The Country Bookshop

Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro

The story of family and how lives intersect over time, Signal Fires is a quiet portrait of neighbors who lived near a 500-year-old oak tree during a large chunk of their lives. How those in the two families live and people chose to intersect or not to, choose to acknowledge weakness or tragedy- or do not- as they move through lives stages and across the country are central to this novel.

Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro, (List Price: $28, Knopf, 9780593534724, October 2022)

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

This Story Is Not About a Kitten by Randall de Sève

An October 2022 Read This Next! Title

Many hands make light work, and many hearts working together can accomplish great things. This is not a story about a kitten, its a story about community, the language of caring, and of the incredible powers of kindness group effort can bring.

This Story Is Not About a Kitten by Randall de Sève, (List Price: $18.99, Random House Studio, 9780593374535, October 2022)

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

Invisible: A Graphic Novel by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Community service gains a whole new meaning for five middle school students in this must-have dual language graphic novel. Edgar award-winning author Christina Diaz Gonzalez even adds a signature mystery twist to the story that is sure to resonate with any one who ever felt lost in the wild world of middle school.

Invisible: A Graphic Novel by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, (List Price: $12.99, Graphix, 9781338194548, August 2022)

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

One Hundred Saturdays by Michael Frank

Stella Levi is a reluctant narrator. But Saturday after Saturday she allows pieces of her story to begin to form the charming, haunting, lively, tragic, tale of life and loss and art and survival that is One Hundred Saturdays. This is absolutely the best book I’ve read all year, and with the added bonus of Maira Kalman’s brilliant illustrations of life on Rhodes, in Auschwitz, and in New York, it may very well be the best book of the decade.

One Hundred Saturdays by Michael Frank, (List Price: $28, Avid Reader Press, 9781982167226, September 2022)

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

We Spread by Iain Reid

A September 2022 Read This Next! Title

I adore the way Iain Reid can make you feel so clueless and enthralled at the same time. During most of We Spread I had no idea what was going on and it was completely fine by me. The way he writes, even the most horrifying feeling, is soothing. I found myself trying to read slower as I neared the end because the experience passed too quickly.

We Spread by Iain Reid, (List Price: $26.99, Gallery/Scout Press, 9781982169350, September 2022)

Reviewed by Mary Salazar, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

Calling for a Blanket Dance by Oscar Hokeah

A compelling book about how our family shapes how we are seen and who we become. Touching on themes of generational trauma, poverty, a feeling of belonging and family conflict, this story focuses on the life of Ever, told through generations of his Cherokee, Kiowa and Mexican family members. Honest and powerful, great storytelling.

Calling for a Blanket Dance by Oscar Hokeah, (List Price: $27.00, Algonquin Books, 9781643751474, July 2022)

Reviewed by Jennifer Privitera, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

The Darkening by Sunya Mara

Vesper Vale, the daughter of failed revolutionaries, is on her quest to save her father from the storm. Vesper must lie about everything, including her feelings, to get inside the prince’s cold and unfeeling heart. However, when armed with her own choice, will she choose trusting the prince, or the storm? Interesting, heartbreaking, and fast paced, with plot twists you’ll never see coming, this one is a perfect choice for fantasy, action, and romance readers.

The Darkening by Sunya Mara, (List Price: $18.99, Clarion Books, 9780358561989, July 2022)

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

I Am a Baby by Bob Shea

A June 2022 Read This Next! Title!

If ever a book has gotten new parenthood spot on, its " I am a Baby." This one should be a required gift at every baby shower, because when there’s a new baby around, you’ve got to laugh at all the ways the world changes for everyone!

I Am a Baby by Bob Shea, (List Price: 17.99, Candlewick, 9781536218329, 9781536218329, June 2022)

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

By Her Own Design by Piper Huguley

Ann Cole Lowe was a dress designer to Olivia de Haviland, Jacqueline Bouvier and other high society women. But she was born a black woman in Alabama whose mother and grandmother sewed for high society and learned her trade from them. Finding a white benefactress in Tampa, Ann begins her own design career that eventually takes her to NY. What a great novel of a talented black woman who succeeds through hard work.

By Her Own Design by Piper Huguley, (List Price: $16.99, William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780063059740, June 2022)

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

Search by Michelle Huneven

A novel written as a memoir of Dana Potowski (who is also a restaurant critic) chosen as one of eight members of her church’s search committee for a new senior minister. This is a wonderful story of diverse ages and personalities striving to reach a decision that adheres to their mission and is best for all, regardless of their personal opinions – and each of the members has an opinion. I loved this book and stayed up way past my bedtime reading it because I couldn’t put it down.

Search by Michelle Huneven, (List Price: $27, Penguin Press, 9780593300053, April 2022)

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

Ways to Grow Love by Renée Watson

Ryan Hart is headed to sleepaway camp where she faces some friendship challenges, but even that may be easier than going home to the new baby that’s on its way. Ramona Quimby for a new generation, Ryan Hart is a young, optimistic black girl navigating a changing world with style. This series really has staying power.

Ways to Grow Love by Renée Watson, (List Price: $7.99, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 9781547609963, April 2022)

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

Bitter Orange Tree by Jokha Alharthi

When Man Booker Prize winner Jokha Alharthi writes, a river of emotions pours from her in the most beautiful way possible. Her latest translated novel features a young Omani student in London attempting to come to terms with the grief and regrets of losing her devoted grandmother by not attending to her when she needed her most. The tale drifts back and forth through time, giving the reader a view into the two strikingly different lives of these women; where both bear the weight of unfulfilled desires. This was an exquisite and haunting read.

Bitter Orange Tree by Jokha Alharthi, (List Price: $26, Catapult, 9781646220038, May 2022)

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

The National Menagerie of Art by Thaïs Vanderheyden

Art museums are wonderful places of discovery and this collection of 20 famous pieces is a great way to bring all the world’s great art museums into one spot. This little gem is the perfect introduction to art for novices of a tender age.

The National Menagerie of Art by Thaïs Vanderheyden, (List Price: $12.95, Prestel Junior, 9783791375090, April 2022)

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

The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill

This beautiful tale is cleverly oozling with allegory–but it boils down to a simple message: knowledge, education, and the written word are power, kindness matters, and together we are stronger. Kelly Barnhill has crafted a masterpiece chock full of mistrusting citizens in a ruined village, an ogress with a big heart, orphans who pay attention, crows with a language of their own, a scarily charismatic mayor who isn’t who he seems, and an unnoticed stone at the heart of it all. This reader was thoroughly bedazzled and charmed by its brilliance.

The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill, (List Price: $28, Algonquin Young Readers, 9781643750743,  February 2022)

Reviewed by Damita Nocton from The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC

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