GREAT READS HANDPICKED BY GREAT SOUTHERN BOOKSELLERS...

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  • The Trespasser by Tana French

    This was my first Tana French novel, and now I have to go back and read them all. A taut procedural with a healthy dose of paranoia, The Trespasser finds Detective Antoinette Conway navigating a hostile work environment while solving what seems to be an open-and-shut murder case. French is a master manipulator, and this novel had me thinking in an Irish accent.

    The Trespasser by Tana French (Viking, $27.00), recommended by Travis at Flyleaf Books, Chapel, NC.

  • The Truth According To Us by Annie Barrows

    A coming-of-age novel about 12-year-old Willa Romeyn, who learns some hard truths about her dad and the rest of her family during one hot summer in West Virginia.

    Set in the 1930s, the novel features an impressive cast of strong women who will learn how to fight for what they want despite the social mores of the times.

    This entertaining and often humorous novel will stay with you for a long time.

    The Truth According To Us by Annie Barrows (Dial Press) Recommended by Linda at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • The Twenty Days of Turin by Giorgio De Maria

    The Twenty Days of Turin by Giorgio De MariaThis haunting and surreal novel, though a cult favorite in its native Italy, has been generally unknown to American readers since its publication in 1977. Written at a time of rampant right- and left-wing terrorism, the story follows an investigator as he tries to reconstruct a twenty-day period of mass insomnia in which the inflicted are attacked and murdered by giant, unseen entities. Far too much satire and subtext to mention here. Presented in English for the first time by translator Roman Glazov.

    The Twenty Days of Turin by Giorgio De Maria ($24.95*, Liveright Publishing Corporation), recommended by Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.

  • The Ultimatum by Karen Robards

    The Ultimatum by Karen RobardsBook one in The Guardian series by Karen Robards, The Ultimatum (MIRA $26.99), kept me on the edge of my seat. It was funny and witty, which aren't always the same thing. It was badass while leaving room for emotions, was detailed without boring me, and Bianca St. Ives was fierce, sexy, smart, and alluring. It has the richest of backstories which is developed slowly over the course of this fast-paced thriller, including a shocking reveal at the end, of course, meaning I am counting down the days until book two. This is the first Karen Robards I've ever read and I am proud to admit I am a new KR/Bianca St. Ives convert.

    The Ultimatum by Karen Robards ($26.99*, Mira Books), recommended by Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.

  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

    This is the story of Cora and her escape northward from a plantation in Georgia. Her means is the Underground Railroad, a literal underground network of tunnels and rails. Each time she surfaces, Cora finds herself in a different cultural landscape, all strange and dangerous in their own ways. It is a narrative built on true horror, spun into a fascinating but awful dystopic alternate history. Completely brutal, ingenious, and powerful.

    The Undergound Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday $26.95), recommended by Tyler at the Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

    The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

    Molly is a serial crusher. Even though she's had 26 crushes in her 17 years, she's never been kissed, much less had a boyfriend. And now that her twin sister Cassie has her first real girlfriend, Molly can't help but feel like the experience is making them grow apart. Luckily, Cassie's girlfriend has a single best friend, a cute hipster guy, who just might be perfect crush material. Except Molly kind-of likes her awkward, geeky co-worker Reid, too. Molly's struggles with self-acceptance and relationships, both romantic and familial, will strike a chord with YA readers, who will fall in love with Molly as easily as they fell in love with Simon.

    The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli ($17.99, Balzer & Bray), recommended by Melissa, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel

    The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel"Everyone's life is a disaster." The thing that Patricia Engel does in The Veins of the Ocean is explain with her brutal honesty and beautifully flawed characters is how we all survive. Buy this for yourself or someone you love or even someone you don't. We all have regrets, buying this book won't be one of them. One of my top 5 books of the summer.

    The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel ($17.00, Grove Press), recommended by Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL.

  • The Visiting Privilege by Joy Williams

    Joy Williams has been writing the very finest stories for 42 years.

