The Southern Bookseller Review 8/16/22

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of August 16, 2022

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The week of August 16, 2022

Leading by example.

We Are Here

Late Summer in the South is known for many things. It is the peak of hurricane season — a time everyone prays to be uneventful and unmemorable. It is the start of college football season, which will all hope will be very memorable.

It is also the season of book conferences. Last week, bookstores in the south and along the eastern seaboard met at their annual conference, "New Voices New Rooms." The Keynote event, a children’s authors panel called "We Are Here," featured Tami Charles, Maria Hinojosa, Linda Sarsour, and Ambassador Andrew Young and his daughter, Paula Young Shelton.

Tami Charles says that she wrote her book, We Are Here, for her son, as a way to answer his questions about the injustice and violence he saw in the news. Linda Sarsour, one of the organizers of the Women’s March, created a "young person’s" version of her own memoir as a way to encourage young people to believe in themselves and their own ability to change things. Maria Hinojosa’s book, also a young reader’s version of her own memoir, written to the ten year old girl, and all the children like her, Hinojosa once had to watch be forcibly separated from her parents at the US border.

Paula Young Shelton said about Just Like Jesse Owens, the book she wrote with her father, "This is a story that my father told to us over and over again growing up. It’s about his experience of seeing in his very diverse neighborhood in New Orleans…there were actually Nazi sympathizers living behind his babysitter’s house down the block, and he saw these men "heiling" Hitler. He asked his father what they were doing and his father explained to him that they were racists and he also told my father that racism was a sickness. You can’t get angry with them because they’re sick, but you need to try to help them and one of the ways that you can do that is leading by example."

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

Early Light by Osamu Dazai


Early Light by Osamu Dazai
New Directions / August 2022

More Reviews from Square Books

These three stories make an important addition to the canon of Dazai translated into English (still too slight!) The title story is classic Dazai autofiction about the effects of Allied firebombing in Imperial Japanese cities. "Villon’s Wife" is an exquisite piece, with all the charm of Japanese folk tales and the perversity of modernity, that echoes Dazai’s classic "No Longer Human." "One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji," however, is the jewel; for readers in English, this may be the first inkling of the author’s sense of humor. Altogether a stunning collection, and a great introduction to one of the masters of 20th century existential literature.

Reviewed by Conor Hultman, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi

Bookseller Buzz


Spotlight on: The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford


Jamie Ford

Much of the research regarding epigenetics, the longer version is transgenerational epigenetic inheritance is about traumatic events. It’s about pain. It’s about the things that we were exposed to that were negative. And from a research standpoint, those things are much more easily recognized, whereas things that are more benign or beneficial are perhaps harder to see. I looked at it and thought, we inherit pain and trauma, what else can we inherit?” –Jamie Ford, Interview, Bookweb

What booksellers are saying about The Many Daughters of Afong Moy

The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford
  • Well this was just fascinating! The Many Daughters of Afong Moy is a beautifully written novel weaving together the stories of seven generations of women – each whom is impacted by a significant loss or tragedy, the effect of which is passed down to their ancestors. Jamie Ford has written a insightful, thought-provoking story that marries history with science, asking us to question the extraordinary ways in which our past shapes our future. ―Anderson McKean from Page & Palette in Fairhope, Alabama
    Buy from Page & Palette

  • Grab a pen, because you might want to take some notes while reading this wild ride tale of the trauma, triumphs, and truths intertwined in 7 generations of Moy family women. This one’s as sure to be dog-eared as it is impossible to put down.
      ―Angie Tally from The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina
    Buy from The Country Bookshop

  • This book is an epigenetic exploration of Chinese American womanhood. Ford shows us several generations, starting with the story of Afong Moy, an imported circus "freak" who was the first Chinese American woman, and weaving in the stories of her Chinese American descendants from the 19th century to the 2070’s, all of whom feel the aftereffects of their progenitor’s racial trauma and find themselves, despite their best efforts to be individuals, reliving it. This book provides a really thought-provoking way to think about race, which is somehow at once bleak and optimistic.  ―Akil Guruparan from Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia
    Buy from Fountain Bookstore

  • This is my first by author Jamie Ford, but will not be my last. His exquisite writing is not only beautiful, but also thought provoking and cerebral. Based on Epigenetics, the research that suggests that trauma/fears can be inherited from previous generations, the story takes readers on a journey meeting several descendants of Afong Moy, the first Chinese woman to set foot in America. The book stretched out over 200 years as each chapter reveals the tragedies faced by a descendant of Afong, and how each responds due to her genetic response to fear. A mix of history, science and fantasy, this is one of those books that will stay with readers for a very long time!  ―Sharon Davis from Book Bound Bookstore in Blairsville, Georgia
    Buy from Book Bound Bookstore

About Jamie Ford

Jamie Ford is the great-grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated from Hoiping, China to San Francisco in 1865, where he adopted the western name Ford, thus confusing countless generations. His debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. His work has been translated into thirty-five languages. Having grown up in Seattle, he now lives in Montana with his wife and a one-eyed pug.

