The Southern Bookseller Review 11/1/22

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of November 1, 2022

View Online | Unsubscribe | SBR Archive | SUBSCRIBE TO SBR

The Southern Bookseller Review: A Book for Every Reader

facebook  twitter  instagram 

The week of November 1, 2022

Honoring traditions

Native American Heritage Month

As the year winds down inexorably from fall to winter, many people are thinking about the upcoming holiday season. It is a time to celebrate family and the traditions that come with it.

Or before it. November is Native American Heritage Month, celebrating the history, traditions, contributions, and living cultures of Native American Peoples.

"We do not need the poisonous “pilgrims and Indians” narrative," writes Sean Sherman, author of The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, "We do not need that illusion of past unity to actually unite people today. Instead, we can focus simply on values that apply to everybody: togetherness, generosity and gratitude."

Books by indigenous authors on SBR

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

The Islands by Dionne Irving


The Islands by Dionne Irving
Catapult / November 2022

More Reviews from Underground Books

This powerhouse collection of stories brings to vivid life the experiences of a diverse cast of (mostly) women of (mostly) Jamaican descent around the world, from Florida to France to 1950s London to 1960s Panama and beyond. The very first story, “Florida Lives,” about a Black couple who move from San Francisco to Florida only to suffer from the heat, some bats, and their tacky neighbors, is blazoned on my mind and I don’t think I’m ever going to stop thinking about it (or look at tacky neighbors the same way ever again). These stories movingly explore identity, belonging, and home all through the complexities of the Jamaican diaspora, immigration, assimilation, colonialism, racism, sexism, and class—all through a vivid cast of characters who will remain on your mind long after each story ends. I’m not a big short story reader, but this is truly a must-read collection and highly recommended for fans of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies!

Reviewed by Megan Bell, Underground Books in Carrollton, Georgia

Bookseller Buzz


Spotlight on: Trespasses by Louise Kennedy


Louise Kennedy, Photo credit Louise Kennedy

I do not deliberately drag my identity to the desk every day, but it turns up. I grew up a Catholic in a small, mostly Protestant town on the shores of Belfast Lough in the seventies. My childhood had a lot in common with that of children in the UK and, in a different sense – the rest of Ireland. But it was stressful in a way I did not understand until later; my generation were reared by nervous wrecks. ” ―Louise Kennedy, Interview, Wasafiri

What booksellers are saying about Trespasses

Trespasses by Louise Kennedy
  • I am in awe of everything about this incredible debut. Set in Belfast during the 70s, Trespasses explores the roles of violence and chance through the life of Cushla, a Catholic woman in her 20s who finds herself swept up in a love affair with an older, married Protestant lawyer. The narrative grows with a quiet sense of discomfort until it rushes to a startling conclusion that left me breathless.
      ―Chelsea Stringfield from Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN | Buy from Parnassus Books

  • I am fascinated by the Troubles and all the heartache it caused. Cushla Lavery’s struggles to reconcile her loyalties to community and her love for a man forbidden by that community. The daily drama of living for people caught up in this terrible time seems very real in the characters Kennedy develops. I was mesmerized by this story and couldn’t put it down! A must read!
      ―Stephanie Crowe from Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL | Buy from Page & Palette

  • I am fascinated by the Troubles; it continually boggles my mind that armed occupation of and paramilitary presence in Northern Ireland went on for so long, so recently. So I deeply appreciated the insight into the Troubles that this novel provides, following Cushla, a Catholic schoolteacher living in a small town near Belfast, enamored with an older Protestant barrister who is wrong for her in every way. Louise Kennedy’s story of sectarian violence and tragedy is totally compelling and humanizes this fascinating period of time by focusing on the stories of ordinary people.
      ―Kate Storhoff from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC | Buy from Bookmarks

About Louise Kennedy

Louise Kennedy grew up near Belfast. Trespasses is her first novel. She is also the author of a collection of short stories, The End of the World Is a Cul de Sac. She has written for the Guardian, the Irish Times, and BBC Radio 4. Before becoming a writer, she worked as a chef for almost thirty years. She lives in Sligo, Ireland.

