{On moonflowers and rum punch}

In which Mr. Robert Penn Warren’s punch packs a punch, Ms. Elena Passarello is unduly proud to be the first woman to win the annual Stella Screaming contest in New Orleans, Mr. William Gay does not want to come out of the closet (about writing poetry), and Ms. Loretta Lynn is not impressed with European toilet paper.

September 30, 2012

In This Issue

Special to the Southern List

(Books that appear on the Southern list, but not the national list)  Click on a book to purchase from a great indie bookstore!

Severe Clear Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Shadow of Night Gone Listening In Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores Woody Durham: A Tar Heel Voice

Killing Lincoln Bull by the Horns Jesus Calling Ike's Bluff The Great Gatsby The House at Tyneford Hemingway's Girl Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness Citizens of London Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey Eat to Live Lord of the Flies
Red Mist
Slaughterhouse-Five The Biggest Pumpkin Surprise Ever! Llama Llama Time to Share The Night Before Halloween Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad

It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse! Three Times Lucky Lincoln's Last Days The Outsiders Lego Batman: Visual Dictionary



Author Readings


Jim and Joyce Lavene, author of Treacherous Toys, will be appearing at Park Road Books, 10/11/2012 (12820)

Flyleaf Books is hosting the event Pre-School story time & activity on 10/11/2012 (12835)

Flyleaf Books is hosting the event Flyleaf Poetry Series Halloween Party & Contest Winners readings & Open Mic on 10/11/2012 (12836)

Avid Bookshop is hosting the event Free Thursday Story Time on 10/11/2012 (12845)

Charis Books & More is hosting the event God Carlos by Anthony C. Winkler at Auburn Ave Research Library on 10/11/2012 (12855)

Tony Reevy, author of Steam Trains!, will be appearing at Regulator Bookshop, 10/11/2012 (12865)

Stephen Pastis, author of Pearls Freaks the #*%# Out: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury, will be appearing at Garden District Book Shop, 10/11/2012 (12872)

Tad Hills, author of Rocket Writes a Story, will be appearing at Quail Ridge Books & Music, 10/11/2012 (12885)

Pam Durban, author of The Tree of Forgetfulness, will be appearing at Quail Ridge Books & Music, 10/11/2012 (12886)

Fiction Addiction is hosting the event Children's Story Time on 10/11/2012 (12893)

Amy Hill Hearth, author of Miss Dreamsville, will be appearing at Fiction Addiction, 10/11/2012 (12901)

Angela Fordice, author of We End in Joy: Memoirs of a first Daughter, will be appearing at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, 10/11/2012 (12916)

Parnassus Books is hosting the event After School Story Time on 10/11/2012 (12770)

Margaret Cunningham, author of Always Charlie, will be appearing at Page & Palette, 10/11/2012 (12776)

E.O. Wilson will be appearing at Page & Palette, 10/11/2012 (12777)

Enid Shomer, author of The Twelve Rooms of the Nile, will be appearing at Inkwood Books, 10/11/2012 (12780)

Ken Burger   will be appearing at Fiction Addiction, 10/12/2012 (12902)

Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe is hosting the event NORMAN WIRZBA LECTURE ON THE SPIRITUALITY OF EATING, followed by Q&A & booksigning with Wirzba & Bahnson on 10/12/2012 (12917)

Susan Boyer, author of Low Country Boil, will be appearing at Literary BookPost, 10/12/2012 (12670)

Jan Brett will be appearing at Inkwood Books, 10/12/2012 (12781)

Fred Thompson, author of Fred Thompson's Southern Sides: 250 Dishes That Really Make the Plate, will be appearing at Alabama Booksmith, 10/12/2012 (12280)

Flyleaf Books is hosting the event Prompt Writing Class with Nancy Peacock on 10/13/2012 (12837)

Calvin White, author of The Rise to Respectability, will be appearing at Nightbird Books, 10/13/2012 (12843)

Carol Bland Dolson, author of Hattie and the Higgledy-Piggledy Hedge, will be appearing at Avid Bookshop, 10/13/2012 (12846)

William Chafe, author of Bill and Hillary, will be appearing at Regulator Bookshop, 10/13/2012 (12866)

