I am.

I’m Jessica Bates, a writer & a human.

I’ve always been a reader. My grandpa sold books to schools and book fairs, so I grew up around books. My parents read to me a lot. When my sisters came along, I read to them, too. And then I started writing. It all felt right. I don’t remember a time where I couldn’t read or write. So naturally, I like book clubs, and I run one here in Nashville.

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I’m other stuff, too: a reader, a wife, a dog & human mother, a sister, a daughter, a yogi, a day dreamer, a night owl.

Every one of us is so complicated. What are we here for? Is this all a dream? Okay, enough of that for now….

I like Instagram. Also, I don’t like wearing shoes.

I write.

I write poetry, short stories, and longer fiction.

In May I’m releasing a book of poems & short pieces about motherhood & birth, called Birth & What Came After. It will be available online at Amazon & in local Nashville shops, including From Nashville With Love & Atmalogy.

I’m working on a novel titled Dreamsender.

I also freelance for clients, writing copy for websites, blogs, books, brochures, and social media posts. I have worked as an SEO copywriter for many years, and I enjoy helping passionate people & companies share their gifts with the world. (If you want to talk about me writing for you, contact me at jessica.bates2 @ gmail.com).

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Nashville Book Club

Nashville readers, join us at the end of May as we discuss Fledgling by Octavia Butler @ Atmalogy.


Our book club began in September 2014. We meet monthly & normally read fiction. Here’s what we’ve read so far, starting with the most recent:

  • Swing Time / Zadie Smith
  • Harry Potter Series / J.K. Rowling
  • The Feminine Mystique / Betty Friedan
  • Brown Girl Dreaming / Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Handmaid’s Tale / Margaret Atwood
  • Mother Night / Kurt Vonnegut
  • The House on Mango Street / Sandra Cisneros
  • Wild Seed / Octavia Butler
  • Stone Mattress / Margaret Atwood
  • Fates and Furies / Lauren Groff
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude / Gabriel García Márquez
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes / Ray Bradbury
  • 1Q84 / Haruki Murakami
  • Foundation / Isaac Asimov
  • Eileen / Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Parable of the Sower / Octavia Butler
  • Sula / Toni Morrison
  • Go Set A Watchman / Harper Lee
  • Island / Aldous Huxley
  • To Kill A Mockingbird / Harper Lee
  • Gilead / Marilynne Robinson
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being / Milan Kundera
  • State of Wonder / Ann Patchett
  • Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal / Christopher Moore
  • City of Thieves / David Benioff
  • In the Time of the Butterflies / Julia Alvarez
  • The Happiness Project / Gretchen Rubin
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle / Shirley Jackson
  • Mama Day / Gloria Naylor

Join our online group if you’re local, or email me at jessica . bates 2 @ gmail . com if you’d like more info.


I read.

Hi. I use this page to track the books I read each year. I use Goodreads, too, sometimes, when I remember.

2017
Swing Time / Zadie Smith
Salt / Nayyirah Waheed
Oryx and Crake / Margaret Atwood (re-read)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them / J.K. Rowling
Practical Magic / Alice Hoffman
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows / J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince / J.K. Rowling
The Feminine Mystique / Betty Friedan
Tracks / Louise Erdrich
Brown Girl Dreaming / Jacqueline Woodson

2016
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / J.K. Rowling
The Strange Library / Haruki Murakami
An Untamed State / Roxane Gay
The Handmaid’s Tale / Margaret Atwood (3rd read)
Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth / Warsan Shire
Number the Stars / Lois Lowry
Mother Night / Kurt Vonnegut
The House on Mango Street / Sandra Cisneros
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire / J.K. Rowling
The Heart Goes Last / Margaret Atwood
Wild Seed / Octavia Butler
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / J.K. Rowling
Macbeth / Gareth Hinds graphic novel
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / J.K. Rowling
Stone Mattress / Margaret Atwood
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear / Elizabeth Gilbert
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone / J.K. Rowling
Home / Toni Morrison
Fates and Furies / Lauren Groff
You Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down / Alice Walker
Shanghai Girls / Lisa See
One Hundred Years of Solitude / Gabriel García Márquez (re-read)
Sputnik Sweetheart / Haruki Murakami
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running / Haruki Murakami
Station Eleven / Emily St. John Mandel
The Thing Around Your Neck / Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The New and Improved Romie Futch / Julia Elliott
Something Wicked This Way Comes / Ray Bradbury (re-read)
The Story Sisters / Alice Hoffman
1Q84 / Haruki Murakami
Foundation / Isaac Asimov

