The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter

7/13/2021

The Summer Reading List, reviewed

Obama's Summer Reading List

Last week former President Obama published his summer reading list. This is an event many indie booksellers look forward to — not just because the list always means a surge in sales, (although that is nice) — but because they find the list, well, interesting. This is a group of people who are unapologetically nosy about what other people are reading, so much so they have turned it into a career. “What are you reading?” is a phrase that comes second only to “You’ve got to read this!”

What do they think about the books on Obama’s summer reading list? Read for yourself:

Land of Big Numbers by Te-Ping Chen
“In the stories of 
Land of Big Numbers, change makes its presence known in slow-healing wounds, funny and awkward adjustments, subtle joys, and plain yet devastating loss. Te-Ping Chen portrays contemporary China with a balance of affection and blunt candor.” – Cat Chapman from Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL | Buy from Oxford Exchange

Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen
“This book will make an incredible addition to the Katrina literature canon. Nguyen shines a spotlight on the strength and depth of Vietnamese immigrants, a New Orleans community that’s rarely given enough credit or context for their contribution to this city. 
” -Caroline Bergeron from Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans, LA | Buy from Garden District Book Shop

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
Terrifying, eerie and dripping with suspense, Leave The World Behind haunts me. Trust me, this novel is begging to be discussed. All I can say here is: Flamingos? And teeth?! Rumaan Alam leaves his reader with more questions than answers (about ourselves, race, class, our culture, life) and I am here for it. This one is a genre bender – definitely literary fiction, but also science fiction and mystery/thriller.” – Jessica Nock from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC | Buy from Main Street Books

The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
“Georgia in the days immediately following the Emancipation Proclamation, Harris’ characters display the best and the worst responses to the new order. Brutal yet hopeful, this one’s a slow burn until you realize you’re so caught up in the story you can’t possibly stop reading.
” -Jamie Fiocco from Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC | Buy from Flyleaf Books

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
Reviews of A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam, After the Ink Dries by Cassie Gustafson, Books Promiscuously Read by Heather Cass White, City Problems by Steve Gobler, Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom by Sangu Mandanna, The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Click here to read more

7/6/2021

The Summer Reading List, energized!

Read This Next, Summer 2021

Southern indie booksellers have selected the 2021 Summer Read This Next! List: their favorite picks for new summer books. Titles are chosen from books publishing from July through September, representing the full range of reader interests. Each of the fifteen has the enthusiastic support of southern booksellers, marking them as hand-sell favorites for the summer. Read This Next! is the “You’ve got to read this!” list of the season.

Some of our favorite comments:

“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.” -Amber Brown of Quail Ridge Books on Hell of a Book by Jason Mott

“It turns out all those hours I spent watching 1980s (and beyond) horror films weren’t wasted. ” -Tracie Harris of The Book House on The Final Girls Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Eerie and chilling to the bone, The River Has Teeth is a razor-sharp novel that had me devouring its secrets late into the night.” – Brad Sells from Parnassus Books, about The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters

See all 15 great summer reads here.

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel
Reviews of The Tiger Mom’s Tale by Lyn Liao Butler, How to Break an Evil Curse by Laura Morrison, Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin, The Cruelty Is the Point by Adam Serwer, On the Day the Horse Got Out by Audrey Helen Weber, House of Sticks by Ly Tran

Click here to read more

6/29/2021

Inspiration on the hard hat tour.

Reader Meet Writer with Terry Roberts

Last week’s Reader Meet Writer event with Terry Roberts was rather special because it featured Heather Bell Adams (The Good Luck Stone) as guest interviewer and, it was immediately clear, very good friend of the author.

Roberts’ new novel, My Mistress’ Eyes Are Raven Black is a noir thriller set in the 1920s on Ellis Island. The discussion ranged far and wide from matters of craft to the haunting feeling of the abandoned buildings not many people see when they visit. “We took the hard hat tour,” Roberts tells Adams. “It takes you to the parts of the island that are completely unreconstructed, the primary general hospital and the isolation hospital. They are haunting, haunted places.”

It was during that tour that Roberts, already planning his novel, found his setting. Watch the interview.

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Hola Papi! by John Paul Brammer
Reviews of Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder, Willie Nelson’s Letters to America by Willie Nelson, These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan, The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig, If the World Were 100 People by Jackie McCann, Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin

Click here to read more

6/22/2021

Happy Juneteenth.

Juneteenth

A new national holiday is a rare thing, so when June 19th was commemorated as Juneteenth by Congress last week, it was cause for celebration. Juneteenth, also sometimes known as Jubilee Day, marks the day enslaved people in Texas learned they were free.

Congress declared the holiday on the 15th, which didn’t leave much time to make plans for the newly official holiday. But if there is one thing bookstores can do, quickly and with great enthusiasm, it is create a reading list.

Here are some of the Juneteenth reading suggestions from Indie bookstores:

Juneteenth Reading List from Charis Books & More

Black-Owned Bookstores’ Picks for Juneteenth via Libro.fm

Juneteenth Reading List from One More Page Books

The IndyReads Celebrate Juneteenth List

A Juneteenth Celebration List from Books and Books

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Nowhere Girl by Cheryl Diamond
Reviews of The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris, The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel, The Tangleroot Palace: Stories by Marjorie Liu, Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury, The Last Fallen Star (A Gifted Clans Novel) by Graci Kim, One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Click here to read more

6/15/2021

How to check out more books than you’re allowed at the library.

