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The Southern Bookseller Review 1/11/22

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of January 4, 2022

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January 11, 2022

New Year’s Resolutions (inspired by your TBR stack)

Resolutions. We make them, then break them, every year. But whatever your resolutions are this time, there’s a book for that:

Fearless Heart

Be Fearless
Fearless Heart by Frank Murphy

Surya Bonaly is an amazing Olympic ice skater who astounded the world with her abilities on ice. Fearless Heart will inspire the reader to work hard to follow their dreams, and stand up for what they believe in. – Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Manifesto

Be passionate and persistent
Manifesto by Bernardine Evaristo

To many people – myself included – Bernardine Evaristo’s 2019 Booker Prize win for Girl, Woman, Other appeared to come out of the blue. But, as Manifesto reveals, her apparent overnight success was actually 40 years in the making. Recounting her life and career with the characteristic humor and insight that made Girl, Woman, Other such a success, Manifesto is a passionate paean to the power of persistence. – Jude Burke-Lewis, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi

The Eye Test

Be creative
The Eye Test by Chris Jones

Jones looks back on a career of studying fascinating individuals for his journalism, and in doing so reveals a truth he’s learned: analytics are helpful, but human passion, experience, and imagination are the things that count in the end. My favorite quote: “We do our best work when we remember our humanity, especially when it’s hard to remember it.” – Sissy Gardner, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

MonsterMind

Be hopeful
MonsterMind: Dealing With Anxiety & Self-Doubt by Alfonso Casas

Casas’ most recent graphic novel is a wonderful, poignant dive into living with mental health issues. Creating monsters out of feelings. Casas gives a visual representation of how trauma, anxiety, fear, and other pests affect daily life, especially in the midst of a pandemic. I really appreciated the hopeful but realistic ending of this. It’s a reminder that though these things will always live with us, there are ways to fight them. – Grace Quinn, Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina

Greenwich Park

Be surprised
Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner

Greenwich Park is a fabulous debut novel. The story takes time to develop but once it starts going it seems to go in lots of different directions at once. The ending will surprise you, and then the rest of the ending will surprise you even more – and then the last sentence on the last page happens. – Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Yes, You Can Wear That by Abby Hoy

Be Yourself!
Yes, You Can Wear That by Abby Hoy

I am forever in search of great body-positive reads and Abby Hoy nails it. This book is a perfect combination of pictures and her memoir. It is inspiring and confidence-building and I immediately followed her on social media to get more gorgeous outfit ideas and self love. Every body is a good body and yes, you CAN wear that! – Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia


Coming up on the Reader Meet Writer Author Series:

The Last House on the Street with Diane ChamberlainThe Last House on the Street with Diane Chamberlain
Thu Jan 11th 7:00pm – 8:00pm | REGISTER

A community’s past sins rise to the surface in New York Times bestselling author Diane Chamberlain’s The Last House on the Street when two women, a generation apart, find themselves bound by tragedy and an unsolved, decades-old mystery.

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory


Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor

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Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor
Harper Perennial / January 2022


More Reviews from Wordsworth Books

What a fun read! This book and the fictional tales of the women surrounding Gatsby actually makes me want to re-read The Great Gatsby with these imagined back stories in mind. Cantor’s writing is both creative and compelling. Her insights about the lives and struggles of women were woven perfectly into this fictional expansion and made me appreciate the characters of Daisy, Myrtle, Catherine and Jordan way more than before. If you are a fan of The Great Gatsby I think you’ll love this book and its ability to help you revisit the world of West Egg. If you’re not a fan of The Great Gatsby, I still think you’ll enjoy this story of three women and what could have led to the murder of Jay Gatsby. Either way, it’s a creative, fun read for both those who have an appreciation for the old classic and those who just enjoy a good period piece of fiction!

Reviewed by Lynne Phillips, Wordsworth Books in Little Rock, Arkansas



Bookseller Buzz

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Spotlight on: The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova

 

Zoraida Cordova

"Every book I write is for myself. My YA is for my teen self, who hungered for magical stories. My middle grade is for the painfully shy kid I once was, one who wanted adventure. My adult romance is for the version of myself that denies being a romantic (though I am). The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is for the person I am now. . I wanted to pose the question, ‘What price would you pay for survival?’” –Zoraida Córdova via Bookpage


The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

What booksellers are saying about The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

  • Cordova’s writing echoes the great Gabriel Garcia Marquez in this epic family tale that sweeps across countries and time. I loved the atmospheric quality of the book and the incredible beauty of her writing. ― Jamie Southern from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC
    Buy from Bookmarks

  • If you thought your family tree was complicated, wait till you meet the Montoyas. When their grandmother Orquídea summons them to collect their inheritance, they don’t realize they’re about to dive into a family history of magic, loss, and resilience. ―Abby Rice from Foggy Pine Books in Boone, NC
    Buy from Foggy Pine Books

  • I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. I was so intrigued with Orquidea Devina and the magical force surrounding her that I hardly wanted to put this book down, because I needed to hurriedly piece together all of the interconnected pieces. Blending a bit of mystery and fantasy, Zoraida Cordova does an excellent job developing this story with complex multi-generational characters connected by magical roots that make them stronger together than they ever are apart!   ―Nicole Granville, The Snail on the Wall in Huntsville, AL
    Buy from Snail on the Wall

  • A playfully mesmerizing, meaningful story about family! The matriarch, Orquidea Divina, summons her relatives from far and wide to attend her funeral and to receive their inheritance. But the inheritance is not what everyone expected, nor is the funeral anything ordinary. Over the next several years, secrets are revealed and special gifts are given, and each one must figure out how they want to live their lives individually and as a family. Magical, fun and heart-warming! ―Cathy Graham from Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, FL
    Buy from Copperfish Books

  • The cosmic battle between good and evil plays out, not on the grand scale, but within a family where love, longing and belonging have consequences beyond the ordinary. This enchanting tale of magical realism grabs the reader from the first page and doesn’t let go. With unforgettable characters and surprises twisting like stems and roots throughout the story, this book is almost impossible to put down. (OK, I got so involved, I totally forgot my husband and I were going out, until he came to get me.) For fans of Isabel Allende and Erin Morgenstern. ―Lia Lent from Wordsworth Books in Little Rock, AR
    Buy from Wordsworth Books

About Zoraida Córdova

Zoraida Córdova is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels and short stories, including the Brooklyn Brujas series, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate, and The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina. In addition to writing novels, she serves on the board of We Need Diverse Books, is the coeditor of the bestselling anthology Vampires Never Get Old, and is the cohost of the writing podcast Deadline City. She writes romance novels as Zoey Castile. Zoraida was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and calls New York City home. When she’s not working, she’s roaming the world in search of magical stories. For more information, visit her at ZoraidaCordova.com.

