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.


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  • The Barrowfields by Phillip Lewis

    A richly textured coming-of-age story about fathers and sons, home and family, recalling classics by Thomas Wolfe and William Styron, by a powerful new voice in fiction.

    Just before Henry Aster’s birth, his father—outsized literary ambition and pregnant wife in tow—reluctantly returns to the small Appalachian town in which he was raised and installs his young family in an immense house of iron and glass perched high on the side of a mountain. There, Henry grows up under the writing desk of this fiercely brilliant man. But when tragedy tips his father toward a fearsome unraveling, what was once a young son’s reverence is poisoned and Henry flees, not to return until years later when he, too, must go home again.

    Mythic in its sweep and mesmeric in its prose, The Barrowfields is a breathtaking debut about the darker side of devotion, the limits of forgiveness, and the reparative power of shared pasts.

    BUY FROM AN INDIE | READ THE FIRST CHAPTER

  • The Bone Tree by Greg Iles

    The Bone Tree#1 New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles continues the electrifying story he began in his smashing New York Times bestseller Natchez Burning with this highly anticipated second volume in an epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

    Southern prosecutor Penn Cage is caught in the darkest maelstrom of his life. The heartbreaking but seemingly straightforward death of his father's African-American nurse, Viola Turner, has fractured Penn's family and turned Dr. Tom Cage into a fugitive from justice. And in the search for his father and his reasons for running, Penn has unwittingly started a war with a violent offshoot of the KKK, the Double Eagles, whose members seem to know much more about Tom's past than Penn or his mother ever did.

    Desperately following his father's trail, Penn finds himself in a maze of mirrors, beset on all sides by a family of criminals and corrupt police whose power reaches into the highest levels of state government. To even the odds, Penn must rely on allies whose objectives are very different from his own. FBI special agent John Kaiser sees Tom Cage as the key to closing not only countless civil rights murders, but also the ultimate cold case: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Penn's fiancee, journalist Caitlin Masters, is chasing the biggest story of her career and believes Tom can lead her to evidence of America's most secret, shameful history. In the end, all roads will lead to the mysterious Bone Tree, a legendary killing site that may conceal far more than the remains of the forgotten.

    Penn now knows that the death of Viola Turner is a door to the darkest chapters of America's past. In the civil rights battleground that was 1960s Mississippi and Louisiana, powerful men had audacious, sweeping agendas, and their violent race murders concealed a conspiracy that ran wide and deep, involving the New Orleans Mafia, a Double Eagle hit squad, and a world- altering murder in Dealey Plaza in 1963. And if the FBI can be believed, somehow Dr. Tom Cage stands at the center of it all.

    Enthralling, captivating, and utterly engrossing, The Bone Tree is a masterpiece of modern suspense and the next novel in the monumental trilogy that Greg Iles was born to write.

    Buy from an indie | Read the first chapter!

  • The Book of Isaias by Daniel Connolly

    In a green town in the middle of America, a bright 18-year-old Hispanic student named Isaias Ramos sets out on the journey to college.

    Isaias, who passed a prestigious national calculus test as a junior and leads the quiz bowl team, is the hope of Kingsbury High in Memphis, a school where many students have difficulty reading. But Kingsbury’s dysfunction, expensive college fees, and forms printed in a language that’s foreign to his parents are all obstacles in the way of getting him to a university.

    Isaias also doubts the value of college and says he might go to work in his family’s painting business after high school, despite his academic potential. Is Isaias making a rational choice? Or does he simply hope to avoid pain by deferring dreams that may not come to fruition? This is what journalist Daniel Connolly attempts to uncover in The Book of Isaias as he follows Isaias, peers into a tumultuous final year of high school, and, eventually, shows how adults intervene in the hopes of changing Isaias’ life.

    Mexican immigration has brought the proportion of Hispanics in the nation’s youth population to roughly one in four. Every day, children of immigrants make decisions about their lives that will shape our society and economy for generations. This engaging, poignant book captures an American microcosm and illustrates broader challenges for our collective future.

    BUY FROM AN INDIE | READ THE FIRST CHAPTER

  • The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry

    The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan HenryThe women who spent their childhood summers in a small southern town discover it harbors secrets as lush as the marshes that surround it...

    Bonny Blankenship's most treasured memories are of idyllic summers spent in Watersend, South Carolina, with her best friend, Lainey McKay. Amid the sand dunes and oak trees draped with Spanish moss, they swam and wished for happy-ever-afters, then escaped to the local bookshop to read and whisper in the glorious cool silence. Until the night that changed everything, the night that Lainey's mother disappeared.

    Now, in her early fifties, Bonny is desperate to clear her head after a tragic mistake threatens her career as an emergency room doctor, and her marriage crumbles around her. With her troubled teenage daughter, Piper, in tow, she goes back to the beloved river house, where she is soon joined by Lainey and her two young children. During lazy summer days and magical nights, they reunite with bookshop owner Mimi, who is tangled with the past and its mysteries. As the three women cling to a fragile peace, buried secrets and long ago loves return like the tide.

    The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry | Berkley Books | 9780399583117 | Read the first chapter

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  • The Cantaloupe Thief by Deb Richardson-Moore

    Too many people are staying silent about a ten-year-old murder case and it's time for reporter Branigan Powers to investigate.
    She knows a good story when she sees one, and the case of wealthy Alberta Grambling Resnick's murder definitely makes the cut. Resnick was stabbed in her home after she let it slip that she was planning to change her will. There are plenty of suspects in the death of the matriarch of the town's founding family, but the killer has never been caught.

    Now Branigan must do some serious digging to get her story. She knows the town's homeless community might have seen something; she also knows that the local cops wouldn't have thought of questioning these often invisible people. There's a big problem, though: as Branigan starts digging, the homeless start dying. When her twin brother, a longtime addict, gets involved, the consequences of her investigation may hit a little too close to home.

    Set in the fictional small town of Grambling, Georgia, The Cantaloupe Thief is the first in a new mystery series by Deb Richardson-Moore. The author is herself a former journalist and works extensively with the homeless, lending weight to the portrayal of a believable and engaging whodunnit.

    BUY FROM AN INDIE | READ THE FIRST CHAPTER

  • The Devil's Muse by Bill Loehfelm

    The Devil's Muse by Bill LoehfelmIn the thrilling fifth book in the critically acclaimed series that's "edgy, dangerous, but pulsing with life" (Bill Ott, Booklist), a Mardi Gras parade turns deadly.

    It's Mardi Gras in New Orleans and rookie cop Maureen Coughlin has no idea what she's in for. Her night working the parades begins calmly enough―until a half-naked man careens through the crowd and throws himself onto the hood of an oncoming SUV. As she tries to deal with the incident amid the pulsing chaos of the parade, Maureen hears gunshots. Moments later, with three wounded and a handful of drunken witnesses, Maureen has a full-fledged investigation on her hands. Who was the shooter? Who was he after? Who's the next target? City bigwigs begin pressuring Maureen and her crew for quick answers. And with an amateur camera crew intent on capturing "the real Mardi Gras" for their YouTube channel, an incompetent supervising detective, and tense race relations in a city more likely to mistrust cops than ever, it's going to be a very long night―and a memorable first Mardi Gras―for Maureen.

