Okra Picks are a dozen fresh titles chosen each season that SIBA Indie Bookstores want to handsell. These books should be southern in nature but can cover any genre, not just fiction. Southern readers love their writers, and we want to be at the forefront of bringing them a strong selection of Southern titles not to be missed each season.


DISCOVER ALL THE OKRA PICKS...

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  • The Big Door Prize by M.O. Walsh

    The Big Door PrizeThe Big Door Prize by M. O. Walsh
    G. P. Putnam's Sons, September 8, 2020

    The New York Times bestselling author of My Sunshine Away returns with another instant Southern classic: a gripping and heartfelt novel about a mysterious machine that upends a small Louisiana town, asking us all to wonder if who we truly are is who we truly could be.

    What would you do if you knew your life's potential? That's the question facing the residents of Deerfield, Louisiana, when the DNAMIX machine appears in their local grocery store. It's nothing to look at, really--it resembles a plain photo booth. But its promise is amazing: With just a quick swab of your cheek and two dollars, the device claims to use the science of DNA to tell you your life's potential. With enough credibility to make the townspeople curious, soon the former teachers, nurses, and shopkeepers of Deerfield are abruptly changing course to pursue their destinies as magicians, cowboys, and athletes--including the novel's main characters, Douglas Hubbard and his wife, Cherilyn, who both believed they were perfectly happy until they realized they could dream for more...

    Written with linguistic grace and a sense of wonder, The Big Door Prize sparkles with keen observations about what it might mean to stay true to oneself while honoring the bonds of marriage, friendship, and community, and how the glimmer of possibility can pull these bonds apart, bring them back together, and make second chances possible, even under the strangest of circumstances.

  • Pea, Bee, & Jay #1 by Brian "Smitty" Smith

    Pea, Bee, & Jay #1Pea, Bee, & Jay #1 by Brian "Smitty" Smith
    HarperAlley, September 1, 2020

    Get ready to roll with Pea, Bee, & Jay in this brand-new early reader graphic novel series by Brian "Smitty" Smith, perfect for fans of Narwhal & Jelly, emerging readers, and comic lovers alike!

    Like all peas, Pea loves to roll. So when a no-good strawberry dares him to roll all the way off the farm, he swears he can do it—eazy me-zee!

    But along the way, a powerful thunderstorm strikes and bounces Pea off course...and right into two unlikely new buds: a bee named Bee who thinks she knows it all, and a bird named Jay who can't figure out how to fly.

    On their own they may not look like much, but if this trio can stick together, they just might help Pea find his way back home!

  • The Deepest South of All by Richard Grant

    The Deepest South of AllThe Deepest South of All by Richard Grant
    Simon & Schuster, September 1, 2020

    Bestselling travel writer Richard Grant offers an entertaining and profound look at a city like no other.

    Natchez, Mississippi, once had more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in America, and its wealth was built on slavery and cotton. Today it has the greatest concentration of antebellum mansions in the South, and a culture full of unexpected contradictions. Prominent white families dress up in hoopskirts and Confederate uniforms for ritual celebrations of the Old South, yet Natchez is also progressive enough to elect a gay black man for mayor with 91% of the vote.

    Much as John Berendt did for Savannah in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and the hit podcast S-Town did for Woodstock, Alabama, so Richard Grant does for Natchez in The Deepest South of All. With humor and insight, he depicts a strange, eccentric town with an unforgettable cast of characters. There's Buzz Harper, a six-foot-five gay antique dealer famous for swanning around in a mink coat with a uniformed manservant and a very short German bodybuilder. There's Ginger Hyland, "The Lioness," who owns 500 antique eyewash cups and decorates 168 Christmas trees with her jewelry collection. And there's Nellie Jackson, a Cadillac-driving brothel madam who became an FBI informant about the KKK before being burned alive by one of her customers. Interwoven through these stories is the more somber and largely forgotten account of Abd al Rahman Ibrahima, a West African prince who was enslaved in Natchez and became a cause célèbre in the 1820s, eventually gaining his freedom and returning to Africa.

    Part history and part travelogue, The Deepest South of All offers a gripping portrait of a complex American place, as it struggles to break free from the past and confront the legacy of slavery.

  • I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes, Gordon C. James (Illustrator)

    I Am Every Good ThingI Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes, Gordon C. James (Illustrator)
    Nancy Paulsen Books, September 1, 2020

    An upbeat, empowering, important picture book from the team that created the award-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

    I am
    a nonstop ball of energy.
    Powerful and full of light.
    I am a go-getter. A difference maker. A leader

    The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He's got big plans, and no doubt he'll see them through--as he's creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other times he's afraid, because he's so often misunderstood and called what he is not. So slow down and really look and listen, when somebody tells you--and shows you--who they are. There are superheroes in our midst!

  • RESPECT by Carole Boston Weatherford, Frank Morrison (Illustrator)

    RESPECTR-E-S-P-E-C-T by Carole Boston Weatherford, Frank Morrison (Illustrator)
    Atheneum Books for Young Readers, August 25, 2020

    From a creative team with multiple Caldecott Honors comes this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin that pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves.

    Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent was clear from her earliest days in her father's Detroit church where her soaring voice spanned more than three octaves.

    Her string of hit songs earned her the title "the Queen of Soul," multiple Grammy Awards, and a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But Aretha didn't just raise her voice in song, she also spoke out against injustice and fought for civil rights.

    This authoritative, rhythmic picture book biography will captivate young readers with Aretha's inspiring story.

  • When These Mountains Burn by David Joy

    When These Mountains BurnWhen These Mountains Burn by David Joy
    G.P. Putnam's Sons, August 18, 2020

    Acclaimed author and "remarkably gifted storyteller" (The Charlotte Observer) David Joy returns with a fierce and tender tale of a father, an addict, a lawman, and the explosive events that come to unite them.

    When his addict son gets in deep with his dealer, it takes everything Raymond Mathis has to bail him out of trouble one last time. Frustrated by the slow pace and limitations of the law, Raymond decides to take matters into his own hands.

    After a workplace accident left him out of a job and in pain, Denny Rattler has spent years chasing his next high. He supports his habit through careful theft, following strict rules that keep him under the radar and out of jail. But when faced with opportunities too easy to resist, Denny makes two choices that change everything.

    For months, the DEA has been chasing the drug supply in the mountains to no avail, when a lead--just one word--sets one agent on a path to crack the case wide open . . . but he'll need help from the most unexpected quarter.

    As chance brings together these men from different sides of a relentless epidemic, each may come to find that his opportunity for redemption lies with the others.

  • Loathe at First Sight by Suzanne Park

    Loathe at First SightLoathe at First Sight by Suzanne Park
    Avon, August 18, 2020

    "Bursts with humor, heart, and great energy. I loved it! Park is a hilarious new voice in women's fiction."—Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient

    "[A] punchy adult debut set in the world of video game design. Park makes tough topics go down easy by couching them in wry humor and lighthearted romance, and her fierce, snarky heroine is irresistible. This smart rom-com is a winner."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    In a debut perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory and Sally Thorne, a junior video game producer finds herself getting closer and closer to the one person she hates most after a mass troll attack online almost ruins her life.

    Melody Joo is thrilled to land her dream job as a video game producer, but her new position comes with challenges: an insufferable CEO; sexist male coworkers; and an infuriating—yet distractingly handsome—intern, Nolan MacKenzie, aka "the guy who got hired because his uncle is the boss."

    Just when Melody thinks she's made the worst career move of her life, her luck changes. While joking with a friend, she creates a mobile game that has male strippers fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Suddenly Melody's "joke" is her studio's most high-profile project—and Melody's running the show.

    When Nolan is assigned to Melody's team, she's sure he'll be useless. But as they grow closer, she realizes he's smart and sexy, which makes Melody want to forget he's her intern. As their attraction deepens, she knows it's time to pump the brakes, even with her Korean parents breathing down her neck to hurry up and find a man.

    With her project about to launch, Melody suddenly faces a slew of complications, including a devastating trolling scandal. Could the man she's falling hard for help her play the game to win—in work and in love?

  • The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi

    The Lazy Genius WayThe Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi
    WaterBrook, August 11, 2020

    Being a Lazy Genius isn't about doing more or doing less. It's about doing what matters to you.

    "I could not be more excited about this book."—Jenna Fischer, actor and cohost of Office Ladies podcast.

    The chorus of "shoulds" is loud. You should enjoy the moment, dream big, have it all, get up before the sun, track your water consumption, go on date nights, and be the best. Or maybe you should ignore what people think, live on dry shampoo, be a negligent PTA mom, have a dirty house, and claim your hot mess like a badge of honor.

    It's so easy to feel overwhelmed by the mixed messages of what it means to live well.

    Kendra Adachi, the creator of the Lazy Genius movement, invites you to live well by your own definition and equips you to be a genius about what matters and lazy about what doesn't. Everything from your morning routine to napping without guilt falls into place with Kendra's thirteen Lazy Genius principles, including:

    • Decide once
    • Start small
    • Ask the Magic Question
    • Go in the right order
    • Schedule rest

    Discover a better way to approach your relationships, work, and piles of mail. Be who you are without the complication of everyone else's "shoulds." Do what matters, skip the rest, and be a person again.

  • Guillotine by Eduardo C. Corral

    GuillotineGuillotine by Eduardo C. Corral
    Graywolf Press, August 4, 2020

    The astonishing second collection by the author of Slow Lightning, winner of the Yale Younger Poets Prize.

    Guillotine traverses desert landscapes cut through by migrants, the grief of loss, betrayal's lingering scars, the border itself—great distances in which violence and yearning find roots. Through the voices of undocumented immigrants, border patrol agents, and scorned lovers, award-winning poet Eduardo C. Corral writes dramatic portraits of contradiction, survival, and a deeply human, relentless interiority. With extraordinary lyric imagination, these poems wonder about being unwanted or renounced. What do we do with unrequited love? Is it with or without it that we would waste away?

    In the sequence "Testaments Scratched into Water Station Barrels," with Corral's seamless integration of Spanish and English, poems curve around the surfaces upon which they are written, overlapping like graffiti left by those who may or may not have survived crossing the border. A harrowing second collection, Guillotine solidifies Corral's place in the expanding ecosystem of American poetry.

  • Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey

    Memorial DriveMemorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey
    Ecco, July 28, 2020

    A chillingly personal and exquisitely wrought memoir of a daughter reckoning with the brutal murder of her mother at the hands of her former stepfather, and the moving, intimate story of a poet coming into her own in the wake of a tragedy.

    At age nineteen, Natasha Trethewey had her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Grieving and still new to adulthood, she confronted the twin pulls of life and death in the aftermath of unimaginable trauma and now explores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became.

    With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Natasha Trethewey explores this profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mother's life and the way her own life has been shaped by a legacy of fierce love and resilience. Moving through her mother's history in the deeply segregated South and through her own girlhood as a "child of miscegenation" in Mississippi, Trethewey plumbs her sense of dislocation and displacement in the lead-up to the harrowing crime that took place on Memorial Drive in Atlanta in 1985.

    Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence but also a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Animated by unforgettable prose and inflected by a poet's attention to language, this is a luminous, urgent, and visceral memoir from one of our most important contemporary writers and thinkers.

  • Deal With the Devil by Kit Rocha

    Deal With the DevilDeal With the Devil by Kit Rocha
    Tor Books, July 28, 2020

    Deal with the Devil is Orphan Black meets the post-apocalyptic Avengers by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author duo Kit Rocha.

    Nina is an information broker with a mission—she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America.

    Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he's fighting to survive.

    They're on a deadly collision course, and the passion that flares between them only makes it more dangerous. They could burn down the world, destroying each other in the process…

    Or they could do the impossible: team up.

    This is the first book in a near-future science fiction series with elements of romance.

  • After Squidnight by Jonathan Fenske

    After SquidnightAfter Squidnight by Jonathan Fenske
    Penguin, July 28, 2020

    From the creator of the award-winning A Pig, a Fox, and a Box comes a sly, silly picture book about artistic squids that will get every reader giggling!

    Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor-winning author and illustrator Jonathan Fenske's appealing illustration style and clever text make this intriguing book a must-have for every young reader's shelf

    When the clock strikes midnight, a squad of squids creeps out of the ocean--and over to your house! Their mission? To leave their inky mark by drawing on walls, the floor, and even your toys. This rhyming tale showcases a crew of creative creatures as they make art (or maybe just a mess) and leave you to deal with the consequences!

  • Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

    Blacktop WastelandBlacktop Wasteland by S. A. Cosby
    Flatiron Books, July 14, 2020

    A husband, a father, a son, a business owner…And the best getaway driver east of the Mississippi.

    "Sensationally good—new, fresh, real, authentic, twisty, with characters and dilemmas that will break your heart. More than recommended." —Lee Child

    Beauregard "Bug" Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hard-working dad. Bug knows there's no future in the man he used to be: known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast.

    He thought he'd left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can't-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver's seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear.

    Haunted by the ghost of who he used to be and the father who disappeared when he needed him most, Bug must find a way to navigate this blacktop wasteland...or die trying.

    Like Ocean's Eleven meets Drive, with a Southern noir twist, S. A. Cosby's Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime.

  • The Unwilling by John Hart

    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 Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

    The Vanishing HalfThe Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
    Riverhead Books, June, 2020

    "This beautifully paced and thought-provoking novel is one to enjoy slowly, savoring as you consider the big questions this book poses: who are we when we shed the markers that once defined us, how do our pasts inform our choices and desires, and what does it mean to be a family.
    ~ Megan Bell, Underground Books, Carrollton, GA


    From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

    The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?

    Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

    As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.

  • A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos

    A Taste of SageA Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos
    Harper Paperbacks, May, 2020

    "When you mix delicious food and hate to love romance in a book, you instantly have me hooked. Julien is a celebrated chef who is known for his good looks but bad attitude. Lumi can't stand Julien, but tastes his cooking because it looks so irresistible and she's overcome with intense emotions and has her wondering if she wants more. If you are looking for something fun, tasty, and will test your senses, you will enjoy this book."
    ~ Deanna Bailey, Story on the Square, McDonough, GA


    From talented new writer, Yaffa S. Santos, comes this unforgettable, heartwarming, and hilarious rom-com about chefs, cooking, love, and self-discovery that is a cross between The Hating Game and Sweetbitter.

    Lumi Santana is a chef with the gift of synesthesia—she can perceive a person's emotions just by tasting their cooking. Despite being raised by a single mother who taught her that dreams and true love were silly fairy tales, she decides to take a chance and puts her heart and savings into opening a fusion restaurant in Inwood, Manhattan. The restaurant offers a mix of the Dominican cuisine she grew up with and other world cuisines that have been a source of culinary inspiration to her.

    When Lumi's eclectic venture fails, she is forced to take a position as a sous chef at a staid, traditional French restaurant in midtown owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue as well as his brilliant smile. Lumi and Julien don't get along in the kitchen--to say Lumi is irritated by Julien's smug attitude is an understatement, and she secretly vows never to taste his cooking. Little does she know that her resolve doesn't stand a chance against Julien's culinary prowess.

    As Julien produces one delectable dish after another, each one tempting Lumi with its overwhelming aromas and gorgeous presentations, she can no longer resist and samples one of his creations. She isn't prepared for the feelings that follow as she's overcome with intense emotions. She begins to crave his cooking throughout the day, which throws a curveball in her plan to save up enough money and move on as soon as possible. Plus, there's also the matter of Esme, Julien's receptionist who seems to always be near and watching. As the attraction between Lumi and Julien simmers, Lumi experiences a tragedy that not only complicates her professional plans, but her love life as well...

    Clever, witty, and romantic, A Taste of Sage is sure to delight and entertain readers until the very last page.

  • We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez

    We Are Not From HereWe Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez
    Philomel Books, May, 2020

    "I still don't know if I have fully recovered from reading this novel, but I know that I needed to read it. It is both devastating yet compulsively readable; difficult to get through yet necessary. One in the ranks of The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead and should be put into every American's hands."
    ~ Olivia Schaffer, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA


    A poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border, inspired by current events.

    Pulga has his dreams.

    Chico has his grief.

    Pequeña has her pride.

    And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they've grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home.

    Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life—if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go.

    In this striking portrait of lives torn apart, the plight of migrants at the U.S. southern border is brought to light through poignant, vivid storytelling. An epic journey of danger, resilience, heartache, and hope.

  • Boys of Alabama by Genevieve Hudson

    The Boys of AlabamaBoys of Alabama by Genevieve Hudson
    Liveright, May, 2020

    "Genevieve Hudson brings to life a brutal yet spellbinding exploration of teenage masculinity, and the horrors that it is capable of setting loose. In her haunting debut novel - part coming-of-age, part Southern gothic, part queer lit - she highlights the fear and excitement, the love and the loss, that inevitably accompanies being a new face in a new place."
    ~ Gage Tarlton, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC


    O, The Oprah Magazine • "31 LGBTQ Books That'll Change the Literary Landscape in 2020"
    Lit Hub • "Most Anticipated Books by LGBTQ Authors For the First Half of 2020"
    Ms. Magazine • "Reads for the Rest of Us: Feminist Books Coming Out in 2020"

    "A gripping, uncanny, and queer exploration of being a boy in America, told with detail that dazzles and disturbs." —Michelle Tea, author of Against Memoir

    In this bewitching debut novel, a sensitive teen, newly arrived in Alabama, falls in love, questions his faith, and navigates a strange power. While his German parents don't know what to make of a South pining for the past, shy Max thrives in the thick heat. Taken in by the football team, he learns how to catch a spiraling ball, how to point a gun, and how to hide his innermost secrets.

    Max already expects some of the raucous behavior of his new, American friends—like their insatiable hunger for the fried and cheesy, and their locker room talk about girls. But he doesn't expect the comradery—or how quickly he would be welcomed into their world of basement beer drinking. In his new canvas pants and thickening muscles, Max feels like he's "playing dress-up." That is until he meets Pan, the school "witch," in Physics class: "Pan in his all black. Pan with his goth choker and the gel that made his hair go straight up." Suddenly, Max feels seen, and the pair embarks on a consuming relationship: Max tells Pan about his supernatural powers, and Pan tells Max about the snake poison initiations of the local church. The boys, however, aren't sure whose past is darker, and what is more frightening—their true selves, or staying true in Alabama.

    Writing in verdant and visceral prose that builds to a shocking conclusion, Genevieve Hudson "brilliantly reinvents the Southern Gothic, mapping queer love in a land where God, guns, and football are king" (Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks). Boys of Alabama becomes a nuanced portrait of masculinity, religion, immigration, and the adolescent pressures that require total conformity.

  • Lobizona by Romina Garber

    Lobizona Lobizona by Romina Garber
    Wednesday Books, May, 2020

    "This is not your typical werewolf book. Think more Harry Potter meets Argentinian folklore meets the hope/terror of people coming to the US to start a better life. The world-building in this book is amazing because it's familiar yet so new at the same time."
    ~ Candace Conner, The Haunted Book Shop, Mobile, AL


    In Lobizona,bestselling author Romina Garber weaves together Argentine folklore and what it means to be illegal in a timely, intimate, and emotionally powerful narrative.

    Some people ARE illegal.

    Lobizonas do NOT exist.

    Both of these statements are false.

    Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who's on the run from her father's Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.

    Until Manu's protective bubble is shattered.

    Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past—a mysterious "Z" emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

    As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it's not just her U.S. residency that's illegal. . . . it's her entire existence.

  • Before She Was Helen by Caroline B. Cooney

    Before She Was Helen Before She Was Helen by Caroline B. Cooney
    Poisoned Pen Press, May, 2020

    "If you read Caroline B Cooney back in the day like I did, you will love this new one. No one is who they seem to be. Cooney keeps you on the edge of your seat as the narrative flashes between the main character and her past, describing how she evades an old stalker to reclaim her life. Cooney reminds the fans why she's been a huge name in thriller fiction for decades."
    ~ Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA


    A new mystery from international bestselling author Caroline B. Cooney! She thought fifty years was long enough to escape her past. She was wrong.

    Clementine Lakefield leads a simple life in her retirement community in Sun City, South Carolina. She plays cards, substitute teaches, and has learned to text with her niece and nephew; but Clemmie is not who she says she is. Behind her carefree facade, she is hiding a lifetime of secrets.

    When Clemmie's curmudgeonly neighbor goes missing, Clemmie suddenly finds herself thrust into the spotlight at the center of a dangerous conspiracy.

    From international bestselling author Caroline B. Cooney comes Before She Was Helen, an absorbing mystery that explores the danger of confronting your own past life.

  • Feels Like Falling by Kristy Woodson Harvey

    Feels Like Falling Feels Like Falling by Kristy Woodson Harvey
    Gallery Books, April, 2020

    "Diana is one of my top five favorite book characters of all time: she's witty, she's got a spine of steel, and she's from a social class that tends to be glossed over in women's fiction. I loved how heartwarming this book was. I say this about all of Kristy's books, but it genuinely made me laugh out loud and tear up, too!"
    ~ Lizy Coale, Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL


    Parade's 20 Most Anticipated Books of Early 2020
    SheKnows' 10 of the Most Anticipated Books Coming in 2020
    Mary Kay Andrews' Reading Challenge Women's Fiction Pick
    Working Mother's 20 Most Anticipated Books of 2020 for Working Moms

    From "the next major voice in Southern fiction" (Elin Hilderbrand) and the bestselling author of the Peachtree Bluff series comes an odd-couple tale of friendship that asks just how much our past choices define our happiness.

    It's summertime on the North Carolina coast and the livin' is easy.

    Unless, that is, you've just lost your mother to cancer, your sister to her extremist husband, and your husband to his executive assistant. Meet Gray Howard. Right when Gray could use a serious infusion of good karma in her life, she inadvertently gets a stranger, Diana Harrington, fired from her job at the local pharmacy.

    Diana Harrington's summer isn't off to the greatest start either: Hours before losing her job, she broke up with her boyfriend and moved out of their shared house with only a worn-out Impala for a bed. Lucky for her, Gray has an empty guest house and a very guilty conscience.

    With Gray's kindness, Diana's tide begins to turn. But when her first love returns, every secret from her past seems to resurface all at once. And, as Gray begins to blaze a new trail, she discovers, with Diana's help, that what she envisioned as her perfect life may not be what she wants at all.

    In her warmest, wisest novel yet, Kristy Woodson Harvey delivers a discerning portrait of modern womanhood through two vastly different lenses. Feels Like Falling is a beach bag essential for Harvey fans—and for a new generation of readers.

  • Blue Marlin by Lee Smith

    Blue Marlin Blue Marlin by Lee Smith
    Blair, April, 2020

    "Lee Smith is a remarkable voice and someone you hope to spend an afternoon with. Her sense of humor and attention to detail make this quick read a delight. How would you feel when your parents try to take you away on a 'we have to patch up the family' trip? You can sense the tension and laugh out loud at the lens of Jenny's point of view."
    ~ Suzanne Lucey, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC


    On a patched-up family vacation to Key West, a young girl seeks out movie stars and redemption for her fractured family.

    Lee Smith brings her masterful storytelling magic to this jewel of a novella that follows Jenny, an adventurous thirteen-year-old, down to Key West for a patched-up family vacation following the discovery of her father's illicit affair.

    Available for the first time as a stand-alone novella, this book centers on the Blue Marlin Motel in 1959, where Jenny, her beautiful socialite mother, and chastened father share their sunny days with movie stars who are in town to make the movie Operation Petticoat.

    Jenny is precocious and a bit of a sleuth, so her innocent "observations" to uncover the secrets of movie stars also end up revealing the secrets of her own family. Jenny confronts the frailty of family life while also vying for the attention of actor Tony Curtis and even a role in his movie. Smith delivers humor and honesty to her flawed characters with genuine Southern dignity.

  • The Coyotes of Carthage by Steven Wright

    The Coyotes of Carthage The Coyotes of Carthage by Steven Wright
    Ecco, April, 2020

    "Dark humor and dark money make for a compelling combination and Dre Ross may be the most sympathetic villain around. A cautionary tale for our times full of heart and dire warnings of how politics can go wrong."
    ~ Jan Blodgett, Main Street Books, Davidson, NC


    A blistering and thrilling debut—a biting exploration of American politics, set in a small South Carolina town, about a political operative running a dark money campaign for his corporate clients

    Dre Ross has one more shot. Despite being a successful political consultant, his aggressive tactics have put him on thin ice with his boss, Mrs. Fitz, who plucked him from juvenile incarceration and mentored his career. She exiles him to the backwoods of South Carolina with $250,000 of dark money to introduce a ballot initiative on behalf of a mining company. The goal: to manipulate the locals into voting to sell their pristine public land to the highest bidder.

    Dre arrives in God-fearing, flag-waving Carthage County, with only Mrs. Fitz's well-meaning yet naïve grandson Brendan as his team. Dre, an African-American outsider, can't be the one to collect the signatures needed to get on the ballot. So he hires a blue-collar couple, Tyler Lee and his pious wife, Chalene, to act as the initiative's public face.

    Under Dre's cynical direction, a land grab is disguised as a righteous fight for faith and liberty. As lines are crossed and lives ruined, Dre's increasingly cutthroat campaign threatens the very soul of Carthage County and perhaps the last remnants of his own humanity.

    A piercing portrait of our fragile democracy and one man's unraveling, The Coyotes of Carthage paints a disturbingly real portrait of the American experiment in action.

  • The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels

    TITLE The Prettiest Starby Carter Sickels
    Hub City Press, April, 2020

    "Told with empathy and heart, as well as a pitch-perfect sense of time and place, The Prettiest Star is a deeply affecting story about what it means to understand each other and where we come from, even when our lives have taken us light years away."
    ~ Ashley Warlick, M. Judson Booksellers and Storytellers, Greenville, SC


    A stunning novel about the bounds of family and redemption, shines light on an overlooked part of the AIDs epidemic when men returned to their rural communities to die, by Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award-winning author Carter Sickels.

    EW's 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2020

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    A stunning novel about the bounds of family and redemption, shines light on an overlooked part of the AIDs epidemic when men returned to their rural communities to die, by Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Award-winning author Carter Sickels.

    Small-town Appalachia doesn't have a lot going for it, but it's where Brian is from, where his family is, and where he's chosen to return to die.

    Set in 1986, a year after Rock Hudson's death brought the news of AIDS into living rooms and kitchens across America, Lambda Literary award-winning author Carter Sickels's second novel shines light on an overlooked part of the epidemic, those men who returned to the rural communities and families who'd rejected them.

