In which Horton's Books Store discovers they are slightly older than they thought they were, a young woman explains how to be popular without being mean, and Miss Julia explains why it isn't safe to take a vacation.
April 13, 2014
This week her ladyship, the editor's local farmer's market opened for the season. Her ladyship was practically camped out at the gate, ready with her jute tote bags and spare sacks and fully prepared to start a fight with someone over who would get the best of the turnips, potatoes and carrots on offer. After such a long, cold winter, it was such a relief to return to her farm stand shopping routine. And yes, there were a number of crafts people selling their birdhouses and wind chimes and home-woven alpaca wool blankets (the farmer --a savvy person-- always brings a couple of his alpacas with him, and it is hard to refuse their soft eyes and gentle manners.) But there was also nurseries with herbs in pots and salad bowl containers, jars of homemade pickled okra, jars of local honey, locally-made jam, and soft packages of goat cheese.
As is usual on market day, her ladyship came home with bags bulging with food she had not expected to purchase, and therefore had no recipes prepared for. Her kitchen counter, therefore is cluttered with cookbooks -- at this point, mostly by the Lee Bros. But really, any of the SIBA Book Award nominated cookbooks would be of use. So once her ladyship shuts the covers of The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen, then John Besh's Cooking from the Heart will be ready to take its place when she returns from the market next week, once again overly-laiden with the vegetables she couldn't resist.
Read (and cook) independently. And shop local.
her ladyship, the editor
Lady Banks' Pick of the Week
Lady Banks' Commonplace Book
Noteworthy poetry and prose from her ladyship's bedside reading stack.
On the dangers of taking a vacation
But, I declare, I didn't want to take off for parts unknown and leave the people who might need me. Why, what would happen to Lloyd without me around to watch over him? And what if Hazel Marie needed help with her twin babies? And what would Lillian do if trouble descended on her or Latisha, her great-granddaughter? To say nothing of the Abbotsville First Presbyterian Church. If I were gone any length of time, there was no telling what Pastor Ledbetter would get in his mind to do. He might change the order of worship again--something that he seemed to do just to keep us off balance. Or to keep us awake, but who knew?
The last time I'd been out of town for a few days--the time I chased jewel thieves all the way to Florida--you wouldn't believe what happened while I was gone. I'd been elected treasurer of the garden club, president of the Lila Mae Harding Sunday School class, and leader of the book club for a whole year. And on top of that, I'd been volunteered to host a Christmas tea and to help with Vacation Bible school the following summer.
No, it wasn't safe to leave town.
--Ann B. Ross, Miss Julia's Marvelous Makeover (Viking, 2014) 9780670026111
The ninth annual Alabama Book Festival is set to take place this Saturday at Old Alabama Town in Montgomery. More than 50 authors are expected to attend the family-friendly festival, which is free. Throughout the day, authors will read excerpts, answer questions and be available to sign books.
At a convocation in the mid-1960’s, these young women were being spoken to and being inspired, by a senior, a beauty queen who had been elected National Maid of Cotton. “In a honeyed Southern drawl” the queen “assured her listeners that although she’d been around the world and had met kings and queens and heads of state, she was still the same sweet girl she’s always been.” King and a few others giggled, held it in, then laughed aloud and got into trouble with the dean of women.
In her latest offering, White Trash, former Olympian Alexandra Allred takes the reader back to the familiar town of Granby, Texas. In a place denoted by gossip and complicated social relationships, a young single mother acts as a commentator, comically analyzing the peculiarities of each person and social group. The text follows the experiences of Thia Franks, a young woman of promise and education who reluctantly returns to her hometown to raise her child. After a young African-American man is found dead and fowl play is suspected, tensions run high and the protagonist must work tirelessly to unravel the truth. The story contains qualities of detective fiction, southern drama, and class satire.
"At Moonbot, we're grabbing for magic and Olivia Kidney has captivated us," said William Joyce, Moonbot co-founder and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. "Ellen Potter has crafted a unique and enchanting fantasy that we can't wait to bring to life as a film."
Byrd recounts the life of Addie Lockwood, a single woman in her 30s, who, after a reunion with a childhood friend, finds herself pregnant. She eventually gives birth to a baby boy, named Byrd. In secret, she immediately gives him up for adoption. From there, the novelist reveals how this decision affects Lockwood and the important people in her life in ways she never could have imagined. More than 16 years prior to the novel’s release, Church came up with the premise. She attended a dinner with a man who casually relayed to her that he was the father of a child who was put up for adoption. “I don’t know how he felt about that,” Church said. “There was no emotion attached to the telling of the story, and I wasn’t quite sure why he was telling me.”
