Okra Picks are a dozen fresh titles chosen each season that SIBA Indie Bookstores want to handsell. These books should be southern in nature but can cover any genre, not just fiction. Southern readers love their writers, and we want to be at the forefront of bringing them a strong selection of Southern titles not to be missed each season.


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  • A Free State by Tom Piazza

    A Free StateThe author of City of Refuge returns with a startling and powerful novel of race, violence, and identity set on the eve of the Civil War.

    The year is 1855. Blackface minstrelsy is the most popular form of entertainment in a nation about to be torn apart by the battle over slavery. Henry Sims, a fugitive slave and a brilliant musician, has escaped to Philadelphia, where he earns money living by his wits and performing on the street. He is befriended by James Douglass, leader of a popular minstrel troupe struggling to compete with dozens of similar ensembles, who imagines that Henry's skill and magnetism might restore his troupe's sagging fortunes.

    The problem is that black and white performers are not allowed to appear together onstage. Together, the two concoct a masquerade to protect Henry's identity, and Henry creates a sensation in his first appearances with the troupe. Yet even as their plan begins to reverse the troupe's decline, a brutal slave hunter named Tull Burton has been employed by Henry's former master to track down the runaway and retrieve him, by any means necessary.

    Bursting with narrative tension and unforgettable characters, shot through with unexpected turns and insight, A Free State is a thrilling reimagining of the American story by a novelist at the height of his powers.

    Buy from an indie | Read the first chapter!

  • A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

    A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton"A brilliant mosaic of an African American family and a love song to New Orleans...written with deep insight and devastating honesty but also with grace and beauty." ―Dana Johnson, author of Elsewhere, California

    Evelyn is a Creole woman who comes of age in New Orleans at the height of World War II. Her family inhabits the upper echelon of Black society, and when she falls for no-account Renard, she is forced to choose between her life of privilege and the man she loves.

    In 1982, Evelyn's daughter, Jackie, is a frazzled single mother grappling with her absent husband's drug addiction. Just as she comes to terms with his abandoning the family, he returns, ready to resume their old life.

    Jackie's son, T.C., loves the creative process of growing marijuana more than the weed itself. He was a square before Hurricane Katrina, but the New Orleans he knew didn't survive the storm. Fresh out of a four-month stint for drug charges, T.C. decides to start over―until an old friend convinces him to stake his new beginning on one last deal.

    For Evelyn, Jim Crow is an ongoing reality, and in its wake new threats spring up to haunt her descendants. A Kind of Freedom is an urgent novel that explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through a poignant and redemptive family history.

    A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton | Counterpoint LLC | 9781619029224 | Read the first chapter

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  • A Lowcountry Heart by Pat Conroy

    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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  • A Mysterious Life and Calling by Rev. Charlotte S. Riley

    A Mysterious Life and CallingA rare discovery, A Mysterious Life and Calling is the autobiography of Charlotte Levy Riley, who was born into slavery but after emancipation achieved a fulfilling career as a preacher in the South Carolina Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, schoolteacher, and civil servant. Although several nineteenth-century accounts by black preaching women in the northern states are known, this is the first memoir by a black woman preaching in the South, both before and after the Civil War, to be discovered.

    Born in 1839, Charlotte Riley recounts her unusual experiences growing up as a young slave girl in Charleston under the protection of her parents and the dominion of her wealthy owners. She was taught to read, write, and sew, despite laws forbidding black literacy, and while still a slave married a free black architect. Raised a Presbyterian, she writes in her memoir of her conversion at age fourteen to the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, embracing its ecstatic worship and led by her own spiritual visions. After the war, she separated permanently from her husband, who objected to her call to preach, and despite poor health pursued a career into the early twentieth century as a licensed minister of the AME church, a powerful preacher at multiracial revivals, and a school teacher and principal. She contributed to the civic development of South Carolina in the post-Reconstruction era and early twentieth century, including appointment in 1885 as postmistress of Lincolnville, an all-black incorporated town in South Carolina. She published her autobiography around 1902.

    Crystal J. Lucky discovered Riley’s forgotten book in the archives of the Stokes Library at the historically black Wilberforce University in Ohio. She provides an introduction and notes to the narrative, explaining Riley’s references to contemporaries, events, society, and religious practice throughout her childhood and the turbulent years of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Lucky also places A Mysterious Life and Calling in the context of other spiritual autobiographies and slave narratives. 

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  • A Question of Mercy by Elizabeth Cox

     A Question of Mercy, set in a vivid landscape of the mid-twentieth-century South, is the fifth novel from Robert Penn Warren Award–winning writer Elizabeth Cox. As she challenges notions of individual freedom and responsibility against a backdrop of questionable practices governing treatment of the mentally disabled, she also stretches the breadth and limitations of the human heart to love and to forgive.

    Adam Finney, a young man who is mentally disabled, faces sterilization and lobotomy in a state-supported asylum. When he is found dead in the French Broad River of rural North Carolina, his teenaged stepsister, Jess, is sought for questioning by their family and the police. Jess’s odyssey of escape across four states leads into dark territories of life-and-death moral choices where compassion and grace offer faint illumination but few answers.

    Jess Booker, on the run and alone, leaves the comfort of her home near Asheville, recklessly trekking through woods and hitchhiking her way to a boarding house in tiny Lula, Alabama, a perceived safe haven she once visited with her late mother. Pursued by a mysterious car with a faded “I Like Ike” sticker, Jess is also haunted by memories of her mother’s early death, her father’s distressing marriage to Adam’s mother, the loving bond she was able to form with Adam despite her initial resistance, and her boyfriend Sam’s troubling letters from the thick of combat in the Korean War. In Lula, Jess finds, if only briefly, a respite among a curious surrogate family of fellow displaced outsiders banded together under one roof, and there she finds the strength to heed the call homeward to face the questions she cannot answer about her stepbrother’s death.

    Through her vibrant depictions of characters in crisis and of the lush, natural landscapes of her southern settings, Cox brings to the fore the moral, ethical, and seemingly unnatural decisions people face when caring for society’s weakest members. Grappling with the powerful bonds of love and family, A Question of Mercy recognizes the countless ways people come to help one another and the poor choices they can make because of love—choices that challenge the boundaries of human decency and social justice but also choices that can defy what is legal in the course of seeking what is right.

    Jill McCorkle, a Dos Passos Prize–winning novelist and short story writer and the author of Life after Life, provides a foreword to the novel.

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  • A Thousand Miles from Nowhere by John Gregory Brown

    A tragicomic tour de force about one man's redemption through love and art.

    "You have lost everything, yes?"

    Everything? Henry thought; he considered the word. Had he lost everything?

    Fleeing New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina approaches, Henry Garrett is haunted by the ruins of his marriage, a squandered inheritance, and the teaching job he inexplicably quit. He pulls into a small Virginia town after three days on the road, hoping to silence the ceaseless clamor in his head. But this quest for peace and quiet as the only guest at a roadside motel is destroyed when Henry finds himself at the center of a bizarre and violent tragedy. As a result, Henry winds up stranded at the ramshackle motel just outside the small town of Marimore, but it’s there that he is pulled into the lives of those around him: Latangi, the motel’s recently widowed proprietor who seems to have a plan for Henry; Marge, a local secretary who marshals the collective energy of her women’s church group; and the family of an old man, a prisoner, who dies in a desperate effort to provide for his infirm wife.

    For his previous novels John Gregory Brown has been lauded for his "compassionate vision of human destiny" as well as his "melodic, haunting and rhythmic prose." With A THOUSAND MILES FROM NOWHERE, he assumes his place in the tradition of such masterful storytellers as Flannery O’Conner and Walker Percy, offering to readers a tragicomic tour de force about the power of art and compassion and one man’s search for faith, love, and redemption.

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  • A Week at the Lake by Wendy Wax

    A Week at the LakeFrom the USA Today bestselling author of The House on Mermaid Point comes a powerful novel about secrets, loyalty, and the bonds of true friendship . . .  

    Twenty years ago, Emma Michaels, Mackenzie Hayes, and Serena Stockton bonded over their New York City dreams. Then, each summer, they solidified their friendship by spending one week at the lake together, solving their problems over bottles of wine and gallons of ice cream. They kept the tradition for years, until jealousy, lies, and life’s disappointments made them drift apart.

    It’s been five years since Emma has seen her friends, an absence designed to keep them from discovering a long-ago betrayal. Now she’s in desperate need of their support. The time has come to reveal her secrets—and hopefully rekindle their connection.

    But when a terrible accident keeps Emma from saying her piece, Serena and Mackenzie begin to learn about the past on their own. Now, to heal their friendship and their broken lives, the three women will have to return to the lake that once united them, and discover which relationships are worth holding on to . . .

    Included in this edition only—Wendy Wax’s novella, Christmas at the Beach

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  • Among the Living by Jonathan Rabb

    A moving novel about a Holocaust survivor’s unconventional journey back to a new normal in 1940s Savannah, Georgia

    In late summer 1947, thirty-one-year-old Yitzhak Goldah, a camp survivor, arrives in Savannah to live with his only remaining relatives. They are Abe and Pearl Jesler, older, childless, and an integral part of the thriving Jewish community that has been in Georgia since the founding of the colony. There, Yitzhak discovers a fractured world, where Reform and Conservative Jews live separate lives–distinctions, to him, that are meaningless given what he has been through. He further complicates things when, much to the Jeslers’ dismay, he falls in love with Eva, a young widow within the Reform community. When a woman from Yitzhak’s past suddenly appears–one who is even more shattered by the war than he is–Yitzhak must choose between a dark and tortured familiarity and the promise of a bright new life.

    Set amid the backdrop of America’s postwar south, Among the Living grapples with questions of identity and belonging, and steps beyond the Jewish experience as it situates Yitzhak’s story within the last gasp of the Jim Crow era. That he begins to find echoes of his recent past in the lives of the black family who work for the Jeslers–an affinity he does not share with the Jeslers themselves–both surprises and convinces Yitzhak that his choices are not as clear-cut as he might think.

    Recommended by Southern Indies
    “What is unusual and so appealing about Jonathan Rabb’s Among the Living is that the novel takes two issues that separately we’ve heard so much about—the European Jewish experience and the Jim Crow era south—and blends them together in a way that demonstrates a fresh perspective. I found it powerful and engaging.” —Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL

     

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  • Anything Could Happen by Will Walton

    Anything Could HappenWhen you're in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen. 

    Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody's in everybody else's business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend. For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels - and Tretch can't tell whether that makes it better or worse. 

    The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. For Tretch, the problem isn't just with Matt. His family has no idea who he really is and what he's really thinking. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. And the guy at school who's a thorn in Tretch's side doesn't realize how close to the truth he's hitting. 

    Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he's got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world. Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained. 

    "Anything Could Happen" is a poignant, hard-hitting exploration of love and friendship, a provocative debut that shows that sometimes we have to let things fall apart before we can make them whole again. 

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  • At the Corner of King Street by Mary Ellen Taylor

    At the Corner of King StreetThe author of The Union Street Bakery presents a new novel about a woman searching for a fresh start—while unable to forget the past…
     
    Adele “Addie” Morgan grew up in a house filled with pain and loss. Determined to live life on her own terms, Addie moves to the country and finds a job at a vineyard where she discovers stability, happiness, and—best of all—love with the kind owner, Scott.
     
    But an unexpected call abruptly pulls Addie out of her new and improved life. Her sister has just given birth and Addie’s Aunt Grace wants her to return home to help the family—even if it means confronting things she’s tried so hard to forget.

    When Addie arrives, she quickly realizes that she hasn’t truly let go of her former life, at least not completely. After making a surprising connection with her sister’s baby—and her sister’s ex-husband, Zeb—Addie must choose between her picture-perfect future with Scott and the family roots she thought she’d left behind for good…

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  • Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

    Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

    Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale.

    Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge--until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents--but they quickly realize that the truth is much darker. At the mercy of the facility's cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together--in a world of danger and uncertainty.

    Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions--and compels her to take a journey through her family's long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation…or redemption.

