The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Adult Nonfiction

Whorephobia by Lizzie Borden

A gorgeously done collection of all things stripping and sex work told by those who know it best. With stories told by 20-some contributors to this essay collection, the lessons and experiences recounted in this span decades. Focused first on the strip clubs that populated New York City in the late 80s and 90s, the switch to more modern accounts is refreshing and makes this a current and fantastically well-done anthology on pro-sex work.

Whorephobia by Lizzie Borden (List Price: $21.95, Seven Stories Press, 9781644212271, December 2022)

Reviewed by Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Grocery Shopping with My Mother by Kevin Powell

This will inspire sobbing and a phone call to your mama. Deeply accessible, beautiful work.

Grocery Shopping with My Mother by Kevin Powell (List Price: $24, Soft Skull, 9781593767433, December 2022)

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

How Far the Light Reaches by Sabrina Imbler

A 2022 December Read This Next! Title

Wholly original, astonishingly informative, and powerfully written. Imbler describes marine life with reverence and compelling detail, and deftly intertwines the lives of the sea creatures with stories of their own experiences with gender, queerness, and identity.

How Far the Light Reaches by Sabrina Imbler (List Price: $27, Little, Brown and Company, 9780316540537, December 2022)

Reviewed by Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Waxing On by Ralph Macchio

Whether you are a fan of the original 1984 Karate Kid or the 2018 Cobra Kai on Netflix, you will be well versed in this pop culture classic. Ralph Macchio takes you behind the scenes of both the original film and the new series in this new book. You will discover the magic of filmography, and dedication of the actors and directors that created some of the most iconic scenes in cinematic history. But the phenomena that is Karate Kid did not stop with the film, Ralph goes on the describe how his experience of the film and the fans that he interacts with have shaped and changed his life over the years, and helped create Cobra Kai. Waxing On is a nostalgic journey into a pop culture phenomenon that is so relevant to the human condition that it has thrived and adapted to the test of time in ways that makes it as relevant today as it did in 1984.

Waxing On by Ralph Macchio (List Price: $28, Dutton, 9780593185834, October 2022)

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Deadly Triangle by Susan Goldenberg

An in-depth look at a true crime story I’d never heard before. Each chapter is a isolated chunk of the narrative- the players histories, the actual crime, the after. While this isolated nature can lead to repeating facts, it makes this book perfect book for people who want to pick up and read a single chapter at a time.

Deadly Triangle by Susan Goldenberg (List Price: $19.99, Dundurn Press, 9781459750302, November 2022)

Reviewed by Lauren Kohnle, M Judson booksellers in Greenville, South Carolina

Spine Poems by Annette Dauphin Simon

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!

Spine Poems by Annette Dauphin Simon (List Price: $27.99, Harper Design, 9780063208223, September 2022)

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

Con/Artist by Tony Tetro

"To really make a forgery, you have to make something new that never existed and give it a reason for being born." The behind the scenes details of a front page story come to life as Tony Tetro, wild world traveler and accomplished art forger, combines with journalist and documentary film maker Giampiero Ambrosi to create a window into the man behind far reaching art crimes.

Con/Artist by Tony Tetro (List Price: $29, Hachette Books, 9780306826481, November 2022)

Reviewed by Kimberly Daniels, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

The World Record Book of Racist Stories by Amber Ruffin

Ruffin and Lamar are back with more hilarious-in-a-terrible-way stories of things that they and their family have dealt with. You’ll laugh and cringe at this book – the sisters write as they speak and their chemistry makes for a perfect read.

The World Record Book of Racist Stories by Amber Ruffin, (List Price: $29, Grand Central Publishing, 9781538724552, November 2022)

Reviewed by Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Dickens and Prince by Nick Hornby

This was a quick and fun read about two seemingly incredibly different individuals who actually had much more in common than I knew. Hornby’s writing is engaging and funny as always. I came away with some fantastic trivia knowledge and a greater appreciation for both Charles Dickens and Prince. This will be a hit with the pop culture nerds.

