The Southern Bookseller Review 11/22/22

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of November 22, 2022

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The Southern Bookseller Review: A Book for Every Reader

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The week of November 22, 2022

#IndiesFirst. And Often.

I love independent bookstores because to me they are centeres of community. They are places where I get to meet new people and encounter new ideas in the pages. I always walk out with some idea or some fresh perspective that I hadn't found before. —Celeste Ng, author of Our Missing Hearts, and 2022 Indies First Ambassador

Black Friday? What is that? This coming weekend is "Small Business Saturday" and "Indies First" — a national campaign to celebrate and support independent bookstores. Many small businesses have special events and sales on November 26th to thank their customers for their regular support. If you happen to live in the Greater Atlanta area, for example, you can binge on an indie bookshop crawl, including the After party sponsored by the Georgia Center for the Book.

No matter where you are, check in with your local bookshop to see what they’ll be doing. When you venture out this weekend to shop for gifts for friends and family, shop at the local businesses that will know who you are when you walk in the door. Shop indie first, and often.

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

Southern Book Prize Finalist!

What’s the best Southern book of the year?

Spine Poems by Annette Dauphin Simon


Spine Poems by Annette Dauphin Simon
Harper Design / September 2022

More Reviews from McIntyre’s Books

Southern Book Prize Finalist

I love that the concept of this book seems so simple, but author and creator Annette Dauphin Simon turned it into something complex and spectacular. What fun it is to have these facts and quotes accompany the poems, especially with the beautifully composed photos. Spine Poems is funny, delightful, informative, and even touching at times. I can’t wait to put this book into the hands of every book lover I know!


Reviewed by Johanna Albrecht, McIntyre’s Books in Pittsboro, North Carolina

Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

Ocean's Echo by Everina Maxwell


Ocean’s Echo by Evelina Maxwell
Tor Books / November 2022

More Reviews from Fiction Addiction

Antenna is a neuromodified ‘reader’ who can read emotions and minds. He’s also a spoiled, rich playboy who’s now been conscripted into the military, forced to sync with neuromodified architect Surit who can control others. But when Surit finds out that Tennal is not there of his own free will, he refuses to execute the illegal sync, and the two determine to fake it until Tennal can manage an escape. Through action-packed missions involving possible traitors, political intrigue, and family secrets uncovered by them both, Tennal and Surit forge a bond that brings them closer to each other than either has been to anyone else — but can it transcend Surit’s principles and Tennal’s desire for freedom? I loved watching both Tennal and Surit’s character growth within Maxwell’s wonderful world building, and the slow burn romance was amazing..

Reviewed by Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Bookseller Buzz


Spotlight on: Book Lovers by Emily Henry


Emily Henry, Photo credit Dervyn Glistal St. Blanc Studios

I set out secretly thinking of this book as my own homage to You’ve Got Mail, and specifically a bit of a hat tip to Parker Posey’s character. But looking back, I’m really amazed how much more of my love of that movie seeped into the book. The publishing industry, the quaint bookstores, the love for New York, the enemies-to-lovers, and the flirting over email.” ―Emily Henry, Interview, She Reads

What booksellers are saying about Book Lovers

Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  • This book was everything I wanted it to be and more. I love the way Emily Henry writes a story. She makes her characters well rounded and adds elements to their story outside of romance. But she writes the romance so well you can’t help but swoon. She makes me laugh, she makes me emotional, and she makes me never want to put her book down.
      ―Emily Bowers from Tombolo Books in St. Petersburg, FL | Buy from Tombolo Books

  • Anything that Emily Henry writes is an automatic buy for me and I know will be popular! Book Lovers was no different. The writing flows, the dialogue is funny, witty, and loaded with emotion. The relationship between the characters is everything you want in a romantic comedy. You’ll find yourself rooting for everyone, including the supporting characters. Absolutely adored Book Lovers!
      ―Emily Lessig from The Violet Fox Bookshop in Virginia Beach, VA | Buy from The Violet Fox

  • Everything I love about the bookstore I own – and the life I get to led – in small town North Carolina is described somewhere in these pages. Most people will laugh out loud while reading. I got teary at the end as I didn’t want to say goodbye to these characters. This book reminded me of Susan Wiggs’ The Lost and Found Bookshop, just sheer delightfulness wrapped between covers consisting of pure love for indie bookstores.
    ―Alissa Redmond from South Main Book Co in Salisbury, NC | Buy from South Main Book Co.

