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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{Southern girls and pick-up trucks}

In which Southern girls prefer pick-up trucks, Mr. Wayne Flynt finds Alabama tomatoes to be superior, Samuel Beckett thinks the forward to William Faulkner's Mosquitoes would have a regrettable effect on an ostrich, Ms. Mary Alice Monroe exhorts people to save the butterflies, Mr. Ron Rash finds an abandoned still, and Ms. Katherine Stockett doesn't take a bath.

October 16, 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

Caleb's Crossing

Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible

Lions of the West

The Happy Table of Eugene Walter

Crooked Letter Crooked Letter

Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter

Little Bee

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


In the Sanctuary of Outcasts

Fall of the House of Zeus

The Devil in the White City


Animal Farm

Worth Dying For

Hell's Corner

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes

Love You Forever

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Charlotte's Web

Author Readings

Scott Poole, author of Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with at Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, SC  (October 26 2011)

John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Pulphead at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (October 26 2011)

Marianne Walker, author of MARGARET MITCHELL AND JOHN MARSH: THE LOVE STORY B at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA  (October 26 2011)

Dr Nortin Hadler, author of RETHINKING AGING: Growing Old and Living Well in a at Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC  (October 26 2011)

Julia Ebel, author of Mama's Wreaths at Barnhill's in Winston-Salem, NC  (October 26 2011)

Ed Shankman, author of THE BOURBON STREET BAND IS BACK at Octavia Books in New Orleans, LA  (October 27 2011)

Matthew F. Jones, author of A Single Shot at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA  (October 27 2011)

Tim Dorsey, author of When Elves Attack at Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL  (October 27 2011)

okraRobert Morgan, author of Lions of the West at Literary BookPost in Salisbury, NC  (October 28 2011)

Scott Poole, author of Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (October 28 2011)

Michael Renegar, author of Ghosts of the Triad:Tales From the Haunted Heart o at Old Salem Museums & Gardens in Winston-Salem, NC  (10/28/2011)

Hillary Jordan, author of When She Woke at That Bookstore in Blytheville in Blytheville, AR  (October 28 2011)

Tim Bullard, author of Haunted Watauga County at Barnhill's in Winston-Salem, NC  (October 28 2011)

Gordon Jenkinson, author of "River Road" at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (10/28/2011)

Caleb Beissert, author of Beautiful at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (10/28/2011)

starsTamra Wilson, author of Dining with Robert Redford & Other Stories at Poor Richard's Booksellers in Easley, SC  (October 29 2011)

Myles Beskind, author of Welcome To The Cancer Club at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (October 29 2011)

Michael Renegar, author of Tar Heel Terrors: More North Carolina Ghosts and L at Old Salem Museums & Gardens in Winston-Salem, NC  (10/29/2011)

James Lucas, author of Billy's Tales of Wonder and Horror at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC  (October 29 2011)

Jennifer Harlow, author of Mind Over Monsters at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA  (October 29 2011)

starsKaren White, author of The Beach Trees at The Book Worm Bookstore in Powder Springs, GA  (October 29 2011)

Ann Hite, author of Ghost on Black Mountain at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (October 29 2011)

Robert Morgan, author of Lions of the West at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (10/29/2011)

starsKaren White, author of The Strangers on Montagu Street at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA  (October 30 2011)

Vicki Lane, author of Under the Skin at Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC  (10/30/2011)

William Rohe, author of The Research Triangle: From Tobacco Road to Global at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (October 30 2011)

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)

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

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

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

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

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

Sarah Renee, author of The Tiger Princess at Books Revisited in Columbia, 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)

Authors Round the South

The Outlaw AlbumDearest readers,

Have you ever picked up a book and found it to be so extraordinarily good that you were almost afraid to pick up another, as it was sure to disappoint in comparison. Her ladyship experienced this feeling upon finishing Mr. Daniel Woodrell's The Outlaw Album: Stories, a book that was utterly surprising in its intensity and utterly captivating in its beautiful language.