2015
Black Boy / Richard Wright
Eileen / Ottessa Moshfegh
Parable of the Sower / Octavia Butler
Sula / Toni Morrison (re-read)
Go Set A Watchman / Harper Lee
Island / Aldous Huxley
To Kill A Mockingbird / Harper Lee (re-read)
State of Wonder / Ann Patchett
Something Like the Desert / Kristen Hedges
The Painter / Peter Heller
The Unbearable Lightness of Being / Milan Kundera
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage / Haruki Murakami
City of Thieves / David Benioff
Itsy Bitsy Yoga / Helen Garabedian
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal / Christopher Moore
Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Society / Thich Nhat Hanh

2014
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories / B. J. Novak
The Happiness Project / Gretchen Rubin
The Hollow Man / Oliver Harris
Hustle / David Tomas Martinez
Coraline / Neil Gaiman
We Have Always Lived in the Castle / Shirley Jackson (re-read) // thoughts
The Optimist’s Daughter / Eudora Welty
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth / Ina May Gaskin
Sula / Toni Morrison
Childhood’s End / Arthur C. Clarke
Mama Day / Gloria Naylor
Inferno / Dan Brown
Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation / Pam England and Rob Horowitz
The BFG / Roald Dahl
The Goldfinch / Donna Tartt // my thoughts
Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World / Michael Hyatt
Bossypants / Tina Fey
Cloud Atlas / David Mitchell
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves / Karen Joy Fowler
The Twenty-Seventh City / Jonathan Franzen // my thoughts
Slouching Towards Bethlehem / Joan Didion
A Doll’s House / Henrik Ibsen
The Bluest Eye / Toni Morrison
Stardust / Neil Gaiman
Radio Free Albemuth / Philip K. Dick
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban / Malala Yousafzai // my thoughts
The Dead and the Living / Sharon Olds
Dorothy Parker Stories / Dorothy Parker
The Martian Chronicles / Ray Bradbury
The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity / Julia Cameron

2013
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It / Michael E. Gerber
Gated / Amy Christine Parker
A Holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth / Deepak Chopra
A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning / Lemony Snicket
Gathering Blue / Lois Lowry
The Giver / Lois Lowry
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater / Kurt Vonnegut
The Dog Stars / Peter Heller
And The Mountains Echoed / Khaled Hosseini
Bird by Bird / Anne Lamott
Looking for Alaska / John Green
Maddaddam / Margaret Atwood
As I Lay Dying / William Faulkner (re-read)
Yoga Body, Buddha Mind / Cyndi Lee
Their Eyes Were Watching God / Zora Neale Hurston (re-read)
A Wind in the Door / Madeleine L’Engle
July, July / Tim O’Brien
Beasts of the Southern Wild and Other Stories / Doris Betts
Gossamer / Lois Lowry
The Almost Moon / Alice Sebold
Cat’s Cradle / Kurt Vonnegut
The Eternal Husband / Fyodor Dostoevsky
What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank / Nathan Englander
Kindred / Octavia E. Butler
Fantastic Mr. Fox / Roald Dahl
Remnant / Cary Graham
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self / Danielle Evans
Everyman / Philip Roth
Beloved / Toni Morrison
The Marriage Plot / Jeffrey Eugenidies
On Writing / Stephen King
The Call of the Wild / Jack London

2012
Spark / Courtney Elizabeth Mauk
Carrie / Stephen King
The Virgin Suicides / Jeffrey Eugenides
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator / Roald Dahl
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle / Haruki Murakami
The Color Purple / Alice Walker
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory / Roald Dahl
In Our Time / Ernest Hemingway
Zen in the Art of Writing / Ray Bradbury
The Year of the Flood / Margaret Atwood
The Witches / Roald Dahl
James and the Giant Peach / Roald Dahl
The Family Fang / Kevin Wilson
Room / Emma Donoghue
The Haunting of Hill House / Shirley Jackson
Something Wicked This Way Comes / Ray Bradbury
Slaughterhouse-Five / Kurt Vonnegut
The War of the Worlds / H.G. Wells
A Wrinkle in Time / Madeleine L’Engle
Pope Joan / Donna Woolfolk Cross
The Night Circus / Erin Morgenstern
Kafka on the Shore / Haruki Murakami
Like Water for Chocolate / Laura Esquivel
The Golden Compass / Philip Pullman (re-read)
The Handmaid’s Tale / Margaret Atwood (re-read)
Animal Farm / George Orwell (re-read)

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Atmalogy Book Club: The Handmaid’s Tale

December 2016: We read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I’ve read this book at least two times prior to this. I was itching to read it again, and certainly itching to talk about it. It still a timely story in our political climate. Some books speak prophecy in that way, like Parable of the Sower and 1984. Another reason Handmaid …