    Based on one of America's most notorious real-life scandals--in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country--Wingate's riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

    Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate | Ballantine Books | 9780425284681 | $26

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  • Between Two Skies by Joanne O'Sullivan

    Between Two Skies by Joanne O’Sullivan

    Hurricane Katrina sets a teenage girl adrift. But a new life--and the promise of love--emerges in this rich, highly readable debut.

    Bayou Perdu, a tiny fishing town way, way down in Louisiana, is home to sixteen-year-old Evangeline Riley. She has her best friends, Kendra and Danielle; her wise, beloved Mamere; and back-to-back titles in the under-sixteen fishing rodeo. But, dearest to her heart, she has the peace that only comes when she takes her skiff out to where there is nothing but sky and air and water and wings. It's a small life, but it is Evangeline's. And then the storm comes, and everything changes. Amid the chaos and pain and destruction comes Tru--a fellow refugee, a budding bluesman, a balm for Evangeline's aching heart.

    Told in a strong, steady voice, with a keen sense of place and a vivid cast of characters, here is a novel that asks compelling questions about class and politics, exile and belonging, and the pain of being cast out of your home. But above all, this remarkable debut tells a gently woven love story, difficult to put down, impossible to forget.

    Between Two Skies by Joanne O’Sullivan | Candlewick Press (MA) | 9780763690342 | $12.99

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  • Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

    Blackbird FlyFuture rock star, or friendless misfit? That's no choice at all. Apple Yengko moved from the Philippines to Louisiana when she was little, and now that she is in middle school, she grapples with being different, with friends and backstabbers, and with following her dreams.

    Apple has always felt a little different from her classmates. Her mother still cooks Filipino foods, speaks a mix of English and Cebuano, and chastises Apple for becoming "too American." It becomes unbearable in middle school, when the boys--the stupid, stupid boys--in Apple's class put her name on the Dog Log, the list of the most unpopular girls in school. When Apple's friends turn on her and everything about her life starts to seem weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music. If she can just save enough to buy a guitar and learn to play, maybe she can change herself. It might be the music that saves her . . . or it might be her two new friends, who show how special she really is. Erin Entrada Kelly deftly brings Apple's conflicted emotions to the page in her debut novel about family, friendship, popularity, and going your own way.

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  • Blight by Alexandra Duncan

    Blight by Alexandra DuncanWhen an agribusiness facility producing genetically engineered food releases a deadly toxin into the environment, seventeen-year-old Tempest Torres races to deliver the cure before time runs out.

    From the author of the acclaimed American Booksellers Association's Indies Introduce pick Salvage, which was called "Brilliant, feminist science fiction" by Stephanie Perkins, the internationally bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss. This stand-alone action-adventure story is perfect for fans of Oryx and Crake and The House of the Scorpion

    Seventeen-year-old Tempest Torres has lived on the AgraStar farm north of Atlanta, Georgia, since she was found outside its gates at the age of five. Now she's part of the security force guarding the fence and watching for scavengers—people who would rather steal genetically engineered food from the Company than work for it. When a group of such rebels accidentally sets off an explosion in the research compound, it releases into the air a blight that kills every living thing in its path—including humans. With blight-resistant seeds in her pocket, Tempest teams up with a scavenger boy named Alder and runs for help. But when they finally arrive at AgraStar headquarters, they discover that there's an even bigger plot behind the blight—and it's up to them to stop it from happening again.

    Inspired by current environmental issues, specifically the genetic adjustment of seeds to resist blight and the risks of not allowing natural seed diversity, this is an action-adventure story that is Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake meets Nancy Farmer's House of the Scorpion.

    Blight by Alexandra Duncan | Greenwillow Books | 9780062396990

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  • Bloody Royal Prints by Reba White Williams

    Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer's Search for Wonder in the Natural World  The fellowship at the Art Museum of Great Britain was too good for Dinah to pass up. She never expected that she’d find herself homesick and unhappy. With her husband Jonathan busy opening a London branch of his investment banking business and with her cousin Coleman home in New York struggling to get her second magazine up to speed, Dinah feels very much alone. Fortunately, she makes friends with Rachel Ransome and, through her, meets a member of the royal family. Things seem to be turning around…until Rachel comes under suspicion of the Palace Police, sweeping Dinah into her troubles.

    Now Coleman needs to come to England to help as the source of Rachel’s difficulties becomes more apparent – and more vexing. Can the three women join forces to extricate themselves from a conflict that goes back centuries?

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  • Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street by Rita Williams-Garcia

    Bottle Cap BoysTap dancing on sidewalks, especially in the city's French Quarter, is a New Orleans tradition as familiar to some as Jazz, Creole and Cajun food and Mardi Gras. For generations, Black youngsters have danced for tourists on the streets of New Orleans some because they enjoy it, but many others to earn money for their families. Instead of dancing in store bought tap shoes, young boys and girls stamp and grind bottle caps into the soles of their sneakers until the bottle caps stay firmly in place at the toe. And they don't miss a beat! Clickity-clack, Clack......tipity-tap, tap tap......tipity-tap, tap In Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street, award-winning author Rita Williams-Garcia introduces two bottle cap dancers, brothers Randy and Rudy. Through rich and upbeat rhyme, Williams-Garcia gives voice to the dancing and the youngsters who keep this unique New Orleans tradition alive. Damian Ward's exuberant illustrations are perfect complements to Williams Garcia s perfectly pitched poetry.

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  • Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich

    Bull MountainBrian Panowich stamps words on the page as if they ve been blasted from the barrel of a shotgun, and as with a shotgun blast, no one is safe from the scattered fragments of history that impale the people of Bull Mountain. Wiley Cash, " "New York Times""-bestselling author of This Dark Road to Mercy

    "From a remarkable new voice in Southern fiction, a multigenerational saga of crime, family, and vengeance. 

    Clayton Burroughs comes from a long line of outlaws. For generations, the Burroughs clan has made its home on Bull Mountain in North Georgia, running shine, pot, and meth over six state lines, virtually untouched by the rule of law. To distance himself from his family's criminal empire, Clayton took the job of sheriff in a neighboring community to keep what peace he can. But when a federal agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms shows up at Clayton's office with a plan to shut down the mountain, his hidden agenda will pit brother against brother, test loyalties, and could lead Clayton down a path to self-destruction. 

    In a sweeping narrative spanning decades and told from alternating points of view, the novel brilliantly evokes the atmosphere of the mountain and its inhabitants: forbidding, loyal, gritty, and ruthless. A story of family the lengths men will go to protect it, honor it, or in some cases destroy it Bull Mountain is an incredibly assured debut that heralds a major new talent in fiction.

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  • Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam

    Carrying Albert HomeBig Fish meets The Notebook in this emotionally evocative story about a man, a woman, and an alligator that is a moving tribute to love, from the New York Times bestselling author of the award-winning memoir Rocket Boys the basis of the movie October Sky.

    Elsie Lavender and Homer Hickam (the father of the author) were high school classmates in the West Virginia coalfields, graduating just as the Great Depression began. When Homer asked for her hand, Elsie instead headed to Orlando where she sparked with a dancing actor named Buddy Ebsen (yes, that Buddy Ebsen). But when Buddy headed for New York, Elsie's dreams of a life with him were crushed and eventually she found herself back in the coalfields, married to Homer.

    Unfulfilled as a miner's wife, Elsie was reminded of her carefree days with Buddy every day because of his unusual wedding gift: an alligator named Albert she raised in the only bathroom in the house. When Albert scared Homer by grabbing his pants, he gave Elsie an ultimatum: Me or that alligator After giving it some thought, Elsie concluded there was only one thing to do: Carry Albert home.

    Carrying Albert Home is the funny, sweet, and sometimes tragic tale of a young couple and a special alligator on a crazy 1,000-mile adventure. Told with the warmth and down-home charm that made Rocket Boys a beloved bestseller, Homer Hickam's rollicking tale is ultimately a testament to that strange and marvelous emotion we inadequately call love.

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  • Chasing the North Star by Robert Morgan

    "Before he went to sleep in the clean bed in the room downstairs, Jonah asked himself whether he should continue running . . . It was impossible to know how safe he was. But Jonah was worn out from running, and he didn’t want to go on . . . He’d stop here for a few days or weeks and see what happened. If he was caught, he would be caught. He just didn’t feel like running any more."

    In his latest historical novel, bestselling author Robert Morgan brings to full and vivid life the story of Jonah Williams, who, in 1850, on his eighteenth birthday, flees the South Carolina plantation on which he was born a slave. He takes with him only a few stolen coins, a knife, and the clothes on his back—no shoes, no map, no clear idea of where to head, except north, following a star that he prays will be his guide.

    Hiding during the day and running through the night, Jonah must elude the men sent to capture him and the bounty hunters out to claim the reward on his head. There is one person, however, who, once on his trail, never lets him fully out of sight: Angel, herself a slave, yet with a remarkably free spirit.

    In Jonah, she sees her own way to freedom, and so sets out to follow him.

    Bristling with breathtaking adventure, CHASING THE NORTH STAR is deftly grounded in historical fact yet always gripping and poignant as the story follows Jonah and Angel through the close calls and narrow escapes of a fearsome world. It is a celebration of the power of the human spirit to persevere in the face of great adversity. And it is Robert Morgan at his considerable best.

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  • Citizens Creek by Lalita Tademy

    Citizens Creek by Lalita TademyThe "New York Times "bestselling author of the Oprah Book Club Pick "Cane River" brings us the evocative story of a once-enslaved man who buys his freedom after serving as a translator during the American Indian Wars, and his granddaughter, who sustains his legacy of courage. 

    Cow Tom, born into slavery in Alabama in 1810 and sold to a Creek Indian chief before his tenth birthday, possessed an extraordinary gift: the ability to master languages. As the new country developed westward, and Indians, settlers, and blacks came into constant contact, Cow Tom became a key translator for his Creek master and was hired out to US military generals. His talent earned him money--but would it also grant him freedom? And what would become of him and his family in the aftermath of the Civil War and the Indian Removal westward? 

    Cow Tom's legacy lives on--especially in the courageous spirit of his granddaughter Rose. She rises to leadership of the family as they struggle against political and societal hostility intent on keeping blacks and Indians oppressed. But through it all, her grandfather's indelible mark of courage inspires her--in mind, in spirit, and in a family legacy that never dies. 
    Written in two parts portraying the parallel lives of Cow Tom and Rose, "Citizens Creek" is a beautifully rendered novel that takes the reader deep into a little known chapter of American history. It is a breathtaking tale of identity, community, family--and above all, the power of an individual's will to make a difference.

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  • Compulsion by Martina Boone

    Compulsion by Martina BooneThe first in a spellbinding new trilogy. After the death of her mother, Barrie Watson moves to her aunt's South Carolina plantation and learns that an ancient spirit had cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions. Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy.

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  • Cotton by Paul Heald

    When new evidence arises in a cold case, can Professor Hopkins refrain from delving into a newfound world of corruption, vice, and danger?

    Stanley Hopkins cannot resist the invitation from a honey-voiced US attorney asking him to track down the source of photographs of a young dance major abducted five years earlier from her apartment in Clarkeston, Georgia. A journalist has stumbled across newly posted pictures of Diana Cavendish on the Internet, apparently taken just days before she disappeared with her boyfriend.

    While Stanley deals with vexing personal problems and scrambles to identify the owner of the website that acquired the photos, small-town journalist James Murphy and federal prosecutor Melanie Wilkerson uncover new evidence of the crime—and the cover-up—that ranges far beyond the confines of the victim’s quaint Georgia college town.

    This second installment of the Clarkeston Chronicles presents new challenges for Hopkins that take him far from the California base he established in Death in Eden and introduces him to a fascinating group of collaborators who will anchor him in small-town Georgia.

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  • Darktown by Thomas Mullen

    The award-winning author of The Last Town on Earth delivers a riveting and elegant police procedural set in 1948 Atlanta, exploring a murder, corrupt police, and strained race relations that feels ripped from today's headlines.

    Responding to orders from on high, the Atlanta Police Department is forced to hire its first black officers, including war veterans Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers; they aren’t allowed to arrest white suspects, drive squad cars, or set foot in the police headquarters.