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A Killer by Design by Ann Wolbert Burgess

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A Killer by Design by Ann Wolbert Burgess
Simon & Schuster / December 2021


More Reviews from Fountain Bookstore

You probably know the names of John Douglass and Robert Ressler, the mind hunters of the FBI. But it was Ann Burgess who helped develop a more scientific way to interview serial killers and serial rapists in order to catch future criminals. Burgess caught the eye of the FBI because of her groundbreaking research into rape offenders, and she brought her analytical mind to what is now the Behavioral Science Unit. A must read for any true crime buff, and a fascinating look into the early days of profiling.

Reviewed by Kate Towery, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia



Bibliolepsy by Gina Apostol

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Bibliolepsy by Gina Apostol
Soho Press / January 2022


More Reviews from Oxford Exchange

Apostol softly launches you into a landscape of memories and gently reminds book lovers of what it first felt like to envision possibility thanks to literature. Apostol’s reflections on their time during the EDSA rebellion of 1986 teach us just how nuanced and expansive human connections can form if we let them.

Reviewed by Eden Hakimzadeh, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray

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Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray
HarperCollins / December 2021


More Reviews from Story on the Square

Perfect for middle readers with a sense of adventure, this book is a fun ride from the first page! The mystery of learning the identity and nature of the Enemy is captivating, and the tight bonds between both friends and siblings are explored beautifully. I’d absolutely recommend this book to young readers, and I hope to see more from this author, and in this world!

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

Medusa by Jessie Burton

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Medusa by Jessie Burton
Bloomsbury YA / January 2022


More Reviews from Bookmiser

Burton’s feminist retelling of Medusa is filled with wonderful illustrations, and a story with which we’re all somewhat familiar. Medusa has been exiled to a remote island with her two sisters. But they are immortal and have wings, so Medusa’s existence is fairly lonely. But one day, a beautiful boy named Perseus arrives by boat and he and Medusa strike up a friendship, talking while each is on the other side of a giant rock. They each find themselves heartbroken, telling the other their story.

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds

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Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds, Jason Griffin (Illustrator)
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books / January 2022


More Reviews from Bookmarks

A January 2022 Read This Next! Title

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.


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

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

Call Us What We Carry he 1619 Project: A New Origin Story The Anomaly
All About Love The Beatryce Prophecy

[ See the full list ]

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Parting Thought

“Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.”
– Louis L’Amour

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
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The Southern Bookseller Review 1/4/22

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of January 4, 2022

View online. | Unsubscribe | SBR Archive | SUBSCRIBE TO SBR

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January 4, 2022

Making life hard for your characters

Diane Chamberlain

Welcome, readers, to a brand new year filled with oh so many great, GREAT books to look forward to!

This week’s "Book Buzz" feature below is Diane Chamberlain’s new novel — just released — The Last House on the Street.

The author is a favorite among Southern readers, and booksellers are especially excited by this book, which with its mix of romance, mystery, and resolute look at the history of voting rights makes the story feel very relevant. "A rollercoaster of emotions and feelings!" says one bookseller. "Great storytelling!" says another.

Diane Chamberlain is the featured author at the first Reader Meet Writer event of 2022. Tune in to hear her discuss her new book with Wiley Cash on Tuesday, January 13, at 7:00 PM.

REGISTER HERE

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory


Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher

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The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher
Berkley / January 2022


More Reviews from The Country Bookshop

I enjoyed the novel of Sylvia Beach, who founded Shakespeare and Company book store in 1919 Paris and published James Joyce’s initial edition of Ulysses. It is full of the details of Sylvia’s life with Adrienne Monnier, who owns a French bookstore across the street, and the many trials Beach endures dealing with Joyce until she finally lets her interest in the book go.

Reviewed by Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina



Bookseller Buzz

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Spotlight on: The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain

 

Diane Chamberlain

"When I think about writing a book I think about the situation first and then I try to think of a character who is going to have the most difficult time doing what I want her to do." –Diane Chamberlain

At a launch event with Friends & Fiction for the paperback release of her last book, Big Lies in a Small Town, Diane Chamberlain was asked about how she created such psychologically complicated characters. She answered that she starts with a situation, something she wants them to do such as paint a mural, or start their life over in a new house, and then she throws obstacles at them:

"it’s not that I set out to create these screwed up characters. As I’m writing I’m just trying to figure out how more difficult for them so that they have to really work harder to succeed."

Trouble and difficulties is just what Kayla Carter has in The Last House on the Street. She has just lost her husband in an accident building their dream home and now must raise her four year old daughter in the house that cost him his life. But the house is built in a new development that sits on top of some very old and tragic history that is still festering and won’t let itself be buried in the past.

Meet Diane Chamberlain at Reader Meet Writer!


The Last House on the Street

What booksellers are saying about The Last House on the Street

  • To read a Diane Chamberlain novel is to be on a rollercoaster of emotions and feelings. This one lives up to expectations and the story line is a hot topic right now. Dealing with voting rights back during Jim Crow in North Carolina, this book has you see both sides and deftly makes you sway to each side. This is one for everyone who wants a book to take you away with a bit of romance, mystery, and love of the characters. Great book club book! ― Suzanne Lucey from Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC
    Buy from Page 158 Books

  • The Last House on the Street begins with Kayla, a recently widowed single mother, in the present day, when strange and eerie things begin happening at her new home. There is also Ellie who becomes a Civil Rights activist in 1965 and falls in love with a fellow worker, bringing danger to them both. I loved how the story bounced between Kayla and Ellie’s perspectives and how Chamberlain weaved the story into one narrative. Overall, great storytelling and a wonderful read! Perfect for readers who like mystery or history. ―Katie from The Snail on the Wall in Huntsville, AL
    Buy from The Snail on the Wall

  • Diane Chamberlain’s newest novel couldn’t be more relevant for our current times. It is hard to believe that we are still fighting the battles for the right to vote that were being fought in 1965. Told from two story lines – one in 1965 North Carolina right before the signing of the Right to Vote act and one in 2010 – the separate stories of Ellie and Kayla and what they have endured merge together when Ellie comes home for the first time in 45 years and Kayla prepares to move into the house at the end of the street. A definite must read for fans of Big Lies in a Small Town.   ―Nancy McFarlane from Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC
    Buy from Fiction Addiction

  • I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! The dual timelines were a perfect fit for this suspenseful journey. The novel follows the life of Ellie in the summer of 1965 when she becomes part of the SCOPE program to encourage the black community to register to vote. She is a full supporter of the civil rights movement which alienates her from her family. The 2010 timeline follows Kayla, who has just lost her husband in a freak accident while building their dream home. When Kayla and her three-year old daughter move into the house, very frightening and strange things begin to happen. Chamberlain masterfully spins the timelines to keep readers hooked to the very end. ―Sharon Davis from Book Bound Bookstore in Blairsville, GA
    Buy from Book Bound Bookstore

About Diane Chamberlain

DIANE CHAMBERLAIN is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-eight novels published in over fifteen languages. Her books include Big Lies in a Small Town, The Stolen Marriage and The Dream Daughter. She lives in North Carolina with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her sheltie, Cole.