    Six short years after Brian Jackson moved to New York City in search of freedom and acceptance, AIDS has claimed his lover, his friends, and his future. With nothing left in New York but memories of death, Brian decides to write his mother a letter asking to come back to the place, and family, he was once so desperate to escape.

    The Prettiest Star is told in a chorus of voices: Brian's mother Sharon; his fourteen-year-old sister, Jess, as she grapples with her brother's mysterious return; and the video diaries Brian makes to document his final summer.

    This is an urgent story about the politics and fragility of the body, of sex and shame. Above all, Carter Sickels's stunning novel explores the bounds of family and redemption. It is written at the far reaches of love and understanding, centering on the moments where those two forces stretch toward each other and sometimes touch.

  • Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles

    Simon the Fiddler Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles
    William Morrow, April, 2020

    "Like her splendid earlier novel, News of the World, Paulette Jiles' Simon the Fiddler is set in a post-Civil War Texas. I was instantly charmed by this beguiling tale, equal parts adventure yarn, love story, and candid chronicle of life after great conflict."
    ~ Clara Boza, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC


    The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of News of the World and Enemy Women returns to Texas in this atmospheric story, set at the end of the Civil War, about an itinerant fiddle player, a ragtag band of musicians with whom he travels trying to make a living, and the charming young Irish lass who steals his heart.

    In March 1865, the long and bitter War between the States is winding down. Till now, twenty-three-year-old Simon Boudlin has evaded military duty thanks to his slight stature, youthful appearance, and utter lack of compunction about bending the truth. But following a barroom brawl in Victoria, Texas, Simon finds himself conscripted, however belatedly, into the Confederate Army. Luckily his talent with a fiddle gets him a comparatively easy position in a regimental band.

    Weeks later, on the eve of the Confederate surrender, Simon and his bandmates are called to play for officers and their families from both sides of the conflict. There the quick-thinking, audacious fiddler can't help but notice the lovely Doris Mary Aherne, an indentured girl from Ireland, who is governess to a Union colonel's daughter.

    After the surrender, Simon and Doris go their separate ways. He will travel around Texas seeking fame and fortune as a musician. She must accompany the colonel's family to finish her three years of service. But Simon cannot forget the fair Irish maiden, and vows that someday he will find her again.

    Incandescent in its beauty, told in Paulette Jiles's trademark spare yet lilting style, Simon the Fiddler is a captivating, bittersweet tale of the chances a devoted man will take, and the lengths he will go to fulfill his heart's yearning.

  • The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

    The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
    Quirk Books, April, 2020

    I flew through this book! It was a great depiction of Southern housewives in the 90's. The mixture of quirkiness, horror, and Hendrix's unique take on vampires made it hard to put down."
    ~ Amanda Bradley, Blytheville Book Company, Blytheville, AR


    Steel Magnolias meets Dracula in this '90s-set horror novel about a women's book club that must do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small Southern town, perfect for murderinos and fans of Stephen King.

    Patricia Campbell's life has never felt smaller. Her husband is a workaholic, her teenage kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she's always a step behind on her endless to-do list. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime. At these meetings they're as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are about their own families.

    One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor's handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. James is well traveled and well read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn't felt in years. But when children on the other side of town go missing, their deaths written off by local police, Patricia has reason to believe James Harris is more of a Bundy than a Brad Pitt. The real problem? James is a monster of a different kind—and Patricia has already invited him in.

    Little by little, James will insinuate himself into Patricia's life and try to take everything she took for granted—including the book club—but she won't surrender without a fight in this blood-soaked tale of neighborly kindness gone wrong.

  • A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler

    Bells for Eli"A feast of a read... I finished A Good Neighborhood in a single sitting. Yes, it's that good." —Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light

    In Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son, Xavier, who's headed to college in the fall. All is well until the Whitmans—an apparently traditional family with new money and a secretly troubled teenaged daughter—raze the house and trees next door to build themselves a showplace.

    With little in common except a property line, these two very different families quickly find themselves at odds: first, over an historic oak tree in Valerie's yard, and soon after, the blossoming romance between their two teenagers.

    A Good Neighborhood asks big questions about life in America today—what does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don't see eye to eye?—as it explores the effects of class, race, and heartrending love in a story that's as provocative as it is powerful.

    St. Martin's Press | 9781250237279 | March 10, 2020

  • The Last Taxi Driver by Lee Durkee

    Bells for Eli"A wild, funny, poetic fever-dream that will change the way you think about America." --George Saunders

    Written by a former cabbie, The Last Taxi Driver is equal parts Bukowski and Portis, and an homage to a dying American industry.

    The Last Taxi Driver is a darkly comic novel about a day in the life of an exhausted, middle-aged hackie about to lose his job to Uber, his girlfriend to lethargy, and his ability to stand upright to chronic back spasms. Lou—a lapsed novelist and UFO enthusiast who has returned to his home state of Mississippi after decades away—drives for a ramshackle taxi company that operates on the outskirts of a college town among the trailer parks and housing projects. With Lou's way of life fast vanishing, an ex-dispatcher returns to town on the lam, triggering a bedlam shift which will test Lou's sanity and perhaps cost him his life. Against this backdrop, Lou has to keep driving, and driving—even if that means aiding and abetting the host of criminal misfits haunting the back seat of his Town Car.

    Written by a former cabbie, The Last Taxi Driver careens through the highways and backroads of North Mississippi as Lou becomes increasingly somnambulant and his fares increasingly eccentric. Equal parts Bukowski and Portis, Durkee's novel is an homage to a dying American industry.

    Tin House Books | 9781947793392 | March 3, 2020

  • Bells for Eli by Susan Beckham Zurenda

    Bells for Eli"A stunning debut, Bells for Eli establishes Susan Beckham Zurenda as one of the most exciting new voices in Southern fiction," says Cassandra King Conroy, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of five novels and the memoir Tell Me a Story: My Life with Pat Conroy. "In this tender, beautifully-rendered novel, the powerful connection between cousins Delia and Eli takes them on a journey fraught with longing, desire, and heartbreak. Through loss, Delia comes to understand that the bonds of love can never truly be broken."

    First cousins Ellison (Eli) Winfield and Adeline (Delia) Green are meant to grow up happily and innocently across the street from one another amid the supposed wholesome values of small-town Green Branch, South Carolina, in the 1960s and 70s. But Eli's tragic accident changes the trajectory of their lives and of those connected to them. Shunned and even tortured by his peers for his disfigurement and frailty, Eli struggles for acceptance in childhood as Delia passionately devotes herself to defending him.

    Delia's vivid and compassionate narrative voice presents Eli as a confident young man in adolescence—the visible damage to his body gone—but underneath hide indelible wounds harboring pain and insecurity, scars that rule his impulses. And while Eli cherishes Delia more than anyone and attempts to protect her from her own troubles, he cares not for protecting himself. It is Delia who has that responsibility, growing more challenging each year. Bells for Eli is a lyrical and tender exploration of the relationship between cousins drawn together through tragedy in a love forbidden by social constraints and a family whose secrets must stay hidden.

    Susan Beckham Zurenda masterfully transports readers into a small Southern town where quiet, ordinary life becomes extraordinary. In this compelling coming of age story, culture, family, friends, bullies, and lovers propel two young people to unite to guard each other in a world where love, hope, and connectedness ultimately triumph.

    Mercer Univeristy Press | 9780881467376 | March 2, 2020

  • The Boatman's Daughter by Andy Davidson

    The Boatman's DaughterA "lush nightmare" (Paul Tremblay) of a supernatural thriller about a young woman facing down ancient forces in the depths of the bayou.

    Ever since her father was killed when she was just a child, Miranda Crabtree has kept her head down and her eyes up, ferrying contraband for a mad preacher and his declining band of followers to make ends meet and to protect an old witch and a secret child from harm.

    But dark forces are at work in the bayou, both human and supernatural, conspiring to disrupt the rhythms of Miranda's peculiar and precarious life. And when the preacher makes an unthinkable demand, it sets Miranda on a desperate, dangerous path, forcing her to consider what she is willing to sacrifice to keep her loved ones safe.

    With the heady mythmaking of Neil Gaiman and the heartrending pacing of Joe Hill, Andy Davidson spins a thrilling tale of love and duty, of loss and discovery. The Boatman's Daughter is a gorgeous, horrifying novel, a journey into the dark corners of human nature, drawing our worst fears and temptations out into the light.

    MCD x FSG Originals | 9780374538552 | February 11, 2020

  • Race Against Time by Jerry Mitchell

    Race Against Time"For almost two decades, investigative journalist Jerry Mitchell doggedly pursued the Klansmen responsible for some of the most notorious murders of the civil rights movement. This book is his amazing story. Thanks to him, and to courageous prosecutors, witnesses, and FBI agents, justice finally prevailed." —John Grisham, author of The Guardians

    On June 21, 1964, more than twenty Klansmen murdered three civil rights workers. The killings, in what would become known as the "Mississippi Burning" case, were among the most brazen acts of violence during the civil rights movement. And even though the killers' identities, including the sheriff's deputy, were an open secret, no one was charged with murder in the months and years that followed.

    It took forty-one years before the mastermind was brought to trial and finally convicted for the three innocent lives he took. If there is one man who helped pave the way for justice, it is investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell.

    In Race Against Time, Mitchell takes readers on the twisting, pulse-racing road that led to the reopening of four of the most infamous killings from the days of the civil rights movement, decades after the fact. His work played a central role in bringing killers to justice for the assassination of Medgar Evers, the firebombing of Vernon Dahmer, the 16th Street Church bombing in Birmingham and the Mississippi Burning case. Mitchell reveals how he unearthed secret documents, found long-lost suspects and witnesses, building up evidence strong enough to take on the Klan. He takes us into every harrowing scene along the way, as when Mitchell goes into the lion's den, meeting one-on-one with the very murderers he is seeking to catch. His efforts have put four leading Klansmen behind bars, years after they thought they had gotten away with murder.

    Race Against Time is an astonishing, courageous story capturing a historic race for justice, as the past is uncovered, clue by clue, and long-ignored evils are brought into the light. This is a landmark book and essential reading for all Americans.

    Simon & Schuster | 9781451645132 | February 4, 2020

  • My Autobiography of Carson McCullers by Jenn Shapland

    My Autobiography of Carson McCuulersMy Autobiography of Carson McCullers is an audacious new form of nonfiction that remakes the boundaries between criticism, biography, and autobiography in search of two identities.

    While working as an intern in the archives at the Harry Ransom Center, Jenn Shapland encounters the love letters of Carson and a woman named Annemarie—letters are that are tender, intimate, and unabashed in their feelings. Shapland recognizes herself in the letters' language—but does not see Carson as history has portrayed her.

    And so, Shapland is compelled to undertake a recovery of the full narrative and language of Carson's life: She wades through the therapy transcripts; she stays at Carson's childhood home, where she lounges in her bathtub and eats delivery pizza; she relives Carson's days at her beloved Yaddo. As Shapland reckons with the expanding and collapsing distance between her and Carson, she sees the way Carson's story has become a way to articulate something about herself. The results articulate something entirely new not only about this one remarkable, walleyed life, but about the way we tell queer love stories.

    In genre-defying vignettes, Jenn Shapland interweaves her own story with Carson McCullers's to create a vital new portrait of one of America's most beloved writers, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are.

    Tin House Books | 9781947793286 | February 4, 2020

  • The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg

    The Third Rainbow GirlA stunningly written investigation of the murder of two young women--showing how a violent crime casts a shadow over an entire community.

    In the early evening of June 25, 1980 in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, two middle-class outsiders named Vicki Durian, 26, and Nancy Santomero, 19, were murdered in an isolated clearing. They were hitchhiking to a festival known as the Rainbow Gathering but never arrived; they traveled with a third woman however, who lived. For thirteen years, no one was prosecuted for the "Rainbow Murders," though deep suspicion was cast on a succession of local residents in the community, depicted as poor, dangerous, and backward. In 1993, a local farmer was convicted, only to be released when a known serial killer and diagnosed schizophrenic named Joseph Paul Franklin claimed responsibility. With the passage of time, as the truth seemed to slip away, the investigation itself caused its own traumas--turning neighbor against neighbor and confirming a fear of the violence outsiders have done to this region for centuries.

    Emma Copley Eisenberg spent years living in Pocahontas and re-investigating these brutal acts. Using the past and the present, she shows how this mysterious act of violence has loomed over all those affected for generations, shaping their fears, fates, and the stories they tell about themselves. In The Third Rainbow Girl, Eisenberg follows the threads of this crime through the complex history of Appalachia, forming a searing and wide-ranging portrait of America--its divisions of gender and class, and of its violence.

    Hachette Books | 9780316449236 | January 21, 2020

  • Remembrance by Rita Woods

    Just Like a MamaRemembrance by Rita Woods is a breakout historical debut with modern resonance, perfect for the many fans of The Underground Railroad and Orphan Train.

    Remembrance…It's a rumor, a whisper passed in the fields and veiled behind sheets of laundry. A hidden stop on the underground road to freedom, a safe haven protected by more than secrecy…if you can make it there.

    Ohio, present day. An elderly woman who is more than she seems warns against rising racism as a young woman grapples with her life.

    Haiti, 1791, on the brink of revolution. When the slave Abigail is forced from her children to take her mistress to safety, she discovers New Orleans has its own powers.

    1857 New Orleansa city of unrest: Following tragedy, house girl Margot is sold just before her 18th birthday and her promised freedom. Desperate, she escapes and chases a whisper.... Remembrance.