Dickens and Prince by Nick Hornby, (List Price: $18, Riverhead Books, 9780593541821, November 2022)

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

The Mexican Witch Lifestyle by Valeria Ruelas

An absolutely stellar guide to modern brujeria. It’s the perfect addition to any young witch/bruja/brujx’s collection. Valeria Rules is such a powerful and authoritative voice in the brujeria world and their guide is all encompassing and inclusive, with careful descriptions of spells, crystals, and terminology as well as cautions against racism and appropriation. In my humble opinion, this is THE guide every one beginning their journey into magic and healing should have on their shelf!

The Mexican Witch Lifestyle by Valeria Ruelas, (List Price: $17.99, Simon Element, 9781982178147, November 2022)

Reviewed by Laney Sheehan, Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, NC

Breathless by David Quammen

David Quammen can make the most complex scientific subjects perfectly understandable and fascinating. We’ve lived through the beginnings of Covid-19, but so much was going on behind the scenes. It’s astounding that vaccines were developed as quickly as they were, and we find out the backstory here. Quammen makes our last two years read like a thriller.

Breathless by David Quammen, (List Price: $29.99, Simon & Schuster, 9781982164362, October 2022)

Reviewed by Rosemary Pugliese, Malaprops in Asheville, North Carolina

Justice of the Pies by Maya-Camille Broussard

What a beautiful cookbook! It’s the perfect blend of stunning visuals, original and well-written recipes, dynamite prose in the talky bits, plus a strong social-justice mission. Broussard presents her sweet and savory recipes from the point-of-view of a Black, hearing-impaired, small business owner who has been giving back to her Chicago community through teaching, donating, and empowering others. Between the recipes (and inspiring many) are profiles of people she calls "Stewards": others who strive for equity. If that’s not enough inspiration, how about Salted Caramel Peach Pie, Chicken & Biscuit Pot Pie, Churro Whoopie Pies! Honoring her public defender late father’s memory, this book also makes a great family gift.

Justice of the Pies by Maya-Camille Broussard, (List Price: $30, Clarkson Potter, 9780593234440, October 2022)

Reviewed by Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

It Came from the Closet by Joe Vallese

It’s human nature to look for validation of oneself in the art we consume, and It Came From the Closet is a collection of essays by queer and trans authors on their interpretations and interactions with horror films. Edited by Joe Vallese, these essays are tender and funny, vulnerable and courageous. It Came From the Closet will make you see movies you’ve watched numerous times in a different light and that is a spectacular point of view.

It Came from the Closet by Joe Vallese, (List Price: $25.95, The Feminist Press at CUNY, 9781952177798, October 2022)

Reviewed by Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia

Boldly Go by William Shatner

I love William Shatner but for reasons other than his literary talents. Which he has! This memoir is adorable. He’s got a David Attenborough save the planet kind of vibe, with like, a grandpa who can’t use Zoom twist. You’ll read this in an afternoon. His incredulity and his sense of wonder is infectious, although there’s only so far the reader can go before they hit their head on the Successful Elderly White Man Door. A short, sweet read. He’s just so ridiculous and wonderful.

Boldly Go by William Shatner, Joshua Brandon, (List Price: $28, Atria Books, 9781668007327, October 2022)

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

Alive at the End of the World by Saeed Jones

Alive at the End of the World might not save my life, but it’s perfect company here between the rock and the hard place. Saeed Jones’ poems mold my daily depressive spiral into a crystalline mobius strip, looping endlessly back around to how we are harmed and do harm as this planet slouches towards Bethlehem. By turns grievous and grieving, this collection is a much-needed snapshot of coping mid-apocalypse.

Alive at the End of the World by Saeed Jones, (List Price: $16.95, Coffee House Press, 9781566896511, October 2022)

Reviewed by Terrance Hudson, Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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