    When a black woman who was last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up dead, Boggs and Smith suspect white cops are behind it. Their investigation sets them up against a brutal cop, Dunlow, who has long run the neighborhood as his own, and his partner, Rakestraw, a young progressive who may or may not be willing to make allies across color lines. Among shady moonshiners, duplicitous madams, crooked lawmen, and the constant restrictions of Jim Crow, Boggs and Smith will risk their new jobs, and their lives, while navigating a dangerous world—a world on the cusp of great change.

    Set in the postwar, pre-civil rights South, and evoking the socially resonant and morally complex crime novels of Dennis Lehane and Walter Mosley, Darktown is a vivid, smart, intricately plotted crime saga that explores the timely issues of race, law enforcement, and the uneven scales of justice.

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  • Dimestore by Lee Smith

    DimestoreIn her first work of nonfiction, Lee Smith deploys the wit, wisdom, and graceful prose for which she is beloved to conjure her early days in the small coal town of Grundy, Virginia and beyond. For the inimitable Lee Smith, place is paramount. For forty-five years, her fiction has lived and breathed with the rhythms and people of the Appalachian South. But never before has she written her own story. Set deep in the rugged Appalachian Mountains, the Grundy of Lee Smith's youth was a place of coal miners, mountain music, and her daddy's dimestore. It was in that dimestore--listening to customers and inventing life histories for the store's dolls--that she began to learn the craft of storytelling. Even though she adored Grundy, Smith's formal education and travels took her far from Virginia, though her Appalachian upbringing never left her. "Dimestore"'s fifteen essays are crushingly honest, always wise, and superbly entertaining. Smith has created both a moving, personal portrait and a broader meditation on embracing one's heritage. Hers is an inspiring story of the birth of a writer and a poignant look at a way of life that has all but vanished. You know how in Lee Smith's fiction there's always something so fresh, crazy, and loving? In "Dimestore "is the essence of Lee. Roy Blount Jr., author of "Alphabetter Juice: or, The Joy of Text"

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  • Dispatches from Pluto by Richard Grant

    Dispatches from PlutoAdventure writer Richard Grant takes on "the most American place on Earth"--the enigmatic, beautiful, often derided Mississippi Delta

    Richard Grant and his girlfriend were living in a shoebox apartment in New York City when they decided on a whim to buy an old plantation house in the Mississippi Delta. "Dispatches from Pluto" is their journey of discovery into this strange and wonderful American place. Imagine "A Year In Provence" with alligators and assassins, or "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" with hunting scenes and swamp-to-table dining. 

    On a remote, isolated strip of land, three miles beyond the tiny community of Pluto, Richard and his girlfriend, Mariah, embark on a new life. They learn to hunt, grow their own food, and fend off alligators, snakes, and varmints galore. They befriend an array of unforgettable local characters--blues legend T-Model Ford, cookbook maven Martha Foose, catfish farmers, eccentric millionaires, and the actor Morgan Freeman. Grant brings an adept, empathetic eye to the fascinating people he meets, capturing the rich, extraordinary culture of the Delta, while tracking its utterly bizarre and criminal extremes. Reporting from all angles as only an outsider can, Grant also delves deeply into the Delta's lingering racial tensions. He finds that de facto segregation continues. Yet even as he observes major structural problems, he encounters many close, loving, and interdependent relationships between black and white families--and good reasons for hope. 

    "Dispatches from Pluto" is a book as unique as the Delta itself. It's lively, entertaining, and funny, containing a travel writer's flair for in-depth reporting alongside insightful reflections on poverty, community, and race. It's also a love story, as the nomadic Grant learns to settle down. He falls not just for his girlfriend but for the beguiling place they now call home. Mississippi, Grant concludes, is the best-kept secret in America..

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  • Duncan, the Story Dragon by Amanda Driscoll

    Duncan the Story DragonA charming story about the joys of reading that is perfect for fans of Dog Loves Books and Stellaluna.

    Duncan the Dragon loves to read. When he reads a story, his imagination catches fire! Unfortunately . . . so does his book.
     
    Fire breath is great for roasting marshmallows, but it’s not so great for reading. Duncan just wants to get to those two wonderful words, like the last sip of a chocolate milk shake: The End. Will he ever find out how the story ends?
     
    This bright, warm tale champions determination, friendship, and a love for books. And milk shakes!

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  • Each Shining Hour: A Novel of Watervalley by Jeff High

    Each Shining HourWelcome to the timeless charms of small-town Watervalley, Tennessee—where young Dr. Luke Bradford is beginning to feel at home… 

    When he comes to the aid of a woman at the grocery store, Luke is fascinated to learn she is Estelle Pillow, the cheery sister to his prickly housekeeper, Connie. Estelle wants to open a bakery in town—and Connie’s disapproval of the venture stirs up a whirlwind of emotions between the siblings. But Luke’s attention is soon diverted when he learns about a long-ago double murder. . .

    During World War II, an unknown traveler arrived in town, and before the day was over, he and the local baker lay dead near the bandstand at the local lake. The incident has since been exaggerated into Watervalley lore—with the newcomer rumored to have been a German spy. As Luke pieces together exactly what happened, he realizes that the consequences of this event have rippled painfully into the lives of townsfolk he has come to know.

    As winter gives way to spring, Luke keeps busy at the medical clinic and enters a tentative, exhilarating romance. And when his support of Estelle’s bakery collides with new revelations about the old murder, Luke witnesses the true power of reconciliation working in the hearts of those he holds dear—a revelation that will change his life.

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  • Eveningland by Michael Knight

    “Michael Knight is more than a master of the short story. He knows the true pace of life and does not cheat it, all the while offering whopping entertainment.”—Barry Hannah

    Long considered a master of the form and an essential voice in American fiction, Michael Knight’s stories have been lauded by writers such Ann Patchett, Elizabeth Gilbert, Barry Hannah, and Richard Bausch. Now, with Eveningland he returns to the form that launched his career, delivering an arresting collection of interlinked stories set among the “right kind of Mobile family” in the years preceding a devastating hurricane.

    Grappling with dramas both epic and personal, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the “unspeakable misgivings of contentment,” Eveningland captures with crystalline poeticism and perfect authenticity of place the ways in which ordinary life astounds us with its complexity. A teenaged girl with a taste for violence holds a burglar hostage in her house on New Year’s Eve; a middle aged couple examines the intricacies of their marriage as they prepare to throw a party; and a real estate mogul in the throes of grief buys up all the property on an island only to be accused of madness by his daughters. These stories, told with economy and precision, infused with humor and pathos, excavate brilliantly the latent desires and motivations that drive life forward.

    Eveningland is a luminous collection from “a writer of the first rank.”(Esquire)

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  • Evidence Room by Cameron Harvey

    The Evidence Room: A MysteryThis atmospheric and beautifully written police procedural is set in Florida where a murder of a young mother shook a small bayou town to its core. Twenty years later, the victim's daughter returns to the scene of the crime and learns that the tragedy of her past has very real consequences for her future.

    Everyone in Cooper's Bayou knows the story of Raylene Atchison, the local woman who was murdered on the banks of the bayou, and her daughter, Aurora, who was found on the steps of the mini-mart, alone. But when Aurora, who was raised far away from Cooper's Bayou, returns to Florida to settle her grandfather's estate, she learns that the suspect in her mother's murder was wrongly accused. Aurora meets Josh Hudson, a cop who has been put on administrative leave at the Evidence Room, a warehouse of dusty and forgotten items that could hold the key for solving Raylene's murder. Together, Josh and Aurora delve into the past and find that that the answers they are seeking lie just below the surface of the bayou they thought they knew.

    Spanning decades of secrets and lies and featuring a setting that comes alive as a character in its own right, Cameron Harvey's THE EVIDENCE ROOM is a stunning debut mystery from a new literary talent.

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  • Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace

    Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace

    A large-hearted and optimistic novel, Extraordinary Adventures is the latest from the New York Times bestselling Daniel Wallace.

    Edsel Bronfman works as a junior executive shipping clerk for an importer of Korean flatware. He lives in a seedy neighborhood and spends his free time with his spirited mother. Things happen to other people, and Bronfman knows it. Until, that is, he gets a call from operator 61217 telling him that he's won a free weekend at a beachfront condo in Destin, Florida. But there's a catch: the offer is intended for a couple, and Bronfman has only seventy-nine days to find someone to take with him.

    The phone call jolts Bronfman into motion, initiating a series of truly extraordinary adventures as he sets out to find a companion for his weekend getaway. Open at last to the possibilities of life, Bronfman now believes that anything can happen. And it does.

    Extraordinary Adventuresby Daniel Wallace | St. Martin's Press | 9781250118455 | $25.99

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  • Fallen Land by Taylor Brown

    'Fallen LandA modern-day civil rights champion tells the stirring story of how he helped start a movement to bridge America's racial divide.

    Fallen Land is Taylor Brown's debut novel set in the final year of the Civil War, as a young couple on horseback flees a dangerous band of marauders who seek a bounty reward. Callum, a seasoned horse thief at fifteen years old, came to America from his native Ireland as an orphan. Ava, her father and brother lost to the war, hides in her crumbling home until Callum determines to rescue her from the bands of hungry soldiers pillaging the land, leaving destruction in their wake. Ava and Callum have only each other in the world and their remarkable horse, Reiver, who carries them through the destruction that is the South. Pursued relentlessly by a murderous slave hunter, tracking dogs, and ruthless ex-partisan rangers, the couple race through a beautiful but ruined land, surviving on food they glean from abandoned farms and the occasional kindness of strangers. In the end, as they intersect with the scorching destruction of Sherman's March, the couple seek a safe haven where they can make a home and begin to rebuild their lives. Dramatic and thrillingly written with an uncanny eye for glimpses of beauty in a ravaged landscape, "Fallen Land" is a love story at its core, and an unusually assured first novel by award-winning young author Taylor Brown.

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  • False Positive by Andrew Grant

    False PositiveFor fans of Craig Johnson and James Lee Burke "False Positive" follows up the powerful punch of Andrew Grant's novel "RUN" with a staggering second dose of thrills and suspense that is just as smart, atmospheric, and soul-searing. 

    Alabama detective Cooper Devereaux makes no apologies for his luxe lifestyle or the way he does his job. Most cops haven t lived the kind of life he has starting out as an orphan, raised by a grizzled cop savior and most don t use his kind of high-risk tactics. But he may have met his match in fellow detective Jan Loflin, who's fresh off a long undercover stint in Vice when they re partnered on a case that will test them both beyond their direst nightmares. 

    A seven-year-old boy has disappeared from his home in the Birmingham suburbs. But the more Devereaux digs into the missing child's background, the more he discovers about his own, eventually shaking loose a series of harrowing truths about bloodlines, mass murder, obsession, and what two damaged detectives have in common with the innocent victim they re so desperate to save. This twisty page-turner the debut of the Detective Cooper Devereaux series hurtles at a mile a minute through an action-packed search for a missing child, culminating in an ending that no reader will see coming. 

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  • Field of Graves by J.T. Ellison

    With FIELD OF GRAVES, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison goes back to where it all began. All of Nashville is on edge with a serial killer on the loose. A madman is trying to create his own end-of-days apocalypse and the cops trying to catch him are almost as damaged as the killer. Field of Graves reveals the origins of some of J.T. Ellison's most famous creations: the haunted Lieutenant Taylor Jackson; her blunt, exceptional best friend, medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens; and troubled FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin. Together, they race the clock and their own demons to find the killer before he claims yet another victim. This dark, thrilling and utterly compelling novel will have readers on the edge of their seats, and Ellison's fans will be delighted with the revelations about their favorite characters.

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  • Flight Path: A Search for Roots Beneath the World’s Busiest Airport by Hannah Palmer

    Flight Path: A Search for Roots Beneath the World's Busiest Airport by Hannah Palmer

    In the months leading up to the birth of her first child, Hannah Palmer discovers that all three of her childhood houses have been wiped out by the expansion of Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Having uprooted herself from a promising career in publishing in her adopted Brooklyn, Palmer embarks on a quest to determine the fate of her lost homes--and of a community that has been erased by unchecked Southern progress.

    Palmer's journey takes her from the ruins of kudzu-covered, airport-owned ghost towns to carefully preserved cemeteries wedged between the runways; into awkward confrontations with airport planners, developers, and even her own parents. Along the way, Palmer becomes an amateur detective, an urban historian, and a mother.

