The Southern Bookseller Review 1/11/22

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of January 4, 2022

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January 11, 2022

New Year’s Resolutions (inspired by your TBR stack)

Resolutions. We make them, then break them, every year. But whatever your resolutions are this time, there’s a book for that:

Fearless Heart

Be Fearless
Fearless Heart by Frank Murphy

Surya Bonaly is an amazing Olympic ice skater who astounded the world with her abilities on ice. Fearless Heart will inspire the reader to work hard to follow their dreams, and stand up for what they believe in. – Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina


Be passionate and persistent
Manifesto by Bernardine Evaristo

To many people – myself included – Bernardine Evaristo’s 2019 Booker Prize win for Girl, Woman, Other appeared to come out of the blue. But, as Manifesto reveals, her apparent overnight success was actually 40 years in the making. Recounting her life and career with the characteristic humor and insight that made Girl, Woman, Other such a success, Manifesto is a passionate paean to the power of persistence. – Jude Burke-Lewis, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi

The Eye Test

Be creative
The Eye Test by Chris Jones

Jones looks back on a career of studying fascinating individuals for his journalism, and in doing so reveals a truth he’s learned: analytics are helpful, but human passion, experience, and imagination are the things that count in the end. My favorite quote: “We do our best work when we remember our humanity, especially when it’s hard to remember it.” – Sissy Gardner, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee


Be hopeful
MonsterMind: Dealing With Anxiety & Self-Doubt by Alfonso Casas

Casas’ most recent graphic novel is a wonderful, poignant dive into living with mental health issues. Creating monsters out of feelings. Casas gives a visual representation of how trauma, anxiety, fear, and other pests affect daily life, especially in the midst of a pandemic. I really appreciated the hopeful but realistic ending of this. It’s a reminder that though these things will always live with us, there are ways to fight them. – Grace Quinn, Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina

Greenwich Park

Be surprised
Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner

Greenwich Park is a fabulous debut novel. The story takes time to develop but once it starts going it seems to go in lots of different directions at once. The ending will surprise you, and then the rest of the ending will surprise you even more – and then the last sentence on the last page happens. – Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Yes, You Can Wear That by Abby Hoy

Be Yourself!
Yes, You Can Wear That by Abby Hoy

I am forever in search of great body-positive reads and Abby Hoy nails it. This book is a perfect combination of pictures and her memoir. It is inspiring and confidence-building and I immediately followed her on social media to get more gorgeous outfit ideas and self love. Every body is a good body and yes, you CAN wear that! – Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Coming up on the Reader Meet Writer Author Series:

The Last House on the Street with Diane ChamberlainThe Last House on the Street with Diane Chamberlain
Thu Jan 11th 7:00pm – 8:00pm | REGISTER

A community’s past sins rise to the surface in New York Times bestselling author Diane Chamberlain’s The Last House on the Street when two women, a generation apart, find themselves bound by tragedy and an unsolved, decades-old mystery.

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor


Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor
Harper Perennial / January 2022

More Reviews from Wordsworth Books

What a fun read! This book and the fictional tales of the women surrounding Gatsby actually makes me want to re-read The Great Gatsby with these imagined back stories in mind. Cantor’s writing is both creative and compelling. Her insights about the lives and struggles of women were woven perfectly into this fictional expansion and made me appreciate the characters of Daisy, Myrtle, Catherine and Jordan way more than before. If you are a fan of The Great Gatsby I think you’ll love this book and its ability to help you revisit the world of West Egg. If you’re not a fan of The Great Gatsby, I still think you’ll enjoy this story of three women and what could have led to the murder of Jay Gatsby. Either way, it’s a creative, fun read for both those who have an appreciation for the old classic and those who just enjoy a good period piece of fiction!

Reviewed by Lynne Phillips, Wordsworth Books in Little Rock, Arkansas

Bookseller Buzz


Spotlight on: The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova


Zoraida Cordova

"Every book I write is for myself. My YA is for my teen self, who hungered for magical stories. My middle grade is for the painfully shy kid I once was, one who wanted adventure. My adult romance is for the version of myself that denies being a romantic (though I am). The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is for the person I am now. . I wanted to pose the question, ‘What price would you pay for survival?’” –Zoraida Córdova via Bookpage

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

What booksellers are saying about The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina

  • Cordova’s writing echoes the great Gabriel Garcia Marquez in this epic family tale that sweeps across countries and time. I loved the atmospheric quality of the book and the incredible beauty of her writing. ― Jamie Southern from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC
    Buy from Bookmarks

  • If you thought your family tree was complicated, wait till you meet the Montoyas. When their grandmother Orquídea summons them to collect their inheritance, they don’t realize they’re about to dive into a family history of magic, loss, and resilience. ―Abby Rice from Foggy Pine Books in Boone, NC
    Buy from Foggy Pine Books