Not all of the advice is the kind of stuff you’d expect to help a modern middle schooler — Van Wagenen had to wear long skirts to school, following the book’s advice, and the only eye makeup she was permitted was some Vaseline on her lids — but it’s hardly a spoiler to say that she learns some valuable lessons about social hierarchies. And her memoir becomes, like the book that inspired it, something of a teen popularity guide itself.
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.
C. Hope Clark
C. Hope Clark is author of The Carolina Slade Mystery Series, to include Lowcountry Bribe (Feb 2012) and Tidewater Murder (April 2013) to date, published through Bell Bridge Books out of Memphis, TN. Hope was born and reared in the South, from Mississippi to South Carolina with a few stints in Alabama and Georgia. The granddaughter of a Mississippi cotton farmer, Hope holds a B.S. in Agriculture with honors from Clemson University and 25 years’ experience with the U. S. Department of Agriculture, all of which enable her to talk the talk of Carolina Slade, the protagonist in her novels. Her love of writing, however, carried her up the ranks to the ability to retire young, and she left USDA to pen her stories and freelance. Lowcountry Bribe's opening chapter took first place in the Phillip Mangelsdorf Award, third place in 2009 Alabama Writer's Conclave Competition and honorable mention in The Writing Show Chapter Competition 2009 as judged by bestselling mystery author C. J. Box. The chapter also made top three finalist status of the 2009 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense sponsored by Romance Writers of America, and is being considered for the 2012 published category of the same. The novel enjoyed semi-finalist status (top 100 out of 10,000) in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. In August 2012, Lowcountry Bribe won The Silver Falchion Award at Killer Nashville Conference for mystery writers. It’s also a finalist for the EPIC e-book awards for best mystery. The second book in the series, Tidewater Murder, is due out in April 2013, and the third book, Palmetto Poison, in early 2014.
Lowcountry Bribe by C. Hope Clark is the first in the Carolina Slade Mystery Series. Set in rural Charleston County, Lowcountry Bribe introduces readers to Carolina Slade, a smart, focused, sometimes over-thinking woman who feels safe in the bureaucratic world of the U.S. Department of Agriculture . . . until she’s offered a bribe . . . from a hog farmer. Slade follows proper protocol and reports Jesse Rawlings to superiors. The next thing she knows, Slade is besieged by Senior Special Agent Wayne Largo from the Office of Inspector General in Atlanta. He and his partner have come to investigate Slade’s accusations, and if possible catch Jesse in the act of handing over money. While the situation disrupts her life, Slade reminds herself that following the book in reporting the incident was the right move. However, events do not go smoothly. The IG isn’t telling Slade everything. The agents are also investigating the disappearance of Slade’s manager the year before in connection to possible land fraud. And when the sting on Jesse goes bad, the case is put on hold and Agent Largo is recalled to Atlanta, leaving Slade exposed and vulnerable, fearing not only for her life and job, but for her children’s safety.
See the full list of authors in the STARS Program online here and find the authors touring in your area here
As the owner of local independent bookstore Fiction Addiction, I have the pleasure of meeting South Carolina authors on nearly a weekly basis and I’m deeply impressed by the depth of literary talent that our state is home to. It was a natural fit when I joined the board of the South Carolina Academy of Authors last year, since the Academy’s principal purpose is to identify and recognize our state’s distinguished writers.
This April, the Academy will be holding its first-ever awards ceremony in Greenville and three of the four writers we are inducting into the state’s literary hall of fame have ties to the Upstate. I invite everyone who supports the literary arts — from readers, to writers, to teachers — to join us the weekend of April 25th-26 to celebrate the accomplishments of Gilbert Allen, Janette Turner Hospital, John Lane and Robert Quillen.
Chances are, you’ve probably been asked this question as a casual conversation starter. At the first classical music discussion at Quail Ridge Books & Music, this was the first question posed at the start of the “Desert Island Recordings” segment. While Quail Ridge Books & Music has had discussion groups dedicated to classical music in the past, until recently, these groups had been disbanded. Samantha Flynn, the Classical Music Specialist, restarted this discussion group Saturday. The group met inside the bookstore at 10 a.m. in a cozy circle of armchairs. The group was small, but full of enthusiasm about classical music. Casual conversation and introductions ensued before the discussion began.
