The SBR Newsletter

The Southern Bookseller Review 11/30/21

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of November 23, 2021

View this email online. | unsubscribe | SBR Archive | SUBSCRIBE TO SBR

facebook  twitter  instagram 
ad
ad

sbr logo

November 30, 2021

#ReadingAfrica

December 5-11 is Reading Africa Week — a literary event started five years ago by a small publisher, Catalyst Press, which has taken off and is now celebrated by bookstores, libraries, literary organizations, and publishers on all the continents. The goal is to celebrate African literature of all kinds, so readers are encouraged to use the #ReadingAfrica and #ReadingAfricaWeek hashtags when they post to social media about the books they are reading.

Some recommendations from Southern Booksellers:

The Old Drift

The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell

I get way too excited about this book, turn into the Micro Machines Man suffering hiccups. I don’t know where to start, so I open seven sentences all at once. Lacking Namwali Serpell’s skills to gracefully braid them into a concise (yet carnival-ride-bumpy) narrative, I just sound like a maniac. t’s all over the right place at all over the right time. I loved it.- Ian McCord from Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA

Aftershocks

Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu

Nadia Owusu was born to a Ghanaian father and an Armenian-American mother who abandoned her when she was two. Growing up in parts of Africa as well as Europe before moving to the United States, she has spent much of her life feeling without a mother, home, nationality or racial identity only to be overwhelmed by the abundance of these things she possesses at other times. Part memoir and part cultural history, Owusu has crafted an incredibly powerful force of a book – Carl Kranz, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory


Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

O Beautiful by Jung Yun

BUY THIS BOOK!

O Beautiful by Jung Yun
St. Martin’s Press / November 2021


More Reviews from Avid Bookshop

This beautiful character-driven book set in the American Midwest covers many contemporary topics like racism, fracking, sexual harassment, and the immigrant experience. I loved the messy protagonist Elinor Hanson, a Korean American who grew up in South Dakota. A former model with a new career later in life as a journalist, Elinor has baggage that needs unpacking so badly her clothes are spilling out of her metaphorical suitcase at a rapid pace. Korean American author Jung Yun has written a fantastic novel in O Beautiful that surprised me over and over, especially by book’s end.

Reviewed by Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia



Bookseller Buzz

ad

Spotlight on: Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan

 

Helene Tursten

Where do you get your ideas? Where do ideas come from?

When Patti Callahan was asked to describe her new novel Once Upon a Wardrobe in a sentence she answered "Where did Narnia come from?"

"Where do get your ideas" is, as she readily admits, the most common question any writer has ever received about the book they have written.

"it’s an unanswerable question," Callahan admits, "It’s mysterious. A little bit numinous. A little bit out of my control. We come up with answers…but you can’t ever fully say."

It was, nevertheless, a question that came up for Callahan herself when she was researching her novel on C.S, Lewis’s wife, Becoming Mrs. Lewis. She saw clues, "breadcrumbs" of things in Lewis’s life that hinted at what would become Narnia. "Where did Narnia come from?" became a question she was always asking at the back of her mind. Rather than come up with a list of reasons, "I thought," she said, "it would be more interesting to answer that question as a story."


Once Upon a Wardrobe

What booksellers are saying about Once Upon a Wardrobe

  • I have eagerly been awaiting for this story as I am a fan of all things C.S. Lewis related! Callahan does not disappoint. She has chosen a unique perspective on the life of Lewis by weaving the yearnings of a small boy, George, who desperately wanted to know where Narnia came from into a deep connection that he comes to have with Lewis through his sister, Megs. Wonderfully charming and insightful! ― Stephanie Crowe from Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL
    Buy from Page & Palette

  • “The way stories change us can’t be explained. It can only be felt like love.” Patti Callahan in Once Upon a Wardrobe has written a story that has so many quotes that I wanted to keep forever with me. This book is a treasure that you can keep in your life forever. ― Nancy Pierce from Bookmiser, Inc. in Marietta, GA
    Buy from Bookmiser

  • This unfolding tale of how C.S. Lewis penned one of his best known works is spellbinding. I cannot remember the last time a book made me cry, but Patty Callahan created Megs and George who reached in and melted my heart.  ― Jackie Willey from Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC
    Buy from Fiction Addiction

  • Patti is a wonder, and her enduring relationship with the life and loves of CS Lewis delves deep into the heart of what it means to be a passionate reader. This is a novel about a practical young woman bound to find the story behind the story of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to fulfill her dying brother’s last wish. What a beautiful book!  ― Ashley Warlick from M Judson, Booksellers in Greenville, SC
    Buy from M. Judson

About Patti Callahan

Patti Callahan is the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Globe and Mail bestselling novelist of fifteen novels, including Becoming Mrs. Lewis and Surviving Savannah, out now, and Once Upon a Wardrobe, out October 19, 2021. A recipient of the Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year, the Christy Book of the Year, and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year, Patti is the cofounder and cohost of the popular web series and podcast Friends & Fiction. Follow her at www.patticallahanhenry.com.

ad
My Body by Emily Ratajkowski

BUY THIS BOOK!

