The Southern Bookseller Review 6/7/22

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of June 7, 2022

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The week of June 6, 2022

Our Dads.Dads

I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” ―Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum

In honor of Father’s Day, here are some recent bookseller reviews of books featuring dads and their importance in our lives.

Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo
"Chibundu Onuzo’s Sankofa is the story of Anna, an African British woman who never knew her father. Anna discovers clues to her African father’s identity only after her mother dies. This is fortuitous. What follows as Anna acknowledges and accepts her father, a man with a vast reputation and many secrets, is the healing and melding of Anna’s two identities and a new beginning" –Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia

Razorblade Tears by S. A. Cosby
"Fantastic thriller with a tender narrative running throughout as two ex-convict fathers come to terms with each of their sons’ homosexuality too late." –Laura Taylor, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

Shaking the Gates of Hell by John Archibald
"This is a deeply personal memoir, and Archibald’s love and respect for his dad is clear. He was a man of moral authority who taught right from wrong, a minister who emphasized grace and compassion, and an engaged dad who encouraged his kids to leave every campsite better than they found it. But, his youngest son wonders, did his father do enough to leave his community better off than he found it? " –Lady Smith, The Snail on the Wall in Huntsville, Alabama

Magic Season by Wade Rouse
"Wade and his rigid engineer father had a contentious relationship for quite awhile. When Ted learns he is dying Wade returns home for one final season of the one thing the men share a passion for-The St Louis Cardinals. This is inspiring and heartwarming and told with Wade’s poignant sense of humor." –Suzanne Lucey, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov


Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov
Liveright / May 2022

More Reviews from Avid Bookshop

Nostalgia, memory loss and the European Union walk into a bar… Every section of this book feeds into the next like those nights where you wake up six times and experience the same dream, mutated sixfold. And just like the day after the dream, this book hasn’t ended for me, since I think fondly of it long after completion, sewing the remembered bits together as best I can into my own narrative (it’s minty mental mouthwash and lord knows I need it).

Reviewed by Ian McCord, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia

Bookseller Buzz


Spotlight on: Forging Silver Into Stars by Brigid Kemmerer


Brigid Kemmerer

There are a lot of layers to realistic romance. For me, I always start with an initial attraction. Physical attributes are obvious, and they do play a small role, but what I really mean is something that catches the other person’s attention in a surprising way. Is it an unexpected skill? Their tone of voice? The way they treat animals? All of the above? And then there are the opposites: challenges to overcome. Is someone stubborn? Angsty? Aloof? Are these challenges worth looking past? Just like people are multi-faceted, characters should be, too.” –Brigid Kemmerer, interview, Beyond the Read

What booksellers are saying about Forging Silver Into Stars

Forging Silver into Stars
  • I loved the Cursebreaker trilogy and was so excited to return to the world! It was so much fun getting to know some of the side characters better from the original trilogy, and as always, the world-building was absolutely scrumptious! I stayed up wayyy past my bedtime to finish this and it was so worth it. ―Catherine Edmondson from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC
    Buy from Main Street Books

  • Forging Silver From Stars is Brigid Kemmerer at her best. Addictive, full of intrigue, twists, and tension. Fans of the Cursebreaker series will find this latest installment to the world to be a more than a worthy addition. To reuse a comment I’ve made about Brigid’s earlier books, which applies well to this one, too: think Game of Thrones for the younger set, infused with 100% more feminism.   ―Cristina Russell from Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL
    Buy from Books & Books

  • I hate to sound like a broken record but Brigid Kemmerer has done it again. Forging Silver into Stars is the perfect mix of characters we know and love from her Cursebreakers series and new characters we get to fall in love with for the first time. Brigid’s characters are ones I want to be friends with even on their bad days because she takes the time to let us get to know them in a flawed, honest, and hopeful way. I regretted every time life forced me to put it down. I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.   ―Rayna Nielsen from Blue Cypress Books in New Orleans, LA
    Buy from Blue Cypress Books

About Brigid Kemmerer

Brigid Kemmerer is the author of the New York Times bestseller Defy the Night, the New York Times bestselling Cursebreaker series, which includes A Curse So Dark and Lonely, A Heart So Fierce and Broken, and A Vow So Bold and Deadly, and Forging Silver into Stars. She has also written the contemporary young adult romances Call It What You Want, More Than We Can Tell, and Letters to the Lost, as well as paranormal young adult stories, including the Elemental series and Thicker Than Water. A full-time writer, Brigid lives in the Baltimore area with her family. @BrigidKemmere

Learning Korean by Peter Serpico


Learning Korean by Peter Serpico
W. W. Norton & Company / May 2022

More Reviews from Righton Books

Born in South Korean, Peter Serpico was adopted by an American family when he was two, and only started to discover the cooking of his native country as an adult. Full of practical home cooking for American families, this cookbook is a great introduction to one of the world’s most wonderful cuisines.

Reviewed by Anne Peck, Righton Books in St Simons Island, Georgia

Sunday Pancakes by Maya Tatsukawa


Sunday Pancakes by Maya Tatsukawa
 Dial Books / May 2022

More Reviews from Bookmarks

The thing I love about a great picture book is the way anything can become magical. (Please note: this is not a book about literal magic pancakes. It’s a book about the magic of friendship while making pancakes together!) Cat, Rabbit, and Moonbear spend the day together making pancakes, eating pancakes, and taking a post-pancakes nap. The simplicity of their shared day reminds me of the power of sharing a special tradition with friends, even one as simple as Sunday pancakes.

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

The Cherry Robbers by Sarai Walker


The Cherry Robbers by Sarai Walker
Harper / May 2022

More Reviews from Bookmiser

Do you believe in ghosts? The Cherry Robbers is about so much more than the haunting that frightens on every page. In 1950 Iris Chapel has five sisters and lives in a Victorian mansion isolated from much of the world. Tragedy after tragedy befalls every sister after they find love as their mother has predicted. But this story is about so much more than the apparitions that live with this family. Through Iris Chapel/Sylvia Wren, the reader will experience sadness and loss surely but find art and love and sexuality as an essential part of this haunting story. My prediction is that the reader will never truly leave the world of the Chapel sisters.

Reviewed by Nancy Pierce, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Melt With You by Jennifer Dugan


Melt With You by Jennifer Dugan
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers / May 2022

More Reviews from Parnassus Books

Fallon would rather forget about her hookup with her BFF Chloe right before Chloe left for college, but her mom’s ice cream truck business has other plans. Fallon is a protagonist who is easy to cheer for, and I was so invested in the rivals-to-lovers, will-they-won’t-they romance. This is a delightful, perfect novel for summer, made even better by the ice cream puns.

Reviewed by Chelsea Stringfield from Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine


Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
One World / June 2022

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More Reviews from Square Books

A June 2022 Read This Next! Selection

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. It’s a multi-generational tale of an Indigenous Chicano family, artfully told and ultimately centering around young Luz Lopez who lives a hard but full life in Denver in the 1930s while attempting to grasp her gifts as a seer of visions and simultaneously bearing witness to the atrocities that have been brought down upon her people for hundreds of years. Unforgettable, at times heartbreaking yet shot through with love and resilience this is definitely a book not to be missed.

Reviewed by Cody Morrison from Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

This Time Tomorrow Riverman The Book Lovers
GenderQueer I kissed Sara Wheeler

[ See the full list ]

Parting Thought

“I’m a firm believer that language and how we use language determines how we act, and how we act then determines our lives and other people’s lives.”
– Ntozake Shange

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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