    Carver called her simply "a wonder." Brodkey said she is "the most gifted writer of her generation." Bret Easton Ellis says she is "The rightful heir to the mastery, genius, and poetry of Flannery O’Connor," and Jim Harrison calls her stories, "chillingly astute."

    I can’t add more to that, except to say that the publication of this collection is a major American literary event. Gathered here are 33 of her earlier stories, and 13 kick-ass new ones. They are all stunning, and because she deals with the most fundamental human themes--the old verities--as they are wrangled by seemingly ordinary characters, her work never seems dated, holding up powerfully against any writer on the scene now.

    Don’t miss this one--as they say, destined to become a classic.

    The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams (Knopf) Recommended by LH at Square Books Oxford MS

  • The Waitress Was New by Dominique Fabre; Jordan Stump (Translator)

    The Waitress Was New By Dominique Fabre; Jordan Stump (Translator)

    Observational and mundane, this is a novel that inhabits the mind of an ordinary man for three days as his life abruptly changes. For all those who need a dose of Parisian café in their lives.

    "Let the world turn around us, beyond our spotless bars, in the end every day will be carefully wiped away to make room for the next."

    The Waitress Was New by Dominique Fabre; Jordan Stump (Translator) ($16, Archipelago Books), recommended by Elizabeth, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

    The story is based in China, in a place called Hak Nam.

    Hak Nam is run by drug lords and is filled with brothels. Jin is trying to find her sister, while pretending to be a boy to stay safe and fly under the radar. Dai is trying to find a way out of Hak Nam and he needs Jins help. In return, he agrees to help Jin find her sister. Mei Yee is trapped in a brothel, forced into prostitution with no way out. Dai, Jin and Mei Yee narrate the story, each chapter is told through one of them.

    The Walled City by Ryan Graudin (Little, Brown) Recommended by Christina at Blue Ridge Books Waynesville NC

  • The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

    The story is built around a family road-trip full of comic moments, but these aren’t the Griswolds, and they’re not headed to Walley World. Every member of the Wang family is fighting to hang onto his or her own very specific American dream as they journey from California to New York after the loss of the family fortune. Jade Chang’s voice is fresh, her take on the immigrant narrative is new, but her themes are timeless. A really fun read.

    The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang (Houghton Mifflin, $26), recommended by Mary Laura at Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

    The Second World War is about to begin.

    Hitler is rallying his forces and preparing to conquer the world. Yet, for Ada Smith, a different war is about to begin.

    Ada was born with a clubfoot. She cannot walk, and she is forced to stay in her families one-room apartment at all times. Ada doesn’t know
    what the world looks like outside of her little apartment. Life for Ada seems very bleak, until the mandatory evacuation of all London’s children is announced.

    Suddenly, Ada and her little brother Jamie are sent to the country with thousands of other Londoner children. When they arrive in Kent, Ada expects life to remain as it has always been, but instead Ada will discover a world she never knew existed.

    Ada will discover that she is not as broken as she seems, and with time and a lot of love she might be able to change the way the world sees her. A poignant tale set in war-time England of a little girl’s triumph over her disability and the life that she has always known.

    The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Dial Books for Younger Readers) Recommended by Gretchen at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

    It takes a special talent to have a reader truly suspend disbelief, but Pulley succeeds spectacularly well in this debut.

    In 1880s London, Thaniel Steepleton is a telegraphist whose life is saved by a very timely pocket watch. When he meets its maker, Keita Mori, his entire life is upended and made more beautiful -- and dangerous.

    The clock is ticking on this new friendship, and Thaniel must use his ingenuity and previously untapped bravery to save Keita's life and his own future. Fans of David Mitchell and Erin Morgenstern will be intrigued, and I think it's safe to say that we can expect great things from Pulley.

    The Watchmaker of Filigree Streetby Natasha Pulley (Bloomsbury USA ) Recommended by Amanda at Inkwood Books Tampa FL

  • The Water and the Wild by Katie Elise Ormsbee, K. E. Ormsbee, Elsa Mora

    The Water and The Wild is a debut children's fantasy that feels akin to the British childhood favorites I grew up reading--The Chronicles of Narnia, The Dark Is Rising, and Alice in Wonderland.