Miss Julia masterminds a makeover in "New York Times "bestselling author Ann B. Ross's latest installment in her popular series
It's summer in Abbotsville, and Miss Julia has visions of enjoying a life of leisure. But before she can even sip some iced tea on her front porch, a letter from her long-lost cousin Elsie informs her that Elsie's granddaughter is on a bus headed to Abbotsville that very day. Reminding Miss Julia of an old family debt, Elsie proclaims that she is sending Trixie to Miss Julia's to learn to become a lady. The nerve of some people! When the rude and unkempt Trixie arrives, even Sam and Lloyd agree that Miss Julia faces quite a challenge.
Meanwhile, Sam has decided to run for state senate. But when he has a fainting spell and has to go into the hospital for tests, who will run his campaign? Is his no-good rival going to cakewalk into office? No sir, not if Miss Julia has anything to say about it--and indeed she does, including up on the stump.
In this marvelous addition to the popular series, Miss Julia is sure to have a summer that she--and Abbotsville--will never forget!
1. The Goldfinch Donna Tartt, Little Brown, $30, 9780316055437 2. The Invention of Wings Sue Monk Kidd, Viking, $27.95, 9780670024780 3. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry Gabrielle Zevin, Algonquin, $24.95, 9781616203214 4. Missing You Harlan Coben, Dutton, $27.95, 9780525953494 5. Be Careful What You Wish for Jeffrey Archer, St. Martin's, $27.99, 9781250034489 6. The Husband's Secret Liane Moriarty, Amy Einhorn Books, $25.95, 9780399159343 7. Frog Music Emma Donoghue, Little Brown, $27, 9780316324687 8. This Dark Road to Mercy Wiley Cash, Morrow, $25.99, 9780062088253 9. Destroyer Angel Nevada Barr, Minotaur, $26.99, 9780312614584 10. The Signature of All Things Elizabeth Gilbert, Viking, $28.95, 9780670024858 11. I've Got You Under My Skin Mary Higgins Clark, S&S, $26.99, 9781476749068 12. The King J.R. Ward, NAL, $27.95, 9780451417053 13. Still Life With Bread Crumbs Anna Quindlen, Random House, $26, 9781400065752 14. Ripper Isabel Allende, Harper, $28.99, 9780062291400 15. Bone Deep Randy Wayne White, Putnam Adult, $26.95, 9780399158131
1. Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt Michael Lewis, Norton, $27.95, 9780393244663 2. A Call to Action Jimmy Carter, S&S, $28, 9781476773957 3. Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book Diane Muldrow, Golden Books, $9.99, 9780307977618 4. 10% Happier Dan Harris, It Books, $25.99, 9780062265425 5. Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir Frances Mayes, Crown, $26, 9780307885913 6. Thrive Arianna Huffington, Harmony, $26, 9780804140843 7. David and Goliath Malcolm Gladwell, Little Brown, $29, 9780316204361 8. How Jesus Became God Bart D. Ehrman, HarperOne, $27.99, 9780061778186 9. The Boys in the Boat Daniel James Brown, Viking, $28.95, 9780670025817 10. Grain Brain David Perlmutter, Little Brown, $27, 9780316234801 11. I Am Malala Malala Yousafzai, Little Brown, $26, 9780316322409 12. The Drunken Botanist Amy Stewart, Algonquin, $19.95, 9781616200466 13. The Story of the Jews Simon Schama, Ecco, $39.99, 9780060539184 14. Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand, Random House, $28, 9781400064168 15. The Sixth Extinction Elizabeth Kolbert, Holt, $28, 9780805092998
TRADE PAPERBACK FICTION
1. The Interestings Meg Wolitzer, Riverhead, $17, 9781594632341 2. Me Before You Jojo Moyes, Penguin, $16, 9780143124542 3. Orphan Train Christina Baker Kline, Morrow, $14.99, 9780061950728 4. The Great Gatsby F.Scott Fitzgerald, Scribner, $15, 9781451689433 5. The Light Between Oceans M.L. Stedman, Scribner, $16, 9781451681758 6. Dear Life Alice Munro, Vintage, $15.95, 9780307743725 7. The Other Typist Suzanne Rindell, Berkley, $16, 9780425268421 8. Life After Life Kate Atkinson, Back Bay, $18, 9780316176491 9. Beautiful Ruins Jess Walter, Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780061928178 10. The Aviator's Wife Melanie Benjamin, Bantam, $15, 9780345528681 11. The Flamethrowers Rachel Kushner, Scribner, $17, 9781439142011 12. Where'd You Go, Bernadette M.L. Stedman, Scribner, $16, 9781451681758 13. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena Anthony Marra, Hogarth, $15, 9780770436421 14. The Secret History Donna Tartt, Vintage, $16, 9781400031702 15. The Last Original Wife Donna Tartt, Vintage, $16, 9781400031702
TRADE PAPERBACK NONFICTION
