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RECENT RECOMMENDATIONS FROM SOUTHERN INDIES (PDF)


RECENT RECOMMENDATIONS FROM SOUTHERN INDIES...

Southern Lady Code by Helen EllisWell, bless my heart. I love this masterful, whip-smart essay collection so much, I might just dip some Nutter Butters into melted white chocolate, dot them with candy buttons, eat them, and call it a day. Or maybe I'll hop a flight to Topeka, where I won't take part in a three-way. Or maybe I'll clean my whole apartment! The truth is, I just don't quite know what to do with myself after reading Southern Lady Code. It is so, so GOOD, so rooted in its perspective, and so candid; plus, it's so remarkably, frequently moving, oftentimes in unexpected ways. In short, this book is...well, whatever Southern Lady Code is for "a triumph."

Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis ($22.00*, Doubleday), recommended by Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

 A Spring 2019 Okra Pick

The Magnetic Girl by Jessica HandlerA grand, dark, mysterious historical novel filled with dark power and ambivalence, The Magnetic Girl captures a time and place, not only in the life of a teenage girl but in our country as well. Filled with the shifting longings of adolescence against a vaudeville backdrop, Handler's novel explores the dangerous journey from childhood to adulthood when our budding powers both enthrall and terrify us.

The Magnetic Girl by Jessica Handler ($27.00*, Hub City Press), recommended by Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, NC.

 A Spring 2019 Okra Pick

The Editor by Steven Rowley

The Editor opens with a nervous meeting between debut novelist James Smale and a potential editor who turns out to be none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Rowley perfectly captures the charm and grace of this American icon while portraying her in the role of devoted editor completely invested in helping her author find his true story. In turn, Smale’s journey to confront his past and repair his relationship with his mother resonates on a personal level with Onassis’s most personal role as a mother.

This is the first book in a very long time that kept me reading far past my bedtime! Rowley perfectly aligns these two characters’ stories, creating a heartwarming story perfect for readers who appreciate a powerful family story with a touch of history and intrigue.

The Editor by Steven Rowley ($27.00*, G.P. Putnam's Sons), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

Finding My Voice by Valerie JarrettI enjoyed this intimate portrayal of Valerie's Jarrett life from childhood to life after eight years in President Obama's administration. This memoir will greatly appeal to anyone who appreciates political memoirs, gender and race studies, or current events.

Finding My Voice by Valerie Jarrett ($30.00*, Viking), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunnCaterpillar Summer is a heartwarming novel about a brother, Chicken, who has special needs and a sister, Cat, who tries too hard to protect him. Cat's and Chicken's mom works long hours since their dad died. Although Cat is just in fifth grade, she tries to fill in as a part-time mom for Chicken. An unexpected visit with their grandparents, whom they have never met, teaches Cat a lot about being a kid and reveals a lot about her mom that she never knew before. A wonderful debut novel!

Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn ($16.99*, Bloomsbury Childen's Books), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

 A Spring 2019 Okra Pick

Women Talking by Miriam ToewsThis novel is definitely true to its title, made up almost entirely of women talking--illiterate Mennonite women of a remote colony who have recently realized that the nighttime terrors the men of the colony have told them are dreams or demonic possessions or punishment for sins were actually these men, their relatives and neighbors, tranquilizing and then raping them.

Inspired by real events, this novel isn’t interested in the horrors of this Handmaid’s Tale-esque story but rather how these women come together to grapple with what they will do about this injustice, in light of their values, their faith, and their own limited understanding of the world. What may not come across in the elevator pitch of this book is how full of sparks the conversation is between these women, at turns funny, philosophical, biting, and real. This book was certainly thought-provoking but it was also a joy to read. Praise be women talking.

Women Talking by Miriam Toews ($24.00*, Bloomsbury Publishing), recommended by Underground Books, Carrollton, GA.

I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura PhillpottI don't usually read a book of essays, but Mary Laura Philpott's book I Miss You When I Blink had just the right touch of humor and honesty to appeal to me. Philpott's candid reflections on her life will mirror what many women see in their own. Her take on marriage, kids, career choices and her own perfectionist tendencies is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.

I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Phillpott ($26.00*, Atria Books), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

 A Spring 2019 Okra Pick