The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Mysteries & Detective Stories

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds

Poignant, moving, and utterly captivating from the first page to the last, We Deserve Monuments is in a league of its own. Both a riveting exploration of the South’s intrinsic and rampant racism and a love story that revels in the beauty of queer Black girls, Jas Hammonds’ debut should be required reading. A beautifully rendered love story both to the family we’re born into and the family we choose, I know I will be neither the first nor the last to say that this book, and all those who see themselves reflected in its pages, deserves monuments.

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds, (List Price: $18.99, Roaring Brook Press, 9781250816559, November 2022)

Reviewed by Mary Louise Callaghan, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill

This beautiful tale is cleverly oozling with allegory–but it boils down to a simple message: knowledge, education, and the written word are power, kindness matters, and together we are stronger. Kelly Barnhill has crafted a masterpiece chock full of mistrusting citizens in a ruined village, an ogress with a big heart, orphans who pay attention, crows with a language of their own, a scarily charismatic mayor who isn’t who he seems, and an unnoticed stone at the heart of it all. This reader was thoroughly bedazzled and charmed by its brilliance.

The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill, (List Price: $28, Algonquin Young Readers, 9781643750743,  February 2022)

Reviewed by Damita Nocton from The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

A Fall Read This Next! Selection

Well. That was nuts. Khaw threw together a fast-paced ghost story, the bitter lyricism of her writing conveying the complexity of feelings when you have History with someone, as well as the surreal when an offended ghost decides it’s making an example out of you.

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw, (List Price: $19.99, Tor Nightfire, 9781250759412, October 2021)

Reviewed by Alex Mcleod, The Haunted Book Shop in Mobile, Alabama

The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters

Eerie and chilling to the bone, The River Has Teeth is a razor-sharp novel that had me devouring its secrets late into the night. Unique magic and two girls set on their own quests for vengeance will keep readers turning these pages – and looking over their shoulder for any monsters in the night.

The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters, (List Price: 17.99, HarperTeen, 9780062894250, June 2021)

Reviewed by Brad Sells, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

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