    With The Devil's Muse, the acclaimed crime writer Bill Loehfelm conjures rowdy New Orleans in all its mess and marvel, and sends Maureen deep into the city on another wild, high-octane adventure.

    The Devil's Muse by Bill Loehfelm | Sarah Crichton Books | 9780374279776 | Read the first chapter

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  • The Drunken Spelunker's Guide to Plato by Kathy Giuffre

    The Drunken Spelunker's Guide to PlatoJust because we're all prisoners in the cave doesn't mean we can't have fun. The Drunken Spelunker's Guide to Plato is based on Plato's Allegory of the Cave from The Republic. In this novel, the Cave is a dank basement bar in the small Southern town of Waterville, overflowing with cheap beer, good blues, and local oddballs. There's Vera, the tough but tender owner; Pancho, the philosophical piano tuner; Billy Joe, the former rising star back home after a stop in Memphis; and Commie Tom, the exceedingly generous proprietor of the Hammer and Sickle Bookstore.

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  • The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish

    Lost in the Sun meets The Thing About Jellyfish in Ali Standish’s breathtaking debut. A poignant middle grade novel of friendship and forgiveness, The Ethan I Was Before is a classic in the making.

    Ethan had been many things. He was always ready for adventure and always willing to accept a dare, especially from his best friend, Kacey. But that was before. Before the accident that took Kacey from him. Before his family moved from Boston to the small town of Palm Knot, Georgia.

    Palm Knot may be tiny, but it’s the home of possibility and second chances. It’s also home to Coralee, a girl with a big personality and even bigger stories. Coralee may be just the friend Ethan needs, except Ethan isn’t the only one with secrets. Coralee’s are catching up with her, and what she’s hiding might be putting both their lives at risk. The Ethan I Was Before is a story of love and loss, wonder and adventure, and ultimately of hope.

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  • The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell

    The Feathered BoneFeathers no matter what size or shape or color are all the same, if you think about them. They're soft. Delicate. But the secret thing about feathers is . . . they are very strong.

    In the pre-Katrina glow of New Orleans, Amanda Salassi is anxious about chaperoning her daughter's sixth grade field trip to the Big Easy during Halloween. And then her worst fears come true. Her daughter's best friend, Sarah, disappears amid the magic and revelry gone, without a trace.

    Unable to cope with her guilt, Amanda's daughter sinks in depression. And Amanda's husband turns destructive as he watches his family succumb to grief. Before long, Amanda's whole world has collapsed.

    Amanda knows she has to save herself before it's too late. As she continues to search for Sarah, she embarks on a personal journey, seeking hope and purpose in the wake of so much tragedy and loss.

    Set amidst the murky parishes of rural Louisiana and told through the eyes of two women who confront the darkest corners of humanity with quiet and unbreakable faith, The Feathered Bone is Julie Cantrell's master portrait of love in a fallen world.

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  • The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward

    National Book Award–winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time.

    In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The Progressive magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin’s 1962 “Letter to My Nephew,” which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time. Addressing his fifteen-year-old namesake on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin wrote: “You know and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon.”

    Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward knows that Baldwin’s words ring as true as ever today. In response, she has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States. And she has turned to some of her generation’s most original thinkers and writers to give voice to their concerns.

    The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future. Of the eighteen pieces, ten were written specifically for this volume.

    In the fifty-odd years since Baldwin’s essay was published, entire generations have dared everything and made significant progress. But the idea that we are living in the post-Civil Rights era, that we are a “post-racial” society is an inaccurate and harmful reflection of a truth the country must confront. Baldwin’s “fire next time” is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about.

    Contributors include Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Garnette Cadogan, Edwidge Danticat, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Mitchell S. Jackson, Honoree Jeffers, Kima Jones, Kiese Laymon, Daniel Jose Older, Emily Raboteau, Claudia Rankine, Clint Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Wendy S. Walters, Isabel Wilkerson, and Kevin Young.

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  • The Flying Circus by Susan Crandall

    Flying CircusFrom the bestselling and award-winning author of Whistling Past the Graveyard comes an adventure tale about two daredevils and a farm boy who embark on the journey of a lifetime across America's heartland in the Roaring Twenties. 

    Set in the rapidly changing world of 1920s America, this is a story of three people from very different backgrounds: Henry "Schuler" Jefferson, son of German immigrants from Midwestern farm country; Cora Rose Haviland, a young woman of privilege whose family has lost their fortune; and Charles "Gil" Gilchrist, an emotionally damaged WWI veteran pilot. Set adrift by life-altering circumstances, they find themselves bound together by need and torn apart by blind obsessions and conflicting goals. Each one holds a secret that, if exposed, would destroy their friendship. But their journey of adventure and self-discovery has a price--and one of them won't be able to survive it.

    As they crisscross the heartland, exploring the rapidly expanding role of aviation from barnstorming to bootlegging, from a flying circus to the dangerous sport of air racing, the three companions form a makeshift family. It's a one-of-a-kind family, with members as adventurous as they are vulnerable, and as fascinating as they are flawed. But whatever adventure--worldly or private--they find themselves on, they're guaranteed to be a family you won't forget.

    Buy from an indie | Read the first chapter!

  • The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

    What isn't written, isn't remembered. Even your crimes. Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person's memories--of parents, children, love, life, and self--are lost. Unless they have been written.

    In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn't written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

    But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence - before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

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  • The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young

    Gates of Evangeline
From a unique new talent comes a fast-paced debut, introducing a heroine whose dark visions bring to light secrets that will heal or destroy those around her . . .

    When New York journalist and recently bereaved mother Charlotte Charlie Cates begins to experience vivid dreams about children she's sure that she's lost her mind. Yet these are not the nightmares of a grieving parent, she soon realizes. They are messages and warnings that will help Charlie and the children she sees, if only she can make sense of them. 

    After a little boy in a boat appears in Charlie's dreams asking for her help, Charlie finds herself entangled in a thirty-year-old missing-child case that has never ceased to haunt Louisiana's prestigious Deveau family. Armed with an invitation to Evangeline, the family's sprawling estate, Charlie heads south, where new friendships and an unlikely romance bring healing. But as she uncovers long-buried secrets of love, money, betrayal, and murder, the facts begin to implicate those she most wants to trust and her visions reveal an evil closer than she could ve imagined.

    A Southern Gothic mystery debut that combines literary suspense and romance with a mystical twist, The Gates oc Evangeline is a story that readers of Gillian Flynn, Kate Atkinson, and Alice Sebold won't be able to put down.

