Lady Banks' Commonplace Book is a newsletter for people interested in Southern literature, sponsored by booksellers who are members of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and featuring an overview of the literary news and events found on Authors 'Round the South.


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{An opera for collard greens}

In which her ladyship destroys a pumpkin, Shellie Tomlinson's muse does not dress for dinner, Elvis is determined to be dead, Ms. Janisse Ray floats down a river on a raft--on purpose--and somebody finally writes an opera for collard greens.

October 23, 2011

In This Issue

Special to the Southern List

(Books that appear on the Southern list, but not the national list)

Click on a book to purchase from a great indie bookstore!


When She Woke

Feast Day for Fools

Rules of Civility

Paula Deen's Southern Cooking

Lions of the West

Nearing Home

Eighty-Dollar Champion

Crooked Letter Crooked Letter

One Day

The Great House

The Girl Who Played with Fire

Devil in the White City

Emperor of All Maladies

Mere Christianity


Animal Farm

Bad Blood

Night Before Halloween

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Girl Who Never Made Mistakes

Author Readings

Caryl Sherpa, author of I Taste Fire, Earth, Rain: Elements of Life with a at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (10/31/2011)

Joyce Carol Oates, author of A Fair Maiden at Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, SC  (November 1 2011)

Virginia Willis, author of Basic to Brilliant, Y’all: 150 Refined Southern Re at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC  (November 1 2011)

Catherine Gildiner, author of After the Falls: Coming of Age in the Sixties at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (November 1 2011)

starsLisa Patton, author of Yankee Doodle Dixie at That Bookstore in Blytheville in Blytheville, AR  (November 1 2011)

Mark de Castrique, author of The Sandburg Connection at Fountainhead Bookstore in Hendersonville, NC  (November 2 2011)

Thea Summer Deer, author of Wisdom of the Plant Devas: Herbal Medicine for a N at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (11/03/2011)

Lukas Volger, author of Vegetarian Entrees That Won't Leave You Hungry at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (November 3 2011)

John Besh, author of My Family Table at Octavia Books in New Orleans, LA  (November3 2011)

John Jacobsen, author of Commodore of Errors at Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL  (November 3 2011)

Alex Rosenberg, author of The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life With at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (November 3 2011)

Anne Emanuel, author of Elbert Parr Tuttle: Chief Jurist of the Civil Righ at Blue Elephant Book Shop in Decatur, GA  (November 3 2011)

Mary Flinn, author of Second Time's a Charm at Barnhill's in Winston-Salem, NC  (November 4 2011)

Adam Lazarus, author of Super Bowl Monday at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA  (November 4 2011)

Buddy Valastro, author of Baking With The Cake Boss at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (November 4 2011)

Charles Dodd White, author of Sinners of Sanction County at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC  (November 4 2011)

Sally B. Russell, author of Richard B. Russell, Jr; A Life of Consequence at Corner Bookstore & Coffee Café in Winder, GA  (November 4 2011)

Sandra Gutierrez, author of The New Southern-Latino Table at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (11/04/2011)

Robin Miller, author of Robin Takes 5! 500 Recipes, 5 Ingredients or Less, at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (November 4 2011)

Denise Kiernan, author of Signing Their Rights Away at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (November 4 2011)

Rosemary Rawlins, author of Learning By Accident at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA  (November 4 2011)

starsEllyn Bache, author of "The Art of Saying Goodbye" at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (11/04/2011)

Sarah Renee, author of The Tiger Princess at Books Revisited in Columbia, SC  (November 5, 2011)

Donna Thornton, author of The Christmas Donkey at Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, SC  (November 5 2011)

Katie Boyette, author of More Knitwits: 20 More Fun Projects for Those Who at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (11/05/2011)

Cotton Ketchie, author of Trouble in Love Valley at Literary BookPost in Salisbury, NC  (November 5 2011)

Marcus Lawson, author of Shaman's Spark at Barnhill's in Winston-Salem, NC  (November 5 2011)

Angie Neal, author of The Pirate Who Couldn't Say Arrr! at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC  (November 5 2011)

Joseph Wilson, author of My Immune System and M.S.:5 Years Later at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (November 5 2011)

Karen Bence, author of The Unrepentant Siren at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (November 5 2011)

Elaine Fantle Shimberg, author of Growing Up Jewish in Samll Town America at Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL  (November 7 2011)