Adrienne Palma, author of Roza Sanchez, will be appearing at Island Bookstore, 10/13/2012 (12619)

Ava Lindsey Chambers, author of No Reservations, will be appearing at City Lights Bookstore, 10/13/2012 (12889)

Amy Cortese, author of Locavesting, will be appearing at City Lights Bookstore, 10/13/2012 (12890)

Deb Richardson, author of The Weight of Mercy, will be appearing at Fiction Addiction, 10/13/2012 (12903)

John Connolly will be appearing at Fountain Bookstore, 10/13/2012 (12921)

Parnassus Books is hosting the event Saturday Storytime on 10/13/2012 (12771)

Jan Brett, author of Mossy, will be appearing at Page & Palette, 10/13/2012 (12778)

Octavia Books is hosting the event Octavia Books Science Fiction Book Club on 10/13/2012 (12783)

Dianne de Las Casas will be appearing at Octavia Books, 10/13/2012 (12784)

Fred Thompson, author of Fred Thompson's Southern Sides: 250 Dishes That Really Make the Plate, will be appearing at Garden District Book Shop, 10/14/2012 (12873)

Angelou, Byer, Lawson, author of Various, will be appearing at The Country Bookshop, 10/14/2012 (12930)

That Bookstore in Blytheville is hosting the event George Singleton Book Signing on 10/15/2012 (12838)

Bill Finch will be appearing at Alabama Booksmith, 10/15/2012 (12625)

Tamela Rich, author of Live Full Throttle: Life Lessons From Friends Who faced Cancer, will be appearing at Literary BookPost, 10/15/2012 (12887)

Fiction Addiction is hosting the event Fiction Addiction Bookclub Meeting on 10/15/2012 (12904)

Laurie Bakke, author of Laurie Bakke's Cookbook, will be appearing at The Fountainhead Bookstore, 10/16/2012 (12823)

John Batchelor, author of Chefs of the Mountains, will be appearing at Regulator Bookshop, 10/16/2012 (12867)

Sherry Virtz, author of Random House Fall Books, will be appearing at The Country Bookshop, 10/16/2012 (12931)

Page & Palette is hosting the event J.K. Rowling Live Webcast on 10/16/2012 (12779)

Octavia Books is hosting the event Brain Quest Challenge! on 10/17/2012 (12785)

Fiction Addiction is hosting the event Children's Story Time on 10/18/2012 (12894)

John Perry, author of THE ART OF PROCRASTINATION, will be appearing at The Country Bookshop, 10/18/2012 (12932)

Inkwood Books is hosting the event BOOK GROUP NIGHT on 10/18/2012 (12782)

Nightbird Books is hosting the event More Than a Statistic: A Night for Reproductive Justice and Gender Equality on 10/19/2012 (12947)

Robert Benson, author of Wedding the Wild Particular, will be appearing at Page & Palette, 10/20/2012 (12942)

Nightbird Books is hosting the event Live music : Shawn James & William Blackart & Willi Goehring on 10/20/2012 (12948)

Avid Bookshop is hosting the event Paperback Fiction Book Club: When She Woke on 10/21/2012 (12956)

Kim O' Donnel, author of The Meat Lover's Meatless Celebrations, will be appearing at Nightbird Books, 10/21/2012 (12247)

Nightbird Books is hosting the event Science Fiction Book Club - October Meeting on 10/22/2012 (12949)

Nightbird Books is hosting the event Live music: BRAINSTORM and Sw/mm/ng on 10/22/2012 (12950)

Michael Koryta will be appearing at Inkwood Books, 10/22/2012 (12953)

Michelle Hodkin, author of The Evolution of Mara Dyer, will be appearing at Inkwood Books, 10/23/2012 (12954)

Okra Pick!Robert Olen Butler will be appearing at Page & Palette, 10/24/2012 (12943)

Fiction Addiction is hosting the event Children's Story Time on 10/25/2012 (12895)

Kathleen Flinn, author of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, will be appearing at Inkwood Books, 10/25/2012 (12955)

Calvin White, author of The Rise to Respectability, will be appearing at Nightbird Books, 10/27/2012 (12951)

