• 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.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell

    The Feathered BoneFeathers no matter what size or shape or color are all the same, if you think about them. They're soft. Delicate. But the secret thing about feathers is . . . they are very strong.

    In the pre-Katrina glow of New Orleans, Amanda Salassi is anxious about chaperoning her daughter's sixth grade field trip to the Big Easy during Halloween. And then her worst fears come true. Her daughter's best friend, Sarah, disappears amid the magic and revelry gone, without a trace.

    Unable to cope with her guilt, Amanda's daughter sinks in depression. And Amanda's husband turns destructive as he watches his family succumb to grief. Before long, Amanda's whole world has collapsed.

    Amanda knows she has to save herself before it's too late. As she continues to search for Sarah, she embarks on a personal journey, seeking hope and purpose in the wake of so much tragedy and loss.

    Set amidst the murky parishes of rural Louisiana and told through the eyes of two women who confront the darkest corners of humanity with quiet and unbreakable faith, The Feathered Bone is Julie Cantrell's master portrait of love in a fallen world.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.

    Buy from an indie | Read the first chapter!

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 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. 

    Buy from an indie | Read the first chapter

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 Barrowfields by Phillip Lewis

    A richly textured coming-of-age story about fathers and sons, home and family, recalling classics by Thomas Wolfe and William Styron, by a powerful new voice in fiction.

    Just before Henry Aster’s birth, his father—outsized literary ambition and pregnant wife in tow—reluctantly returns to the small Appalachian town in which he was raised and installs his young family in an immense house of iron and glass perched high on the side of a mountain. There, Henry grows up under the writing desk of this fiercely brilliant man. But when tragedy tips his father toward a fearsome unraveling, what was once a young son’s reverence is poisoned and Henry flees, not to return until years later when he, too, must go home again.

    Mythic in its sweep and mesmeric in its prose, The Barrowfields is a breathtaking debut about the darker side of devotion, the limits of forgiveness, and the reparative power of shared pasts.

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  • The Bone Tree by Greg Iles

    The Bone Tree#1 New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles continues the electrifying story he began in his smashing New York Times bestseller Natchez Burning with this highly anticipated second volume in an epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

    Southern prosecutor Penn Cage is caught in the darkest maelstrom of his life. The heartbreaking but seemingly straightforward death of his father's African-American nurse, Viola Turner, has fractured Penn's family and turned Dr. Tom Cage into a fugitive from justice. And in the search for his father and his reasons for running, Penn has unwittingly started a war with a violent offshoot of the KKK, the Double Eagles, whose members seem to know much more about Tom's past than Penn or his mother ever did.

    Desperately following his father's trail, Penn finds himself in a maze of mirrors, beset on all sides by a family of criminals and corrupt police whose power reaches into the highest levels of state government. To even the odds, Penn must rely on allies whose objectives are very different from his own. FBI special agent John Kaiser sees Tom Cage as the key to closing not only countless civil rights murders, but also the ultimate cold case: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Penn's fiancee, journalist Caitlin Masters, is chasing the biggest story of her career and believes Tom can lead her to evidence of America's most secret, shameful history. In the end, all roads will lead to the mysterious Bone Tree, a legendary killing site that may conceal far more than the remains of the forgotten.

    Penn now knows that the death of Viola Turner is a door to the darkest chapters of America's past. In the civil rights battleground that was 1960s Mississippi and Louisiana, powerful men had audacious, sweeping agendas, and their violent race murders concealed a conspiracy that ran wide and deep, involving the New Orleans Mafia, a Double Eagle hit squad, and a world- altering murder in Dealey Plaza in 1963. And if the FBI can be believed, somehow Dr. Tom Cage stands at the center of it all.

    Enthralling, captivating, and utterly engrossing, The Bone Tree is a masterpiece of modern suspense and the next novel in the monumental trilogy that Greg Iles was born to write.

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  • The Book of Isaias by Daniel Connolly

    In a green town in the middle of America, a bright 18-year-old Hispanic student named Isaias Ramos sets out on the journey to college.

    Isaias, who passed a prestigious national calculus test as a junior and leads the quiz bowl team, is the hope of Kingsbury High in Memphis, a school where many students have difficulty reading. But Kingsbury’s dysfunction, expensive college fees, and forms printed in a language that’s foreign to his parents are all obstacles in the way of getting him to a university.