    Forge Books | 9781250298454 | January 21, 2020

  • Just Like a Mama by Alice Faye Duncan, Charnelle Pinkney Barlow (Illustrator)

    Just Like a MamaCelebrate the heart connection between adopted children and the forever families who welcome them with kindness, care, and unconditional love in this powerful picture book from the author of Honey Baby Sugar Child.

    Carol Olivia Clementine lives with Mama Rose. Mama Rose is everything—tender and sweet. She is also as stern and demanding as any good parent should be. In the midst of their happy home, Carol misses her mother and father. She longs to be with them. But until that time comes around, she learns to surrender to the love that is present. Mama Rose becomes her "home." And Carol Olivia Clementine concludes that she loves Miss Rose, "just like a mama."

    This sweet read-aloud is, on the surface, all about the everyday home life a caregiver creates for a young child: she teachers Clementine how to ride a bike, clean her room, tell time. A deeper look reveals the patience, intention, and care little ones receives in the arms of a mother whose blood is not her blood, but whose bond is so deep—and so unconditional—that it creates the most perfect condition for a child to feel safe, successful, and deeply loved

    Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 9781534461833 | January 14, 2020

  • Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

    Big Lies in a Small TownFrom New York Times bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes an irresistible new novel in Big Lies in a Small Town.

    North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher's life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women's Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.

    North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn't expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.

    What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?

    St. Martin's Press | 9781250087331 | January 14, 2020

  • Wilmington's Lie by David Zucchino

    Wilmington's LieFrom Pulitzer Prize-winner David Zucchino comes a searing account of the Wilmington riot and coup of 1898, an extraordinary event unknown to most Americans.

    By the 1890s, Wilmington was North Carolina's largest city and a shining example of a mixed-race community. It was a bustling port city with a burgeoning African American middle class and a Fusionist government of Republicans and Populists that included black aldermen, police officers and magistrates. There were successful black-owned businesses and an African American newspaper, The Record. But across the state--and the South--white supremacist Democrats were working to reverse the advances made by former slaves and their progeny.

    In 1898, in response to a speech calling for white men to rise to the defense of Southern womanhood against the supposed threat of black predators, Alexander Manly, the outspoken young Record editor, wrote that some relationships between black men and white women were consensual. His editorial ignited outrage across the South, with calls to lynch Manly.

    But North Carolina's white supremacist Democrats had a different strategy. They were plotting to take back the state legislature in November "by the ballot or bullet or both," and then use the Manly editorial to trigger a "race riot" to overthrow Wilmington's multi-racial government. Led by prominent citizens including Josephus Daniels, publisher of the state's largest newspaper, and former Confederate Colonel Alfred Moore Waddell, white supremacists rolled out a carefully orchestrated campaign that included raucous rallies, race-baiting editorials and newspaper cartoons, and sensational, fabricated news stories.

    With intimidation and violence, the Democrats suppressed the black vote and stuffed ballot boxes (or threw them out), to win control of the state legislature on November eighth. Two days later, more than 2,000 heavily armed Red Shirts swarmed through Wilmington, torching the Record office, terrorizing women and children, and shooting at least sixty black men dead in the streets. The rioters forced city officials to resign at gunpoint and replaced them with mob leaders. Prominent blacks--and sympathetic whites--were banished. Hundreds of terrified black families took refuge in surrounding swamps and forests.

    This brutal insurrection is a rare instance of a violent overthrow of an elected government in the U.S. It halted gains made by blacks and restored racism as official government policy, cementing white rule for another half century. It was not a "race riot," as the events of November 1898 came to be known, but rather a racially motivated rebellion launched by white supremacists.

    In Wilmington's Lie, Pulitzer Prize-winner David Zucchino uses contemporary newspaper accounts, diaries, letters and official communications to create a gripping and compelling narrative that weaves together individual stories of hate and fear and brutality. This is a dramatic and definitive account of a remarkable but forgotten chapter of American history.

    Atlantic Monthly Press | 9780802128386 | January 7, 2020

  • Overground Railroad by Lesa Cline-Ransome, James E. Ransome (Illustrator)

    TITLERuth Ellen's odyssey on the New York Bound Silver Meteor is the start of a new life up North that she can't begin to imagine in this gorgeously illustrated picture book.

    In poems, illustrated with collage art, a perceptive girl tells the story of her train journey from North Carolina to New York City as part of the Great Migration. Each leg of the trip brings new revelations as scenes out the window of folks working in fields give way to the Delaware River, the curtain that separates the colored car is removed, and glimpses of the freedom and opportunity the family hopes to find come into view.

    Overground Railroad offers a window into a child's experience of the Great Migration from the award-winning creators behind Finding LangstonBefore She was HarrietBenny Goodman & Teddy Wilson, and Just a Lucky So and So.

    Holiday House | 9780823438730 | January 7, 2020

  • Hill Women by Cassie Chambers

    TITLE

    After rising from poverty to earn two Ivy League degrees, an Appalachian lawyer pays tribute to the strong "hill women" who raised and inspired her, and whose values have the potential to rejuvenate a struggling region—an uplifting and eye-opening memoir for readers of Hillbilly Elegy and Educated.

    Nestled in the Appalachian mountains, Owsley County is one of the poorest counties in both Kentucky and the country. Buildings are crumbling and fields sit vacant, as tobacco farming and coal mining decline. But strong women are finding creative ways to subsist in their hollers in the hills.

    Cassie Chambers grew up in these hollers and, through the women who raised her, she traces her own path out of and back into the Kentucky mountains. Chambers's Granny was a child bride who rose before dawn every morning to raise seven children. Despite her poverty, she wouldn't hesitate to give the last bite of pie or vegetables from her garden to a struggling neighbor. Her two daughters took very different paths: strong-willed Ruth—the hardest-working tobacco farmer in the county—stayed on the family farm, while spirited Wilma—the sixth child—became the first in the family to graduate from high school, then moved an hour away for college. Married at nineteen and pregnant with Cassie a few months later, Wilma beat the odds to finish school. She raised her daughter to think she could move mountains, like the ones that kept her safe but also isolated her from the larger world.

    Cassie would spend much of her childhood with Granny and Ruth in the hills of Owsley County, both while Wilma was in college and after. With her "hill women" values guiding her, Cassie went on to graduate from Harvard Law. But while the Ivy League gave her knowledge and opportunities, its privileged world felt far from her reality, and she moved back home to help her fellow rural Kentucky women by providing free legal services.

    Appalachian women face issues that are all too common: domestic violence, the opioid crisis, a world that seems more divided by the day. But they are also community leaders, keeping their towns together in the face of a system that continually fails them. With nuance and heart, Chambers uses these women's stories paired with her own journey to break down the myth of the hillbilly and illuminate a region whose poor communities, especially women, can lead it into the future.

    Ballantine Books | 9781984818911 | January 7, 2020

  • The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

    The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams The first rule of book club:
    You don't talk about book club.

    Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott's marriage is in major league trouble. He's recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it's the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he's let his pride and fear get the better of him.

    Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

    Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it'll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

    Berkley Books | 9781984806093 | November 5, 2019

  • The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

    The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson
Sexton Following her National Book Award–nominated debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton returns with this equally elegant and historically inspired story of survivors and healers, of black women and their black sons, set in the American South

    In 1925, Josephine is the proud owner of a thriving farm. As a child, she channeled otherworldly power to free her­self from slavery. Now, her new neighbor, a white woman named Charlotte, seeks her company, and an uneasy friendship grows between them. But Charlotte has also sought solace in the Ku Klux Klan, a relationship that jeopardizes Josephine's family.

    Nearly one hundred years later, Josephine's descendant, Ava, is a single mother who has just lost her job. She moves in with her white grandmother, Martha, a wealthy but lonely woman who pays her grandchild to be her companion. But Martha's behavior soon becomes erratic, then even threatening, and Ava must escape before her story and Josephine's converge.

    The Revisioners explores the depths of women's relationships—powerful women and marginalized women, healers and survivors. It is a novel about the bonds between a mother and a child, the dangers that upend those bonds. At its core, The Revisioners ponders generational legacies, the endurance of hope, and the undying promise of freedom.

    Counterpoint | 9781640092587 | November 5, 2019

  • Watch What You Say by George Weinstein

    Watch What You Say by George WeinsteinTo what lengths will a woman go to save her family?

    Web-radio personality Bo Riccardi is pushed beyond her mental and physical limits when her husband, Oscar, is kidnapped by a man from her dark past. The abductor commands her to interview him live on her show, with Oscar's life on the line.

    Giving in, though, creates an endless nightmare for Bo, as Oscar's captor begins to destroy her career and alienate everybody she loves.

    Bo's secret asset is chromesthesia, seeing colorful shapes that reveal the intentions behind anyone's speech. She can literally watch what they say. But relying too much on this gift renders her vulnerable to the madman's purpose, making her even less likely to rescue Oscar--and escape the guilt and shame that bind her to the kidnapper.

    Sfk Press | 9781970137859 | November 5, 2019

  • The Name of All Things by Jenn Lyons

    The Name of All Things by Jenn Lyons You can have everything you want if you sacrifice everything you believe.

    Kihrin D'Mon is a wanted man.

    Since he destroyed the Stone of Shackles and set demons free across Quur, he has been on the run from the wrath of an entire empire. His attempt to escape brings him into the path of Janel Theranon, a mysterious Joratese woman who claims to know Kihrin.

    Janel's plea for help pits Kihrin against all manner of dangers: a secret rebellion, a dragon capable of destroying an entire city, and Kihrin's old enemy, the wizard Relos Var.

    Janel believes that Relos Var possesses one of the most powerful artifacts in the world—the Cornerstone called the Name of All Things. And if Janel is right, then there may be nothing in the world that can stop Relos Var from getting what he wants.

    And what he wants is Kihrin D'Mon.

    Tor Books | 9781250175533 | October 29, 2019

  • Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

    Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson Kevin Wilson's best book yet—a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with remarkable and disturbing abilities

    Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they've barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.

    Madison's twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there's a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it's the truth.

    Thinking of her dead-end life at home, the life that has consistently disappointed her, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other—and stay cool—while also staying out of the way of Madison's buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her—urgently and fiercely. Couldn't this be the start of the amazing life she'd always hoped for?

    With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written his best book yet—a most unusual story of parental love.

    Ecco | 9780062913463 | October 29, 2019

  • Tell Me a Story: My Life with Pat Conroy by Cassandra King Conroy

    Tell Me a Story: My Life with Pat by Conroy Cassandra King Conroy Bestselling author Cassandra King Conroy considers her life and the man she shared it with, paying tribute to her husband, Pat Conroy, the legendary figures of modern Southern literature.

    Cassandra King was leading a quiet life as a professor, divorced "Sunday wife" of a preacher, and debut novelist when she met Pat Conroy.

    Their friendship bloomed into a tentative, long-distance relationship. Pat and Cassandra ultimately married, ending Pat's long commutes from coastal South Carolina to her native Alabama. It was a union that would last eighteen years, until the beloved literary icon's death from pancreatic cancer in 2016.

    In this poignant, intimate memoir, the woman he called King Ray looks back at her love affair with a natural-born storyteller whose lust for life was fueled by a passion for literature, food, and the Carolina Lowcountry that was his home. As she reflects on their relationship and the eighteen years they spent together, cut short by Pat's passing at seventy, Cassandra reveals how the marshlands of the South Carolina Lowcountry ultimately cast their spell on her, too, and how she came to understand the convivial, generous, funny, and wounded flesh-and-blood man beneath the legend—her husband, the original Prince of Tides.

    William Morrow & Company | 9780062905628 | October 29, 2019

  • Holding On to Nothing by Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne

    Holding On to Nothing by Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne Lucy Kilgore has her bags packed for her escape from her rural Tennessee upbringing, but a drunken mistake forever tethers her to the town and one of its least-admired residents, Jeptha Taylor, who becomes the father of her child. Together, these two young people work to form a family, though neither has any idea how to accomplish that, and the odds are against them in a place with little to offer other than bluegrass music, tobacco fields, and a Walmart full of beer and firearms for the hunting season. Their path is harrowing, but Lucy and Jeptha are characters to love, and readers will root for their success in a novel so riveting that no one will want to turn out the light until they know whether this family will survive.

    In luminous prose, debut novelist Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne brings us a present-day Appalachian story in the tradition of Lee Smith, Silas House, and Ron Rash, cast without sentiment or cliché, but with a genuine and profound understanding of the place and its people.

    Blair | 9781949467086 | October 22, 2019

  • Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson

    Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson Greek mythology meets the Kardashians in Emily Roberson's Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters, a fresh, fast-paced debut young adult novel about celebrity culture, family dynamics, and finding love amidst it all.

    Sixteen-year-old Ariadne's whole life is curated and shared with the world. Her royal family's entertainment empire is beloved by the tabloids, all over social media, and the hottest thing on television. The biggest moneymaker? The Labyrinth Contest, a TV extravaganza in which Ariadne leads fourteen teens into a maze to kill a monster. To win means endless glory; to lose means death. In ten seasons, no one has ever won.

    When the gorgeous, mysterious Theseus arrives at the competition and asks Ariadne to help him to victory, she doesn't expect to fall for him. He might be acting interested in her just to boost ratings. Their chemistry is undeniable, though, and she can help him survive. If he wins, the contest would end for good. But if she helps him, she doesn't just endanger her family's empire—the monster would have to die. And for Ariadne, his life might be the only one worth saving.