    So introduce your child to a modern classic in the making or read it yourself in nostalgic remembrance.

    The Water and the Wild by Katie Elise Ormsbee; K. E. Ormsbee; Elsa Mora (Illustrator) (Chronicle Books) Recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • The Western Star by Craig Johnson

    The Western Star by Craig JohnsonMy weak spots are trains, westerns and mysteries, so I was compelled to pick up the new Longmire mystery by Craig Johnson. I flipped through the first few pages and tried to feign disinterest--as a brooding Western lawman would do--but I failed spectacularly and found myself riding alongside Sheriff Walt Longmire, back to his early days as a Wyoming deputy. His efforts to stay alive then serve as the backdrop for his current challenge to confront his darkest enemy. The gun- and book-toting Longmire, and the cast of unique characters on the Western Star kept me guessing as I rode the rails with them for miles through the Wyoming wilderness.

    The Western Star by Craig Johnson ($28.00*, Viking), recommended by Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.

  • The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

    Elizabeth has devoted her life to being a witch hunter, and she's one of the best in the land.

    Then she's accused of being a witch herself and sentenced to burn at the stake. On the run from the most powerful man in the kingdom, she makes new friends with actual witches and wizards, people she'd always thought were her enemies but who end up becoming more of a family than she's ever had.

    Fans of Graceling will love the action and romance in this medieval fantasy. 

    The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill

    Since Ned and his brother fell into the river as children and only Ned survived, the people of his village have been convinced that the wrong boy lived.

    Then bandits show up from the enchanted forest that borders the village, and the Bandit King wants nothing so much as he wants the magic Ned's mother, Sister Witch, has contained and protected for her whole life. When Ned meets Aine, the Bandit King's daughter, the two must learn to trust each other in order to get rid of the magic causing so many problems.

    An extraordinary middle-grade novel about magic and friendship that will enchant readers of all ages. The lyrical storytelling reminds me of Lauren Oliver, with fantasy and adventure that will pull you in and make you stay until you're done. An amazing book.

    The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

    The Woman in White by Wilkie CollinsAnother classic I'd never read! Although The Woman in White received mixed reviews when it was published in the mid-19th century, it was an immediate hit with the reading public. I can see why. For one thing, Wilkie Collins is a master of the cliffhanger: I lost count of how many there were throughout the book, and each was put to excellent use. For another, he draws wonderful characters, making them beautifully (and horribly) specific, and thus, hard to forget. I admit that I had little patience with Laura Fairlee, the book's angelic ingenue, who seems always on the verge of fainting, but I recognize that she is a contrivance of the age in which the novel was written, and the other characters are all so deliciously wrought that it seems unfair to quibble over Laura's "girly" characteristics.

    The Woman in White is not only a mystery but a true thriller, and it was said at the time that Collins had written "something completely new." It's not often that I am moved as I was when reading this novel: in fear, anticipation, sadness, and excitement. Ultimately, Collins is simply a marvelous storyteller. Aspiring writers can learn much about how to engage readers' interests and emotions effectively; readers will find a novel that they can completely and gladly lose themselves in. And isn't that something we all want and need from time to time?

    The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins ($12.99*, MacMillan Collector's Library), recommended by Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC.

  • The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

    This book has the feel of a classic World War II story while being unlike any other book I’ve read. The Women In The Castle are widows of the resistance after their husbands’ failed plot to assassinate Hitler. Jessica Shattuck’s magnificent storytelling transports the reader to another time and place and kept me awake at night thinking about these women and their stories.

    The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck ($26.99, William Morrow & Company), recommended by Rae Ann, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

    The Wonder kept me guessing until the very end and stayed with me for a long time after. Emma Donoghue plays to her strengths in this marvelously crafted religious thriller set in the mid-19th century Irish countryside. As always, Donoghue has done her research in telling the story of a "fasting girl" and a Nightingale Nurse. Suspenseful historical fiction driven by excellent characters.