John Lane, author of My Paddle to the Sea at Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, SC  (November 7 2011)

Winston Groom, author of Kearny's March at Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL  (Nov 8 2011)

starsLisa Patton, author of Yankee Doodle Dixie at Turning Pages Books & More in Natchez, MS  (November 8 2011)

Amor Towles, author of Rules of Civility at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (November 8 2011)

Walter Edgar , author of South Carolina in the Modern Age at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC  (November 9 2011)

Ken Bob Saxton, author of Barefoot Running Step by Step at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (November 9 2011)

James Nolan, author of Higher ground at Octavia Books in New Orleans, LA  (November 9 2011)

Jonathan Lethem, author of The Ecstasy of Influence at Nightbird Books in Fayetteville, AR  (November 9 2011)

Caroline Preston, author of The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (11/09/2011)

Jennifer Chiaverini, author of The Wedding Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (November 10 2011)

L.E. Modesitt, Jr. Modesitt, Jr., author of Scholar: A Novel in the Imager Portfolio at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (November 10 2011)

R. Mordant Mahon, author of Why Real Women Drink Straight Tequila at Literary BookPost in Salisbury, NC  (November 10 2011)

Pam Iorio, author of Straightforward: Ways to Live and Lead at Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL  (November 10 2011)

Terry Graedon, author of Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (November 10 2011)

Condoleezza Rice Rice, author of No Higher Honor at Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL  (November 10 2011)

John Connolly, author of The Infernals at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (11/10/2011)

Caroline Preston, author of The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (November 11 2011)

Rose Anne Sands, author of Nature's Spirit Messages at Barnhill's in Winston-Salem, NC  (November 11 2011)

Hanne Blank, author of Big Big Love: A Sex and Relationships Guide for Pe at Charis Books & More in Atlanta, GA  (November 11 2011)

Christine Warren, author of Paddlefish at Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL  (November 11 2011)

David Joy, author of Growing Gills at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC  (November 11 2011)

Litchfield Books Staff, author of Staff Book Review at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (11/11/2011)

John Hodgman, author of That is All at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (11/11/2011)

J. Michael Dew, author of All The Bad Things at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (November 12 2011)

Jay Mims, author of The Five Santas at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC  (November 12 2011)

Stephen King, author of 11/22/63 at Octavia Books in New Orleans, LA  (November 12 2011)

Chef Sonya Jones, author of Sweet Auburn Desserts at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (November 12 2011)

Jane Congdon, author of It Started With Dracula:The Count, My Mother and M at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (November 12 2011)

Bonnie Doerr, author of Island Sting at Barnhill's in Winston-Salem, NC  (November 12 2011)

Nancy Thomas, author of Moravian Christmas in the South at Old Salem Museums & Gardens in Winston-Salem, NC  (11/12/2011)

Krista Ashe, author of The Road to Damascus at Yawn's Books & More in Canton, GA  (November 12 2011)

Raiza Denise, author of White Knight at Literary BookPost in Salisbury, NC  (November 12 2011)

Debbie Moose, author of Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgat at Literary BookPost in Salisbury, NC  (November 12 2011)

J. Mark Boliek, author of The Mahogany Door w/CD at Old Salem Museums & Gardens in Winston-Salem, NC  (11/12/2011)

John Hutton, author of Sister Maus: Another Small Tale of Sister's House at Old Salem Museums & Gardens in Winston-Salem, NC  (11/12/2011)

John Lane, author of My Paddle to the Sea at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (11/13/2011)

Sen George McGovern, author of What It Means To Be A Democrat at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (November 13 2011)

Steve Almond, author of God Bless America at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (11/14/2011)

Tom Brokaw, author of The Time of Our Lives: Past, Present, Promise at Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham, AL  (11/14/2011)

Authors Round the South

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird StoriesDearest readers,

Hey ladyship adores Halloween. And not for the candy (although she is not adverse to the candy.) No, she likes Halloween because it gives her an excuse to hack away at a pumpkin with a rather dull knife. And also to watch reruns of Buffy. And to re-read Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft so that she might give herself very bad dreams.

Pumkin and black cat

Happy, happy reading!

her ladyship, the editor

Southern Indie Bestsellers

For the week ending Sunday, October 23, 2011

Columbia, SC - October 30, 2011 - The Southern Indie Bestseller List, as brought to you by and SIBA, for the week ended Sunday, October 23, 2011. Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and

STARS - A STARS Author | Okra Pick! - A SIBA Okra Pick
Titles in red are SIBA Book Award winners and finalists!
Printable versions: Hardcover | Paperback | Children.