Watch David Zucchino in converation with Wiley Cash

“Quite aside from being one of our finest storytellers, in his first crime novel Chris Offutt reminds us as always of how much we’ve pushed The Southern Bookseller Review congratulates historian and journalist David Zucchino, who received the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction for his book Wilmington’s Lie.

Next Thursday, June 17th, Chris Offutt will be joining Reader Meet Writer. His new novel, The Killing Hills, is a “debut” of sorts for the author. Zucchino appeared on the Reader Meet Writer series in January, shortly after his book was published in paperback. The book covers the events that lead up to, and the repercussions of what has been deemed the only successful coup in American history — The 1898 Race Massacre in Wilmington, North Carolina.

What booksellers have to say about Wilmington’s Lie:

Rosemary Pugliese from Malaprop’s in Asheville, NC:
“This is truly a book to shake your world view. To know violence could occur so openly in the U.S., and be fairly hidden for decades, is to begin to face how deeply ingrained racism is in our history – particularly in the South. Wilmington’s Lie is a “must read,” even as it sickens, shocks, and educates.”
Buy from Malaprop’s

Samantha Flynn from Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC:
“Zucchino brings the high standards of journalistic excellence for which he is known to this exposé of the despicable events of 1898. While there is much we may never know about that painful period, this book provides a long overdue insight into the “white supremacy” movement after Reconstruction, and the horrific treatment of black citizens by its proponents to achieve their ends.”
Buy from Quail Ridge Books

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: The Killing Hills by Chris Offutt
Reviews of The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo. Swimming Back to Trout River by Linda Rui Feng, Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi, We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon, Becoming Vanessa by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, The Killing Hills by Chris Offutt

Click here to read more

6/8/2021

Overlooking painful stories is part of the problem.

Chris Offutt

“Quite aside from being one of our finest storytellers, in his first crime novel Chris Offutt reminds us as always of how much we’ve pushed away from us—the natural world, kindness, community—and that the time will come when we reach again and it’s no longer there for the asking.”—James Sallis

Next Thursday, June 17th, Chris Offutt will be joining Reader Meet Writer. His new novel, The Killing Hills, is a “debut” of sorts for the author. He is a beloved and admired novelist and short story writer, a voice for Appalachia and the Ozarks, and a memoirist, essayist, screenwriter…the list goes on for so long that it seems impossible “crime novelist” wasn’t on it.

…until now. The Killing Hills is a thriller set in a small Kentucky community where a suspicious death exposes conflicting loyalties, rivalries, and resentments of friends and neighbors.

Offutt is a favorite among Southern indie booksellers:

“This was a blast! Hill country Kentucky noir with characters that both repulse and endear. A tough combo that works well with the plot of familial vengeance that piles up the bodies without understanding the cause that makes the blood boil so hot. Superb.” — Pete Mock, McIntyre’s Books, Pittsboro, North Carolina

REGISTER

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Animal by Lisa Taddeo
Reviews of There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura, What Will You Be? by Yamile Saied Méndez, Kate Alizadeh (Illus.), Stranger Care by Sarah Sentilles, With Teeth by Kristen Arnett, The Marvelous by Claire Kann, Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Click here to read more

6/1/2021

Take pride. Read books.

Take Pride, 2021

June is Pride Month. In fact, June 2021 is the 51st such celebration. If the 50th anniversary was subsumed by the pandemic, this year the event seems to carry special significance as people everyone open their doors, step outside, and come out into the sun.

LGBTQ” is a common genre in the reviews published by indie booksellers. It is one of the top ten tags in use at The Southern Bookseller Review. Take pride. Read a book.

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Reviews of The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin, Like a Dandelion by Huy Voun Lee, Huy Voun Lee (Illus.), The Sky Above Us by Natalie Lund, Finding Freedom by Erin French, The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers, Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Click here to read more

5/25/2021

Spend an evening with a writer.

The Soulmate Equation

The Reader Meet Writer Author Series has a rich and exciting June schedule. On June 8th the author duo “Christina Lauren” will be talking about their new romance novel, The Soulmate Equation. This book has been a huge hit with Southern booksellers, see some of their comments below in the “Book Buzz” feature.

On June 3rd, this coming Tuesday, is Will Johnson, whose debut novel If Or When I Call is a favorite with the Reader Meet Writer host Wiley Cash. Some of you may know Johnson as a musician who has played in several bands, including Centro-matic and Monsters of Folk. (He’s also an artist who loves to paint pictures of baseball). Johnson says that If Or When I Call is “… a family story—an account of working people, struggling with their respective battles in a place (rural Missouri) that a lot of people might not ever think about.”

If or When I Call with Will Johnson
Thu Jun 3rd 7:00pm – 8:00pm | REGISTER

On Jun 10th, RMW welcomes Natalie Baszile. Readers may remember her as the author of Queen Sugar, or have seen the mini-series based on that novel. We Are Each Other’s Harvest is a different animal: a collection of essays, poetry, stories, and conversations around the theme of Black farming, land reclamation and legacy, the book speaks directly to many of the communities within the reach of Southern readers. It is also a delicious “foodie” book with a fascinating on-the-ground look at some very creative, visionary, (and stubborn!) people.

