best meditation on history that I’ve encountered in years. If you’ve read and pondered Hitler’s Willing Executioners, Confederates in the Attic (and Tony Horwitz’s last work, Spying on the South), In the Shadow of Statues, and other popular works, this is a deeper and more detailed dive into the true nature of racism, nationalism, and the culture of defeat, and it’s a way of applying the dark lessons of German history to our own still-divided nation. At the same time, it’s a powerful memoir. From the first sentence, you’re completely drawn in: ‘I began life as a white girl in the segregated South, and I’m likely to end it as a Jewish woman in Berlin.’ Don’t miss it.
Michael's April 2019 pick, 1 of 2
Mary Laura Philpott is a fellow bookseller at the excellent Parnassus Books in Nashville. Her memoir (in the form of a book of essays) is deeply personal, deeply moving, and at the same time very funny. It’s one of those books that introduces you to someone who could be a best friend to your ideal self. Many readers will find these essays of work, home, and the creative life to be that very welcome introduction. “I've spent my adult life prowling bookshelves for the modern-day reincarnation of my favorite authors—Nora Ephron, Erma Bombeck, Jean Kerr, and Laurie Colwin—all rolled into one...Good news: I have finally found their successor.” —Elisabeth Egan, The Washington Post
Michael's April 2019 pick, 2 of 2
One of the best science fiction novels to come out in the past 10 years--- also one of the best novels of time travel, detective work, and horror. Just out in paperback. … There are many possible versions of our future, and one of them holds the key to solving the murder of a Navy SEAL’s family--but all of them suddenly contain the Terminus--the cataclysmic end of humanity itself, looming ever closer. “Inception meets True Detective,” says the New Yorker.
Michael's June 2017 pick, 2 of 2
The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road, by Finn Murphy
This first book is an entertaining look at the life of a trucker—specifically, a long-haul mover who preferred life on the road to finishing a liberal arts degree. This is one of those books on a little-known sub-culture that you had no idea you’d find so interesting. “It seems strange that American letters has not produced a trucker-writer--until now. If you ever wonder about these American nomads, their lore, their lives crisscrossing this land, pick up this book.”--Ted Conover, author of Newjack
Michael's February 2015 pick
You know a novel is great when you discover something new and amazing every time you read it. Still has the power to shock after 55 years — one of the immortal literary achievements of the 20th century.
Cormac McCarthy, like Melville before him, investigates evil, human frailty, and fate, here in a story of death and destruction in the old west. Based (believe it or not) on a true story.
Hard to imagine a more timely book!
The best literary novel of 2020 (so far!)
The new novel from the author of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell-- painting on a smaller canvas but excellent just the same--a fantasy novel that becomes a police procedural by degrees--coming in Sept.!