The Southern Bookseller Review 5/31/22

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of May 24, 2022

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The week of May 31, 2022

June Read This Next! Sneak Peak Pub Quiz!Read This Next!

Tomorrow Southern indie booksellers will post their June Read This Next! list: Five books which have received exceptional and enthusiastic early buzz from booksellers. They are the month’s favorite "handsell" titles, the books at the top of everyone’s "you’ve got to read this list." Here is a sneak peak, can you match the review to the book?

"Crude, downright disturbing at some points and makes you squirm reading certain passages, but at the same time addicting." –Grace Sullivan from Fountain Books in Richmond, VA"

"When there’s a new baby around, you’ve got to laugh at all the ways the world changes for everyone!" –Angie Tally from The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC

"There’s a sense of anticipation throughout the novel that, to me, personifies what it means to age." –Jamie Southern from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC

"This breezy, well-written novel found me at a time when I really, really needed a breezy, well-written novel." –Chelsea Bauer from union ave books in Knoxville, TN

"I haven’t been so taken with a debut novel in some time. The story, the characters, the writing all combine to immerse the reader in a world so vivid that one can experience the smells, colors, and sounds which abound within." –Cody Morrison from Square Books in Oxford, MS

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

By Her Own Design by Piper Huguley


By Her Own Design by Piper Huguley
William Morrow Paperbacks / June 2022

More Reviews from The Country Bookshop

Ann Cole Lowe was a dress designer to Olivia de Haviland, Jacqueline Bouvier and other high society women. But she was born a black woman in Alabama whose mother and grandmother sewed for high society and learned her trade from them. Finding a white benefactress in Tampa, Ann begins her own design career that eventually takes her to NY. What a great novel of a talented black woman who succeeds through hard work.

Reviewed by Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

Bookseller Buzz


Spotlight on: Horse by Geraldine Brooks


Geraldine Brooks

This book was like a gift…it came to me right when I was getting absolutely no work done because my midlife crisis turned out to be not a red mustang but a little black pony. I became a horse-crazy girl in my middle age.” –Geraldine Brooks, interview

What booksellers are saying about Horse

  • Wow! Brooks knows how to tell a story and this one weaves many characters that all have one thing in common: The horse called Lexington, a great racehorse but also the greatest sire of the late 19th Century. Lexington was a real horse, and this novel contains true facets of his life and real people around him, but also fictional characters that cared for him both during his life and after his death. We have a big equestrian community in our county and they will love this, as will book clubs. ―Beth Carpenter from The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC
    Buy from The Country Bookshop

  • Horse by Geraldine Brooks Brooks has woven an extraordinary adventure about Lexington, a Kentucky thoroughbred. His accomplishments were extraordinary. He won all but one of his races but more significantly his legacy as the most successful leading sire in America during the last half of the nineteenth century makes him unparalleled in horse history. Other figures play into this story: Jarrett, the slave boy groom who loved him, Thomas Scott, the painter who captured Lexington on canvas and others whose contributions were significant. A fascinating story! Brooks is a masterful storyteller! I loved it!   ―Stephanie Crowe from Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL
    Buy from Page & Palette

  • A compelling and beautifully-crafted story with a mystery at its giant, horse-sized heart. This is a book about the fragility of life, love, and liberty for people of color in this country, in the past and in the present day.   ―Maggie Robe from Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC
    Buy from Flyleaf Books

About Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel March and the international bestsellers The Secret Chord, Caleb’s Crossing, People of the Book, and Year of Wonders. She has also written the acclaimed nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Born and raised in Australia, Brooks lives in Massachusetts.

The Evening Hero by Marie Myung-Ok Lee


The Evening Hero by Marie Myung-Ok Lee
William Morrow Paperbacks / June 2022

More Reviews from Snail on the Wall

Dr. Yungman Kwak, a small-town OBGYN, is one of the most endearing characters I’ve come across in a long time, and I was so invested in the future he faces–when modernity and capitalism sweep in to disrupt his entire existence. Partially a story following Dr. Kwak’s new role as a boutique medicine provider under the tutelage of his ambitious son, and partially a story following Yungman’s Korean upbringing, this book was beautiful and heart-wrenching. Marie Myung-Ok Lee will wrap you around her finger with these characters and take you on a journey through time, family, and the future of American healthcare.

Reviewed by Sarah Catherine Richardson, The Snail on the Wall in Huntsville, Alabama

Who Is Wellness For? by Fariha Roisin


Who Is Wellness For? by Fariha Roisin
 Harper Wave / June 2022

More Reviews from Oxford Exchange

Who is Wellness For? is part-memoir, part well-researched collection of works that earnest endeavor in answering the title’s query. Roisin maps constellations of historical context, spiritual meaning, and community care. A map that is truly a gift for anyone who considers that self-healing work is never really meant to be done alone. Each dot on this map reminds us of the many people and communities before this moment that teach us the dire necessity of prioritizing communal care. This book is a total offering to its readers, both as a starting place or a gentle reminder, meeting them wherever they may be on their healing journey. I look forward to re-reading this book and have added all of her intentional citations to be TBR lists.

Reviewed by Eden Hakimzadeh, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert


Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert
Flatiron Books / June 2022

More Reviews from Underground Books

This book had me in its CLUTCHES. I read the last half at break neck speed, bewitched. This deliciously creepy and darkly magical story follows a daughter (now, in the suburbs) and her mother around the same age (the 1990s, in the city) as each encounters an ability that may prove as sinister as it is supernatural. Powerful witchcraft, a (literally) haunting past, and wicked twists will keep your own crooked heart beating as fast as you can flip the final pages.

Reviewed by Megan Bell, Underground Books in Carrollton, Georgia

Chickadee: Criminal Mastermind by Monica Silvie


Chickadee: Criminal Mastermind by Monica Silvie
Kids Can Press / June 2022

More Reviews from Bookmarks

Calling all bird lovers — you need this picture book! I adored the little chickadee who narrates this story. I could easily imagine my own little backyard chickadees thinking of themselves as criminal masterminds as they steal my blueberries! This picture book will offer plenty of fun for readers of all ages.

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

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

The Problem with Prophecies by Scott Reintgen


The Problem with Prophecies by Scott Reintgen
Aladdin / May 2022

More Reviews from Little Shop of Stories

A May 2022 Read This Next! Selection

When Celia Cleary “comes of age” in her magical family, she inherits a gift for prophecy–and all the problems that come with it. While The Problem with Prophecies raises questions about fate, free will, and magic, it is at its core a sweet story about family, friendship, and first crushes. Scott Reintgen writes insightfully about the liminal space between childhood and adolescence.

Reviewed by Heather Jeziorowski from Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

This Time Tomorrow River of the Gods Mary Jane
All About Love Book of Questions

[ 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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