Natalie Baszile, author of We Are Each Other’s Harvest, for Thursday, June 10th at 7:00 PM. | REGISTER

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren
Reviews of Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann, Love in Color by Bolu Babalola, The Ride of Her Life by Elizabeth Letts, Ace of Spades by Faridah Abike-Iyimide, Small Knight and the Anxiety Monster by Manka Kasha, Better than the Movies by Lynn Painter

Click here to read more

5/18/2021

Don’t complain unless you’re going to be part of the solution.

Friendly City Books

What they are reading at Friendly City Books

Friendly City Books in Columbus, Mississippi recently joined the SBR family of reviewers. Founder Emily Liner opened the store in the fall of 2020, when the town found itself without a bookstore. “We have a saying in my family,” says Emily on the store’s website,“Don’t complain unless you’re going to be part of the solution.”

Friendly City Books focuses on Mississippi writers, and also has its own publishing imprint dedicating to identifying new Mississippi voices.

Read the books they are reading at Friendly City | Visit the store

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller
Reviews of The Haunting of Alma Fielding by Kate Summerscale, Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins, Edie Richter is Not Alone by Rebecca Handler, Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey, Kafka and the Doll by Larissa Theule, Rebecca Green (Illus.), While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams

Click here to read more

5/11/2021

Bress ‘n’ nyam! (Bless and eat!)

Laura Dave’s new novel, The Last Thing He Told Me, was just picked as a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Selection, sending it rocketing up the bestseller lists. But before that, it was an IndieNext Pick, and a favorite among southern indie booksellers:

Propulsive, heart-warming thriller. Yep, you read that right. A ten on the can’t-put-down scale, with gorgeous, complex characters. Devoured in one sitting; very satisfying. — June Wilcox, M. Judson, booksellers & storytellers in Greenville, South Carolina

I found I couldn’t put it down. With relatable characters and an interesting plot, it will be a perfect choice for summer’s vacation – or staycation. –Lia Lent, Wordsworth Books in Little Rock, Arkansas

Get ready for a fabulous exploration of motherhood, loyalty and love, all packed in a tense thriller. Bravo! — Pam Crawford, Bookmiser

Meet the author tonight at Reader Meet Writer:
Tue May 11th 7:00pm – 8:00pm EST | REGISTER

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Heaven by Mieko Kawakami
Reviews of Bress ‘n’ Nyam by Matthew Raiford, Amy Paige Condon, Rabbit Island by Elvira Navarro, Christina MacSweeney (Trans), Pumpkin by Julie Murphy, The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz, All of Us by Kathryn Erskine, Alexandra Boiger (Illus), Secrets of Happiness by Joan Silber

Click here to read more

5/4/2021

Into the wilderness.

About a month and 245 years ago, Daniel Boone led a group of pioneers into Kentucky to establish a settlement which he called, with his typical sense of modesty, Boonesborough. A week later, the 13 colonies declared their independence from England. And a few weeks after that, some Cherokee and Shawnee canoeing up the Kentucky river kidnapped Boone’s daughter, Jemima. His pursuit of the kidnappers and rescue of his daughter and her friends would later be fictionalized in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans.

Next week’s Reader Meet Writer event with Bob Drury and Tom Clavin takes a new look at a man almost entirely obscured by legend. A restless wanderer in a violent time, Blood and Treasure is a unique portrait of America’s first and arguably greatest pathfinder Daniel Boone—not the coonskin cap-wearing caricature of popular culture but the flesh-and-blood frontiersman and Revolutionary War hero whose explorations into the forested frontier beyond the great mountains would become the stuff of legend. It is also the story of the birth, or birth pangs, of a country, told through the eyes of both the ordinary and larger-than-life men and women, white and Native American, who witnessed it.

Thursday, May 13 at 7:00 PM EST. REGISTER HERE

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
Reviews of Mary Jane: A Novel by Jessica Anya Blau, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Trans.), Not Our Summer by Casie Bazay, Brat by Andrew McCarthy, The Sky Above Us by Natalie Lund, The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews

Click here to read more

4/27/2021

The trouble with werewolves

This evening’s Reader Meet Writer Series features Jaclyn Moriarty, the author of The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst. “I want everyone one to read it,” says Carolyn Roys of Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, IL, “because it weaves magic, ogres, faeries, intrigue, disaster, heartache, boarding school, sisters, friends and parents into the perfect story you won’t be able to put down. I will place it in the hands of parents, teachers, grandparents and kids coming in to find the perfect book to hold their attention and remind them why they love reading. Moriarty gets it just right.”

Fun fact: Jaclyn Moriarty’s sister is the bestselling novelist Liane Moriarty!

Register here

Next week on May 6th is a conversation with Josephine Caminos Oría, whose book Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love in Thirteen Courses is a perfect Mother’s Day gift. The word refers to a Spanish tradition of relaxing at the table and talking to family after a meal.

“At once a magical matrilineage, recipe book, and love letter to Argentinian culture, Josephine’s Sombremesa is not only a moving culinary memoir, but a timely cultural portrait and call to return to a slower, more sensual relationship with our loved ones and ourselves.”—Allie Rowbottom, author of Jell-O Girls

Watch the beautiful trailer below, and register here.

Sobremesa

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal
Reviews of Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Popisho by Leone Ross, Pop Song by Larissa Pham, Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney, and Memory Jars by Vera Brosgol.

Click here to read more

4/20/2021

April 24th is Independent Bookstore Day.

To most of the world, April 24th is Shakespeare’s birthday — a day surely deserving of a bank holiday if every there was one.