Elizabeth O. Dulemba  will be appearing at Avid Bookshop, 10/27/2012 (12957)

Nightbird Books is hosting the event Early, All Ages Music : Shannon Wurst on 10/28/2012 (12952)

Alexander McCall Smith will be appearing at Page & Palette, 10/29/2012 (12945)

Sharon Lovejoy, author of My First Bird Book & Bird Feeder, will be appearing at Page & Palette, 10/30/2012 (12946)

Kevin Gillespie, author of Fire in My Belly, will be appearing at Alabama Booksmith, 11/06/2012 (11562)

Sheila Ingle , author of COURAGEOUS KATE, A DAUGHTER OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION and FEARLESS MARTHA, will be appearing at Old Salem Museums & Gardens, 11/10/2012 (12201)

Lenore DePree, author of 90 BROTHERS AND SISTERS, will be appearing at The Country Bookshop, 11/12/2012 (12933)

Rhett Johnson, author of LONGLEAF, FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE, will be appearing at The Country Bookshop, 11/14/2012 (12934)

Juliette Faye, author of THE SHORTEST WAY HOME, will be appearing at The Country Bookshop, 11/15/2012 (12935)

Authors Round the South

Dearest readers,

Her ladyship had a particularly rough season in the garden this summer. Once the heat of July kicked in, she seemed to be fighting a series of losing battles. She lost her tomatoes to blight, her pole beans to cut worms, her okra to the deer, her corn to a storm. She fought a series of skirmishes  with the wasps over the ripe figs in the tree, and sometimes came away rather worse for the experience.  In fact, if it weren’t for the unexpected bounty of a stray eggplant and the potatoes and carrots she dug early in the season, her ladyship might have nothing to show for her labors at all.

As a result, any sober objective eye would call her ladyship’s garden a failure this year.  Certainly there are no tomatoes or beans to put up, and not enough okra from her second planting to do anything except fry them up for supper.

The Moonflower VineAnd yet, her ladyship feels oddly content on this warm October day, and not at all regretful of her many lost vegetables. Why? Because with the cooler evenings the small plants laying dormant in the forgotten corners of her garden beds have suddenly sprung forth, and suddenly her ladyship is treated to the most amazing sight when she steps out onto her back deck in the early morning.


They are suddenly running rampant on her fence and through the grass. Isn’t it wonderful how something so ephemeral can make all the toil seem completely worth it.

The Moonflower

Happy Reading!

her ladyship, the editor

Southern Indie Bestsellers

For the week ending September 30, 2012

Columbia, SC -October 10, 2012 - The Southern Indie Bestseller List, as brought to you by IndieBound.org and SIBA, for the week ended Sunday, September 30, 2012. Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and IndieBound.org.

STARS - A STARS Author | Okra Pick! - A SIBA Okra Pick 
Titles in red are SIBA Book Award winners and finalists!
Printable versions: Hardcover | Paperback | Children.

Hardcover Fiction

1. The Casual Vacancy
J.K. Rowling, Little Brown, $35, 9780316228534
2. Winter of the World
Ken Follett, Dutton, $36, 9780525952923
3. Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn, Crown, $25, 9780307588364
4. Telegraph Avenue
Michael Chabon, Harper, $27.99, 9780061493348
5. This Is How You Lose Her
Junot Díaz, Riverhead, $26.95, 9781594487361
6. A Wanted Man
Lee Child, Delacorte, $28, 9780385344333
7. The Yellow Birds
Kevin Powers, Little Brown, $24.99, 9780316219365
8. The Time Keeper
Mitch Albom, Hyperion, $24.99, 9781401322786
9. Severe Clear
Stuart Woods, Putnam Adult, $26.95, 9780399159848
10. NW
Zadie Smith, Penguin Press, $26.95, 9781594203978
11. The Light Between Oceans
M.L. Stedman, Scribner, $25, 9781451681734
12. A Dance With Dragons
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $35, 9780553801477
13. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Rachel Joyce, Random House, $25, 9780812993295
14. Shadow of Night
Deborah Harkness, Viking, $28.95, 9780670023486
okra15. Gone
Randy Wayne White, Putnam Adult, $25.95, 9780399158490