    Lyrically chronicling the overlooked devastation and beauty along the airport's fringe communities in the tradition of John Jeremiah Sullivan and Leslie Jamison, Palmer unearths the startling narratives about race, power, and place that continue to shape American cities.

    Part memoir, part urban history, Flight Path: A Search for Roots beneath the World's Busiest Airport is a riveting account of one young mother's attempt at making a home where there's little home left.

    Flight Path: A Search for Roots Beneath the World's Busiest Airport by Hannah Palmer | Hub City Press | 9781938235283 | $16.95

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  • Forsaken by Ross Howell Jr.

    ForsakenForsaken is a gripping, beautifully realized work of historical fiction by Ross Howell Jr. It tells the story of the sensational crime committed by Virginia Christian, a young black girl who, in 1912 Virginia, was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the electric chair. Charlie Mears, a white man, covered the case as a rookie reporter. The book chronicles the story of the trial and its aftermath as seen through Mears’s eyes. The novel’s premise is ambitious, its events striking and tragic, and fiction and non-fiction are deftly blended in this powerful read on the themes of injustice, corruption, and racial conflict set in the poisonous epoch known as Jim Crow.

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  • Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley

    "Meet the new Ramona Quimby!" -- Entertainment Weekly

    Gertie Reece Foy is 100% Not-From-Concentrate awesome. She has a daddy who works on an oil rig, a great-aunt who always finds the lowest prices at the Piggly Wiggly, and two loyal best friends. So when her absent mother decides to move away from their small town, Gertie sets out on her greatest mission yet: becoming the best fifth grader in the universe to show her mother exactly what she'll be leaving behind. There's just one problem: Seat-stealing new girl Mary Sue Spivey wants to be the best fifth grader, too. And there is simply not enough room at the top for the two of them.

    From debut author Kate Beasley, and with illustrations by Caldecott Honor artist Jillian Tamaki, comes a classic tale of hope and homecoming that will empty your heart, then fill it back up again--one laugh at a time.

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  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

    Go Set a WatchmanAn historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

    Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

    Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch Scout struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

    Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee's enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.

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  • Gradle Bird by J.C. Sasser

    Gradle Bird by JC Sasser

    Sixteen-year-old Gradle Bird has lived her entire life with her Grandpa, Leonard, at a seedy motel and truck stop off Georgia’s I-16. But when Leonard moves her to a crumbling old house rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Ms. Annalee Spivey, Gradle is plunged into a lush, magical world much stranger and more dangerous than from the one she came.

    Here she meets Sonny Joe Stitch, a Siamese Fighting Fish connoisseur overdosed on testosterone, a crippled, Bible-thumping hobo named Ceif “Tadpole” Walker, and the only true friend she will ever know, a schizophrenic genius, music-man, and professional dumpster-diver, D-5 Delvis Miles.

    As Gradle falls deeper into Delvis’s imaginary and fantastical world, unsettling dangers lurk, and when surfaced Gradle discovers unforeseen depths in herself and the people she loves the most.

    Gradle Bird is an unusual tale of self-discovery and redemption that explores the infirmities of fatherly love, the complexities of human cruelty, and the consequences of guilt, proving they are possible to overcome no matter how dark and horrible the cause.

    Gradle Birdby J.C. Sasser | Koelher Books | 9781633932630 | $17.95

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  • Grant Park by Leonard Pitts, Jr.

    Grant Park"A novel as significant as it is engrossing." "Booklist," starred review 

    "Grant Park" is a page-turning and provocative look at black and white relations in contemporary America, blending the absurd and the poignant in a powerfully well-crafted narrative that showcases Pitts's gift for telling emotionally wrenching stories. 

    "Grant Park" begins in 1968, with Martin Luther King's final days in Memphis. The story then moves to the eve of the 2008 election, and cuts between the two eras. Disillusioned columnist Malcolm Toussaint, fueled by yet another report of unarmed black men killed by police, hacks into his newspaper's server to post an incendiary column that had been rejected by his editors. Toussaint then disappears, and his longtime editor, Bob Carson, is summarily fired within hours of the column's publication. 

    While a furious Carson tries to find Toussaintwhile simultaneously dealing with the reappearance of a lost love from his days as a 60s activistToussaint is abducted by two white supremacists plotting to explode a bomb at Barack Obama's planned rally in Chicago's Grant Park. Toussaint and Carson are forced to remember the choices they made as young men, when both their lives were changed profoundly by their work in the civil rights movement.

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  • Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin

    Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin

    The haunting tale of a desolate cottage, and the hair-thin junction between this life and the next, from bestselling National Book Award finalist Gail Godwin.

    After his mother's death, eleven-year-old Marcus is sent to live on a small South Carolina island with his great aunt, a reclusive painter with a haunted past. Aunt Charlotte, otherwise a woman of few words, points out a ruined cottage, telling Marcus she had visited it regularly after she'd moved there thirty years ago because it matched the ruin of her own life. Eventually she was inspired to take up painting so she could capture its utter desolation.

    The islanders call it "Grief Cottage," because a boy and his parents disappeared from it during a hurricane fifty years before. Their bodies were never found and the cottage has stood empty ever since. During his lonely hours while Aunt Charlotte is in her studio painting and keeping her demons at bay, Marcus visits the cottage daily, building up his courage by coming ever closer, even after the ghost of the boy who died seems to reveal himself. Full of curiosity and open to the unfamiliar and uncanny given the recent upending of his life, he courts the ghost boy, never certain whether the ghost is friendly or follows some sinister agenda.

    Grief Cottage is the best sort of ghost story, but it is far more than that--an investigation of grief, remorse, and the memories that haunt us. The power and beauty of this artful novel wash over the reader like the waves on a South Carolina beach.

    Grief Cottageby Gail Godwin | Bloomsbury US | 9781632867049 | $27

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  • Hall of Small Mammals by Thomas Pierce

    Hall of Small Mammals: StoriesA wild, inventive ride of a short story collection from a distinctive new American storyteller.

    The stories in Thomas Pierce’s Hall of Small Mammals take place at the confluence of the commonplace and the cosmic, the intimate and the infinite. A fossil-hunter, a comedian, a hot- air balloon pilot, parents and children, believers and nonbelievers, the people in these stories are struggling to understand the absurdity and the magnitude of what it means to exist in a family, to exist in the world.

    In “Shirley Temple Three,” a mother must shoulder her son’s burden—a cloned and resurrected wooly mammoth who wreaks havoc on her house, sanity, and faith. In “The Real Alan Gass,” a physicist in search of a mysterious particle called the “daisy” spends her days with her boyfriend, Walker, and her nights with the husband who only exists in the world of her dreams, Alan Gass.  Like the daisy particle itself—“forever locked in a curious state of existence and nonexistence, sliding back and forth between the two”—the stories in Thomas Pierce’s Hall of Small Mammals are exquisite, mysterious, and inextricably connected.

    From this enchanting primordial soup, Pierce’s voice emerges—a distinct and charming testament of the New South, melding contemporary concerns with their prehistoric roots to create a hilarious, deeply moving symphony of stories.

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  • Hanging Mary by Susan Higginbotham

    Hanging MaryThe untold story of Lincoln's assassination.

    1864, Washington City. One has to be careful with talk of secession, of Confederate whispers falling on Northern ears. Better to speak only when in the company of the trustworthy. Like Mrs. Surratt.

    A widow who runs a small boardinghouse on H Street, Mary Surratt isn't half as committed to the cause as her son, Johnny. If he's not delivering messages or escorting veiled spies, he's invited home men like John Wilkes Booth, the actor who is even more charming in person than he is on the stage.

    But when President Lincoln is killed, the question of what Mary knew becomes more important than anything else. Was she a cold-blooded accomplice? Just how far would she go to help her son?

    Based on the true case of Mary Surratt, Hanging Mary reveals the untold story of those on the other side of the assassin's gun.

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  • He Calls Me by Lightning: The Life of Caliph Washington and the Forgotten Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice, and the Death Penalty by S. Jonathan Bass

    He Calls Me by Lightning: The Life of Caliph Washington and the Forgotten Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice, and the Death Penalty by S. Jonathan Bass

    A heroic reconstruction of the forgotten life of a wrongfully convicted man whose story becomes an historic portrait of the Jim Crow South.

    Caliph Washington’s life was never supposed to matter. As a black teenager from the vice-ridden city of Bessemer, Alabama, Washington was wrongfully convicted of killing an Alabama policeman in 1957. Sentenced to death, he came within minutes of the electric chair-nearly a dozen times. A Kafka-esque legal odyssey in which Washington’s original conviction was overturned three times before he was finally released in 1972, his story is the kind that pervades the history of American justice. Here, in the hands of historian S. Jonathan Bass, Washington’s ordeal and life are rescued from anonymity and become a moving parable of one man’s survival and perseverance in a hellish system.

    He Calls Me by Lightning is both a compelling legal drama and a fierce depiction of the Jim Crow South that forces us to take account of the lives cast away by systemic racism.

    He Calls Me by Lightning: The Life of Caliph Washington and the Forgotten Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice, and the Death Penaltyby S. Jonathan Bass | Liveright Publishing Corporation | 9781631492372 | $26.95

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  • Heritage by Sean Brock

    HeritageSean Brock is the chef behind the game-changing restaurants Husk and McCrady s, and his first book offers all of his inspired recipes. With a drive to preserve the heritage foods of the South, Brock cooks dishes that are ingredient-driven and reinterpret the flavors of his youth in Appalachia and his adopted hometown of Charleston. The recipes include all the comfort food (think food to eat at home) and high-end restaurant food (fancier dishes when there s more time to cook) for which he has become so well-known. Brock s interpretation of Southern favorites like Pickled Shrimp, Hoppin John, and Chocolate Alabama Stack Cake sit alongside recipes for Crispy Pig Ear Lettuce Wraps, Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder with Tomato Gravy, and Baked Sea Island Red Peas. This is a very personal book, with headnotes that explain Brock s background and give context to his food and essays in which he shares his admiration for the purveyors and ingredients he cherishes.

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  • Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

    Teen and adult fans of All the Bright Places, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and Everything, Everything will adore this quirky story of coming-of-age, coming out, friendship, love…and agoraphobia.

    Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

    Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But how can she prove she deserves a spot there? 

    Solomon is the answer.

    Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa thrusts herself into his life, introducing him to her charming boyfriend Clark and confiding her fears in him. Soon, all three teens are far closer than they thought they’d be, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse, as well.  

    A hilarious and heartwarming coming-of-age perfect for readers of Matthew Quick and Rainbow Rowell, HIGHLY ILLOGICAL BEHAVIOR showcases the different ways in which we hide ourselves from the world—and the ways in which love, tragedy, and the need for connection may be the only things to bring us back into the light.

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  • Hungry Is a Mighty Fine Sauce by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

    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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  • If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss

    If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah WeissHe's gonna be sorry he ever messed with me and Loretta Lynn

    Sadie Blue has been a wife for fifteen days. That's long enough to know she should have never hitched herself to Roy Tupkin, even with the baby.

    Sadie is desperate to make her own mark on the world, but in remote Appalachia, a ticket out of town is hard to come by, and hope often gets stomped out. When a stranger sweeps into Baines Creek and knocks things off kilter, Sadie finds herself with an unexpected lifeline...if she can just figure out how to use it.

    This intimate insight into a fiercely proud, tenacious community unfolds through the voices of the forgotten folks of Baines Creek. With a colorful cast of characters that each contribute a new perspective, If the Creek Don't Riseis a debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

    If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss | Sourcebooks | 9781492647454 | Read the first chapter

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  • In the Heart of the Dark Wood by Billy Coffey

    In the Heart of the Dark WoodA motherless girl hungry for hope . . . and the dream that could be leading her astray.

    Almost two years have passed since twelve year-old Allie Granderson's beloved mother Mary disappeared into the wild tornado winds. Her body has never been found. God may have spilled out his vengeance on all of Mattingly that day--but it was Allie's momma who got swept away.

    Allie clings to memories of her mother, just as she clings to the broken compass she left behind, the makeshift Nativity scene assembled in Allie's front yard, and to her best friend, Zach. But even with Zach at her side, the compass tied to her wrist, and the Nativity characters just a glimpse out the window, Allie cannot help but feel lost in all the growing up that must get done.