    The Wonder by Emma Donoghue (Little Brown and Company, $27.00), recommended by Leila at Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, TN.

  • There Your Heart Lies by Mary Gordon

    There Your Heart Lies by Mary GordonAward-winning author Mary Gordon's new novel, There Your Heart Lies, follows Marian as she leaves her wealthy family behind after her brother's death and volunteers to serve during the Spanish Civil War. As things become more and more volatile under Franco's regime, Marian's relationships do also. The story takes us back and forth between her time in Spain and her present life, where she is a ninety-something widow, dying of cancer. She shares her past with her granddaughter, whose observations of Marian deepened my feelings of empathy for all that had transpired over the course of her full and eventful life.

    There Your Heart Lies by Mary Gordon ($26.95, Pantheon Books), recommended by Mamie, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.

  • There's Something I Want You to Do: Stories by Charles Baxter

    Often anthologized and quoted writer Charles Baxter has a new collection of stories, There’s Something I Want You to Do.

    The stories are broken down into two sections, Virtues and Vices, each containing five stories. Characters come and go through the ten stories, set mostly in Minneapolis.  That Baxter understands the failings and strengths of humans is evident, and we see once again why he is considered such an authority on the short story form.

    A great choice for book clubs as members can explore Baxter’s interpretation of each of the virtues and vices.

    There's Something I Want You to Do: Stories by Charles Baxter (Pantheon) Recommended by Quail Ridge BooksRaleigh NC

  • They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

    They All Saw a Cat by Brendan WenzelA beautifully illustrated, funny, and imaginative picture book, They All Saw A Cat shares visions of a cat from a diversity of perspectives, each of which sees it slightly differently. This book creates a natural starting point to consider with your child why such a variety of beliefs and opinions exist among people – which makes it a timely book, too.

    They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel ($16.99*, Chronicle Books), recommended by Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • This Is Memorial Device by David Keenan

    This Is Memorial Device by David KeenanAs if Bolaño was obsessed with post-punk, This is Memorial Device is a journey through a music scene that could've been and never was, as seen through a lens of memory and innate sadness.

    This Is Memorial Device by David Keenan ($16.00*, Faber & Faber Social), recommended by Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC.

  • This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

    Taking you through an hour in Opportunity High School, during which a shooter comes in and changes everyone's lives, this book will also take you on an emotional roller coaster.

    Told from multiple points of view, you get an idea of what the shooter is like, what has happened in his life that might have brought him to this point, and how he's affected the people close to him.

    A heartbreaking novel that draws you into a small-town tragedy and somehow manages to not give up hope.

    This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (Sourcebooks Fire) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak

    Three Daughters of Eve by Elif ShafakShafak crafts a novel that is highly philosophical and entertaining. There are themes that speak to world politics and feel so right in their timing as well as timeless questions about God and love. A propulsive read that will leave you wanting more of Shafak's skill with language.

    Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak ($27.00*, Bloomsbury USA), recommended by Malaprop's Bookstore/Café, Asheville, NC.

  • Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

    Thunderhead by Neal ShustermanThunderhead is a rare sequel that is even better than its predecessor. Shusterman has an incredible ability to subvert all expectations, and even when I thought I knew what would happen, a new twist would turn my perception on its head! Rowan and Citra both stayed true to their characters, which is difficult to do in a dystopian world. I loved every minute and will be putting this duology into every hand I can!

    Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman ($18.99*, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), recommended by Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.

  • Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

    Eleanor Flood, once a rising star as an artist and cartoonist now lives in Seattle. She still writes some, but primarily lives her life as a wife and mother. In one day of inopportune revelations and odd adventures, Eleanor comes to reckon with her complicated and dissatisfying family life. From the bestselling author of Where'd You Go Bernadette? comes another disarmingly funny story executed with a conversational tone that almost belies the seriousness of the plot. I especially love the full-color interior section of Eleanor's graphic novel Flood Girls, illustrated by Eric Chase Anderson.

    Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple (Little, Brown & Co., $2799), recommended by Johanna at Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Tony and Susan by Austin Wright

    From the publisher: Fifteen years ago, Susan Morrow left her first husband, Edward Sheffield, an unpublished writer. Now, she's enduring middle class suburbia as a doctor's wife, when out of the blue she receives a package containing the manuscript of her ex-husband's first novel. He writes asking her to read the book; she was always his best critic, he says. As Susan reads, she is drawn into the fictional life of Tony Hastings, a math professor driving his family to their summer house in Maine. And as we read with her, we too become lost in Sheffield's thriller. As the Hastings' ordinary, civilized lives are disastrously, violently sent off course, Susan is plunged back into the past, forced to confront the darkness that inhabits her, and driven to name the fear that gnaws at her future and will change her life.

    Mary at The Country Bookshop says Tony and Susan is a "truly creepy novel that will have you checking over your shoulder."

    Tony and Susan: The Riveting Novel That Inspired the New Movie Nocturnal Animals by Austin Wright ($14.99, Grand Central Publishing), recommended by Mary, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

    A busy couple formerly on the brink of realizing their dreams reflects on a fortuitous gathering with their best friends and another couple in a tale that explores the role of guilt in relationships and the power of everyday moments in family life.

    Liane Moriarty's novels consistently feature spot-on observations about contemporary life, irresistible humor, and page-turning suspense. Her last two books, Big Little Lies and The Husband's Secret, were both massive #1 New York Times bestsellers.

    Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (Flatiron Books) Recommended by Bookstore1Sarasota Sarasota FL

  • Twain’s End by Lynn Cullen

    Twain’s End by Lynn CullenMark Twain: funny, witty, beloved author. Also Mark Twain: moody, selfish, cruel philanderer. His secretary, Isabel Lyon, knew both sides of the man very intimately. This novel tells her story. So compelling!

    Twain's End by Lynn Cullen ($16.00, Gallery Books), recommended by Kathy, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

    Universal Harvester/John DarnielleA customer returns a copy of She's All That to a late-90s video store complaining about footage from a bizarre home movie spliced in. The mysterious scene shows hooded figures and vague, quietly horrifying movement.

    Universal Harvester will keep you up an night. It sneaks up on you and scares you when you least expect it. Quick and beautifully written-- highly recommend!

    Universal Harvester by John Darnielle ($25.00, Farrar, Straus and Giroux), recommended by Colin, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

    Children and teachers alike will fall in love with spunky Latina heroine Sophie Brown and the super powered chickens she has inherited and must keep safe from both chicken hawks and chicken thieves.

    This exceptional debut is recommended for fans of Roald Dahl and all animal lovers.

    Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones; Katie Kath (Illustrator) (Alfred A. Knopf) Recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Villa America by Liza Klaussman

    Villa America is a beautifully crafted, thoroughly entertaining work of historical fiction about Sara and Gerald Murphy, part of the so-called Lost Generation of the 1920s.

    As ex-pats living in the south of France, the Murphys strove to create an idyllic world for themselves and their circle of friends that included Hemingway, Picasso and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. This carefully researched book tells a story of the charmed, extravagant lives of these people who, despite their efforts to escape, found themselves vulnerable to the realities of misfortune and tragedy.

    Klaussmann is a gifted writer with the ability to give voice to the most fundamental truths of humanity. There were passages I read again and again, marveling at their beauty and insight.

    Villa America by Liza Klaussmann (Little Brown and Company) Recommended by Samantha at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

  • Virgin and Other Stories by April Lawson

    These stories take place in the South, but their true terrain is the landscape of attraction, jealousy, and aggression—the easily-suppressed emotions that end up shaping so much of how we act. You might not realize it, but you think the way Lawson's characters think. Read this once to get caught up in their psychology, then again to appreciate how finely crafted the sentences are.

