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Nashville Reads Makes Spring 2015 Selection

Humanities Tennessee is pleased to partner with other local organizations to present the 2015 Nashville Reads program, featuring Between Shades of Gray by Nashville author Ruta Sepetys.


Nashville Reads is a partnership among the Office of Mayor Karl Dean, Nashville Public Library, Parnassus Books, and Humanities Tennessee. The series was founded in 2012. The annual program offers a several-weeks period in which public events and discussions are held across town to bring the community together in conversation about one book. The Nashville Reads selection is always by a living author who commits to at least one event in Nashville as part of the program.


The 2015 selection is the first Young Adult book chosen. The book is based upon real stories from Ruta's family experiences as Lithuanians. Sepetys was born and raised in Michigan and is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee. Between Shades of Gray was her first novel. The nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia disappeared from maps in 1941 and did not reappear until 1990. As this is a story seldom told, Ruta wanted to give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives during Stalin’s cleansing of the Baltic region. Ruta lives with her husband in Tennessee. You can read more about Sepetys and watch a brief intro video for this program here:


Events will kick off on March 12th and culminate with a public presentation by Sepetys on Tuesday, May 12th at 6:15 pm at the Nashville Public Library, 615 Church Street.


"Ruta Sepetys' story is the ideal one for Nashville to share at this time, reminding people from all backgrounds of the importance of family, cultural heritage, and art in our lives. We're tremendously proud to be part of this program, which brings people from across the community together to share their stories through great books," said Tim Henderson, executive director of Humanities Tennessee.


For reading guides, information on registering your book club, and a list of public programs to be offered, please visit