The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!


Behold the Monster by Jillian Lauren

Beautifully written and heartfelt while stark and horrifying, Behold the Monster is an absolute triumph. Jillian Lauren is masterful with her pen and you can tell the struggle she feels internally and externally when dealing with such stark evil. Her internal conflicts are relevant without being distracting and she lends heart to the important part of Samuel Little’s story, the victims. I usually do not enjoy nonfiction, because I find it either too dry or too emotional. This is a perfect balance of both and I recommend it to anyone who feels compelled to read the stories of those who were forgotten.

Behold the Monster by Jillian Lauren, (List Price: $27.99, Sourcebooks, 9781728267753, July 2023)

Reviewed by Katlin Kerrison, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia

We’re Not Broken by Eric Garcia

As a neurotypical person, I learned so much from We’re Not Broken. Given that Eric is a reporter for a living, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this is such a well-researched book. The author is also a friend, and I’m so proud of this fantastic book he’s written — not only for bravely telling his story, but also for, as he writes in the book, bringing as many autistic people along with him as he can.

We’re Not Broken by Eric Garcia, (List Price: $16.99, Harvest, 9780358697145, August 2022)

Reviewed by Emily Liner, Friendly City Books in Columbus, Mississippi

Wired for Love by Stephanie Cacioppo

Wired For Love is part neuroscience and part memoir… but it is ultimately a love story between the world’s foremost authority on the brain’s response to love/loss and the world’s foremost authority on loneliness. Cacioppo includes a lot of scientific information and hard data pulled from years of her research, but she also guides the reader through her own personal story of falling in love and eventually her grief surrounding her husband’s death. She has a way of getting the reader to thoughtfully reevaluate the “common beliefs” surrounding incredibly complex (but purely human) emotions. This book is fantastic.

Wired for Love by Stephanie Cacioppo, (List Price: $28.99, Flatiron Bookss, 9781250790606, April 2022)

Reviewed by Stuart McCommon from Novel in Memphis, Tennessee

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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