It is also, this year, Independent Bookstore Day, — a day to celebrate your local bookshop, attend some of the special events they have planned, and take advantage of some of the sales and special items only available on this day, from these stores. Everything from free audiobooks to signed special editions of books, limited edition prints, fun gifts, and in many cases special discounts only available for the day.

Over 750 bookstores are participating, and events range from virtual to socially distanced in-person celebrations. Itinerant Literate in Charleston, SC has “transformed our backyard” for a “Big Monsters Only Garden Party“.

The “store without a store” in Huntsville, AL, Snail on the Wall will have a pop-up store that day and special “Mother’s Day bundles”

Avid Bookshop in Athens Georgia has not yet opened its doors for browsing but has exclusive items for sale on its website, and has created a “donations only sidewalk sale” to benefit a local nonprofit, Help Mutual Aid Athens.

Indie Bookstores in New Orleans: Garden District BookshopBaldwin & Co.Blue Cypress BooksOctavia Books, and Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Bookshop have banded together to create a city-wide Scavenger Hunt. Pick up a Bookstore Passport at any of the stores to play. And yes, there are prizes.

Check the map to find out what your local bookstore is doing. Shop local now, so you can shop local later.

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Reviews of Sparrow Envy by J. Drew Lanham, Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke, Clues to the Universe by Christina Li, Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown by Brandon Jew, Tienlon Ho, Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley, and A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib.

Click here to read more

4/13/2021

Poetry in community.

April a favorite month among booksellers because it is National POETRY MONTH. Poetry is one of those sections in a bookstore that never sells enough to justify its space, but no bookseller can bear to part with. This is the one time of the year when booksellers have an excuse to talk poetry to all of their unsuspecting customers.

Stores do all sorts of things for the month– they give discounts to customers who recite poems at the cash register. They put out typewriters for patrons to test drive. They hand out little poems like fortune cookies, and invite customers to write poetry with chalk on the sidewalk pavement in front of their shops.

Of course, these are all “in the store” things, and “in the store” for the last year and counting may not yet be possible. Poetry window displays have become poetry Instagram posts. Impromptu poetry readings have turned into virtual events. And April remains a favorite time for new poetry books to be published (and bought). Amanda Gorman’s stirring Inaugural Poem, The Hill We Rise currently tops the bestseller list.

Friendly City Books in Columbus, Mississippi is doing all of it. The are hosting an Earthday Poetry virtual event , have created a Poetry subscription box, and are publishing a new book by Thomas Richardson. And perhaps the coolest thing…they have started a community poem, “What Columbus Means to Me“. If you live in Columbus you can submit the next line by 4/16. It should rhyme with “gold.”

What is your local bookshop doing for Poetry month?

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone
Reviews of Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor, The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin, The Haunting of Alma Fielding by Kate Summerscale, Bubbles . . . Up! by Jacqueline Davies, Sonia Sánchez (Illus.), The Barbizon by Paulina Bren, and Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia.

Click here to read more

4/6/2021

Read This Next! Spring Edition

Read This Next!

The change of seasons is marked by many things — changes in the weather, in the flowers blooming in the garden, in the birds appearing at the feeder, in the transition from football to baseball games on television, in the release of new seasons of favorite shows.

And new readings lists. Every season Southern indie booksellers come up with a list of anticipated books. The 2021 Spring Read This Next! List is a selection of spring new releases generating extra buzz and excitement. Each of the fifteen titles in the list received multiple high ratings and enthusiastic reviews, marking them as hand-sell favorites for the forthcoming season:

“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.”  –Jamie Southern from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC about Joshilyn Jackson’s novel, Mother May I.

“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 on A Little Devil in America.

“Goofy and sweet, full of love and loss, and of course, a deep, nerdy love for movie soundtracks. Better Than the Movies will have you squealing and swooning.”–Brittany Bunzey from Read With Me, A Children’s Book & Art Shop in Raleigh, NC on Lynn Painter’s new novel.

See the full Spring list. Your questions about what to read next have been answered.

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny
Reviews of Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri, Animals by Will Staples, The Book of Difficult Fruit by Kate Lebo, Creatures of Passage by Morowa Yejidé, Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera, and Malice by Heather Walter.

Click here to read more

3/30/2021

How does your garden grow?

Gardening

A year ago, while most people were talking about sheltering in place and toilet paper shortages, something else was also becoming hard to find: seeds. Even under a stay-at-home order, one can only watch so many streaming movies. People began to rediscover the pleasures of their own yards, and their own gardens. Across the country seed catalogs and websites found themselves selling out of heirloom tomatoes, herbs, peppers, and beans.

It is now planting season again, and while life is slowly returning to normal, perhaps “normal” will now include making time and space for the garden. Here are some children’s books recommended by booksellers for the budding gardener:

An ABC of Flowers by Jutta Hilpuesch
-recommended by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC

“…incredibly beautiful in describing the struggle of an everyday citizen in Tehran. It’s a great read to spur discussion for those looking for book-club picks.”

Grow Kind by Jon Lasser and Sage Foster-Lasser
-recommended by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC

“Everyone wants their child to grow up to be kind, but how do you grow a kind child? In this sweet story of sisterhood, friendship and neighbor love, Keiko shares the bounty of the garden she has lovingly tended and finds extra special joy in the delight of others. Grow Kind is the third book in a series that also includes Grow Happy and Grow Grateful.”