    Virgin and Other Stories by April Lawson ($23, Farrar Straus and Giroux), recommended by Travis, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

     A Fall 2016 Okra Pick

  • Walkaway by Cory Doctorow

    Walkaway by Cory Doctorow

    Cory Doctorow's Walkaway is a return to the deep-thinking, insightful, and yet very amusing science fiction of yore. We follow a group of Walkaways (individuals who have left typical society) as they experience and immerse themselves in a counter-culture that should be easy to maintain in a world of surplus. It isn't, of course--especially with differing opinions on what this counter-culture should do and what they could represent. Prepare to laugh and think with a story that is just on the other side of tomorrow.

    Walkaway by Cory Doctorow ($26.99, Tor Books), recommended by Banshion, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Want Not by Jonathan Miles

    From the critically acclaimed author of Dear American Airlines, a compulsively readable, deeply human novel that charts the course of three intersecting lives—a freegan couple living off the grid in Manhattan, a once prominent linguist struggling with midlife, and a New Jersey debt-collection magnate with a new family and a second chance at getting things right—in a thoroughly contemporary examination of that most basic and unquenchable emotion: want. 

    Want Not By Jonathan Miles (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), recommended by Lynne Marie at Fountain Bookstore, Richmond VA.

  • Waylon! Even More Awesome by Sara Pennypacker, Marla Frazee

    Waylon! Even More Awesome by Sara Pennypacker, Marla Frazee "I love that it has dogs!," says a Page 158 customer. "A heart-warming dog story that teaches a gentle lesson about friendship and the meaning of cooperation," says Page 158 staff.

    Waylon! Even More Awesome by Sara Pennypacker, Marla Frazee ($15.99*, Disney-Hyperion), recommended by Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC.

  • We Eat Our Own by Kea Wilson

    Drawing much inspiration from the mythology behind classic--and controversial--horror films like Cannibal Holocaust, Wilson has taken what could have easily been a pulpy horror novel and created a beautifully written and terrifying story populated by vivid and compelling characters. The tension builds at a satisfyingly steady pace and pushes the characters and their political, emotional, and professional allegiances to the breaking point. Like a jungle parasite, We Eat Our Own will worm its way into your psyche and terrorize you from the inside out. You won't be able to put it down.

    We Eat Our Own by Kea Wilson, ($26.00, Scribner), recommended by Johanna at Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.
  • When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin

    Change has always followed Ben Coffin.

    He was a foster kid for most of his life, until his mom adopted him two years ago. That's the closest thing he's ever had to a family, to permanence. Then he finds a scruffy little dog, Flip, and feels a little bit closer to normalcy. And when he meets the librarian's daughter, Halley, on one of his many trips to the library, he makes a friend for maybe the first time in his life.

    But Ben has to learn that even the good things can't stay around forever...but they're what make life good.

    A truly touching story of family and friendship that just might help you see the magic in your own life.

    When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin (The Dial Press) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen

    Edgar, aka Eggert Furst, aka Comrade Parts, is one of the most intriguing and pathetic villains I've come across.

    Okasanen's latest novel, like her international best-seller Purge, delves into the political tumult of little-known Estonia, where the overly ambitious Edgar adopts a new identity, while selling out his friends and colleagues, with each regime swing between the Red Army and the Nazis.

    His total lack of conscience and increasing paranoia of exposure by the two people who know him – his alcoholic estranged wife and his freedom-fighting cousin Roland – add just the right hint of dark comedy.

    When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen (Knopf Publishing Group) Recommended by Vicki at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

  • When Watched by Leopoldine Core

    Elizabeth loves When Watched by Leopoldine Core: Core delves into the wonderful strangeness that is the human mind. These characters--and the relationships they form--can be funny, unsettling, irritating, and are always entirely captivating. If you want to read about the complexities of love and sex, read this. If you want to read a book you can't put down, read this.

    When Watched by Leopoldine Core (Penguin Books, $16.00), recommended by Elizabeth at Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • Where I'm Calling From: Selected Stories by Raymond Carver

    Carver is where I go for stories of the working class.

    The subject matter might be hard-edged, but it's also full of a human tenderness that leaves me a few moments where I'm unable to move on to anything else.

    This is an essential read in realist short fiction. Fans of Mary Miller or Barry Hannah will like this.

