Southern Indie Bestsellers 8/21/16

HARDCOVER FICTION

1. The Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead, Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385542364
2. Truly Madly Guilty
Liane Moriarty, Flatiron, $26.99, 9781250069795
3. The Woman in Cabin 10
Ruth Ware, Gallery/Scout Press, $26, 9781501132933
4. The Girls
Emma Cline, Random House, $27, 9780812998603
5. The Last Days of Night
Graham Moore, Random House, $28, 9780812988901
6. The Black Widow
Daniel Silva, Harper, $27.99, 9780062320223
7. The Nightingale
Kristin Hannah, St. Martin's, $27.99, 9780312577223
8. All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr, Scribner, $27, 9781476746586
9. Bright, Precious Days
Jay McInerney, Knopf, $27.95, 9781101948002
10. Three Sisters, Three Queens
Philippa Gregory, Touchstone, $27.99, 9781476758572
11. First Comes Love
Emily Giffin, Ballantine, $28, 9780345546920
12. Before the Fall
Noah Hawley, Grand Central, $26, 9781455561780
13. Smooth Operator
Stuart Woods, Parnell Hall, Putnam, $28, 9780399185267
14. Behind Closed Doors
B.A. Paris, St. Martin's, $25.99, 9781250121004
15. The Nest
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, Ecco, $26.99, 9780062414212

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

1. Hillbilly Elegy
J.D. Vance, Harper, $27.99, 9780062300546
2. The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo
Amy Schumer, Gallery, $28, 9781501139888
3. When Breath Becomes Air
Paul Kalanithi, Random House, $25, 9780812988406
4. Armageddon
Dick Morris, Eileen McGann, Humanix, $24.99, 9781630060589
5. The View From the Cheap Seats
Neil Gaiman, Morrow, $26.99, 9780062262264
6. American Heiress
Jeffrey Toobin, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385536714
7. White Trash
Nancy Isenberg, Viking, $28, 9780670785971
8. Hamilton: The Revolution
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter, Grand Central, $45, 9781455539741
9. How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything
Rosa Brooks, S&S, $29.95, 9781476777863
10. Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Patriots
David Fisher, Holt, $35, 9781627797894
11. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Marie Kondo, Ten Speed Press, $16.99, 9781607747307
12. Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Spiegel & Grau, $24, 9780812993547
13. Grit
Angela Duckworth, Scribner, $28, 9781501111105
14. Being Mortal
Atul Gawande, Metropolitan, $26, 9780805095159
15. The Rainbow Comes and Goes
Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt, Harper, $27.99, 9780062454942

VIEW THE FULL LIST

Read this!

 

 

I love to be scared--big Stephen King fan for decades. In Hex, author Thomas Olde Heuvelt outcreeps the King, and I mean that in the nicest way possible.

I'm also from the Hudson Valley area (where the American version of Hex is set). Heuvelt nails it, getting the feel of a region where you sense something very old can still exist not too far away from your modern world.

Social media versus a centuries-old curse--it sounds as though it'll be a lark, but you'll be keeping the lights on long before you finish Hex.


Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Tor) Recommended by Rosemary at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

 

 

Fans of The Hunger Games will love this dystopian remake of Sleeping Beauty.

In Stung by Bethany Wiggins, Fiona wakes up from a coma to find a strange tattoo on her wrist. The world has changed while she was unconscious, her house is
deserted and her family has disappeared, except for her brother, who immediately tries to kill her.

She flees and discovers that since the honey bees’ extinction, the privileged few fight the marked humans who’ve turned into savage beasts. Hunted by both sides, Fiona fights to make sense of what has happened to her before she turns, too.

This page turning-thriller will keep readers guessing until the very end. Ages 14 and up

Stung by Bethany Wiggins (MacMillan) Recommended by Ellen at Hooray For Books Alexandria VA

A kids' book that the world needs to read, Ms. Bixby's Last Day is an affirmation of the immeasurable difference that the Good Ones can make in a life.

Told in alternating chapters by Steve, Brand, and Topher, it is a story about friendship, the power of a teacher, and the challenge of facing grief with strength and hope.

