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Find hundreds of great books--from the hottest new releases and bestsellers to tried and true classics to rare gems--each hand-picked and hand-curated from Southern indie booksellers' websites, newsletters, emails, facebook and twitter posts and from the moments when they stop us in the street, push a book in our hands and say..."YOU'VE GOT TO READ THIS!"
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THIS WEEK'S RECOMMENDATIONS FROM SOUTHERN INDIES...

Freeman's: Home--The Best New Writing on Home by John Freeman (Editor)

John Freeman is dear to me and the Freeman's anthologies (this is the third) are his most ambitious and accessible projects to date. If you currently read Best American Short Stories or Pushcart Prize anthologies, stretch your wings a bit and try this dazzlingly international collection. The new issue spotlights never-before-published stories, essays, poetry by Edwidge Danticat, Herta Müller, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Gregory Pardlo, Kay Ryan, Aleksandar Hemon, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and many more.

Freeman's: Home--The Best New Writing on Home by John Freeman (Editor) ($16.00, Grove Press), recommended by Kelly, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond VA.

Imagine Wanting Only This by Kristen Radtke

Like a cross between Leslie Jamison and Alison Bechdel, in this graphic memoir Kristen Radtke takes the best of the contemporary essay and brings her story to life with clean and evocative illustrations. Imagine Wanting Only This is a travelogue of displacement, following Radtke to abandoned mining towns, bombed-out ruins, and a lava-covered Icelandic island. What grounds it all, though, is the way Radtke examines what motivates her restlessness: the death of her uncle from a rare genetic mutation, the breakdown of a relationship. Kristen Radkte is a many-talented literary artist, and this remarkable debut will stay with me.

Imagine Wanting Only This by Kristen Radtke ($25.95, Pantheon Books), recommended by Travis, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

Do you love great sci-fi? Do you think you might love great sci-fi? Do you love gorgeous, hysterical, thought-provoking writing? BOOM. Here is your next amazing read.

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi ($25.99, Tor Books), recommended by Grace, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

Memoirs of a Polar Bear By Yoko Tawada; Susan Bernofsky (Translator)

Dreamy and philosophical and bittersweet, this book makes me wish I could get my paw-hands on more memoirs written by polar bears.

"After the death of all living creatures, all our unfulfilled wishes and unspoken words will go on drifting in the stratosphere, they will combine with one another and linger upon the earth like a fog. What will this fog look like in the eyes of the living? Will they fail to remember the dead and instead indulge in banal meteorological conversations like: 'It's foggy today, don't you think?'"

Memoirs of a Polar Bear By Yoko Tawada; Susan Bernofsky (translator) ($16.95, New Directions Publishing Corporation), recommended by Elizabeth, Avid Bookstore, Athens, GA.

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

Let me be clear: I love short story collections. When done well, short stories can hold great literary (and personal) value to me. Most collections have a few stories that aren't on par with the rest and one or two stellar stories. Difficult Women is not like this. Each story feels real, often magical, but always tangible. Some are allegories, some are simply insightful, while others are brimming with emotion--and they are all excellent. Read more at Foggy Pine Books’ blog…

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay ($25.00, Grove Press), recommended by Mary, Foggy Pine Books, Boone, NC.

Walkaway by Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow's Walkaway is a return to the deep-thinking, insightful, and yet very amusing science fiction of yore. We follow a group of Walkaways (individuals who have left typical society) as they experience and immerse themselves in a counter-culture that should be easy to maintain in a world of surplus. It isn't, of course--especially with differing opinions on what this counter-culture should do and what they could represent. Prepare to laugh and think with a story that is just on the other side of tomorrow.

Walkaway by Cory Doctorow ($26.99, Tor Books), recommended by Banshion, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy led us on a gradual descent into creeping sci-fi horror. His new standalone novel Borne plunges you straight-off into a post-apocalyptic cityscape picked over by scavengers, failed biotech, and a Godzilla-sized flying bear called Mord. The world VanderMeer describes is terrifying and ingeniously conceived, but it's the relationship between a scavenger, Rachel, and the squid-like biotech creature she names Borne that is the book's most remarkable feat. He was born, but I had borne him.

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer ($26.00, MCD), recommended by Travis, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.