My Body by Emily Ratajkowski
Metropolitan Books / November 2021


More Reviews from Oxford Exchange

As a society, we have become wired to see women – especially those in the spotlight – as objects to use to our satisfaction to the point that it is difficult for women to see how we are being used. Emily Ratajkowski has experienced this time and time again as a model and actress – used for her body and being made to feel as though she does not own herself. Throughout these stories, readers are shown how Emily Ratajkowski was and still is treated. This book feels like catching up with an old friend and letting it all out. Ratajkowski discusses important topics that will force you to restructure the way you think of the women who “entertain” you.

Reviewed by Stephanie Carrion, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida



American Christmas Stories by Connie Willis

BUY THIS BOOK!

American Christmas Stories by Connie Willis
Library of America / October 2021


More Reviews from Fountain Bookstore

So grateful for this collection of 70 diverse and extraordinary stories from our friends at Library of America and editor Connie Willis. This collection features voices from across the American experience an centuries and contains stories of mystery, horror, western, inspirational, fantasy, humor, and more! This would make a great gift and is long overdue. Shirley Jackson and Jack London, Amy Tan and Ray Bradbury, Mark Twain and Nalo Hopkinson. Very excited to put this into the hands of those who celebrate.

Reviewed by Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Another Kind by Trevor Bream,

BUY THIS BOOK!

Another Kind by Trevor Bream,
HarperAlley / October 2021


More Reviews from Story on the Square

Trevor Bream and Cait May deliver an absolutely delightful story with Another Kind. This novel follows the adventures of six cryptid kids who are trying to find their way to a place they can be their selves and call home. I fell in love with these kids and I was rooting for them every step of the way! The art is beautiful and I cannot wait to order this for the story with its wide release. Not only do we have a beautifully diverse cast, we also have some nonbinary representation with one of the kids realizing that is what they are. Handled delicately and honestly without it taking away from the focus of the story, there’s plenty of moments like this that will charm any reader.

Reviewed by Katlin Kerrison, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia

Passport by Sophia Glock

BUY THIS BOOK!

Passport by Sophia Glock
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / November 2021


More Reviews from Bookmarks

As though growing up wasn’t tough enough on its own. Let’s add a sink-or-swim Spanish immersion school that you transfer to years after your classmates start learning Spanish, even if your parents yank you out after their great experiment (you) fails. Add constantly moving house from country to country, AND your parents don’t even tell you what it is they do (because it’s <redacted>). This memoir told in graphic novel is for young people looking for their people, trying to avoid the watchful eye of their parents, and trying to (depending on the sibs) live up to or escape the shadow of the older sibs. Oh and maybe get a first kiss out of the deal. The art conveys much depth to an already affecting story, particularly in the opening chapters where the sense of place is established.

Reviewed by Lisa Yee Swope, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Ian Miller

BUY THIS BOOK!

The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Ian Miller
Little, Brown and Company / October 2021


More Reviews from Parnassus Books

A Fall 2021 Read This Next! Title

I don’t know that I’ve ever come across a book more satisfying to my inner-misanthrope than The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven. Anyone who constantly longs for quiet, feels prickly in an overcrowded space, loves the idea of unfettered alone time: this book is for you. Set in the early twentieth century, The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven follows a man who literally goes to the edge of the earth and settles in the Arctic with a loyal dog as his only companion. Nathaniel Ian Miller has written a novel that, in showing us extreme isolation, reminds us how vital our bonds to this world are. I adored it.

Reviewed by Lindsay Lynch, Parnassus Books in Nashville, North Carolina

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

The Sentence The 1619 Project A Thousand Ships
How to Forage for Mushrooms The Smart Cookie

[ See the full list ]

sbr shelf

Parting Thought

“The way stories change us can’t be explained. It can only be felt like love.”
– Patti Callahan

Publisher: The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance / siba@sibaweb.com
Editor: Nicki Leone / nicki@sibaweb.com
Advertising: Linda-Marie Barrett / lindamarie@sibaweb.com
The Southern Bookseller Review is a project of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, in support of independent bookstores in the South | SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805

SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805
You have received this email because you are currently subscribed to receive The Southern Bookseller Review. Please click @@unsubscribe_url@@ if you no longer wish to receive these communications.