With touches of humor, each boy reveals elements of himself and Ms. Bixby's imprint, as the trio responds to her illness. A perfect choice for fans of Rob Buyea's Because of Mr. Terupt, this book will spur you to profess and practice the doing of good things and to leave your footprint on the paths of those with whom you are making the journey of life.

For readers age 11 and up.

Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson (Walden Pond) Recommended by Cindy at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

 

I love to be scared--big Stephen King fan for decades. In Hex, author Thomas Olde Heuvelt outcreeps the King, and I mean that in the nicest way possible.

I'm also from the Hudson Valley area (where the American version of Hex is set). Heuvelt nails it, getting the feel of a region where you sense something very old can still exist not too far away from your modern world.

Social media versus a centuries-old curse--it sounds as though it'll be a lark, but you'll be keeping the lights on long before you finish Hex.

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Tor). Recommended by Rosemary at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

 

Okra Picks

Meet New Orleans beat cop Maureen Coughlin

The Edgar Award winner Megan Abbott calls Coughlin “a hero with whom we will go anywhere.” She’s complicated―tough and naive, street-smart and vulnerable―and, way too often, reckless. As Let the Devil Out opens, she’s in rough shape. Just a rookie, she’s already been suspended from the force. And things are about to get worse.

The FBI is in town on the trail of a ruthless anti-government militia group, the Watchmen Brigade. Nobody in the NOPD wants any part of working with them. Guess which suspended rookie is told she doesn’t have a choice.

With the FBI and a white supremacist militia on the loose in New Orleans, the city is one big powder keg. Find out what happens when a brilliant but impulsive young cop lights a match.

The rising crime fiction star Bill Loehfelm knows New Orleans. The streets, the people. Where the power lies, and how it gets used―and abused. With Let the Devil Out, Loehfelm raises the bar for sharp, compelling crime fiction. As The New York Times says of the fascinating Maureen Coughlin, "She finds herself wrestling with ethical issues that fictional cops, especially fictional female ones, rarely talk about, leaving that stuff to real-life cops--and smart guys like Bill Loehfelm."

BUY FROM AN INDIE

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.

BUY FROM AN INDIE

The 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Winners

Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family
by Alice Randall; Caroline Randall Williams 
Clarkson Potter Publishers, Hardcover, 9780804137935, 224pp.

A mother-daughter duo reclaims and redefines soul food by mining the traditions of four generations of black women and creating 80 healthy recipes to help everyone live longer and stronger.


In May 2012, bestselling author Alice Randall penned an op-ed in the New York Times titled "Black Women and Fat," chronicling her quest to be "the last fat black woman" in her family. She turned to her daughter, Caroline Randall Williams, for help. Together they overhauled the way they cook and eat, translating recipes and traditions handed down by generations of black women into easy, affordable, and healthful - yet still indulgent - dishes, such as Peanut Chicken Stew, Red Bean and Brown Rice Creole Salad, Fiery Green Beans, and Sinless Sweet Potato Pie. Soul Food Love relates the authors' fascinating family history (which mirrors that of much of black America in the twentieth century), explores the often fraught relationship African-American women have had with food, and forges a powerful new way forward that honors their cultural and culinary heritage. This is what the strong black kitchen looks like in the twenty-first century.

BUY FROM AN INDIE

Bull Mountain
by Brian Panowich 
G.P. Putnam's Sons, Hardcover, 9780399173967, 304pp.

Clayton Burroughs comes from a long line of outlaws. For generations, the Burroughs clan has made its home on Bull Mountain in North Georgia, running shine, pot, and meth over six state lines, virtually untouched by the rule of law. To distance himself from his family's criminal empire, Clayton took the job of sheriff in a neighboring community to keep what peace he can. But when a federal agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms shows up at Clayton's office with a plan to shut down the mountain, his hidden agenda will pit brother against brother, test loyalties, and could lead Clayton down a path to self-destruction.

In a sweeping narrative spanning decades and told from alternating points of view, the novel brilliantly evokes the atmosphere of the mountain and its inhabitants: forbidding, loyal, gritty, and ruthless. A story of family the lengths men will go to protect it, honor it, or in some cases destroy it "Bull Mountain" is an incredibly assured debut that heralds a major new talent in fiction.