The Couple at Number 9 by Claire Douglas


The Couple at Number 9 by Claire Douglas
Harper Paperbacks / August 2022

More Reviews from Fiction Addiction

An idyllic cottage for the couple in number 9 turns out to be anything but idyllic when two bodies are uncovered in the garden during some remodeling. Rose, the original owner of the cottage is now in her late seventies and living in a care home with dementia. Her granddaughter Saffie, who is expecting her first child, and Saffie’s husband Tom were thrilled when given the cottage by Saffie’s mother Lorna. Little did any of them know that their remodeling would uncover and bring to light many unanswered questions from the past. Why didn’t Lorna know her mother owned this cottage? Why did Rose never talk about Lorna’s father other than to say he died before he was born? Who was Rose’s mysterious boarder and what happened to her? Why did Lorna always seem to be running away from something? Who is the man who claims to be a PI and says that Rose has evidence his client wants and will use force if necessary to obtain it? And of course – who were the people buried in the garden and what happened to them? Told from several points of view and several time frames Douglas is an expert at slowly feeding you information while at the same time leaving you with many new questions. All of the information finally comes together in a twisty ending you won’t see coming.

Reviewed by Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Yoga by Emmanuel Carrère,


Yoga by Emmanuel Carrère
Farrar, Straus and Giroux / August 2022

More Reviews from Malaprop’s

The latest journey into the mind of Emmanuel Carrere, Yoga, is just as self-effacing, intelligent, and probing as his previous work. But what begins as a book about yoga and meditation soon turns into a book about personal tragedy, making for a surprisingly bittersweet, tender memoir.

Reviewed by Justin Souther, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina

Bark to the Future by Spencer Quinn


Bark to the Future by Spencer Quinn
Forge Books / August 2022

More Reviews from Main Street Books

Bernie and Chet stories can seem deceptively simple. Chet’s narration from a dog’s point of view provides humor but insights on how narrow human perspectives can be. Bernie’s ethical code and generosity are lessons in how to be a better human. All this comes into play as the duo seek to help a high school classmate fallen on hard times. Running underneath the mystery is a happy love interest for Bernie and the complications of Trixie for Chet.

Reviewed by Jan Blodgett, Main Street Books in Davidson, North Carolina

This Little Voter by Carol Herring (Illus.), Ann Bonnie


This Little Voter by Carol Herring (Illus.), Ann Bonnie
little bee books / August 2022

More Reviews from Bookmarks

With the same structure and rhyming pattern as This Little PiggyThis Little Voter celebrates all the things voters can do to participate in the electoral process – register to vote, campaign, vote, and more. This is the perfect addition for the youngest of readers to an Election Day storytime!

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

Berserk Deluxe Volume 11 by Kentaro Miura


Berserk Deluxe Volume 11 by Kentaro Miura
Dark Horse Manga / July 2022

More Reviews from Oxford Exchange

This is the best series of all time, hands down. Absolutely gorgeous artwork, incredible world-building, and intense developments. Berserk is about trauma and how you can overcome that trauma. There will always be hardships and the only thing you can do is keep moving forward. I will always recommend this series to everyone. Character development is unmatched. Berserk has inspired so many other creative works of art, and it fully deserves recognition. 11 out of 10.

Reviewed by Ethan Davis, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies…

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood


Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
 Berkley / August 2022

More Reviews from Underground Books

An August 2022 Read This Next! Title

Badass woman in science, CHECK. STEM setting with real life issues, CHECK. Huge, hot, *secretly pining* fellow scientist with off-the-charts chemistry with said badass woman in science, CHECK. We have all the components of another supremely satisfying steamy STEM romance by Ali Hazelwood. I loved Love on the Brain!

Reviewed by Megan Bell, Underground Books in Carrollton, Georgia

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

The Last White Man The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook Every Summer After
Speckled Beauty Hell Followed with Us

[ See the full list ]

Parting Thought

“When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story’s voice makes everything its own. ”
– John Berger, Keeping a Rendezvous

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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