The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Personal Memoirs

All the Beauty in the World by Patrick Bringley

A February 2023 Read This Next! Title

Patrick Bringley becomes a guard at The Metropolitan Museum of Art after his brother dies and he can’t handle the day to day stress of his former job. Spending his days in the midst of some of the most beautiful art in the world, he slowly heals from his grief. This book provides a behind the scenes look at everyday life in the museum and I loved it. And there is a reference list of the art mentioned in the book which can then be viewed online.

All the Beauty in the World : The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me by Patrick Bringley (List Price: $27.99, Simon & Schuster, 9781982163303, February 2023)

Beth Carpenter from The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, 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

Spotlight on: Drinking Games by Sarah Levy

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Sarah Levy, photo credit Sarah Levy

You know, I think that my lies were always designed to make everyone think that I was okay, and to make it seem like I had it all figured out, and that everything was perfect. The meat of the book — the story that I really set out to tell — was the truth. It was that I wasn’t okay, I was not perfect, and that I was struggling. I think that my friends and family, even now, if I say, “I’m fine. Everything is good,” that’s usually when I’m not telling the truth, because I’m a human being, and there’s usually something going on.” ―Sarah Levy, Interview, Shondaland

 

Drinking Games by Sarah Levy

What booksellers are saying about Drinking Games

  • Drinking Games is an unflinchingly honest look at how alcohol influenced almost every part of Sarah Levy’s life as a twenty-something living big in New York City. Levy shares her experiences like sharing with a friend, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always with insight and grace. A must read for anyone who’s questioned not only choices about alcohol but about anything that makes their life feel out of control.
      ―Beth Seufer Buss from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC | Buy from Bookmarks

  • I loved Sarah’s very frank and honest recount 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.
      ―Laura Taylor from Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL | Buy from Oxford Exchange

  • Sarah Levy brings you on her journey of why she got sober, how she found help, and celebrating her new sober life. It felt like chatting with a close friend as she shared her fears about dating while sober and how is she going to celebrate life milestones without a glass of champagne. It was relatable and honest! I would recommend this memoir to anyone that was sober curious and wanted to discuss drinking culture in your 20s.
      ―Juliana Reyes from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC | Buy from Bookmarks

About Sarah Levy

Sarah Levy is a writer based in Los Angeles by way of New York. Her work examines the intersection of sobriety, relationships, and identity and has been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine/The Cut, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Vogue, Elle, and other publications. She holds a B.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University and pursued a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The New School. Drinking Games is her first book.

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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

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

Boldly Go by William Shatner

I love William Shatner but for reasons other than his literary talents. Which he has! This memoir is adorable. He’s got a David Attenborough save the planet kind of vibe, with like, a grandpa who can’t use Zoom twist. You’ll read this in an afternoon. His incredulity and his sense of wonder is infectious, although there’s only so far the reader can go before they hit their head on the Successful Elderly White Man Door. A short, sweet read. He’s just so ridiculous and wonderful.

Boldly Go by William Shatner, Joshua Brandon, (List Price: $28, Atria Books, 9781668007327, October 2022)

Reviewed by Aimee Keeble, Main Street Books in Davidson, North Carolina

All the Women in My Brain by Betty Gilpin

Hilarious and bittersweet, Betty Gilpin’s memoir about her life as an actress is a bit chaotic at times, but in a funny way. She writes as a very successful actress who also struggles with self-doubt and depression. The reader gets to go behind- the -scenes with Gilpin as she stars in various TV shows and movies, describing her work from a feminist perspective and as a veteran of the entertainment industry. Loved it!

All the Women in My Brain by Betty Gilpin, (List Price: $28.99, Flatiron Books, 9781250795786, September 2022)

Reviewed by Lisa Uotinen, Book No Further in Roanoke, Virginia

Solito by Javier Zamora

This is one of the most riveting memoirs I have ever read- Zamora captures his experience as a child migrant with extraordinary detail and emotion. It feels special to read a memoir that manages to stay true to the confusion of childhood in a very adult scenario and the uncertainty of migration while also not shying away from the kindness he was shown and the gratitude he so clearly feels towards those that helped him.

Solito by Javier Zamora, (List Price: $28, Hogarth, 9780593498064, September 2022)

Reviewed by Cat Bock, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Just wow. I said something a lot more explicit when I finished this one but oh my GOD. From the boldest title I’ve seen in years to a page opener that just makes your jaw drop, Jennette McCurdy is changing what it means to have a "celebrity memoir". I don’t even want to call it that, this isn’t your typical ghost-written light gossipy fluff read, this is a shattering story of a young woman robbed of her childhood and innocence while being 100% transparent about the abuse she suffered throughout her career. Heavy trigger warning of addiction and eating disorders with this one, but please put this one on your TBR. No competition my favorite nonfiction of the year.

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy, (List Price: $27.99, Simon & Schuster, 9781982185824, August 2022)

Reviewed by Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Acceptance by Emi Nietfeld

From the very first chapter in Acceptance you feel Neitfeld’s urgency to change her future and outrun the circumstances of her childhood. A memoir of mental health, foster care and homelessness, abuse, and this book is also the story of the struggle for education, for a way out, and to find one’s true path. Not since Educated have I felt as compelled by a memoir as I did by Acceptance; highly recommended for all readers.

Acceptance by Emi Nietfeld, (List Price: $17.95, Penguin Press, 9780593489475, August 2022)

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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