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. No Easy Day
Mark Owen, Dutton, $26.95, 9780525953722
2. Joseph Anton: A Memoir
Salman Rushdie, Random House, $30, 9780812992786
3. Mortality
Christopher Hitchens, Twelve, $22.99, 9781455502752
4. Waging Heavy Peace
Neil Young, Blue Rider, $30, 9780399159466
5. Wild
Cheryl Strayed, Knopf, $25.95, 9780307592736
6. The Price of Politics
Bob Woodward, S&S, $30, 9781451651102
7. Listening In
Ted Widmer, Caroline Kennedy, Hyperion, $40, 9781401324568
8. Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores
Jen Campbell, Overlook, $15, 9781468301281
9. Woody Durham: A Tar Heel Voice
Woody Durham, John F. Blair Publisher, $26.95, 9780895875778
10. The Oath
Jeffrey Toobin, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385527200
11. Killing Lincoln
Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard, Holt, $28, 9780805093070
12. Bull by the Horns
Sheila Bair, Free Press, $26.99, 9781451672480
13. Jesus Calling
Sarah Young, Integrity, $15.99, 9781591451884
14. Unbroken
Laura Hillenbrand, Random House, $27, 9781400064168
15. Ike's Bluff
Evan Thomas, Little Brown, $29.99, 9780316091046

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. Fifty Shades Darker
E.L. James, Vintage, $15.95, 9780345803498
2. Fifty Shades of Grey
E.L. James, Vintage, $15.95, 9780345803481
3. Fifty Shades Freed
E.L. James, Vintage, $15.95, 9780345803504
4. The Shoemaker's Wife
Adriana Trigiani, Harper, $15.99, 9780061257100
5. Rules of Civility
Amor Towles, Penguin, $16, 9780143121169
6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chbosky, MTV Books, $14, 9781451696196
7. The Sense of an Ending
Julian Barnes, Vintage, $14.95, 9780307947727
8. State of Wonder
Ann Patchett, Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780062049810
9. The Language of Flowers
Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Ballantine, $15, 9780345525550
10. Cloud Atlas
David Mitchell, Random House, $15, 9780375507250
11. The Great Gatsby
F.Scott Fitzgerald, Scribner, $15, 9780743273565
12. The House at Tyneford
Natasha Solomons, Plume, $15, 9780452297647
13. The Marriage Plot
Jeffrey Eugenides, Picador, $16, 9781250014764
14. The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern, Anchor, $15, 9780307744432
15. Hemingway's Girl
Erika Robuck, NAL, $16, 9780451237880

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. In the Garden of Beasts
Erik Larson, Broadway, $16, 9780307408853
2. The Swerve
Stephen J. Greenblatt, Norton, $16.95, 9780393343403
3. Catherine the Great
Robert K. Massie, Random House, $20, 9780345408778
4. Bossypants
Tina Fey, Reagan Arthur Books, $15.99, 9780316056878
5. The Chew: Food. Life. Fun.
Mario Batali, Gordon Elliott, et al., Hyperion, $19.99, 9781401311063
6. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness
Alexandra Fuller, Penguin, $15, 9780143121343
7. Boomerang
Michael Lewis, Norton, $16.95, 9780393343441
8. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot, Broadway, $16, 9781400052189
9. Citizens of London
Lynne Olson, Random House, $17, 9780812979350
10. How to Be a Woman
Caitlin Moran, Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780062124296
11. Unlikely Friendships
Jennifer S. Holland, Workman, $13.95, 9780761159131
12. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey
The Countess of Carnarvon, Broadway, $15.99, 9780770435622
13. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns)
Mindy Kaling, Three Rivers, $14, 9780307886279
14. Eat to Live
Joel Fuhrman, Little Brown, $15.99, 9780316120913
15. F for Effort!
Richard Benson, Chronicle, $9.95, 9781452113227

