The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!


The Eye Test by Chris Jones

Jones looks back on a career of studying fascinating individuals for his journalism, and in doing so reveals a truth he’s learned: analytics are helpful, but human passion, experience, and imagination are the things that count in the end. A great storyteller, Jones’s subjects include doctors, sports figures, entertainers, writers, cops, scientists, businesspeople, and more. He found that effective specialists learn, watch, and then act in a way that pushes society towards being better. They use both expertise and their minds. Models and formulas help with this, but they are limited because they rely on what has happened before. Sometimes new and crazy things happen; then they’re kind of useless. My favorite quote: “We do our best work when we remember our humanity, especially when it’s hard to remember it.”

The Eye Test by Chris Jones, (List Price: $29.00, Twelve, 9781538730676, January 2022)

Reviewed by Sissy Gardner, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

The Well-Gardened Mind by Sue Stuart-Smith

I listened to this on audio (from and really loved it. I’m a longtime lover of being outdoors, but it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that I started growing potted plants on my own in earnest. This book highlights the ways in which gardening, in all its forms, has a demonstrably positive impact on your mind, your body, your relationships, and the world. Just a lovely tome no matter if you’re never planning to take care of plants or if you’re a master gardener.

The Well-Gardened Mind by Sue Stuart-Smith (List Price: $28, Scribner, 9781476794464, 7/7/2020)

Reviewed by Janet Geddis, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia

This One Wild and Precious Life by Sarah Wilson

Part memoir, part philosophical reflection, Sarah Wilson delves deep into the global issues that have caused a sense of general unease that has encroached on us as of late. With her open and approachable voice, she takes a conversational approach to topics–climate change, capitalism, and social consciousness & activism, to name a few–that sometimes seem to serious and daunting to talk about, especially when we are constantly reminded of the circumstances that have created these “unprecedented times”. For readers of Glennon Doyle’s Untamed and Katherine May’s Wintering, this is yet another reflective and encouraging guide to a life that right now seems so uncertain.

This One Wild and Precious Life by Sarah Wilson (List Price: $26.99, Dey Street Books, 9780062962973, 12/29/2020)

Reviewed by Cat Chapman, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

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