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A Conversation with Jennifer Puryear

Jennifer is the blogger and creator behind Bacon on the Bookshelf, an online portal for current book reviews and poetry. Her reviews can also be found at Style Blueprint and NFocus magazines. She hosted a recent book event for Physical Disobedience this month and pulled together a politically and racially diverse group of women that led to a powerful and inspiring conversation about what we have in common and the important places our experiences diverge.

While I tend to rage, she tends to worry. But our girlfriends, our dogs, walks, books, and lifting weights keep us both grounded. I was so pleased to meet her and her beloved friends!

If you could have any three, living women over for dinner, who would they be and why?

Three close girlfriends, always!! My girlfriends sustain me - and I hope I sustain them. I love reading interviews with J.K. Rowling but don't actually need to meet her. Same with Anne Lamott - I enjoy many of her cranky Christian books and Facebook posts, infused with radical love and empathy, but her words are enough for me. Here in Nashville, I'm awfully impressed with the extraordinary businesswoman and philanthropist Martha Ingram and feel lucky to have dinner with her occasionally.

What are a few things that currently infuriate you?

I try not to get infuriated, but I do worry a lot. I worry a lot about my family right now.

And a few that inspire you?

Many people are walking around with heavy burdens on their hearts. Especially women. I am inspired by the women I know who face difficult personal circumstances with courage. Courage that sometimes flags or fails! But then is found again. My sister especially comes to mind.

When anger or frustration builds, do you feel it in your body? If so, how or where?

I don't tend to get angry so much any more. Not the way I used to when I was younger. I tend to feel more - exhausted.

How do you relieve those symptoms? What are your fail-safe, behavioral release valves?

A walk in the park. A hot shower. Reading in the bathtub. Weight training.

What kind of exercise, alternative therapy, or play have you always wanted to try but never got around to it?


Describe something beautiful (or beautifully disobedient) that you saw recently.

My dog Pepper walking on the beach over Thanksgiving break. It was cool and cloudy out with a high wind that seemed to invigorate her. There were so many interesting things to smell! She really knows how to live in the moment and appreciate the many wonders of the world.

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