Hardcover Fiction


1. The Marriage Plot
Jeffrey Eugenides, FSG, $28, 9780374203054
2. The Best of Me
Nicholas Sparks, Grand Central, $25.99, 9780446547659
3. The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385534635
4. The Paris Wife
Paula McLain, Ballantine, $25, 9780345521309
5. The Affair
Lee Child, Delacorte, $28, 9780385344326
6. Nightwoods
Charles Frazier, Random House, $26, 9781400067091
7. The Dovekeepers
Alice Hoffman, Scribner, $27.99, 9781451617474
8. The Cat's Table
Michael Ondaatje, Knopf, $26, 9780307700117
9. The Sense of an Ending
Julian Barnes, Knopf, $23.95, 9780307957122
10. The Art of Fielding
Chad Harbach, Little Brown, $25.99, 9780316126694
11. Damned
Chuck Palahniuk, Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385533027
12. State of Wonder
Ann Patchett, Harper, $26.99, 9780062049803
13. When She Woke
Hillary Jordan, Algonquin, $24.95, 9781565126299
14. Feast Day of Fools
James Lee Burke, S&S, $26.99, 9781451643114
15. Rules of Civility
Amor Towles, Viking, $26.95, 9780670022694

Hardcover Nonfiction


1. Killing Lincoln
Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard, Holt, $28, 9780805093070
2. Boomerang
Michael Lewis, Norton, $25.95, 9780393081817
3. Unbroken
Laura Hillenbrand, Random House, $27, 9781400064168
4. Hemingway's Boat
Paul Hendrickson, Knopf, $30, 9781400041626
5. In the Garden of Beasts
Erik Larson, Crown, $26, 9780307408846
6. Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible
Paula Deen, S&S, $29.99, 9781416564072
7. The Swerve
Stephen Greenblatt, Norton, $26.95, 9780393064476
8. Destiny of the Republic
Candice Millard, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385526265
9. That Used to Be Us
Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum, FSG, $28, 9780374288907
okra10. Lions of the West
Robert Morgan, Shannon Ravenel Books, $29.95, 9781565126268

11. Nearing Home
Billy Graham, Thomas Nelson, $19.99, 9780849948329
12. Go the F**k to Sleep
Adam Mansbach, Ricardo Cortes (Illus.), Akashic, $14.95, 9781617750250
13. The Eighty-Dollar Champion
Elizabeth Letts, Ballantine, $26, 9780345521088
14. Van Gogh: The Life
Steven Naifeh, Gregory White Smith, Random House, $40, 9780375507489
15. Rin Tin Tin
Susan Orlean, S&S, $26.99, 9781439190135


Trade Paperback Fiction


1. The Help
Kathryn Stockett, Berkley, $16, 9780425245132
2. Sarah's Key
Tatiana De Rosnay, St. Martin's Griffin, $13.99, 9781250004345
3. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk
David Sedaris, Ian Falconer (Illus.), Back Bay, $13.99, 9780316038409
4. Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese, Vintage, $15.95, 9780375714368
5. Freedom
Jonathan Franzen, Picador, $16, 9780312576462
6. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Helen Simonson, Random House, $15, 9780812981223
7. Room
Emma Donoghue, Back Bay, $14.99, 9780316098328
8. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Tom Franklin, Harper Perennial, $14.99, 9780060594671

9. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Jamie Ford, Ballantine, $15, 9780345505347
10. One Day
David Nicholls, Vintage, $14.95, 9780307946713
11. The Art of Racing in the Rain
Garth Stein, Harper, $14.99, 9780061537967
12. Started Early, Took My Dog
Kate Atkinson, Reagan Arthur Books, $14.99, 9780316066747
13. A Visit From the Goon Squad
Jennifer Egan, Anchor, $14.95, 9780307477477
14. Great House
Nicole Krauss, Norton, $14.95, 9780393340648
15. The Girl Who Played With Fire
Stieg Larsson, Vintage, $15.95, 9780307454553