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Between the Lines by Uli Beutter Cohen

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Between the Lines by Uli Beutter Cohen
Simon & Schuster / October 2021


More Reviews from Fountain Bookstore

From the creator behind Subway Book Review, this is the newest Humans of New York, but for book lovers. This is a collection of short interviews Cohen conducted on the subway of New York City, documenting not only everyone’s reading list but also creating a conversation and connection. From beloved classics to niche dog-eared, worn books, this covers just about every genre you could think of. What I really love about this book is that it could’ve just as easily been a book full of tiny book reviews, but it’s something much more intimate. Cohen does a great job of telling these people’s stories all in about 400 words each. There’s representation of everyone; queer, trans, all races, all occupations. It’s raw, gorgeous and executed so flawlessly I can’t get enough of it.

Reviewed by Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia



The Love Con by Seressia Glass

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The Love Con by Seressia Glass
Berkley / December 2021


More Reviews from Flyleaf Books

From friends-to-lovers, mutual pining, and fake dating, The Love Con has all the makings of a superb romance. Kenya and Cam’s sizzling chemistry and wonderful communication elevate this romance novel to the next level. Along with Seressia Glass’s spot-on humor and wit, The Love Con is a near-perfect romance novel.

Reviewed by Gennifer Eccles, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Let’s Be Friends by Violet Lemay

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Let’s Be Friends by Violet Lemay
HarperFestival / December 2021


More Reviews from Page 158 Books

Violet represents so many different types of people in this magical picture book. In the end we are more alike than we think. Cute fun illustrations and happiness throughout this book make a a winner.

Reviewed by Suzanne Lucey, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina

When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord

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When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord
Wednesday Books / January 2022


More Reviews from Parnassus Books

Millie’s summer is turned upside down when she finds her father’s old Livejournal that hints at her absent mother’s identity. Already obsessed with Mamma Mia! and all things Broadway, Millie tracks down three women and wedges herself into their lives. With a great cast of secondary characters and a slow-burn romance, Millie’s journey of self-discovery and growth is a delightful read.

Reviewed by Chelsea Stringfield, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

The Maid by Nita Prose

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The Maid by Nita Prose
Ballantine Books / January 2022


More Reviews from Fiction Addiction

A January 2022 Read This Next! Title

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.

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

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

Cloud Cuckoo Land A Carnival of Snackery Leave the World Behind
All About Love The Beatryce Prophecy

[ See the full list ]

sbr shelf

Parting Thought

“Harriet never minded admitting she didn’t know something. So what, she thought, I could always learn.”
– Louise Fitzhugh

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 12/28/21

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of December 28, 2021

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

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December 28, 2021

Read These Next! January Books with Buzz

Read This Next!

Read This Next!, the seasonal list which highlights forthcoming books receiving exceptional Southern bookseller buzz, is now a monthly event! Southern indie booksellers have selected five books, their hand-sell favorites for the upcoming month, as January 2022 Read This Next titles.

Each of the selected titles has the enthusiastic support of southern booksellers, making Read This Next! the ultimate "You’ve got to read this!" reading list for avid readers looking to discover great new books.

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. –Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

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

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. –Janet Geddis, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

Stacy Willingham’s debut novel is an intense psychological thriller to the very end. The brilliance of the twists and turns is in the use of the main character’s narrative point of view. Entertaining, energetic, and unforgettable. –Faith Park-Dodge, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina

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

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. –Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory


Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

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Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
Ballantine / November 2021


More Reviews from The Country Bookshop

Diana is going to the Galapagos with her doctor boyfriend when the pandemic hits and he tells her to go on without him. Stuck on the island, her life takes a different turn, and then…she wakes up with Covid in a NYC hospital. Both experiences, one real, one not, change her. And she discovers it doesn’t really matter what happened to you in the past, it’s what you do with the rest of your life. This book brings the pandemic up close and personal and yet gives a great perspective to it. I loved it!

Reviewed by Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina



Bookseller Buzz

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Spotlight on: Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson

 

Antoine Wilson

"Recently, while moving several piles of books (31 titles) from the floor to another place on the floor to make space for my office chair, I experienced a moment of clarity," writes Antoine Wilson in an essay on Lit Hub which ran over the summer, "I felt like I had arrived at the end of a manic episode and was confronting the aftermath."

Wilson had discovered tsundoku — the Japanese word for the habit of buying books and letting them pile up unread. The "piling up" is key — as every book lover with a teetering TBR stack knows. Tsundoku is a description, a philosophy, a lifestyle. Or, as Wilson regards it, "a get-out-of-jail-free card."

Right now, booksellers are adding Wilson’s new novel to their own book piles. But Mouth to Mouth does not seem destined to tsundoku-existence in piles of unread books. "A compact tour-de-force," "you won’t be able to put it down," "absolutely deserves to be read in one sitting" — the story has been inviting comparisons to Patricia Highsmith at her most unsettling. Picking up the book is easy. Putting it back down may be much much harder. Leaving it unfinished once you start? All but impossible.


Mouth to Mouth

What booksellers are saying about Mouth to Mouth

  • Warning: once starting the first page of this gripping novel, you won’t be able to put it down. Breathlessly, you will want to find answers even while you secretly wish this tale will never end. ― Nancy Pierce from Bookmiser, Inc. in Marietta, GA
    Buy from Bookmiser

  • A beach, an art gallery, a ski slope, a first class lounge and a wild ride of an ending combine to make a damn good story that absolutely deserves to be read in one sitting. I absolutely devoured this tale that really puts the novel back in novels. ―Angie Tally from The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC
    Buy from The Country Bookshop

  • As a Patricia Highsmith superfan, I’m always drawn to a sleek novel about the harrowing secrets and misdeeds of the upper class–I’m pleased to say that Antoine Wilson delivers. His latest, Mouth To Mouth , is a compact tour-de-force featuring an intoxicating antagonist with a level of self-delusion that would make Highsmith proud.   ―Lindsay Lynch from Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN
    Buy from Parnassus Books

  • Mouth To Mouth is the kind of book you should read in one sitting. When our narrator meets a former college classmate in an airport, he finds himself listening to the tale of how his classmate came to be a prominent and wealthy art dealer — a tale that soon begins to sound more like a confession. This book is unassumingly clever, with an unsettling ending that will stick with you for a while. ―Kate Storhoff from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC
    Buy from Bookmarks

About Antoine Wilson

Antoine Wilson is the author of the novels Panorama City and The Interloper. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, StoryQuarterly, Best New American Voices, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications, and he is a contributing editor of A Public Space. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and recipient of a Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin, he lives in Los Angeles.