Thank You, Garden by Liz Garten Scanlon, Simone Shin (illus.)
— Rae Ann Parker, Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN

“Rhyming text and vivid illustrations celebrate the joy of gardening with family and friends.”

The Girl and the Witch’s Garden by Erin Bowman
— Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC

“Bowman’s new novel has everything you could want in a middle-grade book: magic, mystery, relatable characters, and a world you can get lost in. Piper will have readers imagining what their own affinities might be and longing for them to manifest, and the Mallory Estate is sure to inspire hidden world fantasies. I loved getting lost in this story and can’t wait to share it with fans of other kids’ classics old and modern, from The Secret Garden to Harriet the Spy to Three Times Lucky and Nevermoor.”

Harlem Grown by Tony Hillery, Jessie Hartland (illus.)
— Elese Stutts, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC

“A joyful book about community, perseverance and good food. Mr. Tony’s spirit and gentle leadership shines through the pages and is sure to inspire young gardeners everywhere.”

The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food by Joseph Tychonievich, Liz Anna Kozik (illus.)
— Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC

“I love how accessible this book is! I think it would be a great first vegetable gardening book for many people. It’s quick to read from cover to cover, but it’s also easy to look up specific topics. “

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Reviews of A Mariner’s Tale by Joe Palmer, You Look Like a Thing and I Love You by Janelle Shane, Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian, Lobizona by Romina Garber, Jungle Night by Sandra Boynton, Yo-Yo Ma, and Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson.

Click here to read more

3/23/2021

The delicate art of choosing a book for your book club

Book Club

“Book Club” is not a designated tag on SBR, but it is an important part of the culture of readers, book lovers, and independent bookstores. Booksellers are frequently asked for advice from local book clubs, and have become experts in a kind of matchmaking between book and club.

It isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Think of how hard it can be to pick out a book for a friend, and multiply that by 5 or even 10 people. Books have to be very well written (naturally), rewarding to read, but also rewarding to talk about. Nothing kills a discussion faster than a book that everyone likes.

Here are just some of the books reviewed on SBR that booksellers say would be good for book clubs:

Then the Fish Swallowed Him by Amir Ahmadi Arian
-recommended by Novel in Memphis, TN

“…incredibly beautiful in describing the struggle of an everyday citizen in Tehran. It’s a great read to spur discussion for those looking for book-club picks.”

The Children’s Train by Viola Ardone
-recommended by Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC

“Going home fifty years later for his mother’s funeral causes Amerigo to rethink his life and what a family really means. A great book that will provoke good book club discussions.”

The Merciful by Jon Sealy
— Brent Bunnell, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC

“Every book club needs to put The Merciful at the top of their “next to read” list this book forces you to think and to see a story from disparate and various perspectives.”

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan
Reviews of Shaking the Gates of Hell by John Archibald, Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge, A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib, The House Uptown by Melissa Ginsburg, A Busy Year by Leo Lionni, and The Fortunate Ones by Ed Tarkington.

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3/16/2021

Tag! You’re It!

Tags

The Southern Bookseller Review recently passed a milestone when it published its 250th bookseller review two days ago: Lala’s Words by Gracy Zhang. Angie Tally of The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines in North Carolina says:

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

Lala’s Words is tagged “Children” “Fantasy” and “Parents” — it is the first book on the site to have that last tag. Tags are given to a book review by the publisher and the reviewer, and sometimes by the SBR staff.

To date, about 40 independent bookstores from 11 southern states have begun regularly publishing book reviews on SBR. Over 200 tags have been added to the site, from Action & Adventure to Young Adult. Some of the most popular ones are “Southern” “Romance” and “Historical Fiction.” But it is the the less common tags that are perhaps the most intriguing: “Golf” “Dragons” “Afrofuturism” “Road Trips.”

What’s your favorite thing? There’s probably a tag for that.

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
Reviews of The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson, How to Order the Universe by María José Ferrada, Elizabeth Bryer (Trans.), Ground Zero by Alan Gratz, The Hare by Melanie Finn, and Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff.

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3/9/2021

How far would you go for the life you want?

In his interview with Ed Tarkington last month for Reader Meet Writer, Wiley Cash called The Fortunate Ones “an old school sweeping saga done in a surprisingly slim number of pages.” A story of the vulnerability of youth and an empathetic exploration into how power corrupts, the bookseller buzz for The Fortunate Ones was almost deafening, long before it had been published. The story was compared to The Great Gatsby (which surprised the author), and Catcher in the Rye (which did not), and promptly marked for book clubs and school reading lists.

This is a character driven novel with a storyline as opulent as the mansions within.” -Damita Nocton, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC

I fell in love with Charlie’s voice and story, and it’s him I kept turning the page for. ” — Annie Jones, The Bookshelf in Thomasville, GA

Ed Tarkington

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Who Is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews
Reviews of Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford, The Prison by Any Other Name by Victoria Law and Maya Schenwar, Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog by Lisa Papp, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Illicit Intent by Debbie Baldwin, and Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert.

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3/2/2021

It is never to late to seek the truth.

“This is not just a piece of investigative journalism, it is some A+ storytelling” –Wiley Cash

Jerry Mitchell has been a reporter in Mississippi since 1986. The founder of the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, much of his career has been devoted to pursuing unsolved crimes from the Civil Rights era, and it was his work that ultimately led to the prosecution of man who murdered Medgar Evers thirty years after the crime had been committed.