    When the Holy Mother disappears from the yard one morning, Allie's bewilderment is checked only by the sudden movement of her mother's compass. Yet the compass isn't pointing north but east . . . into the inky forest on the outskirts of Mattingly.

    Following the needle, Allie and Zach leave the city pavement behind and push into the line of trees edging on the Virginia hill country. For Allie, the journey is more than a ghost hunt: she is rejoining the mother she lost--and finding herself with each step deeper into the heart of the darkest woods she's ever seen.

    Brimming with lyrical prose and unexpected discoveries, "In the Heart of the Dark Wood" illustrates the steep transition we all must undergo--the moment we shed our child-like selves and step into the strange territory of adulthood.

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  • Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Bragg

    Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own StoryFor nearly sixty years, Jerry Lee Lewis has been a monumental figure in American life. The wildest and most dangerous of the early rock and rollers, he electrified the world with hit records such as "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Great Balls of Fire," and "Breathless." His music was raucous, exuberant, slyly sexual; his wailing vocals were grounded by the locomotive force of his pumping piano. But his persona and performing style were what changed the world: whipping his long hair back, he would pound the keyboard like a coal-fired steam engine, then kick back the bench, climb atop the piano, and work the audience like the Pentecostal preacher he almost became. Poised to steal the crown from Elvis Presley, he seemed unstoppable--until news of his marriage to his thirteen-year-old cousin broke during his first British tour, nearly ending his career.

    Now, for the first time, Lewis's story is told in full, as he shared it over two years with Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Rick Bragg. In a narrative rich with atmosphere and anecdote, we watch Jerry Lee emerge from the fields and levees of Depression-era Louisiana, blazing a path across Bible colleges and nightclubs en route to international fame. He shared bills with Johnny Cash and Chuck Berry, toured Australia with Buddy Holly and Paul Anka, and went Cadillac for Cadillac with Elvis on the streets of Memphis--even as both of them struggled with the conflict between their faith and their music. After a decade in the wilderness, he returned as the biggest star in country music, but his victory lap became a marathon of excess, a time of guns and pills and Calvert Extra. He crashed Rolls-Royces and Lincolns, including one he drove into the gates of Graceland; suffered the deaths of wives and loved ones; and nearly met his maker twice himself. Yet after six marriages, a long spell without a recording contract, and a bruising battle with the IRS, he overcame a crippling addiction, remarried, and scored his biggest hit records since the 1970s. Today, as he approaches his eightieth year, he continues to electrify audiences around the world.

    The story of Jerry Lee Lewis has inspired songs and articles, books and films, but in these pages Rick Bragg restores a human complexity missing from other accounts. The result is a story of fire and faith and resilience, informed by Rick Bragg's deep understanding of the American spirit, and rich with Jerry Lee's own unforgettable voice.

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  • Julia Reed’s South by Julia Reed

    No one embodies the decadent spirit of throwing a great Southern party more than Julia Reed, the consummate hostess and go-to food and lifestyle expert. Thrown everywhere from lush gardens and gracious interior spaces to a Mississippi River sandbar, Julia Reed’s parties capture the celebratory nature of entertaining in her native South. Here, her informative and down-to-earth guide to giving an unforgettable party includes secrets she has collected over a lifetime of entertaining.

    For this book, she offers up a feast of options for holiday cocktails, spring lunches, formal dinners, and even a hunt breakfast. Twelve seasonal events feature delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes, ranging from fried chicken to Charlotte Russe and signature cocktails or wine pairings—she introduces her talented friends (rum makers, potters, fabric designers, bakers) along the way. Each occasion includes gorgeous photographs showing her inspiring approach to everything from invitations and setting a table to arranging flowers and creating the mood. A handbook section provides practical considerations and sources. This irresistible book is the ultimate primer for every party-giver.

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  • Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright

    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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  • Let the Devil Out by Bill Loehfelm

    Meet New Orleans beat cop Maureen Coughlin

    The Edgar Award winner Megan Abbott calls Coughlin “a hero with whom we will go anywhere.” She’s complicated―tough and naive, street-smart and vulnerable―and, way too often, reckless. As Let the Devil Out opens, she’s in rough shape. Just a rookie, she’s already been suspended from the force. And things are about to get worse.

    The FBI is in town on the trail of a ruthless anti-government militia group, the Watchmen Brigade. Nobody in the NOPD wants any part of working with them. Guess which suspended rookie is told she doesn’t have a choice.

    With the FBI and a white supremacist militia on the loose in New Orleans, the city is one big powder keg. Find out what happens when a brilliant but impulsive young cop lights a match.

    The rising crime fiction star Bill Loehfelm knows New Orleans. The streets, the people. Where the power lies, and how it gets used―and abused. With Let the Devil Out, Loehfelm raises the bar for sharp, compelling crime fiction. As The New York Times says of the fascinating Maureen Coughlin, "She finds herself wrestling with ethical issues that fictional cops, especially fictional female ones, rarely talk about, leaving that stuff to real-life cops--and smart guys like Bill Loehfelm."

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  • Lies and Other Acts of Love by Kristy Woodson Harvey

    DEAR CAROLINA author Kristy Woodson Harvey presents a new novel about what it really means to tell the truth . . .

    After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn "Lovey" White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies. Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health.

    But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves . . .

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  • Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart

    Award-winning author Donna Gephart crafts a compelling dual narrative about two remarkable young people: Lily, a transgender girl, and Dunkin, a boy dealing with bipolar disorder. Their powerful story will shred your heart, then stitch it back together with kindness, humor, bravery, and love.

    "LILY AND DUNKIN is a delight. Here’s a book for anyone who’s ever struggled with being different--or anyone who’s ever loved someone who bears the burden of difference.  Donna Gephart’s book is about trans children, and bipolar children, and their parents, of course, but what it’s really about is friendship, and the redeeming power of love.  Crucial, heart-breaking, and inspiring.” —Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There, and Stuck in the Middle with You. 

    Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade. 

    Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse. 

     One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.  

    A JLG Selection! 

    "Gephart clearly has a lot of heart, and she tells their stories with compassion."--Kirkus 

    "A thoughtfully and sensitively written work of character-driven fiction that dramatically addresses two important subjects that deserve more widespread attention."--Booklist, starred

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  • Love, Alice by Barbara Davis

    From the author of Summer at Hideaway Key comes a sweeping new Southern women’s fiction novel about forgiving the past one letter at a time...

    The truth lies between the lines...

    A year ago, Dovie Larkin’s life was shattered when her fiancé committed suicide just weeks before their wedding. Now, plagued by guilt, she has become a fixture at the cemetery where William is buried, visiting his grave daily, waiting for answers she knows will never come.

    Then one day, she sees an old woman whose grief mirrors her own. Fascinated, she watches the woman leave a letter on a nearby grave. Dovie ignores her conscience and reads the letter—a mother’s plea for forgiveness to her dead daughter—and immediately needs to know the rest of the story.

    As she delves deeper, a collection of letters from the cemetery’s lost and found begins to unravel a decades-old mystery involving one of Charleston’s wealthiest families. But even as Dovie seeks to answer questions about another woman’s past—questions filled with deception, betrayal, and heartbreaking loss—she starts to discover the keys to love, forgiveness, and finally embracing the future…

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  • Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell

    From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.

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  • Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer

    Lowcountry BoneyardWhen a father hires PI Liz Talbot to find his heiress daughter, Liz suspects the most difficult part will be convincing the overbearing patriarch she left town. That’s what the Charleston Police Department believes. But behind the garden walls South of Broad, family secrets pop up like weeds in the azaleas. The neighbors recollect violent arguments between Kent and her parents. Eccentric twin uncles and a gaggle of cousins covet the family fortune. And the lingering spirit of a Civil-War-era debutante may know something if Colleen, Liz’s dead best friend, can get her to talk. Liz juggles her case, the partner she’s in love with, and the family she adores. But the closer she gets to what has become of Kent, the closer Liz dances to her own grave.

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  • Lowcountry Book Club by Susan Boyer

    USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR and AGATHA AWARD-WINNING SERIES

    “Boyer delivers a beach read filled with quirky, endearing characters and a masterfully layered mystery, all set in the lush lowcountry. Don’t miss this one!” – Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times Bestselling Author of A Lowcountry Wedding

    “Boyer writes with humor, grace, and Southern grit in this charmer of a Carolina tale.” – Gretchen Archer, USA Today Bestselling Author of Double Knot

    “The authentically Southern Boyer writes with heart, insight, and a deep understanding of human nature.” – Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha Award-Winning Author of What You See

    “Boyer deftly shapes characters with just enough idiosyncrasies without succumbing to clichés while infusing her lighthearted plot with an insightful look at families.” – Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun Sentinel

    Somebody pushed Shelby Poinsett out her second-floor library window and it wasn’t her husband. At least that’s what Charleston’s most prestigious law firm wants Liz Talbot to prove. Liz must run the spectrum of Southern society, from the local homeless shelter where Shelby volunteered to the one-hundred-year-old book club where Charleston’s genteel ladies are dying to join, to bring a killer to justice.

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  • Mercies in Disguise by Gina Kolata

    The phone rings. The doctor from California is on the line. “Are you ready Amanda?” The two people Amanda Baxley loves the most had begged her not to be tested―at least, not now. But she had to find out.

    If your family carried a mutated gene that foretold a brutal illness and you were offered the chance to find out if you’d inherited it, would you do it? Would you walk toward the problem, bravely accepting whatever answer came your way? Or would you avoid the potential bad news as long as possible?

    In Mercies in Disguise, acclaimed New York Times science reporter and bestselling author Gina Kolata tells the story of the Baxleys, an almost archetypal family in a small town in South Carolina. A proud and determined clan, many of them doctors, they are struck one by one with an inscrutable illness. They finally discover the cause of the disease after a remarkable sequence of events that many saw as providential. Meanwhile, science, progressing for a half a century along a parallel track, had handed the Baxleys a resolution―not a cure, but a blood test that would reveal who had the gene for the disease and who did not. And science would offer another dilemma―fertility specialists had created a way to spare the children through an expensive process.

    A work of narrative nonfiction in the tradition of the The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Mercies in Disguise is the story of a family that took matters into its own hands when the medical world abandoned them. It’s a story of a family that had to deal with unspeakable tragedy and yet did not allow it to tear them apart. And it is the story of a young woman―Amanda Baxley―who faced the future head on, determined to find a way to disrupt her family’s destiny.

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  • Minnow by James E. McTeer II

    MinnowMinnow is an otherworldly story of a small boy who leaves his dying father's bedside hunting a medicine for a mysterious illness. Sent by his mother to a local druggist in their coastal town, Minnow unexpectedly takes a dark and wondrous journey deep into the ancient Sea Islands, seeking the grave dust of a long-dead hoodoo man to buy him a cure. With only a half-feral dog at his side, Minnow's odyssey is haunted at every turn by the agents of Sorry George, a witch doctor who once stirred up a fever that killed 52 men. Meanwhile, a tempest brews out at sea, threatening to bring untold devastation to the coastal way of life. Minnow is a remarkable debut novel that evokes the fiction of Karen Russell and Lauren Groff a Low Country "Heart of Darkness" about the mysteries of childhood, the sacrifices we make to preserve our families, and the ghosts that linger in the Spanish moss of the South Carolina barrier islands.

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  • Miss Emily by Nuala O'Connor

    Miss EmilyThe American debut of an award-winning Irish writer that brings to life Emily Dickinson and will enthrall fans of "Longbourn "and "Mrs. Poe" 

    Nuala O Connor's enchanting American debut novel, "Miss Emily," reimagines the private life of Emily Dickinson, one of America's most beloved poets, through her own voice and through the eyes of her family's Irish maid. 

    Eighteen-year-old Ada Concannon has just been hired by the respected but eccentric Dickinson family of Amherst, Massachusetts. Despite their difference in age and the upstairs-downstairs divide, Ada strikes up a deep friendship with Miss Emily, the gifted elder daughter living a spinster's life at home. But Emily's passion for words begins to dominate her life. She will wear only white and avoids the world outside the Dickinson homestead. When Ada's safety and reputation are threatened, however, Emily must face down her own demons in order to help her friend, with shocking consequences.