Trade Paperback Nonfiction


1. Heaven Is for Real
Todd Burpo, Thomas Nelson, $16.99, 9780849946158
2. Unlikely Friendships
Jennifer S. Holland, Workman, $13.95, 9780761159131
3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot, Broadway, $16, 9781400052189
4. At Home
Bill Bryson, Anchor, $15.95, 9780767919395
5. The Warmth of Other Suns
Isabel Wilkerson, Vintage, $16.95, 9780679763888
6. Cleopatra
Stacy Schiff, Back Bay, $16.99, 9780316001946
7. The Devil in the White City
Erik Larson, Vintage, $15.95, 9780375725609
8. Outliers
Malcolm Gladwell, Back Bay, $16.99, 9780316017930
9. Moneyball
Michael Lewis, Norton, $15.95, 9780393338393
10. The Happiness Project
Gretchen Rubin, Harper, $14.99, 9780061583261
11. The Emperor of All Maladies
Siddhartha Mukherjee, Scribner, $18, 9781439170915
12. Born to Run
Christopher McDougall, Vintage, $15.95, 9780307279187
13. F in Exams
Richard Benson, Chronicle, $9.95, 9780811878319
14. Mere Christianity
C.S. Lewis, HarperOne, $13.99, 9780060652920
15. Night
Elie Wiesel, FSG, $9.95, 9780374500016

Mass Market


1. A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553593716
2. A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553579901
3. A Storm of Swords
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553573428
4. A Feast for Crows
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553582024
5. To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee, Warner, $7.99, 9780446310789
6. The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger, Warner, $6.99, 9780316769488
7. Animal Farm
George Orwell, Signet, $9.99, 9780451526342
8. Cross Fire
James Patterson, Vision, $9.99, 9780446574716
9. The Reversal
Michael Connelly, Vision, $9.99, 9780446556750
10. Bad Blood
John Sandford, Berkley, $9.99, 9780425243930

Children's Illustrated


1. If You Give a Dog a Donut
Laura Joffe Numeroff, Felicia Bond (Illus.), Balzer & Bray/Harper, $16.99, 9780060266837
2. Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617
3. Room on the Broom
Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler (Illus.), Puffin, $6.99, 9780142501122
4. The Night Before Halloween
Natasha Wing, Cynthia Fisher (Illus.), Grosset & Dunlap, $3.99, 9780448419657
5. The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse
Eric Carle, Philomel, $17.99, 9780399257131
6. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
Eric Litwin, James Dean (Illus.), Harper, $16.99, 9780061906220

7. Llama Llama Red Pajama
Anna Dewdney, Viking, $17.99, 9780670059836
8. Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak, Harper, $17.95, 9780060254926
9. The Wizard of Oz: A Scanimation Book
Rufus Butler Seder (Illus.), Workman, $14.95, 9780761163732
10. Love You Forever
Robert Munsch, Sheila McGraw (Illus.), Firefly, $5.95, 9780920668375

Children's Interest


1. Every Thing On It
Shel Silverstein, Harper, $19.99, 9780061998164
2. Wonderstruck
Brian Selznick, Scholastic, $29.99, 9780545027892
3. The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories
Dr. Seuss, Random House, $15, 9780375864353
4. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs, Quirk, $17.99, 9781594744761
5. The Book Thief
Markus Zusak, Knopf, $12.99, 9780375842207
6. Darth Paper Strikes Back
Tom Angleberger, Amulet, $12.95, 9781419700279
7. The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $12.95, 9780810989955
8. The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
Mark Pett, Gary Rubinstein, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $14.99, 9781402255441
9. Wildwood
Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis (Illus.), Balzer & Bray/Harper, $17.99, 9780062024688
10. LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
Hannah Dolan, DK Publishing, $18.99, 9780756686970


Children's Fiction Series Titles


1. The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, Book Two)
Rick Riordan, Hyperion, $19.99, 9781423140597
2. The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $8.99, 9780439023528
3. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $17.99, 9780439023498
4. Mockingjay (The Final Book of the Hunger Games)
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $17.99, 9780439023511
5. The Lost Stories (The Ranger's Apprentice)
John Flanagan, Philomel, $17.99, 9780399256189
6. The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, Book 3)
James Dashner, Delacorte, $17.99, 9780385738774
7. The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book One)
Rick Riordan, Hyperion, $18.99, 9781423113393
8. Beautiful Chaos (Beautiful Creatures, #3)
Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Little Brown, $18.99, 9780316123525
9. The Name of This Book Is Secret (The Secret Series)
Pseudonymous Bosch, Little Brown, $6.99, 9780316113694
10. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)
Rick Riordan, Hyperion, $7.99, 9781423134947

Good Gossip

Literary News & Gossip passed along from the readers, the writers, the reviewers, the resellers, the riff raff, and dutifully repeated here by her ladyship (who falls into the last category).