 

The Southern Bookseller Review 11/23/21

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of November 23, 2021

View this email online. | unsubscribe | SBR Archive | SUBSCRIBE TO SBR

facebook  twitter  instagram 
ad
ad

sbr logo

November 23, 2021

The National Book Awards: Bookseller Perspectives

November for most people is a time of leaves turning color, of family gatherings, arguments about stuffing, and the sound cranberry sauce makes when it slides out of its can with a shlorp! to land, jiggling, on a serving plate.

It is also, for people in the book industry, the month the National Book Foundation announces the winners of the National Book Awards. Here’s what Southern booksellers thought about some of the finalists and winners:

Hell of a Book

Hell of a Book by Jason Mott: Fiction Winner

Mott’s latest is no joke. Charlie Kauffman-esque in its surrealism that devolves into almost fever dream with the most unreliable narrator I’ve ever read. Fantastic writing, and meaning, and it should be read by the masses. "Memory and death are countries that know no geography." – Amber Brown from Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC

Cloud Cuckoo Land

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr: Fiction Finalist

Whether you come to this book for the author, the cover, or the reviews, you will stay for the beautiful storytelling as Anthony Doerr weaves together the stories of three very different time periods and characters. The character development is nothing short of genius, and the story is full of history, heart, and heroism! – Mary Patterson from The Little Bookshop in Midlothian, VA

Matrix

Matrix by Lauren Groff: Fiction Finalist

Medieval lesbian nuns — need I say more?! But seriously, this novel is about Marie of France (described very similar to the Brienne of Tarth), her relationship with Eleanor of Aquitaine (AKA one of the most badass queens of history), and her journey of coming into her own power. If you’re looking for a book in which women take power in a world where that’s not easily done, this is the novel for you. –Christine Schwarz from Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, NC

Zorrie

Zorrie by Laird Hunt: Fiction Finalist

I was completely enamored with this incredibly moving novel. Zorrie like its main character, is full of heart. In under 200 pages, Hunt masterfully portrays her and her world with a deep and resounding richness which reflects the power and beauty of our own humanity. – Cody Morrison from Square Books in Oxford, MS

When We Cease to Understand the World

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut, trans. by Adrian Nathan West: Translated Literature Finalist

In this fascinating blend of essay and fiction, Labatut explores the nature of scientific discovery and the consequences of coming face to face with what we cannot understand. While there was quite a bit that I didn’t understand (quantum mechanics!!) I was fascinated and transfixed. Labatut’s prose is mesmerizing and I cannot wait to see what he does next – Gaël LeLamer from Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL

A Little Devil in America

A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib: Nonfiction Finalist

Anything new by Hanif Abdurraqib is something to celebrate. He’s quickly become one of my favorite writers. This book, which highlights some of the many, many black performers in American history, is my favorite so far. It made me laugh, it made me angry, it made me think, and it made me look up old clips from Soul Train on YouTube. – Chelsea Bauer from union ave books in knoxville, TN

Last Night in the Telegraph Club

Last Night in the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo: Young People’s Literature Winner

Lily Hu and Kath Miller are gorgeously rendered against the glittering backdrop of San Francisco, escaping into the night for The Telegraph Club where they find themselves staring down a sort of freedom that they know they cannot leave behind. From the very first page, this is a novel that feels so incredibly full and rich with historical details and simmers with yearning and tension— I simply could not put it down. – Cristina Russell from Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory


Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

Heard It in a Love Song by Tracey Garvis Graves

BUY THIS BOOK!

Heard It in a Love Song by Tracey Garvis Graves
St. Martin’s Press / October 2021


More Reviews from Fiction Addiction

I really enjoyed The Girl He Used To Know, so reading this book was an easy decision. Layla and Josh are both adjusting to life as singles rather than couples. They ended up single due to very different circumstances, it’s hard not to understand growing apart when you married as a teen. Layla does not have that situation and is torn over her divorce, but more anguished about her marriage and how she was diminished. Josh has no idea how to be single and the online dating scene is portrayed in frightening detail. As they emerge from the turmoil of separation the evolution as individuals and a couple is charming, poignant and entertaining.

Reviewed by Jackie Willey, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina



Bookseller Buzz

ad

Spotlight on: An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed by Helene Tursten

 

Helene Tursten

There are many reasons a crime writer with a successful series might leave their main character behind and launch themselves into something new. The Swedish author Helene Tursten had a long series of successful books behind her featuring her well-liked, married-with-two-kids detective Irene Huss when she decided to write about a completely different character, the absolutely not-married-and-no-plans-to-be Embla Nyström. "After 10 books about Irene, I strongly felt that I had to recharge my batteries," she said in an interview.

Readers may well wonder what else Tursten might have been trying to work out when she came up with her other literary character, Maud.