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The Nation on No Map by William C. Anderson

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The Nation on No Map by William C. Anderson
AK Press / November 2021


More Reviews from Square Books

In this inviting, direct manifesto, William C. Anderson outlines the influences and differentiating points about Black anarchism, outlines its necessity, and offers rebuttals to naysayers across the political spectrum. The Nation on No Map is concise, yet powerful and perfect reading if one is looking to charter further ideological horizons.

Reviewed by Conor Hultman, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi



The Last She by H. J. Nelson

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The Last She by H. J. Nelson
Wattpad Books / December 2021


More Reviews from Story on the Square

Arabella is the last girl on earth, well as far as she knows. A terrible virus wiped out many children and women, and no one’s sure why. When her father tells her to run “back to the beginning” she tries to make her way home only to be captured by the infuriating and handsome Kaden. While she might not like him, she’ll have to ally with him to find what her father wanted her to know. I was pleasantly surprised by this novel! While this book was a quick and easy read, I really enjoyed the plot and find myself looking forward to the next one!

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

King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair

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King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair
Bloom Books / November 2021


More Reviews from Bookmarks

This book is exactly everything I’ve been craving from a vampire book. Been starving for, even, because I’ve been digging for at least a year now for a vampire book that scratches every itch the vampire academy series gave me many years ago as a young teen, but one that I can really appreciate as an adult. Isolde and Adrian are the most perfect, incredibly vicious pairing of human and vampire, and those twists and turns of the plot just set them up so well. I love that Isolde is heavyset and muscular and confident in her body and sexuality, while Adrian is just so very aware of the monstrosity of his nature, and does not care that people are scared of him. And the fact that Scarlett does queernorm society so well is just, chefs kiss. I felt so utterly comfortable while reading this book. It might sound strange, but reading King of Battle and Blood felt like coming home. A very bloody, very sexy home, but a home nonetheless.

Reviewed by Caitlyn Vanorder, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Hamsters Make Terrible Roommates by Cheryl Klein

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Hamsters Make Terrible Roommates by Cheryl Klein
Dial Books / November 2021


More Reviews from Avid Bookshop

This should be required reading for any and all roommates (from siblings to college freshmen)! Featuring an odd diametrically opposed hamster duo, this vibrantly illustrated, darkly funny tale will leave even the crankiest readers holding in giggles as they learn all about the art of compromise.

Reviewed by Julie Jarema, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

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Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
Grove Press / November 2021


More Reviews from Fountain Bookstore

A Fall 2021 Read This Next! Title

This tiny gem is destined to be a Christmas classic. Think in terms O’Henry’s The Gift of the Magi. Alice Munro and Raymond Carver also come to mind. Based on actual events in Irish history only recently brought to light, the story follows Bill Furlong, a coal merchant, husband, and father to five daughters, and his discovery of a coverup by the church. The town is largely controlled by the church in this 1985 setting, but he still risks his livelihood, reputation, and marriage to right a wrong. Readers who enjoy stories of characters confronting their pasts, embracing hope, and being quiet heroes will find much to love here. When I first read it I thought: “good story”. But I have picked it up over and over again, read and reread it, marveling at its depth charge emotional impact.

Reviewed by Kelly Justice from Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

Small Things Like These Gastro Obscura Dune
All About Love Change Sings

[ See the full list ]

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Parting Thought

“All books are either dreams or swords,
You can cut, or you can drug, with words. ”

– Amy Lowell

Publisher: The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance / siba@sibaweb.com
Editor: Nicki Leone / nicki@sibaweb.com
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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

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The Southern Bookseller Review 12/21/21

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of December 21, 2021

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December 21, 2021

SBP: The Nonfiction Finalists

Nonfiction Finalists

For very the last minute gifts on your shopping list consider some of the Nonfiction finalists for the 2022 Southern Book Prize. And don’t forget to cast your vote for your favorite book(s) on the list. VOTE HERE

Here are what some booksellers have to say about the finalists in the Nonfiction category:

Bress ‘N’ Nyam by Matthew Raiford

Chef Matthew Raiford shares a unique culinary perspective. He is not only an accomplished chef who has returned to his culinary roots, he is a generational farmer – farming the land his third great grandfather, a freed slave, purchased in 1874. It is an honor that he would share these heirloom Gullah Geechee recipes, and his story, with his readers.– Virginia Aguilar from Bookstore at The Berry Center

Fight Songs by Ed Southern

Southern is a natural storyteller, making connections and drawing tales together to keep the reader engaged and delighted. — Beth Seufer Buss from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC

Graceland, At Last by Margaret Renkl

Margaret’s weekly New York Times columns about culture in The South call out our many failures while describing in beautiful detail what makes our part of America so beautiful. Just when I think there’s no possible way to capture the tension between the terrible and the special, Margaret’s words are there to express what I am feeling. –Sissy Gardner from Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN

Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light by Helen Ellis

I’m going to start a change.org petition to force Helen Ellis to write books that are 400 pages or more. Her latest collection deals topics as wide-ranging as aging and loss to poker and garage sales with her signature wit, warmth and southern sass. The thing about Helen Ellis is you can feel her delight in her friends, her husband and the world at large with every sentence. Everything she writes is worth reading and Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light might be her best yet. Do yourself a favor and pick this up, but be prepared to want more when you finish! –Chelsea Bauer from union ave books in knoxville, TNA

How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith

A combination of first-person observation and meticulous research, Clint Smith’s nonfiction debut peels back layers of story-telling to reveal new truths and revelations about the ways in which American history is inextricably connected to the enslavement of human beings. Like the best teachers, he leads with his own curiosity, his thoughtful curation of primary source documents, and his encounters with the people who are tending and visiting these places today. And like the best poets, he is deft with language, leaving space for us to come along with him. Brilliant, necessary, life-changing — Beth Helfrich from Main Street Books (NC) in Davidson, NC

Black, White, and The Grey by Mashama Bailey, John O. Morisano

The real-life story of the two radically different people who conspired to create Savannah’s The Grey restaurant, told from both their points of view. A tale of tragedy and triumph (and a lot of head butting), against issues of race, class, and gender; and it also includes a dozen or so appealing recipes. –Anne Peck from Righton Books in St Simons Island, GA

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory


Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

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The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan
William Morrow Paperbacks / October 2021


More Reviews from Bookmiser

Who doesn’t love Christmas spirit, Christmas decorations and books that transport us to that magical season? The Christmas Bookshop deposits us into the middle of the life of Carmen who is suddenly without a job or place to live. She moves in with her perfect sister Sofia in Edinburgh—into a perfect house with Sofia’s many children. Carmen begins working with a seemingly impossible-to-save failing bookstore. Can she help the bookstore? Can she cope with her sister’s family? Can she ever find love? All these questions are answered surrounded by the promise of the festive season. Jenny Colten has given us a fun holiday journey that you won’t want to leave when the last page is read.