The Evers assassination was a high-profile case, but Mitchell has also investigated cold cases of less well known crimes, such as that of Vernon Dahmer, who managed to save his family when the Klan set fire to his house in 1966, but who died himself from injuries he sustained that night. “What made these crimes so terrible,” Mitchell says in an interview with Greg Iles, “was not just that these Klansmen got away with murder — it was the fact that everybody knew these Klansmen got away with murder. These were injustices at their height. That’s what drove me as a young reporter, and that’s what continues to drive me today.”

Last month Mitchell spoke to Wiley Cash about Race Against Time, his account of some of the cold case investigations he undertook into unsolved crimes from the Civil Rights era as part of the Reader Meet Writer Author Series:

Jerry Mitchell

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz
Reviews of The Baddest Girl on the Planet by Heather Frese, The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans, Kalamata’s Kitchen by Sarah Thomas, Derek Wallace, Jo Kosmides Edwards (Illus), Infinite Country by Patricia Engel, What’s the Difference? by Brette Warshaw, and The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner.

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2/23/2021

The White Mouse

Nancy Wake

“I swore I would never write about World War II”

Ariel Lawhon is a bestselling author who is known for her historical novels featuring women whom history has obscured or overlooked: the women of the household of a missing New York City judge, the stewardess and flight crew of the doomed Hindenburg, the story of the disturbed young woman who claimed to be Russian royalty. But World War II was an era she always avoided: “I thought all the amazing stories had already been told,” Lawhon says to Wiley Cash in her appearance on the Reader Meet Writer Author Series.

Of course, anyone who reads history knows there are always more stories to be told. One day Lawhon was sitting in a hotel on book tour, when she received an email from the mother of a dear friend that basically demanded she write a book about Nancy Wake, an Australian war hero. “If you don’t,” the email said, “we can no longer be friends.”

That email started Lawhon on the trail of Nancy Wake, aka “The White Mouse” — journalist, nurse, spy, resistance fighter, and the most decorated woman in WWII and the only one to actually lead troops in combat. “She killed a soldier with her bare hands,” Lawhon says, “how do you go from being a nurse to someone who can do that?”

See the interview here

What booksellers have to say about Code Name Hélène:

This is a powerful and well-written story about a brave and gutsy woman who was totally amazing. I loved this fabulous historical fiction novel about spy Nancy Wake.” — Mary Patterson from The Little Bookshop in Midlothian, VA

“They say truth is stranger than fiction. In this novel about Nancy Wake, a socialite who became a leader of the French Resistance, it’s also more thrilling. A propulsive, action-packed rendering that captures the courage, intelligence, and heart of a hero who should be a household name. I can’t stop thinking about this book.” –Erin Cox from Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
Reviews of The Souvenir Museum by Elizabeth McCracken, Parachutes by Kelly Yand, The Well-Gardened Mind by Sue Stuart-Smith, Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba, Avery Fischer Udagawa (Trans.), Miho Satake (Illus.), The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura, Allison Markin Powell (trans.), and Red Island House by Andrea Lee.

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2/16/2021

The Southern Book Prize

The Southern Book Prize

In what has become an annual Valentine’s gift to readers, announced the winners of the 2021 Southern Book Prize on Sunday, February 14th. The Prize, representing southern bookseller favorites from 2020, is awarded to “the best Southern book of the year” as nominated by Southern indie booksellers and voted on by their customers. Winners were chosen by popular vote from a ballot of favorite bookseller “hand sells” in fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature, making each Southern Book Prize winner a true Southern reader favorite.

I am Every Good ThingMemorial DriveThe Prettiest Star

2021 SBP Children’s Winner:
I Am Every Good Thing, by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James (Illus.)
Nancy Paulsen Books, September 2020
“This book is exactly what we need in the world right now. Uplifting black boys that they are beautiful and can be anything they want to be! A wonderful book!” –Deanna Bailey, Story on the Square, McDonough, GA

2021 SBP Fiction Winner: The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels
Hub City Press, May 2020
“Intimate and, at times, heartbreaking, Sickels has written a powerful novel that turns the wonderful trick of creating unique characters and telling under represented stories to delve into the universal themes of family, of coming home, of what it means to simply be.” –Land Arnold, Letters Bookshop, Durham, NC

2021 SBP Nonfiction Winner: Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey
Ecco, July 2020
This is an incredibly personal and obviously painful story but it is also one that is well crafted, beautifully written, and unforgettable. Trethewey demonstrates once again that she is a fierce and fearless writer who is one of the best we have working today.” –Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS

The Southern Book Prize, formerly known as the SIBA Book Award, has been awarded annually since 1999.  SIBA launched the public ballot in 2019 to encourage stores to engage their customers in the important question of what books deserve to be called “the best Southern book of the year.”  For more information, visit the Southern Book Prize home at The Southern Bookseller Review

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: The Survivors by Jane Harper
Reviews of American Delirium by Betina González, Heather Cleary (Trans.), Trouble Is What I Do by Walter Mosley, Good Apple by Elizabeth Passarella, The Bright & the Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski, Brave as a Mouse by Nicolo Carlozzi, and Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor.

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2/9/2021

Recommended reading from Tom H.

Local bookstores rarely make national news, and certainly don’t end up with one of those often hilarious mini-cinematic productions called “commercials” that many people prefer to watch instead of the game during the Super Bowl. But talk show host Stephen Colbert decided to rectify that omission this week and created a post-game commercial for Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina.