Maude is not a detective, not a young woman, and certainly not interested in "justice." Although she’s not shy about dealing out just desserts. An octogenarian who makes full use of people’s tendency to underestimate little old ladies, Maud is rather like a slightly evil Miss Marple. The result is both oddly charming and oddly unsettling. Even sort of scary. An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed is Tursten’s second book of Maud stories. It includes everything you might expect from one of Sweden’s best noir writers: Dead bodies. Ruthless criminals. Desperate victims. Cookie recipes.


An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed

What booksellers are saying about An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed

  • You definitely wouldn’t want to meet the heroine of An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed in a dark alley late at night. Maud may be pushing ninety, but she is a force and has spent her life exacting her own brand of justice that may or may not have resulted in more than a few murders. Translated from Swedish, this was charming.. ― Rachel Watkins from Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA
    Buy from Avid Bookshop

  • I met my favorite octogenarian killer in An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed! This cozy and elegant murder mystery makes the perfect gift for the mystery-loving people in your life (fits perfectly in a stocking!). ― Jessica Nock from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC
    Buy from Main Street Books

  • Hilarious and darkly sinister, this book is satisfying and entertaining. Maud is not someone you want to cross seeing as those who do don’t survive. ― Jamie Southern from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC
    Buy from Bookmarks

  • Maud is back and better than ever in this second tale of murder and revenge! This collection of stories takes us back to her youth and how she became who she is – and what happened to those left in her wake! Picking up where we left off in her previous collection, Maud is trying to evade the authorities that won’t leave her alone. This pocket-sized book is perfect for the mystery lovers in your life!   ― Andrea Richardson from Fountain Books in Richmond, VA
    Buy from Fountain Bookstore

About Helene Tursten

Helene Tursten was a nurse and a dentist before she turned to writing. She is the author of the Irene Huss series, including Detective Inspector Huss, Night Rounds, Who Watcheth, and Protected by the Shadows; the Embla Nyström series; and the short story collection An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good, which also features Maud. Her books have been translated into 25 languages and made into a television series. She was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, where she now lives with her husband.

ad
Some Things I Still Can’t Tell You by Misha Collins

BUY THIS BOOK!

Some Things I Still Can’t Tell You by Misha Collins
Andrews McMeel Publishing / October 2021


More Reviews from Parnassus Books

I loved this collection. Collins lets his reader know that he is writing for himself, fully knowing he is not an established poet. I normally do not read poetry, and I felt relaxed and ready to see what he had to say. It was a treat to see a very public person open up like this.

Reviewed by Sissy Gardner, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee



My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

BUY THIS BOOK!

My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
Henry Holt and Co. / October 2021


More Reviews from Page 158 Books

A black professor uses his own son in a study comparing him to ACMs (American Caucasian Males) in “Control Negro.” A single mother lists what to do when “Buying a House Ahead of the Apocalypse.” A young woman changes herself in an attempt to leave behind her past. An immigrant widowed father finds himself distanced from his children. And, a group of Charlottesville neighbors flee white supremacists seeking refuge in Jefferson’s historic plantation home. Each story examines what happens when “home” is not very hospitable. This collection—the characters and the writing will stay with me. An emotional and brilliant must read.

Reviewed by Kelley Barnes, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina

Cat Dog by Mem Fox,

BUY THIS BOOK!

Cat Dog by Mem Fox,
Beach Lane Books / October 2021


More Reviews from Flyleaf Books

A delightfully silly picture book highlighting the differences between cats and dogs, Cat Dog follows a cat who is busy chasing a mouse around the house, while the dog…stays asleep all afternoon. A quirky, entertaining book for all cat and dog lovers.

Reviewed by Jen Minor, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed by Saraciea J. Fennell

BUY THIS BOOK!

Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed by Saraciea J. Fennell
Flatiron Books / November 2021


More Reviews from The Country Bookshop

These are the voices. The voices we need to hear, to represent the voices that need to be heard. This collection from fifteen influential Young Adult writers from the Latinx diaspora is the perfect launch pad for conversations and the perfect door to new ideas.

Reviewed by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

Orwell’s Roses by Rebecca Solnit

BUY THIS BOOK!

Orwell’s Roses by Rebecca Solnit
Viking / October 2021


More Reviews from Avid Bookshop

A Fall 2021 Read This Next! Title

Jumping off from a mention in a 1946 essay by George Orwell about fruit trees and roses he had planted ten years earlier, Solnit begins a meandering path through a garden of antifascism, art, and the ways in which they intertwined in Orwell’s life. In the span of about 270 pages, coal mining and climate change, mass rose production in Columbia and the invisibility of capitalism’s machinations, Orwell’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War, and his ancestral connection to the slave trade are all explored deftly and, in the ususal Solnit style, with lines beautifully drawn to our current condition. Whether you are deeply interested in Orwell and his milieu or just a fan of Solnit’s incisive writing, you will find this biography/essay collection bears flowers scented with hope, resistance, and pleasure.