Mass Market

1. A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553593716
2. A Storm of Swords
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553573428
3. Kill Shot
Vince Flynn, Atria, $9.99, 9781416595229
4. Fall of Giants
Ken Follett, Signet, $9.99, 9780451232854
5. To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee, Warner, $7.99, 9780446310789
6. The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger, Warner, $6.99, 9780316769488
7. Lord of the Flies
William Golding, Berkley, $9.99, 9780399501487
8. Red Mist
Patricia Cornwell, Berkley, $9.99, 9780425250433
9. Slaughterhouse-Five
Kurt Vonnegut, Laurel Leaf, $7.99, 9780440180296
10. The Hobbit
J.R.R. Tolkien, Del Rey, $8.99, 9780345534835

Children's Illustrated

1. Olivia and the Fairy Princesses
Ian Falconer, Atheneum, $17.99, 9781442450271
2. Room on the Broom Board Book
Julia Donaldson, Axel Sheffler (Illus.), Dial, $6.99, 9780803738416
3. Creepy Carrots!
Aaron Reynolds, Peter Brown (Illus.), S&S, $16.99, 9781442402973
4. The Biggest Pumpkin Surprise Ever!
Steven Kroll, Jeni Bassett (Illus.), Cartwheel, $6.99, 9780545402859
5. Llama Llama Time to Share
Anna Dewdney, Viking, $17.99, 9780670012336
6. Mossy
Jan Brett, Putnam, $17.99, 9780399257827
7. Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617
8. The Night Before Halloween
Natasha Wing, Cynthia Fisher (Illus.), Grosset & Dunlap, $3.99, 9780448419657
9. Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad
David Soman, Jacky Davis, Dial, $16.99, 9780803734197
10. It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse!
Laura Joffe Numeroff, Felicia Bond (Illus.), Balzer & Bray, $6.99, 9780694014293

Children's Interest

1. Three Times Lucky
Sheila Turnage, Dial, $16.99, 9780803736702
2. The Giver
Lois Lowry, Laurel-Leaf, $6.99, 9780440237686
3. Lincoln's Last Days
Bill O'Reilly, Dwight Jon Zimmerman, Holt, $19.99, 9780805096750
4. The Diviners
Libba Bray, Little Brown, $19.99, 9780316126113
5. The Raven Boys
Maggie Stiefvater, Scholastic, $18.99, 9780545424929
6. The Outsiders
S.E. Hinton, Puffin, $9.99, 9780140385724
7. The Fault in Our Stars
John Green, Dutton, $17.99, 9780525478812
8. Wonder
R.J. Palacio, Knopf, $15.99, 9780375869020
9. Star Wars Origami
Chris Alexander, Workman, $16.95, 9780761169437
10. Lego Batman: Visual Dictionary
Daniel Lipkowitz, DK, $21.99, 9780756697877

Children's Fiction Series Titles

1. The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $12.99, 9780545425117
2. Mockingjay (The Final Book of the Hunger Games)
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $17.99, 9780439023511
3. Divergent
Veronica Roth, Katherine Tegen Books, $9.99, 9780062024039
4. Insurgent (Divergent Series, #2)
Veronica Roth, Katherine Tegen Books, $17.99, 9780062024046
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $13.95, 9780810994737
6. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $17.99, 9780439023498
7. The Maze Runner
James Dashner, Delacorte, $9.99, 9780385737951
8. A Perfect Time for Pandas (Magic Tree House, #48)
Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca (Illus.), Random House, $12.99, 9780375868269
9. Theodore Boone: The Accused
John Grisham, Dutton, $16.99, 9780525425762
10. Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House #1)
Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca (Illus.), Random House, $4.99, 9780679824114


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Lady Banks' Commonplace Book

Noteworthy poetry and prose from her ladyship's bedside reading stack.

Who Speaks for the Negro?Mr. Robert Penn Warren meets Mr. Martin Luther King

He looks like his pictures. He is a shade less than medium height, a tidily made, compact man, the head rather large but rounded and compact too, the lips rather full but drawn back at the corners under a narrow close-trimmed mustache to emphasize this impression of compactness, the nose broad rather than projecting, the ears close-set, the hairline already receding, the hair growing close and cut short to define the shape of the skull. Compactness and control—that is the first impression, even in the natural outgoing cordiality at the moment of greeting, when the eyes brighten. At the handshake you notice that the hand is unusually large for a man of his stature, a strong hand. He has the tight-packed skin of a man who will be fat some day if he doesn’t watch it, a skin with a slight sheen to its brownness. His dark clothing sits rather close on him, too, emphasizing again that compactness and completeness, nothing loose or shaggy or tweedy—a sheen to things. The shows are of highly-polished, hard-glazed black leather, with elastic inserts that make them fit as tight and flexible as skin. He has a natural grace of movement as he turns to sit down at his desk. He could, you think, move fast and effectively.