""When the Southern Foodways Alliance first approached me with the idea of a "collard green opera," my first instinct was to immediately run the other way. However, the more I thought about it, the better the idea seemed to me. The Southern tradition is full of things that are grandiose and larger-than-life; why not apply that notion to such a peculiar and beloved vegetable?"
The Collard Greens Opera

"If I hadn’t wanted to be a writer so much, I’d probably still be married..."
Post-40 Bloomers: William Gay

"High prices equal good business but it also equates to thieves desperate to get their hands on many pecans as they can steal."
Felony pecan thefts hit farmers

Black Like Me"The real story is the universal story – one of men who destroy the souls of other men. It is the story of the persecuted, the defrauded, the feared and detested."
Rereading Black Like Me

"My muse wears work clothes. She has to, y'all. Deadlines call from every corner. Oh, yes, I love words and writing as much as ever, the process will always feed my soul. But if I were waiting on a flighty muse to show up and perform, I'd be dead in the water."
My Muse Wears Work Clothes

"When Elvis died, I obsessed about he and my dad both being born in 1935. For the next week or two, when my dad was at home, I hardly let him out of my sight."
The Elvis Game

Moment in the Sun"Stuff gets left out. What interested me — I did a lot of reading of newspapers from the time and fiction from the time, even magazines and stuff like that — just how overt the racism was. We have a lot of euphemisms for things now. We were Imperialist. Mark Twain was in the Anti-Imperialist League. One of the biggest journals in North Carolina was a newspaper called the Caucasian."
A chat with John Sayles

Lady Banks' Commonplace Book

Noteworthy poetry and prose from her ladyship's bedside reading stack.
American Women Regionalists

This morning she showed the traces of a sleepless night and an aching heart as she walked down Marais Street. Across wide St. Rocque Avenue she hastened. "Two blocks to the river adn one below--" she repeated to herself breathlessly. Then she stood on the corner gazing about her, until with a final summoning of a desperate courage she dived through a small wicket gate into a garden of weed-choked flowers.

There was a hoarse, rusty little bell on the gate that gave querulous tongue as she pushed it open. The house that sat back in the yard was little and old and weather-beaten. Its one-story frame had once been painted, but that was a memory remote and traditional. A straggling morning-glory strove to conceal its time-ravaged face. The little walk of broken bits of brick was reddened carefully, and the one step was scrupulously yellow-washed, which denoted that the occupants were cleanly as well as religious.

Manuela's timid knock was answered by a harsh "Entrez."

Alice Dunbar-Nelson, "The Goodness of Saint Rocque" in American Women Regionalists: A Norton Anthology, edited by Judith Fetterley (W.W. Norton, 1995)

ARTS on Facebook

Okra Picks

Great southern books, fresh off the vine! Picked for you with care by Southern Indie Booksellers

Drifting Into Darien“Every endangered ecosystem should have such an eloquent spokesman.”—Bailey White

Drifting Into Darien: A Personal and Natural History of the Altamaha River
by Janisse Ray

Janisse Ray was a babe in arms when a boat of her father’s construction cracked open and went down in the mighty Altamaha River. Tucked in a life preserver, she washed onto a sandbar as the craft sank from view. That first baptism began a lifelong relationship with a stunning and powerful river that almost nobody knows.

The Altamaha rises dark and mysterious in southeast Georgia. It is deep and wide, bordered by swamps. Its corridor contains an extraordinary biodi­versity, including many rare and endangered species, which led the Nature Conservancy to designate it as one of the world’s last great places.
The Altamaha is Ray’s river, and from childhood she dreamed of paddling its entire length to where it empties into the sea. Drifting into Darien begins with an account of finally making that journey, turning to medita­tions on the many ways we accept a world that contains both good and evil. With praise, biting satire, and hope, Ray contemplates transformation and attempts with every page to settle peacefully into the now.