NIghtwoodsFortunately, her ladyship lives in the South, so there is no need to fear for her next book. Wonderful writing is as common here as Spanish moss in the trees and kudzu along the highways. She is now reading Charles Frazier's Nightwoods.

Happy, happy reading!

her ladyship, the editor

Southern Indie Bestsellers

For the week ending Sunday, October 16, 2011

Columbia, SC - October 24, 2011 - The Southern Indie Bestseller List, as brought to you by and SIBA, for the week ended Sunday, October 16, 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 Best of Me
Nicholas Sparks, Grand Central, $25.99, 9780446547659
2. The Marriage Plot
Jeffrey Eugenides, FSG, $28, 9780374203054
3. The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385534635
4. The Affair
Lee Child, Delacorte, $28, 9780385344326
5. Nightwoods
Charles Frazier, Random House, $26, 9781400067091
6. The Paris Wife
Paula McLain, Ballantine, $25, 9780345521309
7. The Art of Fielding
Chad Harbach, Little Brown, $25.99, 9780316126694
8. Rules of Civility
Amor Towles, Viking, $26.95, 9780670022694
9. State of Wonder
Ann Patchett, Harper, $26.99, 9780062049803
10. The Dovekeepers
Alice Hoffman, Scribner, $27.99, 9781451617474
11. When She Woke
Hillary Jordan, Algonquin, $24.95, 9781565126299
12. The Cat's Table
Michael Ondaatje, Knopf, $26, 9780307700117
13. Feast Day of Fools
James Lee Burke, S&S, $26.99, 9781451643114
14. Caleb's Crossing
Geraldine Brooks, Viking, $26.95, 9780670021048
15. Aleph
Paulo Coelho, Knopf, $24.95, 9780307700186

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Unbroken
Laura Hillenbrand, Random House, $27, 9781400064168
2. Killing Lincoln
Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard, Holt, $28, 9780805093070
3. Boomerang
Michael Lewis, Norton, $25.95, 9780393081817
4. In the Garden of Beasts
Erik Larson, Crown, $26, 9780307408846
5. Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible
Paula Deen, S&S, $29.99, 9781416564072
6. Jacqueline Kennedy
Caroline Kennedy, Michael Beschloss, Hyperion, $60, 9781401324254
7. Destiny of the Republic
Candice Millard, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385526265
8. Go the F**k to Sleep
Adam Mansbach, Ricardo Cortes (Illus.), Akashic, $14.95, 9781617750250
9. That Used to Be Us
Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum, FSG, $28, 9780374288907
10. Hemingway's Boat
Paul Hendrickson, Knopf, $30, 9781400041626
11. Seriously... I'm Kidding
Ellen DeGeneres, Grand Central, $26.99, 9780446585026
okra12. Lions of the West
Robert Morgan, Shannon Ravenel Books, $29.95, 9781565126268

okra13. The Happy Table of Eugene Walter
Donald Goodman (Ed.), University of North Carolina Press, $30, 9780807834831

14. The Swerve
Stephen Greenblatt, Norton, $26.95, 9780393064476
15. Confidence Men
Ron Suskind, Harper, $29.99, 9780061429255

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. The Help
Kathryn Stockett, Berkley, $16, 9780425245132
2. Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese, Vintage, $15.95, 9780375714368
3. Sarah's Key
Tatiana De Rosnay, St. Martin's Griffin, $13.99, 9781250004345
4. Freedom
Jonathan Franzen, Picador, $16, 9780312576462
5. Room
Emma Donoghue, Back Bay, $14.99, 9780316098328
6. A Visit From the Goon Squad
Jennifer Egan, Anchor, $14.95, 9780307477477
7. The Art of Racing in the Rain
Garth Stein, Harper, $14.99, 9780061537967
8. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk
David Sedaris, Ian Falconer (Illus.), Back Bay, $13.99, 9780316038409
9. Started Early, Took My Dog
Kate Atkinson, Reagan Arthur Books, $14.99, 9780316066747
10. The Postmistress
Sarah Blake, Berkley, $15, 9780425238691
11. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Tom Franklin, Harper Perennial, $14.99, 9780060594671

stars12. Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter
Lisa Patton, St. Martin's Griffin, $13.99, 9780312658892

13. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Helen Simonson, Random House, $15, 9780812981223
14. Little Bee
Chris Cleave, S&S, $15, 9781416589648
15. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson, Vintage, $14.95, 9780307454546

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. Heaven Is for Real
Todd Burpo, Thomas Nelson, $16.99, 9780849946158
2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot, Broadway, $16, 9781400052189
3. Unlikely Friendships
Jennifer S. Holland, Workman, $13.95, 9780761159131
4. Cleopatra
Stacy Schiff, Back Bay, $16.99, 9780316001946
5. The Emperor of All Maladies
Siddhartha Mukherjee, Scribner, $18, 9781439170915
6. Moneyball
Michael Lewis, Norton, $15.95, 9780393338393
stars7. In the Sanctuary of Outcasts
Neil White, Harper Perennial, $14.99, 9780061351631

8. Empire of the Summer Moon
S.C. Gwynne, Scribner, $16, 9781416591061
9. Born to Run
Christopher McDougall, Vintage, $15.95, 9780307279187
10. At Home
Bill Bryson, Anchor, $15.95, 9780767919395
11. The Fall of the House of Zeus
Curtis Wilkie, Broadway, $16, 9780307460714

12. The Warmth of Other Suns
Isabel Wilkerson, Vintage, $16.95, 9780679763888
13. Outliers
Malcolm Gladwell, Back Bay, $16.99, 9780316017930
14. The Old Farmer's Almanac 2012
Old Farmer's Almanac, $6.95, 9781571985446
15. The Devil in the White City
Erik Larson, Vintage, $15.95, 9780375725609

Mass Market

1. To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee, Warner, $7.99, 9780446310789
2. A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553593716
3. A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553579901
4. A Storm of Swords
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553573428
5. A Feast for Crows
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553582024
6. 1984
George Orwell, Signet, $9.99, 9780451524935
7. Animal Farm
George Orwell, Signet, $9.99, 9780451526342
8. Worth Dying For
Lee Child, Dell, $9.99, 9780440246299
9. Port Mortuary
Patricia Cornwell, Berkley, $9.99, 9780425243602
10. Hell's Corner
David Baldacci, Vision, $9.99, 9780446571418

Children's Illustrated

1. If You Give a Dog a Donut
Laura Joffe Numeroff, Felicia Bond (Illus.), Balzer & Bray, $16.99, 9780060266837
2. Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617
3. The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse
Eric Carle, Philomel, $17.99, 9780399257131
4. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
Eric Litwin, James Dean (Illus.), Harper, $16.99, 9780061906220

5. Llama Llama Home with Mama
Anna Dewdney, Viking, $17.99, 9780670012329
6. The Wizard of Oz: A Scanimation Book
Rufus Butler Seder (Illus.), Workman, $14.95, 9780761163732
7. Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes
Eric Litwin, James Dean (Illus.), Harper, $16.99, 9780061910241
8. Love You Forever
Robert Munsch, Sheila McGraw (Illus.), Firefly, $5.95, 9780920668375
9. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle, Putnam, $10.99, 9780399226908
10. Llama Llama Red Pajama
Anna Dewdney, Viking, $17.99, 9780670059836

Children's Interest

1. Every Thing On It
Shel Silverstein, Harper, $19.99, 9780061998164
2. Wonderstruck
Brian Selznick, Scholastic, $29.99, 9780545027892
3. Darth Paper Strikes Back
Tom Angleberger, Amulet, $12.95, 9781419700279
4. The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories
Dr.Seuss, Random House, $15, 9780375864353
5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs, Quirk, $17.99, 9781594744761
6. The Book Thief
Markus Zusak, Knopf, $12.99, 9780375842207
7. The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $12.95, 9780810989955
8. Charlotte's Web
E.B. White, Harper, $7.99, 9780061120268
9. Matched
Ally Condie, Speak, $9.99, 9780142419779
10. Wildwood
Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis (Illus.), Balzer & Bray/HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062024688

