Two Tribes by Emily Bowen Cohen

Artwork was good but a bit simplistic. I enjoyed following Mia’s story as she tries to reconnect with her father and learn to balance her Hebrew and Native American heritages. Anyone dealing with divorced parents and different cultural backgrounds will enjoy this book.

Two Tribes by Emily Bowen Cohen, (List Price: 15.99, Heartdrum, 9780062983589, August 2023)

Reviewed by Krista Roach, E. Shaver Bookseller in Savannah, Georgia

Planta Sapiens by Paco Calvo

In Planta Sapiens, author Paco Calvo invites readers to challenge the notion of plants as static, reactionary organisms devoid of any agency or cognition. Through a mix of historical context, narrative, and research, Paco investigates the microscopic chemical reactions that drive plant biology and behavior – processes that he and a small contingent of his fellows believe may actually point to plant sentience.While the research findings are thought-provoking, I found myself more interested in the personal journey taken by Calvo to shift his own perspective on plant biology, as well as the significant pushback his thinking has received from the greater scientific community. Overall, I found this book entertaining, though I suspect that it may only find an audience with those who are already interested in the subject matter.

Planta Sapiens by Paco Calvo, (List Price: 28.95, W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393881080, March 2023)

Reviewed by Elliot Ambrose, E. Shaver, Bookseller in Savannah, Georgia

Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow

Simon has my heart! His spirit, authenticity, and humor make him one of the most compelling characters I’ve met in a long time. Simon, along with his parents, show that trauma changes us in terrible & beautiful ways that create something new. This tough but tender novel shines with hope and resilience. As Dolly Parton says, laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.Please don’t let the subject matter push you away from this wonderful, funny, and important book. It’s a perfect example of its OK to read dark things, our lives are full of dark things and fictional characters working their way towards the light helps us do the same. Simon Sorta of Says is fantastic!

Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow, (List Price: $16.99, Disney-Hyperion, 9781368082853, January 2023)

Reviewed by Susan Williams, M. Judson, Booksellers in Greenville, South Carolina

A Consuming Fire by Laura E. Weymouth

I will automatically consume anything Laura Weymouth writes after this book, because WOW. Romance, adventure, intrigue, suspense, and a very cute dog: all that and more are found in A Consuming Fire, which showcases Weymouth’s ability to leave you hanging on the edge of your seat for 400 pages.

A Consuming Fire by Laura E. Weymouth (List Price: $19.99, Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781665902700, November 2022)

Reviewed by Hallie Smith, Main Street Books in Davidson, North Carolina

The Cloisters by Katy Hays

The Cloisters by Katy Hays is what I imagine Mary Shelley might write if she lived in the 21st century. There are elements of horror, a little romance, an eerie setting, characters that will keep you guessing, and an ending you won’t see coming. But more than that, The Cloisters seems to play with a lot of the same themes that Mary Shelley did – ambition and fallibility, romanticism in nature, dangerous knowledge, secrecy, and isolation. But where Shelley writes about what makes us human (or not), Hays writes about what agency we have as humans. Do we have free will? Is anything predestined? Or is everything just fate?

When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination. Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs.

Sound intriguing?

Come tiptoe through the hushed hallways of The Cloisters, teeming with dark academia that whispers ancient secrets from the shadows. Mysteries smolder at the edges. What begins as a slow burn will have you holding your breath as you race to the end. The Cloisters is chock full of art history, architectural delights, and occult vibes.

This was one of those books that took over my world while I was reading it – casting a thin veil of darkness and tension over everything until I was so immersed in the characters and story that I was thinking about them and what would happen next throughout the day. Even almost a week later, I’m still pondering… the secrets we all hold, the dreams we have for ourselves and how far we’re willing to go to reach them. And whether any of that is our choice… or just fate.

Get ready to break out your tarot cards -I sure did!

The Cloisters by Katy Hays (List Price: $28.00, Atria Books, 9781668004401, November 2022)

Reviewed by Emily Lessig, The Violet Fox Bookshop in Virginia Beach, Virginia

The Ojja-Wojja by Magdalene Visaggio

Ghosts, lost evil deities, and a mean girl hive mind descend upon this small town and two best friends need to team up in order to put this crisis to rest. The pop culture references are quirky and informational for a pre-teen audience not used to common tropes. Also, it offers up an interesting perspective between heroine and villain when it comes to being on the spectrum for its exciting conclusion.

The Ojja-Wojja by Magdalene Visaggio, (List Price: $13.99, Balzer + Bray, 9780062852427, March 2023)

Reviewed by Lana Repic, E. Shaver bookseller in Savannah, Georgia

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. Mandel

Good grief I loved this book. The Glass Hotel makes more sense now, but I already loved it anyway. Nobody does time “travel” like Emily St. John Mandel. She manages not to lose us in the weaving of the timelines and characters. Despite being set in both the past and the future, the themes are so timely. A pandemic, wealth inequity, the idea of home, the role of art in society, family dynamics–it’s all there, plus there are colonies on the moon and maybe we’re all living in a simulation. It might seem like a stretch, but I think her only peer in speculative fiction is Margaret Atwood herself..

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. Mandel, (List Price: $25.00, Knopf, 9780593321447,  April 2022)

Reviewed by Angela Schroeder, Sunrise Books in High Point, North Carolina

Mrs. March by Virginia Feito

Trying to emerge from Mrs. March’s head was like clawing my way out of a dark, tangled forest of screaming trees… and I loved every second of it. Plus, those mint green kidskin gloves sound f*cking fabulous.

Mrs. March by Virginia Feito, (List Price: 26, Liveright, 9781631498619, August 2021)

Reviewed by Danielle Raub, Itinerant Literate Books in North Charleston, South Carolina

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin

I started off laughing out loud at Gilda’s inner monologue. The clever writing matches her state of mind and drew me in right away. It took me maybe a third of the book to realize that she was going to get a lot worse. She might lose her mind entirely. I was a little ticked off that this sweet, funny girl was going to be sacrificed to the literary fiction gods for the sake of seriousness. But, then, she wasn’t. I loved this book, then worried for it, then loved it all over again. It’s such a great illustration of what happens to members of a family where all hurts are stuffed, all bad things swept under the rug. Austin weaves the larger narrative into Gilda’s particular story so well that I wasn’t even aware of what she was doing. When that damn cat shows up under the steps, I nearly cheered. Bravo! This may not be an easy hand-sell, but I’m going to give my best shot.

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin, (List Price: 26, Atria Books, 9781982167356, July 2021)

Reviewed by Angela Schroeder, Sunrise Books in High Point, North Carolina

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The next chapter of independent bookselling in Memphis. We are here, we are listening, and we want to be engaged, and involved, working with Memphis and the Mid-South to enrich our community.

novel. says…read this now!

All the Sinners Bleed by S. A. Cosby

All The Sinners Bleed is crime fiction at its best. Cosby has created a genre all his own with this and his first two novels that I’d call “Virginia noir.” And I’m totally here for it. This one follows a small-town sheriff (with an FBI background) that’s chasing a serial killer that has an obsession with religious iconography and targeting very specific victims. This police procedural that sets a new standard for thrillers and it also highlights the overt/covert social tensions that are prevalent in rural communities.

All the Sinners Bleed by S. A. Cosby, (List Price: 27.99, Flatiron Books, 9781250831910, June 2023)

Reviewed by Stuart McCommon, Novel. in Memphis, Tennessee

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387 Perkins Ext.
Memphis, TN 38117
(901) 922-5526

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