    Buy from an indie | Read the first chapter!

  • Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League by Jonathan Odell

    Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks LeagueSet in pre-Civil Rights Mississippi, Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League is the story of two young mothers, Hazel and Vida one wealthy and white and the other poor and black who have only two things in common: the devastating loss of their children, and a deep and abiding loathing for one another. Embittered and distrusting, Vida is harassed by Delphi s racist sheriff and haunted by the son she lost to the world. Hazel, too, has lost a son and can t keep a grip on her fractured life. After drunkenly crashing her car into a manger scene while gunning for the baby Jesus, Hazel is sedated and bed-ridden. Hazel s husband hires Vida to keep tabs on his unpredictable wife and to care for his sole surviving son. Forced to spend time together with no one else to rely on, the two women find they have more in common than they thought, and together they turn the town on its head. It is the story of a town, a people, and a culture on the verge of a great change that begins with small things, like unexpected friendship."

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  • Mosquitoland by David Arnold

    MosquitolandI am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange.
     
    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.

    Buy from an indie | Read the first chapter!

  • My Father, the Pornographer by Chris Offutt

    My Father, the Pornographer After inheriting 400 novels of pornography written by his father in the 1970s and 80s, critically acclaimed author Chris Offutt sets out to make sense of a complicated father-son relationship in this carefully observed, beautifully written memoir.

    "Clearing Dad's office felt like prospecting within his brain. As I sorted, like an archaeologist, backward through time, I saw a remarkable mind at work, a life lived on its own terms."

    When Andrew Offutt died, his son, Chris, inherited a desk, a rifle, and 1800 pounds of porn. Andrew had been considered the king of twentieth century smut, a career that began as a strategy to pay for his son's orthodontic needs and soon took on a life of its own, peaking during the 70s when the commercial popularity of the erotic novel was at its height.

    With his dutiful wife serving as typist, Andrew wrote from their home in the Kentucky hills, locked away in an office no one dared intrude upon. In this fashion he wrote 400 novels, ranging from pirate porn and ghost porn, to historical porn and time travel porn, to secret agent porn and zombie porn. The more he wrote, the more intense his ambition became, and the more difficult it was for his children to penetrate his world. Over one long summer in his hometown, helping his mother move out of the house, Chris began to examine his deceased father's possessions and realized he finally had an opportunity to come to grips with the mercurial man he always feared but never understood. Offutt takes us on the journey with him, showing us how only in his father's absence could he truly make sense of the man and his legacy. This riveting, evocatively told memoir of a deeply complex father-son relationship proves again why the New York Times Book Review said, Offutt's obvious kin are Richard Ford, Tobias Wolff, and Ernest Hemingway.

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  • My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King

    The life story of Coretta Scott King―wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), and singular twentieth-century American civil and human rights activist―as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life, to Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds.

    Born in 1927 to daringly enterprising parents in the Deep South, Coretta Scott had always felt called to a special purpose. While enrolled as one of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, she became politically and socially active and committed to the peace movement. As a graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music, determined to pursue her own career as a concert singer, she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs as well as shared racial and economic justice goals, she married Dr. King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, and so much more.

    As a widow and single mother of four, she worked tirelessly to found and develop The King Center as a citadel for world peace, lobbied for fifteen years for the US national holiday in honor of her husband, championed for women's, workers’ and gay rights and was a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom and human dignity.

    Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life.

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  • My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

    My Sunshine AwayThe debut novel everyone is talking about...   “The last page is as satisfying as the first.” —Kathryn Stockett  “I really loved this book... I can't praise it enough.”—Anne Rice   “It's a book to read and reread, one that will only get better with time.”—Tom Franklin   

    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. 

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  • My Sweet Vidalia by Deborah Mantella

    My Sweet VidaliaOn July 4, 1955, in rural Georgia, an act of violence threatens the life of Vidalia Lee Kandal's pre-born daughter. Despite the direst of circumstances, the spirit of the lost child refuses to leave her ill-equipped young mother's side.

    For as long as she is needed through troubled pregnancies, through poverty, through spousal abuse and agonizing betrayals Cieli Mae, the determined spirit child, narrates their journey. Serving as a safe place and sounding board for Vidalia's innermost thoughts and confusions, lending a strength to her momma's emerging voice, Cieli Mae provides her own special brand of comfort and encouragement, all the while honoring the restrictions imposed by her otherworldly status.

    Vidalia finds further support in such unlikely townsfolk and relations as Doc Feldman, Gamma Gert and her Wild Women of God, and, most particularly, in Ruby Pearl Banks, the kind, courageous church lady, who has suffered her own share of heartache in their small Southern town of yesteryear's prejudices and presumptions.

    "My Sweet Vidalia" is wise and witty, outstanding for its use of vibrant, poetic language and understated Southern dialect, as well as Mantella's clear-eyed observations of "race relations" as "human relations," a cast of unforgettable characters, an in-depth exploration of the ties that bind, and its creative perspective. My Sweet Vidalia is a rare, wonderful, and complex look at hope, strength, the unparalleled power of unconditional love, and a young mother's refusal to give up.

    ..

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  • Nine Island by Jane Alison

    Nine Island is a crackling incantation, brittle and brilliant and hot and sad and full of sideways humor that devastates and illuminates all at once.”--Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies

    Nine Island is an intimate autobiographical novel, told by J, a woman who lives in a glass tower on one of Miami Beach’s lush Venetian Islands. After decades of disaster with men, she is trying to decide whether to withdraw forever from romantic love. Having just returned to Miami from a monthlong reunion with an old flame, “Sir Gold,” and a visit to her fragile mother, J begins translating Ovid’s magical stories about the transformations caused by Eros. “A woman who wants, a man who wants nothing. These two have stalked the world for thousands of years,” she thinks.

    When not ruminating over her sexual past and current fantasies, in the company of only her aging cat, J observes the comic, sometimes steamy goings-on among her faded-glamour condo neighbors. One of them, a caring nurse, befriends her, eventually offering the opinion that “if you retire from love . . . then you retire from life.”

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  • Ninety-Nine Stories of God by Joy Williams

    From “quite possibly America’s best living writer of short stories” (NPR), Ninety-Nine Stories of God finds Joy Williams reeling between the sublime and the surreal, knocking down the barriers between the workaday and the divine.

    Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Joy Williams has a one-of-a-kind gift for capturing both the absurdity and the darkness of everyday life. In Ninety-Nine Stories of God, she takes on one of mankind’s most confounding preoccupations: the Supreme Being.

    This series of short, fictional vignettes explores our day-to-day interactions with an ever-elusive and arbitrary God. It’s the Book of Common Prayer as seen through a looking glass—a powerfully vivid collection of seemingly random life moments. The figures that haunt these stories range from Kafka (talking to a fish) to the Aztecs, Tolstoy to Abraham and Sarah, O. J. Simpson to a pack of wolves. Most of Williams’s characters, however, are like the rest of us: anonymous strivers and bumblers who brush up against God in the least expected places or go searching for Him when He’s standing right there. The Lord shows up at a hot-dog-eating contest, a demolition derby, a formal gala, and a drugstore, where he’s in line to get a shingles vaccination. At turns comic and yearning, lyric and aphoristic, Ninety-Nine Stories of God serves as a pure distillation of one of our great artists.

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  • No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts

    No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts

    Named one of the most anticipated books of 2017 by Entertainment Weekly, Nylon, Elle, and The Chicago Review of Books.

    JJ Ferguson has returned home to Pinewood, North Carolina, to build his dream house and to pursue his high school sweetheart, Ava. But as he reenters his former world, where factories are in decline and the legacy of Jim Crow is still felt, he’s startled to find that the people he once knew and loved have changed just as much as he has. Ava is now married and desperate for a baby, though she can’t seem to carry one to term. Her husband, Henry, has grown distant, frustrated by the demise of the furniture industry, which has outsourced to China and stripped the area of jobs. Ava’s mother, Sylvia, caters to and meddles with the lives of those around her, trying to fill the void left by her absent son. And Don, Sylvia’s unworthy but charming husband, just won’t stop hanging around.

    JJ’s return--and his plans to build a huge mansion overlooking Pinewood and woo Ava--not only unsettles their family, but stirs up the entire town. The ostentatious wealth that JJ has attained forces everyone to consider the cards they’ve been dealt, what more they want and deserve, and how they might go about getting it. Can they reorient their lives to align with their wishes rather than their current realities? Or are they all already resigned to the rhythms of the particular lives they lead?

    No One Is Coming to Save Us is a revelatory debut from an insightful voice; with echoes of The Great Gatsby it is an arresting and powerful novel about an extended African American family and their colliding visions of the American Dream. In evocative prose, Stephanie Powell Watts has crafted a full and stunning portrait that combines a universally resonant story with an intimate glimpse into the hearts of one family.

    No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts | Ecco Press | 9780062472984 | $26.99

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  • No One Knows by J.T. Ellison

    No One KnowsIn an obsessive mystery as thrilling as "The Girl on the Train" and "The Husband's Secret," "New York Times" bestselling author J.T. Ellison will make you question every twist in her page-turning novel and wonder which of her vividly drawn characters you should trust.

    The day Aubrey Hamilton's husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn t want to move on; she wants Josh back. It's been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage they were happy, weren t they? screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn t Josh show up at his friend's bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?

    In "No One Knows," the "New York Times" bestselling coauthor of the Nicholas Drummond series expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. This masterful thriller for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins will pull readers into a you ll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops no one knows. 

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  • No Shred of Evidence by Charles Todd

    No Shred of EvidenceScotland Yard’s Inspector Ian Rutledge is caught up in a twisted web of vengeance, old grievances, past secrets, and a shocking accusation of murder involving four unlikely suspects in this absorbing entry in the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series.

    On the north coast of Cornwall, on a warm autumn day, an apparent act of mercy is repaid with an arrest. Four young women of good family, out boating on the River Camel, see a young man alone in another boat that appears to be sinking. In the commotion of the rescue, Harry Saunders, the local banker’s son, is gravely injured. A witness to the event, an upstanding local farmer, accuses the women of attempted murder. Taken into custody, they are placed under house arrest. A shocked father calls in a favor at the Home Office, asking Scotland Yard to review the case. When the original inspector suffers a heart attack, a very reluctant Ian Rutledge is sent to Padstow—too near the scene of another case whose tragic end still haunts him.

    Unable to find his dead predecessor’s notes, Rutledge is informed that the investigation is all but closed. With the victim in a coma, there is no one to refute the accusations of the witness. Though Rutledge agrees that circumstances look bad for the young women, he still must determine whether they harmed the young man—and what may have motivated them. His inquiry takes an unexpected personal turn when he discovers that one of the accused is none other than the attractive, levelheaded cousin of the woman he intended to marry in 1914.

    To find not just the truth but proof of it, Rutledge will require all his skill to deal with the very powerful and very angry families of the accused, the grieving parents of the victim, local police eager to see these four privileged women sent to the infamous Bodmin Gaol, and his own painful memories. And then another person is savagely attacked—but with the suspects in custody, why hasn’t the killing stopped? The only clue leads nowhere.

    With no shred of evidence to clear the young women, Rutledge must delve deep into the darkest secrets of a wild, beautiful, and dangerous place if he is to find a killer who may—or may not—hold the key to their fate. 

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  • One Good Mama Bone by Bren McClain

    Set in early 1950s rural South Carolina, One Good Mama Bone chronicles Sarah Creamer’s quest to find her “mama bone,” after she is left to care for a boy who is not her own but instead is the product of an affair between her husband and her best friend and neighbor, a woman she calls “Sister.” When her husband drinks himself to death, Sarah, a dirt-poor homemaker with no family to rely on and the note on the farm long past due, must find a way for her and young Emerson Bridge to survive. But the more daunting obstacle is Sarah’s fear that her mother’s words, seared in her memory since she first heard them at the age of six, were a prophesy, “You ain’t got you one good mama bone in you, girl.”

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  • Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks

    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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  • Perfume River by Robert Olen Butler

    From one of America’s most important writers, Perfume River is an exquisite novel that examines family ties and the legacy of the Vietnam War through the portrait of a single North Florida family.

