Subtitled "A Person History –with Fairy Tales," this collection of essays refracts Mark’s fears, losses, family, and more through the prism of fairy tales. There are plenty of jagged edges and tales torn into for new meanings and few happily ever afters. Incisive, probing, Mark gives herself to the stories and leave readers a wealth of questions.
Happily by Sabrina Orah Mark, (List Price: $27, Random House, 9781250835208, March 2023)
In this utterly captivating debut, Hart manages to weave an intricate, beautifully written novel about three women and their inextricable connection to nature. This intergenerational tale snared me from the first page and wouldn’t let go. If you enjoy complex conversations about legacy, gender and control, nature and witchy-ness, and female power, this should be next on your list.
Weyward by Emilia Hart, (List Price: $27.99, St. Martin’s Press, 9781250280800, March 2023)
An incredible book that includes exclusive interviews with former astronauts and new pictures from NASA’s archive! More importantly, Meredith Bagby tells the story of the first class of space shuttle astronauts incredibly compellingly; this book is accessible and distills an amazing amount of historical and scientific information into a highly readable narrative. It includes in-depth coverage of the Challenger disaster, which makes for difficult but worthwhile reading.
The New Guys by Meredith Bagby, (List Price: $40, William Morrow, 9780063141971, February 2023)
Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
A beautiful new picture book from the perennial bestseller, Carole Boston Weatherford. An important and necessary addition to libraries and history books everywhere about the nation’s first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
All Rise: The Story of Ketanji Brown Jackson by Carole Boston Weatherford, (List Price: $18.99, Crown Books for Young Readers, 9780593650165, February 2023)
Reviewed by Jamie Southern, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
What an amazing book that weaves historical events based on true story with beautiful fictional characters. This read was both heartbreaking and beautifully triumphant at times. The resilient Librarians Clara Button and Ruby Monroe faced sexism, Bureaucracy , domestic issues and the heartbreak of war while continuing to champion their communities right to access books regardless of age, gender ,and class. It really spotlights how books provide an escape, a safe place and hope in even the darkest of times.
The Little Wartime Library by Kate Thompson, (List Price: $16.99, Forever, 9781538724217, February 2023)
“The deeper in the wilderness I am, the higher in elevation I am, the happier I am. It is an unforgiving landscape and so deeply humbling. There’s a quote from the Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss that I come back to over and over, and it’s the entire reason I climb big mountains. He says, ‘The smaller we come to feel ourselves compared with the mountain, the nearer we come to participating in its greatness.'” ―Shelley Read, interview, Alta
What booksellers are saying about Go As a River
This book is beautifully written and will stay with you for a very long time. This is the book that you pass on to your mother, your daughter, your best friend and make them promise to read it. I think we will be talking about this book for all of 2023 and after.
―Mary Patterson from The Little Bookshop in Midlothian, VA | Buy from The Little Bookshop
Phenomenal. As perfect as a homegrown, juicy, sweet peach. I will carry this story with me for many, many, many days to come.
―Jill Naylor from Novel in Memphis, TN | Buy from Novel.
With lush, atmospheric prose, Go As a River is about seventeen year old Victoria Nash who lives on a peach orchard in 1940’s rural Colorado. The only female at home, she is the one who keeps the household running with daily chores and working her family’s land. Her life changes when she meets the mysterious and gentle Wilson Moon, an indigenous boy passing through town. A love story that starts in innocence is shattered by bigotry. Go As a River is about surviving after loss, our connection to the natural world around us, quiet and enduring friendships, and lasting love. This is my kind of historical fiction, and I can’t wait to share this with readers at Main Street Books!
―Jessica Nock from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC | Buy from Main Street Books
About Shelley Read
Shelley Read is a fifth generation Coloradoan who lives with her family in the Elk Mountains of the Western Slope. She was a Senior Lecturer at Western Colorado University for nearly three decades, where she taught writing, literature, environmental studies, and Honors, and was a founder of the Environment & Sustainability major and a support program for first-generation and at-risk students. Shelley holds degrees in writing and literary studies from the University of Denver and Temple University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing. She is a regular contributor to Crested Butte Magazine and Gunnison Valley Journal, and has written for the Denver Post and a variety of publications.