  • I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. I was so intrigued with Orquidea Devina and the magical force surrounding her that I hardly wanted to put this book down, because I needed to hurriedly piece together all of the interconnected pieces. Blending a bit of mystery and fantasy, Zoraida Cordova does an excellent job developing this story with complex multi-generational characters connected by magical roots that make them stronger together than they ever are apart!   ―Nicole Granville, The Snail on the Wall in Huntsville, AL
    Buy from Snail on the Wall

  • A playfully mesmerizing, meaningful story about family! The matriarch, Orquidea Divina, summons her relatives from far and wide to attend her funeral and to receive their inheritance. But the inheritance is not what everyone expected, nor is the funeral anything ordinary. Over the next several years, secrets are revealed and special gifts are given, and each one must figure out how they want to live their lives individually and as a family. Magical, fun and heart-warming! ―Cathy Graham from Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, FL
    Buy from Copperfish Books

  • The cosmic battle between good and evil plays out, not on the grand scale, but within a family where love, longing and belonging have consequences beyond the ordinary. This enchanting tale of magical realism grabs the reader from the first page and doesn’t let go. With unforgettable characters and surprises twisting like stems and roots throughout the story, this book is almost impossible to put down. (OK, I got so involved, I totally forgot my husband and I were going out, until he came to get me.) For fans of Isabel Allende and Erin Morgenstern. ―Lia Lent from Wordsworth Books in Little Rock, AR
    Buy from Wordsworth Books

About Zoraida Córdova

Zoraida Córdova is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels and short stories, including the Brooklyn Brujas series, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate, and The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina. In addition to writing novels, she serves on the board of We Need Diverse Books, is the coeditor of the bestselling anthology Vampires Never Get Old, and is the cohost of the writing podcast Deadline City. She writes romance novels as Zoey Castile. Zoraida was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and calls New York City home. When she’s not working, she’s roaming the world in search of magical stories. For more information, visit her at

A Killer by Design by Ann Wolbert Burgess


A Killer by Design by Ann Wolbert Burgess
Simon & Schuster / December 2021

More Reviews from Fountain Bookstore

You probably know the names of John Douglass and Robert Ressler, the mind hunters of the FBI. But it was Ann Burgess who helped develop a more scientific way to interview serial killers and serial rapists in order to catch future criminals. Burgess caught the eye of the FBI because of her groundbreaking research into rape offenders, and she brought her analytical mind to what is now the Behavioral Science Unit. A must read for any true crime buff, and a fascinating look into the early days of profiling.

Reviewed by Kate Towery, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Bibliolepsy by Gina Apostol


Bibliolepsy by Gina Apostol
Soho Press / January 2022

More Reviews from Oxford Exchange

Apostol softly launches you into a landscape of memories and gently reminds book lovers of what it first felt like to envision possibility thanks to literature. Apostol’s reflections on their time during the EDSA rebellion of 1986 teach us just how nuanced and expansive human connections can form if we let them.

Reviewed by Eden Hakimzadeh, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray


Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray
HarperCollins / December 2021

More Reviews from Story on the Square

Perfect for middle readers with a sense of adventure, this book is a fun ride from the first page! The mystery of learning the identity and nature of the Enemy is captivating, and the tight bonds between both friends and siblings are explored beautifully. I’d absolutely recommend this book to young readers, and I hope to see more from this author, and in this world!

Reviewed by Kate Wilder, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia

Medusa by Jessie Burton


Medusa by Jessie Burton
Bloomsbury YA / January 2022

More Reviews from Bookmiser

Burton’s feminist retelling of Medusa is filled with wonderful illustrations, and a story with which we’re all somewhat familiar. Medusa has been exiled to a remote island with her two sisters. But they are immortal and have wings, so Medusa’s existence is fairly lonely. But one day, a beautiful boy named Perseus arrives by boat and he and Medusa strike up a friendship, talking while each is on the other side of a giant rock. They each find themselves heartbroken, telling the other their story.

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds


Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds, Jason Griffin (Illustrator)
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books / January 2022

More Reviews from Bookmarks

A January 2022 Read This Next! Title

A beautiful and unconventional book capturing what the year 2020 felt like to the youngest child of a fictional Black American family, told in three long sentences and a notebook’s worth of art. Haunting and gorgeous, the unnamed narrator’s observations speak powerfully to a wide range of emotions, from the despair felt watching the world crumble and seeing the country’s betrayal of its Black citizens, to the balm that family connections can provide in the darkest times.

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

Call Us What We Carry he 1619 Project: A New Origin Story The Anomaly
All About Love The Beatryce Prophecy

[ See the full list ]

sbr shelf

Parting Thought

“Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.”
– Louis L’Amour

Publisher: The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance /
Editor: Nicki Leone /
Advertising: Linda-Marie Barrett /
The Southern Bookseller Review is a project of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, in support of independent bookstores in the South | SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805

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