    Ariadne's every move is watched by the public and predestined by the gods, so how can she find a way to forge her own destiny and save the people she loves?

    Farrar Straus and Giroux | 9780374310622 | October 22, 2019

  • The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

    The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond, from the author of Me Before You and The Peacock Emporium.

    Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt's new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

    The leader, and soon Alice's greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who's never asked a man's permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky.

    What happens to them--and to the men they love--becomes a classic drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. Though they face all kinds of dangers, they're committed to their job--bringing books to people who have never had any, sharing the gift of learning that will change their lives.

    Based on a true story rooted in America's past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope. At times funny, at others heartbreaking, this is a richly rewarding novel of women's friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.

    Pamela Dorman Books | 9780399562488 | October 8, 2019

  • How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones

    How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir by Saeed Jones "People don't just happen," writes Saeed Jones. "We sacrifice former versions of ourselves. We sacrifice the people who dared to raise us. The 'I' it seems doesn't exist until we are able to say, 'I am no longer yours.'"

    Haunted and haunting, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir. Jones tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence—into tumultuous relationships with his family, into passing flings with lovers, friends, and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another—and to one another—as we fight to become ourselves.

    An award-winning poet, Jones has developed a style that's as beautiful as it is powerful—a voice that's by turns a river, a blues, and a nightscape set ablaze. How We Fight for Our Lives is a one-of-a-kind memoir and a book that cements Saeed Jones as an essential writer for our time.

    Simon & Schuster | 9781501132735 | October 8, 2019

  • Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry

    Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry In her debut novel, award-winning poet Brynne Rebele-Henry re-imagines the Orpheus myth as a love story between two teenage girls who are sent to conversion therapy after being caught together in an intimate moment.

    Abandoned by a single mother she never knew, 16-year-old Raya—obsessed with ancient myths—lives with her grandmother in a small conservative Texas town. For years Raya has fought to hide her feelings for her best friend and true love, Sarah. When the two are outed, they are sent to Friendly Saviors: a re-education camp meant to "fix" them and make them heterosexual. Upon arrival, Raya vows to assume the role of Orpheus, to return to the world of the living with her love—and after she, Sarah, and the other teen residents are subjected to abusive and brutal "treatments" by the staff, Raya only becomes more determined to escape.

    In a haunting voice reminiscent of Sylvia Plath and the contemporary lyricism of David Levithan, Brynne Rebele-Henry weaves a powerful inversion of the Orpheus myth informed by the disturbing real-world truths of conversion therapy. Orpheus Girl is a story of dysfunctional families, trauma, first love, heartbreak, and ultimately, the fierce adolescent resilience that has the power to triumph over darkness and ignorance.

    Soho Teen | 9781641290746 | October 8, 2019

  • Watershed by Mark Barr

    Watershed by Mark Barr

    Amidst construction of a federal dam in rural Tennessee, Nathan, an engineer hiding from his past, meets Claire, a small-town housewife struggling to find her footing in the newly-electrified, job-hungry, post-Depression South.

    As Nathan wrestles with the burdens of a secret guilt and tangled love, Claire struggles to balance motherhood and a newfound freedom that awakens ambitions and a sexuality she hadn't known she possessed. The arrival of electricity in the rural community, where prostitution and dog-fighting are commonplace, thrusts together modern and backcountry values. In an evocative feat of storytelling in the vein of Kent Haruf's Plainsong, and Ron Rash's Serena, Watershed delivers a gripping story of characters whose ambitions and yearnings threaten to overflow the banks of their time and place. As the townspeople embark on a biblical undertaking to harness elemental forces, Nathan and Claire are left to wonder what their lives will look like when the lights come on.

    Hub City Press | 9781938235597 | October 8, 2019

  • 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

    10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

    Sophie wants one thing for Christmas: a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship.

    Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents' house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That's when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

    When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she's started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

    This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever…or is it?

    Disney-Hyperion | 9781368027496 | October 1, 2019

  • No Judgments by Meg Cabot

    No Judgments by Meg CabotThe storm of the century is about to hit Little Bridge Island, Florida—and it’s sending waves crashing through Sabrina "Bree" Beckham’s love life…

    When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried...at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake.

    But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge's cats and dogs as she can...but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker.

    But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too.

    William Morrow | 9780062913579 | 9/24/2019

  • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

    Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson Two families from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. Moving forward and backward in time, with the power of poetry and the emotional richness of a narrative ten times its length, Jacqueline Woodson's extraordinary new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of this child.

    As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the soundtrack of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for her own ceremony-- a celebration that ultimately never took place.

    Unfurling the history of Melody's parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they've paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives--even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.

    Riverhead Books | 9780525535270 | 9/17/2019

  • The Edge of America by Jon Sealy

    The Edge of America by Jon Sealy Bobby West is on the edge. As chief financial officer for a Miami holding company and a CIA front, he has overleveraged his business in the go-go 1980s financial culture. He turns to a deal-with-the-devil money laundering operation with a local gangster, Alexander French--a deal which quickly goes south when $3 million goes missing. Now Mr. French, a group of Cuban exiles, and an Israeli smuggler named Adriana Chekhov are all after Bobby West to pay up. With echoes of Iran-Contra and the Orwellian surveillance state, The Edge of America is a stunning thriller about greed, power, and the limits of the American dream.

    Haywire Books | 9781950182008 | 9/10/2019

  • My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder

    My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder Laurel Snyder, author of Orphan Island, returns with another unforgettable story of the moments in which we find out who we are, and the life-altering friendships that show us what we can be.

    The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels...lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago, when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah’s been adrift and alone.

    Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There’s something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost.

    Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships, somewhere only they can find.

    But as the days of this magical June start to draw to a close, and the darker realities of their lives intrude once more, Leah and Jasper have to decide how real their friendship is, and whether it can be enough to save them both.

    Walden Pond Press | 9780062836625 | 9/3/2019

  • The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

    The Yellow House by Sarah M. BroomIn 1961, Sarah M. Broom's mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighborhood was home to a major NASA plant--the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah's father Simon Broom; their combined family would eventually number twelve children. But after Simon died, six months after Sarah's birth, the Yellow House would become Ivory Mae's thirteenth and most unruly child.

    A book of great ambition, Sarah M. Broom's The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America's most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother's struggle against a house's entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina. The Yellow House expands the map of New Orleans to include the stories of its lesser known natives, guided deftly by one of its native daughters, to demonstrate how enduring drives of clan, pride, and familial love resist and defy erasure. Located in the gap between the "Big Easy" of tourist guides and the New Orleans in which Broom was raised, The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows. It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power."

    Grove Press | 9780802125088 | 8/13/2019

  • Stay by Bobbie Pyron

    Stay by Bobbie PyronFans of Pax and A Dog’s Way Home will love this heartwarming story of a girl living in a shelter and the homeless dog she’s determined to reunite with his family.

    Piper’s life is turned upside down when her family moves into a shelter in a whole new city. She misses her house, her friends, and her privacy—and she hates being labeled the homeless girl at her new school.

    But while Hope House offers her new challenges, it also brings new friendships, like the girls in Firefly Girls Troop 423 and a sweet street dog named Baby. So when Baby’s person goes missing, Piper knows she has to help. But helping means finding the courage to trust herself and her new friends, no matter what anyone says about them—before Baby gets taken away for good.

    Told in alternating perspectives, this classic and heartfelt animal tale proclaims the importance of hope, the power of story, and the true meaning of home.

    Katherine Tegen Books | 9780062839220 | 8/13/2019

  • Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice and Sing Inspired Generations by Kelly Starling Lyons, Keith Mallett (Illustrator)

    Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice and Sing Inspired Generations by Kelly Starling Lyons, Keith Mallett (Illustrator) Just in time for the 120th anniversary of the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing," this stirring book celebrates the Black National Anthem and how it inspired five generations of a family.

    Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us.

    Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us.

    In 1900, in Jacksonville, Florida, two brothers, one of them the principal of a segregated, all-black school, wrote the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing" so his students could sing it for a tribute to Abraham Lincoln's birthday. From that moment on, the song has provided inspiration and solace for generations of Black families. Mothers and fathers passed it on to their children who sang it to their children and grandchildren. It has been sung during major moments of the Civil Rights Movement and at family gatherings and college graduations.

    Inspired by this song's enduring significance, Kelly Starling Lyons and Keith Mallett tell a story about the generations of families who gained hope and strength from the song's inspiring words.

    Nancy Paulsen Books | 9780525516095 | 8/6/2019

  • The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

    The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins New York Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins crafts an unforgettable story about a sleepy Southern town, two fiercely independent women, and a truly magical friendship.

    Sarah Dove is no ordinary bookworm. To her, books have always been more than just objects: they live, they breathe, and sometimes they even speak. When Sarah grows up to become the librarian in her quaint Southern town of Dove Pond, her gift helps place every book in the hands of the perfect reader. Recently, however, the books have been whispering about something out of the ordinary: the arrival of a displaced city girl named Grace Wheeler.

    If the books are right, Grace could be the savior that Dove Pond desperately needs. The problem is, Grace wants little to do with the town or its quirky residents—Sarah chief among them. It takes a bit of urging, and the help of an especially wise book, but Grace ultimately embraces the challenge to rescue her charmed new community. In her quest, she discovers the tantalizing promise of new love, the deep strength that comes from having a true friend, and the power of finding just the right book.

    Gallery Books | 9781982105549 | 7/30/2019

  • Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

    Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson In this game, even winning can be deadly...

    Amy Whey is proud of her ordinary life and the simple pleasures that come with it—teaching diving lessons, baking cookies for new neighbors, helping her best friend, Charlotte, run their local book club. Her greatest joy is her family: her devoted professor husband, her spirited fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, her adorable infant son. And, of course, the steadfast and supportive Charlotte. But Amy’s sweet, uncomplicated life begins to unravel when the mysterious and alluring Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one book club night.

    Sultry and magnetic, Roux beguiles the group with her feral charm. She keeps the wine flowing and lures them into a game of spilling secrets. Everyone thinks it’s naughty, harmless fun. Only Amy knows better. Something wicked has come her way—a she-devil in a pricey red sports car who seems to know the terrible truth about who she is and what she once did.

    When they’re alone, Roux tells her that if she doesn’t give her what she asks for, what she deserves, she’s going to make Amy pay for her sins. One way or another.

    To protect herself and her family and save the life she’s built, Amy must beat the devil at her own clever game, matching wits with Roux in an escalating war of hidden pasts and unearthed secrets. Amy knows the consequences if she can’t beat Roux. What terrifies her is everything she could lose if she wins.

    A diabolically entertaining tale of betrayal, deception, temptation, and love filled with dark twists leavened by Joshilyn Jackson’s trademark humor, Never Have I Ever explores what happens when the transgressions of our past come back with a vengeance.

    William Morrow | 9780062855312 |7/30/2019 

  • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

    The Nickel Boys by Coldon Whitehead In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.

    As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men."

    In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble.

    The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy.

    Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.

    Doubleday | 9780385537070 | 7/16/2019

  • The Substitution Order by Martin Clark

    The Substitution Order by Martin Clark Kevin Moore, once a high-flying Virginia attorney, hits rock bottom after an inexplicably tumultuous summer leaves him disbarred and separated from his wife. Short on cash and looking for work, he lands in the middle of nowhere with a job at SUBstitution, the world's saddest sandwich shop. His closest confidants: a rambunctious rescue puppy and the twenty-year-old computer whiz manning the restaurant counter beside him. He's determined to set his life right again, but the troubles keep coming. And when a bizarre, mysterious stranger wanders into the shop armed with a threatening ""invitation"" to join a multimillion-dollar scam, Kevin will need every bit of his legal savvy just to stay out of prison.

    A remarkable tour of the law's tricks and hidden trapdoors, The Substitution Order is both wise and ingenious, a wildly entertaining novel that will keep you guessing--and rooting for its tenacious hero--until the very last page."

    Knopf | 9780525656326 | The Substitution Order by Martin Clark

  • The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis

    The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis

    Judith inherited all the Kratt family had to offer -- the pie safe, the copper clock, the murder that no one talked about. She's presided over the house quite well, thank you very much, admittedly with some help from her companion, Olva.

    But her wayward younger sister suddenly returns home after decades, sparking an inventory of all that belongs to them. Set in the hard-luck cotton town of Bound, South Carolina -- which the Kratts used to rule but which now struggles to contain its worst instincts -- the new household overflows with memories.

    Interweaving the present with chilling flashbacks from one fateful evening in 1929, Judith pieces together a list of what matters. Untangling the legacy of the family misfortunes will require help from every one of them, no matter how tight their bond, how long they've called Bound home, or what they own.

    Sourcebooks Landmark | Sourcebooks Landmark | 7/9/2019

  • Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl

    Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl

    From New York Times opinion writer Margaret Renkl comes an unusual, captivating portrait of a family--and of the cycles of joy and grief that inscribe human lives within the natural world.

    Growing up in Alabama, Renkl was a devoted reader, an explorer of riverbeds and red-dirt roads, and a fiercely loved daughter. Here, in brief essays, she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents--her exuberant, creative mother; her steady, supportive father--and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child's transition to caregiver.