Reviewed by Hannah DeCamp, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

Cloud Cuckoo Land The Storyteller A Thousand Ships
The Apples of North America The 1619 Project: Born on the Water

[ See the full list ]

sbr shelf

Parting Thought

“If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chances of survival increase with each book one reads.”
– Sherman Alexie

Publisher: The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance / siba@sibaweb.com
Editor: Nicki Leone / nicki@sibaweb.com
Advertising: Linda-Marie Barrett / lindamarie@sibaweb.com
The Southern Bookseller Review is a project of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, in support of independent bookstores in the South | SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805

SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805
You have received this email because you are currently subscribed to receive The Southern Bookseller Review. Please click @@unsubscribe_url@@ if you no longer wish to receive these communications.

 

The Southern Bookseller Review 11/16/21

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of November 16, 2021

View this email online. | unsubscribe | SBR Archive | SUBSCRIBE TO SBR

facebook  twitter  instagram 
ad
ad

sbr logo

November 16, 2021

Taking to the streets, and swimming in the live streams.

The Miami Book Fair

In a sign of changing times, the Miami Book Fair (November 14-21) has both a virtual and an in-person street fair this year. The street fair will take place over the weekend of the November 19-21 but the virtual event is ongoing right now.

There are dozens of events every day, many live-streamed, and many in Spanish. They range from authors discussing their books to panels hosting a conversation around a topic ― sometimes literary, sometimes political, sometimes simply to share stories.

After nearly two years of enforced isolation, canceled events, and closed doors, there is an air of celebration as readers take to the streets again to see their favorite authors in person. But luckily for those who don’t happen to live in a place with a beautiful, vibrant book festival,”virtual” is clearly not going away.

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory


Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

BUY THIS BOOK!

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak
Bloomsbury Publishing / October 2021


More Reviews from Avid Bookshop

The Island of Missing Trees is a beautiful, sweeping tale of enduring love, grief, and the ways in which we move forward from intergenerational traumas. Split between a cold London winter and the midst of the Cypriot civil war of 1974 and narrated by a fig tree, the story aches with a love for the natural world, giving voice to the voiceless. Its quiet profundity opens a world beyond borders and human conflicts, a world where truths are uncovered and healing is possible.

Reviewed by Hannah DeCamp, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia



Bookseller Buzz

ad

Spotlight on: All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

 

Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

Some ideas start small — a feeling, a scene, a whisper that grows into a roar inside an author’s mind. But the idea for All of Us Villains felt capital-B Big from the beginning. ―Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman, (via Whatever)

Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman were already established YA writers and best friends when they had “the big idea” ― to write the novel together they were each afraid to write on their own. “We had a favorite trope in common, the death tournament,” they note in a recent column on John Scalzi’s website, Whatever. “but neither of us were brave enough to tackle a trope so famous and dramatic alone.”

As it turned out, collaborating on a novel was as challenging for the two writers as its plot was for their characters. It’s one thing to share a manuscript but quite another to share a creative process. Disagreements threatened to not only scuttle the book, but damage the friendship.

Instead, Foody and Herman turned the project into something that deepened and strengthened both. “Our differing opinions didn’t mean someone was right and someone was wrong–it meant each of us had something important to say. So instead of pushing back…we listened to each other.”

And they credit the enthusiastic reception All Us Villains has received to the lessons they learned in writing it together: “The final version of All of Us Villains exists on a knife’s edge of such contradictions: heroism and villainy, blame and responsibility, fun and fright, a fantasy story that sometimes feels brutally real. “


Fight Night

What booksellers are saying about All of Us Villains

  • Fans of magic, ambition, and dark fairy tales, All of Us Villains is for all of us. These villains will rip your heart out (and make you want to hug this book). I highly recommend this gruesome, dark, and twisty series-starter for fans of The Hunger Games, A Deadly Education, and The Hazel Wood. ― Megan Bell from Underground Books in Carrollton, GA
    Buy from Underground Books

  • A blurb that claims “a magical Hunger Games” is a lot to live up, but All of Us Villains exceeds all expectations. Devastating and deliciously dark, from the magic system to the characters, every single word is precise in gutting the reader. I was drawn in by every character and devastated by every blow! I have no doubt that this will be a runaway hit when it releases. I went without food and sleep to finish this harrowing tale. ― Katlin Kerrison from Story on the Square in McDonough, GA
    Buy from Story on the Square

  • This Hunger Games-esque has one of the most unique magic systems I’ve read! The twists and turns (reluctant romance! Brooding Byronic characters!) will have you flipping pages faster than a class ten curse. ― Candice Conner from The Haunted Book Shop in Mobile, AL
    Buy from The Haunted Book Shop

  • What a beautiful dark fairy tale of a book! This was an incredible thing to read, full of questionable characters, romance, and full of back-stabbing intrigue. I loved the protagonists and the storyline. This book truly is written in blood.   ― Hallie Smith from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC
    Buy from Main Street Books

About Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

AMANDA FOODY is the YA and middle grade author of The Shadow Game series, the Wilderlore series, and more. Formerly a tax accountant, Amanda lives in Boston, and you can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @amandafoody

CHRISTINE LYNN HERMAN is the author of YA novels about magic, monsters, and growing up, including The Devouring Gray duology and The Drowning Summer. Writing updates (and cat pictures) can be found on Instagram at @christineexists or at christinelynnherman.com

ad
Bittman Bread by Mark Bittman

BUY THIS BOOK!