Reviewed by Nancy Pierce, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia



Bookseller Buzz

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Spotlight on: Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente

 

Catherynne M. Valente

"Unlike most of my work, Apples turned up in my head whole one day a few years back. I knew exactly where it was headed, how I’d get there, and how I’d wreck the neighborhood on the way there before I ever touched one letter on my keyboard."–Cathrynne M. Valente (My Favorite Bit)

The newest book by the prolific and much-beloved Catherynne Valente is described as a thriller, a horror story, and a fairy tale. But more detailed descriptions are deliberately lacking. That was intentional: "It has such a massive twist that we’ve worked so hard not to spoil in the lead-up to its release (and reviewers have kindly helped out!)"

The story centers around Sophia, who is a happy housewife with the perfect husband living in a gated community she loves. Until one day she discovers what looks like the tip of a human finger when she is cleaning her house. Suddenly, Sophia’s perfect life seems not quite so perfect.

The conspiracy of silence around the plot and its twists has not prevented a rising chorus of surprised delight from Valente’s readers. Valente has written across multiple genres and formats, including the recently released speculative climate-change graphic novel The Past is Red, which was a recent Read This Next! selection by Southern booksellers. Her work, as an interviewer for Gridmark Magazine notes, includes stories of myth and superheroes, science fiction and fantasy, comedy and horror, and both middle-grade and adult.

"It’s very important to me to always be trying something new," says Valente, "pushing the edges of my skill level"


Comfort Me With Apples

What booksellers are saying about Comfort Me With Apples

  • As crisp and delicious as its namesake, with an equally rotten core. Catherynne M. Valente continues to be one of the most creative, diabolical, and insightful writers of our time.  ― Jenny Luper from Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC
    Buy from Bookmarks

  • Small and delicious, more thrilling than thriller. Valente’s prose is gorgeous and strange. I caught the mystery halfway through the narrative, which didn’t lessen any of this little novel’s power. For that witch in your life, or for a woman you know that needs to be reminded of her own ancient worth. ― Aimee Keeble from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC
    Buy from Main Street Books

  • What a creepy delight this short book was! Valente’s masterful prose creates a sense of suspense and unease that permeates the whole book– we know something is amiss, however, it isn’t until the very end that we understand who and what the threat really is. Comfort Me With Apples is like if The Yellow Wallpaper and The Bible combined and made one twisted new story.  ― Jessica Baker from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC
    Buy from Bookmarks

  • Yowza, this book! I don’t really know how to classify it – sort of horror, sort of sci-fi, sort of a class of its own. A retelling of Adam and Eve, but with a cast of Stepford-like characters, this packs a lot of wildness in just over 100 pages. Apples truly is difficult to describe without giving anything away so trust me – just read it. ― Andrea Richardson from Fountain Books in Richmond, VA
    Buy from Fountain Bookstore

About Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, Deathless, Radiance, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (and the four books that followed it). She is the winner of the Andre Norton, Tiptree, Sturgeon, Eugie Foster Memorial, Mythopoeic, Rhysling, Lambda, Locus, and Hugo awards, as well as the Prix Imaginales. Valente has also been a finalist for the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine with a small but growing menagerie of beasts, some of which are human.

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A Rush of Wings by Laura E. Weymouth

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A Rush of Wings by Laura E. Weymouth
Margaret K. McElderry Books, / November 2021


More Reviews from The Story Shop

This book is all the things I love about Weymouth’s writing: atmospheric, complex characters, compelling narrative, quietly philosophical. Rowenna is a force and I loved her!

Reviewed by Lauren Brown, The Story Shop in Monroe, Georgia



The Churchill Sisters by Rachel Trethewey

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The Churchill Sisters by Rachel Trethewey
St. Martin’s Press / November 2021


More Reviews from Fiction Addiction

A fascinating look at the lives of Winston Churchill’s daughters. Diana, Sarah, and Mary each lived very different lives but had a unique bond with their father. Despite their daughters’ difficulties that included divorce, alcoholism, and mental issues, Winston and his wife Clementine remained supportive and loving until their final years. The girls reveled in their father’s triumphs and were by his side through difficult times. Trethewey’s book provides great insight into the family life of a magnificent statesman.

Reviewed by Linda Hodges, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Cremation by Rafael Chirbes

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Cremation by Rafael Chirbes
New Directions / November 2021


More Reviews from Square Books

Cremation is a stream-of-monologue masterpiece that harkens to Beckett and Faulkner. When Matias, the patriarch of a rich Spanish family, dies, it sets off psychological battles among the surviving members. These spats take the form of unbroken pages-long conversations and thoughts, going beyond the closet-drama scope to encompass architecture, economics, corruption, art, and the consequences of 20th century European history. Towards the end, the fictional town of Misent turns into a character, much after the fashion of Durrell’s Alexandria, but more bitter and disillusioned. By the end of a reading, these incredible speeches come through like blasts of hot air over rivers of concrete.

Reviewed by Conor Hultman, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi

Stuntboy, in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds

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Stuntboy, in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books / November 2021


More Reviews from The Country Bookshop

Move over Dogman, there’s a new kid on the graphic novel shelf and he has things to say. Portico is wrestling with some real big kid issues, finding his footing, and using his super power to making sure all of the special people in his world stay super and stay safe. With a story by the award winning Jason Reynolds and illustrated by the amazing Raoul the Third, Stuntboy is sure to rocket straight to the top of everyone’s list this Fall.

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

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

Tidesong by Wendy Xu

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Tidesong by Wendy Xu
Quill Tree Books / November 2021

,,  
More Reviews from Foggy Pine Books

A Fall 2021 Read This Next! Title

Xu’s beautiful artwork in combination with such strong storytelling makes for an enchanting graphic novel. Sophie’s struggles with her inner thoughts reflect much of my own as a child, making this read all the more special. I can see this story so clearly in my mind’s eye as a Studio Ghibli film – it provides such similar comfort in small things, the beauty of nature, and how two young people can have such a central impact on each other. This graphic novel is certainly a favorite for this year.