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 Death Cure (The Maze Runner, Book 3)
James Dashner, Delacorte, $17.99, 9780385738774
6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $13.95, 9780810993136
7. The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book One)
Rick Riordan, Hyperion, $18.99, 9781423113393
8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $13.95, 9780810970687
9. The Knight at Dawn (The Magic Tree House #2)
Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca (Illus.), Random House, $3.99, 9780679824121
10. Theodore Boone: The Abduction
John Grisham, Dutton, $16.99, 9780525425571


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).

Gone with the Wind" So the book is nearly 30 years old and “Southern Literature” might be said to have already transitioned, dominated now by the likes of Lee Smith, Wendell Berry, Ron Rash, Barry Hannah, Barbara Kingsolver, Natasha Trethewey, Crystal Wilkinson. Still I think the "Gone with the Wind" image of the South lingers on."
Southern Gothic

" Meet Iva-Rebel. She’s the newest member of our family. And she arrived in our driveway Sunday, brand spankin’ new, to take this former-girl-in-Honda around."
Southern girls in pick-up trucks

" Wayne Flynt may be a champion of the working poor, but he is an elitist when it comes to tomatoes. “It’s just a chauvinistic Southern thing,” said Flynt, the acclaimed Alabama writer, historian and Auburn University professor emeritus. “I prefer to eat Alabama tomatoes.”
"The meanest, most hateful thing I've ever read."

" Richard Ford, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and Mississippi native, is heading to New York City. Columbia University announced Tuesday that the author of "Independence Day" is joining its faculty.
Stranger in a strange land

“Demetrie would always say to me, ‘Look at yourself! Look at how beautiful you are!’ And believe me, I wasn’t. I went that entire summer without bathing.”
Kathryn Stockett: A Rejected Writer Perserveres

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" Beyond embodying their characters, actors also need to characterize a community: a living space that stands in the place of a protagonist. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is, for better and worse, a perfect example of the unique demands required of such an ensemble show."
Home isn't where the heart is

The Plays of Tennessee Williams" This year two of Williams' works, The Parade and Something Cloudy, Something Clear, were presented on the beach under a tent with one side exposed to the water, the sand as the theater floor, and scaffolding supporting the stage."
Tennessee Williams, P-Town Style

Mosquitoes" Mosquitoes by William Faulkner: “with a preface by Queneau that would make an ostrich puke”"
Beckett's Reading List

"The ground we walk on is a big part of history. I think it's important we relive it and learn as much as we can."
Retracing Frederick Douglass

" Rose Post was a 5-foot-tall dynamo with soulful, penetrating eyes — eyes that would never leave the subjects of her interviews, even as she typed or scribbled notes in her pad."
Rose Post dies

" By dedicating a small sunny area in our yards and parks for butterfly-friendly plants and flowers and preserving our coastal landscape, we in the Charleston area — an important spot on the coastal migration path — can support the monarch during migrations. Milkweed is available at many local nurseries. This past year I’ve given away 10,000 free milkweed seeds. I’ll offer them again for spring planting. If anyone wants a free packet of milkweed seeds, contact me on my website or Facebook."
Save the Butterflies

"When a great leader of the mass movement, Martin Luther King, Jr., emerged, LDF was his lawyer. Through the 1960s, usually in company with local black lawyers, some of whom had been Houston’s students, the LDF defended the movement, student sit-in demonstrators, Freedom Riders and well as movement leaders such as Drs. King, Ralph Abernathy, John Lewis, and Hosea Williams, and won virtually all of the thousands of cases it tried."
We worked with Martin

" When I was growing up, we had Schnauzers. They weren't horrible, they just weren't very bright."
Karen Russell talks to the animals