    Isaias also doubts the value of college and says he might go to work in his family’s painting business after high school, despite his academic potential. Is Isaias making a rational choice? Or does he simply hope to avoid pain by deferring dreams that may not come to fruition? This is what journalist Daniel Connolly attempts to uncover in The Book of Isaias as he follows Isaias, peers into a tumultuous final year of high school, and, eventually, shows how adults intervene in the hopes of changing Isaias’ life.

    Mexican immigration has brought the proportion of Hispanics in the nation’s youth population to roughly one in four. Every day, children of immigrants make decisions about their lives that will shape our society and economy for generations. This engaging, poignant book captures an American microcosm and illustrates broader challenges for our collective future.

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  • The Cantaloupe Thief by Deb Richardson-Moore

    Too many people are staying silent about a ten-year-old murder case and it's time for reporter Branigan Powers to investigate.
    She knows a good story when she sees one, and the case of wealthy Alberta Grambling Resnick's murder definitely makes the cut. Resnick was stabbed in her home after she let it slip that she was planning to change her will. There are plenty of suspects in the death of the matriarch of the town's founding family, but the killer has never been caught.

    Now Branigan must do some serious digging to get her story. She knows the town's homeless community might have seen something; she also knows that the local cops wouldn't have thought of questioning these often invisible people. There's a big problem, though: as Branigan starts digging, the homeless start dying. When her twin brother, a longtime addict, gets involved, the consequences of her investigation may hit a little too close to home.

    Set in the fictional small town of Grambling, Georgia, The Cantaloupe Thief is the first in a new mystery series by Deb Richardson-Moore. The author is herself a former journalist and works extensively with the homeless, lending weight to the portrayal of a believable and engaging whodunnit.

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  • The Drunken Spelunker's Guide to Plato by Kathy Giuffre

    The Drunken Spelunker's Guide to PlatoJust because we're all prisoners in the cave doesn't mean we can't have fun. The Drunken Spelunker's Guide to Plato is based on Plato's Allegory of the Cave from The Republic. In this novel, the Cave is a dank basement bar in the small Southern town of Waterville, overflowing with cheap beer, good blues, and local oddballs. There's Vera, the tough but tender owner; Pancho, the philosophical piano tuner; Billy Joe, the former rising star back home after a stop in Memphis; and Commie Tom, the exceedingly generous proprietor of the Hammer and Sickle Bookstore.

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  • The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish

    Lost in the Sun meets The Thing About Jellyfish in Ali Standish’s breathtaking debut. A poignant middle grade novel of friendship and forgiveness, The Ethan I Was Before is a classic in the making.

    Ethan had been many things. He was always ready for adventure and always willing to accept a dare, especially from his best friend, Kacey. But that was before. Before the accident that took Kacey from him. Before his family moved from Boston to the small town of Palm Knot, Georgia.

    Palm Knot may be tiny, but it’s the home of possibility and second chances. It’s also home to Coralee, a girl with a big personality and even bigger stories. Coralee may be just the friend Ethan needs, except Ethan isn’t the only one with secrets. Coralee’s are catching up with her, and what she’s hiding might be putting both their lives at risk. The Ethan I Was Before is a story of love and loss, wonder and adventure, and ultimately of hope.

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  • The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward

    National Book Award–winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time.

    In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The Progressive magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin’s 1962 “Letter to My Nephew,” which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time. Addressing his fifteen-year-old namesake on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin wrote: “You know and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon.”

    Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward knows that Baldwin’s words ring as true as ever today. In response, she has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States. And she has turned to some of her generation’s most original thinkers and writers to give voice to their concerns.

    The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future. Of the eighteen pieces, ten were written specifically for this volume.

    In the fifty-odd years since Baldwin’s essay was published, entire generations have dared everything and made significant progress. But the idea that we are living in the post-Civil Rights era, that we are a “post-racial” society is an inaccurate and harmful reflection of a truth the country must confront. Baldwin’s “fire next time” is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about.

    Contributors include Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Garnette Cadogan, Edwidge Danticat, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Mitchell S. Jackson, Honoree Jeffers, Kima Jones, Kiese Laymon, Daniel Jose Older, Emily Raboteau, Claudia Rankine, Clint Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Wendy S. Walters, Isabel Wilkerson, and Kevin Young.