Grace Quinn from Foggy Pine Books in Boone, NC

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

Call Us What We Carry These Precious Days I Hope This Finds You Well
New York Times No-Recipe Recipes It Fell From the Sky

[ See the full list ]

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Parting Thought

“Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. Yet nothing can replace the exact, complicated, subtle communion between absent author and entranced, present reader. ”
– Julian Barnes

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
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The Southern Bookseller Review 12/14/21

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of December 14, 2021

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December 14, 2021

SBP: The Fiction Finalists

Fiction Finalists

Last week we spotlighted the Children’s finalists for the 2022 Southern Book Prize. This week, we are taking a look at the finalists in the fiction category. Have you cast your ballot for the best Southern books of the year? VOTE HERE

Here are what some booksellers have to say about the finalists in the Fictin category:

The Fortunate Ones by Ed Tarkington

When you hit the lottery and not only end up in a posh school and invited to be part of the inner circle of a wealthy family with a home filled with everything you could possibly desire with no repercussions, you lap it up. But does this new life fit you like a glove or your little sisters wet raincoat: slippery, uncomfortable and binding? Charlie will have to find out if the character he built while growing up with his single mom will stick or the new "worry free" lifestyle will prevail. So intoxicating and well written!  – Suzanne Lucey from Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC

Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson

I was not expecting to get sucked into this book so thoroughly, but sure enough I blinked and my Sunday was gone and I had read the entire thing. This is an engrossing mystery that will have you biting your nails and possibly yelling at the characters, or maybe that was just me. Am I a little more paranoid now about leaving my child unattended? Yep. Am I making sure all my blinds are closed in our house? You betcha. Thanks a lot, Joshilyn Jackson, for giving me terrible nightmares. And a terrific day of reading. – Jamie Southern from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC

Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia

In this story that spans five generations of women in Cuba, Texas and Florida, you come away with a rather complex picture of immigration plights and political and social pressures. The recurring theme is a book—an aptly named book— that unites the women in a beautifully written, heart-wrenching story. It reminds us that every woman is created with multiple layers whether she knows it or not. – Easty Lambert-Brown from Ernest & Hadley Booksellers in Tuscaloosa, AL

Razor Blade Tears by S. A. Cosby

a powerful story about two fathers seeking forgiveness within themselves, fighting in vain for the redemption of their sons deaths, and all the while finding friendship and ally-ship in ways they never thought possible. I was fascinated and captivated by all the different intersections of race, class and sexuality. B.A. Cosby did an outstanding job of creating so much more than a fast paced, Jack Reacher style crime novel, he created a beautiful story of friendship in unlikely places and how far a father will go to fight for his son. – Olivia Schaffer from The Bookshelf in Thomasville, GA

When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash

It’s going to take some time to process the powerful, unexpected ending—not to mention the overall effects—of this excellent book. Wiley Cash’s writing is so lovely and mesmerizing, and his main character, Sheriff Winston Barnes, is so calm in the face of catastrophic events, that I felt lulled into a false sense of security that things would be ok…This book combines the intensity of a thriller with the dark beauty of a southern gothic story, and I can’t wait to share it with all kinds of readers.  – Lady Smith from The Snail on the Wall in Huntsville, AL

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

There are many reimaginings of Jane Eyre’s classic story on the market, but The Wife Upstairs is one of the most original and captivating of them. Rachel Hawkins brilliantly combined the perspective of Charlotte Brontë’s novel and Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. Both books are amazing by themselves, but the perspectives are even more eye opening when combined into one thrilling novel. Hawkins’s take on Jane’s story feels relevant and of the time and maintains the entertaining nature of the thriller genre. It’s funny and addictive, keeping you on the edge of your seat. – Karyn Cumming from Fountain Books in Richmond, VA

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory


Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey by Shawn Speakman

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The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey by Shawn Speakman
Grim Oak Press / November 2021


More Reviews from Cavalier House Books

Antiquity Grey is born into the life of an outcast. “Grey-shamed” by the rulers of her city, and bullied by other members of her community, she is determined to prove her worth. With the help of friends and former enemies, she takes on the greatest threat of all; The Imperium. This was a fast-paced thrill ride through a climate-changed world filled with giant robots and bad guys with swords and laser guns. Myth and tech collide, creating the perfect recipe for a science fantasy adventure.

Reviewed by Sophie Giroir, Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, Louisiana



Bookseller Buzz

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Spotlight on: I Hope This Finds You Well by Kate Baer

 

Kate Baer

Kate Baer’s debut book book of poetry about some of the decidedly unromantic sides of motherhood, What Kind of Woman, rocketed onto the New York Times bestseller list after she posted a couple of poems to Instagram. Her honesty about her raw and even conflicted feelings, expressed in simple yet beautiful and accessible language, touched a chord with readers. "She puts into words what a lot of women won’t say out loud" noted one reviewer.

It also touched a chord with a different note among internet trolls, so it was only a matter of moments before Baer’s Instagram inbox started filling up with rants and hate mail. It was as an early response to these that Baer wrote her first "erasure poem."

"As a writer and a woman on the internet for the last 10 years, I’ve gotten pretty used to deleting or blocking or muting when people send unkind messages. But this one caught my eye." she wrote. Instead of deleting the angry message, she pulled out the interesting words and rearranged them (she was sitting in her minivan). Then she posted the result. Baer said it was just a whim, a way to deal with the hostility directed at her. But once again, her voice resonated with readers. She found complexity and nuance underneath the hostility and bullying. Baer’s new book, I Hope This Finds You Well, reclaims the viciousness directed at turns it into something empowering.

"This new volume speaks to current events, moms, women, and anyone who is just tired of all the negativity in the world." says one bookseller below, "It’s cathartic and inspirational and beautiful."


I Hope This Finds You Well

What booksellers are saying about I Hope This Finds You Well

  • Provocative and of the moment, this collection of erasure poems was a punch in the heart. I loved how Kate Baer took words meant for harm, derision and disrespect and turned them into something powerful and beautiful. I think this set of poetry is an Insightful examination of today’s culture of drive by comments and take downs on social media. Kate Baer’s words push back in the most inspiring way. This book makes the perfect gift to a loved one (or yourself!). ― Jessica Nock from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC
    Buy from Main Street Books

  • Poignant, beautiful, and incredibly empowering: Kate Baer’s newest collection of poems is absolutely fantastic. An unforgettable reclamation of power and words through erasure poetry- Baer’s words teach that one can find beauty and purpose in the ugliest and most vitriolic of words and intentions.  ― Mary Louise Callaghan from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC
    Buy from Bookmarks

  • Baer’s follow up to the wildly successful What Kind of Woman is even better than the first collection! She has taken comments, emails, feedback, and texts from various spoken interviews and testimonies and turned them inspiring blackout poetry that turns the initial correspondence on its head. This new volume speaks to current events, moms, women, and anyone who is just tired of all the negativity in the world. It’s cathartic and inspirational and beautiful. ― Andrea Richardson from Fountain Books in Richmond, VA
    Buy from Fountain Bookstore

About Kate Baer

Kate Baer is a writer and poet based on the East Coast. Her work has regularly been featured on Joanna Goddard’s Cup of Jo, Romper, and Huffington Post. Her debut book, What Kind of Woman, was a #1 New York Times bestseller.