BUY FROM AN INDIE

The Latest from Lady Banks

Lady BanksIn which there's a man in a bookshop that has probably read every book on the shelf, .Parnassus Books teams up with Killer Nashville to create a killer book convention, and her ladyship offers a gentle warning for the forthcoming election season: poets are never silent, and what they say tends to be remembered far longer than a campaign speech.

Lady Banks' Commonplace Book

Click Here to Subscribe

Parapalooza!

Parapalooza

paragraphs worth spreading

Visit the Parapalooza! Gallery

Turn the Page with Southern Writers

Tales of Edgar Allan PoeBetty Crocker CookbookThe Thorn Birds

We had three books at home when I was growing up: The Tales of Edgar Allan PoeBetty Crocker Cookbook and The Thorn Birds.  Not exactly great options for a curious kid.  Luckily, Mom took my sister and me to the public library, where she allowed us to choose our own books.

 READ MORE... 

 

Ron Rash
Ron Rash
When Ron Rash visited Portland, Oregon in April, 2006, he sat down in the stately Benson Hotel for an Author-2-Author interview with author Karen Spears Zacharias. Rash and Zacharias share a common Appalachian ancestry. His people come from Western North Carolina. Her people hail from East Tennessee.

 

 

Rash’s latest novel, THE WORLD MADE STRAIGHT, follows Travis Shelton, a high school dropout, as he gets caught, literally in a bear trap, while stealing marijuana plants from Carlton Toomey, a menacing tobacco-farmer-turned-drug dealer.
Disgusted by his son’s waywardness, Travis’s father kicks him out and Travis takes up residence with Leonard Schuler, a half-assed drug dealer and former schoolteacher. Leonard and the boy bond over books and a shared fascination over a local Civil War incident – the Laurel Shelton massacre – that divided their town
.

                                                                              

World Made Straight

 

 

ZACHARIAS: Do you think storytelling is something you’re born to or can just anyone cultivate the craft?

 

RASH: I think some people have a gift for it. That’s been my experience, but obviously, you can get better. But I think the intuitive sense of drama and how to move a story along is a natural thing.

 

ZACHARIAS: When did you discover you wanted to be a storyteller?

 

RASH: As a kid, I spent a lot of time by myself in the woods, daydreaming. I would make up narratives, telling stories to myself. It was either storytelling or a kind of madness. (laughing).

 

ZACHARIAS: Why did you spend so much time alone?

 

RASH: I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, a widow woman. She lived on a marvelous place, in many ways beyond technology. No car or truck.

I spent my time out in the woods, and with my older relatives, who were all great storytellers. I grew up hearing an Appalachian dialect that you don’t often hear today.

 

ZACHARIAS: Your previous novels, SAINTS AT THE RIVER and ONE FOOT IN EDEN, especially, capture the old-timey language of mountain people. Do you grieve the loss of that talk?

 

RASH: There’s a part of me that grieves. A part of what art does, I believe, is keep alive what is disappearing. So I’m trying to capture the language I heard as a boy and preserve it as art. To create a portrait of the beauty of it. It’s a beautiful language..

 

ZACHARIAS: When I visited Vietnam in 2003, I was struck by how much the Central Highlands reminded me of East Tennessee and my father’s people. The mountains. The subsistence way of life.

 

RASH: Something interesting happened to me while I was reading at a community college in western North Carolina. A number of Hmongs came out to hear me. They were very responsive to the reading and approached me afterwards. They said that they understood the part of the world I was writing about. I was fascinated by that.

 

ZACHARIAS: I guess mountain people are mountain people, no matter where they’re from.

 

RASH: A lot of my new novel, THE WORLD MADE STRAIGHT, deals with landscape as destiny. How where you were born affects how you see the world and how you see yourself. I think because of that people born in the mountains respond to the world in a different way.

ZACHARIAS: Your writings carry a message about our connectedness to and stewardship of the earth. Do you consider yourself an environmental champion? 

 

RASH:  It’s an important issue to me. We are inextricably linked to the natural world. If it dies, we die with it. I think it is stupid and shortsighted not to recognize this fact.

.

ZACHARIAS: What about the writing life appeals to you?

