Read This! Books with Street Cred...

Jasmine Green Rescues: A Piglet Called Truffle by Helen Peters, Ellie Snowdon (Illustrator)This fun new series will get early readers a chance to love reading. Fun and beautiful while pulling at the strings of your heart for the love of animals. Delightful

Jasmine Green Rescues: A Piglet Called Truffle by Helen Peters, Ellie Snowdon (Illustrator) (List price: $14.99, Walker Books US), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca JamesA haunted manor, star crossed lovers, a good guy to save the day – what more could you ask for in a wonderfully creepy gothic thriller set in the 1940s and in modern day? How about a really great surprise ending?

The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James (List price: $26.99, Minotaur Books), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

 Current Southern Indie Bestseller List...

Southern Bestsellers

For the week ending 5/24/2020.

HARDCOVER FICTION
HARDCOVER NONFICTION
1. Camino Winds
John Grisham, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385545938
2. The Book of Longings
Sue Monk Kidd, Viking, $28, 9780525429760
3. Rodham
Curtis Sittenfeld, Random House, $28, 9780399590917
4. The Last Trial
Scott Turow, Grand Central, $29, 9781538748138
5. All Adults Here
Emma Straub, Riverhead Books, $27, 9781594634697
1. The Splendid and the Vile
Erik Larson, Crown, $32, 9780385348713
2. Untamed
Glennon Doyle, The Dial Press, $28, 9781984801258
3. Educated
Tara Westover, Random House, $28, 9780399590504
4. The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think
Jennifer Ackerman, Penguin Press, $28, 9780735223011
5. Becoming
Michelle Obama, Crown, $32.50, 9781524763138

 A SIBA Okra Pick | SIBA Book Award winners and finalists! |  Special to the Southern List |  Reader Meet Writer Author Series

 From the Current Crop of Fresh Okra Picks...

The UnwillingThe Unwilling by John Hart
St. Martin's Press, June, 2020

"With his signature beautiful writing style, Hart leads readers on a mystery that ends up not being the one you might not have thought it would be, and each twist and reveal brings up new questions to keep the reader engaged in a big way."
~ Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC


Set in the South at the height of the Vietnam War, The Unwilling combines crime, suspense and searing glimpses into the human mind and soul in NYT bestselling author John Hart's singular style.

Gibby's older brothers have already been to war. One died there. The other came back misunderstood and hard, a decorated killer now freshly released from a three-year stint in prison.

Jason won't speak of the war or of his time behind bars, but he wants a relationship with the younger brother he hasn't known for years. Determined to make that connection, he coaxes Gibby into a day at the lake: long hours of sunshine and whisky and older women.

But the day turns ugly when the four encounter a prison transfer bus on a stretch of empty road. Beautiful but drunk, one of the women taunts the prisoners, leading to a riot on the bus. The woman finds it funny in the moment, but is savagely murdered soon after.

Given his violent history, suspicion turns first to Jason; but when the second woman is kidnapped, the police suspect Gibby, too. Determined to prove Jason innocent, Gibby must avoid the cops and dive deep into his brother's hidden life, a dark world of heroin, guns and outlaw motorcycle gangs. What he discovers there is a truth more bleak than he could have imagined: not just the identity of the killer and the reasons for Tyra's murder, but the forces that shaped his brother in Vietnam, the reason he was framed, and why the most dangerous man alive wants him back in prison. This is crime fiction at its most raw, an exploration of family and the past, of prison and war and the indelible marks they leave.

 The Latest from Lady Banks' Commonplace Book...

 

Lost Friends

In 2107 Lisa Wingate published Before We Were Yours, a novel based on a true story about a Memphis-based adoption organization that kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families in 2017. One of the people who read the book was Diane Plauche, who found much of the story achingly familiar.

Lost Friends

Plauche is a volunteer with the Historic New Orleans Collection museum. In 2015, she began assisting the museum in creating a database of historical Lost Friends advertisements, through which formerly enslaved people desperately tried to find their lost families in the decades following emancipation. To date, Diane has entered over 2500 unique ads, and tens of thousands of names in the museum's database, preserving the histories of thousands of families. Plauche wrote to Wingate about the project, saying "There is a story in each one of these ads."

Wingate agreed. Her new novel, The Book of Lost Friends, was just released last month.

Lost Friends Lost FriendsLost Friends

On Thursday, May 28 at 7:00 pm the Reader Meet Writer Author Series will host a special online event with Lisa Wingate and Diane Plauche, in conversation with the author Kristy Woodson Harvey. They will be discussion Wingate's new novel, and the little-known facet of American life that inspired it.