Bittman Bread by Mark Bittman
Mariner Books / November 2021


More Reviews from Bookmarks

Last winter I decided I wanted to learn to bake bread…then I learned that Mark Bittman was writing a bread cookbook and decided to wait, which was a fantastic decision. Bittman Bread is everything I need in a bread cookbook—clear instructions, plenty of pictures, and a method that seems almost fail-proof. Bittman and co-author Kerri Conan have crafted the perfect recipe for a no-knead loaf that makes whole grains the star of the show and leaves you with a sourdough starter for your next loaf. Going beyond their basic loaf, the pair explore a variety of bread variations as well as recipes to level up the bread-baking game: focaccia, baguettes, desserts, and more. And excellent guide for beginners or more advanced bakers looking for a proven method of quick baking, Bittman Bread is a must-read cookbook that comes just in time for winter baking and holiday gift giving!

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina



Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

BUY THIS BOOK!

Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen
Farrar, Straus and Giroux / October 2021


More Reviews from novel.

LOVE! It’s no small feat to write a 60-page book so immersive that you can read it in a weekend and still feel extremely depressed when you come to the end, like, “That’s all?” C’mon, book two!!

Reviewed by Kat Leache, novel. in Memphis, Tennessee

The Legend of the Christmas Witch by Dan Murphy,

BUY THIS BOOK!

The Legend of the Christmas Witch by Dan Murphy,
Viking Books for Young Readers / November 2021


More Reviews from Fiction Addiction

The Legend of the Christmas Witch tells the tale of Kris Kringle and his twin sister Kristtorn. Who is the Christmas witch? Is she evil and determined to destroy Christmas, or is she a friend of Christmas who is misunderstood and mistreated. Read the tale, and decide for yourself. The Legend of the Christmas Witch is a wonderfully imaginative tale about Christmas and Yuletide that will delight readers of every age.

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Starling by Isabel Strychacz

BUY THIS BOOK!

His Name was Death by Rafael Bernal
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers / November 2021


More Reviews from Flyleaf Books

What would YOU do if a boy fell from the sky into the woods of YOUR backyard? Follow Delta Wilding as this exact event turns her already absurd life into something extraordinary–otherworldly, if you will. As an unthinkable romance unfolds, will the boy, the alien, decide to stay on Earth and live a life alongside the humans? Or will he have no choice but to return to the sky for the sake of Delta’s safety–and happiness? Read to find out!

Reviewed by Michelle Kang, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

Everybody in the Red Brick Building

BUY THIS BOOK!

Everybody in the Red Brick Building
Balzer + Bray / October 2021


More Reviews from Square Books

A Fall 2021 Read This Next! Title

An enchanting debut by author Anne Wynter with vivid illustrations by the incomparable Oge Mora (Saturday) that fairly leap of the page, Everybody in the Red Brick Building is fabulous! An engaging, story with lyrical language and wonderful sounds to mimic, we will want to live in the red brick building. We won’t get much sleep, but we will have a whole lot of fun! A joy to read for the whole family.

Reviewed by Kathy Neff from Square Books in Oxford, MS

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

Oh William Under Jerusalem Christmas in Peachtree Bluff
EBraiding Sweetgrass Aaron Slater, Illustrator

[ See the full list ]

sbr shelf

Parting Thought

“Reading is my inhale, and writing is my exhale.”
– Glennon Doyle

Publisher: The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance / siba@sibaweb.com
Editor: Nicki Leone / nicki@sibaweb.com
Advertising: Linda-Marie Barrett / lindamarie@sibaweb.com
The Southern Bookseller Review is a project of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, in support of independent bookstores in the South | SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805

SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805
You have received this email because you are currently subscribed to receive The Southern Bookseller Review. Please click @@unsubscribe_url@@ if you no longer wish to receive these communications.

 

The Southern Bookseller Review 11/9/21

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of November 9, 2021

View this email online. | unsubscribe | SBR Archive | SUBSCRIBE TO SBR

facebook  twitter  instagram 
ad
ad
 
sbr logo

November 9, 2021

What is the best Southern book of the year?