    And here, braided into the overall narrative, Renkl offers observations on the world surrounding her suburban Nashville home. Ringing with rapture and heartache, these essays convey the dignity of bluebirds and rat snakes, monarch butterflies and native bees. As these two threads haunt and harmonize with each other, Renkl suggests that there is astonishment to be found in common things: in what seems ordinary, in what we all share. For in both worlds--the natural one and our own--the shadow side of love is always loss, and grief is only love's own twin.

    Gorgeously illustrated by the author's brother, Billy Renkl, Late Migrations is an assured and memorable debut.

    Milkweed Editions | 9781571313782 | 7/9/2019

  • The Travelers by Regina Porter

    The Travelers by Regina PorterMeet James Samuel Vincent, an affluent Manhattan attorney who shirks his modest Irish American background but hews to his father's meandering ways. James muddles through a topsy-turvy relationship with his son, Rufus, which is further complicated when Rufus marries Claudia Christie.

    Claudia's mother--Agnes Miller Christie--is a beautiful African American woman who survives a chance encounter on a Georgia road that propels her into a new life in the Bronx. Soon after, her husband, Eddie Christie, is called to duty on an air craft carrier in Vietnam, where Tom Stoppard's play "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" becomes Eddie's life anchor, as he grapples with mounting racial tensions on the ship and counts the days until he will see Agnes again.

    These unforgettable characters' lives intersect with a cast of lovers and friends--the unapologetic black lesbian who finds her groove in 1970s Berlin; a moving man stranded in Portsmouth, New Hampshire during a Thanksgiving storm; two half-brothers who meet as adults in a crayon factory; and a Coney Island waitress whose Prince Charming is too good to be true.

    With piercing humor, exacting dialogue, and a beautiful sense of place, Regina Porter's debut is both an intimate family portrait and a sweeping exploration of what it means to be American today.

    The Travelers by Regina Porter
    June 18, 2019 | Hogarth | 9780525576198
     READ THE FIRST CHAPTER

  • The Accident of Color: A Story of Race in Reconstruction by Daniel Brook

    The Accident of Color: A Story of Race in Reconstruction by Daniel BrookIn The Accident of Color, Daniel Brook journeys to nineteenth-century New Orleans and Charleston and introduces us to cosmopolitan residents who elude the racial categories the rest of America takes for granted. Before the Civil War, these free, openly mixed-race urbanites enjoyed some rights of citizenship and the privileges of wealth and social status. But after Emancipation, as former slaves move to assert their rights, the black-white binary that rules the rest of the nation begins to intrude. During Reconstruction, a movement arises as mixed-race elites make common cause with the formerly enslaved and allies at the fringes of whiteness in a bid to achieve political and social equality for all.

    In some areas, this coalition proved remarkably successful. Activists peacefully integrated the streetcars of Charleston and New Orleans for decades and, for a time, even the New Orleans public schools and the University of South Carolina were educating students of all backgrounds side by side. Tragically, the achievements of this movement were ultimately swept away by a violent political backlash and expunged from the history books, culminating in the Jim Crow laws that would legalize segregation for a half century and usher in the binary racial regime that rules us to this day.

    The Accident of Color revisits a crucial inflection point in American history. By returning to the birth of our nation's singularly narrow racial system, which was forged in the crucible of opposition to civil rights, Brook illuminates the origins of the racial lies we live by.

    The Accident of Color: A Story of Race in Reconstruction by Daniel Brook
    June 18, 2019 | W. W. Norton & Company | 9780393247442

  • In West Mills by De'Shawn Charles Winslow

    In West Mills by De'Shawn Charles WinslowAzalea "Knot" Centre is determined to live life as she pleases. Let the people of West Mills say what they will; the neighbors' gossip won't keep Knot from what she loves best: cheap moonshine, nineteenth-century literature, and the company of men. And yet, Knot is starting to learn that her freedom comes at a high price. Alone in her one-room shack, ostracized from her relatives and cut off from her hometown, Knot turns to her neighbor, Otis Lee Loving, in search of some semblance of family and home.

    Otis Lee is eager to help. A lifelong fixer, Otis Lee is determined to steer his friends and family away from decisions that will cause them heartache and ridicule. After his failed attempt as a teenager to help his older sister, Otis Lee discovers a possible path to redemption in the chaos Knot brings to his doorstep. But while he's busy trying to fix Knot's life, Otis Lee finds himself powerless to repair the many troubles within his own family, as the long-buried secrets of his troubled past begin to come to light.

    Set in an African American community in rural North Carolina from 1941 to 1987, In West Mills is a magnificent, big-hearted small-town story about family, friendship, storytelling, and the redemptive power of love.

    In West Mills by De'Shawn Charles Winslow
    June 4, 2019 | Bloomsbury Publishing | 9781635573404
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  • Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America by Jim Auchmutey

    Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America by Jim AuchmuteyBarbecue: It's America in a mouthful. The story of barbecue touches almost every aspect of our history. It involves indigenous culture, the colonial era, slavery, the Civil War, the settling of the West, the coming of immigrants, the Great Migration, the rise of the automobile, the expansion of suburbia, the rejiggering of gender roles. It encompasses every region and demographic group. It is entwined with our politics and tangled up with our race relations.

    Jim Auchmutey follows the delicious and contentious history of barbecue in America from the ox roast that celebrated the groundbreaking for the U.S. Capitol building to the first barbecue launched into space almost two hundred years later. The narrative covers the golden age of political barbecues, the evolution of the barbecue restaurant, the development of backyard cooking, and the recent rediscovery of traditional barbecue craft. Along the way, Auchmutey considers the mystique of barbecue sauces, the spectacle of barbecue contests, the global influences on American barbecue, the roles of race and gender in barbecue culture, and the many ways barbecue has been portrayed in our art and literature. It's a spicy story that involves noted Americans from George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barack Obama.

    Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America by Jim Auchmutey
    June 1, 2019 | University of Georgia Press | 9780820338415
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  • Don't Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

    Don't Date Rosa Santos by Nina MorenoFor fans of Gilmore Girls and To All The Boys I've Loved Before, this effervescent love story from debut author Nina Moreno will sweep you away.

    Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that's what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you're a boy with a boat.

    But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.

    As her college decision looms, Rosa collides-literally-with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

    Don't Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
    May 14, 2019 | Disney-Hyperion | 9781368039703
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  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

    The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele RichardsonThe hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything--everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt's Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome's got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.

    Cussy's not only a book woman, however, she's also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she's going to have to confront prejudice as old as Appalachia and suspicion as deep as the holler.

    Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere--even back home.

    The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
    May 7, 2019 | Sourcebooks Landmark | 9781492671527
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  • Papa Put a Man on the Moon by Kristy Dempsey, Sarah Green (illustrator)

    Papa Put a Man on the Moon by Kristy Dempsey, Sarah Green (illustrator)In time for the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing, this father-daughter story celebrates a small community's big contribution to one of America's greatest accomplishments.

    Marthanne and her father sit side by side, looking out over their mill village as the moon glows in the sky. Marthanne hopes that one day, man will walk on the moon, and she knows her father is helping America accomplish this mission: The fabric he weaves forms one layer in the astronauts' spacesuits. Papa insists he's only making a living, but Marthanne knows his work is part of history, and she's proud. She tries to be patient, but she can't stop imagining the moon mission: the astronauts tumbling through space, the fabric her papa made traveling all the way up into the sky. When the astronauts blast off and Neil Armstrong finally takes his first steps on the moon, Marthanne watches in wonder. She knows her papa put a man on the moon.

    Papa Put a Man on the Moon by Kristy Dempsey, Sarah Green (illustrator)
    May 7, 2019 | Dial Books | 9780735230743

  • Like Lions by Brian Panowich

    Like Lions by Brian PanowichA powerful follow up to multiple award-winning debut Bull Mountain.

    Brian Panowich burst onto the crime fiction scene in 2015, winning awards and accolades from readers and critics alike for his smoldering debut, Bull Mountain. Now with Like Lions, he cements his place as one of the outstanding new voices in crime fiction.

    Clayton Burroughs is a small-town Georgia sheriff, a new father, and, improbably, the heir apparent of Bull Mountain's most notorious criminal family.

    As he tries to juggle fatherhood, his job and his recovery from being shot in the confrontation that killed his two criminally-inclined brothers last year, he's doing all he can just to survive. Yet after years of carefully toeing the line between his life in law enforcement and his family, he finally has to make a choice.

    When a rival organization makes a first foray into Burroughs territory, leaving a trail of bodies and a whiff of fear in its wake, Clayton is pulled back into the life he so desperately wants to leave behind. Revenge is a powerful force, and the vacuum left by his brothers' deaths has left them all vulnerable. With his wife and child in danger, and the way of life in Bull Mountain under siege for everyone, Clayton will need to find a way to bury the bloody legacy of his past once and for all.

    Like Lions by Brian Panowich
    April 30, 2019 | Minotaur Books | 9781250206947

  • Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis

    Southern Lady Code by Helen EllisThe bestselling author of American Housewife is back with a fiercely funny collection of essays on marriage and manners, thank-you notes and three-ways, ghosts, gunshots, gynecology, and the Calgon-scented, onion-dipped, monogrammed art of living as a Southern Lady.

    Helen Ellis has a mantra: "If you don't have something nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way." Say "weathered" instead of "she looks like a cake left out in the rain." Say "early-developed" instead of "brace face and B cups." And for the love of Coke Salad, always say "Sorry you saw something that offended you" instead of "Get that stick out of your butt, Miss Prissy Pants." In these twenty-three raucous essays Ellis transforms herself into a dominatrix Donna Reed to save her marriage, inadvertently steals a $795 Burberry trench coat, witnesses a man fake his own death at a party, avoids a neck lift, and finds a black-tie gown that gives her the confidence of a drag queen. While she may have left her home in Alabama, married a New Yorker, forgotten how to drive, and abandoned the puffy headbands of her youth, Helen Ellis is clinging to her Southern accent like mayonnaise to white bread, and offering readers a hilarious, completely singular view on womanhood for both sides of the Mason-Dixon.

    Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis
    April 16, 2019 | Doubleday Books | 9780385543897

  • The Magnetic Girl by Jessica Handler

    The Magnetic Girl by Jessica HandlerIn rural north Georgia two decades after the Civil War, thirteen-year-old Lulu Hurst reaches high into her father's bookshelf and pulls out an obscure book, The Truth of Mesmeric Influence. Deemed gangly and undesirable, Lulu wants more than a lifetime of caring for her disabled baby brother, Leo, with whom she shares a profound and supernatural mental connection.

    "I only wanted to be Lulu Hurst, the girl who captivated her brother until he could walk and talk and stand tall on his own. Then I would be the girl who could leave."

    Lulu begins to "captivate" her friends and family, controlling their thoughts and actions for brief moments at a time. After Lulu convinces a cousin she conducts electricity with her touch, her father sees a unique opportunity. He grooms his tall and indelicate daughter into an electrifying new woman: The Magnetic Girl. Lulu travels the Eastern seaboard, captivating enthusiastic crowds by lifting grown men in parlor chairs and throwing them across the stage with her "electrical charge."

    While adjusting to life on the vaudeville stage, Lulu harbors a secret belief that she can use her newfound gifts, as well as her growing notoriety, to heal her brother. As she delves into the mysterious book's pages, she discovers keys to her father's past and her own future--but how will she harness its secrets to heal her family?

    Gorgeously envisioned, The Magnetic Girl is set at a time when the emerging presence of electricity raised suspicions about the other-worldly gospel of Spiritualism, and when women's desire for political, cultural, and sexual presence electrified the country. Squarely in the realm of Emma Donoghue's The Wonder and Leslie Parry's Church of Marvels, The Magnetic Girl is a unique portrait of a forgotten period in history, seen through the story of one young woman's power over her family, her community, and ultimately, herself.

    The Magnetic Girl by Jessica Handler
    April 9, 2019 | Hub City Press | 9781938235481

  • I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Phillpott

    I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura PhillpottAcclaimed essayist and bookseller Mary Laura Philpott presents a charmingly relatable and wise memoir-in-essays about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on her successful life's to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list--and herself.

    Mary Laura Philpott thought she'd cracked the code: Always be right, and you'll always be happy.

    But once she'd completed her life's to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies--check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She'd done everything "right," but she felt all wrong. What's the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options?

    In this memoir-in-essays full of spot-on observations about home, work, and creative life, Philpott takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood with wit and heart. She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don't happen just once or only at midlife; reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary; and advises that if you're going to faint, you should get low to the ground first. Most of all, Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don't have to burn it all down and set off on a transcontinental hike (unless you want to, of course). You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you're not, and where you belong. Who among us isn't trying to do that?

    Like a pep talk from a sister, I Miss You When I Blink is the funny, poignant, and deeply affecting book you'll want to share with all your friends, as you learn what Philpott has figured out along the way: that multiple things can be true of us at once--and that sometimes doing things wrong is the way to do life right.

    I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Phillpott
    April 2, 2019 | Atria Books | 9781982102807

  • The Gulf by Belle Boggs

    The Gulf by Belle BoggsMarianne is in a slump: barely able to support herself by teaching, not making progress on her poetry, about to lose her Brooklyn apartment. When her novelist ex-fiancé, Eric, and his venture capitalist brother, Mark, offer her a job directing a low-residency school for Christian writers at a motel they've inherited on Florida's Gulf Coast, she can't come up with a reason to say no.