—Robert Penn Warren, Who Speaks for the Negro? (Random House, 1965)

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Book Gossip

Literary News & Gossip passed along from the readers, the writers, the reviewers, the resellers, the riff raff, and dutifully repeated here by her ladyship (who falls into the last category).

Mr. Stephen Frankfurt, the man who convinced the country that no one can eat “just one” Lays Potato Chip, has passed away. But rather more significant than his contribution to our collection of catch phrases, he was also the person responsible for creating the opening sequence of the film To Kill a Mockingbird.

As I Lay DyingThe first look at James Franco’s adaptation of William Faulkner’s beloved novel As I Lay Dying. The photos from the film, which began production in Mississippi at the end of August and wrapped over the weekend, have slowly began to leak from various Franco fan sites and several of the actor’s Twitter accounts. First Look at Film “As I Lay Dying”

Insane City“We are delighted to inject Dave Barry’s madcap humor into this year’s festival,” said Stephanie Duttenhaver, board president. “Barry is not only a Pulitzer Prize winner, newspaper columnist, fiction and nonfiction writer for adults and children, but also the lead guitarist in the band Rock Bottom Remainders Dave Barry joins lineup at the Savannah Book Festival

Make plans. The Louisiana Book Festival returns to the Capitol grounds in Baton Rouge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 27. There will be more than 125 authors and panelists who will present and discuss their latest works — children's activities, books for sale, food and crafts and much more. The festival is free and open to the public and takes place at the State Library of Louisiana, the Louisiana State Museum, the Louisiana State Capitol and its grounds. Louisiana Book Festival

Mercer University’s Southern Studies Program will hold a semester of special events, titled “Civil War Memory,” that will include the 55th annual Lamar Memorial Lecture Series. The Lamar lecturer for 2012 is Dr. Michael Kreyling, the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Kreyling’s theme will be “A Late Encounter with the Civil War.” The lectures are all free and open to the public.  Dr. Kreyling will present three lectures in the Medical School Auditorium on the University’s Macon campus. The first is titled “Race Suicide and the Civil War: Semicentennial” and will be held at 10 a.m. on Oct. 15; the second, “Civil Rights and the Civil War: Centennial,” at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 15; and the third, “The Afterlife of the Civil War: Sesquicentennial,” at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 16. Lamar Lecture Series at SMU

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Author Gossip

Elena PassarelloFeatured: Elena Passarello
Author of Let Me Clear My Throat

Elena Passarello is an actor and writer originally from Charleston, SC. She studied nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Iowa, and her essays have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Gulf Coast, Slate, Iowa Review, Normal School, Literary Bird Journal, Ninth Letter and in the music writing anthology Pop Till the World Falls Apart. She has performed in several regional theaters in the East and Midwest, originating roles in the premieres of Christopher Durang’s MRS. BOB CRATCHIT’S WILD CHRISTMAS BINGE and David Turkel’s WILD SIGNSAND HOLLER. In 2011, she became the first woman winner of the annual Stella Screaming Contest in New Orleans.

Request Elena Passarello for a book club or school

Upcoming trips

Atlanta, GA, 10/18/2012 - 10/19/2012
Charlotte, NC, 10/22/2012 - 10/22/2012
Durham, NC, 10/20/2012 - 10/20/2012

Let Me Clear My ThroatBook: Let Me Clear My Throat
From Farinelli, the 18th century castrato who brought down opera houses with his high C, to the recording of "Johnny B. Goode" affixed to the Voyager spacecraft, LET ME CLEAR MY THROAT dissects the whys and hows of popular voices, making them hum with significance and emotion. There are murders of punk rock crows, impressionists, and rebel yells; Howard Dean?s "BYAH!" and Marlon Brando's "Stella!" and a stock film yawp that has made cameos in movies from A STAR IS BORN to SPACEBALLS. The voice is thought's incarnating instrument and Elena Passarello's essays are a riotous deconstruction of the ways the sounds we make both express and shape who we are--the annotated soundtrack of us giving voice to ourselves.