Though commemorating a history that includes logging, Ray celebrates “a culture that sprang from the flatwoods, which required a judicious use of nature.” She looks in vain for an ivorybill woodpecker but is equally eager to see any of the imperiled species found in the river basin: spiny mussel, American oystercatcher, Radford’s mint, Alabama milkvine. The book explores both the need and the possibilities for conservation of the river and the surrounding forests and wetlands. As in her groundbreaking Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, Ray writes an account of her beloved river that is both social history and natural history, understanding the two as inseparable, particularly in the rural corner of Georgia that she knows best. Ray goes looking for wisdom and finds a river.

Janisse Ray is the author of three works of nonfiction, Pinhook: Finding Wholeness in a Fragmented Land, Wild Card Quilt: Taking a Chance on Home, and the bestselling Ecology of a Cracker Childhood. She is also the author of a poetry collection, A House of Branches, and coeditor of Between Two Rivers: Stories from the Red Hills to the Gulf. She lives in the Altamaha Community in Reidsville, Georgia.

First Chapter


Great Bookstores

An Indie Bookstore you should know

The Book Worm in Powder Springs, GA

4451 Marietta St
Powder Springs, GA 30127
(770) 439-2029

The Book WormWe opened our doors in October of 2005 in the back room of our shop with a few hundred gently used books in just a few assorted genres; now, in 2011, we’re home to over 30,000 titles in a wide variety of genres with hundreds of accessories! Set in the heart of historic, downtown Powder Springs, we strive to bring the best in literature, from international best sellers to our own local literary giants, to a growing community that’s as diverse as the books on our shelves!


At the Book Worm, we work hard not only within our community, but to instill the same sense of pride we feel for our community in our customers. And, while we do our absolute best to honour the history of Powder Springs, we greet the changes ahead with welcome anticipation. Our community is expanding daily; unique and diverse, we strive to meet the needs of each of our customers with a wide variety of genres and accessories, online shopping and special ordering services. Never forgetting the importance of face-to-face conversation and the personal relationships we’ve built with our customers over the years, we’ve branched out into social media outlets. Active on the new online metre of the pulse of the community,, we’ve also amped up our presence on Facebook, expanding our reach to our neighbors and making new friends along the way!

In the interest of furthering education, The Book Worm has participated in several book drives for local schools and literacy programmes in the years since our opening as well as offering a 10% discount on all books purchased by teachers for their classroom. Instilling a love of literature in a child is one of the best gifts we can give; it lights the way for a bright future and we’re thrilled help them along that path in any way we can.


Susan – Owner (Resident Queen of Too Much)

Britaini – Manager (The Nerd)
Britaini joined the staff of The Book Worm in June of 2010 and has loved every minute of it (her words).
Quote: “Since starting at the Book Worm, my collection of classic literature, religious and philosophical texts has trebled… …who am I kidding; it’s out of control! But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

What made you want to work in a bookstore?
“I’ve always loved to read and, over the years, my love for the written word has blossomed into a full fledged obsession; That’s right, I’m a proud Bibliophile! And, even though working in a bookstore is far (far, far) more work than I’d ever anticipated, it’s a sheer honour. Simply being able to work day after day with so many different books, being able to put a book into someone’s hands and share the gift of literature; it’s more than a pleasure. I’m lucky enough to do what I love.

Tell us a favourite memory associated with reading.
Between the ages of 6 and 9, my mother, brother and myself lived in Bamberg and Nürnberg, Germany. I was in love with the Garfield comic series by Jim Davis and had a fairly impressive collection of omnibus editions (in every colour of the rainbow. I remember loving the fact that each edition was a different colour) and in the evenings, I would sit in a bathtub full of bubbles and listen to my little brother read the comics; which, while very sweet is, on it’s own, nothing particularly special. What makes it such a fond memory is the fact that he couldn’t read; so he would make up these incredibly silly stores to go along with the pictures that never failed to make me giggle. That’s definitely a favourite memory of mine.

Top five novels?
This is really tough but, here goes:
1. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury.
2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
3. The Inferno by Dante Alighieri
4. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
5. The Religions of Man by Huston Smith
(And The Question of God by Dr. Armand Nicholi, Jonh Dies at the End by David Wong and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams… because, honestly, you think I can narrow it down to just five? )

Rhonda – Manager (The Artist)
Quote: "Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted."

*Tell us a favourite memory associated with reading.
"Joining the contest sponsored every summer by the county libraries to determine who could read the most books by the time school resume."

