The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Adult Nonfiction

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

All the Women in My Brain by Betty Gilpin

Hilarious and bittersweet, Betty Gilpin’s memoir about her life as an actress is a bit chaotic at times, but in a funny way. She writes as a very successful actress who also struggles with self-doubt and depression. The reader gets to go behind- the -scenes with Gilpin as she stars in various TV shows and movies, describing her work from a feminist perspective and as a veteran of the entertainment industry. Loved it!

All the Women in My Brain by Betty Gilpin, (List Price: $28.99, Flatiron Books, 9781250795786, September 2022)

Reviewed by Lisa Uotinen, Book No Further in Roanoke, Virginia

Woman Without Shame by Sandra Cisneros

Woman Without Shame reminds me of Nikki Giovanni’s most recent collection, in that I had a similar feeling while reading each book that these are two poets that get better and better with age. Every bit of Woman Without Shame is saturated in maturity and confidence, right down to the title. When I grow up, I want to be Sandra Cisneros.

Woman Without Shame by Sandra Cisneros, (List Price: $27, Knopf, 9780593534823, September 2022)

Reviewed by Jordan Pulaski, Small Friend Records & Books in Richmond, Virginia

Solito by Javier Zamora

This is one of the most riveting memoirs I have ever read- Zamora captures his experience as a child migrant with extraordinary detail and emotion. It feels special to read a memoir that manages to stay true to the confusion of childhood in a very adult scenario and the uncertainty of migration while also not shying away from the kindness he was shown and the gratitude he so clearly feels towards those that helped him.

Solito by Javier Zamora, (List Price: $28, Hogarth, 9780593498064, September 2022)

Reviewed by Cat Bock, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

One Hundred Saturdays by Michael Frank

Stella Levi is a reluctant narrator. But Saturday after Saturday she allows pieces of her story to begin to form the charming, haunting, lively, tragic, tale of life and loss and art and survival that is One Hundred Saturdays. This is absolutely the best book I’ve read all year, and with the added bonus of Maira Kalman’s brilliant illustrations of life on Rhodes, in Auschwitz, and in New York, it may very well be the best book of the decade.

One Hundred Saturdays by Michael Frank, (List Price: $28, Avid Reader Press, 9781982167226, September 2022)

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

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