The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!
More fun and intrigue await in Manansala’s newest mystery with our favorite Filipino baker. Lila and her godmothers are back on the scene. The Calendar Crew (April, Mar, and June) are opening up a new laundromat, but their main competition is furious about the development. And their gossiping ways have another townsman blaming them for the breakup of their marriage. So when the laundromat is vandalized, those are the two main suspects. But when April’s niece is found dead in the laundromat, things just got a little more serious. This time, Lila will have to call on all her friends to break the case.
Murder and Mamon by Mia P. Manansala, (List Price: $17, Berkley, 9780593549162, September 2023)
Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia
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
This book is as delightful as you would think. Actually, scratch that, it is 10 times more delightful than you would think. Filled to the brim with Tucci’s signature charm, TASTE amazes with both its storied family recipes and the moving personal journey it takes us on. Tucci recognizes that so often food is more than just a source of basic nourishment; it is a form of self expression and an act of love. This revelation is evident in every word of the book. Read this and you’ll fall in love with the food, the stories, and of course, with Stanley Tucci himself.
Taste by Stanley Tucci, (List Price: $28.00, Gallery Books, 9781982168018, October 2021)
Reviewed by Jessica Baker, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Lila has moved back home and is living with her Filipino family after a bad breakup. She’s also come back to help with the family’s restaurant. But when the local fool critic has never met a dish about which he had something nice to say passes out in his food at the restaurant and later dies, Lila’s the number one suspect. I love cozies and this was a nice, new addition to the genre with some Filipino flair! I loved the characters and look forward to reading more!
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala (List Price: $16, Berkley, 9780593201671, 5/4/2021)
Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Inc. in Marietta, Georgia
Living in Savannah and being a huge fan of The Grey, I was really excited for this book. I’m so glad its presented with both Mashama and John O.’s perspectives. I found Mashama’s parts especially to be very reflective and an important contribution to the discussion of race in this country and, specifically, in the south. The recipes are an excellent addition.
Black, White, and The Grey by Mashama Bailey & John O. Morisano (List Price: $28.00, Lorena Jones Books, 9781984856203, January, 2021)
Reviewed by Melissa Taylor, E. Shaver, bookseller in Savannah, Georgia
This is an intriguing and touching memoir of James’s struggles early in life and how she rose to career highs with hard work and motivation. She suffered abuse as a young woman and throughout her work life simply because she was a female and the way she shook it all off is inspiring. This book really shows the rewards of dedication to one’s craft and that you don’t need formal schooling to make something of yourself. I am so impressed at her strength and intellect and would love to hear more of her story.
Wine Girl: The Obstacles, Humiliations, and Triumphs of America’s Youngest Sommelier by Victoria James (List price: $26.99, Ecco), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.