Fall 2021 Read This Next!

A seasonal list of the favorite books of Southern indie booksellers, for your reading pleasure!
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Read This Next!

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

“I was twelve years old when those shadows started to form a shape, a face. Started to become less of an apparition and more concrete. More real. When I began to realize that maybe the monsters lived among us.”In the deep South, Chloe Davis is a therapist with a secret. Her father is in jail for the murder of multiple young girls who disappeared from her rural town when she was only a child. But now it is happening again and this time it seems the girls have connections to Chloe herself. But can Chloe find the truth and stop the killer, even if they are someone close to her?Stacy Willingham’s A Flicker in the Dark is a solid debut thriller, full of the thick humidity of Southern summers spent running through the woods. Readers will race to the end to find who is at fault and may discover that no one can be trusted.

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham, (List Price: $27.99, Minotaur Books, 9781250803825, January 2022)

Reviewed by Faith Parke-Dodge, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina


Lost & Found by Kathryn Schulz

An exquisite view into the inextricable relationship among love, grief, and hope, Kathryn Schulz’s Lost & Found is a masterpiece. It’s been a while since I’ve underlined so many sentences and created marginalia—from page one, it felt as if I myself was part of Schulz’s story. Her metaphors are spot-on and stunning; her fondness for research and etymology manage to deepen our relationship to the work instead of distancing us. Five stars. I’ve already created a mile-long list of loved ones who will, like me, treasure this memoir.

Lost & Found by Kathryn Schulz, (List Price: 27, Random House, 9780525512462, January 2022)

Reviewed by Janet Geddis, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia


How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

When I started reading Sequoia Nagamatsu’s How High We Go in the Dark, I would have hesitated to call it hopeful, but now I think that’s a perfect description. This novel reads like a series of connected short stories, and part of the joy of this book is finding the threads that connect these characters. Each chapter centers on people struggling through their own slice of a world steeped in death and damaged by plague and floods. But by the time I got to the end of this novel, I felt hope that we can get through calamity; there are possibilities, and there is hope.

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu, (List Price: $27.99, William Morrow, 9780063072640, January 2022)

Elizabeth Hardin, The Snail on the Wall in Huntsville, Alabama


Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds, Jason Griffin (Illustrator)

A beautiful and unconventional book capturing what the year 2020 felt like to the youngest child of a fictional Black American family, told in three long sentences and a notebook’s worth of art. Haunting and gorgeous, the unnamed narrator’s observations speak powerfully to a wide range of emotions, from the despair felt watching the world crumble and seeing the country’s betrayal of its Black citizens, to the balm that family connections can provide in the darkest times.

Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds, Jason Griffin (Illustrator) (List Price: $19.99, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781534439467, January 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Maid by Nita Prose

The Maid is a cozy mystery the way cozies should be written. It is beautifully written, extremely entertaining, has a great mystery, twists you don’t see coming and most of all one of the most endearing and interesting characters you will ever meet. Molly Gray is on the autism spectrum. She does not react to people and circumstances like normal people do because she doesn’t understand their facial expressions and their emotions. But her Gran has taught her over the years to be honest, to be a hard worker and to be very, very polite. Molly is a maid in a luxury hotel. A job she loves and is very, very good at because she loves order, and neatness, and routine. When she finds a dead body in one of her rooms it is not surprising that the police keep thinking that she is hiding something because, while always answering truthfully, she takes things very literally. It is also not surprising when she is eventually arrested for the murder. What is surprising is everything else that happens. I normally like more thriller type books but this was one of the most delightful books I have read in ages and the mystery was top notch.

The Maid by Nita Prose, (List Price: $27.00, Ballantine Books, 9780593356159, January 2022)

Reviewed by Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

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