Hello Beautiful is perfect for readers who enjoy emotionally tender stories about complicated families. Quiet and solitary William Waters is an only child raised by emotionally unavailable parents who finds solace in basketball. He meets bright, headstrong Julia Padavano in college where she decides he is the man to help put her on the path towards her diligently planned life. Along with Julia are her three sisters, with whom she is incredibly close. Tragedy strikes, creating a rift that reverberates within the Padavano family for generations. With themes of grief, mental illness, forgiveness, and loyalty, Hello Beautiful is about the cost of being true to oneself regardless of the consequences, and the gift of those who love us for who we truly are. If you enjoyed Ask Again Yes, you will love this one. I cannot wait to recommend this to my customers.
Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano, (List Price: $28, The Dial Press, 9780593243732, March 2023)
I don’t usually like sad books, and yet this one became a fast favorite! It’s the writing. It’s just so good. Like being a fly on the wall of her mind. Elsey Jane is a widow grieving the loss of her partner who died of drug poisoning. Her actions and thoughts—often bizarre, delusional, and reckless—are sometimes incongruous with the expectations of someone grieving. At other times the agony and suffering and consumption she experiences are completely spot on of what we’d expect. This book is so absurd at times, I laughed, cringed, and tearing up all within minutes. It’s a beautifully written, complicated, intimate story that’s as weird as it is honest—just as grief often is. I highly recommend!
What Remains of Elsie Jane by Chelsea Wakelyn, (List Price: 19.99, Rare Machines, 9781459750845, February 2023)
“I have conversations with myself every day. It’s just an easy way to get out of my brain. It’s a great tool for Maddie because it’s meant to highlight how alone Maddie feels. She doesn’t feel like she has people to talk to, so that’s where the conversationalist tone comes from. I think we see a little less of that by the end, because she has come to this place where she’s more open to being dependent on her friends and family. ” ―Jessica George, Interview, Everything Zoomer
What booksellers are saying about Maame
I stood up and clapped after finishing Maame. Maddie is a new favorite character, all the stars for this one!
―Jessica Nock from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC | Buy from Main Street Books
You’ll absolutely fall in love with Maame, a coming-of-age story featuring a young British-Ghanaian woman who’s learning how to live for herself after years of looking after her sick father. Heartbreaking and magical.
―Maggie Robe from Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC | Buy from Flyleaf Books
Maame will get under your skin with her naive outlook on life. As she comes into her own she will blow you away with her depth.
―Suzanne Lucey from Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC | Buy from Page 158 Books
Bridget Jones meets Eat, Pray, Love in this brilliantly written work of family, love, loss and self-discovery. Maddie (Maame), a 20-something year old young woman living in London at job she hates, an overbearing mother who spends most her time in Ghana, and a father with Parkinson’s, begins on a journey of self discovery when she moves out of her parents house. Maddie promises herself that she will now begin a new life of dating, spending time with friends, and advancing in her career. However, things take a turn when she loses her job and her father passes away. Maame is a book for our times, as our main character faces dating dilemmas, racism, and loss all while using Google to help her through her hard time. Be prepared to laugh, cry and cheer for Maame.
―Sharon Davis from Book Bound Bookstore in Blairsville, GA | Buy from Book Bound Bookstore
About Jessica George
Jessica George was born and raised in London to Ghanaian parents and studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield. After working at a literary agency and a theatre, she landed a job in the editorial department of Bloomsbury UK. Maame is her first novel.
Brilliant, sublime and surprising. On my forever favorite shelf. Julie Otsuka has the mystical gift of telling just as much of a story with what she doesn’t say. Reader, treat yourself with care if you have or have had a loved one with dementia…but I think The Swimmers is more than worthy of the heart ache.
