The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Adult Nonfiction

The Wise Hours by Miriam Darlington

Owls, for all their popularity in myths and Harry Potter movies, are elusive and difficult to observe in the wild. But the wild, the reality is what Darlington is seeking and what she brings to this thoughtful account. Her careful descriptions of eight species are deepened by reflections on how much humanity loses when we lose true awareness of the wild. A call for more care of the natural world, protection of spaces needed by our fellow creatures, and a willingness to live with uncertainty, this book offers heart and soul as well as natural history.

The Wise Hours by Miriam Darlington, (List Price: $27.95, Tin House Books, 9781953534835, February 2023)

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

Ducks by Kate Beaton

As an avid fan of Kate Beaton since her days slinging snarky, hilarious comics in Hark, A Vagrant!, I have been waiting for her graphic memoir for years!! Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands is a stunningly beautiful story of Kate’s time working in the male-dominated Alberta oil industry to pay off her student loans, full of gorgeous, melancholy art and powerful emotions just under the surface. It’s an exceptional book about loneliness, labor, survival in a male-dominated world, and finding your way home.

Ducks by Kate Beaton, (List Price: $39.95, Drawn and Quarterly, 9781770462892, September 2022)

Reviewed by Rebecca Speas, One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia

God’s Ex-Girlfriend by Gloria Beth Amodeo

I’m always interested in a good memoir about religious experience. God’s Ex-Girlfriend did not disappoint. Amodeo’s time with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) was full of revelations about how the movement can trap young people at their most vulnerable time: college and the days beyond. Amodeo seriously adopted the evangelical ideas, but found it wasn’t the support she needed to find her true self. A real eye-opener!

God’s Ex-Girlfriend by Gloria Beth Amodeo, (List Price: $18.95, Ig Publishing, 9781632461476, February 2023)

Reviewed by Linda Hodges, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Zig-Zag Boy by Tanya Frank

A harrowing memoir about a mother doing all she can to help her son as he navigates a psychiatric diagnosis. I could feel author Tanya Frank’s desperation and determination to help her child, and I was left feeling her frustration over our flawed mental healthcare system.

Zig-Zag Boy by Tanya Frank, (List Price: $28.95, W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393531886, February 2023)

Reviewed by Jessica Nock, Main Street Books in Davidson, North Carolina

B.F.F. by Christie Tate

As kids, we focus so much of our time and energy on friendships, and then as we become adults, everything changes. It’s hard to make new friends, and it’s often harder to keep old ones. In B.F.F. Christie Tate bares her soul about female friendship in the same way she did about her therapy sessions in Group. It’s refreshing and reassuring to find out that other women feel isolated, alienated, and hurt by the people they claim as friends. And, though Tate doesn’t have any easy answers, she does let us accompany her on the journey to heal old wounds and become a better friend.

B.F.F. by Christie Tate, (List Price: $28, Avid Reader Press, 9781668009420, February 2023)

Reviewed by Lady Smith, The Snail on the Wall in Huntsville, Alabama

Once Upon a Tome by Oliver Darkshire

I believe that Oliver Darkshire could turn any non-reader into a bibliophile. Darkshire writes a wonderfully hilarious and witty banter about the unique and rather unknown process of selling rare books. I was traveling to London in the spring anyways, but now Sotherean’s is first on the stop all thanks to Oliver.

Once Upon a Tome by Oliver Darkshire, (List Price: $27.95, W. W. Norton & Company, 9781324092070, March 2023)

Reviewed by Lena Malpeli, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

Fieldwork : A Forager’s Memoir by Iliana Regan

Fieldwork is an exploration into the author’s passion for the natural world and her chosen place in it. She delves into the beginning of her love for food and foraging as a child growing up on a homestead and she expands upon it in the unsteady present as a chef/restaurant owner during a global pandemic. In doing so, she views topics such as her addictions, sexuality, and personal growth through the lens of how her family history and the forests are beautifully intertwined. This memoir is heartfelt, honest, and perfectly written.