The Southern Book Prize

Southern booksellers have selected the finalists for the 2022 Southern Book Prize. The Prize, representing hand-sell favorites from 2021, is awarded to “the best Southern book of the year” as nominated by Southern indie booksellers and voted on by their customers.

Voting for the 2022 Southern Book Prize winners takes place between November 2021 and February 1, 2022. Winners are announced February 14, Valentine’s Day.

VOTE here, and you can be entered into a drawing for a collection of the SBP 2022 Finalist books.

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory


Coming up on Reader Meet Writer

Volunteers: Growing Up in the Forever War with Jerad W. AlexanderVolunteers: Growing Up in the Forever War with Jerad W. Alexander
Thu Nov 11th 7:00pm – 8:00pm | REGISTER

Jerad W. Alexander has written for Esquire, Rolling Stone, The Nation, Narratively, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Literary Reportage from the New York University Arthur L. Carter School of Journalism. From 1998 to 2006, he served as a U.S. Marine, deploying to the Mediterranean, East Africa, and Iraq. He grew up on military bases, from the east coast of the United States to Japan. He currently lives in New York City, but calls Atlanta home.

Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

Still Life by Sarah Winman

BUY THIS BOOK!

Still Life by Sarah Winman
G.P. Putnam’s Sons / November 2021


More Reviews from M. Judson Booksellers & Storytellers

Sarah Winman’s Still Life is the balm needed to medicate against the last year and a half of the global pandemic. Set in post-WWII London and Florence, Winman creates a lush world full of tangible characters who break your heart in all the best ways. It begins with a chance encounter on a small country road in war-torn Tuscany. There, Ulysses Temper, an idealistic twenty-something English soldier, and Evelyn Skinner, a sexagenarian art historian meet and share an adventurous evening celebrating wine, art, and newfound friendships. The two diverge and set course upon two parallel paths that spiral inward and outward along a trajectory that is never truly separate. During the course of forty years, Winman manages to enliven both post-war London and Florence and captures their resilience and specific beauties with rapturous prose. Within each city, there is suffering, there is collapse, there is pain, there is poverty. But, life goes on, and so do the powerful humans who occupy these spaces. The people are real, you know them and you feel their pain and suffering, joy, and happiness. You root for them and you cry with them. This is a book about chance encounters, magical evenings around Italian tablesides, changing societies, found family, chances taken and missed, grief, forgiveness, and the profoundly sacred space of human connection. Still Life reminds us that, after a year of isolation, we both owe it to ourselves to allow others in from time to time.


Reviewed by Joce Mallin, M. Judson Booksellers and Storytellers in Greenville, South Carolina

Bookseller Buzz

ad

Spotlight on: Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle

 

Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle

Maggie Tokuda-Hall finds inspiration for her books all around her and from her own life. Her last novel, The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea was inspired by a nine-year-old girl who used to come into the children’s bookshop where she worked.

Her new book, Squad, comes out of her own experiences in high school, where rape culture was normal, even rampant. What if, she wondered, there was a squad of teenage girls who turned into werewolves once a month and went after all the really bad boys — the sexually aggressive ones, the ones who don’t think "no" counts if you are at a party and everyone is drinking.

"When I was [in high school] it was extremely white." she remembers. "It’s very rich — that’s still true. It’s really privileged. Rape culture was really rampant, and I was really mad about it. Some of the things that I saw or the things that happened to me were kind of traumatizing, but I don’t feel like a traumatized person. I don’t feel like a victim, and I wanted to write a story that reflected that as well."

What follows is more than a revenge fantasy and more than a horror story. Tokuda-Hall turns a critical, yet compassionate eye on the issue of rape culture, patriarchy, and the meaning of consent.

"In my books," she says, "love is salvation. And I believe very fully in my heart that when we allow ourselves to love outside of what patriarchy has dictated for us, this entire other world of being, where all of these other systems of oppression are no longer relevant, can start to take shape."


Fight Night

What booksellers are saying about Squad

  • Sharp and smart, this dark graphic novel is all about the relentless hunger of teenage girls, partying,
    revenge, and doing whatever it takes to run with the coolest pack at school. Best enjoyed in one satisfying
    gulp. ― Julie Jarema from Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA
    Buy from Avid Bookshop

  • Mean Girls mixed with Teen Wolf? Squad is beyond words, but if I had to use some, these would be it. After Becca transfers to a new school, she worries about fitting in until she meets Marley, Arianna, and Mandy. At first she thinks they’re unnervingly perfect, but turns out their secret is even more intriguing than they are. I am absolutely blown away by Squad, I was thinking teen slasher flick from the cover, but it was so much more. It was a bloody coming of age with a dark twist of how things can go wrong when power gets out of control. The art work is gory and beautiful, this is going to be a breakaway hit. ― Katlin Kerrison from Story on the Square in McDonough, GA
    Buy from Story on the Square