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  • The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollack

    From Donald Ray Pollock, author of the highly acclaimed The Devil All the Time and Knockemstiff, comes a dark, gritty, electrifying (and, disturbingly, weirdly funny) new novel that will solidify his place among the best contemporary American authors.

    It is 1917, in that sliver of border land that divides Georgia from Alabama. Dispossessed farmer Pearl Jewett ekes out a hardscrabble existence with his three young sons: Cane (the eldest; handsome; intelligent); Cob (short; heavy set; a bit slow); and Chimney (the youngest; thin; ill-tempered). Several hundred miles away in southern Ohio, a farmer by the name of Ellsworth Fiddler lives with his son, Eddie, and his wife, Eula. After Ellsworth is swindled out of his family's entire fortune, his life is put on a surprising, unforgettable, and violent trajectory that will directly lead him to cross paths with the Jewetts. No good can come of it. Or can it?

    In the gothic tradition of Flannery O'Connor and Cormac McCarthy with a healthy dose of cinematic violence reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah, Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers, the Jewetts and the Fiddlers will find their lives colliding in increasingly dark and horrific ways, placing Donald Ray Pollock firmly in the company of the genre's literary masters.

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  • The Hidden Light of Northern Fires by Daren Wang

    The Hidden Light of Northern Fires by Daren Wang"Splendid―a distinctive clear-eyed perspective on a fresh corner of the Civil War." ―Charles Frazier, New York Times bestselling author of Cold Mountain

    "A wise and timely book." ―Ron Rash, New York Timesbestselling author of Serena

    Rooted in the history of the only secessionist town north of the Mason Dixon Line, The Hidden Light of Northern Fires tells a story of redemption amidst a war that tore families and the country apart.

    Mary Willis has always been an outcast, an abolitionist in a town of bounty hunters and anti-Union farmers. After college, she dreams of exploring the country, but is obligated to take over the household duties and management of her family's farm, while her brother Leander avoids his own responsibilities. Helping runaways is the only thing that makes her life in Town Line bearable.

    When escaped slave Joe Bell collapses in her father's barn, Mary is determined to help him cross to freedom in nearby Canada. But the wounded fugitive is haunted by his vengeful owner, who relentlessly hunts him up and down the country, and his sister, still trapped as a slave in the South.

    As the countryside is riled by the drumbeat of civil war, rebels and soldiers from both sides bring intrigue and violence of the brutal war to the town and the farm, and threaten to destroy all that Mary loves.

    The Hidden Light of Northern Fires by Daren Wang | Thomas Dunne Books | 9781250122353 | Read the first chapter

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  • The Home Place by J. Drew Lanham

    “In me, there is the red of miry clay, the brown of spring floods, the gold of ripening tobacco. All of these hues are me; I am, in the deepest sense, colored.” From these fertile soils of love, land, identity, family, and race emerges The Home Place, a big-hearted, unforgettable memoir by ornithologist and professor of ecology J. Drew Lanham.

    Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina—a place “easy to pass by on the way somewhere else”—has been home to generations of Lanhams. In The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be “the rare bird, the oddity.”

    By turns angry, funny, elegiac, and heartbreaking, The Home Place is a remarkable meditation on nature and belonging, at once a deeply moving memoir and riveting exploration of the contradictions of black identity in the rural South—and in America today.

    BUY FROM AN INDIE | READ THE FIRST CHAPTER

  • The King of the Birds by Acree Graham Macam

    In this picture book, inspired by the life of Flannery O’Connor, a young fan of fowl brings home a peacock to be the king of her collection, but he refuses to show off his colorful tail. The girl goes to great lengths to encourage the peacock to display his plumage — she throws him a party, lets him play in the fig tree, feeds him flowers and stages a parade — all to no avail.

    Then she finally stumbles on the perfect solution. When she introduces the queen of the birds — a peahen — to her collection, the peacock immediately displays his glorious shimmering tail.

    This delightful story, full of humor and heart, celebrates the legacy of a great American writer.
    Includes an author’s note about Flannery O’Connor.

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  • The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson

    The Opposite of EveryoneA fiercely independent divorce lawyer learns the power of family and connection when she receives a cryptic message from her estranged mother in this bittersweet, witty novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Someone Else's Love Story and gods in Alabama an emotionally resonant tale about the endurance of love and the power of stories to shape and transform our lives.

    Born in Alabama, Paula Vauss spent the first decade of her life on the road with her free-spirited young mother, Kai, an itinerant storyteller who blended Hindu mythology with southern oral tradition to reinvent their history as they roved. But everything, including Paula's birth name, Kali Jai, changed when she told a story of her own one that landed Kai in prison and Paula in foster care. With the two of them separated, each holding her own secrets, the intense bond they once shared was fractured.

    These days, Paula has reincarnated herself as a tough-as-nails divorce attorney with a successful practice in Atlanta. While she hasn t seen Kai in fifteen years, she's still making payments on that karmic debt until the day her last check is returned in the mail, along with a mystifying note: I am going on a journey, Kali. I am going back to my beginning; death is not the end. You will be the end. We will meet again, and there will be new stories. You know how Karma works.

    Then Kai's most treasured secret literally lands on Paula's doorstep, throwing her life into chaos and transforming her from only child to older sister. Desperate to find her mother before it's too late, Paula sets off on a journey of discovery that will take her back to the past and into the deepest recesses of her heart. With the help of her ex-lover Birdwine, an intrepid and emotionally volatile private eye who still carries a torch for her, this brilliant woman, an expert at wrecking families, now has to figure out how to put one back together her own.

    The Opposite of Everyoneis a story about story itself, how the tales we tell connect us, break us, and define us, and how the endings and beginnings we choose can destroy us . . . and make us whole. Laced with sharp humor and poignant insight, it is beloved New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson at her very best.

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  • The Other Widow by Susan Crawford

    The author of THE POCKET WIFE explores the dark side of love, marriage, and infidelity in this sizzling novel of psychological suspense.

    Everybody’s luck runs out. This time it could be theirs...

    It isn’t safe. That’s what Joe tells her when he ends their affair—moments before their car skids off an icy road in a blinding snowstorm and hits a tree. Desperate to keep her life intact—her job, her husband, and her precious daughter, Lily—Dorrie will do everything she can to protect herself, even if it means walking away from the wreckage. Dorrie has always been a good actress, pretending to be someone else: the dutiful daughter, the satisfied wife, the woman who can handle anything. Now she’s going to put on the most challenging performance of her life. But details about the accident leave her feeling uneasy and afraid. Why didn’t Joe’s airbag work? Why was his car door open before the EMTs arrived? And now suddenly someone is calling her from her dead lover’s burner phone. . . .

    Joe’s death has left his wife in free fall as well. Karen knew Joe was cheating—she found some suspicious e-mails. Trying to cope with grief is devastating enough without the constant fear that has overtaken her—this feeling she can’t shake that someone is watching her. And with Joe gone and the kids grown, she’s vulnerable . . . and on her own.