"Civilization begins with distillation,” William Faulkner wrote, and in Oxford, Miss., his adopted hometown, it’s possible for a literary pilgrim to visit what’s left of his liquor cabinet."
Faulkner and Football

"I glanced down at our table and realize the crest indicated we were in the legislative hearing room for the Department of Agriculture. How cool is that?"
An author's take on the Southern Festival of Books

A Southern Literature Sunday Afternoon

" They have a tradition there: with every meal you get, there will be toothpicks, and you shoot the toothpicks up at the ceiling."
Oxford, Mississippi: Home of Faulkner, Ajax burgers

" "We wanted to move to the South, and we wanted to be within an hour of a city that had both a (professional) football and hockey team."
Just what the world needs, A Grumpy Bookpeddler

Lady Banks' Commonplace Book

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

There are haunted places

The Art of the Personal EssayThere are haunted places, or at least it is easy to feel haunted in them, alone at nightfall. As the air darkens and the cool of the night rises, one feels the immanence of the wraiths of the ancient trivesmen who used to inhabit the rock houses of the cliffs; of the white hunters from the east of the mountains; of the farmers who accepted the isolation of these nearly inaccessible valleys to crop the narrow bottoms and ridges and pasture their cattle cattle and hogs in the woods; of the seekers of quick wealth in timber and ore. For though this is a wilderness place, it bears its part of the burden of human history. If one spends much time here and feels much liking for the place, it is hard to escape the sense of one's predecessors. If one has read of the prehistoric Indians whose flint arrowpoints and pottery and hominy holes and petroglyphs have been found here, then every rock shelter and clifty spring will suggest the presence of those dim people who have disappeared into the eart. Walking along the ridges and the stream bottoms, one will come upon the heaped stones of a chimney, or the slowly filly depression of an old cellar, or will find in the spring a japonica bush or periwinkles or a few jonquils blooming in a thicket that used to be a dooryard. Wherever the land is level enough there are abandoned fields and pastures. And nearly always there is the evidence that one follows in the steps of the loggers.

That sense of the past is probably one reason for the melancholy that I feel. But I know there are other reasons.

--Wendell Berry, "An Entrance to the Woods" in The Art of the Personal Essay, edited by Phillip Lopate (Anchor Books, 1995)

ARTS on Facebook

Okra Picks

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

WakingWaking by Ron Rash
Hub City Press, 2011

Abandoned Still on Dismal Mountain

At first a truck radiator sprounting
improbably in this laurel slick--
too far a haul to get rid of,
to hide if theft. I stumble
on coiled copper, know what it is,
or was, the radiator rusty,
the logs mushroomed, mossy,
a wind and rain tumble
of tubing and quart mason jars.
Perhaps he left for greener pastures
of marijuana, or his stingy fire
smoke signaled the sheriff or simply
grew too old to make this climb
and go back burdened to lighten the mind,
the burlap sack clinking and clanking.

Rooted in places like Watauga County, Goshen Creek, and Dismal Mountain, the poems in Ron Rash’s fourth collection, Waking, electrify dry counties and tobacco fields until they sparkle with the rituals and traditions of Southerners in the stir of their lives.

In his first book of poetry in nearly a decade, Rash leads his readers on a Southern odyssey, full of a terse wit and a sense of the narrative so authentic it will dazzle you. As we wake inside these poems, we see rivers wild with trout, lightning storms, and homemade churches, nailed and leaning against the side of a Tennessee mountain.
A two-time PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist, Rash has been compared to writers like John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy. With his eye for the perfect detail and an ear for regional idiom, Rash furthers his claim as the new torchbearer for literature in the American South.

Here is a book full of sorrow and redemption, sparseness and the beauty of a single, stark detail—the muskellunge at first light, a barn choked with curing tobacco, a porch full of men and the rockers that move them over the same spot until they carve their names into the ground, deeper, even, into the roots where myths start, into the very marrow of the world.