    Where I'm Calling From: Selected Stories by Raymond Carver (Vintage) Recommended by Dottie at Square Books Oxford MS.

  • Where Women Are Kings by Christie Watson

    This stunning novel falls into the category of so tragically sad but so true and beautiful that everyone ought to read it, kind of like Little Bee or What is the What.

    It's story of seven-year-old Elijah who, after being taken from his Nigerian immigrant mother, bounces around London from foster home to foster home. When he lands with Nikki and Obi, a couple deeply committed to being Elijah's forever family, things seem hopeful. But as they delve further into Elijah's troubled past, and into the deeply rooted beliefs his mother has left him with, the success of the match and the safety of the family falls into question.

    Watson gracefully walks the line between storytelling and tackling the difficult issues, and while she never comes off as preachy you walk away from this book with a deeper understanding of culture, race, and their possible implications on adoption.

    Where Women Are Kings by Christie Watson (Other Press), recommended by Amanda at Inkwood Books Tampa FL.

  • Whispering Shadows by Jan-Philipp Sendker

    Sendker’s new novel, Whispering Shadows, is sure to be as big a hit as The Art of Heart of Hearing Heartbeats.

    Sendker focuses again on what he does best, the human condition; love, trust and friendship are exquisitely woven  into a beautiful narrative that draws the reader into a another world. Paul Leibovitz has made his home in Hong Kong and has had a very successful life. A personal tragedy involving his son leaves him bereft and isolated. As he struggles to navigate the losses in his life, he is drawn into a mystery involving a missing American businessman.

    Paul and his Chinese friend, Zhang, attempt to discover the truth and are caught in a web of distrust and lies. Chinese culture and its past political history  play a significant role in resolving the crime. Sendker offers significant insight into the Chinese psyche as he explores the important issues of love, trust and friendship in this poignant novel.

    A fascinating story that captured my imagination in the first paragraph and didn’t let me go until the end! Loved it!

    Whispering Shadows by Jan-Philipp Sendker (Atria), recommended by Stephanie at Page & Palette Fairhope AL.

  • White Tears by Hari Kunzru

    White Tears/Hari KunzruIn a guest post on Lemuria Books' blog, writer Jim Ewing recommends White Tearsby Hari Kunzru.

    "What if there's a subtle, hidden sound, a tone, or chord, a riff that can transcend time and space, communicating through music a key or gate to hidden truths? This is the essential question that leads a New York acoustic engineer named Seth on the path toward solving a mystery in Hari Kunzru's novel White Tears...It's a saga that leads to madness, blood, and shame. Readers will be left reeling, wondering how many more mournful, deadly vibrations still reverberate all around us, just beneath the surface of our world." Continue reading...

    White Tears by Hari Kunzru ($26.95, Knopf Publishing Group), recommended by Jim, Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS.

  • Wolf by Mo Hayder

    Mo Hayder has written the ultimate story of psychological terror and horror. It is a riveting, bone-chilling tale about a family held hostage in their English country manor. This story of such evil doings will haunt you for long after you’ve finished and you will never suspect the shocking ending… it will leaving you breathless!

    Wolf by Mo Hayder (Atlantic Monthly Press) Recommended by Nancy at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

    Words in Deep Blue by Cath CrowleyIt's hard to find a book that skillfully combines emotional honesty with a truly delightful tone--but Cath Crowley does just that with Words in Deep Blue. Rachel's wounded and grieving heart comes through beautifully. Her connections with Henry and her family, and her emotional growth and change feel authentic, meaningful, and memorable. As a book lover, of course I fell hard for Henry, his family, and Howling Books. I was enchanted by the idea of the Letter Library and wished so badly for a place I could communicate with other readers in the same way. I loved growing closer to Rachel, Henry, George, Martin, Cal, and the Howling Books book club through Cath Crowley's words.

    Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley ($17.99, Knopf Books for Young Readers), recommended by Johanna, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • World Gone By by Dennis Lehane

    Dennis Lehane has given us another fascinating, and historical look into the rise of the mob. World Gone By takes place in Tampa and Cuba during WWII, and is a mesmerizing look at the honor and loyalty, revenge and retribution, that is an integral part of a mobster's way of life.