  • Emily Henry has done it again and stolen my heart completely with her two main leads. In this one, a literary agent and a book editor end up stuck together in his tiny hometown, which happens to be the whimsical setting in the bestselling book she agents for– one he gave a scathing rejection to upon their very first meeting. It’s a "we think we’re enemies" but are actually idiots-to-lovers who perfectly fit each other kind of story. Henry is the unquestioned queen of banter, but this is probably her wittiest, most laugh-out-loud funny book to date. I had so much fun reading Book Lovers.
      ―Cristina Russell from Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL | Buy from Books and Books

About Emily Henry

Emily Henry is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of People We Meet on Vacation and Beach Read. She studied creative writing at Hope College, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it. Find her on Instagram @emilyhenrywrites.

White Horse by Erika T. Wurth


White Horse by Erika T. Wurth
Flat Iron Books / November 2022

More Reviews from Parnassus Books

Indigenous woman Kari James loves heavy metal, Stephan King novels, and her local bar. When her cousin unearths a bracelet that belonged to Kari’s mother, Kari is suddenly haunted by both her mother and a horrible entity. In order to rid herself of both spirits, Kari will have to face her past and unearth secrets about her family. This engrossing debut blends horror with mystery with a deft hand, and I look forward to what Wurth does next.

Reviewed by Chelsea Stringfield, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Offended Sensibilities by Ganieva Alisa


Offended Sensibilities by Ganieva Alisa
Deep Vellum Publishing / November 2022

More Reviews from Fountain Bookstore

A novel that takes place in a Russian town where officials are dropping dead after a recent law that stifled forms of expression has been passed, following the real-life events of a Pussy Riot church protest. The neo-noir feel that envelopes this political yet humorous novel fits perfectly and makes this a fantastic and original read. Though this deals with conversations on nationalism, religion, and sexuality among others, the light humor and prose kept this novel more digestible and entertaining.

Reviewed by Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

House of Yesterday by Deeba Zargarpur


House of Yesterday by Deeba Zargarpur
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) / November 2022

More Reviews from E. Shaver, bookseller

This debut is a compelling family drama about generational trauma and secrets in a large family of Afghan-Uzbeki immigrants. As Sara deals with the impending divorce of her parents and the slow painful loss of her grandmother to dementia, she begins to see ghostly apparitions in a home her family’s construction company is renovating. Sara gets pulled into a web of family secrets and realizes that even though her family has a strong storytelling tradition, the stories she’s been told her whole life aren’t the whole story. At times creepy, but ultimately redemptive, this story is all about confronting literal and figurative ghosts.

Reviewed by Melissa Taylor, E. Shaver bookseller in Savannah, Georgia

Garvey in the Dark by Nikki Grimes


Garvey in the Dark by Nikki Grimes
Wordsong / October 2022

More Reviews from Blue Cypress Books

A sad and touching story in verse set during the first half of 2020. This book is both painful and necessary, I can’t stop thinking about what the kids have lived through and knowing they need books exactly like this to help them process. Thank you Ms. Grimes. 

Reviewed by Rayna Nielsen, Blue Cypress Books in New Orleans, Louisiana

The Tryout by Christina Soontornvat


The Tryout by Christina Soontornvat
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers / November 2022

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More Reviews from Flyleaf Books

Christina Soontornvat’s graphic memoir depicts the challenges & joys of middle school life as a Thai-American in Texas centering around her dream of making the school’s cheer squad. For fans of Victoria Jamieson’s Roller Girl, Jerry Craft’s New Kid or any of Raina Telgemeier’s many graphic novels.

Reviewed by Elese Stutts, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse


Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse
 Saga Press / November 2022

More Reviews from The Little Bookshop

An November 2022 Read This Next! Title

Rebecca Roanhorse is a fantastic world-builder and her skills are razor-sharp in her newest fantasy set in an Old West mining town where angels had battled demons in an ancient war. Main character Celeste attempts to clear her sister from a murder charge but is impeded and manipulated by the Divines — the ruling class who are descendants of angels and dispense justice while wearing white robes and masks. As she searches for clues to free her sister, she stumbles into a bigger mystery that threatens her life and the future of the Fallen, who are the descendants of the demons and are the laborers and miners in the town. A gritty but good read!

Reviewed by Mary Patterson, The Little Bookshop in Midlothian, Virginia

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

We Are the Light Solito Project Hail Mary
Braiding Sweetgrass The Luminaries

[ See the full list ]

Parting Thought

“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.”
– Vera Nazarian

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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