The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka, (List Price: $16, Anchor, 9780593466629, January 2023)
“I have to be honest—I had a friend fic! It was a notebook I shared with two close friends during my first year of high school. We would write these stories to each other and pass the book back and forth. In Georgie, All Along, she and her best friend do the same, although their version of it is a little more focused than mine was—young Georgie and her best friend are very focused on imagining the perfect versions of their lives once they get to the new high school they’ll be attending. My friends and I, I’m embarrassed to say, were far more focused on our celebrity crushes! But I was really inspired by that hopeful, imaginative experience of my teenaged self—I wanted to think about what that notebook represented about the experience of growing up.” ―Kate Clayborn, Interview, Above the Treeline
What booksellers are saying about Georgie, All Along
Clayborn, All Along! She never disappoints. With supportive, but odd-duck parents, Georgie has always had a “soft” place to land and as a result is “expansive”, so much so that she has a hard time focusing in on what she wants in her life and her future. Levi had no such parents, with no support network from his family when he needed them most, and as a result has made himself tight and small in his life and his wants/needs. When they meet, they learn to let go of their past and with her as his “soft place to land” and he allows himself to expand into himself and she learns to trust her own self and what she truly wants.
―Angela Trigg from The Haunted Book Shop in Mobile, AL | Buy from The Haunted Book Shop
Kate Clayborn’s books come with high expectations of an excellent story. She always delivers, and Georgie, All Along is no different. The writing is engrossing and diverting and it’s impossible not to relate to or love Georgie as she finds herself and her way. January is rich with romance, and this is an excellent winter read to curl up with.
―Preet Singh from Eagle Eye Book Shop in Decatur, GA | Buy from Eagle Eye Book Shop
Kate Clayborn hits a home run with Georgie, All Along. I loved this relatable story about a woman coming home to find herself and reconnect with the dreams she had in high school. She’s a quirky mess who puts everyone’s needs before her own and she meets Levi, the brooding older brother of her high school crush, who also has a past he’s working through. I enjoyed the small town setting, the cast of characters and the nostalgia of revisiting high school escapades.
―Jessica Nock from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC | Buy from Main Street Books
A charming and witty story about how our pasts can shape us. Unexpectedly, Georgie, a personal assistant that has just lost her job and Levi, onetime town troublemaker, find themselves as roommates. They are both trying to reinvent themselves and use Georgie’s high school diary as a blueprint for their transformation. Georgie did not write in her diary about what was happening then, but her dreams and wishes for the future. Georgie and Levi have great chemistry and of course there is a great dog, Hank.
―Pam Crawford from Bookmiser, Inc. in Marietta, GA | Buy from Bookmiser
About Kate Clayborn
Kate Clayborn is the critically acclaimed author of contemporary romance novels. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Oprah Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Bookpage, and more. By day she works in education, and by night (and sometimes, by very early morning) she writes contemporary romances about smart, strong, modern heroines who face the world alongside true friends and complicated families. She resides in Virginia with her husband and their dog.
This is such a beautifully written story. The characters are so wonderfully honest and real. You are truly immersed in Eve’s world, you feel her pain and confusion. This is the story of one woman’s journey through grief and guilt after her husband takes his own life. Written like a memoir, straight from Eve’s thoughts and feelings, we follow her through every up and down, her highs and her lows. This is a beautiful reminder about the struggles of mental illness and the hidden pain of those around us. This is a must read!
Someday, Maybe by Onyi Nwabineli, (List Price: $27.99, Graydon House, 9781525899805, September 2022)
“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
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.
Lucrezia de Medici has been the least favorite child of the powerful Grand Duke of Tuscany since birth and so has been able to grow up almost in the shadows of the royal court in Florence. At thirteen, she is betrothed to the future Duke of Ferrara- in her dead sister’s place. At fifteen, she is married to him and sent away from the only home she has ever known to a troubled court with her new, and older, husband. She has no allies in this new place save one, her handmaid. Day by day, Lucrezia discovers the cruel nature of her husband; the depth of the problems he faces in his new role as Duke; an utter aloneness since she can’t trust anyone and, superseding all else, the immediate need for her to produce an heir to cement the throne of her new family. It is no surprise this is a New York Times best-seller and a Reese’s Book Club pick- it is a wonderful work of historical fiction, and O’Farrell proves once again she is a master at this genre.
The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell, (List Price: $28, Knopf, 9780593320624, September 2022)
Cauley cleverly constructs a story about how disenfranchisement cultivates a daunting landscape. Anyone who has been forced to make a decision with limited choices will instantly connect with and root for the main character Aretha. Even if it’s a bit stressful to witness.
The Survivalists by Kashana Cauley (List Price: $27, Soft Skull, 9781593767273, January 2023)