More gossip:

Escape Velocity“‘Put in your article about how bad the toilet paper is over there,’” says “pretty Loretta Lynn,” who has just returned from a tour of Europe. “‘I wish you could see it, hon, you wouldn’t believe it.’” Charles Portis, Escape Velocity

Fortunately, we don’t have to guess at the ingredients in Warren’s birthday drink of choice, since he was very proud of his concoction and wrote about it to several friends. “Here is the recipe: 1 quart sauterne, 1 quart gin, 1 pint rum, 1 half-pint sherry; 1 pint grapefruit juice; enough pineapple juice to sweeten to taste; 1 large cake of ice.” There’s a reason they call drinks like that a punch: One glass is enough to knock you over. Mr. Robert Penn Warren’s Punch

Such a RushMy grandmother wrote lush stories about growing up as the daughter of a Methodist minister in Birmingham during the Depression and the cholera epidemic. She also wrote about the Civil Rights Movement in tiny Tallahassee, AL, where she lived as an adult. She submitted one story to The New Yorker, was rejected, and never sent out anything again. Soon after that, To Kill a Mockingbird was published, and she always joked that Harper Lee stole her story. Jennifer Echols

Man in the Blue MoonIt sounds like a novel, but it’s a true story: A man falsely accused of murder escapes frontier justice in 1920 by mailing himself in a box to a relative.  OK, it’s part of a novel, too. Michael Morris tells the not-so-tall tale passed down by his grandfather in his latest book, Man in the Blue Moon, released earlier this month. It’s the fourth book for the Birmingham writer, and one that is inspired by the family stories he heard growing up in Perry, about 50 miles southeast of Tallahassee.  “You can’t make this stuff up,” Morris said. “And if you’re from the South, you don’t have to.” Michael Morris

STARSSTARS Authors on tour:

What are "STARS" authors? These are authors listing in the Southern Traveling Authors Registration Service--a directory of authors who live in, or are traveling in the South and are interested in meeting with book clubs, civic groups, classrooms, and readers of all kinds. The STARS directory is brought to you by Southern Indie Booksellers, who want to connect readers with their favorite writers.

see the full list online here and find the authors touring in your area here


Kala Ambrose  , New Orleans, LA 10/13/2012 - 10/13/2012

Hester Bass  , Birmingham, AL 10/19/2012 - 10/21/2012
Tuscaloosa, AL 10/31/2012 - 11/03/2012
Brandon, MS 01/16/2013 - 01/19/2013

Carole Bellacera  , Russell Springs, KY 10/16/2012 - 10/19/2012
destin , FL 12/24/2012 - 12/26/2012

Robin Bridges  , Bay St. Louis, MS 10/13/2012 - 10/13/2012
Oxford, MS 10/18/2012 - 10/19/2012
Memphis, TN 10/20/2012 - 10/20/2012
Jackson, MS 10/31/2012 - 10/31/2012

Kimberly Brock  , Dahlonega, GA 11/09/2012 - 11/11/2012

Mark Jarman  , Nashville, TN 10/12/2012 - 10/12/2012

M.M. LeBlanc  , Lafayette, LA 10/14/2012 - 10/14/2012
Pensacola, FL 10/19/2012 - 10/19/2012
Baton Rouge, LA 10/26/2012 - 10/27/2012
Key West, FL 11/14/2012 - 11/15/2012
Miami, FL 11/16/2012 - 11/18/2012

Pamela Bauer Mueller  , Jekyll Island, GA 11/9/2012 - 11/11/2012

Nancy Naigle  , Richmond, VA 10/19/2012 - 10/21/2012

Elena Passarello  , Atlanta, GA 10/18/2012 - 10/19/2012
Durham, NC 10/20/2012 - 10/20/2012
Charlotte, NC 10/22/2012 - 10/22/2012

David Taylor  , Baton Rouge, LA 10/26/2012 - 10/27/2012

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Bookstore Gossip

Literary News & Gossip passed along from the readers, the writers, the reviewers, the resellers, the riff raff, and dutifully repeated here by her ladyship (who falls into the last category).


