Southern Indie Bestsellers

HARDCOVER FICTION

1. All the Light We Cannot See 
Anthony Doerr, Scribner, $27, 9781476746586 
2. End of Watch 
Stephen King, Scribner, $30, 9781501129742 
3. The Weekenders 
Mary Kay Andrews, St. Martin's, $27.99, 9781250065940 
4. All Summer Long 
Dorothea Benton Frank, Morrow, $26.99, 9780062390752 
5. The After Party 
Anton DiSclafani, Riverhead, $26, 9781594633164 
6. Homegoing 
Yaa Gyasi, Knopf, $26.95, 9781101947135 
7. A Hero of France 
Alan Furst, Random House, $27, 9780812996494 
8. The Nest 
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, Ecco, $26.99, 9780062414212 
9. After You 
Jojo Moyes, Pamela Dorman Books, $26.95, 9780525426592 
10. The Nightingale 
Kristin Hannah, St. Martin's, $27.99, 9780312577223 
11. Everybody's Fool 
Richard Russo, Knopf, $27.95, 9780307270641 
12. The Girl on the Train 
Paula Hawkins, Riverhead, $26.95, 9781594633669 
13. Eligible 
Curtis Sittenfeld, Random House, $28, 9781400068326 
14. LaRose 
Louise Erdrich, Harper, $27.99, 9780062277022 
15. The Last Mile 
David Baldacci, Grand Central, $29, 9781455586455

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

1. The View From the Cheap Seats 
Neil Gaiman, Morrow, $26.99, 9780062262264 
2. When Breath Becomes Air 
Paul Kalanithi, Random House, $25, 9780812988406 
3. The Gene 
Siddhartha Mukherjee, Scribner, $32, 9781476733500 
4. Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War 
Mary Roach, Norton, $26.95, 9780393245448 
5. But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present as If It Were the Past 
Chuck Klosterman, Blue Rider, $26, 9780399184123 
6. Shoe Dog 
Phil Knight, Scribner, $29, 9781501135910 
7. Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Patriots 
David Fisher, Holt, $35, 9781627797894 
8. Hamilton: The Revolution 
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter, Grand Central, $40, 9781455539741 
9. The Rainbow Comes and Goes 
Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt, Harper, $27.99, 9780062454942 
10. Lab Girl 
Hope Jahren, Knopf, $26.95, 9781101874936 
okra11. Dimestore 
Lee Smith, Algonquin, $24.95, 9781616205027 
12. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics 
Carlo Rovelli, Riverhead, $18, 9780399184413 
13. Tribe 
Sebastian Junger, Twelve, $22, 9781455566389 
siba book award finalist14. My Southern Journey 
Rick Bragg, Oxmoor House, $27.95, 9780848746391 
15. Between the World and Me 
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Spiegel & Grau, $24, 9780812993547

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL LIST 

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J.T. Ellison’s newest novel, which has been compared to Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Liane Moriarty, releases today. While the book is a departure from Ellison’s other books (this one is a stand-alone and, rather than having a protagonist who is either in law enforcement or is closely connected to someone who is, this lead character is distrustful of the police), regular readers will recognize her suspenseful pacing and quick dialogue.

Aubrey’s husband disappeared five years ago, when he failed to meet up with friends at the Opryland Hotel, and has now been declared legally dead. Aubrey has been through a hellacious five years. First, her husband went missing and then she had to endure a trial, as she was the prime suspect for his murder. Her mother-in-law testified against her and is now poised to start a legal battle over the life insurance money due to Aubrey. On this day of finality, the day she receives the official declaration of Josh’s death, Aubrey meets a man who reminds her of her husband. Chase’s mannerisms, his posture, and his intonation all match Josh’s…but Josh is dead, right?

What follows is a suspenseful, page-turning story as Aubrey searches for answers, sure to suck you in until you’ve finished. Adding to the book’s appeal, readers familiar with Nashville will recognize several locations, such as Dragon Park and the Tin Angel restaurant. If you loved The Husband’s Secret, Gone Girl, or The Girl on the Train, you owe it to yourself to read No One Knows.

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison (Gallery Books) Recommended by Laura at Reading Rock Books Dixon TN

A subtle, yet powerful portrait of an extraordinary character, Miss Jane thrills with some of the most gorgeous prose I have ever encountered. 

Jane Chisholm is born with a genital defect that, in rural Mississippi in the early 20th century, somewhat limits her prospects for a “normal” life. Populated with lovingly wrought characters, sly humor, and keen observations of the human heart, Watson's novel is a beautiful and rare bird indeed.

Miss Jane by Brad Watson (W. W. Norton & Company) Recommended by Tony at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

If you’ve ever been interested in what your dog or your cat really thinks about your tuxedo t-shirt (or whether they think at all), then Frans de Waal’s new book is a must-read for you.

De Waal is the renowned primatologist and writer of The Bonobo and the Atheist, as well as other essays on morality and intelligence in the animal kingdom. And in this book de Waal argues that certain animal intelligence–though different—is not inferior or superior to others (including us human folk).

De Waal makes it clear that we should examine animals in relation to their own specific traits and capabilities in order to understand their true intelligence, rather than comparing them to the things that we humans excel it.

By trying to get us to embody a point of view outside of our own species', this book will forever change the way we look at animal intelligence and consciousness.

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal, F. B. M. De Waal (W. W. Norton) Recommended by Donovan at Inkwood Books Tampa FL

Okra Picks

Lauded for her “astute and engrossing” (People) writing style imbued with “originality galore” (RT Book Reviews), Kim Wright channels the best of Jennifer Weiner and Sarah Pekkanen in this delightful novel of self-discovery on the open road as one woman sets out for Graceland hoping to answer the question: Is Elvis Presley her father?