    The Genesis Inspirational Writing Ranch is born, and liberal, atheist Marianne is soon knee-deep in applications from writers whose political and religious beliefs she has always opposed but whose money she's glad to take. Janine is a schoolteacher whose heartfelt poems explore the final days of Terri Schiavo's life. Davonte is a former R&B superstar who hopes to reboot his career with a bestselling tale of excess and redemption. Lorraine and Tom, eccentric writers in need of paying jobs, join the Ranch as instructors.

    Mark finds an investor in God's Word God's World, a business that develops for-profit schools for the Christian market, but the conditions that come along with their support become increasingly problematic, especially as Marianne grows closer to the students. As unsavory allegations mount, a hurricane bears down on the Ranch, and Marianne is faced with the consequences of her decisions.

    With sharp humor and deep empathy, The Gulf is a memorable debut novel in which Belle Boggs plumbs the troubled waters dividing America.

    The Gulf by Belle Boggs
    April 2, 2019 | Graywolf Press | 9781555978341

  • Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn

    Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunnCat and her brother Chicken have always had a very special bond--Cat is one of the few people who can keep Chicken happy. When he has a "meltdown" she's the one who scratches his back and reads his favorite story. She's the one who knows what Chicken needs. Since their mom has had to work double-hard to keep their family afloat after their father passed away, Cat has been the glue holding her family together.

    But even the strongest glue sometimes struggles to hold. When a summer trip doesn't go according to plan, Cat and Chicken end up spending three weeks with grandparents they never knew. For the first time in years, Cat has the opportunity to be a kid again, and the journey she takes shows that even the most broken or strained relationships can be healed if people take the time to walk in one another's shoes.

    Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn
    April 2, 2019 | Bloomsbury Publishing | 9781681197432

  • Mothers and Strangers by Samia Serageldin

    Mothers and Strangers by Samia SerageldinIn this anthology of creative nonfiction, twenty-eight writers set out to discover what they know, and don't know, about the person they call Mother.

    Celebrated writers Samia Serageldin and Lee Smith have curated a diverse and insightful collection that challenges stereotypes about mothers and expands our notions of motherhood in the South. The mothers in these essays were shaped, for good and bad, by the economic and political crosswinds of their time. Whether their formative experience was the Great Depression or the upheavals of the 1970s, their lives reflected their era and influenced how they raised their children. The writers in Mothers and Strangers explore the reliability of memory, examine their family dynamics, and come to terms with the past.

    In addition to the editors, contributors include Belle Boggs, Marshall Chapman, Hal Crowther, Clyde Edgerton, Marianne Gingher, Jaki Shelton Green, Sally Greene, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, Eldridge "Redge" Hanes, Lynden Harris, Randall Kenan, Phillip Lopate, Michael Malone, Frances Mayes, Jill McCorkle, Melody Moezzi, Elaine Neil Orr, Steven Petrow, Margaret Rich, Omid Safi, James Seay, Alan Shapiro, Bland Simpson, Sharon K. Swanson, and Daniel Wallace.

    Mothers and Strangers by Samia Serageldin
    April 1, 2019 | University of North Carolina Press | 9781469651675
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  • The Good Detective by John McMahon

    The Good Detective by John McMahonHow can you solve a crime if you’ve killed the prime suspect?

    Detective P.T. Marsh was a rising star on the police force of Mason Falls, Georgia—until his wife and young son died in an accident. Since that night, he’s lost the ability to see the line between smart moves and disastrous decisions. Such as when he agrees to help out a woman by confronting her abusive boyfriend. When the next morning he gets called to the scene of his newest murder case, he is stunned to arrive at the house of the very man he beat up the night before. He could swear the guy was alive when he left, but can he be sure? What’s certain is that his fingerprints are all over the crime scene.

    The trouble is only beginning. When the dead body of a black teenager is found in a burned-out field with a portion of a blackened rope around his neck, P.T. realizes he might have killed the number-one suspect of this horrific crime.

    Amid rising racial tension and media scrutiny, P.T. uncovers something sinister at the heart of the boy’s murder—a conspiracy leading all the way back to the time of the Civil War. Risking everything to unravel the puzzle even as he fights his own personal demons, P.T. races headlong toward an incendiary and life-altering showdown.

    The Good Detective by John McMahon
    March 19, 2019 | (PRH) G.P. Putnam's Sons | 9780525535539

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  • Poetree by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds

    Poetree by Shauna LaVoy ReynoldsA girl writes a poem to a tree, but then is surprised when the tree writes back in this wondrous and warm picture book about friendship, nature, and the power of poetry.

    The snow has melted, the buttercups are blooming, and Sylvia celebrates winter’s end by writing a poem. She ties her poem to a birch tree, hoping that it doesn’t count as littering if it makes the world more beautiful. But when she returns, a new poem is waiting for her. Could the tree really be writing back? Sylvia decides to test her theory, and so begins a heartwarming poetic correspondence…as well as an unexpected new friendship.

    Lyrical and sweetly satisfying, Poetree is about finding beauty in the world around you, and new friends in unlikely places.

    Poetree by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds
    March 19, 2019 | (PRH) Dial Books | 9780399539121

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  • A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself by William Boyle

    A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself by William BoyleGoodfellas meets Thelma and Louise when an unlikely trio of women in New York find themselves banding together to escape the clutches of violent figures from their pasts.

    After Brooklyn mob widow Rena Ruggiero hits her eighty-year-old neighbor Enzio in the head with an ashtray when he makes an unwanted move on her, she embarks on a bizarre adventure. Taking off in Enzio’s ’62 Impala, she retreats to the Bronx home of her estranged daughter, Adrienne, and her granddaughter, Lucia, only to be turned away by Adrienne at the door. Their neighbor, Lacey "Wolfie" Wolfstein, a one-time Golden Age porn star and retired Florida Suncoast grifter, takes Rena in and befriends her.

    When Lucia discovers that Adrienne is planning to hit the road with her ex-boyfriend Richie, she figures Rena’s her only way out of a life on the run with a mother she can’t stand. But Richie has massacred a few members of the Brancaccio crime family for a big payday, and he drags even more trouble into the mix in the form of an unhinged enforcer named Crea. The stage is set for an explosion that will propel Rena, Wolfie, and Lucia down a strange path, each woman running from something and unsure what comes next.

    A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself is a screwball noir about finding friendship and family where you least expect it, in which William Boyle again draws readers into the familiar—and sometimes frightening—world in the shadows at the edges of New York’s neighborhoods.

    A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself by William Boyle
    March 5, 2019 | (WWNor) Pegasus Books | 9781643130583

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  • Solitary by Albert Woodfox

    Solitary by Albert WoodfoxThe extraordinary saga of a man who, despite spending four decades in solitary confinement for a crime of which he was innocent, inspired fellow prisoners, and now all of us, with his humanity.

    Solitary is the unforgettable life story of a man who served more than four decades in solitary confinement—in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell, 23 hours a day, in notorious Angola prison in Louisiana—all for a crime he did not commit. That Albert Woodfox survived was, in itself, a feat of extraordinary endurance against the violence and deprivation he faced daily. That he was able to emerge whole from his odyssey within America’s prison and judicial systems is a triumph of the human spirit, and makes his book a clarion call to reform the inhumanity of solitary confinement in the U.S. and around the world.

    Arrested often as a teenager in New Orleans, inspired behind bars in his early twenties to join the Black Panther Party because of its social commitment and code of living, Albert was serving a 50-year sentence in Angola for armed robbery when on April 17, 1972, a white guard was killed. Albert and another member of the Panthers were accused of the crime and immediately put in solitary confinement by the warden.

    Without a shred of actual evidence against them, their trial was a sham of justice that gave them life sentences in solitary. Decades passed before Albert gained a lawyer of consequence; even so, sixteen more years and multiple appeals were needed before he was finally released in February 2016.

    Remarkably self-aware that anger or bitterness would have destroyed him in solitary confinement, sustained by the shared solidarity of two fellow Panthers, Albert turned his anger into activism and resistance. The Angola 3, as they became known, resolved never to be broken by the grinding inhumanity and corruption that effectively held them for decades as political prisoners. He survived to give us Solitary, a chronicle of rare power and humanity that proves the better spirits of our nature can thrive against any odds.

    Solitary by Albert Woodfox
    March 3, 2019 | Grove | 9780802129086

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  • Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

    Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee by Jeff ZentnerFrom the Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King comes a contemporary novel about two best friends who must make tough decisions about their futures—and the TV show they host—in their senior year of high school. Every Friday night, best friends Delia and Josie become Rayne Ravenscroft and Delilah Darkwood, hosts of the campy creature feature show, Midnite Matinee, on the local cable station TV Six. But with the end of senior year quickly approaching, the girls face tough decisions about their futures. Josie has been dreading graduation, as she tries to decide whether to leave for a big university and chase her dream career in mainstream TV. And Lawson, one of the show’s guest performers, a talented MMA fighter with weaknesses for pancakes, fantasy novels, and Josie, is making her tough decision even harder. Scary movies are also the last connection Delia has to her dad, who abandoned the family years ago. If Midnite Matinee becomes a hit, maybe he’ll see it and want to be a part of her life again. And maybe Josie will stay with the show instead of leaving her behind, too. As the tug-of-war between growing up and growing apart tests the bonds of their friendship, Josie and Delia start to realize that an uncertain future can be both monstrous…and momentous.

    Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
    February 26, 2019 | (PRH) Crown Books | 9781524720209

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  • A-List by D.P. Lyle

    A-List by D.P. LylePI Jake Longly and Nicole Jamison head to New Orleans at the behest of Nicole's uncle, movie producer Charles Balfour, when his megastar, A-list actor Kirk Ford, awakens in his hotel bed with the body of Kristi Guidry, a local college coed. Ford, in the Big Easy for a location shoot, remembers little of the evening and nothing of the murder. And, to make matters worse, Kristi is the niece of a local mafioso-type who will do whatever is necessary to avenge her death. Balfour is losing money every day the filming is stalled—he needs his actor cleared, and quickly.

    Surrounded by glitzy Hollywood stars and intimidated by seedy underworld characters, Jake and Nicole encounter nothing but obstacles. Something isn't right. The facts don't fit. Who would want Kristi dead? Why frame Kirk for the murder? Everyone has an opinion, including Kristi's friends and ex-boyfriend, the local homicide detectives, and a fortune-teller. The clock is ticking as Jake and Nicole struggle to decipher who's lying, who's telling the truth, and exactly who schemed to murder Kristi Guidry. Nothing is easy in The Big Easy.

    A-List by D.P. Lyle
    February 19, 2019 | (IPS) Oceanview Publishing | 9781608093335

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  • The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray

    The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa GrayThe Mothers meets An American Marriage in this dazzling debut novel about mothers and daughters, identity and family, and how the relationships that sustain you can also be the ones that consume you.

    The Butler family has had their share of trials—as sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian can attest—but nothing prepared them for the literal trial that will upend their lives.

    Althea, the eldest sister and substitute matriarch, is a force to be reckoned with and her younger sisters have alternately appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband Proctor are arrested, and in a heartbeat the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. The worst part is, not even her sisters are sure exactly what happened.

    As Althea awaits her fate, Lillian and Viola must come together in the house they grew up in to care for their sister’s teenage daughters. What unfolds is a stunning portrait of the heart and core of an American family in a story that is as page-turning as it is important.

    The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
    February 19, 2019 | (PRH) Berkley | 9781984802439

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  • Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

    Lost Children Archive by Valeria LuiselliFrom the two-time NBCC Finalist, an emotionally resonant, fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border—an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity.

    A mother and father set out with their two children, a boy and a girl, driving from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer. Their destination: Apacheria, the place the Apaches once called home.

    Why Apaches? asks the ten-year-old son. Because they were the last of something, answers his father.

    In their car, they play games and sing along to music. But on the radio, there is news about an "immigration crisis: thousands of kids trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States, but getting detained—or lost in the desert along the way.

    As the family drives—through Virginia to Tennessee, across Oklahoma and Texas—we sense they are on the brink of a crisis of their own. A fissure is growing between the parents, one the children can almost feel beneath their feet. They are led, inexorably, to a grand, harrowing adventure—both in the desert landscape and within the chambers of their own imaginations.

    Told through several compelling voices, blending texts, sounds, and images, Lost Children Archive is an astonishing feat of literary virtuosity. It is a richly engaging story of how we document our experiences, and how we remember the things that matter to us the most. With urgency and empathy, it takes us deep into the lives of one remarkable family as it probes the nature of justice and equality today.

    Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
    February 12, 2019 | (PRH) Knopf | 9780525520610

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  • American Pop by Snowden Wright

    American Pop by Snowden WrightThe story of a family.

    The story of an empire.

    The story of a nation.

    Moving from Mississippi to Paris to New York and back again, an epic saga of family, ambition, passion, and tragedy that brings to life one unforgettable Southern dynasty—the Forsters, founders of the world’s first major soft-drink company—against the backdrop of more than a century of American cultural history.

    The child of immigrants, Houghton Forster has always hungered for more—from his time as a young boy in Mississippi, working twelve-hour days at his father’s drugstore; to the moment he first laid eyes on his future wife, Annabelle Teague, a true Southern belle of aristocratic lineage; to his invention of the delicious fizzy drink that would transform him from tiller boy into the founder of an empire, the Panola Cola Company, and entice a youthful, enterprising nation entering a hopeful new age.