    Insurance investigator Maggie Devlin is suspicious of the latest claim that’s landed on her desk—a man dying on an icy road shortly after buying a lucrative life insurance policy. Maggie doesn’t believe in coincidences. The former cop knows that things—and people—are never what they seem to be.

    As the fates of these three women become more tightly entwined, layers of lies and deception begin to peel away, pushing them dangerously to the edge...closer to each other...to a terrifying truth...to a shocking end.

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  • The Potlikker Papers by John T. Edge

    The Potlikker Papers by John T. Edge

    The Potlikker Papers tells the story of food and politics in the South over the last half century. Beginning with the pivotal role of cooks in the Civil Rights movement, noted authority John T. Edge narrates the South’s journey from racist backwater to a hotbed of American immigration. In so doing, he traces how the food of the poorest Southerners has become the signature trend of modern American haute cuisine. This is a people’s history of the modern South told through the lens of food.

    Food was a battleground in the Civil Rights movement. Access to food and ownership of culinary tradition was a central part of the long march to racial equality. The Potlikker Papers begins in 1955 as black cooks and maids fed and supported the Montgomery Bus Boycott and it concludes in 2015 as a Newer South came to be, enriched by the arrival of immigrants from Lebanon to Vietnam to all points in between.

    Along the way, The Potlikker Papers tracks many different evolutions of Southern identity --first in the 1970s, from the back-to-the-land movement that began in the Tennessee hills to the rise of fast and convenience foods modeled on Southern staples. Edge narrates the gentrification that gained traction in North Carolina and Louisiana restaurants of the 1980s and the artisanal renaissance that reconnected farmers and cooks in the 1990s and in the 00s. He profiles some of the most extraordinary and fascinating figures in Southern food, including Fannie Lou Hamer, Colonel Sanders, Edna Lewis, Paul Prudhomme, Craig Claiborne, Sean Brock, and many others.

    Like many great provincial dishes around the world, potlikker is a salvage food. During the antebellum era, masters ate the greens from the pot and set aside the left-over potlikker broth for their slaves, unaware that the broth, not the greens, was nutrient-rich. After slavery, potlikker sustained the working poor, black and white. In the rapidly gentrifying South of today, potlikker has taken on new meanings as chefs have reclaimed the dish.

    Over the last two generations, wrenching changes have transformed the South. The Potlikker Papers tells the story of that change--and reveals how Southern food has become a shared culinary language for the nation.

    The Potlikker Papers by John T. Edge | Penguin Press | 9781594206559 | $28

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  • The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry

    The summer of 1972 was the most pivotal of Matt Plumley’s childhood. While his beloved Pirates battle for back-to-back World Series titles, Matt’s family moves from Pittsburgh to Dogwood, West Virginia, where his father steps into the pulpit of a church under the thumb of town leader Basil Blackwood. A fish out of water, Matt is relieved to forge a fast bond with two unlikely friends: Dickie Darrel Lee Hancock, a mixed-race boy, and Jesse Woods, a tough-as-nails girl with a sister on her hip and no dad in sight.

    As the trio traipses the hills and hollers, Matt begins to fall for Jesse, and their promises to each other draw him deeper into her terrifying reality. One night, the wrath of the Blackwoods and the secrets of Jesse’s family collide, and Matt joins Jesse in a rescue that saves one life and ends another . . . and severs the bond of their friendship.

    Years later, Matt is pulled back to Dogwood and to memories of that momentous summer by news of Jesse’s upcoming wedding. He could never shake the feeling that there was more to the story of that fateful night, and he's determined to learn the truth behind the only promise Jesse Woods ever broke.

    BUY FROM AN INDIE | READ THE FIRST CHAPTER

  • The Risen by Ron Rash

    New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash demonstrates his superb narrative skills in this suspenseful and evocative tale of two brothers whose lives are altered irrevocably by the events of one long-ago summer—and one bewitching young woman—and the secrets that could destroy their lives.

    While swimming in a secluded creek on a hot Sunday in 1969, sixteen-year-old Eugene and his older brother, Bill, meet the entrancing Ligeia. A sexy, free-spirited redhead from Daytona Beach banished to their small North Carolina town until the fall, Ligeia will not only bewitch the two brothers, but lure them into a struggle that reveals the hidden differences in their natures.

    Drawn in by her raw sensuality and rebellious attitude, Eugene falls deeper under her spell. Ligeia introduces him to the thrills and pleasures of the counterculture movement, then in its headiest moment. But just as the movement’s youthful optimism turns dark elsewhere in the country that summer, so does Eugene and Ligeia’s brief romance. Eugene moves farther and farther away from his brother, the cautious and dutiful Bill, and when Ligeia vanishes as suddenly as she appeared, the growing rift between the two brothers becomes immutable.

    Decades later, their relationship is still turbulent, and the once close brothers now lead completely different lives. Bill is a gifted and successful surgeon, a paragon of the community, while Eugene, the town reprobate, is a failed writer and determined alcoholic.

    When a shocking reminder of the past unexpectedly surfaces, Eugene is plunged back into that fateful summer, and the girl he cannot forget. The deeper he delves into his memories, the closer he comes to finding the truth. But can Eugene’s recollections be trusted? And will the truth set him free and...or destroy his damaged life and everyone he loves?

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  • The River of Kings by Taylor Brown

    The River of Kings, bestselling author of Fallen Land Taylor Brown artfully weaves three narrative strands―two brothers’ journey down an ancient river, their father’s tangled past, and the buried history of the river’s earliest people―to evoke a legendary place and its powerful hold on the human imagination.

    The Altamaha River, Georgia’s “Little Amazon,” is one of the last truly wild places in America. Crossed by roads only five times in its 137 miles, the black-water river is home to thousand-year-old virgin cypress, direct descendants of eighteenth-century Highland warriors, and a staggering array of rare and endangered species. The Altamaha is even rumored to harbor its own river monster, as well as traces of the oldest European fort in North America.

    Brothers Hunter and Lawton Loggins set off to kayak the river, bearing their father’s ashes toward the sea. Hunter is a college student, Lawton a Navy SEAL on leave; they were raised by an angry, enigmatic shrimper who loved the river, and whose death remains a mystery that his sons are determined to solve. As the brothers proceed downriver, their story alternates with that of Jacques le Moyne, the first European artist in North America, who accompanied a 1564 French expedition that began as a search for riches and ended in a bloody confrontation with Spanish conquistadors and native tribes.

    Twining past and present in one compelling narrative, and illustrated with drawings that survived the 1564 expedition, The River of Kings is Taylor Brown’s second novel: a dramatic and rewarding adventure through history, myth, and the shadows of family secrets.

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  • The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones

    The Salt Line by Holly Goddard JonesIn the spirit of Station Eleven and California, award-winning novelist Holly Goddard Jones offers a literary spin on the dystopian genre with this gripping story of survival and humanity about a group of adrenaline junkies who jump "the Salt Line."

