Southern Indie Bestsellers 9/25/16

HARDCOVER FICTION

1. Commonwealth
Ann Patchett, Harper, $27.99, 9780062491794
2. Razor Girl
Carl Hiaasen, Knopf, $27.95, 9780385349741
3. A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles, Viking, $27, 9780670026197
4. Home
Harlan Coben, Dutton, $28, 9780525955108
5. Nutshell
Ian McEwan, Nan A. Talese, $24.95, 9780385542074
6. The Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead, Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385542364
7. A Great Reckoning
Louise Penny, Minotaur, $28.99, 9781250022134
8. The Woman in Cabin 10
Ruth Ware, Gallery/Scout Press, $26, 9781501132933
9. All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr, Scribner, $27, 9781476746586
10. The Risen
Ron Rash, Ecco, $25.99, 9780062436313
11. The Nix
Nathan Hill, Knopf, $27.95, 9781101946619
12. Here I Am
Jonathan Safran Foer, FSG, $28, 9780374280024
13. Another Brooklyn
Jacqueline Woodson, Amistad, $22.99, 9780062359988
14. Before the Fall
Noah Hawley, Grand Central, $26, 9781455561780
15. The Girls
Emma Cline, Random House, $27, 9780812998603

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

1. Killing the Rising Sun
Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard, Holt, $30, 9781627790628
2. Hillbilly Elegy
J.D. Vance, Harper, $27.99, 9780062300546
3. Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill
Candice Millard, Doubleday, $30, 9780385535731
4. The Hidden Life of Trees
Peter Wohlleben, Greystone Books, $24.95, 9781771642484
5. Love Warrior
Glennon Doyle Melton, Flatiron, $25.99, 9781250075727
6. The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo
Amy Schumer, Gallery, $28, 9781501139888
7. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
Bill Burnett, Dave Evans, Knopf, $24.95, 9781101875322
8. White Trash
Nancy Isenberg, Viking, $28, 9780670785971
9. When Breath Becomes Air
Paul Kalanithi, Random House, $25, 9780812988406
10. Being Mortal
Atul Gawande, Metropolitan, $26, 9780805095159
11. The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics
Maureen Dowd, Twelve, $30, 9781455539260
12. The Perfect Horse
Elizabeth Letts, Ballantine, $28, 9780345544803
13. Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day
John Currence, Ten Speed Press, $30, 9781607747369
14. Guinness World Records 2017
Guinness World Records, $28.95, 9781910561331
15. Jungle
Dan Kainen, Kathy Wollard, Workman, $25.95, 9780761189534

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The Genius of Birds is a splendidly written account of the remarkable ways, many of which are newly discovered, that birds gossip, eavesdrop, exact revenge, manipulate, sympathize, use tools, and communicate in myriad ways.

This smart and entertaining narrative appeals to bird geeks and the commonly curious alike with anecdotes, science, and new insights into what birds know about our frighteningly changing world.

The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman (Penguin) Recommended by Richard at Square Books Oxford MS

There seems to be a new Bowie book out about once every two months these days and I am such a big fan that I have read just about every one. But there is a law of diminishing returns and even I feel that at this point there is very little left to say. Luckily this biography takes a refreshing new tack. It concentrates on the two years that Bowie lived inside his greatest creation, the fictitious and otherworldly Ziggy Stardust. About half the book is gone before you get to Ziggy's rise and it's all context and subtext. Just like Stanley Crouch's book on Charlie Parker Kansas City Lightning it really helps you understand the time, the place and the preceding history and therefore get a better understanding of the work itself. It puts you dead center in the insane whirlwind that burgeoning stardom can bring and the leaves you with a half broken Bowie saying, "Who can I be now?"

Ziggyology: A Brief History of Ziggy Stardust by Simon Goddard (Ebury Press) Recommended by Chris at Acappella Books Atlanta GA

All the intimacy and power that Anne Frank's war diary gave us--the real breath and thoughts and fears of a human living under inhumane circumstances--are aged and magnified in Saif's account of war in Gaza.

For 51 days he and his fellow Gazans live--and die--with the knowledge that life and death are a game of luck, controlled at the hands of an Israeli drone operator. Peace is not permitted for the people of Gaza, restricted by birth to a nation of contested land and continued acts of terror, violence, and grief. This was sixty years of life savings!- a man screams atop the rubble of his home. Ambulances screech all day long, gathering body parts of children and families that moments ago were survivors of the war, and now are its casualties.

Saif and his friends flip a coin on the street--heads, the truce ends, tails, the truce continues. The children fight to plug in their iPads when the electricity comes on, while the adults watch the news to hear which of their friends has been obliterated in their homes this week.