Yes, that is the voice of Sam Elliott that you hear advising you to “visit The Pine.” But of course, what any book lover really wants to know is what to read next. Here are the books that customer “Tom H.” was waving around in front of the camera:

The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester
War: How Conflict Shaped Us by Margaret MacMillan
1939: The Lost World of the Fair by David Gelernter
Swan Song 1945: A Collective Diary of the Last Days of the Third Reich by Walter Kempowski

Foggy Pine Books posted to their Facebook page last week that they need to sell 1350 books a month to keep the doors open. They fell short in January. Thanks to Colbert, Sam Elliot, and Tom H. they are ahead of the game this month. Visit foggypinebooks.com to order some the books Tom likes to read.

Or, because your own local bookshop also has a magic number of books they have to sell to stay in business, visit them instead.

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
Reviews of My Year Abroad by Chang-Rae Lee, Four Lost Cities by Annalee Newitz, Just Our Luck by Julia Walton, What Could Be Saved by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz, Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore, and The Project by Courtney Summers.

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2/2/2021

What to read if you are a Bridgerton fanatic.

Bridgerton

One of the greatest pleasures of being a book lover is talking to friends about what they are reading, and — let’s be honest — trying your best to convince them to pick up what you’ve been reading. But this is a pleasure that is hard to come by in our new socially-distant reality. Yes, emails and impromptu video chats and exchanges on Facebook and Instagram can fill some of those gaps, but lets be honest, sometimes you really want a real conversation.

Thank heavens for book podcasts. Conversational, quirky, spontaneous and often whimsical, book podcasts provide a little more depth, a little more of the excitement we love to hear in the voices of friends who are pushing their latest favorite book in your hands.

Annie Butterworth Jones, the owner of The Bookshelf in Thomasville, Georgia, is a dedicated book podcaster. Thomasville is not a large community, and it is not the kind of place likely to get writers coming through on book tours. So Jones decided to do a podcast to reach her customers, which she calls “From the Front Porch.” Listen to her latest episode, which offers a reading list for fans of the Netflix series, Bridgerton:

Episode 305: So You Watched Bridgerton

There is a nice long book list (always a danger to the pocketbook of the book podcast lover!). Here are few of the books mentioned:

To Have and To Hoax by Martha Waters
A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler
A League of Extraordinary Women series by Evie Dunmore:
Bringing Down the Duke | A Rogue of One’s Own | Portrait of a Scotsman

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Milk Fed by Melissa Broder
Reviews of The Girl from the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat, Bear Island by Matthew Cordell, The War Widow by Tara Moss, Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu, Sleep Well, My Lady by Kwei Quartey, and TThe Center of Everything by Jamie Harrison.

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1/26/2021

5 more days.

The Southern Book Prize ballot will close on February 1st. Your vote enters you into a raffle to receive a full set of the SBP Finalists–fifteen books in all! Cast your ballot at www.southernbookprize.com.

Can you guess which SBP Finalist books these bookseller reviews are about?

Civil and political history, culture, and legend combine to create a fantastical and horrifying story set in 1922 Southern United States, where a monstrous movement is spreading. This book was so compellingly vivid, thrilling, and powerful, and I’m so excited to pass along to readers. –Cat Chapman, Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL

If Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Confederates in the Attic had a literary love child that somehow managed to be more strange than both of them put together, it would be this book. –Kelly Justice, Fountain Books, Richmond, VA

This might be my new favorite picture book! A wonderfully weird and completely hilarious story about the power of art and squids. –Zach Claypole White, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

This book was terrifying and vividly capturing. I had to put it down between chapters just to remind myself where I was. It’s also hysterical; I laughed so hard I scared my neighbor’s dog more than once. –Lizy Coale, Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL

A story of racial and cultural divide that is brilliantly narrated in a collective voice with the feel of a Greek chorus. This important and competently crafted tale will provide fodder for book clubs and community discussions for years to come. –Damita Nocton, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, SC

This is totally the queer Grease retelling you didn’t know you needed in your life. This book gave me all the feels…I laughed, I cried, I was angry… I very much recommend. –Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Roswell, GA

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus
Reviews of Tales from the Hinterland by Melissa Albert, Marsha Is Magnetic by Beth Ferry, Lorena Alvarez (Illus.), Roman and Jewel by Dana L. Davis, Hades, Argentina by Daniel Loedel, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders, and The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.

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1/19/2021

In praise of all the evil villain’s henchmen.

Last week’s appearance on Reader Meet Writer with David Zucchino is now available to view. In Wilmington’s Lie he provides some deep but important context for recent events.

Also available is Allan Gurganus’s talk with Wiley Cash about his latest book, The Uncollected Stories. Gurganus is thoughtful and empathetic about the writing life and the forces that drive him to tell the kinds of stories he tells. Every person’s inner storyteller — and we all have one — will find inspiration in what he has to say.

There are also only 12 more days to place your vote for the books you think deserve to be called “The Best Southern Book of the Year.” Voting allows you to enter into a raffle to win a complete set of the finalist books — all fifteen of them. That is enough books to keep any reader happy for at least a couple weeks! Cast your ballot at www.southernbookprize.com.

