The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!
Nostalgia, memory loss and the European Union walk into a bar… Every section of this book feeds into the next like those nights where you wake up six times and experience the same dream, mutated sixfold. And just like the day after the dream, this book hasn’t ended for me, since I think fondly of it long after completion, sewing the remembered bits together as best I can into my own narrative (it’s minty mental mouthwash and lord knows I need it).
Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, (List Price: $27, Liveright, 9781324090953, May 2022)
Reviewed by Ian McCord, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia
Wow. I loved this book. This is my first time reading something by Mitch Albom, though I’ve shelved him more times than I can count over the years. I initially picked up this because I loved the size. But within three sentences I was fully hooked. What was intended to be a 2 hour beach visit turned into a 5 hour beach stay and I didn’t pack enough sun screen so I got a little burnt. Thanks Mitch. This book is an interesting mixture of lite religious philosophy and thriller novel? Thriller is the wrong word but you cannot put the book down because you have to understand. For anyone who grew up religious and has moved away this will be a compelling book that speaks to longing that many humans have for a god. It will also leave you thinking about the nature of that god for many many weeks after you read it… Ugh. What a great book. I can’t wait to make people read it!
The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom, (List Price: 23.99, Harper, 9780062888341, November 2021)
Reviewed by Annie Childress, E. Shaver bookseller in Savannah, Georgia
A true continuation of Ishiguro’s question posed by Never Let Me Go: what does it mean to be human? Klara and the Sun uses a different futuristic device more common these days, humanoid companion AIs, in this Brave New World meets Black Mirror-esque narrative. With vague and growing details in the Ishiguro style he perfected in The Buried Giant, your discovery of the ultimate human question arrives in a moment of horror confronting the relationship between Klara (the AI), Josie (the child under this AIs care), and a portraitist with a strange mission. Josie is positioned as a sickly child in a mess of parental control over educational outcomes and the harsh world of the ethical implications when we long to hold on to the people in our lives just a little bit longer than nature allows. In beautiful simplistic prose, we converge on an intimate and fractured family holding on to the hope of a very scary and unknown world, daring to test the bounds of what it means to be human. This understated sci-fi drama will again change the way you view AIs and their place in the human paradigm, all the while falling in love with Klara and her concerted effort to simply comprehend humanity.
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (List Price: $28, Knopf, 9780593318171, 3/2/2021)
Reviewed by Davis Shoulders, union ave books in knoxville, Tennessee