The Country Bookshop

Gastro Obscura by Cecily Wong

For years, Atlas Obscura has been the go-to volume for adventurers who are looking for those off-the beaten-path journeys. Now foodies can join in the fun with Gastro Obscura, a deep dive into the wild and wonderful world of travel food, and with entries like giant Dallah ( Arabic coffee pots) fountains, there’s plenty to keep the curious reading way too late.

Gastro Obscura by Cecily Wong, (List Price: $42.50, Workman Publishing Company, 9781523502196, October 2021)

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

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

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.

Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed by Saraciea J. Fennell, (List Price: $18.99, Flatiron Books, 9781250763426, November 2021)

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

Stuntboy, in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds

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.

Stuntboy, in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds, (List Price: $13.99, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781534418165, November 2021)

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

Frankie & Bug by Gayle Forman

A Fall Read This Next! Selection

When you are growing up, the world can seem to change around you in shocking ways. Things you have taken for granted are often turned on their head and ideas and beliefs to which you have always held unquestioning faith sometimes leave you wondering what you do really believe. New York Times bestselling author Gayle Forman makes her middle grade debut with the story of Frankie and Bug and the challenges and difficulties they face during the summer the world opens up for them.

Frankie & Bug by Gayle Forman, (List Price: $17.99, Aladdin, 9781534482531, October 2021)

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

Circle Under Berry by Carter Higgins

A square or a frog? orange or an oval? The way things seem really is all about perception. For fans of Brendan Wenzel’s They All Saw A Cat comes this fun new story of perspective that will have young readers laughing and thinking and saying ” Again! AGAIN!”

Circle Under Berry by Carter Higgins, (List Price: 15.99, Chronicle Books, 9781797205083, September 2021)

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

Boogie Boogie, Y’all by C. G. Esperanza

Art is all around us. In the sky, the trees, the faces of our neighbors, and also sometimes in the graffiti sprayed on buildings, trains, and streets. The art world was changed forever by graffiti artists Basquiat and others and graffiti artists were masters of appreciating the beauty and joy all around us. This original book is rhyme and poetry and beauty in motion and is the perfect family read-together.

Boogie Boogie, Y’all by C. G. Esperanza, (List Price: 18.99, Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062976222, August 2021)

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

Bat Wings! Cat Wings? by Laura Gehl

The cow says moo and the dog says ruff, but there’s always that kid who wants to turn everything on its head and this is the perfect book for those little rebels. Fun animal facts combine with a bit of ridiculousness to make for a fun read-aloud that would be perfect for storytime or any time!

Bat Wings! Cat Wings? by Laura Gehl, (List Price: 15.99, Creative Editions, 9781568463742, August, 2021)

Reviewed by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Pittsboro, North Carolina

Nowhere Girl by Cheryl Diamond

The moment I cracked this memoir, I knew I should fasten my seatbelt–what a jaw-dropping ride it was! The unconventional childhood of Cheryl Diamond took her and her family all over the world, fleeing INTERPOL from place to place, losing and gaining identities, following highly rehearsed rules to protect their cover, and never quite finding a place to belong. The pages are filled with adventure, humor, and deep sadness. Nowhere Girl is so gorgeously written and impossible to put down. It is truly a tribute to human resilience.

Nowhere Girl by Cheryl Diamond, (List Price: 27.95, Algonquin Books, 9781616208202, June, 2021)

Reviewed by Damita Nocton, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

Becoming Vanessa by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

That first day of school can be hard on anyone, but especially if your name is looonnng, AND has two s’s, and if your style is a little more colorful than your new classmates. But no matter what, it is important to be yourself. Stunning illustrations reminiscent of the brilliant Molly Bang bring this important ‘first day of school” book to life This one is a Must-have for rising kindergartners.

Becoming Vanessa by Vanessa Brantley-Newton (List Price: $17.99, Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780525582120, 6/15/2021)

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

The Ride of Her Life by Elizabeth Letts

One Friday in early November 1954, sixth three year-Old Annie Wilkins left Minot, Maine in with her little dachshund mix Depeche Toi, her Morgan horse Tarzan, a few dollars, and not much more than the clothes on her back. But what Annie had that no one could see was pluck. Pluck and determination and a plan, to walk with Depeche Toi and Tarzan all the way to California to fulfill the dream her mother never got to see realized. This absolutely delightful story of Annie’s journey will no doubt make readers laugh, shake their heads in disbelief, cringe with worry, and stir up a bit of both horse love and wanderlust. This is THE Feel-good book of the summer, and i can’t wait to put it in the hands of my customers.