Tickets are available at the following bookstores:


The Haunted Book Shop, Mobile, AL
The Snail on the Wall, Huntsville, AL

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Fort Smith, AR

Books and Books @ the Studios, ‎Key West, FL
Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL
Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Douglasville, GA
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Savannah, GA
Righton Books, St. Simons Island, GA

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., St. Francisville, LA
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., New Orleans, LA
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., New Orleans, LA

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Morganton, NC
The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC
Duck's Cottage, Manteo, NC
Malaprops Bookstore, Asheville, NC
Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Elizabeth City, NC
Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Salisbury, NC
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., High Point, NC

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Charleston, SC
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Summerville, SC

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Memphis, TN

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Orange, VA
Read Books, Virginia Beach, VA

 

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER!

 Southern Books | Authors | Literary News...

Books That Made Me Dream Big
Carrie J. Knowles

The Inevitable PastCarrie Jane Knowles

When I was nine, I had a frightening case of mumps. The doctor told my mother that I should not go outside or be exposed to bright lights. So, she confined me to my room, turned off the overhead light and closed the drapes.

Complete darkness, she believed, was the cure that would save me.

In an act of mercy, and a way to keep me in bed, she allowed me to turn on a small bedside lamp and gave me her favorite book: Good Morning, Miss Dove, by Francis Gray Patton.

It was my first real book. No pictures. Just words and a world of everyday people who had a teacher they loved.

By the end, I loved Miss Dove, as well.

Miss Dove Great Expectations The Once and Future KIng Out of Africa
The Log of the Sea of Cortez The Princess Bride

After Miss Dove, my mother gave me Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations. I devoured it, and had fevered dreams of Miss Havisham, sitting in her decaying house, wearing a soiled and tattered wedding dress, angry and determined to exact revenge on all men in the world.

When I recovered from the mumps, my mother took me to the library. With a wink and a nod to the librarian, I was welcomed into the wonder of the adult section.

My world exploded.

What I had loved about Miss Dove was that she was someone I might know. She was a teacher. Everyday. Ordinary. But, extraordinary in how she lived her life.

What I loved about Dickens were his bigger than life, wicked characters who jumped off the page with their wild ideas and dangerous daring.

These two books set the bar for all other books that came in their wake.

Then the librarian introduced me to T.H. White’s The Once and Future King.  There I met the gawky Arthur. A man-child. An ordinary person called on to do extraordinary things. He was magnificent and mortal. But, best of all, he had a man of magic to mentor him.

Oh, Merlin! You lived backwards and knew everything that was going to happen. Why aren’t you here today to prepare us for what’s going to happen next in our very futures?

I reread The Once and Future King every couple of years just to get back to center. It gives me hope. Makes me dream big again. I wore the covers off my hardback copy and eventually had to glue the whole thing back together using a wide strip of handmade lace.

Equally life-enhancing and magical to me are two extraordinary non-fiction books: Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen and John Steinbeck’s masterful retelling of a trip with his best friend, Ed Ricketts, The Log From the Sea of Cortez.

I have read both of these books again and again and given them as gifts.

I never teach a writing workshop without talking about the brilliant opening line of Out of Africa: “I had a farm in Africa.”

That’s the whole book. Right there. Six words. Perfection.

And, then there’s the first book that ever made me laugh out loud, William Goldman’s The Princess Bride…don’t get me started.


Carrie Jane Knowles has published dozens of short stories and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, and four novels: Lillian’s Garden (Roundfire Books, 2013), Ashoan’s Rug (Roundfire Books, 2013), A Garden Wall in Provence (Owl Canyon Press, 2017), The Inevitable Past (Owl Canyon Press, 2020), a collection of short fiction, Black Tie Optional: 17 Stories (Owl Canyon Press, 2019) and a writing workbook, A Self-Guided Workbook and Gentle Tour on Learning How to Write Stories from Start-to-Finish (Owl Canyon Press, 2020). Her non-fiction memoir about her family’s struggles with their mother’s Alzheimer’s, The Last Childhood: A Family Story of Alzheimer's, was originally published by Three Rivers Press.



Parapalooza! Paragraphs Worth Spreading

Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

Do you know your Southern lit?

The Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

We dare you to use a pen on these crossword puzzles, each inspired by one of the winning titles of the SIBA Book Award, honoring ten years of the very best in Southern literature as chosen by the people who would know...Southern Independent Booksellers!

A great gift for your book club, for puzzle-lovers, and anyone who loves Southern literature. $9.95 paperback. Available at Southern Indie Bookstores. Need some hints or looking for answers? Pssst.