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There Are Trans People Here by H. Melt

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There Are Trans People Here by H. Melt
Haymarket Books / November 2021


More Reviews from Fountain Bookstore

H Melt’s poetry collection talks about pivotal moments in trans and queer history and honors those who came before them. Beautiful and touching, this collection shows another side to the struggles trans people continue to face.

Reviewed by Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia



Dreams Lie Beneath by Rebecca Ross

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Dreams Lie Beneath by Rebecca Ross
Penguin Workshop / November 2021


More Reviews from Story on the Square

Clementine is a dream warden apprentice to her father until two usurpers show up one day and tear her dreams apart. Now her only concern is getting revenge. But when she finds that the men who stole her role have deeper motives that entangle her father and family, she has to tread more carefully than she ever expected. I absolutely loved Dreams Lie Beneath! This is one of those books that even the minor characters are lively, so much so that I found myself more fascinated with them than the main characters! All in all, this will be perfect for any YA fans of magical mystery.

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

Chasing Homer by László Krasznahorkai

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Chasing Homer by László Krasznahorkai
New Directions / November 2021


More Reviews from Square Books

Chasing Homer is Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s latest novella, and it is a new turn for the author’s work, and for literature entirely. An unnamed narrator is (possibly) being chased across Europe by people never seen. Every chapter starts off with a QR code for drum music that literally sets the tempo for the barrage of perspective, and pages are often broken up by illustrations of creepy, abstract humanoids. This is a multi-media piece that works like a hand-cranked movie; as always, Krasznahorkai’s writing is innovative and powerful. A must read.

Reviewed by Conor Hultman, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi

New Year by Mei Zihan

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New Year by Mei Zihan
Greystone Kids / November 2021


More Reviews from Oxford Exchange

When growing up, it is easy to focus on how far you come and how proud you are of yourself, but it is easy to forget how much your parents may miss you and long for your presence. While growing and building your own families, you inevitably separate a little from your own. This book shows readers what a parent may think while their child is off being a grown up – proud but longing for more time with them. Mei Zihan beautifully tells of Lunar New Year and the toll that the holiday season has on him without his daughter at home. Zihan demonstrates how much he misses his daughter while also respecting her growth and being proud of the woman she has become. Beautifully told and illustrated.

Reviewed by Stephanie Carrion, Oxford Exchange in Greenville, South Carolina

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King

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Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King
Grove Press / November 2021


More Reviews from Main Street Books

A Fall 2021 Read This Next! Title

I enjoyed every word in these brilliantly-written stories. Each story offered warm and immersive portraits of real, layered characters. Original, literary, human, and peppered with heart wrenching, high-stakes moments that jolt the reader’s emotions in the best way possible. A wonderful collection.

Reviewed by Melissa Summers from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

The Lincoln Highway The 1619 Project The Anomoly
Originals Stunt Boy

[ See the full list ]

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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

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The Southern Bookseller Review 12/07/21

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of December 7, 2021

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December 7, 2021

SBP: The Children’s Finalists

Children's Finalists

Voting is ongoing for the 2022 Southern Book Prize. Have you cast your ballot for the best Southern books of the year? VOTE HERE

Here are what some booksellers have to say about the finalists in the Children’s category:

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

This book has everything! Magic, mystery, a diverse cast of characters, shocking twists, and great humor! Alston manages to deal with tough topics such as classism, prejudice, poverty, and gangs in a way that is relevant and understandable to anyone without losing its lighthearted tone. It’s a wild ride and I cannot wait to continue the series! – Abbie Townshen from Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

This is the book to hand to people who do not understand white supremacy and how it has been institutionalized into our everyday lives. Concrete Rose, the prequel to the incredibly eye-opening Hate U Give, will bring you to tears and have you fighting in your mind for characters who are fighting for their right to a comfortable life. – Olivia Schaffer from The Bookshelf in Thomasville, GA

Ground Zero by Alan Gratz

What causes so much hate and what is the true cost of revenge? Alan Gratz has delivered another brutally honest, compelling look at history that doesn’t shy away from portraying the worst parts of death and destruction while still highlighting the hope that brings people together to help strangers. This is an honest, heartbreaking portrayal of a pivotal decade in history. – Beth Seufer Buss from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC

Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

This one took me right back to high school! I loved the dynamic between the two best friend main characters, who are used to crushing on the same guy but usually from afar and usually it’s safe because the guy isn’t really interested in either of them. But this one is! The drama is not too dramatic, even though they are in drama club! – Kathy Ellen Davis from Bards Alley in Vienna, VA

Keep Your Head Up by Aliya King Neal

Everyone knows Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day. What Keep Your Head Up does even better is how do you deal with the bad in a given day and, even when a meltdown happens, how do you make good decisions going forward. I love Charly Palmer’s artwork and the expressiveness he puts in the faces and postures of his characters. even to the cloud of feeling "a little scrunchy" hovering over the kid. – Lisa Yee Swope from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC

The Key to You and Me by Jaye Robin Brown

Very sweet story about finding the inner strength to be true to who you are and the courage to go after what you want. Positive messages, nice blend of story and romantic elements, an enjoyable queer read! – Jessica Reifsnyder from Reading Rock Books in Dickson, TN

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory


Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones

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The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones
One World / November 2021


More Reviews from Flyleaf Books

The 1619 Project from Nikole Hannah-Jones asserts that to truly understand America today – politically, socially, culturally- and to begin to make repairs, you must move the timeline back to 1619, when the first enslaved people from Africa arrived in Jamestown. In this book – which is 50% more material than the original New York Times project – we hear from all the people who should have been included when initially taught American history and social studies. Herein lies a star-studded collection of thinkers, writers, poets and artists and an attempt to fully understand America’s origin story. Required reading for all who care to create a more just America.