    How far will they go for their freedom--once they decide what freedom really means?

    In an unspecified future, the United States' borders have receded behind a salt line--a ring of scorched earth that protects its citizens from deadly disease-carrying ticks. Those within the zone live safe, if limited, lives in a society controlled by a common fear. Few have any reason to venture out of zone, except for the adrenaline junkies who pay a fortune to tour what's left of nature. Those among the latest expedition include a popstar and his girlfriend, Edie; the tech giant Wes; and Marta; a seemingly simple housewife.

    Once out of zone, the group find themselves at the mercy of deadly ticks--and at the center of a murderous plot. They become captives in Ruby City, a community made up of outer-zone survivors determined to protect their hardscrabble existence. As alliances and friendships shift amongst the hostages, Edie, Wes, and Marta must decide how far they are willing to go to get to the right side of the salt line.

    The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones | G.P. Putnam's Sons | 9780735214316

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  • The Sea Keeper's Daughters by Lisa Wingate

    The Sea Keeper's DaughtersFrom modern-day Roanoke Island to the sweeping backdrop of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains and Roosevelt's WPA folklore writers, past and present intertwine to create an unexpected destiny.Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Gilded Age hotel on North Carolina's Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs. But things at the Excelsior are more complicated than they seem. Whitney's estranged stepfather is entrenched on the third floor, and the downstairs tenants are determined to save the historic building. Searching through years of stored family heirlooms may be Whitney's only hope of quick cash, but will the discovery of an old necklace and a Depression-era love story change everything?

    Buy from an indie | Read the first chapter!

  • The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

    “TAUT, ALMOST UNBEARABLE SUSPENSE . . . This galvanizing historical portrait of courage, determination, and abiding love mesmerizes and shocks.” —Booklist (starred review)

    “All I had known for certain when I came around the hen house that first evening in July and saw my husband trudging into the yard after lifetimes spent away from us, a borrowed bag in his hand and the shadow of grief on his face, was that he had to be protected at all costs from knowing what had happened in his absence. I did not believe he could survive it.”

    When Major Gryffth Hockaday is called to the front lines of the Civil War, his new bride is left to care for her husband’s three-hundred-acre farm and infant son. Placidia, a mere teenager herself living far from her family and completely unprepared to run a farm or raise a child, must endure the darkest days of the war on her own. By the time Major Hockaday returns two years later, Placidia is bound for jail, accused of having borne a child in his absence and murdering it. What really transpired in the two years he was away?

    Inspired by a true incident, this saga conjures the era with uncanny immediacy. Amid the desperation of wartime, Placidia sees the social order of her Southern homeland unravel as her views on race and family are transformed. A love story, a story of racial divide, and a story of the South as it fell in the war, The Second Mrs. Hockaday reveals how that generation--and the next--began to see their world anew.

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  • The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale

    The Secret to Hummingbird CakeWhy won t you just tell me what's in that cake? I d been trying to get Laine's recipe for years. We all had.

    When all else fails, turn to the divine taste of hummingbird cake.

    In the South you always say yes, ma am and no, ma am. You know everybody's business. Football is a lifestyle not a pastime. Food especially dessert is almost a religious experience. And you protect your friends as fiercely as you protect your family even if the threat is something you cannot see.

    In this spot-on Southern novel brimming with wit and authenticity, you ll laugh alongside lifelong friends, navigate the sometimes rocky path of marriage, and roll through the outrageous curveballs that life sometimes throws . . . from devastating pain to absolute joy. And if you're lucky, you just may discover the secret to hummingbird cake along the way.

    Buy from an indie | Read the first chapter

  • The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton

    Secret Wisdom of the EarthAfter witnessing the death of his younger brother in a terrible home accident, 14-year-old Kevin and his grieving mother are sent for the summer to live with Kevin's grandfather. In this peeled-paint coal town deep in Appalachia, Kevin quickly falls in with a half-wild hollow kid named Buzzy Fink who schools him in the mysteries and magnificence of the woods. The events of this fateful summer will affect the entire town of Medgar, Kentucky. 
    Medgar is beset by a massive Mountaintop Removal operation that is blowing up the hills and back filling the hollows. Kevin's grandfather and others in town attempt to rally the citizens against the 'company' and its powerful owner to stop the plunder of their mountain heritage. When Buzzy witnesses the brutal murder of the opposition leader, a sequence is set in play which tests Buzzy and Kevin to their absolute limits in an epic struggle for survival in the Kentucky mountains. 

    Redemptive and emotionally resonant, "The Secret Wisdom of the Earth" is narrated by an adult Kevin looking back on the summer when he sloughed the coverings of a boy and took his first faltering steps as a man among a rich cast of characters and an ambitious effort to reclaim a once great community.

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  • The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

    The Serpent King"The Serpent King" is a book you won t be able to resist or forget. The Southern boy in me savored every syllable and the reader in me fell in love with every page. John Corey Whaley, National Book Award finalist and Printz Award winner.

    Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father's extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

    He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.

    Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

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  • The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

    The Silent SisterIn The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager.  Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary.  Lisa is alive.  Alive and living under a new identity.  But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?  As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family.  Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain. .

    Buy from an indie | Read the first chapter!

  • The Southerner's Cookbook by the editors of Garden & Gun

    The Southerner's CookbookFrom Garden & Gun, the magazine that features the best of Southern cooking, dining, cocktails, and customs comes this heirloom-quality guide to the traditions and innovations that define today's Southern food culture, with more than 100 recipes and full-color photography throughout.

    From hole-in-the-wall Mississippi fried chicken joints to North Carolina roadside barbeque stands to sophisticated New Orleans Creole restaurants, the South has long been celebrated for its culinary diversity. In The Southerner's Cookbook, the editors of the magazine that is defining a new generation of Southern food culture immerses readers in the places, people, and ingredients that have shaped the South's food traditions.

    Feast on twenty-five of Garden & Gun's best chef-sourced recipes from acclaimed Southern chefs as well as seventy-five all-new recipes developed exclusively by the magazine. Enjoy mouthwatering game and meat dishes, main courses, soups and stews, vegetables and sides, pickles and preserves, and desserts, as well as traditional cocktails and party bites that will be the hit of any get-together.

    The editors of Garden & Gun offer their own creative twists and updates on tried-and-true classics rabbit-instead-of-chicken and dumplings or Po boys transformed into party canapes. Each recipe in The Southern Cookbook tells a story about the food and its origins, whether it's uniquely regional dishes like sonker Piedmont, North Carolina's take on cobbler or Minorcan chowder, Florida's own version of clam chowder. The Southerner's Cookbook also offers easy-to-follow instructions for traditional Southern food preparations from roasting a whole hog to throwing a low-country boil as well as essays from many of the magazine's notable contributors like Julia Reed and John T. Edge, and Rick Bragg; regional Southern cuisine maps; classic ingredient combinations (Watermelon & Salt, Pork Rinds & Hot Sauce); and a full glossary of Southern cooking terms to help you eat like a true Southerner.