The Ride of Her Life by Elizabeth Letts (List Price: $28, Ballantine Books, 9780525619321, 6/1/2021)

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

Bubbles . . . Up! by Jacqueline Davies, Sonia Sánchez (Illus.)

A love poem to water and the many things one can do with it, this fun title screams of summer and sun and fun but also of Self-confidence and empowerment. This picture book from “Lemonade War” author Davies is an absolute must for summer reading.

Bubbles . . . Up! by Jacqueline Davies, Sonia Sánchez (Illus.) (List Price: $17.99, Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062836618, 5/4/2021)

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

Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin

A Spring 2021 Read This Next! Title

Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin
Pantheon, June

Joshua Henkin has issued an invitation to view the timeline of an American marriage. Columbia University professor, Spence Robin, was a young hotshot Shakespearean expert, capable of filling lecture halls with enraptured students. Pru Steiner was one of them. The attraction and love was immediate, the marriage secure and long-lasting. However, while only in his fifties, Spence receives the horrifying diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Their daughter is grown and gone and his son from a previous marriage has always been sporadically estranged; leaving Pru alone as Spence declines and she navigates the changes and loss of a great man. Morningside Heights is poignant, honest, thoughtfully observant, and skillfully wrought.

–Damita Nocton from The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC

Jungle Night by Sandra Boynton, Yo-Yo Ma

Nighttime in the Jungle is such a peaceful time. With the Chee chee taaahhh of the Cheetah, the chatter choo of the monkeys and the wheee grunt of the red river hogs, all the animals are sleeping soundly until….. Full of Boynton signature silliness this bedtime book is sure to have young ones calling Again! Again!

Jungle Night by Sandra Boynton, Yo-Yo Ma (List Price: $7.95, Workman Publishing Company, 9781523513604, 3/23/2021)

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

The Sky Above Us by Natalie Lund

This fast-moving and well-written book tells the story of three girls, and how they dealt with the three boys in their lives (one’s twin brother, one’s ex-boyfriend, and one’s crush). After the boys die in a freak plane accident where they were the pilots, the girls work together to figure out what really happened. This book also dives into the deeper themes of the pressures put on high school students when it comes to grades and athletics, mental health, and the social image that a student is trying to uphold.

The Sky Above Us by Natalie Lund (List Price: $18.99, Philomel Books, 9780525518037, 4/13/2021)

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

Lala’s Words by Gracy Zhang

Lala’s kind words, patience, and maybe just a little bit of magic make a tiny patch of dirt into a beautiful place in this delightful picture book that celebrates kindness, fortitude and gentleness. Perfect for Earth Day or every day, Lala’s Words will inspire young readers to plant seeds of kindness wherever they go.

Lala’s Words by Gracy Zhang (List Price: $18.99, Scholastic Inc., 9781338648232, 4/6/2021)

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

What’s the Difference? by Brette Warshaw

Many culinary items are similar, but do you know their differences? Such as what is the difference between corned beef and pastrami, or grits and hominy? Told in short chapters, this is a book you can put down and pick back up over and over, and a perfect gift for the foodie in your life.

What’s the Difference? by Brette Warshaw (List Price: $27.99, HarperWave, 9780062996190, June 2021)

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

Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford

A fresh-faced Baltimore native initially enters New York City trying to emulate her cool uptown NYC native friend from college. Ultimately it is through loyalty to the memories and movies of her childhood that she becomes “Astrid,” the in-house fortune teller at the hottest club in town. The beat of the Lower East Side in the 1980s leaps off the page as “Astrid” bounces through friends, drugs, fun and danger.

Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford (List Price: $27, Atria Books, 9781982153656, 4/6/2021)

Reviewed by Kimberly Daniels, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

Ground Zero by Alan Gratz

Alan Gratz, historical fiction go-to for middle school, has moved from WWII to more contemporary times with his newest novel Ground Zero. Told from the viewpoint of two teens on opposite sides of the globe, Gratz reframes the 9/11 story for the eyes and ears of young readers. This one is sure to be an instant bestseller.

Ground Zero by Alan Gratz (List Price: $17.99, Scholastic Press, 9781338245752, 2/2/2021)

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

What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins

Set in the Pacific Northwest, What Comes After, is brimming with emotion. A tiny town is rocked by the murder/suicide of two teenage boys who had been lifelong friends and next-door neighbors. As their families attempt to piece together the events leading up to the tragedy, a homeless pregnant girl appears. Author JoAnne Tompkins has created a study of human nature: What elements in life her characters recognize and choose to know, and what lies deeply embedded. This is a beautifully crafted novel, nuanced with suspense.

