The Southern Bookseller Review 8/15/23

The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of August 15, 2023

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The Southern Bookseller Review: A Book for Every Reader

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The week of August 15, 2023

Fall in love with a good book. Read more romance.

Bookstore Romance Day

Indulge in a whirlwind romance (read) this weekend! This Saturday, August 19th, is Bookstore Romance Day — created by a group of romance writers and romancing-loving booksellers to celebrate the love of, well, a good love story!

Bookstore Romance Day has spread coast to coast, and there are dozens of store in the South that will be taking part (see a map of participating stores).

Romance is wonderfully varied genre that includes everything from literary fiction to foodie stories with recipes. On the BRD Bookshop page readers can find all sorts of romance flavors: Romance-y Fantasy ("Romantasy"), love stories centered around older protagonists, queer romance stories, romances devoted to happy endings.

Romance is also the most popular genre at SBR, passing even "fantasy" and "young adult." Fall in love with a good book: Read more romance!

Read This Now | Read This Next | Book Buzz | The Bookseller Directory

Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies…

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride


The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
Riverhead Books / August 2023

More Reviews from Malaprop’s

Read This Next!

An August 2023 Read This Next! Title

In Pottstown, PA in 1972 a skeleton is found at the bottom of a old well. McBride takes us back more than four decades to tell the story of a community of Black and Jewish characters in the Chicken Hill neighborhood, along with the white characters who run the town (and march in the annual KKK parades.) It’s hard to think of a more compassionate writer than McBride. This story is captivating, funny, exciting and absolutely wonderful.

Reviewed by Christine Lavigna, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina

Bookseller Buzz


Spotlight on: Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa

Satoshi Yagisawa, photo credit the author

“From late summer to early spring the next year, I lived at the Morisaki Bookshop. I spent that period of my life in the spare room on the second floor of the store, trying to bury myself in books. The cramped room barely got any light, and everything felt damp. It smelled constantly of musty old books.

But I will always remember the days I spent there. Because that’s where my real life began. And I know, without a doubt, that if not for those days, the rest of my life would have been bland, monotonous, and lonely.

The Morisaki Bookshop is precious to me. It’s a place I know I’ll never forget.

When I close my eyes, the memories still come back to me so vividly.

It all began like a bolt of lightning out of the clear blue sky. No, what happened was more shocking than that, more shocking even than seeing frogs raining from the sky in a downpour.”

― Excerpt, Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa, translated by Eric Ozawa

What booksellers are saying about Days at the Morisaki Bookshop

Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa, translated by Eric Ozawa
  • Books about bookshops can be an absolute delight and Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa did not disappoint. Takako is suffering from an extreme broken heart and an offer from her distant uncle to come live above his bookshop seems out of the blue. When reluctantly agreeing, she has no idea how much her life will change. This book was a joy to read.
      ― Rachel Watkins from Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA | Buy from Avid Bookshop

  • Days at the Morisaki Bookshop is a lovely slice of life novel. An ode to books and how they can and do in fact change our lives for the better. It’s a heartwarming and comforting story and will make you long for a place you’ve never been and people you haven’t met yet but will surely come to love. I fell in love with Takako, the way she grows throughout the book and her sense of humor. I’ll certainly read it again as I’d like to spend more time with it. It’s a lovely book!
      ― Aicha Barry from Birch Tree Bookstore in Leesburg, VA | Buy from Birch Tree Books

  • Calling all booklovers! This short, sweet, charming, and delightful story is the perfect love letter to books and bookworms everywhere. We follow our protagonist, Takako, as she makes a major change in life and goes to work at her uncle’s small, used bookstore. Here she discovers a passion for reading that is sure to resonate with anyone who fancies themselves a bibliophile. With themes touching on family and self-acceptance, this book is a comfort and a joy to read.
      ― Elizabeth Findley from Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, NC | Buy from Epilogue Books

About Satoshi Yagisawa

Satoshi Yagisawa was born in Chiba, Japan, in 1977. Days at the Morisaki Bookshop, his debut novel, was originally published in 2009 and won the Chiyoda Literature Prize.