  • Move over, Plastics, there’s a new girl squad in town. Squad is a high school tale about transformational
    friendship, belonging, and what we’ll do to fit in. It will absolutely sink its claws into you from the very first
    page. (Puns ALL intended.)   ― Abby Rice from Foggy Pine Books in Boone, NC
    Buy from Foggy Pine Books

About Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle

Maggie Tokuda-Hall is the author of the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal–winning Also an Octopus and the young adult novel The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea. She received her BA in studio art from Scripps College and an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco, and has worked both for independent bookstores and for Apple Books. She is the host of several popular podcasts and lives in San Francisco with her husband, son, and objectively perfect dog. 

Lisa Sterle is an artist with work spanning from comic books to concept designs to pop-culture-fueled illustration. She is the co-creator of the monthly comics Long Lost and Submerged, as well as the creator of The Modern Witch Tarot Deck. She received her BFA from Columbus College of Art & Design and currently resides in Columbus, Ohio.

ad
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig

BUY THIS BOOK!

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig
Simon & Schuster / November 2021


More Reviews from Midtown Reader

A hug of a book. Koenig pulled me in with the idea of new words, but I kept reading because this book is more about assigning new words to feelings. It’s about how we are not alone in our feelings or alone in the world. By the end you realize you’ve read a philosophical book on living and all that includes. Very encouraging and needed in this time.


Reviewed by Tanya Corbella, Midtown Reader in Tallahassee, Florida

Bok’s Giant Leap by Neil Armstrong

BUY THIS BOOK!

Bok’s Giant Leap by Neil Armstrong
Crown Books for Young Readers / November 2021


More Reviews from Bookmarks

Astronaut Neil Armstrong has written a beautiful story about the creation of the Moon and the Earth as told from the perspective of Bok, a very special moon rock. A combination of science, history, Armstrong’s personal story, and vivid, movie-like illustrations, Bok’s Giant Leap will inspire another generation of young readers to dream of the moon!

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Seven Dirty Secrets by Natalie D. Richards

BUY THIS BOOK!

Seven Dirty Secrets by Natalie D. Richards
Sourcebooks Fire / November 2021


More Reviews from Story on the Square

This is a great, tight little YA mystery! information is revealed slowly but not too slowly, so you’re drawn into the plot and want the characters to solve the puzzles. The “ticking clock” mechanic is never exactly explained, but it gives the story a sense of urgency that makes it feel more intense than your average scavenger hunt. It touches on sensitive topics (such as domestic violence and parental abuse) but I think the author does a good job of pulling the question of “what would you do for your brother?” all the way through the story. Totally unexpected twist ending, which wasn’t really set up but was entertaining nonetheless!


Reviewed by Kate Wilder, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia

His Name was Death by Rafael Bernal

BUY THIS BOOK!

His Name was Death by Rafael Bernal
New Directions / November 2021


More Reviews from Square Books

How do mosquitoes communicate? What does their society look like– and how would they view ours? “Wise Owl,” thus dubbed by the indigenous tribe he lives with in the Mexican jungle, is a misanthrope disgusted with society at large. When he figures out the language of the mosquitoes, Mosquil, Wise Owl hatches a plan to take ultimate revenge on human civilization. Heavy themes of faith, modernity, free will, and meaning are filtered through an ecological sci-fi sieve. Vonnegut’s Galapagos meets the Island of Dr. Moreau, with even more merited cynicism.

Reviewed by Conor Hultman, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

BUY THIS BOOK!

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw
Tor Nightfire / October 2021


More Reviews from The Haunted Book Shop

A Fall 2021 Read This Next! Title

Well. That was nuts. Khaw threw together a fast-paced ghost story, the bitter lyricism of her writing conveying the complexity of feelings when you have History with someone, as well as the surreal when an offended ghost decides it’s making an example out of you.


Reviewed by Alex Mcleod, The Haunted Book Shop in Mobile, Alabama

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

Oh William Capote's Women The Thursday Murder Club
Entangled Life Boo Stew

[ See the full list ]

sbr shelf

Parting Thought

“ A story can always break into pieces while it sits inside a book on a shelf; and, decades after we have read it even twenty times, it can open us up, by cut or caress, to a new truth.”
– Andre Dubus

Publisher: The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance / siba@sibaweb.com
Editor: Nicki Leone / nicki@sibaweb.com
Advertising: Linda-Marie Barrett / lindamarie@sibaweb.com
The Southern Bookseller Review is a project of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, in support of independent bookstores in the South | SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805

SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805
You have received this email because you are currently subscribed to receive The Southern Bookseller Review. Please click @@unsubscribe_url@@ if you no longer wish to receive these communications.

 

Scroll to Top