What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins (List Price: $28, Riverhead Books, 9780593085998, 4/13/2021)

Reviewed by Damita Nocton, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

The Truants by Kate Weinburg

Kate Weinberg’s debut novel of suspense weaves a tale of obsession, deception, and misguided love. Jess Walker is a young woman who enters an uninspiring university in East Anglia for the sole purpose of being a student of the charismatic professor of literature, Lorna Clay, who seems to have taken the position under a cloud of suspicion from her past. Clay will be conducting studies on the life and work of Agatha Christie, with an underlying theme, “People disappear when they most want to be seen.”

Jess not only falls under her thrall, but also that of her three new friends who introduce her to a lifestyle of excess and awakenings, with tragic and life-altering consequences.This is a moody, mesmerizing, and literary read.

The Truants by Kate Weinburg (List price: $17.00, G.P. Putnam’s Sons), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford

Janusz Korczak ran an orphanage for Jewish children in Warsaw, where conditions became increasingly harsh during WWII. Gifford tells with great detail of their daily lives–struggling to find food to eat and to not be killed by the Nazis. Over 95% of the 350,000 Jews in Warsaw did not survive the war. A sad story to read but one we must not forget.

The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford (List Price: $25.95, Pegasus Books, 9781643136363, 1/5/2021)

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

A Father’s Love by Hannah Holt, Yee Von Chan (Illus.)

A father’s love runs deep as roots, shines like the sun, swims strong and true. A father’s love whether in the animal kingdom or the human one, is powerful and true and long lasting. A fun look at the roles of fathers in the animal kingdom, this little gem is perfect for Father’s Day or every day.

A Father’s Love by Hannah Holt, Yee Von Chan (Illus.) (List Price: $8.99, Philomel Books, 9780593206188, 1/5/2021)

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

The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly

Inspired by early female garden designers, this is a tale of the gardens in an estate and the three generations of women who live and work in them–from the design of the gardens, to their use during WWII, and to their restoration after years of neglect. An easy read and one that makes you want to visit the gardens of England.

The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly (List Price: $28, Gallery Books, 9781982107826, 1/12/2021)

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

Just Our Luck by Julia Walton

Just Out Luck is a moving and absolutely hilarious tale about Leo, a high school boy all caught up in his own anxiety. Leo normally keeps his head down, but a fight with another boy at school starts a strange chain reaction, tangling Leo up in something he thought he never would have been part of by choice. I absolutely loved the character building in this amazing, touching book.

Just Our Luck by Julia Walton (List Price: $17.99, Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780399550928, 12/29/2020)

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

Bear Island by Matthew Cordell

There is no one good way to get through any bad time, but after losing her best dog Charlie, Louise retreats to a tiny island near her home where her days are filled with warm sun, quiet animals and time. Time to think and be and find a path forward. A lovely story of healing after loss from picture book wizard Matt Cordell.

Bear Island by Matthew Cordell (List Price: $18.99, Felwel & Friends, 9781250317162, 1/26/2021)

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

A Busy Year by Leo Lionni

Winnie and Willie and Woody are friends. First, as January snow falls on Woody’s branches, later as her branches bloom and even later as her leaves begin to fall, the friends experience all a year has to offer. A fun way to learn about the seasons while also zeroing in on the qualities of a good friend, A Busy Year is a classic that deserves a spot on every child’s bookshelf.

A Busy Year by Leo Lionni (List Price: $8.99, Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780593301883, 1/12/2021)

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

Grace and Box by Kim Howard, Megan Lotter (Illus.)

Friends come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes they come in the mail! Grace and Box is the perfect read-aloud for every child who has enjoyed a long afternoon with a cardboard box, a pack of sharpies and some tape.

Grace and Box by Kim Howard, Megan Lotter (Illus.) (List Price: $18.99, Felwel & Friends, 9781250262943, 1/26/2021)

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

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

Agatha Christie went missing for 11 days in 1926, and this novel tells Christie’s story, building the events of her life and her disappearance to a crescendo right at the end of the book. This is an amazing story of one woman who subjugated herself to the benefit of her husband and the detriment of herself and her daughter, but eventually stood up for herself to the benefit of all who read her novels. I loved this book.