Meredith, Alone by Claire Alexander


Meredith, Alone by Claire Alexander
Grand Central Publishing / November 2022

More Reviews from Wordsworth Books

Meredith is a completely lovable and complex character that has faced and survived some unspeakable things. Claire Alexander beautifully creates characters that exude resilience in their own ways. I found myself cheering on Meredith, Fee, Celeste, and Tom…and hoping for their happiness. Meredith, Alone is a quick read that explores the hardships of life and the value of community, family and friendships. While some of the topics are quite heavy, there is also joy and hope and laughter and triumph. I thoroughly loved this book and have already started recommending it to folks who loved Eleanor Oliphant and Where’d You go Bernadette!

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

The World Record Book of Racist Stories by Amber Ruffin


The World Record Book of Racist Stories by Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar
Grand Central Publishing/ November 2022

More Reviews from Fountain Bookstore

Ruffin and Lamar are back with more hilarious-in-a-terrible-way stories of things that they and their family have dealt with. You’ll laugh and cringe at this book – the sisters write as they speak and their chemistry makes for a perfect read.

Reviewed by Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Insomniacs by Marit Weisenberg


The Insomniacs by Marit Weisenberg
Flatiron Books / October 2022

More Reviews from Flyleaf Books

The Insomniacs combines the mystery of amnesia with the thrill of a reignited friendship. Ingrid, the main character, works to figure out what she’s missing and how to solve her sudden insomnia in this twisting story. Vance, her best friend from years ago, reconnects. An intriguing read with an unexpected ending. This book explores the uncertainty and depth of relationships along with trauma. In the setting of a high schooler’s life. Overall, a super interesting read!

Reviewed by Kaylin, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Talk by Alicia D. Williams


The Talk by Alicia D. Williams
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books / October 2022

More Reviews from Bookmarks

Charming black kids growing up together, neighborhood friends through the years. But as they grow and age from chubby-cheeked helpers and adventurers into young men and women, still respectful and helpful, just looking more adult, the parents and grandparents sit them down for "the talk". That not everyone will see their fun-loving enthusiasm, or a hoodie or earphones as childhood innocence by default. Briana Mukodiri Uchendu’s pastels show such expressiveness, from hugs of closeness, to silly play and gap-toothed smiles of children, to heartbreaking empathy. Now I know black families and brown families have to know about the talk, but this is a great conversation starter for people who may not need to have the talk to know that not everyone is so fortunate, and maybe that window will help them be better allies.

Reviewed by Lisa Yee Swope, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Terry’s Crew by Terry Crews, Cory Thomas (illus.)


Terry’s Crew by Terry Crews, Cory Thomas (illus.)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / November 2022

More Reviews from The Country Bookshop

Terry’s crew at his new school may not look like the typical friend group, but together, they can do any thing they set their minds to! With themes of respect, hard work, school success and commitment to family and friends, this graphic novel from superstar Terry Crews is sure to be a hit.

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

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

We Are the Light by Matthew Quick


We Are the Light by Matthew Quick
 Avid Reader Press / November 2022

More Reviews Downtown Books

An November 2022 Read This Next! Title

We Are The Light is the book we all need to be reading in 2022. In one headline after another we’ve been reading about mass shootings in our malls, our schools, our small towns, our communities… but what happens to those communities in the weeks, months, years after these tragedies occur- changing so many lives forever? Matthew Quick takes on this subject and explores the question through the eyes of Lucas Goodgame, a Christmas-time movie house shooting survivor who lost his wife, friends and neighbors in a scene that is all too familiar to us now- but shouldn’t be. Worst of all, his Jungian therapist Karl, a tremendous support to him, isn’t seeing patients or responding to Lucas’ frequent calls, letters or visits to his house. So frequent in fact, that the police have had to step in and create some boundaries for him. His wife’s best friend is trying to run the local diner and keep him sane; the shooter’s younger brother, a student Lucas had been helping in his role as the high school guidance counselor, has set up camp in Lucas’ back yard and his dead wife is visiting him every night shedding feathers from her giant wings by the handful. We Are The Light is a book to read slowly, with big inhales, taking in every feeling of every character no matter how painful. It is a book everyone everywhere should be reading – because as we have been reminded all year, what happens in Quick’s book, in the little town of Majestic, PA, can happen anywhere.

Reviewed by Jamie Anderson, Downtown Books in Manteo, North Carolina

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

Demon Copperhead I am From Here When Ghosts Come Home
Empire of Pain Foul Lady Fortune

[ See the full list ]

Parting Thought

“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for?”
– Franz Kafka

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

SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805
You have received this email because you are currently subscribed to receive The Southern Bookseller Review.
Please click @@unsubscribe_url@@ if you no longer wish to receive these communications.

Scroll to Top