A seasonal list of the favorite books of Southern indie booksellers, for your reading pleasure!
[PREVIOUS READ THIS NEXT! TITLES]

A Wilderness of Stars by Shea Ernshaw

A 2022 December Read This Next! Title

This is an absolute gem of a book! Part science-fiction, part romance, Shea Ernshaw delivers another YA novel that is a delight to read. For lovers of stars and post apocalyptic literature!

A Wilderness of Stars by Shea Ernshaw (List Price: $19.99, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781665900249, December 2022)

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

How Far the Light Reaches by Sabrina Imbler

A 2022 December Read This Next! Title

Wholly original, astonishingly informative, and powerfully written. Imbler describes marine life with reverence and compelling detail, and deftly intertwines the lives of the sea creatures with stories of their own experiences with gender, queerness, and identity.

How Far the Light Reaches by Sabrina Imbler (List Price: $27, Little, Brown and Company, 9780316540537, December 2022)

Reviewed by Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

My Darkest Prayer by S. A. Cosby

A 2022 December Read This Next! Title

In this novel, readers are introduced to a story where religion, region, karma, and race intersect. Nathan, (former marine and ex-cop) has experienced loss of his own, and he’s dealt his own hand of karma to others. So, when the local sheriff’s office doubles down on corruption, he takes the case of a local minister’s death into his own hands in an attempt to bring peace to the congregation. This novel is full of twists and turns that will leave your jaw on the floor. This novel dissects the weight of loss on a person’s moral compass. In this small Virginia community is where the darkest secrets are revealed–where the darkest prayers are heard. S.A. Cosby is a force to be reckoned with.

My Darkest Prayer by S. A. Cosby (List Price: $16.99, Flatiron Books, 9781250867636, December 2022)

Reviewed by Leo Coffey, Union Ave. Books in Knoxville, Tennessee

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales

A 2022 December Read This Next! Title

This is one of my top romances of 2022! Gonzales’ YA books are charming and this new adult romcom is a delight. Maya’s cheating ex is about to star on a reality dating show and all of his exes are being called together as contestants – including the other woman that helped break Maya’s heart. Sharing a room with her arch-nemesis can only lead to the best revenge plot of all time, right? This has slow burn, hilarious, sapphic joy on every page. Gonzales does a great job with bi representation and she gets better with every book.

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales (List Price: $18.99, Wednesday Books, 9781250819161, December 2022)

Reviewed by Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton

A 2022 December Read This Next! Title

What happens when nature isn’t natural? When in the end, Climate Change is unstoppable? Lily Brooks-Dalton renders a shockingly real depiction of this possibility in the harrowing and beautiful novel The Light Pirate. Florida’s struggle with the aftermath of violent weather has always been a reality, but in this story, the rapidly changing landscape overwhelms the will and stamina of most human beings.Wanda, who was born during, and named after, a particularly vicious hurricane, frequently navigates a new, storm-carved home as the Florida coast shifts and neighborhoods are swallowed by wind, water, and human dereliction. Wanda adapts as nature does, to a strange new world–one dependent not on human infrastructure–but on that which matters most in the end: humility, kindness and bravery. This story is important. This story could happen. This story is happening. A must-read.

The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton (List Price: $28, Grand Central Publishing, 9781538708279, December 2022)

Reviewed by Laura Simcox, Sunrise Books in High Point, North Carolina

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