    Once again Lehane develops characters so rich and so complex that he has us liking and rooting for gangsters.

    World Gone By by Dennis Lehane (William Morrow & Company) Recommended by Nancy at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Wrecked by Maria Padian

    Conundrum: The name of the campus house where Haley's freshman roommate claims to have been raped, and the exact position Haley is put in when she finds herself drawn into the campus investigation. At the same time, Haley is growing closer to Richard, a housemate of the accused and a boy who annoys her, excites her, makes her furious, and makes her laugh. Haley and Richard find themselves on opposite sides of somebody else's war, struggling and scrambling to discern just who is telling the truth about what really happened. Timely, poignant, and thought-provoking, Wrecked should be required reading for every high-school senior.

    Wrecked by Maria Padian, (Algonquin Young Readers, $17.95), recommended by Angie at The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby, Dave Stevenson (Illustrator)

    York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby, Dave Stevenson (Illustrator) Nothing screams summer like an un-put-downable page-turner of a mystery. This new series from Laura Ruby is full of alternative history, ciphers, and friendship.

    York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby, Dave Stevenson ($17.99, Walden Pond Press), recommended by Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis

    You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee EllisOlivia's life is complicated. Her father has left and her mother is struggling to support their family. So Olivia steps up by taking care of herself and little sister Berkley. They rely on their neighbors in Sunny Pines Trailer Park and create their own adventures with Olivia's whimsical imagination, which may or may not get them into trouble sometimes...Ann Dee Ellis hits a perfect tween sweet spot. She so easily places a reader directly into the twelve-year-old brain. All of Olivia's hopes, fears, and silly flights of fancy are perfectly narrated - realistic and completely endearing at the same time.

    You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis ($16.99*, Dial Books), recommended by Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • You Should Have Left. by Daniel Kehlman

    You Should Have Left by Daniel KehlmanDaniel Kehlmann's novella sent shivers down my spine and kept me asking, "Just what is happening here?" A screenwriter tries to break through writer's block during a vacation with his family at a mountain house in Germany, but soon finds himself confronting sinister and physics-defying phenomena. I picked this up looking for a quick and entertaining read, but the story grabbed my wits and tossed them into its skewed events--and compelled me to read it again. A deliciously frightening tale.

    You Should Have Left. by Daniel Kehlman ($18.00*, Pantheon Books), recommended by Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.

  • Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

    Young Jane Young by Gabrielle ZevinLike many other readers, I quickly got swept up in Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, and I was similarly helpless against Young Jane Young's charms. Zevin's talent is to take characters we think we know--the smitten intern, the wife who stays with her cheating husband--and to give them wholly original life. This book will have you marveling at Zevin's ingenuity and sharp ear as you compulsively turn the pages.

    Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin ($26.95*, Algonquin Books), recommended by Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

    A Summer 2017 Okra Pick!

  • Young Man with a Horn by Dorothy Baker

    A fascinating novel of passion and obsession with a TON of swinging music. Considered the first jazz novel, Dorthy Baker's 1938 debut puts you right up on the bandstand--smack dab in the middle of jazz's first golden age. DIG IT!

    Young Man with a Horn by Dorothy Baker ($14.95, New York Review of Books), recommended by Slade, Square Books, Oxford, MS.

  • Zbinden's Progress by Christoph Simon

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

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

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

  • Zero K by Don DeLillo

    A new novel by one of the greatest authors of all time, need I say more? I needn’t… but I’m contractually obligated to. 

    With this new book, DeLillo packs the intellectual punch of White Noise or Mao II—big, expansive books that are seemingly about everything—yet this one reads as quick as his slimmer late novels. It’s all about cryogenic preservation of the brain/body, while still managing to be funny and absurdly entertaining.

    So read it. Death is not the end.

    Zero K by Don DeLillo (Scribner) Recommended by Donovan at Inkwood Books Tampa FL