The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Holidays & Celebrations

I’m Dreaming of a Chris for Christmas by Robb Pearlman

Winning the award for most asked for stocking stuffer on the Fountain staff! Not just coloring Chrises, but Chris crosswords, Chris mazes, connect-the-Chrises, and more! PG-rated, this collections brings together Chrises from Hollywood, music, and sports. Obviously Hemsworth, Evans, Pine, and Pratt, but also Rock, Rinaldi, Jericho, Walken (in-a-Winter-Wonderland), and more! Seriously, I’m cracking up just looking at it.

I’m Dreaming of a Chris for Christmas by Robb Pearlman, (List Price: $14.95, Smart Pop, 9781637740200, November 2021)

Reviewed by Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

American Christmas Stories by Connie Willis

So grateful for this collection of 70 diverse and extraordinary stories from our friends at Library of America and editor Connie Willis. This collection features voices from across the American experience an centuries and contains stories of mystery, horror, western, inspirational, fantasy, humor, and more! This would make a great gift and is long overdue. Shirley Jackson and Jack London, Amy Tan and Ray Bradbury, Mark Twain and Nalo Hopkinson. Very excited to put this into the hands of those who celebrate.

American Christmas Stories by Connie Willis, (List Price: 29.95, Library of America, 9781598537062, October 2021)

Reviewed by Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia


The Legend of the Christmas Witch by Dan Murphy

The Legend of the Christmas Witch tells the tale of Kris Kringle and his twin sister Kristtorn. Who is the Christmas witch? Is she evil and determined to destroy Christmas, or is she a friend of Christmas who is misunderstood and mistreated. Read the tale, and decide for yourself. The Legend of the Christmas Witch is a wonderfully imaginative tale about Christmas and Yuletide that will delight readers of every age.

The Legend of the Christmas Witch by Dan Murphy, (List Price: 18.99, Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780593350805, November 2021)

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


Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

A Fall Read This Next! Selection

This tiny gem is destined to be a Christmas classic. Think in terms O’Henry’s The Gift of the Magi. Alice Munro and Raymond Carver also come to mind. Based on actual events in Irish history only recently brought to light, the story follows Bill Furlong, a coal merchant, husband, and father to five daughters, and his discovery of a coverup by the church. The town is largely controlled by the church in this 1985 setting, but he still risks his livelihood, reputation, and marriage to right a wrong. Readers who enjoy stories of characters confronting their pasts, embracing hope, and being quiet heroes will find much to love here. When I first read it I thought: “good story”. But I have picked it up over and over again, read and reread it, marveling at its depth charge emotional impact.

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan, (List Price: $20, Grove Press, 9780802158741, November 2021)

Reviewed by Kelly Justice from Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA


Vampenguin by Lucy Ruth Cummins

A day at the zoo for the Dracula family provides the perfect cover for Junior to engage in a penguin switcheroo. Hilarious and adorable, with illustrations that tell as much of the story as the words themselves.

Vampenguin by Lucy Ruth Cummins, (List Price: 17.99, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 9781534466982, July 2021)

Reviewed by Elese Stutts, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Peter Easter Frog by Erin Dealey, G. Brian Karas (Illus.)

Who says Bunnies should have all the fun? HIppity Hoppity Pete the Easter… FROG is here to help out the Bunny any way he can. A fun holiday story of kindness, sharing and friends with a few giggle-inducing surprises along the way.

Peter Easter Frog by Erin Dealey, G. Brian Karas (Illus.) (List Price: $9.99, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781481464895, 1/19/2021)

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

All About Us by Tom Ellen

Tom Ellen has written the perfect Christmas novel! All About Us is the cross between It’s a Wonderful Life and Love, Actually that we didn’t know we needed. Ben’s marriage is on rocky ground this holiday season. When his ex Alice reaches out, he can’t help but wonder if he chose the right girl that December years ago. But when a mysterious man sells him a watch with the hands frozen at one minute to midnight, he finds himself on the fateful day where he chose his current wife and left Alice. For many, this year’s holidays are filled with sadness or uncertainty. This novel captures those emotions and shows the hope that lies under the season. After the year we have had, this is a wonderful book to get into the Christmas spirit!

All About Us by Tom Ellen (List Price: $15.99, HQ, 9780008402679, 10/13/2020)

Reviewed by Karyn Cumming, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

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