Great Bookstores

An Indie Bookstore you should know

Avid BookshopAvid Bookshop in Athens, GA

Having just opened its real-world doors this month, Avid Bookshop is a community-focused independent bookstore in Athens, Georgia. Visit us at 493 Prince Avenue in in-town Athens (next to the Fire Hall #2/Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation) or online at




shop | twitter | facebook | blog


Front Door

Children's Corner

Front Door

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.

Valerie NiemanFeatured: Valerie Nieman
Greensboro, NC

Website | Blog | Press Kit | facebook

Topics: fiction, Southern fiction, Appalachian fiction, poetry, women's fiction, ekphrasis, blue collar writing, North Carolina, West Virginia

Newest Book: Blood Clay
trade paper, $17.95
Press 53, 2011

Blood ClayBlood Clay tells the story of Tracey Gaines, who has moved to rural Saul County, North Carolina, to escape the wreckage of a divorce and becomes a teacher at an alternative school. She devotes herself to renovating an old farmhouse but finds she can't as easily build connections in this new place. When the community splits, she finds an ally in Dave Fordham, a native son who struck out for new opportunities, only to face his own trauma and a forced return home. Elizabeth Stuckey-French says, "Val Nieman has written what is destined to become a classic novel of Southern life."

Elizabeth Stuckey-French says, "Val Nieman has written what is destined to become a classic novel of Southern life."

Her collection of short stories, Fidelities, appeared in 2004 from West Virginia University Press, featuring stories that first appeared in The Kenyon Review, Arts & Letters, West Branch, and other journals and anthologies. Her first novel, Neena Gathering, was a science fiction paperback that was also translated for the Brazilian market. Her second novel, Survivors, was a story of loss and recovery in a Rust Belt town in the 1970s. A poetry collection, Wake Wake Wake, including work published in two chapbooks, and in Blackbird, Poetry, New Letters, REDiViDER, and in numerous anthologies. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in NC Literary Review, Connotations Press: An Online Artifact, Crab Creek Review, ABZ, Still, and anthologies from Bottom Dog Press and Jacar Press. She won the inaugural Byron Herbert Reece Poetry Prize, and was a finalist in the James Applewhite Prize and the Guy Owen Poetry Prize competitions. A former newspaper reporter and editor, she has received an NEA creative writing fellowship, two Elizabeth Simpson Smith prizes in fiction, and the Greg Grummer Prize in poetry. A graduate of the M.F.A. program at Queens University of Charlotte, she teaches writing at N.C. A&T State University. She is the poetry editor for Prime Number magazine.

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

Kala Ambrose
Durham, NC 10/27/2011-10/27/2011
Chapel Hill, NC 10/28/2011-10/28/2011
Raleigh, NC 10/30/2011-10/30/2011

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

Maggie Bishop

John C. Campbell Folk School, GA 10/30/2011-11/5/2011

Nancy B. Brewer

Mooresville, NC 10/18/2011-10/18/2011

Nancy Cohen
Delray Beach, FL 10/29/2011-10/29/2011

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
Ponchatoula, LA 10/29/2011-10/30/2011

Jennie Helderman
Atlanta, GA 11/19/2011-11/19/2011
Sterling, VA 10/25/2011-10/29/2011

Mary Alice Monroe
Nashville, TN 10/15/2011-10/15/2011
Miami, FL 11/19/2011-11/19/2011

Nancy Naigle

Charlottesville, VA 10/15/2011-10/15/2011
Emporia, VA 12/5/2011-12/5/2011
Emporia, VA 12/8/2011-12/8/2011

Valerie Nieman
Charlottesville, VA 10/29/2011-10/30/2011
Charleston, WV 10/18/2011-10/18/2011
Hillsborough, NC 11/16/2011-11/16/2011
Charlotte, NC 10/10/2011-10/10/2011

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
Asheville, NC 11/26/2011-11/27/2011
Spartanburg, SC 11/23/2011-11/27/2011
Atlanta, GA 10/12/2011-10/14/2011

Norma Watkins

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

Tamra Wilson

Gaston County, NC 10/27/2011-10/29/2011