Main Street Reads

Free at Last by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle

Such an important message, beautifully told in Free at Last, A Juneteenth Poem. I hope this picture book depicting such an important part of our history is shared widely in homes and schools.

Free at Last by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, (List Price: $17.99, Union Square Kids, 9781454943747, June 2022)

Reviewed by Jessica Nock from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC

The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson

Whether as a stand-alone read or for already die-hard fans of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, The Book Woman’s Daughter delivers! Honey, the original book woman’s daughter, must struggle to stay free against what seem often insurmountable odds against her: from being a “blue” to being fifteen, and unfortunately perhaps most, for being female in a time and place where women were considered property. Amidst loss and persecution, she must forge a path for hersef through the dense woods of Kentucky’s Appalachia Kentucky. Beautiful, evocative, and full of adventure, this book also shines a light on the gifts of friendship, no matter the appearance of the package. I loved this book every bit as much as Troublesome Creek, and look forward to sharing it with eager readers, just as Honey shares her love of books with her reading community… another fine work by Kim Michele Richardson!

The Book Woman’s Daughter by Kim Michele Richardson, (List Price: $26.99, Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781728252995,  May 2022)

Reviewed by Shari Stauch, Main Street Reads in Summerville, South Carolina

Book of Night by Holly Black

Holly Black has returned with a darkly enthralling new world where shadows are more than just a trick of the light, and magicians are the thing that go bump in the night. With everything from a kick-ass female lead, grand heists and blood magic, this is an urban fantasy that comes with a bite and leaves with a door slam to the face. I can’t wait to see where Black takes the rest of the series. Readers with a taste for the macabre won’t be able to put this one down. Black’s foray into adult fiction feels like a breath of fresh air for the modern fantasy reader, with a dash of dark academia and a new magic system that begs us to ask the question: what really is a human soul?

Book of Night by Holly Black, (List Price: $27.99, Tor Books, 9781250812193,  May 2022)

Reviewed by Emma June Wood, Main Street Reads in Summerville, South Carolina

You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen

Filled with a neat balance of relatable humor and serious topics, You Truly Assumed is a memorable coming-of-age novel that touches on the struggles of three black, Muslim young women and their fight to create a safe space and a voice to be heard for people just like them. You Truly Assumed is the perfect novel for teens or young adults who feel they don’t have a voice in the face of prejudice and fear, as it features funny, relatable characters and the raw effects of real events.

You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen, (List Price: $18.99, Inkyard Press, 9781335418654,  February 2022)

Reviewed by Makayla Summers, Main Street Reads in Summerville, South Carolina

Mercy Street by Jennifer Haigh

Mercy Street is a jarring look at the America of today, from the perspective of a dooms-day prepper with a knack for stalking women, an abortion clinic counselor who is exhausted with people asking her “how can you do that?”, and a drug dealer who wants out of the game once and for all. It is a crockpot of the alternating perspectives in our country, combined with phenomenal writing and distinctive character voices. Haigh has accomplished a piece of work that not only highlights the abortion debate, but even larger themes of identity, radicalism, and just how far kindness can be pushed before breaking. This novel will take you into places many of us have never gone, and unfortunately is the reality for just as many. Regardless of which side of the debate you’re on, this is a read that’ll be on your mind long after it’s been finished.

Mercy Street by Jennifer Haigh, (List Price: $27.99, Ecco, 9780061763304,  February 2022)

Reviewed by Emma June Wood, Main Street Reads in Summerville, South Carolina

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

What would you do if you lost something you loved so much, it felt like an inextricable part of your being? This is the predicament Ray Mcmillian finds himself in after his beloved violin inexplicably disappears from his hotel room in New York. The mystery of the missing fiddle creates an international frenzy as everyone wants to know: who stole the violin, and where is it now? For Ray, though, this is about more than just a stolen instrument. This is about his livelihood, and the adversity he had to face to become one of the most renowned violinists in the country. While the theft is the backbone of the novel, moving the story forward, this is truly a story about what a young black man was forced to endure to be allowed to harness his gift. I have never read another book that could so expertly bring attention to the beauty of a subject while also showing the dark underbelly of the racism that runs rampant underneath. Whether it be a violin solo, an unjustified police search, or just a brunch with a loved one, I found Ray’s life to be richly detailed and an important window into the realities of black musicians in the classical music sector today. If you want a contemporary fiction read with themes of social justice, mystery, and unforgettably the power of music, pick up this debut.

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb, (List Price: $28, Anchor, 9780593315415,  February 2022)

Reviewed by Emma June Wood, Main Street Reads in Summerville, South Carolina

Younger You by Kara N. Fitzgerald

This book is chock full of those “ah-ha” moments – sensible and happily now science-based vs. just rationalizations and theory. Ultimately, just with food (fuel) and moving a little, we don’t have to be fatalistic about “oh, mom and dad had this so no way out…” It’s useful research, coupled with detailed explanation, super useful diet chart suggestions to reduce your biological age, and happily for the wanna-be cooks among us, recipes to go along with. Put it this way – a useful roadmap to find your way back from aging and I’m headed to the grocery store now!