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  • The Flying Circus by Susan Crandall

    Flying CircusFrom the bestselling and award-winning author of Whistling Past the Graveyard comes an adventure tale about two daredevils and a farm boy who embark on the journey of a lifetime across America's heartland in the Roaring Twenties. 

    Set in the rapidly changing world of 1920s America, this is a story of three people from very different backgrounds: Henry "Schuler" Jefferson, son of German immigrants from Midwestern farm country; Cora Rose Haviland, a young woman of privilege whose family has lost their fortune; and Charles "Gil" Gilchrist, an emotionally damaged WWI veteran pilot. Set adrift by life-altering circumstances, they find themselves bound together by need and torn apart by blind obsessions and conflicting goals. Each one holds a secret that, if exposed, would destroy their friendship. But their journey of adventure and self-discovery has a price--and one of them won't be able to survive it.

    As they crisscross the heartland, exploring the rapidly expanding role of aviation from barnstorming to bootlegging, from a flying circus to the dangerous sport of air racing, the three companions form a makeshift family. It's a one-of-a-kind family, with members as adventurous as they are vulnerable, and as fascinating as they are flawed. But whatever adventure--worldly or private--they find themselves on, they're guaranteed to be a family you won't forget.

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  • The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

    What isn't written, isn't remembered. Even your crimes. Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person's memories--of parents, children, love, life, and self--are lost. Unless they have been written.

    In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn't written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

    But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence - before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

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  • The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young

    Gates of Evangeline
From a unique new talent comes a fast-paced debut, introducing a heroine whose dark visions bring to light secrets that will heal or destroy those around her . . .

    When New York journalist and recently bereaved mother Charlotte Charlie Cates begins to experience vivid dreams about children she's sure that she's lost her mind. Yet these are not the nightmares of a grieving parent, she soon realizes. They are messages and warnings that will help Charlie and the children she sees, if only she can make sense of them. 

    After a little boy in a boat appears in Charlie's dreams asking for her help, Charlie finds herself entangled in a thirty-year-old missing-child case that has never ceased to haunt Louisiana's prestigious Deveau family. Armed with an invitation to Evangeline, the family's sprawling estate, Charlie heads south, where new friendships and an unlikely romance bring healing. But as she uncovers long-buried secrets of love, money, betrayal, and murder, the facts begin to implicate those she most wants to trust and her visions reveal an evil closer than she could ve imagined.

    A Southern Gothic mystery debut that combines literary suspense and romance with a mystical twist, The Gates oc Evangeline is a story that readers of Gillian Flynn, Kate Atkinson, and Alice Sebold won't be able to put down.

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  • The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollack

    From Donald Ray Pollock, author of the highly acclaimed The Devil All the Time and Knockemstiff, comes a dark, gritty, electrifying (and, disturbingly, weirdly funny) new novel that will solidify his place among the best contemporary American authors.

    It is 1917, in that sliver of border land that divides Georgia from Alabama. Dispossessed farmer Pearl Jewett ekes out a hardscrabble existence with his three young sons: Cane (the eldest; handsome; intelligent); Cob (short; heavy set; a bit slow); and Chimney (the youngest; thin; ill-tempered). Several hundred miles away in southern Ohio, a farmer by the name of Ellsworth Fiddler lives with his son, Eddie, and his wife, Eula. After Ellsworth is swindled out of his family's entire fortune, his life is put on a surprising, unforgettable, and violent trajectory that will directly lead him to cross paths with the Jewetts. No good can come of it. Or can it?

    In the gothic tradition of Flannery O'Connor and Cormac McCarthy with a healthy dose of cinematic violence reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah, Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers, the Jewetts and the Fiddlers will find their lives colliding in increasingly dark and horrific ways, placing Donald Ray Pollock firmly in the company of the genre's literary masters.

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  • The Home Place by J. Drew Lanham

    “In me, there is the red of miry clay, the brown of spring floods, the gold of ripening tobacco. All of these hues are me; I am, in the deepest sense, colored.” From these fertile soils of love, land, identity, family, and race emerges The Home Place, a big-hearted, unforgettable memoir by ornithologist and professor of ecology J. Drew Lanham.

    Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina—a place “easy to pass by on the way somewhere else”—has been home to generations of Lanhams. In The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be “the rare bird, the oddity.”

    By turns angry, funny, elegiac, and heartbreaking, The Home Place is a remarkable meditation on nature and belonging, at once a deeply moving memoir and riveting exploration of the contradictions of black identity in the rural South—and in America today.

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  • The King of the Birds by Acree Graham Macam

    In this picture book, inspired by the life of Flannery O’Connor, a young fan of fowl brings home a peacock to be the king of her collection, but he refuses to show off his colorful tail. The girl goes to great lengths to encourage the peacock to display his plumage — she throws him a party, lets him play in the fig tree, feeds him flowers and stages a parade — all to no avail.

    Then she finally stumbles on the perfect solution. When she introduces the queen of the birds — a peahen — to her collection, the peacock immediately displays his glorious shimmering tail.

    This delightful story, full of humor and heart, celebrates the legacy of a great American writer.
    Includes an author’s note about Flannery O’Connor.

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  • The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson

    The Opposite of EveryoneA fiercely independent divorce lawyer learns the power of family and connection when she receives a cryptic message from her estranged mother in this bittersweet, witty novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Someone Else's Love Story and gods in Alabama an emotionally resonant tale about the endurance of love and the power of stories to shape and transform our lives.

    Born in Alabama, Paula Vauss spent the first decade of her life on the road with her free-spirited young mother, Kai, an itinerant storyteller who blended Hindu mythology with southern oral tradition to reinvent their history as they roved. But everything, including Paula's birth name, Kali Jai, changed when she told a story of her own one that landed Kai in prison and Paula in foster care. With the two of them separated, each holding her own secrets, the intense bond they once shared was fractured.

    These days, Paula has reincarnated herself as a tough-as-nails divorce attorney with a successful practice in Atlanta. While she hasn t seen Kai in fifteen years, she's still making payments on that karmic debt until the day her last check is returned in the mail, along with a mystifying note: I am going on a journey, Kali. I am going back to my beginning; death is not the end. You will be the end. We will meet again, and there will be new stories. You know how Karma works.

    Then Kai's most treasured secret literally lands on Paula's doorstep, throwing her life into chaos and transforming her from only child to older sister. Desperate to find her mother before it's too late, Paula sets off on a journey of discovery that will take her back to the past and into the deepest recesses of her heart. With the help of her ex-lover Birdwine, an intrepid and emotionally volatile private eye who still carries a torch for her, this brilliant woman, an expert at wrecking families, now has to figure out how to put one back together her own.

    The Opposite of Everyoneis a story about story itself, how the tales we tell connect us, break us, and define us, and how the endings and beginnings we choose can destroy us . . . and make us whole. Laced with sharp humor and poignant insight, it is beloved New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson at her very best.

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  • The Other Widow by Susan Crawford

    The author of THE POCKET WIFE explores the dark side of love, marriage, and infidelity in this sizzling novel of psychological suspense.

    Everybody’s luck runs out. This time it could be theirs...

    It isn’t safe. That’s what Joe tells her when he ends their affair—moments before their car skids off an icy road in a blinding snowstorm and hits a tree. Desperate to keep her life intact—her job, her husband, and her precious daughter, Lily—Dorrie will do everything she can to protect herself, even if it means walking away from the wreckage. Dorrie has always been a good actress, pretending to be someone else: the dutiful daughter, the satisfied wife, the woman who can handle anything. Now she’s going to put on the most challenging performance of her life. But details about the accident leave her feeling uneasy and afraid. Why didn’t Joe’s airbag work? Why was his car door open before the EMTs arrived? And now suddenly someone is calling her from her dead lover’s burner phone. . . .

    Joe’s death has left his wife in free fall as well. Karen knew Joe was cheating—she found some suspicious e-mails. Trying to cope with grief is devastating enough without the constant fear that has overtaken her—this feeling she can’t shake that someone is watching her. And with Joe gone and the kids grown, she’s vulnerable . . . and on her own.

    Insurance investigator Maggie Devlin is suspicious of the latest claim that’s landed on her desk—a man dying on an icy road shortly after buying a lucrative life insurance policy. Maggie doesn’t believe in coincidences. The former cop knows that things—and people—are never what they seem to be.

