The Southern Bookseller Review 5/17/22

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of May 10, 2022

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The week of May 17, 2022

Growing up in a haunted house

Meet James Lee Burke | May 24, 2022 at 7:00 PM ET
Hosted by Wiley Cash!


James Lee Burke

The Reader Meet Writer Author Series returns this month for the exclusive launch of James Lee Burke’s new novel, Every Cloak Rolled in Blood, a devastating exploration of the nature of good and evil, and a deeply moving story about the power of love and family. In his most autobiographical novel to date, James Lee Burke continues the epic Holland family saga with a writer grieving the death of his daughter while battling earthly and supernatural outlaws.

James Lee Burke is a New York Times bestselling author, two-time winner of the Edgar Award, and the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in Fiction. He’ll be in conversation with Reader Meet Writer host and SIBA’s 2022 Southern Book Prize winner, Wiley Cash.

The Reader Meet Writer Author Series is sponsored by Southern independent bookstores.

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

Such Big Dreams by Reema Patel


Such Big Dreams by Reema Patel
Ballantine Books / April 2022

More Reviews from Novel

This book was beautiful. Rakhi was such a carefully crafted character with such a distinct voice. The novel has a sense of place and identity that is wholly it’s own and immensely compelling. The book speaks to poverty and voluntourism and privilege and hypocrisy while maintaining a focus on character and story. It paints upon a setting that unblinkingly presents both the beauty and the injustice of Bombay, and it presents Rakhi as she is—fiery and smart and insightful and honest. This is a perspective that needs to be heard and is so dignifying to its subject. I can’t recommend this book highly enough—I love a book that speaks honestly to the injustices of the world while completely holding its own as a literary work.

Reviewed by Becca Sloan, Novel in Memphis, Tennessee

Bookseller Buzz


Spotlight on: The Book of Night by Holly Black


Holly Black

You actually almost grew up in one of your novels, in an old Victorian house that you say was haunted?

Well, I do not say it was haunted but my mom told me that she used to play in the attic with a ghost named Robbie. It was very traumatizing and I believe that if you want to make your kids into writers you just have to scare them continuously through their childhood ” –Holly Black, interview

What booksellers are saying about The Book of Night

The Book of Night
  • The phrase “scared of your own shadow” gains a whole new meaning in this gripping mystery-fantasy from the amazing Holly Black. With a dash of the macabre, a twinge of dark humor, and coffee, lots and lots of coffee, you wont be able to put this one down. ―Angie Tally from The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC
    Buy from The Country Bookshop

  • So satisfying! Secrets, murder, shadow magic, con artists, and a surprising amount of romance. I feel like Stefon: This. Book. Has. Everything. Seriously though, a very fun and fast read. I haven’t read Black’s YA fae books, but I’m definitely going to now.   ―Michelle Cavalier from Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, LA
    Buy from Cavalier House Books

  • Book of Night is Holly Black at her best. It’s got a detailed, brilliantly crafted magic system in a modern day urban setting with the most disagreeable thief and her shadowless boyfriend at its heart. I truly don’t think you can read this one and not end up obsessed. I know I am.   ―Cristina Russell from Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL
    Buy from Books and Books

  • I think that readers who grew up with Holly Black’s will enjoy the fact that Book Of Night most strongly comes across as a book for adults is because it’s about adults. And Charlie is the perfect example of this. I’ve been devouring Holly Black’s books for the last nineteen years, and this one is NO exception. I expect my copy of this will be just as worn and well loved as my collection of Spiderwick Chronicles books from 2003-2004.   ―Elizabeth Hall from M Judson, Booksellers in Greenville, SC
    Buy from M. Judson Booksellers

About Holly Black

Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of speculative and fantasy novels, short stories, and comics. She has sold over 26 million books worldwide and her work has been translated into over 30 languages and adapted for film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret library. Book of Night is her adult fiction debut.

My America by Kwame Onwuachi


My America by Kwame Onwuachi
Knopf / May 2022

More Reviews from Bookmarks

Kwame Onwuachi went from Top Chef Kwame to Author Kwame for me with Notes from a Young Black Chef, one of my favorite books of 2019. My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef blends chef and author to create a rich exploration of the food that influenced Onwuachi and he has been inspired to create. Featuring not just recipes but family history, travel stories, and anecdotal tales, My America is a celebration that deserves in place in everyone’s cookbook collection.

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Acts of Service by Lillian Fishman


Acts of Service by Lillian Fishman
 Hanover Square Press / May 2022

More Reviews from Oxford Exchange

I feel so strongly about this book, I truly think this is the best book I have read this year. A piece of art. The author managed to capture so perfectly the thoughts of sexuality, gender norms, and expressionism in a woman in her 20s. I admired her pushing the boundaries to talk about topics that are considered taboo, such as polyamory, infidelity, and manipulation. The writing was so beautiful, the characters were all so addictive, yet so horrible, and I just couldn’t put it down. Majority of the text is thoughts that the main character has, rather than action, so if you don’t like that, this is not the book for you. I feel like I could recommend this to any girl my age that is vocal about sex, feminism, and love. Truly a book I think everyone should read. I never like to re-read books, but this is a book I can definitely see myself re-reading. I am dying for a sequel, or at the very least, another novel by Lillian Fishman.

Reviewed by Yarah Elshaer, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall


These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall
Viking Books for Young Readers / August 2022

More Reviews from Novel

I absolutely adore beautifully written horror. There’s something amazing about taking something that should be absolutely terrifying and finding a way to write it so beautifully that it could be poetry. Yet despite the beautiful prose, I was still chilled to my bones. These Fleeting Shadows was dripping with beautiful pain and chills. This is the perfect release to snuggle up with on a dark and foggy night, but only if you’re sure your house is safe from everything that might go bump in the shadows. Helen and her family are well written as well as intriguing.

Reviewed by Katlin Kerrison, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia

Ways to Grow Love by Renée Watson


Ways to Grow Love by Renée Watson
Dutton / April 2022

More Reviews from The Country Bookshop

Ryan Hart is headed to sleepaway camp where she faces some friendship challenges, but even that may be easier than going home to the new baby that’s on its way. Ramona Quimby for a new generation, Ryan Hart is a young, optimistic black girl navigating a changing world with style. This series really has staying power.

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

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón


The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón
Milkweed Editions / May 2022

More Reviews from Main Street Books

A May 2022 Read This Next! Selection

A eulogy of sorts to things we are always going to lose, and to the things that are taken from us, this is a beautiful body of work that trembles with hurt, but asks also for its due attention- a wounded thing not yet surrendering. Poems of movement, of worry, of a recognized grief and the subsequent small joys that can bloom out of dirt like small flower heads…Limón never, ever disappoints when it comes to understanding the great and terrible spectrum of emotions that is our cross to bear. It’s as if this newest collection is a honed and finely tuned string of metal hewn from her previous work, singing its own loud and new sound, ever reminding us that she belongs alongside Sontag, Lorde, James Welch, Oliver- the heralds of the Word that have come before and whose worlds will remain long after.

Reviewed by Aimee Keeble from Main Street Books in Davidson, North Carolina

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

Sister Stardust Taste Book Lovers
The Gates of Europe I Kissed Shara Wheeler

[ See the full list ]

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Parting Thought

“Books are everywhere; and always the same sense of adventure fills us. Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.”
– Virginia Woolf, Street Haunting

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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