    As beautiful as it is practical, The Southerner's Cookbook offers much more than just a collection of recipes it is a true reflection of the South's culinary past, present, and future.

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  • The Third Reconstruction by Rev. William J. Barber

    The Third ReconstructionA modern-day civil rights champion tells the stirring story of how he helped start a movement to bridge America's racial divide.

    Over the summer of 2013, Rev. William Barber led more than a hundred thousand people at rallies across North Carolina to protest cuts to voting rights and the social safety net, which the state's conservative legislature had implemented. These protests, which came to be known as Moral Mondays, have blossomed into the largest social movement the South has seen since the civil rights era and, since then, it has spread to states as diverse as Florida, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Ohio. In "The Third Reconstruction," Rev. Barber tells the story of how he helped lay the groundwork for the Moral Mondays movement and explores the unfulfilled promises of America's multiethnic democracy. He draws on the lessons of history to offer a vision of a new Reconstruction, one in which a diverse coalition of citizens black and white, religious and secular, Northern and Southern fight side-by-side for racial and economic justice for all Americans. "The Third Reconstruction" is both a blueprint for activism at the state level and an inspiring call to action from the twenty-first century's most effective grassroots organizer. 

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  • The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

    The Walled City by Ryan Graudin 730. That's how many days I've been trapped.18. That's how many days I have left to find a way out.

    DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible....

    JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister....
    MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She's about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window.....

    In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.

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  • The Water and the Wild by K.E. Ormsbee

    The Water and the WildA green apple tree grows in the heart of Thirsby Square, and tangled up in its magical roots is the story of Lottie Fiske. For as long as Lottie can remember, the only people who seem to care about her are her best friend, Eliot, and the mysterious letter writer who sends her birthday gifts. But now strange things are happening on the island Lottie calls home, and Eliot's getting sicker, with a disease the doctors have given up trying to cure. Lottie is helpless, useless, powerless—until a door opens in the apple tree. Follow Lottie down through the roots to another world in pursuit of the impossible: a cure for the incurable, a use for the useless, and protection against the pain of loss.

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  • The World's Largest Man by Harrison Scott Key

    The World's Largest ManThe riotous, tender story of a bookish Mississippi boy and his flawed, Bunyanesque father, told with the comic verve of David Sedaris and the deft satire of Mark Twain or Roy Blount, Jr.

    Harrison Scott Key was born in Memphis, but he grew up in Mississippi, among pious, Bible-reading women and men who either shot things or got women pregnant. At the center of his world was his larger-than-life father--a hunter, a fighter, a football coach, "a man better suited to living in a remote frontier wilderness of the nineteenth century than contemporary America, with all its progressive ideas, and paved roads, and lack of armed duels. He was a great man, and he taught me many things: How to fight, how to work, how to cheat, how to pray to Jesus about it, how to kill things with guns and knives and, if necessary, with hammers."

    Harrison, with his love of books and excessive interest in hugging, couldn't have been less like Pop, and when it became clear that he was not able to kill anything very well or otherwise make his father happy, he resolved to become everything his father was not: an actor, a Presbyterian, and a doctor of philosophy. But when it was time to settle down and start a family of his own, Harrison started to view his father in a new light, and realized--for better and for worse--how much of his old man he'd absorbed.

    Sly, heartfelt, and tirelessly hilarious, The World's Largest Man is an unforgettable memoir--the story of a boy's struggle to reconcile himself with an impossibly outsized role model, a grown man's reckoning with the father it took him a lifetime to understand.

    Buy from an indie | Read the first chapter!

  • Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War by Daniel J. Sharfstein

    Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War by Daniel J. Sharfstein

    The epic clash of two American legends-their brutal war and a battle of ideas that defined America after Reconstruction.

    Oliver Otis Howard thought he was a man of destiny. Chosen to lead the Freedmen's Bureau after the Civil War, the Union Army general was entrusted with the era's most crucial task: helping millions of former slaves claim the rights of citizens. He was energized by the belief that abolition and Reconstruction, the country's great struggles for liberty and equality, were God's plan for himself and the nation. To honor his righteous commitment to a new American freedom, Howard University was named for him.

    But as the nation's politics curdled in the 1870s, General Howard exiled himself from Washington, D.C., rejoined the army, and was sent across the continent to command forces in the Pacific Northwest. Shattered by Reconstruction's collapse, he assumed a new mission: forcing Native Americans to become Christian farmers on government reservations.

    Howard's plans for redemption in the West ran headlong into the resistance of Chief Joseph, a young Nez Perce leader in northeastern Oregon who refused to leave his ancestral land. Claiming equal rights for Native Americans, Joseph was determined to find his way to the center of American power and convince the government to acknowledge his people's humanity and capacity for citizenship. Although his words echoed the very ideas about liberty and equality that Howard had championed during Reconstruction, in the summer of 1877 the general and his troops ruthlessly pursued hundreds of Nez Perce families through the stark and unforgiving Northern Rockies. An odyssey and a tragedy, their devastating war transfixed the nation and immortalized Chief Joseph as a hero to generations of Americans.

    Recreating the Nez Perce War through the voices of its survivors, Daniel J. Sharfstein's visionary history of the West casts Howard's turn away from civil rights alongside the nation's rejection of racial equality and embrace of empire. The conflict becomes a pivotal struggle over who gets to claim the American dream: a battle of ideas about the meaning of freedom and equality, the mechanics of American power, and the limits of what the government can and should do for its people. The war that Howard and Joseph fought is one that Americans continue to fight today.

    Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce Warby Daniel J. Sharfstein | W.W. Norton & Company | 9780393239416 | $25.95.

  • Time of Departure by Douglas Schofield

    Time of DepartureFlorida state prosecutor Claire Talbot is as tough as they come, and not everyone loves her for it. Newly promoted Felony Division Chief, Claire has about as many jealous detractors as she does supporters. Some colleagues are openly skeptical about her youth, her abilities, and even her gender. When a highway project construction crew unearths two skeletons in a common grave, Claire reopens an investigation into a string of abductions that took place before she was born. While researching the file, she meets retired cop Marc Hastings, who once worked on the case. He maneuvers his way into the investigation-and into Claire's life. Marc has an uncanny familiarity with Claire's habits, and she begins to realize that not all is as it seems. The detective urges Claire on, mysteriously convinced that only she can solve the case. Together, they unearth more graves. But then, disaster strikes... and Claire finally discovers what Hastings knew all along. It's a secret almost too shocking for a sane mind to grasp. The key to the killings may lie deep in Claire's own past. But what if Claire's past lies in her future?

    Full of spellbinding twists, "Time of Departure" will appeal not only to thriller aficionados, but to readers who appreciate a strong female lead and a compelling love story. A page-turner that will keep readers on the edge of their seats, "Time of Departure" heralds the arrival of an immensely talented new crime novelist.