    Robert Quinlan is a seventy-year-old historian, teaching at Florida State University, where his wife Darla is also tenured. Their marriage, forged in the fervor of anti-Vietnam-war protests, now bears the fractures of time, both personal and historical, with the couple trapped in an existence of morning coffee and solitary jogging and separate offices. For Robert and Darla, the cracks remain under the surface, whereas the divisions in Robert’s own family are more apparent: he has almost no relationship with his brother Jimmy, who became estranged from the family as the Vietnam War intensified. Robert and Jimmy’s father, a veteran of WWII, is coming to the end of his life, and aftershocks of war ripple across their lives once again, when Jimmy refuses to appear at his father’s bedside. And an unstable homeless man whom Robert at first takes to be a fellow Vietnam veteran turns out to have a deep impact not just on Robert, but on his entire family.

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  • Phenomenal by Leigh Ann Henion

    Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer's Search for Wonder in the Natural World  Elizabeth Gilbert, author of The Signature of All Things and Eat, Pray, Love
    “What a cool and fascinating ride. Leigh Ann Henion has tackled one of the great questions of contemporary, intelligent, adventurous women: Is it possible to be a wife and mother and still explore the world? Her answer seems to be that this is not only possible, but essential. This story shows how. I think it will open doors for many.”

    Heartfelt and awe-inspiring, Leigh Ann Henion’s Phenomenal is a moving tale of physical grandeur and emotional transformation, a journey around the world that ultimately explores the depths of the human heart. A journalist and young mother, Henion combines her own varied experiences as a parent with a panoramic tour of the world’s most extraordinary natural wonders.

    Phenomenal begins in hardship: with Henion deeply shaken by the birth of her beloved son, shocked at the adversity a young mother faces with a newborn. The lack of sleep, the shrinking social circle, the health difficulties all collide and force Henion to ask hard questions about our accepted wisdom on parenting and the lives of women. Convinced that the greatest key to happiness—both her own and that of her family—lies in periodically venturing into the wider world beyond home, Henion sets out on a global trek to rekindle her sense of wonder.

    Henion’s quest takes her far afield, but it swiftly teaches her that freedom is its own form of parenting—one that ultimately allows her to meet her son on his own terms with a visceral understanding of the awe he experiences every day at the fresh new world. Whether standing on the still-burning volcanoes of Hawai‘i or in the fearsome lightning storms of Venezuela, amid the vast animal movements of Tanzania or the elegant butterfly migrations of Mexico, Henion relates a world of sublimity and revelation.

    Henion’s spiritual wanderlust puts her in the path of modern-day shamans, reindeer herders, and astrophysicists. She meets laypeople from all over the world, from all walks of life, going to great lengths to chase migrations, auroras, eclipses, and other phenomena. These seekers trust their instincts, follow their passions, shape their days into the lives they most want to lead. And, somewhere along the way, Leigh Ann Henion becomes one of them.

    A breathtaking memoir, Phenomenal reveals unforgettable truths about motherhood, spirituality, and the beauty of nature.

    Ruth Ozeki , author of A Tale for the Time Being
    “Leigh Ann Henion’s exhilarating book (and life!) is everything the title suggests and more. ReadingPhenomenal will give you courage—courage to explore the world we live in, and further, courage to explore your self. With moments of breath-stealing beauty, wild intelligence, and unrelenting honesty, Phenomenal is a true gift for everyone who’s ever been curious.”

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  • Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain

    Pretending to DanceMolly Arnette is very good at keeping secrets. She and her husband live in San Diego, where they hope to soon adopt a baby. But the process terrifies her. As the questions and background checks come one after another, Molly worries that the truth she's kept hidden about her North Carolina childhood will rise to the surface and destroy not only her chance at adoption, but her marriage as well. She ran away from her family twenty years ago after a shocking event left her devastated and distrustful of those she loved: Her mother, the woman who raised her and who Molly says is dead but is very much alive. Her birth mother, whose mysterious presence raised so many issues. The father she adored, whose death sent her running from the small community of Morrison Ridge. Now, as she tries to find a way to make peace with her past and embrace a future filled with promise, she discovers that even she doesn't know the truth of what happened in her family of pretenders. Told with Diane Chamberlain's compelling prose and gift for deft exploration of the human heart, "Pretending to Dance" is an exploration of family, lies, and the complexities of both..

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  • Pure Heart by Troy Ball

    Troylyn Ball and her husband, Charlie, an engineer and real estate investor, had spent their entire lives in Texas. But after a near fatal trip to the emergency room with their mute, wheelchair-bound son Coulton, they admitted the dust and the heat were too dangerous. To save their boys, the Balls cashed out, sold their beloved farm, and moved to Asheville, North Carolina.

    Nearing fifty, Troy thought her chance at adventure had passed. But in this booming little Appalachian Mountain city of hippies, farmers, artisans, and retirees, she unexpectedly discovered a support network and something she’d never had in twenty-five years of providing round-the-clock care for her special needs boys: the freedom to pursue her own dreams. She struck up a friendship with a legendary eighty-year-old raconteur from the mountains, met his friends, and soon found herself in a rickety country shack with an ingeniously inventive retired farmer trying to create the best recipe ever for traditional mountain moonshine.

    But when the real estate bubble burst and the collapse of her husband Charlie’s new venture in Asheville left them deeply in debt, Troy realized her ten-year business plan for Troy & Sons Platinum Whiskey wasn’t enough. If she was going to save her family—and she was definitely going to save her family—she needed to become the most successful woman in the legal whiskey business. And she needed to do it fast, before the bank took her house, her business, and everything she’d worked so hard to achieve.

    Full of eccentric characters and charming locations—from a "haunted" cabin in the mountains to the last farm in the world to grow heritage Crooked Creek corn—Pure Heart is a charming story of a woman who set out to find a purpose in the most unexpected of places, and ended up finding happiness, contentment, and a community of love and respect.

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  • Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat by Patricia Williams

    Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat by Patricia WilliamsA remarkably bold and inspiring story of crime, motherhood, and redemption—not since Cupcake Brown's A Piece of Cake has there been a memoir this unforgettable.

    You want to know about the struggle of growing up poor, black, and female? Ask any girl from any 'hood. You want to know what it takes to rise above your circumstances when all the cards are stacked against you? Ask me.

    Comedian Patricia Williams, who for years went by her street name "Rabbit," was born and raised in Atlanta's most troubled neighborhood at the height of the crack epidemic.

    One of five children, Pat watched as her alcoholic mother struggled to get by on charity, cons, and petty crimes. At age seven, Pat was taught to roll drunks for money. At twelve, she was targeted for sex by a man eight years her senior; by thirteen, she was pregnant. By fifteen, Pat was a mother of two.

    Alone at sixteen, Pat was determined to make a better life for her children. But with no job skills and an eighth-grade education, her options were limited. She learned quickly that hustling and humor were the only tools she had to survive.

    Rabbit is an unflinching memoir of cinematic scope and unexpected humor that offers a rare glimpse into the harrowing reality of life on America's margins—a powerful true story of resilience, determination, and the transformative power of love.

    Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat by Patricia Williams | Dey Street Books | 9780062407306

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  • Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

    Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie's picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show-business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship — and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.

    Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo returns to her roots with a moving, masterful story of an unforgettable summer friendship.

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  • Redemption Road by John Hart

    Over 2 million copies of his books in print. The first and only author to win back-to-back Edgars for Best Novel. Every book a New York Times bestseller. After five years, John Hart is back.

    Since his debut bestseller, The King of Lies, reviewers across the country have heaped praise on John Hart, comparing his writing to that of Pat Conroy, Cormac McCarthy and Scott Turow. Each novel has taken Hart higher on the New York Times Bestseller list as his masterful writing and assured evocation of place have won readers around the world and earned history's only consecutive Edgar Awards for Best Novel with DOWN RIVER and THE LAST CHILD. Now, Hart delivers his most powerful story yet. 

    Imagine:

    A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother.

    A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting.

    After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free as deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, a body cools in pale linen…

    This is a town on the brink.

    This is Redemption Road.

    Brimming with tension, secrets, and betrayal, REDEMPTION ROAD proves again that John Hart is a master of the literary thriller.

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  • Refugee by Alan Gratz

    Refugee by Alan GratzJOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world...

    ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America...

    MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe...

    All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers--from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.

    This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.

    Refugee by Alan Gratz | Scholastic Press | 9780545880831 | Read the first chapter

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  • Risky Undertaking: A Buryin' Barry Mystery by Mark de Castrique

    Risky Undertaking: A Buryin' Barry Mystery by Mark de CastriqueWhen Cherokee burial remains are unearthed on the site expanding a local cemetery, the dual occupations of Barry Clayton, part-time deputy and full-time undertaker, collide. Then, during the interment of the wife of one of Gainesboro, North Carolina s most prominent citizens, Cherokee activist Jimmy Panther leads a protest. Words and - fists fly. When Panther turns up executed on the grave of the deceased woman, Barry is forced to confront her family as the chief suspects. But the case lurches in a new direction with the arrival of Sheriff Tommy Lee Wadkin s Army pal, Boston cop Kevin Malone. He s on the trail of a Boston hit man who arrived at the Cherokee reservation only days before the murder. Malone is convinced his quarry is the triggerman. But who paid him? And why? The accelerating investigation draws Barry onto the reservation where Panther s efforts to preserve Cherokee traditions threatened the development of a new casino, a casino bringing millions of dollars of construction plus huge yearly payouts to every member of the tribe. Leading an unlikely team his childhood nemesis Archie Donovan and his elderly fellow undertaker Uncle Wayne Barry goes undercover. But the stakes are higher than he realized in this risky undertaking. And the life of a Cherokee boy becomes the wager. Barry must play his cards very carefully

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  • Robert Walker by Corey Mesler

    “Robert Walker, the main character of Corey Mesler’s book of the same name is a man adrift in Memphis. Walker is homeless and he moves through the city connecting with both his own past and the city’s needy and vulnerable. Readers will find something gentle, wise and moving in these pages.”

    —Darcey Steinke, author of Sister Golden Hair and Suicide Blonde

    Robert Walker is homeless. He awakes one morning in his box to find half his face paralyzed. In perplexity, in anguish, he moves. He walks to mimic normality and he walks because it is what he does. Walking for Robert Walker is life. The novel follows two crucial days in his journey while he traverses the city of Memphis, encountering the familiar, the foreign, the desolate and the joyous. During these two days Robert Walker is forced to face himself and, in opposition to his dedication to a desired anonymity, he is forced to rejoin the world.

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  • Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams

    Ruthless
A spine-tingling debut about the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse in reverse as a teen struggles to retain hope--and her sanity--while on the run from a cunning and determined killer. 

    Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It's no wonder people call her Ruthless. 

    When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup trick, she realizes she has been entered into a contest she can't afford to lose. 

    At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth's blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before. 

    The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won't go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That's when the real battle begins. That's when Ruth must decides just how far she'll go in order to survive. 

    Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were.

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  • Sam Phillips by Peter Guralnick

    Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' RollThe author of the critically acclaimed Elvis Presley biography "Last Train to Memphis" brings us the life of Sam Phillips, the visionary genius who singlehandedly steered the revolutionary path of Sun Records. The music that he shaped in his tiny Memphis studio with artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Ike Turner, Howlin' Wolf, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, introduced a sound that had never been heard before. He brought forth a singular mix of black and white voices passionately proclaiming the vitality of the American vernacular tradition while at the same time declaring, once and for all, a new, "integrated" musical day. With extensive interviews and firsthand personal observations extending over a 25-year period with Phillips, along with wide-ranging interviews with nearly all the legendary Sun Records artists, Guralnick gives us an ardent, unrestrained portrait of an American original as compelling in his own right as Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, or Thomas Edison.

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  • Season of Fear by Brian Freeman

    A Season of FearInternational Thriller Writers award-winner and bestselling author Brian Freeman has established himself as a master of psychological thrillers. In his latest, A Season of Fear, Freeman returns to the sun-drenched beaches of Naples, Florida and the idiosyncratic world of Detective Cab Bolton.