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict (List Price: $26.99, Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781492682721, 1/12/2021)

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

Nick by Michael Farris Smith

Author Michael Farris Smith has pulled off a tremendous literary feat. His latest novel, Nick, can play two roles. The first, a magnificent stand alone novel for readers unfamiliar with Fitzgerald’s classic, The Great Gatsby. The second, Gatsby fans will have a deeply satisfying lens to observe the life of narrator, Nick Carraway, and the events that formed one of literature’s most beloved voices.

Nick by Michael Farris Smith (List Price: $27, Little, Brown and Company, 9780316529761, 1/5/2021)

Reviewed by Damita Nocton, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

Thesaurus Has a Secret by Anya Glazer, Anya Glazer (Illus.)

Young readers will savor, relish, treasure and adore this charming book about a dinosaur who, well, loves books. All Thesaurus needs to make him happy is a good book, a comfy spot and some peace and quiet. He makes books look so interesting, the other dinosaurs just might join him! This one’s sure to become a bedtime favorite.

Thesaurus Has a Secret by Anya Glazer, Anya Glazer (Illus.) (List Price: $17.99, Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062916051, 10/6/2020)

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

Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson

Nina, an Italian Jew, pretends to be the wife of an Italian Christian farmer to survive the war. Robson has written a believable story of some of the horrors of the Nazi regime and how they affected the lives of ordinary people.

Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson (List Price: $17.99, William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062674975, 1/5/2021)

Reviewed by Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC

Peter Easter Frog by Erin Dealey, G. Brian Karas (Illus.)

Who says Bunnies should have all the fun? HIppity Hoppity Pete the Easter… FROG is here to help out the Bunny any way he can. A fun holiday story of kindness, sharing and friends with a few giggle-inducing surprises along the way.

Peter Easter Frog by Erin Dealey, G. Brian Karas (Illus.) (List Price: $9.99, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781481464895, 1/19/2021)

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

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buy link: https://www.thecountrybookshop.biz/book/9781481464895

Who says Bunnies should have all the fun? HIppity Hoppity Pete the Easter… FROG is here to help out the Bunny any way he can. A fun holiday story of kindness, sharing and friends with a few giggle-inducing surprises along the way.

Peter Easter Frog by Erin Dealey, G. Brian Karas (Illus.) (List Price: $9.99, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781481464895, 1/19/2021)

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

The Children’s Train by Viola Ardone

Amerigo is a child in southern Italy sent north with other children to escape the deprived conditions after WWII. Choosing to stay with his adoptive family he lives a good life. Going home fifty years later for his mother’s funeral causes him to rethink his life and what a family really means. A great book that will provoke good book club discussions.

The Children’s Train by Viola Ardone, Clarissa Botsford (Trans.) (List Price: $16.99, HarperVia, 9780062940513, January 2021)

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

No Surrender by Christopher Edmonds

Chris Edmonds tells the story of his father Roddie who served in WWII and spent time as a POW in Germany. Standing up to his German captors, Roddie saved the lives of 200 Jewish American POWs and almost 1,300 total American POWs. This is a powerful story of a man who chose to do the right thing and changed the lives of countless others.

No Surrender by Christopher Edmonds, Douglas Century (List Price: $17.99, HarperOne, 9780062905024, 10/20/2020)

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

I’ll Love You Till the Cows Come Home by Kathryn Cristaldi

Oh my goodness, this is the sweetest thing I have read in quite a while. It just makes me want to gather my 3 year old to sit in my lap and read ” I will love you til the cows come home, from a trip to mars through skies unknown, in a rocket ship made of glass and stone… I will love you til the cows come home.

I’ll Love You Till the Cows Come Home Board Book by Kathryn Cristaldi
(List Price: $7.99, HarperFestival, 12/15/2020)

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

Winter Is Here by Kevin Henkes, Laura Dronzek

When winter comes it comes soft like snowfall and hard like leaves frozen in ice. Winter comes white and gray and deep deep blue. From husband and wife team of Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek, Winter is Here is the companion to the lovely When Spring Comes and is the perfect introduction to the seasons for young readers.

Winter Is Here by Kevin Henkes, Laura Dronzek
(List Price: $8.99, Greenwillow Books, 11/3/2020)
Recommended by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

The Orphan Collector: A Heroic Novel of Survival During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic by Ellen Marie Wiseman

Wiseman takes the sad story of the 1918 flu epidemic in Philadelphia and gives it a face with the tale of Pia Lange, a young daughter of German immigrants who goes out to search for food after her mother dies from the flu and comes back to find her twin infant brothers gone. This is a great story that reveals both the best and the worst in people.

The Orphan Collector: A Heroic Novel of Survival During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic by Ellen Marie Wiseman (List price: $16.99, Kensington), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

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