Younger You by Kara N. Fitzgerald, (List Price: $30, Hachette Go, 9780306924835,  January 2022)

Reviewed by Shari Stauch, Main Street Reads in Summerville, South Carolina

A Mariner’s Tale by Joe Palmer

From the publisher who introduced us to JC Sassser’s Gradle Bird and Rebecca Dwight Bruff’s Trouble the Water, this is another evocative Southern tale, set on the Florida coast. Lauded by other Southern gems including Cassandra King Conroy and Nicole Seitz, I was obviously intrigued, and journalist-turned-debut-novelist Joe Palmer delivers. Love the interaction between a crotchety old sailor and the crime-bound kid he takes under his wing. In a world often gone mad, this book was a great reminder that among storms and strife there is genuine humanity.

A Mariner’s Tale by Joe Palmer (List Price: $17.99, Koehler Books, 9781646631452, 10/25/2020)

Reviewed by Shari Stauch, Main Street Reads in Summerville, South Carolina

Animals by Will Staples

Riveting! This eco-thriller is made all the more terrifying by the research behind the work and just how much of the narrative is based in fact. He sought counsel from the likes of Jane Goodall and Leonardo DiCaprio and feels like this could be the next Blood Diamond, following how animal poaching and trafficking is a global practice, and a bigger global threat.

The book features an extensive cast of characters including an Asian police officer, a South African militant and anti-poacher, an exotic animal insurance agent and a CIA operative looking for a terrorist connection. They each are forced to juggle their self interests against those of the animals they’re meant to protect, from rhinos and elephants to tigers and more.

Animals by Will Staples (List Price: $27.99, Blackstone Publishing, 9781094065885, 3/30/2021)

Reviewed by Shari Stauch, Main Street Reads in Summerville, South Carolina

Mary Jane: A Novel by Jessica Anya Blau

Calling Mary Jane a coming of age novel would be a vast understatement. It is the summer of 1975, and 14-year-old Mary Jane has the opportunity to nanny for the little girl of a family completely the opposite of her own family. Where her family is quiet and orderly, the Cone family is loud and chaotic. At home she learns Black and Jewish folks need to “know their place” in their upper class Baltimore neighborhood, while through the eyes of the Cone family everyone is equal and no judgments are passed. Not only is this a beautiful novel about a young girl realizing her place in the world and finding out who she is, it is an amazingly fun ‘70s music throwback with lyrics on almost every page.

Mary Jane: A Novel by Jessica Anya Blau (List Price: $27.99, Custom House, 9780063052291, 5/11/2021)

Reviewed by Ashley Bohinc, Main Street Reads in Summerville, South Carolina

Illicit Intent by Debbie Baldwin

I read for the Valentine’s Day potential and wow, what an elevated experience! Well drawn characters combine with an impossibly intricate plot to keep you turning pages. And it’s got it all, hot romance, an art heist based on a true crime mystery, high finance, murder, hidden identities. This is the second in a series and I’m looking forward to more in the Bishop Security series; I can see where minor but intriguing characters will no doubt be brought to the foreground in future installments.

Illicit Intent by Debbie Baldwin (List Price: $27.99, Gatekeeper Press, 9781662908781, 1/1/21)

Reviewed by Shari Stauch, Main Street Reads in Summerville, SC

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

With modern and 18th century London as the setting for this book, a conflicted woman who finds a mysterious bottle becomes obsessed with discovering its origins, leading her to a 1700s female apothecary who helps other women of the dark time “dispense” of bad men. Incredibly atmospheric, I didn’t want to climb out of this one. A dark yet hopeful portrait of female fears and female empowerment both then and now.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner (List Price: $27.99, Park Row, 9780778311010, March 2021)

Reviewed by Shari Stauch, Main Street Reads, in Summerville, South Carolina

Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff

An absolute pleasure to read! Fish and Bread are so lovable. The way they feel like the very embodiment of childhood makes you want to be them; the grief and sorrow they experience makes you want to hug them. The writing brings you right into this small town of Claypot, Wisconsin and you instantly fall in love with these troubled characters. Lose yourself in the isolated woods with these boys and run away with them on this adventure. This book is like a cool, stormy night spent curled up in a warm bed.

Find You First by Linwood Barclay (List Price: $27.99, William Morrow, 9780063031906, April 2021)

Reviewed by Hannah Rose Summers, Main Street Reads, in Summerville, South Carolina

Find You First by Linwood Barclay

Barclay takes what happens when someone with more money than he knows what to do with doesn’t need it anymore, and turns it into a twisty thriller with a new shock at every page turn. I couldn’t put it down.

Find You First by Linwood Barclay (List Price: $27.99, William Morrow, 9780062678317, April 2021)

Reviewed by Ashley Bohinc, Main Street Reads, in Summerville, South Carolina

Scroll to Top