Asheville, North Carolina

staff picks | events | website | facebook | twitter

A note from owner Emoke B'racz

Forget Me NotsSometimes stories delightfully drop into my day from friends and customers. This one is a gem. So, it goes like this: Miss Norris decided that Poetry was very important for her six-year-old students, so she began to read them poetry to peak their interest. The other day she read “Sometimes” by Mary Ann Hoberman and a little girl raised her hand and said "Miss Norris that made me feel.” “What did you feel?” asked Miss Norris. The girl answered, “A feeling!”

To invoke a feeling, the concept that a six-year-old identifies a feeling outside of her normal feelings...now that is priceless in that child's development.  Gold Star, Miss Norris, wherever you are! (Miss Norris is the daughter of Malaprop’s bookseller, Cindy Norris) Keep poetry alive for children everywhere. Malaprops Newsletter

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Lady Banks' {Book} Trailer Park

“I was working construction and writing at night. It’s like being in the closet. You don’t come out one day and tell these guys you’re working with about this sonnet you wrote over the weekend.”

SoLost: At Home with William Gay

At Home with William Gay


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Read This! Okra Picks and Bedside Reading from Malaprops

Come August, Come FreedomOkra Picks: The Hot Country

In The Hot Country, Christopher Marlowe Cobb ("Kit"), the swashbuckling early 20th century American newspaper war correspondent travels to Mexico in April and May of 1914, during that country's civil war, the American invasion of Vera Cruz and the controversial presidency of Victoriano Huerta, El Chacal (The Jackal). Covering the war in enemy territory and sweltering heat, Cobb falls in love with Luisa, a young Mexican laundress, who is not as innocent as she seems.

The Hot countryThe intrepid war reporter soon witnesses a priest being shot. The bullet rebounds on the cross the holly man wears around his neck and leaves him unharmed. Cobb employs a young pickpocket to help him find out the identity of the sniper and, more importantly, why important German officials are coming into the city in the middle of the night from ammunition ships docked in the port. 

An exciting tale of intrigue and espionage, Butler's powerful crime-fiction debut is a thriller not to be missed.

Read the first chapter

Full set of Okra Picks here

Bedside reading from Malaprops Bookstore & Cafe in Asheville, NC

May We Be ForgivenMay We be Forgiven is the title of A.M. Homes' latest novel. The chaotic world we live in is presented with well-chosen words and in unexpected patterns. It is always a good surprise and a good reading experience with A. M. Homes. I will never forget the lesson I learned reading This Book will Save Your Life. I started reading it and I could hear myself thinking, “Oh, what do I care about this guy and his ennui?” To my great surprise, I found myself cheering him on! I am trusting this author with whatever she writes: in the end the story will speak to me in my learning.

The Gardens of DemocracySpeaking of learning, a former staff came to pick up her special order The Gardens of Democracy and the book caught my fancy. I bought my copy right away. The authors Eric Lui and Nick Hanauer also penned The True Patriot. I’ve been learning about Citizenship, the Economy and the Role of Government, as it is stated in the subtitle and they are most important points to understand this election season. This elegant little book is beautifully designed, does not emit (e.mitt) heat and I can drop it to the floor next to my bed just before I fall asleep, which I do. I recommend this title to those who are interested in a good overview of what's 'what and how' in our governing bodies. Phew, and it is not even 7 a.m. in the morning.

Foraging: Self-SufficiencyReturning to my latest stack of books invites me to browse a new find Foraging: Self-Sufficiency by David Squire. Now, I am ready to try a bit of Rumex acetosa and some Utrica dioica. It is amazing how far we (or I should say "I") have gotten from knowing and using herbs that my grandmother used in her kitchen. That is only in the last oh, say-about 50 years ago. How far we get from the roots of things?

—Emoke B’racz, Malaprops

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