GREAT READS HANDPICKED BY GREAT SOUTHERN BOOKSELLERS...

Echo lives with the Avicen, a magical people with feathers for hair.

They are more her people than the human family she ran away from as a child. Sent on a quest to find the Firebird, a mythical object said to posses the power to end an ancient war, Echo meets the Dragon Prince, leader of the Drakharin, mortal enemies to the Avicen.

With her ragtag group of Avicen and Drakharin, Echo follows the trail to the Firebird, intent on doing what she can to earn her place. But first she has to figure out where it is she belongs.

Awesome world-building and character development make this a great choice for fans of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

I can't wait for the sequel!

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey (Delacorte Press) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Brian Freeman’s first Cab Bolton thriller was supposed to be a stand alone.

I am sure glad he changed his mind so we could read more about Cab Bolton. A Season of Fear brings Cab back to Florida and finds him involved, thanks to his always interfering mother, with the players in the upcoming FL gubernatorial race.

A powerful tropical storm collides with the culmination of a 10 year-old murder investigation that has lain inactive for many years, resulting in a shocking ending. It is a masterfully written, carefully plotted political thriller… fast paced and suspenseful.

Season of Fear by Brian Freeman (Quercus) Recommended by Nancy at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Like many of you, By the Book is one of my favorite parts of the NYT Book Review.

Compiled here by Pamela Paul, editor of the Book Review, are 65 author interviews (uncut and in their original format) all about writing habits, favorite authors and books and - one of my favorites - books they'd wish the president would read.

The authors range from Michael Chabon and Khaled Hosseini to Anne Lamott and Hilary Mantel, making this a delectable treat for any book lover.

By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review by Pamela Paul, Scott Turow (Henry Holt and Co.) Recommended by Amanda at Inkwood Books Tampa FL

Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump, known as Vinnie, was born with dwarfism. She grew to be two feet, eight inches tall, but she never let her size stop her from living life to the fullest. Vinnie did so well in school, she became a school teacher, but deep down she craved more. Through life’s ups and downs, she finally teamed up with P. T. Barnum. The two became close friends and he introduced her to Tom Thumb, one of his other performers.

This fictionalized novel tells the story of Vinnie, through her perspective on life. The long chapters are broken up with intermissions that show the newspaper headlines.  Melanie Benjamin is an excellent author, providing readers with an insider’s view into the personal lives of celebrities. Written as an autobiography, this book will open readers’ eyes to the world of the lady who entranced the world. There are phrases in this book that will live in readers’ hearts forever.

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin, recommended by Nicole at My Sisters Books, Pawleys Island, SC.

“The question of what you want to own is actually a question of how you want to live your life!” Kondo exclaims. While I am still working my way at decluttering my space, following the advice of this book has been fairly straight forward. The concept is pretty simple: get rid of physical baggage so you can focus on living your life (and maybe cutting some other types of baggage too). It’s empowering, it’s not being beholden to material possessions, it’s learning how to make your space serve you, and it’s deciding what you want for your life as the person you are today. Now that is life-changing.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo (Ten Speed $16.99), recommended by Ceewin, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.