Reviewed by Jamie Fiocco, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina



Bookseller Buzz

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Spotlight on: People from My Neighborhood by Hiromi Kawakami

 

Hiromi Kawakami

"I have been asked why I rendered the ‘kono atari” in the title as “neighborhood.” I think it’s because, for many of us at least, there is something familiar about its cast of characters. There was a lot of crazy stuff going on, but at the same time it felt like a real neighborhood, I guess, so that’s the word I chose." — Ted Goossen, translator of People from My Neighborhood

 

The 36 interconnected micro-stories contained in People from My Neighborhood create a world that Kawakami has been constructing, piece by piece, story by story, for over ten years. It is a world, as one reviewer puts it, " filled with equal parts fable and the everyday." Absurd, funny, strange, scary, and beautifully heartfelt, Kawakami deftly threads the wonderful and the mundane into a whole cloth of bright threads.


People from My Neighborhood

What booksellers are saying about People from My Neighborhood

  • The experience of reading the stories in People From My Neighborhood feels just like visiting a friend as they guide you through a stroll through their neighborhood where every corner has a surprise and every home has fantastical tales to tell. Totally charming and refreshing, with plenty of imaginative oddities that kept me walking at a brisk pace. ― Luis Correa from Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA
    Buy from Avid Bookshop

  • Hiromi Kawakami returns with an endlessly charming, quirky collection of interconnected micro-stories about the strange denizens of a Japanese neighborhood. Each story lasts a few pages at most but all pack a delightful little punch with every tale painting a small portrait of a resident – the chicken farmer, a strange diplomat, the woman who owns the shop that no one ever goes into, and many more. People From My Neighborhood is more about the stories we make up about our neighbors – the lives we construct for them with the brief glimpses we catch – and I absolutely adored every page of it. ― Caleb Masters from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC
    Buy from Bookmarks

  • Somewhere between flash fiction and vignettes, this collection creates a neighborhood where the surreal is treated as though it is reality, as though there is nothing strange about people hatching from eggs, a school made of sweets, or squishy doll brains kept in a drawer. Kawakami’s turns are as quick as the prose and the endings are tenuous at best until the larger picture begins to form across characters. These stories require the reader to embrace the weird and enjoy the uncanny, many of the stories floating in the space between nightmare and dream-state. ― Miranda Sanchez from Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, NC
    Buy from Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews

About Hiromi Kawakami

Hiromi Kawakami was born in Tokyo in 1958. Her first novel, Kamisama (God), was published in 1994. In 1996, she was awarded the Akutagawa Prize for Hebi o Fumu (Tread on a Snake) and in 2001 she won the Tanizaki Prize for her novel Sensei no Kaban (Strange Weather in Tokyo), which became an international bestseller. Strange Weather in Tokyo was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Asian Literary Prize and the 2014 International Foreign Fiction Prize. Kawakami has contributed to editions of Granta in both the UK and Japan and is one of Japan’s most popular contemporary novelists.

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I Walk With Monsters by Paul Cornell

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I Walk With Monsters by Paul Cornell
Vault Comics / October 2021


More Reviews from Foggy Pine Books

Beautifully horrific visuals and genuinely compelling characters, it was a thrilling story that, for better or worse, doesn’t spoon-feed you any extra information and keeps you as in the dark as possible. While this aides the overall foreboding aura the story emits, it also almost tantalizingly keeps it’s secrets just out of our reach. I truly hope to see more in the future, because this collection went by in a flash.

Reviewed by Deion Cooper, Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina



The Me Tree by Ashley Belote

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The Me Tree by Ashley Belote
Penguin Workshop / November 2021


More Reviews from Bookmarks

This charming and fun book emphasizes the value of friendship, even when we’d rather be alone! Bear just wants some space and is frustrated that his brand new house is filled with animal friends. But when he asks them to leave, he realizes he is lonely. Young readers can learn that sharing brings joy to the sharer, too!

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

Sway with Me by Syed M. Masood

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Sway with Me by Syed M. Masood,
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / November 2021


More Reviews from Fiction Addiction

Arsalan is an old soul…which he gets from living with his great-grandfather Nana, who is over 100 and imparts all of his wisdom and eccentricities to Arsalan. When Arsalan starts contemplating how alone he will be when his Nana dies and all he’s left with is an abusive father he hasn’t seen in years, he decides to approach Beenish, the stepdaughter of a prominent desi matchmaker, for help to arrange a marriage. Beenish’s condition is that Arsalan partner with her for a dance designed to scandalize at her sister’s upcoming wedding. Even though everything about Arsalan and Beenish is at odds, Arsalan finds himself drawn in to Beenish’s world, finding friends and relationships he didn’t know he needed — including with Beenish. Fans of Masood’s first book, More Than Just a Pretty Face, will like this one just as much.

Reviewed by Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Five Decembers by James Kestrel

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Five Decembers by James Kestrel
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / November 2021


More Reviews from McIntyre’s Fine Books

What a great cinematic story, starting with a double murder in Honolulu just before Thanksgiving 1941 which eventually took the investigating Detective to Hong Kong where he arrived on December 8th, December 7th in Hawaii, before ending Five Decembers later. Utterly enthralling.

Reviewed by Pete Mock, McIntyre’s Fine Books in Pittsboro, North Carolina

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Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris

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All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris
William Morrow Paperbacks / November 2021


More Reviews from Wordsworth Books

A Fall 2021 Read This Next! Title

Ellice Littlejohn is a Black corporate attorney who is promoted after her white boss and lover dies violently, by his own hand or someone else’s? She has secrets, but so do her coworkers. This fast-paced legal thriller hooked me from page one. I so enjoyed having a kick-ass protagonist in a legal thriller which also touches on the challenges of Black women in the male dominated corporate law firm environment. Definitely a book for fans of Stacey Abrams and Laura Lippman.

Reviewed by Lia Lent, Wordsworth Books in Little Rock, Arkansas

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

Cloud Cuckoo Land The Storyteller Dune
The Best of Me It Fell From the Sky

[ See the full list ]

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Parting Thought

“I’ve always thought that a good book should be either the entry point inward, to learn about yourself, or a door outward, to open you up to new worlds.”
– Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publisher: The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance / siba@sibaweb.com
Editor: Nicki Leone / nicki@sibaweb.com
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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

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The Southern Bookseller Review 11/30/21

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

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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

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Recommended by Southern indies…

O Beautiful by Jung Yun

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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

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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.

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My Body by Emily Ratajkowski

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Ian Miller

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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 ]

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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
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The Southern Bookseller Review 11/23/21

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

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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


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Recommended by Southern indies…

Heard It in a Love Song by Tracey Garvis Graves

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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



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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.

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

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

Orwell’s Roses by Rebecca Solnit

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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 ]

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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
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The Southern Bookseller Review 11/16/21

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

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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


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Recommended by Southern indies…

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

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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

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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

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Bittman Bread by Mark Bittman

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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 ]

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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
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The Southern Bookseller Review 11/9/21

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

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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.

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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

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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

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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."


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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.

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The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 ]

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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.

 

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