The Road to the City by Natalia Ginzburg


The Road to the City by Natalia Ginzburg
 New Directions/ July 2023

More Reviews from Thank You Books

Like all of Natalia Ginzburg’s excellent works, The Road to the City feels like something so fresh, tender, and intimate, you can barely breathe until it’s done and can barely believe it could ever be over.

Reviewed by Emily Tarr, Thank You Books in Birmingham, Alabama

The Quickening by Elizabeth Rush


The Quickening by Elizabeth Rush
Milkweed Editions / August 2023

More Reviews from Quail Ridge Books

A beautifully written, immediately engaging book about exploring a new area of the Antarctic, experiencing climate change on a vast yet immediate scale, and still deciding to bring a child into the world. The author pulls from her experiences as an observer on an exploration vessel to chart a path into the future. Excerpts from her interviews with others aboard the ship – scientists, but also the crew and even the ship’s cooks – bring multiple perspectives into her musings on everything from the breaking ice to birth stories. While the themes of the book are urgent, the messages are hopeful: while there is work for everyone, together, we can accomplish more; and when we mess up, which we all do, own the error and don’t make the same mistake again.

Reviewed by Ginger Kautz, Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, North Carolina

Tilly in Technicolor by Mazey Eddings


Tilly in Technicolor by Mazey Eddings
Wednesday Books / August 2023

More Reviews from Fiction Addiction

Tilly and Oliver first meet on an international flight, and their first impression is not great on either side. So it seems like the worst luck when Oliver shows up at Tilly’s sister’s place to start work as an intern with Tilly…and they’ll be spending the summer traveling together. Working together. Staying in hotel rooms together. Tilly struggles with her ADHD, as always, but Oliver’s autism allows him to understand her in ways no one else has, and the two grow close. Readers of Eddings’s adult romances will adore this story about Tilly growing into herself, and her relationships that grow with her, and Oliver’s enthusiasm for colors and for Tilly. Eddings has obviously put a lot of herself into this book, and it’s paid off.

Reviewed by Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

The Truth About Dragons by Julie Leung


The Truth About Dragons by Julie Leung
(List Price: 18.99, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) / August 2023

More Reviews from Parnassus Books

I picked up this book based purely on the gorgeous cover. The lyrical story told by the mother to the child at bedtime is just so sweet, and each page is full of beautiful detail. I really loved how the differences between the two dragons are celebrated, but their similarities are also highlighted. An enriching celebration of multicultural identity.

Reviewed by Chelsea Stringfield, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Ghost Book by Remy Lai


Ghost Book by Remy Lai
Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks / August 2023

More Reviews from Bookmarks

Remy Lai continues to be one of the best and most thoughtful creators working in children’s literature today. In her graphic novel Ghost Book, Lai gives us the loveable characters of July Chen who can see ghosts all around her and William, a boy whose not quite dead. Filled with vibrant images, mythology, and heart – Ghost Book proves once again that no one can weave together fun and deep emotion like Remy Lai!

Reviewed by Caleb Masters, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Decide for Yourself

Books that appear on PEN America’s list of challenged books.

How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue


How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue
Random House / March 2021

More Reviews from McIntyre’s Books

What a good book! Beautifully written and so forcefully told this is a story of the power of corporations over people and governments. And the setting! So alien from what we’re used too but at the same time recognizable from our own small town battles with corporate malfeasance. A very thought provoking book that will be great for book clubs and one that reminded me of how I reacted to Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar.

Reviewed by Pete Mock, McIntyre’s Books in Pittsboro, North Carolina

Southern Bestsellers

What’s popular this week with Southern Readers.

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store The Underworld Love, Theoretically
Solito The Red Jacket

[ See the full list ]

Parting Thought

“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”
— Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Publisher: The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance /
Editor: Nicki Leone /
Advertising: Linda-Marie Barrett /
The Southern Bookseller Review is a project of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, in support of independent bookstores in the South | SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805

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