    As the heads of a preeminent American family spoken about in the same breath as the Hearsts and the Rockefellers, Houghton and Annabelle raise their four children with the expectation they’ll one day become world leaders. The burden of greatness falls early on eldest son Montgomery, a handsome and successful politician who has never recovered from the horrors and heartbreak of the Great War. His younger siblings Ramsey and Lance, known as the “infernal twins,” are rivals not only in wit and beauty, but in their utter carelessness with the lives and hearts of others. Their brother Harold, as gentle and caring as the twins can be cruel, is slowed by a mental disability—and later generations seem equally plagued by misfortune, forcing Houghton to seriously consider: who should control the company after he’s gone?

    A tour de force of original storytelling, American Pop is an irresistible blend of fact and fiction, the mundane and the mythical, and utilizes techniques of historical reportage to capture how, in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s words, “families are always rising and falling in America,” and to explore the many ways in which nostalgia can manipulate cultural memory—and the stories we choose to tell about ourselves.

    American Pop by Snowden Wright
    February 5, 2019 | William Morrow | 9780062697745

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  • The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi Laskar

    The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi LaskarWhen a woman—known only as Mother—moves her family from Atlanta to its wealthy suburbs, she discovers that neither the times nor the people have changed since her childhood in a small Southern town. Despite the intervening decades, Mother is met with the same questions: Where are you from? No, where are you really from? The American-born daughter of Bengali immigrants, she finds that her answer—Here—is never enough.

    Mother's simmering anger breaks through one morning, when, during a violent and unfounded police raid on her home, she finally refuses to be complacent. As she lies bleeding from a gunshot wound, her thoughts race from childhood games with her sister and visits to cousins in India, to her time in the newsroom before having her three daughters, to the early days of her relationship with a husband who now spends more time flying business class than at home.

    The Atlas of Reds and Blues grapples with the complexities of the second-generation American experience, what it means to be a woman of color in the workplace, and a sister, a wife, and a mother to daughters in today's America. Drawing inspiration from the author's own terrifying experience of a raid on her home, Devi S. Laskar's debut novel explores, in exquisite, lyrical prose, an alternate reality that might have been.

    The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi Laskar
    February 2, 2019 | (IPS) Counterpoint | 9781640091535

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  • We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

    We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos RuffinA bold, provocative debut for fans of Get Out and Paul Beatty’s The Sellout, about a father’s obsessive quest to protect his son—even if it means turning him white.

    “You can be beautiful, even more beautiful than before.” This is the seductive promise of Dr. Nzinga’s Clinic, where anyone can get their lips thinned, their skin bleached, and their noses narrowed. A complete demelanization will liberate you from the confines of being born in a black body—if you can afford it.

    In this near-future Southern city plagued by fenced-in ghettos and police violence, more and more residents are turning to this experimental medical procedure. Like any father, our narrator just wants the best for his son Nigel, a biracial boy whose black birthmark is getting bigger by the day. The darker Nigel becomes, the more frightened his father feels. But how far will he go to protect his son? And will he destroy his family in the process?

    This electrifying, hallucinatory novel is at once a keen satire of surviving racism in America and a profoundly moving family story. At its center is a father at war with himself who just wants his son to thrive in a broken world. A writer whose work evokes the crackling prose of Ralph Ellison and the dizzying menace of Franz Kafka, Maurice Carlos Ruffin is a ferociously talented new writer who fearlessly shines a light on the violence we inherit, and on the desperate things we do for the ones we love.

    We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
    January 29, 2019 | (PRH) One World | 9780525509066

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  • Parkland Speaks by Sarah Lerner

    Parkland Speaks by Sarah LernerFeaturing art and writing from the students of the Parkland tragedy, this is a raw look at the events of February 14, and a poignant representation of grief, healing, and hope.

    The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School share their emotional journeys that began on February 14, 2018, and continue today. This revealing and unfiltered look at teens living in the wake of tragedy is a poignant representation of grief, anger, determination, healing, and hope.

    The intimate collection includes poetry, eyewitness accounts, letters, speeches, journal entries, drawings, and photographs from the events of February 14 and its aftermath. Full of heartbreaking loss, a rally cry for change, and hope for a safe future, these artistic pieces will inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and the importance of valuing and protecting the ones you love.

    Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories by Sarah Lerner
    January 22, 2019 | (PRH) Crown Books FYR | 9781984849991

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  • Miraculum by Steph Post

    Miraculum by Steph PostThe year is 1922. The carnival is Pontilliar’s Spectacular Star Light Miraculum, staked out on the Texas-Louisiana border. One blazing summer night, a mysterious stranger steps onto the midway, lights a cigarette and forever changes the world around him. Tattooed snake charmer Ruby has traveled with her father’s carnival for most of her life and, jaded though she is, can’t help but be drawn to the tall man in the immaculate black suit who conveniently joins the carnival as a chicken-biting geek.

    Mercurial and charismatic, Daniel charms everyone he encounters, but his manipulation of Ruby turns complicated when it’s no longer clear who’s holding all the cards. Daniel is full of secrets, but he hadn’t counted on Ruby having a few of her own. When one tragedy after another strikes the carnival—and it becomes clear that Daniel is somehow at the center of calamity—Ruby takes it upon herself to discover the mystery of the shadowy man pulling all the strings. Joined by Hayden, a roughneck-turned-mural-painter wrestling demons of his own, Ruby engages Daniel in a dangerous, eye-opening game in which nothing is as it seems and everything is at stake.

    Steph Post has firmly established herself as one of the most original and captivating voices in contemporary fiction, and with Miraculum she has written an unforgettable novel that is part Southern Gothic, part Noir, part Magical Realism, and all Steph Post.

    Miraculum by Steph Post
    January 22, 2019 | (IPS) Polis Books | 9781947993419

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  • The Current by Tim Johnston

    The Current by Tim JohnstonTim Johnston, whose breakout debut Descent was called "astonishing," "engulfing," and "outstanding" by national media, returns with The Current, a tour de force about the indelible impact of a crime on the lives of innocent people.

    In the dead of winter, outside a small Minnesota town, state troopers pull two young women and their automobile from the icy Black Root River. One girl is found downriver, drowned, while the other is found at the scene, half-frozen and unconscious, but alive. What happened was no accident, and news of the crime awakens the community's memories of another young woman who lost her life in the same river ten years earlier, and whose killer may still live among them. Determined to find answers, the surviving girl soon realizes that she's connected to the earlier unsolved case by more than just a river, and the deeper she plunges into her own investigation, the closer she comes to dangerous truths, and to the violence that simmers just below the surface of her hometown.

    Brilliantly plotted, unrelentingly suspenseful, and richly atmospheric, The Current is a mesmerizing story about the fragility of life—and the power of fighting back.

    The Current by Tim Johnston
    January 22, 2019 | Algonquin Books | 9781616206772

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  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

    The Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiSet in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

    Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

    To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts:

 An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can't yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.



    Together, they'll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

    The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
    January 15, 2019 | (MAC) Wednesday Books | 9781250144546

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  • The Elephant in the Room by Tommy Tomlinson

    The Elephant in the Room by Tommy TomlinsonIn the tradition of Roxane Gay’s Hunger, a searing, honest, and candid exploration of what it’s like to live as a fat man, from acclaimed journalist Tommy Tomlinson, who decided he had to change his life as he neared the age of fifty weighing in at 460 pounds.


    When he was almost fifty years old, Tommy Tomlinson weighed an astonishing—and dangerous—460 pounds, at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, unable to climb a flight of stairs without having to catch his breath, or travel on an airplane without buying two seats. Raised in a family that loved food, he had been aware of the problem for years, seeing doctors and trying diets from the time he was a preteen. But nothing worked, and every time he tried to make a change, it didn’t go the way he planned—in fact, he wasn’t sure that he really wanted to change.

    

He was only one of millions of Americans struggling with weight, body image, and a relationship with food that puts them at major risk. Intimate and insightful, The Elephant in the Room is Tomlinson’s chronicle of meeting those people, taking the first steps towards health, and trying to understand how, as a nation, we got to this point. From buying a FitBit and setting an exercise goal to contemplating the Heart Attack Grill, America’s “capital of food porn,” and modifying his own diet, Tomlinson brings us along on an unforgettable journey of self-discovery that is a candid and sometimes brutal look at the everyday experience of being constantly aware of your size. Over the course of the book, he confronts these issues head on and chronicles the practical steps he has to take—big and small—to lose weight by the end.

    The Elephant in the Room by Tommy Tomlinson
    January 15, 2019 | Simon & Schuster | 9781501111617

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  • Meet Miss Fancy by Irene Latham

    Meet Miss Fancy by Irene LathamA charming and significant story set prior to the Civil Rights Movement about a boy who finds a way to challenge segregation laws.

    Frank has always been obsessed with elephants. He loves their hosepipe trunks, tree stump feet, and swish-swish tails. So when Miss Fancy, the elephant, retires from the circus and moves two blocks from his house to Avondale Park, he’s over the moon! Frank really wants to pet her. But Avondale Park is just for white people, so Frank is not allowed to see Miss Fancy. Frank is heartbroken but he doesn’t give up: instead he makes a plan!

    Frank writes to the City Council so his church can host a picnic in the park, and he can finally meet Miss Fancy. All of his neighbors sign the letter, but when some protest, the picnic is cancelled and Frank is heartbroken all over again. Then Miss Fancy escapes the zoo, and it’s up to Frank to find her before she gets hurt.

    Meet Miss Fancy by Irene Latham
    January 8, 2019 | (PRH) G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR | 9780399546686

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  • Sugar Run by Mesha Maren

    Sugar Run by Mesha MarenIn 1989, Jodi McCarty is seventeen years old when she’s sentenced to life in prison. When she’s released eighteen years later, she finds herself at a Greyhound bus stop, reeling from the shock of unexpected freedom but determined to chart a better course for herself. Not yet able to return to her lost home in the Appalachian Mountains, she heads south in search of someone she left behind, as a way of finally making amends. There, she meets and falls in love with Miranda, a troubled young mother living in a motel room with her children. Together they head toward what they hope will be a fresh start. But what do you do with your past—and with a town and a family that refuses to forget, or to change?

    Set within the charged insularity of rural West Virginia, Mesha Maren’s Sugar Run is a searing and gritty debut about making a break for another life, the use and treachery of makeshift families, and how, no matter the distance we think we’ve traveled from the mistakes we’ve made, too often we find ourselves standing in precisely the place we began.

    Sugar Run by Mesha Maren
    January 8, 2019 | Algonquin Books | 9781616206215

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  • Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo

    Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo

    The Lightning Thief meets the Story Thieves series in this middle grade fantasy inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America.

    Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage. He loves the culture, the art, and especially the myths. Thanks to his abuela’s stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last five hundred years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. And even though his grandmother sometimes hinted that the tales might be more than mere myth, Charlie’s always been a pragmatist. Even barely out of diapers, he knew the stories were just make-believe—nothing more than intricately woven fables meant to keep little kids from misbehaving.

    But when Charlie begins to experience freaky bodily manifestations—ones all too similar to those described by his grandma in his favorite legend—he is suddenly swept up in a world where the mythical beings he’s spent his entire life hearing about seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Hispanic folklore and into his life. And even stranger, they seem to know more about him than he knows about himself.

    Soon, Charlie finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle between La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Negra (a.k.a. the Black Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind. With only the help of his lifelong crush, Violet Rey, and his grandmother’s stories to guide him, Charlie must navigate a world where monsters and brujas rule and things he couldn’t possibly imagine go bump in the night. That is, if he has any hope of discovering what’s happening to him and saving his missing parents (oh, and maybe even the world).

    No pressure, muchacho.

    Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
    Aladdin Paperbacks | 9781534426580 | November 6, 2018
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  • Love Like Sky by Leslie C. Youngblood

    Love Like Sky by Leslie Youngblood

    "Love ain't like that."

    "How is it then?" Peaches asked, turning on her stomach to face me.

    "It's like sky. If you keep driving and driving, gas will run out, right?"

    "That's why we gotta go to the gas station."

    "Yep. But have you ever seen the sky run out? No matter how far we go?"

    "No, when we look up, there it is."

    "Well that's the kind of love Daddy and Mama got for us, Peaches--love like sky."

    "It never ends?"

    "Never."

    G-baby and her younger sister, Peaches, are still getting used to their "blended-up" family. They live with Mama and Frank out in the suburbs, and they haven't seen their real daddy much since he married Millicent. G-baby misses her best friend back in Atlanta, and is crushed that her glamorous new stepsister, Tangie, wants nothing to do with her.

    G-baby is so preoccupied with earning Tangie's approval that she isn't there for her own little sister when she needs her most. Peaches gets sick-really sick. Suddenly, Mama and Daddy are arguing like they did before the divorce, and even the doctors at the hospital don't know how to help Peaches get better.

    It's up to G-baby to put things right. She knows Peaches can be strong again if she can only see that their family's love for her really is like sky.

    Love Like Sky by Leslie C. Youngblood
    Disney-Hyperion | 9781368016506 | November 6, 2018
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  • The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

    The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

    When Carly Sears, a young woman widowed by the Vietnam war, receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970, and she is told that nothing can be done to help her child. But her brother-in-law, a physicist with a mysterious past, tells her that perhaps there is a way to save her baby. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Carly has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean an unimaginable leap of faith on Carly's part.

    And all for the love of her unborn child.

    The Dream Daughter is a rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother's quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.

    The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
    St. Martin’s Press | 9781250087300 | November 6, 2018
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