This is the fourth war Saif has lived through, and he knows that it is only by luck that he has lived, and that this war will not be the last--that one day his luck may run out. This is an essential read for those in search of peace in the midst of modern-day warfare, and even more essential for those who aren't sure which side they stand on.

The Drone Eats with Me by Atef Abu Saif (Beacon Press) Recommended by Clara at Acappella Books Atlanta GA

Okra Picks: Curent Crop

Final words and heartfelt remembrances from bestselling author Pat Conroy take center stage in this winning nonfiction collection, supplemented by touching pieces from Conroy’s many friends.

This new volume of Pat Conroy’s nonfiction brings together some of the most charming interviews, magazine articles, speeches, and letters from his long literary career, many of them addressed directly to his readers with his habitual greeting, “Hey, out there.” Ranging across diverse subjects, such as favorite recent reads, the challenge of staying motivated to exercise, and processing the loss of dear friends, Conroy’s eminently memorable pieces offer a unique window into the life of a true titan of Southern writing.

With a beautiful introduction from his widow, novelist Cassandra King, A Lowcountry Heart also honors Conroy’s legacy and the innumerable lives he touched. Finally, the collection turns to remembrances of “The Great Conroy,” as he is lovingly titled by friends, and concludes with a eulogy. The inarguable power of Conroy’s work resonates throughout A Lowcountry Heart, and his influence promises to endure.

This moving tribute is sure to be a cherished keepsake for any true Conroy fan and remain a lasting monument to one of the best-loved masters of contemporary American letters.

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Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, the Belle of All Things Southern, is serving up down-home southern dishes with a healthy side of laugh-out-loud entertainment in Hungry Is a Mighty Fine Sauce. Featuring dozens of tried-and-true recipes complemented by entertaining stories, your hunger--and your craving for humor--are sure to be satisfied! Uncomplicated, delicious recipes including Bodacious Black Bean Salad and Spicy Sausage and Crawfish Spread (125 recipes, to be exact!) fall into categories including Feeding the Funny Farm, Carnivores Are Us, Holidays in Dixie, and Watching the Curves. Eye-catching photos, guaranteed to make your mouth water, are included throughout...sure to be a much-appreciated gift or centerpiece on your very own kitchen countertop.

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The 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Winners

Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family
by Alice Randall; Caroline Randall Williams 
Clarkson Potter Publishers, Hardcover, 9780804137935, 224pp.

A mother-daughter duo reclaims and redefines soul food by mining the traditions of four generations of black women and creating 80 healthy recipes to help everyone live longer and stronger.


In May 2012, bestselling author Alice Randall penned an op-ed in the New York Times titled "Black Women and Fat," chronicling her quest to be "the last fat black woman" in her family. She turned to her daughter, Caroline Randall Williams, for help. Together they overhauled the way they cook and eat, translating recipes and traditions handed down by generations of black women into easy, affordable, and healthful - yet still indulgent - dishes, such as Peanut Chicken Stew, Red Bean and Brown Rice Creole Salad, Fiery Green Beans, and Sinless Sweet Potato Pie. Soul Food Love relates the authors' fascinating family history (which mirrors that of much of black America in the twentieth century), explores the often fraught relationship African-American women have had with food, and forges a powerful new way forward that honors their cultural and culinary heritage. This is what the strong black kitchen looks like in the twenty-first century.

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Mosquitoland
by David Arnold 
Viking Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780451470775, 352pp

After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the "wastelands" of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.

So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.

Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, "Mosquitoland" is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.

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The Latest from Lady Banks

Lady BanksIn which Mr. Pat Conroy describes his ideal writing day (which includes Mr. Doug Marlette being in a terrible bad mood), a family road trip does not include any time to stop and pee, and Ms. Jill McCorkle takes liberties with her hometown.

Lady Banks' Commonplace Book | Click Here to Subscribe

 

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Turn the Page with Southern Writers

Barbara O'Connor & Monika SchroederChildren’s authors Monika Schröder and Barbara O’Connor have been friends for years, brought together when they shared the same editor, Frances Foster at FSG. After communicating by email for a year or so, they finally met in person at a librarians’ conference in Washington, DC. But their bond grew closer when Barbara moved from Boston to Asheville, North Carolina, a short distance from Monika. Now they enjoy chatting all things book related while walking their dogs once a week in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Making the bond even more special is the fact that they each have new children’s novels being published just days apart.

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Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

Do you know your Southern lit?

The Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

We dare you to use a pen on these crossword puzzles, each inspired by one of the winning titles of the SIBA Book Award, honoring ten years of the very best in Southern literature as chosen by the people who would know...Southern Independent Booksellers!

A great gift for your book club, for puzzle-lovers, and anyone who loves Southern literature. $9.95 paperback. Available at Southern Indie Bookstores.