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  • Too Blessed to Be Stressed Cookbook by Debora M. Coty

    Too Blessed to Be Stressed CookbookFeeling overwhelmed by life's daily demands? Could you use some encouragement and inspiration in the kitchen? The"Too Blessed to Be Stressed Cookbook "to the rescue Each of the 100-plus recipes can be prepared in 20 minutes or less, plus you'll encounter some fabulous tips and suggestions as well as funny foodie quotes, scripture selections, humorous stories of cooking misadventures, and more, along the way. Recipes are arranged into 4 categories--Heart-Healthy, Soul-Fed, Time-Wise, and Company-Happy--and are accompanied by appealing full-color photographs. You'll cheer as you soak up the joy Debora M. Coty brings into your life and home

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  • Trisha's Table by Trisha Yearwood

    Trisha's TableCountry music superstar, Food Network standout, and bestselling cookbook author Trisha Yearwood shows how delicious foods and wholesome dishes are part of the same balanced lifestyle. 
     
    Trisha Yearwood is as much a force in the kitchen as she is on stage. But after years of enjoying decadent Southern comfort food, her culinary philosophy is evolving. As Trisha says, “I have adopted an 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the time I make good choices; 20 percent of the time I let myself splurge a little.” 

    Whether surprisingly virtuous or just a little bit sinful, the recipes in Trisha’s Table all bring that unmistakable authenticity you’ve come to love from Trisha. You’ll find brand-new dishes emblematic of the variety and balance Trisha champions. They skimp on anything but flavor, including dairy-free Angel Hair Pasta with Avocado Pesto, low-calorie Billie’s Houdini Chicken Salad, vegetarian Smashed Sweet Pea Burgers, and tasty, high-protein Edamame Parmesan, alongside too-good-to-give-up family favorites, such as Slow Cooker Georgia Pulled-Pork Barbecue, Chicken Tortilla Casserole, Snappy Pear-Cranberry Crumble, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls. 

    Trisha wants to feed her loved ones—and yours, too—food that tastes good and food that’s good for you. So pull up a seat at Trisha’s Table and dig in!

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  • Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks

    #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with an emotionally powerful story of unconditional love, its challenges, its risks and most of all, its rewards.

    At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear...and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down. In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding-one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.

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  • Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

    UnbecomingA major debut novel of psychological suspense about a daring art heist, a cat-and-mouse waiting game, and a small-town girl's mesmerizing transformation

    On the grubby outskirts of Paris, Grace restores bric-a-brac, mends teapots, re-sets gems. She calls herself Julie, says she’s from California, and slips back to a rented room at night. Regularly, furtively, she checks the hometown paper on the Internet. Home is Garland, Tennessee, and there, two young men have just been paroled. One, she married; the other, she’s in love with. Both were jailed for a crime that Grace herself planned in exacting detail. The heist went bad—but not before she was on a plane to Prague with a stolen canvas rolled in her bag. And so, in Paris, begins a cat-and-mouse waiting game as Grace’s web of deception and lies unravels—and she becomes another young woman entirely.

    Unbecoming is an intricately plotted and psychologically nuanced heist novel that turns on suspense and slippery identity. With echoes of Alfred Hitchcock and Patricia Highsmith, Rebecca Scherm’s mesmerizing debut is sure to entrance fans of Gillian Flynn, Marisha Pessl, and Donna Tartt.

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  • Underground Airlines by Ben Winters

    It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: the Civil War never occurred.

    A gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshal Service. He's got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four." On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn't right--with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself.

    A mystery to himself, Victor suppresses his memories of his childhood on a plantation, and works to infiltrate the local cell of a abolitionist movement called the Underground Airlines. Tracking Jackdaw through the back rooms of churches, empty parking garages, hotels, and medical offices, Victor believes he's hot on the trail. But his strange, increasingly uncanny pursuit is complicated by a boss who won't reveal the extraordinary stakes of Jackdaw's case, as well as by a heartbreaking young woman and her child who may be Victor's salvation. Victor himself may be the biggest obstacle of all--though his true self remains buried, it threatens to surface.

    Victor believes himself to be a good man doing bad work, unwilling to give up the freedom he has worked so hard to earn. But in pursuing Jackdaw, Victor discovers secrets at the core of the country's arrangement with the Hard Four, secrets the government will preserve at any cost.

    Underground Airlines is a ground-breaking novel, a wickedly imaginative thriller, and a story of an America that is more like our own than we'd like to believe.

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  • Valiant by Sarah McGuire

    ValiantA debut fairy tale reimagining featuring a strong female character and a daring quest just right for fans of Shannon Hale, Jessica Day George, and Gail Carson Levine.

    Saville hates sewing. How can she not when her father, the Tailor, loves his bolts of velvet and silk far more than he's ever loved her? Yet, when he is struck ill shortly after they arrive in the city of Reggen, Saville must don boy's clothes in the hopes of gaining a commission from the king to keep them fed.

    The kingdom is soon on edge when stories spread of an army of giants led by a man who cannot be killed. But giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.

    And then the giants do come to the city gates, two larger-than-life scouts whom Saville cunningly tricks into leaving. The Tailor of Reggen is the hero of the kingdom, the king promises his sister's hand in marriage, and by the time Saville reaches the palace doors, it is widely known that the Tailor single-handedly killed the giants.

    When her secret--that she's a girl--is quickly discovered by Lord Galen Verras, the king's cousin, Saville's swept into the twists and turns of court politics. The deathless man is very real, and he will use his giant army to ensure he is given the throne freely or by force.

    Now, only a tailor girl with courage and cunning can see beyond the tales to discover the truth and save the kingdom again.

    Valiant is a rich reimaging of "The Brave Little Tailor," artfully crafting a story of understanding, identity, and fighting to protect those you love most.

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  • Virgin and Other Stories by April Ayers Lawson

    One of New York Magazine's "45 New Books to Read This Fall" | One of The Millions' "Most Anticipated" for the second half of 2016 | One of The Huffington Post's "20 New Books You'll Need For Your Shelf in Fall 2016" |One of The Boston Globe's "most anticipated" for Fall 2016

    Set in the American South, at the crossroads of a world that is both secular and devoutly Christian, April Ayers Lawson’s stories mine the inner lives of young women and men navigating sexual, emotional, and spiritual awakenings. In the title story, Jake grapples with the growing chasm between him and his wife, Sheila, who was a virgin when they wed. In “Three Friends in a Hammock” the tension and attraction is palpable between three sexy, insecure young women as they tug and toe the rope of their shared sack. “The Way You Must Play Always” invites us into the mind of Gretchen, young-looking even for thirteen, as she attends her weekly piano lesson, anxiously anticipating her illicit meeting with Wesley, her instructor’s adult brother who is recovering from a brain tumor. Conner, the cynical sixteen-year-old narrator of “The Negative Effects of Homeschooling,” escorts his mink-wearing mother to the funeral of her best friend, Charlene, a woman who was once a man. And in “Vulnerability” we accompany a young married painter to New York City, lured there by an art dealer and one of his artists. Both are self-involved and have questionable intentions, but nevertheless she is enticed.