    As the fates of these three women become more tightly entwined, layers of lies and deception begin to peel away, pushing them dangerously to the edge...closer to each other...to a terrifying truth...to a shocking end.

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  • The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry

    The summer of 1972 was the most pivotal of Matt Plumley’s childhood. While his beloved Pirates battle for back-to-back World Series titles, Matt’s family moves from Pittsburgh to Dogwood, West Virginia, where his father steps into the pulpit of a church under the thumb of town leader Basil Blackwood. A fish out of water, Matt is relieved to forge a fast bond with two unlikely friends: Dickie Darrel Lee Hancock, a mixed-race boy, and Jesse Woods, a tough-as-nails girl with a sister on her hip and no dad in sight.

    As the trio traipses the hills and hollers, Matt begins to fall for Jesse, and their promises to each other draw him deeper into her terrifying reality. One night, the wrath of the Blackwoods and the secrets of Jesse’s family collide, and Matt joins Jesse in a rescue that saves one life and ends another . . . and severs the bond of their friendship.

    Years later, Matt is pulled back to Dogwood and to memories of that momentous summer by news of Jesse’s upcoming wedding. He could never shake the feeling that there was more to the story of that fateful night, and he's determined to learn the truth behind the only promise Jesse Woods ever broke.

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  • The Risen by Ron Rash

    New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash demonstrates his superb narrative skills in this suspenseful and evocative tale of two brothers whose lives are altered irrevocably by the events of one long-ago summer—and one bewitching young woman—and the secrets that could destroy their lives.

    While swimming in a secluded creek on a hot Sunday in 1969, sixteen-year-old Eugene and his older brother, Bill, meet the entrancing Ligeia. A sexy, free-spirited redhead from Daytona Beach banished to their small North Carolina town until the fall, Ligeia will not only bewitch the two brothers, but lure them into a struggle that reveals the hidden differences in their natures.

    Drawn in by her raw sensuality and rebellious attitude, Eugene falls deeper under her spell. Ligeia introduces him to the thrills and pleasures of the counterculture movement, then in its headiest moment. But just as the movement’s youthful optimism turns dark elsewhere in the country that summer, so does Eugene and Ligeia’s brief romance. Eugene moves farther and farther away from his brother, the cautious and dutiful Bill, and when Ligeia vanishes as suddenly as she appeared, the growing rift between the two brothers becomes immutable.

    Decades later, their relationship is still turbulent, and the once close brothers now lead completely different lives. Bill is a gifted and successful surgeon, a paragon of the community, while Eugene, the town reprobate, is a failed writer and determined alcoholic.

    When a shocking reminder of the past unexpectedly surfaces, Eugene is plunged back into that fateful summer, and the girl he cannot forget. The deeper he delves into his memories, the closer he comes to finding the truth. But can Eugene’s recollections be trusted? And will the truth set him free and...or destroy his damaged life and everyone he loves?

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  • The River of Kings by Taylor Brown

    The River of Kings, bestselling author of Fallen Land Taylor Brown artfully weaves three narrative strands―two brothers’ journey down an ancient river, their father’s tangled past, and the buried history of the river’s earliest people―to evoke a legendary place and its powerful hold on the human imagination.

    The Altamaha River, Georgia’s “Little Amazon,” is one of the last truly wild places in America. Crossed by roads only five times in its 137 miles, the black-water river is home to thousand-year-old virgin cypress, direct descendants of eighteenth-century Highland warriors, and a staggering array of rare and endangered species. The Altamaha is even rumored to harbor its own river monster, as well as traces of the oldest European fort in North America.

    Brothers Hunter and Lawton Loggins set off to kayak the river, bearing their father’s ashes toward the sea. Hunter is a college student, Lawton a Navy SEAL on leave; they were raised by an angry, enigmatic shrimper who loved the river, and whose death remains a mystery that his sons are determined to solve. As the brothers proceed downriver, their story alternates with that of Jacques le Moyne, the first European artist in North America, who accompanied a 1564 French expedition that began as a search for riches and ended in a bloody confrontation with Spanish conquistadors and native tribes.

    Twining past and present in one compelling narrative, and illustrated with drawings that survived the 1564 expedition, The River of Kings is Taylor Brown’s second novel: a dramatic and rewarding adventure through history, myth, and the shadows of family secrets.

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