RASH: The difficult joy of writing. Doing something that you feel compelled to do. Of the actual writing, for me the best thing is when I feel the story or poem start to come together. There’s a joy in having the characters and place come alive.

      I enjoy meeting other writers. Writers are the most interesting people I know to talk to. It’s kind of like being a member of a cult.

 

ZACHARIAS: So much of a writer’s life is internalized. Do you fret over being too self-absorbed?

 

RASH: That’s why we have families and children. (chuckles). They won’t allow us to do that, at least too much. But there’s always that danger that you’ll get too self-absorbed.

 

ZACHARIAS: Where does the title of your latest novel, THE WORLD MADE STRAIGHT, originate?

 

RASH:  It comes from Handel’s Messiah. There’s a line about the crookedness of the world made straight. It’s about having this injustice – the Shelton Laurel Massacre, a civil war massacre –  and trying to set it right. Leonard is trying to help Travis become a man. They are both trying to do something redemptive.


ZACHARIAS: There’s none of the young Ron Rash in Travis is there?

RASH: I think we write about the lives we might have had, if they had gone another way. Most males experience a certain amount of recklessness when they go through adolescence, I think.

Travis is a smart kid. He just doesn’t have a lot of possibilities. He’s never encouraged. I was a poor student in high school. Very poor. I liked the forestry and shop classes. (laughs). I wasn’t taking any advanced placement courses. I barely got out of high school.

Travis is a reader. He just doesn’t want to read what’s being assigned in class. I was like that. The kid sitting in the back of class, reading CRIME & PUNISHMENT, and failing French.

 

ZACHARIAS: Do all the boys and girls growing up in North Carolina learn about the Shelton Laurel Massacre? How did you learn of it?

 

RASH: It’s not taught as much. It was so traumatic and the feelings so deep, people tended not to talk about it for fear of bringing up those old feelings and old hatreds. I didn’t even know my own connection to it – I had ancestors on both sides of it. I never heard much about it until I was 12.
In the past, bragging about such things could get a fellow killed in Western North Carolina. I think that’s the reason why a lot of people kept silent.

 

ZACHARIAS: Then why did you pick the massacre to focus on?

RASH: I think it’s a meditation on violence. I’ve always been horrified and fascinated over people, who live in close proximity to each other, turning on one another. During Pol Pot’s reign in Cambodia. In  Bosnia. Rwanda. It’s unsettling to see people fall back into a tribal mentality.  To me it’s horrifying and one of the most depressing things humans can do to each other. The hope is that there will always be people who fight against it. People like Bonheoffer in Germany.

 

 

ZACHARIAS: What truths have you learned about yourself from writing?

 

RASH: I’ve learned to follow my obsessions. I’ve certainly done that. I’m obsessed with history and landscape. A quote about my work that pleased me was when a critic said landscape was a major character in my novels.

 

ZACHARIAS: That is a great compliment.

 

RASH: Nature is our most universal language. If you live in Rwanda, you know what a river looks like, and you certainly know what it smells like. No matter where you go, a waterfall is a waterfall. When you use the natural world in your writing, you’re using the most universal references there are. We are all surrounded by nature. Even if you live in the city, you can get to nature pretty quick.

 

ZACHARIAS: What’s next for you?

RASH: I’ve got a collection of short stories coming out April 2007 with Picador and I’m working on a new novel about timber barons in the North Carolina mountains, set in 1930s.

 


Free Book Stimulus Plan

Increase your karmic footprint.

Free BookWe understand that you can buy books anywhere.  You understand that while loving independent bookstores is a wonderful thing, loving them with your shopping dollars is even more wonderful! 
These Southern Indie Booksellers want to entice you to shop with them.  Buy online or in store from any of these shops, then complete the form below and mail it in with your receipt and get a free book.  
What kind of book? you ask.  Answer:  A Free One.  Read more

Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

The Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

How well do you know your Southern lit?

We dare you to use a pen on these crossword puzzles, each inspired by one of the winning titles of the SIBA Book Award, honoring ten years of the very best in Southern literature as chosen by the people who would know...Southern Independent Booksellers! A great gift for your book club, for puzzle-lovers, and anyone who loves Southern literature. $9.95 paperback. Available at Southern Indie Bookstores.

Play a sample puzzle online! | See the answers