*Who are some of your favourite authors?
-Ray Bradbury- Edgar Allen Poe- H.P. Lovecraft- Bram Stoker- Jim Butcher- Ray Garton- Edward Lee- Richard Laymon- Bentley Little- Brian Keene- J.F. Gonzales- J.L. Bourne- Kim Paffentroth- Jeff Strand- Joe Hill- Dorothy Sayer- Agatha Christie

*Top five novels?
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Brardbury
The Dresden Files (Complete Series) by Jim Butcher
Dreams in the Witch House (Novella) by H.P. Lovecraft
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
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STARS Authors on Tour

STARSWhat are "STARS" authors? These are authors listing in the Southern Traveling Authors Registration Service--a directory of authors who live in, or are traveling in the South and are interested in meeting with book clubs, civic groups, classrooms, and readers of all kinds. The STARS directory is brought to you by Southern Indie Booksellers, who want to connect readers with their favorite writers.

Mark HaindsFeatured: Mark Hainds
Andalusia, AL
Topics: Boar Hunting, Forestry, Ecology

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Mark was raised as the sixth generation on a small, diversified farm in Missouri. He is a lifelong hunter, fisher, and trapper. Mark has lived and worked in Alabama and Georgia since he started an MS program in Forest Biology from Auburn University in 1992. He has worked since 1995 as a Research Associate with Auburn University and Research Coordinator for The Longleaf Alliance. His professional career has mainly focused on the restoration of the longleaf pine ecosystem, with much of his research focused on artificial regeneration of longleaf pine and understory restoration of native herbaceous species.

Year of the PigBook: Year of the Pig
University of Alabama Press, $16.95

Year of the Pig is a personal account of one avid hunter’s pursuit of wild pigs in eleven American states. Mark Hainds tied his mission to the Chinese calendar’s Year of the Pig in 2007 and journeyed through longleaf forests, cypress swamps, and wiliwili forests in search of his prey. He used a range of weapons—blackpowder rifle, bow and arrow, knife, and high-powered rifle—and various methods to stalk his quarry through titi, saw palmetto, privet hedge, and blue palm. Introduced pig populations have wreaked havoc on ecosystems the world over. Nonnative to the Western Hemisphere, pigs originally arrived in the southeast with de Soto’s entrada and in the Hawaiian Archipelago on the outriggers of South Pacific islanders. In America feral hogs are considered pests and invaders because of their omnivorous diet and rooting habits that destroy both fragile native species and agricultural cropland. Appealing to hunters and adventure readers for its sheer entertainment, Year of the Pig will also be valuable to farmers, land managers, and environmentalists for its broad information and perspective on the topic.

More STARS Authors:
see the full list online here and find the authors touring in your area here

Ellyn Bache
Pawleys Island, SC 11/4/2011-11/4/2011
Wilmington, NC 11/5/2011-11/10/2011
Asheville,, NC 11/19/2011-11/20/2011

Amberle Cianne
BALTIMORE, VA 11/19/2011-11/26/2011

Susan Craft
Columbia, SC 11/19/2011-11/19/2011

Elizabeth O. Dulemba Brasstown, NC 12/2/2011-12/4/2011

Mark Hainds

Birmingham, AL 12/3/2011-12/6/2011
Tallahasee, FL 11/1/2011-11/4/2011

Jennie Helderman
Atlanta, GA 11/19/2011-11/19/2011

Mary Alice Monroe

Miami, FL 11/19/2011-11/19/2011

Nancy Naigle
Emporia, VA 12/5/2011-12/5/2011
Emporia, VA 12/8/2011-12/8/2011

Valerie Nieman

Hillsborough, NC 11/16/2011-11/16/2011
Greensboro, NC 11/10/2011-11/10/2011

Julia Nunnally Duncan
Marion, NC 11/19/2011-11/19/2011

Lisa Patton
Collierville, TN 11/1/2011-11/1/2011
Blytheville, AR 11/1/2011-11/1/2011
Greenwood, MS 11/9/2011-11/9/2011
Tupelo, MS 11/11/2011-11/11/2011
Oxford, MS 11/17/2011-11/17/2011

Melissa Peagler
Lancaster, SC 11/23/2011-11/27/2011
Columbia, SC 11/25/2011-11/27/2011
Chester, SC 11/23/2011-11/27/2011
Ashville, NC 11/26/2011-11/27/2011
Spartanburg, SC 11/23/2011-11/27/2011

Norma Watkins

Miami, FL 11/1/2011-11/30/2011