The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Performing Arts

Garvey in the Dark by Nikki Grimes

A sad and touching story in verse set during the first half of 2020. This book is both painful and necessary, I can’t stop thinking about what the kids have lived through and knowing they need books exactly like this to help them process. Thank you Ms. Grimes.

Garvey in the Dark by Nikki Grimes (List Price: $17.99, Wordsong, 9781635925265, October 2022)

Reviewed by Rayna Nielsen, Blue Cypress Books in New Orleans, Louisiana

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

A is for Oboe: The Orchestra’s Alphabet by Lera Auerbach and Marilyn Nelson

This is a fun twist on an alphabet picture book, with each letter conjuring up the parts of the orchestra, from the tuning A given by the oboe to the well-earned snoozing after a successful performance. My favorite thing about this book was the way it highlighted so much more than just the instruments of the orchestra—even the music librarian gets to make an appearance!

A is for Oboe: The Orchestra’s Alphabet by Lera Auerbach and Marilyn Nelson, (List Price: $17.99, Dial Books, 9780525553779, December 2021)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Idol Gossip by Alexandra Leigh Young

What would you do if you were recruited to be a kpop idol? When Alice Choy moves from San Francisco to Seoul, she gives up her private studies in music and singing lessons in hopes that she’ll be able to finish school like any other seventeen-year-old. But when she’s scouted at a karaoke bar, her life changes in an instant. Alice is swiftly introduced to a world she’s always wanted to explore in the k-pop industry. But, being an idol doesn’t only entail fame or musical prowess–it also comes with jealousy, scandal, and gossip, all on top of the challenges of training in order to be the best performer possible. This was such a fun read and the perfect book for any k-pop fan.

Idol Gossip by Alexandra Leigh Young, (List Price: 18.99, Walker Books US, 9781536213645, 2021-09-14)

Reviewed by Cat Chapman, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

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