Fieldwork : A Forager’s Memoir by Iliana Regan, (List Price: $27.00, Agate Midway, 9781572843189, December 2022)

Reviewed by Stuart McCommon, Novel in Memphis, Tennessee

The Creative Act by Rick Rubin

The Creative Act: A Way of Being is a thoughtful exploration of life, how we live, how we think, how we are influence and obviously, how we create. Organized in very readable small chunks- this book is something to appeal to people wanting to shop in the religious section, personal growth as well as arts and music. Profound insights into how we exist are revealed throughout the book wordsmith into attractively consumable bites. By the end of the book, the reader will be inspired and possibly changed forever. This is a book for all ages but also is a book that will be the absolute best graduation gift of 2023.

The Creative Act by Rick Rubin, (List Price: $32, Penguin Press, 9780593652886, January 2023)

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

Bring It On by Kase Wickman

What a fun revisit to a new cinema classic! Wickman covers everything from the creation to the release of this early-aughts star-studded film. I love the behind-the-scenes stories of hijinks on set and how each character came to be. Big nostalgic feels here and I am loving it.

Bring It On by Kase Wickman, (List Price: $29.99, Chicago Review Press, 9781641607087, December 2022)

Reviewed by Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

I Saw Death Coming by Kidada E. Williams

In school, we learned that the period of Reconstruction was a failure. In her book, Williams provides the reasons for that failure. With brutal personal testimonies from the Klan hearings of the 1870s and interviews documented by the Works Progress Administration, Williams illustrates the terror of nighttime raids and the trauma that resulted. Following the experiences of several Black families across the South, Williams reveals the extent of the injustices they endured, being robbed of land, family members, livelihoods, community, and their mental and physical health. Williams’ first-person accounts of Post-Civil War America provide a necessary component of our nation’s history, a history every citizen should know.

I Saw Death Coming by Kidada E. Williams, (List Price: 30, Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635576634, January 2023)

Reviewed by Lera Shawver, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Drinking Games by Sarah Levy

A January 2023 Read This Next! Title

I loved Sarah’s very frank and honest recounting of her relationship with alcohol. Her self-aware and candid writing will be a much-needed voice for many who are re-considering the way we look at drinking as a culture. It is also a fantastic memoir about making hard changes for a better life.

Drinking Games by Sarah Levy (List Price: $28.99, St. Martin’s Press, 9781250280589, January 2023)

Reviewed by Laura Taylor, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

Weightless by Evette Dionne

Thank you, Evette Dionne, for being honest, funny, and straight-up real about what it’s like to be not ‘thin’ in today’s world! From doctor visits to being obsessed with reality TV about weight loss, I felt relief knowing I wasn’t alone. Her memoir takes you through her journey with agoraphobia, motherhood, online dating, and living her life to her fullest after being diagnosed with heart failure in her late twenties. I can’t wait for more people to read it!

Weightless by Evette Dionne(List Price: $26.99, Ecco, 9780063076365, December 2022)

Reviewed by Juliana Reyes, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Matter of Everything by Suzie Sheehy

Look no further for a detailed overview of the carnival that is the history of natural philosophy, physics! Suzie Sheehy does a great job sending readers into the world of personality and interpersonal relationships behind some of science’s most important discoveries. As a casual reader, I found at its center a variety of tales of endurance, innovation, and resourcefulness. In “The Matter of Everything” you will find that revelations can start with just a piece of glass and an unquenchable curiosity. This is a must-read for anyone looking to dip their toes into one of the most complex topics of human history: the search for understanding the deep mechanics of our own world.

The Matter of Everything by Suzie Sheehy (List Price: $30, Knopf, 9780525658757, January 2023)

Reviewed by Amanda Depperschmidt, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

A Giant Win by Tom Coughlin

I am a football fan who happens to adore the New York Giants and the Manning QBs. I have always appreciated Tom Coughlin as a coach and as a person. How can you not admire a man who got frostbite coaching a game and had no idea? Clearly, the book was a must-read for me, and it did not disappoint. The dissection of his first Giants Super Bowl win I believe is a diary any football fan will relish. The little things that every coach will emphasize are explained in meticulous detail. His path to coaching and his stops along the way are well documented, his emotions are poured out onto the page, and he does not spare himself. What shines through on every page is his love for his family, his faith, and the players he coached. They may not have been friends, but they were his football family. The book is a quick read, you feel like you are sitting in the room with a friend talking about their life and career. One of the most engaging football biographies I have read.

A Giant Win by Tom Coughlin (List Price: $30, Grand Central Publishing, 9781538724644, December 2022)

Reviewed by Jackie Willey, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

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

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