    Attractive and popular politician Diane Fairmont is running for the Florida governorship, but a chill is cast over the campaign when she receives an anonymous note announcing the return of the assassin who killed her husband ten years earlier. Because of complicated ties between Fairmont and his mother, movie actress Tarla Bolton, Detective Bolton is assigned to the case.

    As Bolton struggles to penetrate the veil of secrecy surrounding the Fairmont campaign, he begins to realize that the death threat is not the only danger faced by the campaign staff. A desperate race against the clock ensues as Bolton tries to unlock the secrets of a poisonous conspiracy before nature provides the perfect cover for a long-dormant killer to strike again.

    Buy from an indie | Read the first chapter!

  • Seeds of Freedom by Hester Bass

    Secret Wisdom of the EarthExplore a little-known story of the civil rights movement, in which black and white citizens in one Alabama city worked together nonviolently to end segregation.

    Mention the civil rights era in Alabama, and most people recall images of terrible violence. But something different was happening in Huntsville. For the citizens of that city, creativity, courage, and cooperation were the keys to working together to integrate their city and schools in peace. In an engaging celebration of this lesser-known chapter in American and African-American history, author Hester Bass and illustrator E. B. Lewis show children how racial discrimination, bullying, and unfairness can be faced successfully with perseverance and ingenuity.

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  • Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

    Serafina and the Black Cloak"Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul."

    Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate.There's plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. 

    But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one. 

    Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.

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  • Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann

    Shadow of the Lions by Christopher SwannIn the middle of his senior year at the Blackburne School in Virginia, Matthias Glass's roommate and best friend Fritz Davenport runs off into the woods after the two boys have an argument--and vanishes without a trace. Ever since, Matthias has felt responsible, thinking that their fight, about a betrayal of the school's honor code, led to Fritz's disappearance.

    A decade later, after an early triumph with his first novel, followed by too much partying and too little work, Matthias realizes he has stalled out and become a failure as a writer, a boyfriend, a man. So when he is offered a job at Blackburne as an English teacher, he sees it as a chance to put his life back together. But once on campus, Matthias gets swiftly drawn into the past and is driven to find out what happened to Fritz. Along the way he must reckon with Fritz's complicated and powerful Washington, D.C., family and the shocking death of a student--and begin to understand his own place in the privileged world of Blackburne.

    In the spirit of film noir, Shadow of the Lions takes plenty of dark, surprising twists--it's a thriller, but also a moving debut that is as much about the mystery as it is about the redemption of a broken friendship and a lost soul.

    Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann | Algonquin Books | 9781616205003

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  • Signals by Tim Gautreaux

    A widely celebrated novelist gives us a generous collection of exhilarating short stories, proving that he is a master of this genre as well. Once again, "he reminds us," wrote the Miami Herald, "that great writing is a timeless art."

    After the stunning historical novels The Clearing and The Missing, Tim Gautreaux now ranges freely through contemporary life with twelve new stories and eight from previous collections. Most are set in his beloved Louisiana, many hard by or on the Mississippi River, others in North Carolina and even in midwinter Minnesota. But generally it's heat, humidity, and bugs that beset his people as they wrestle with affairs of the heart, matters of faith, and the pros and cons of tight-knit communities--a remarkable cast of characters, primarily of the working class, proud and knowledgeable about the natural or mechanical world, their lives marked by a prized stereo or a magical sewing machine retrieved from a locked safe, boats and card games and casinos, grandparents and grandchildren and those in between, their experiences leading them to the ridiculous or the scarifying or the sublime; most of them striving for what's right and good, others tearing off in the opposite direction.

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  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

    Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn WardA searing and profound Southern odyssey by National Book Award–winner Jesmyn Ward.

    In Jesmyn Ward's first novel since her National Book Award–winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. Drawing on Morrison and Faulkner, The Odyssey and the Old Testament, Ward gives us an epochal story, a journey through Mississippi's past and present that is both an intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Ward is a major American writer, multiply awarded and universally lauded, and in Sing, Unburied, Sing she is at the height of her powers.

    Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she's high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie's children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise.

    Sing, Unburied, Sing grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family. Rich with Ward's distinctive, musical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an essential contribution to American literature.

    Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward | Scribner Book Company | 9781501126062

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  • Sister Golden Hair by Darcey Steinke

    Sister Golden HairWhen Jesse's family moves to Roanoke, Virginia, in the summer of 1972, she's 12 years old and already mindful of the schism between innocence and femininity, the gap between childhood and the adult world. Her father, a former pastor, cycles through spiritual disciplines as quickly as he cycles through jobs. Her mother is dissatisfied, glumly fetishizing the Kennedys and anyone else that symbolizes status and wealth. The residents of the Bent Tree housing development may not hold what Jesse is looking for, but they're all she's got. Her neighbor speaks of her married lover; her classmate playacts being a Bunny at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Club; the boy she's interested in fantasizes about moving to Hollywood and befriending David Soul. In the midst of it all, Jesse finds space to set up her room with her secret treasures: busts of Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare, a Venus flytrap, her Cher 45s, and "The Big Book of Burial Rites," which she reads obsessively. But outside awaits all the misleading sexual mores, muddled social customs, and confused spirituality. Girlhood has never been more fraught than in Jesse's telling, its expectations threatening to turn at any point into delicious risk, or real danger.

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  • Sisters of Shiloh by Kathy & Becky Hepinstall

    Secret Wisdom of the EarthA best-selling novelist enlists her own sister to bring us the story of two Southern sisters, disguised as men, who join the Confederate Army--one seeking vengeance on the battlefield, the other finding love. 

    In a war pitting brother against brother, two sisters choose their own battle. 

    Joseph and Thomas are fresh recruits for the Confederate Army, daring to join the wild fray that has become the seemingly endless Civil War, sharing everything with their fellow soldiers--except the secret that would mean their undoing: they are sisters. 

    Before the war, Joseph and Thomas were Josephine and Libby. But that bloodiest battle, Antietam, leaves Libby to find her husband, Arden, dead. She vows vengeance, dons Arden's clothes, and sneaks off to enlist with the Stonewall Brigade, swearing to kill one Yankee for every year of his too-short life. Desperate to protect her grief-crazed sister, Josephine insists on joining her. Surrounded by flying bullets, deprivation, and illness, the sisters are found by other dangers: Libby is hurtling toward madness, haunted and urged on by her husband's ghost; Josephine is falling in love with a fellow soldier. She lives in fear both of revealing their disguise and of losing her first love before she can make her heart known to him. 

    In her trademark "vibrant" ("Washington Post Book World") and "luscious" ("Atlanta Journal-Constitution") prose, Kathy Hepinstall joins with her sister Becky to show us the hopes of love and war, the impossible-to-sever bonds of sisterhood, and how what matters most can both hurt us and heal us.

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  • Skin Again by bell hooks, Chris Raschka

    Skin Again by bell hooks; Chris Raschka

    "The skin I'm in is just a covering. It cannot tell my story. The skin I'm in is just a covering. If you want to know who I am, you have got to come inside and open your heart way wide."

    Celebrating all that makes us unique and different, Skin Again offers new ways to talk about race and identity. Race matters, but only so much--what's most important is who we are on the inside. Looking beyond skin, going straight to the heart, we find in each other the treasures stored down deep. Learning to cherish those treasures, to be all we imagine ourselves to be, makes us free.

    This award-winning book, with its myriad faces, introduces a strong message of loving yourself and others that will appeal to parents of our youngest readers.

    Skin Again by bell hooks; Chris Raschka | Jump at the Sun | 9781484799239 | $12.99

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  • Small Treasons by Mark Powell

    Small Treasons by Mark Powell

    In this thrilling new novel for fans of Adam Johnson's Fortune Smiles and Denis Johnson's The Laughing Monsters, four people's lives converge as they are consumed by the dangers of the world, both real and imagined.

    Tess is a stay-at-home mother who has developed an odd obsession: watching terrorist ransom videos online. She's become fixated on one in particular--an American journalist being held by ISIS. Her husband, John, is more distant than ever, and in her isolation Tess finds an eerie resonance between the journalist's captivity and her own.

    John is haunted by his past: dead wife, an estranged daughter, a murky career path. Now employed at a small college in Georgia, he is rattled when a former associate, James Stone, approaches him with a favor--or rather, a demand. John's colleague, Professor Edward Hadawi, is being investigated by the FBI for his involvement with an extremist religious group, and if John doesn't turn over files from their shared hard drive, he may finally face repercussions for his own questionable work at Site Nine years earlier.

    James is looking for Hadawi and Reed Sharma, a young man who has fallen under his spell. Tormented by the part he's played in entrapping countless youth on the edge, James will stop at nothing to find the boy and assuage his conscience.

    Beautifully written and featuring authentic characters, this is an astonishing and powerful novel about the search for meaning in an increasingly violent and divided world.

    Small Treasons by Mark Powell | Gallery Books | 9781507203385 | $24.99

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  • Soil by Jamie Kornegay

    Soil

    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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  • Sunshine State: Essays by Sarah Gerard

    The Sunshine State: Essays by Sarah Gerard

    A Chicago Tribune Exciting Book for 2017 • A Buzzfeed Most Exciting Book for 2017 • A The Millions Great 2017 Preview Pick• A Huffington Post 2017 Preview Pick • A PW Spring 2017 Top 10 Pick in Essays & Literary Criticism

    "Brave, keenly observational, and humanitarian…. Gerard's collection leaves an indelible impression." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

    "These large-hearted, meticulous essays offer an uncanny x-ray of our national psyche... showing us both the grand beauty of our American dreams and the heartbreaking devastation they wreak." -- Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

    Sarah Gerard follows her breakout novel, Binary Star, with the dynamic essay collection Sunshine State, which explores Florida as a microcosm of the most pressing economic and environmental perils haunting our society.

    In the collection's title essay, Gerard volunteers at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, a world renowned bird refuge. There she meets its founder, who once modeled with a pelican on his arm for a Dewar's Scotch campaign but has since declined into a pit of fraud and madness. He becomes our embezzling protagonist whose tales about the birds he "rescues" never quite add up. Gerard's personal stories are no less eerie or poignant: An essay that begins as a look at Gerard's first relationship becomes a heart-wrenching exploration of acquaintance rape and consent. An account of intimate female friendship pivots midway through, morphing into a meditation on jealousy and class.

    With the personal insight of The Empathy Exams, the societal exposal of Nickel and Dimed, and the stylistic innovation and intensity of her own break-out debut novel Binary Star, Sarah Gerard's Sunshine State uses the intimately personal to unearth the deep reservoirs of humanity buried in the corners of our world often hardest to face.

    The Sunshine State: Essays by Sarah Gerard | Harper Perennial | 9780062434876 | $16.99

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  • Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson

    "Elegantly written,Tears We Cannot Stop is powerful in several areas: moving personal recollections; profound cultural analysis; and guidance for moral redemption. A work to relish.” ―Toni Morrison

    "Here’s a sermon that’s as fierce as it is lucid. It shook me up, but in a good way. This is how it works if you’re black in America, this is what happens, and this is how it feels. If you’re black, you’ll feel a spark of recognition in every paragraph. If you’re white, Dyson tells you what you need to know―what this white man needed to know, at least. This is a major achievement. I read it and said amen.” ―Stephen King

    As the country grapples with racist division at a level not seen since the 1960s, one man's voice is heard above the rest. In his New York Times op-ed piece "Death in Black and White," Michael Eric Dyson moved a nation. Isabel Wilkerson called it "an unfiltered Marlboro of black pain" and "crushingly powerful," and Beyonce tweeted about it. Now he continues to speak out in Tears We Cannot Stop―a provocative and deeply personal call for change. Dyson argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted. In the tradition of James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time―short, emotional, literary, powerful―this is the book that all Americans who care about the current and long-burning crisis in race relations will want to read.

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  • The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

    The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn JacksonWith empathy, grace, humor, and piercing insight, the author of Gods in Alabama pens a powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South that confronts the truth about privilege, family, and the distinctions between perception and reality---the stories we tell ourselves about our origins and who we really are.

    Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs' weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.

    It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She's having a baby boy—an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old's life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel's marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she's been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.

    Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother's affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she's pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she's got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie's been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family's freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.

    The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson | William Morrow & Company | 9780062105714 | Read the first chapter

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