    Nodding to the Southern Gothic but channeling an energy all its own, Virgin and Other Stories is a mesmerizing debut from an uncannily gifted young writer. With self-assurance and sensuality, April Ayers Lawson unravels the intertwining imperatives of intimacy―sex and love, violation and trust, spirituality and desire―eyeing, unblinkingly, what happens when we succumb to temptation.

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  • Wailing Wall by Deedra Climer

    The Wailing WallApproaching middle age, Deedra Climer experienced an unimaginable tragedy the death of her only son, Joshua, in a motorcycle accident. The spiral of grief that followed reopened ugly wounds that had never fully healed: being raised by a mentally ill and drug-addicted mother, the struggles she faced as a young single mother, and the guilt from exposing her children to one toxic boyfriend after another. Stripped bare emotionally, Deedra is forced to face who she is and where she came from. In sifting through the stark pain of the past, she is finally able to piece together her own sense of self and begin to imagine an unburdened future.

    Told with crushing honesty and an unflinching eye, "Wailing Wall" shares one woman's struggle to make sense of her shattered life in the year following her son's death. Framed by the devastation of loss, Deedra's story reaches beyond heartbreak to show the strength of her spirit, illuminated by the persevering hope of redemption.

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  • Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson

    Welcome to BraggsvilleFrom the PEN/Faulkner finalist and critically acclaimed author of Hold It 'Til It Hurts comes a dark and socially provocative Southern-fried comedy about four UC Berkeley students who stage a dramatic protest during a Civil War reenactment--a fierce, funny, tragic work from a bold new writer

    Welcome to Braggsville. The City That Love Built in the Heart of Georgia. Population 712.

    Born and raised in the heart of old Dixie, D'aron Davenport finds himself in unfamiliar territory his freshman year at UC Berkeley. Two thousand miles and a world away from his childhood, he is a small-town fish floundering in the depths of a large hyperliberal pond. Caught between the prosaic values of his rural hometown and the intellectualized multicultural cosmopolitanism of "Berzerkeley," the nineteen-year-old white kid is uncertain about his place, until one disastrous party brings him three idiosyncratic best friends: Louis, a "kung fu comedian" from California; Candice, an earnest do-gooder from Iowa claiming Native roots; and Charlie, an introspective inner-city black teen from Chicago. They dub themselves the "4 Little Indians."

    But everything changes in the group's alternative history class, when D'aron lets slip that his hometown hosts an annual Civil War reenactment, recently rebranded "Patriot Days." His announcement is met with righteous indignation and inspires Candice to suggest a "performative intervention" to protest the reenactment. Armed with youthful self-importance, makeshift slave costumes, righteous zeal, and their own misguided ideas about the South, the 4 Little Indians descend on Braggsville. Their journey through backwoods churches, backroom politics, Waffle Houses, and drunken family barbecues is uproarious at first but has devastating consequences.

    With the keen wit of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and the deft argot of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, T. Geronimo Johnson has written an astonishing, razor-sharp satire. Using a panoply of styles and tones, from tragicomic to Southern Gothic, he skewers issues of class, race, intellectual and political chauvinism, Obamaism, social media, and much more.

    A literary coming-of-age novel for a new generation, written with tremendous social insight and a unique, generous heart, Welcome to Braggsville reminds us of the promise and perils of youthful exuberance, while painting an indelible portrait of contemporary America.

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  • Welcome to Serenity by Sherryl Woods

    Welcome to SerenityWhen Jeanette Brioche helped launch The Corner Spa in Serenity, South Carolina, she found a whole lot more than professional satisfaction. She discovered the deep and loyal friendships that had been missing from her life. But even the Sweet Magnolias can't mend the terrible rift between Jeanette and her family or persuade her that the holidays are anything more than a season of misery. 

    Pushed into working on the town's much-loved annual Christmas festival, Jeanette teams up with the sexy new town manager. Tom McDonald may be the only person in Serenity who's less enthused about family and the holidays than she is. 

    But with tree decorations going up on the town square and a bit of romance in the air, Jeanette and Tom take a fresh look at the past and a hopeful look into the future. Together they discover that this just may be a season of miracles after all.

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  • Wink of an Eye: A Mystery by Lynn Chandler

    Wink of an Eye: A Mystery by Lynn Chandler WillisOn the run from a double-cross, Las Vegas private investigator Gypsy Moran shows up unexpectedly at his sister Rhonda's house in Wink, Texas. She introduces Gypsy to one of her former students, 12-year-old Tatum McCallen, who is in need of Gypsy's services. Tatum wants to hire Gypsy to investigate his father Ryce's alleged suicide. His dad was a deputy with the Sheriff's department and was found hanged in their backyard. Tatum believes his father was murdered after he went inquiring after the disappearance of  several teenage girls, all undocumented immigrants. Against his better judgment, Gypsy agrees to snoop around to see what he can find. Between dealing with his now married high school sweetheart, a sexy reporter, and hostile police officers, Gypsy has his work cut out for him.

    Lynn Chandler Willis' Wink of an Eye is a strong addition to a long list of The Private Eye Writers of America (PWA) Competition winners that includes Steve Hamilton and Michael Koryta.

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  • Yard War by Taylor Kitchings

    Yard WarIt's 1964 in Jackson, Mississippi, deep in the civil rights movement, and the one black person twelve-year-old Trip Westbrook knows well is Willie Jane, the family maid, who has been a second mother to him. When Trip invites her son, Dee, to play football in the yard, Trip discovers the ugly side ofhis smiling neighbors.Even his loving grandparents don t approve. But getting to know Dee and playing football, being part of a team, changes Trip. He begins to see all the unspoken rules he lives by but doesn t agree with, such as "respect your elders." What if he thinks their views are wrong? This engaging, honest, and hopeful novel is full of memorable characters, and brings the civil rights era South alive for young readers.

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  • Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

    Young Jane Young by Gabrielle ZevinFrom the author of the international bestseller The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes another novel that will have everyone talking.

    Aviva Grossman, an ambitious congressional intern in Florida, makes the mistake of having an affair with her boss--and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the beloved congressman doesn't take the fall. But Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins: slut-shamed, she becomes a late-night talk show punch line, anathema to politics.

    She sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. This time, she tries to be smarter about her life and strives to raise her daughter, Ruby, to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, Aviva decides to run for public office herself, that long-ago mistake trails her via the Internet and catches up--an inescapable scarlet A. In the digital age, the past is never, ever, truly past. And it's only a matter of time until Ruby finds out who her mother was and is forced to reconcile that person with the one she knows.

    Young Jane Young is a smart, funny, and moving novel about what it means to be a woman of any age, and captures not just the mood of our recent highly charged political season, but also the double standards alive and well in every aspect of life for women.

    Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin | Algonquin Books| 9781616205041

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