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RECENT RECOMMENDATIONS FROM SOUTHERN INDIES...

How to do justice to a novel that allows you to know each character so intimately that their pain and triumphs are your own?

I fell head-over-heels for twins Noah and Jude. I couldn’t resist Noah, who has a penchant for contextualizing his life into paintings, or Jude, who takes to keeping onions in her pockets to avoid serious illness. The two share an almost other-worldly bond, but as life rapidly spins beyond their control and they retreat into their own internalized worlds, they lose touch with the others’ heart.

Their journey back to one another is absolutely stunning.

Peppered with beautiful imagery and quirky excerpts from Grandma Sweetwine’s folksy bible, I’ll Give You the Sun is a book you’ll wanna hold close to your heart. Or maybe I should just say, I want to give this book to everyone I have ever or will ever meet.

I'll Give You the Sun By Jandy Nelson ($17.99, Dial Books for Young Readers), recommended by Amanda, Foxtale Bookshoppe, Woodstock GA.

In Scott Westerfeld's new book Afterworlds the readers are treated to two stories in one!

Afterworlds is set up with alternating chapters where the reader is first introduced to Darcy Patel, a writer, who has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel aptly titled - Afterworlds. Next the reader is immersed in the world of her novel and gets to follow her character Lizzie along on a suspenseful and thrilling ride.

If you are looking for a fantastic new read then this book is a must!

Afterworlds By Scott Westerfeld ($19.99, Simon Pulse), recommended by Erin at Foxtale Bookshoppe, Woodstock GA.

The world is a beautiful place, don't you think? Not because it is, but because I see it that way.

The title is the first thing I noticed about this book, but it definitely wasn't what kept me reading it--the writing itself took care of that.

This entire novel is ONE sentence. This is a book meant to be devoured in one sitting--you may not stop to catch your breath. Hrabal is a master and he does something really special here. 

Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age By Bohumil Hrabal ($14, NYRB Classics) Recommended by O.B. at Scuppernong Books Greensboro NC

This charming novel is a character study of an elderly Swiss man who loves life, loves people—his wife especially—loves to walk, and loves to talk, but struggles to make a connection with his son.

This is just the book to read on a rainy day, perhaps in front of a fire with a cup of cocoa. Or if you want to slow yourself down to enjoy more of your life.

Zbinden's Progress by Christoph Simon ($15.95, And Other Stories), recommended by Sue at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.

After a famous mathematician’s death, her colleagues and rivals from all over the world gather along with the family to sit shiva and honor her memory.

Certain that the late Rachela Karnokovitch has solved the Navier-Stokes problem and taken the solution to her grave, the group looks for clues under floorboards, interrogates her pet parrot, and searches the house.

Readers, whether they have an appreciation of mathematics or not, will appreciate the love, family, and beauty of this novel.

The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer ($16, Penguin), recommended by Lyn at Square Books Oxford MI.
 

Lila is a good reminder of why I love Marilynne Robinson's rich writing.

The main character, Lila, becomes the wife of the Reverend Ames (a wonderfully gentle and sympathetic man who appears in Robinson's other two books set in Gilead). When we first meet Lila, she is an untamed creature, but through the love of her rescuer, Doll, and Ames, she matures and finds a sense of security.

Lila By Marilynne Robinson ($26, Farrar, Straus and Giroux), recommended by Mamie at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC.

When A. inherits a large estate after the sudden suicide of his cousin, he is thrust into the middle of a mystery with deadly consequences.

Ghosts, cultists, and dreams of unspeakable acts are only the beginning for A. as he tries to uncover the secrets of Acton House.

A mystery in the tradition of Lovecraft, King, Henry James, and Edith Wharton (who lends this book its title), this book will leave you wanting more because once Cantero has you hooked you won't want to put it down.

The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero ($26.95, Doubleday) Recommended by Andrew at Square Books Oxford MI