Blues musician Cory Ainsworth is barely scraping by after her mother’s death when she discovers a priceless piece of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia hidden away in a shed out back of the family’s coastal South Carolina home: Elvis Presley’s Stutz Blackhawk, its interior a time capsule of the singer’s last day on earth.

A backup singer for the King, Cory’s mother Honey was at Graceland the day Elvis died. She quickly returned home to Beaufort and married her high school sweetheart. Yearning to uncover the secrets of her mother’s past—and possibly her own identity—Cory decides to drive the car back to Memphis and turn it over to Elvis’s estate, retracing the exact route her mother took thirty-seven years earlier. As she winds her way through the sprawling deep south with its quaint towns and long stretches of open road, the burning question in Cory’s mind—who is my father?—takes a backseat to the truth she learns about her complicated mother, the minister's daughter who spent a lifetime struggling to conceal the consequences of a single year of rebellion.

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It’s 1939, and the federal government has sent USDA agent Virginia Furman into the North Carolina mountains to instruct families on modernizing their homes and farms. There she meets farm wife Irenie Lambey, who is immediately drawn to the lady agent’s self-possession. Already, cracks are emerging in Irenie’s fragile marriage to Brodis, an ex-logger turned fundamentalist preacher: She has taken to night ramblings through the woods to escape her husband’s bed, storing strange keepsakes in a mountain cavern. To Brodis, these are all the signs that Irenie—tiptoeing through the dark in her billowing white nightshirt—is practicing black magic.

When Irenie slips back into bed with a kind of supernatural stealth, Brodis senses that a certain evil has entered his life, linked to the lady agent, or perhaps to other, more sinister forces.

Working in the stylistic terrain of Amy Greene and Bonnie Jo Campbell, this mesmerizing debut by Julia Franks is the story of a woman intrigued by the possibility of change, escape, and reproductive choice—stalked by a Bible-haunted man who fears his government and stakes his integrity upon an older way of life. As Brodis chases his demons, he brings about a final act of violence that shakes the entire valley. In this spellbinding Southern story, Franks bares the myths and mysteries that modernity can’t quite dispel.

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The 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize [Short List]

Soil
by Jamie Kornegay
Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781476750811, 368pp.

A darkly comic debut novel by an independent bookseller about an idealistic young farmer who moves his family to a Mississippi flood basin, suffers financial ruin--and becomes increasingly paranoid he's being framed for murder.

It all began with a simple dream. An ambitious young environmental scientist hoped to establish a sustainable farm on a small patch of river-bottom land nestled among the Mississippi hills. Jay Mize convinced his wife Sandy to move their six-year-old son away from town and to a rich and lush parcel where Jacob could run free and Jay could pursue the dream of a new and progressive agriculture for the twenty-first century. He did not know that within a year he'd be ruined, that flood and pestilence would invade his fledgling farm or that his wife and son would leave him to pick up the pieces by himself.

When Jay Mize discovers a corpse on his property, he is sure his bad luck has come to a head and he is being framed. Were Jay in his right mind, he might have reported the body to the police at the very same moment they were searching for a missing tourist from Ohio. He might have not dragged the body back to his farm under the cover of night and spent hours disposing of it. But Jay Mize is not in his right mind. His mounting paranoia is accelerated by a hot-rod local deputy, nosing around with questions about the missing tourist and making dark comments about Jay's estranged wife Sandy. It's enough to make an honest man a maniac…

Drawing on elements of classic Southern noir, dark comedy, and modern dysfunction, Jamie Kornegay's novel is about the gravitational pull of one man's apocalypse and the hope that maybe, just maybe, he can be reeled in from the brink. Readers will "applaud the arrival of an exquisitely deranged new voice to American fiction" ~ Jonathan Miles, award-winning author of Want Not and Dear American Airlines.

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My Sunshine Away
by M. O. Walsh
G.P. Putnam's Sons, Hardcover, 9780399169526, 320pp.

Named A Book of the Year by NPR, The Dallas Morning News, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist. 

Instant New York Times Bestseller

An Entertainment Weekly "Must List" Pick

I really loved this book... I can't praise it enough. ~Anne Rice

It was the summer everything changed.

My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson free spirit, track star, and belle of the block experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too.

In My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh brilliantly juxtaposes the enchantment of a charmed childhood with the gripping story of a violent crime, unraveling families, and consuming adolescent love. Acutely wise and deeply honest, it is an astonishing and page-turning debut about the meaning of family, the power of memory, and our ability to forgive.

BUY FROM AN INDIE

The Latest from Lady Banks

Lady BanksIn which some things about the past are best left to the past, such as the need to darn one's own socks, someone attempts to break Mr. Joel Chandler Harris out of the briar patch, and Ms. Marjorie Wentworth falls over, but picks herself back up again and gets to work.

Lady Banks' Commonplace Book

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Turn the Page with Southern Writers

Tales of Edgar Allan PoeBetty Crocker CookbookThe Thorn Birds

We had three books at home when I was growing up: The Tales of Edgar Allan PoeBetty Crocker Cookbook and The Thorn Birds.  Not exactly great options for a curious kid.  Luckily, Mom took my sister and me to the public library, where she allowed us to choose our own books.

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Free Book Stimulus Plan

Increase your karmic footprint.

Free BookWe understand that you can buy books anywhere.  You understand that while loving independent bookstores is a wonderful thing, loving them with your shopping dollars is even more wonderful! 
These Southern Indie Booksellers want to entice you to shop with them.  Buy online or in store from any of these shops, then complete the form below and mail it in with your receipt and get a free book.  
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Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

The Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

How well do you know your Southern lit?

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.

Play a sample puzzle online! | See the answers