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Hench by Natalie Zina Walschot
Reviews of Burnt Sugar by Anvi Doshi, The Sea in Winter by Christine Day, The Forever Girl by Jill Shalvis, Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo, To Be Honest by Michael Leviton, and The Merciful by Jon Sealy

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1/12/2021

Looking to the past to understand the present.

Anyone who turned on a television over the last week would have been hard pressed to avoid seeing the news coverage of the riot in the Capitol.

The first question anyone asks after such an event is “how could this happen?” Journalists scrambled to understand and provide some context for the mobs of angry people breaking into the Capitol Building, and one of the historical precedents they found was The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898. Pictures of that event may be familiar they appeared on news stations and news website articles.

1898 Wilmington Race Riot

The Wilmington Race Riot, also known as the Wilmington Massacre and cited as the only successful coup d’etat in the history of the United States, was an armed insurrection by white supremacists that violently overthrew a duly elected government and drove almost a third of the black population of the city out of town. Buildings were burned, and hundreds of people were killed.

As it happens, this week’s Reader Meet Writer event features the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Zucchino, whose book about the 1898 insurrection, Wilmington’s Lie, has just been released in paperback.

Zucchino will be speaking this Thursday at 7 PM, EST. You can register via your local indie bookstore, or, if your store isn’t on the list, you can sign up here.

Here is what Rosemary at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC has to say about Wilmington’s Lie:

Further reading about the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot:

The Marrow of Tradition by Charles Chestnut
Cape Fear Rising by Philip Gerard

In this issue:
Bookseller Buzz: Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda
Reviews of The Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson, The Beak Book by Robin Page, Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson, The Friendly Vegan Cookbook by Michelle Cehn & Toni Okamoto, Into the Real by Z Brewer, and The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O’Donnell

Click here to read more

1/5/2021

What to read next.

A feminist Western? A thriller about motherhood? A novel that combines the best of poisons and mudlarking? Every season, southern booksellers choose a generous dozen or so of new and forthcoming books they are especially looking forward to convincing all their customers to read. The Winter 2021 Read This Next! list has just been announced, a selection of winter new releases generating extra excitement from Southern independent booksellers. Each of its fifteen titles will publish between January and March of 2021, and has received multiple high ratings and enthusiastic reviews from southern booksellers, marking them as hand-sell favorites for the forthcoming season. They reflect the wide range of reading tastes of booksellers from across the entire Southeast. Put one of these at the top of your TBR stack, because you will want to read these next!

In this issue: Bookseller Buzz: Spotlight on We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper
Reviews of The Children’s Train by Viola Ardone, The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by Robin Talley, The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson, Black, White, and The Grey by Mashama Bailey & John O. Morisano, Consent by Annabel Lyon, and Outlawed by Anna North

Click here to read more

12/29/2020

Re-envisioning Jane Eyre, and the writer’s dread of the second book.

Some stories take hold of us and refuse to let us go. Not satisfied with having read them, we rewrite them in a hundred variations and permutations, each in its own way a tribute to the original that has lodged itself within our hearts. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is such a book. Romance, mystery, Gothic ghost story, feminist morality tale, Jane Eyre is a story we never tire of re-telling.

The latest incarnation of Jane comes to us in Rachel Hawkins’ new novel, The Wife Upstairs. “A modern Jane Eyre set in Alabama? Sign me up!” says Amanda Gawthorpe of Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina. “This was a fun read. A gripping, smart, and engaging retelling with enough nods to the original to make you feel smart.”

Jane Eyre fans have a chance to meet Rachel Hawkins online in the next edition of the Reader Meet Writer Author Series.

Also in this edition of SBR, read how Amiee Molloy overcame the dreaded “second book syndrome” that haunts every debut author.

In this issue: Bookseller Buzz:
Spotlight on Goodnight Beautiful by Amiee Molloy

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12/15/2020

If you could change the past, would you?

Welcome to our second issue of The Southern Bookseller Review.  It is, oddly enough, the first issue to actually land in anybody’s inbox. (You can read the first issue here).

Oxford Exchange

The inspiration for SBR came from reading the many reviews, shelf talkers, and “staff picks” that booksellers post about their favorite books in their stores and newsletters, and on their websites. Many of these are also sent to the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance — the organization that publishes The Southern Bookseller Review. There are over 500 independent bookstores in the Southeast that are members of SIBA. In 2020 they wrote nearly 6000 reviews and recommendations of books they shared with their customers and colleagues.

SBR highlights reviews from bookstores all across the south– Kentucky to Florida, Louisiana to Virginia and all points between. It also demonstrates the wide range of books they read and love. Yes, Southerners love Southern literature. But they are readers, so they love all kinds of literature. The book in this week’s Bookseller Buzz is a collection of intertwined stories about time travel translated this year from the Japanese, that booksellers called “gorgeous” and “beautiful.”

In this issue: Bookseller Buzz:
Spotlight on Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

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12/1/2020

Designed to showcase the beautiful breadth and range of literary and book culture in the South, the heart of SBR is in its book reviews from Southern independent booksellers. Independent booksellers put their reputations on the line when they recommend a book — their customers are not screen names or avatars, but neighbors and friends. Of the hundreds of books on their store shelves, these books are the ones booksellers have chosen to write about, to talk about and to put into the hands of those same neighbors and friends.

Featured Reviews: The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar, The Good Girls by Claire Eliza Bartlett, Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

Bookseller Buzz: Spotlight on Bryan Washington’s Memorial

Click here for this week’s full newsletter!

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