1. The Monuments Men Robert M. Edsel, Back Bay, $17, 9780316240055 2. The Silver Lining: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer Hollye Jacobs, Atria, $29.99, 9781476743714 3. The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South Bruce Levine, Random House, $17, 9780812978728 4. Dance of the Reptiles Carl Hiaasen, Vintage, $15.95, 9780345807021 5. The Plantagenets Dan Jones, Penguin, $18, 9780143124924 6. The Girls of Atomic City Denise Kiernan, Touchstone, $16, 9781451617535 7. Heaven Is for Real Todd Burpo, Thomas Nelson, $16.99, 9780849946158 8. Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal Mary Roach, Norton, $15.95, 9780393348743 9. The Food Lover's Guide to Paris Patricia Wells, Workman, $16.95, 9780761173380 10. Show Your Work! Austin Kleon, Workman, $11.95, 9780761178972 11. My Beloved World Sonia Sotomayor, Vintage, $15.95, 9780345804839 12. The 5 Love Languages Gary Chapman, Northfield, $14.99, 9780802473158 13. The Power of Habit Charles Duhigg, Random House, $16, 9780812981605 14. Pearls Falls Fast Stephan Pastis, Andrews McMeel, $18.99, 9781449446598 15. Quiet Susan Cain, Broadway, $16, 9780307352156
1. A Game of Thrones George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780553593716 2. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee, Grand Central, $7.99, 9780446310789 3. Never Go Back Lee Child, Dell, $9.99, 9780440246329 4. The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger, Little Brown, $6.99, 9780316769488 5. A Feast for Crows George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780553582024 6. A Clash of Kings George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780345535429 7. Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut, Laurel Leaf, $7.99, 9780440180296 8. A Storm of Swords George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780345543981 9. The Name of the Wind Patrick Rothfuss, DAW, $8.99, 9780756404741 10. A Dance With Dragons George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780553582017
1. The Pigeon Needs a Bath! Mo Willems, Disney Press, $16.99, 9781423190875 2. Goodnight Moon Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617 3. Frozen (Little Golden Book) Victoria Saxon, Grace Lee (Illus.), Random House/Disney, $3.99, 9780736430517 4. Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure Kimberly Dean, James Dean, Harper, $9.99, 9780062198679 5. The Day the Crayons Quit Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers (Illus.), Philomel, $17.99, 9780399255373 6. The Berenstain Bears' Easter Parade Mike Berenstain, HarperFestival, $3.99, 9780062075543 7. Oh, the Places You'll Go! Dr. Seuss, Random House, $17.99, 9780679805274 8. The Night Before Easter Natasha Wing, Kathy Couri (Illustrator), Grosset & Dunlap, $3.99, 9780448418735 9. God Gave Us Easter Lisa Tawn Bergren, Laura J. Bryant (Illus.), Waterbrook Press, $10.99, 9780307730725 10. Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak, Harper, $18.99, 9780060254926
1. The Fault in Our Stars John Green, Dutton, $17.99, 9780525478812 2. Looking for Alaska John Green, Speak, $9.99, 9780142402511 3. The Book Thief Markus Zusak, Knopf, $12.99, 9780385754729 4. The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing Sheila Turnage, Kathy Dawson Books, $16.99, 9780803736719 5. Paper Towns John Green, Speak, $9.99, 9780142414934 6. Three Times Lucky Sheila Turnage, Puffin, $7.99, 9780142426050 7. Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures Kate DiCamillo, K.G. Campbell (Illus.), Candlewick, $17.99, 9780763660406 8. Here Comes the Easter Cat Deborah Underwood, Claudia Rueda (Illus.), Dial Press, $16.99, 9780803739390 9. An Abundance of Katherines John Green, Speak, $9.99, 9780142410707 10. The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $12.95, 9780810989955
CHILDREN'S FICTION SERIES TITLES
1. Divergent Veronica Roth, Katherine Tegen Books, $9.99, 9780062289858 2. Insurgent (Divergent, #2) Veronica Roth, Katherine Tegen Books, $17.99, 9780062024046 3. Allegiant (Divergent, #3) Veronica Roth, Katherine Tegen Books, $19.99, 9780062024060 4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $13.95, 9781419711329 5. Big Nate: In the Zone Lincoln Peirce, Harper, $13.99, 9780061996658 6. The Maze Runner James Dashner, Delacorte, $9.99, 9780385737951 7. Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue! (An Origami Yoda Book) Tom Angleberger, Amulet, $13.95, 9781419710520 8. Frozen: A Tale of Two Sisters (Step Into Reading Series) Melissa Lagonegro, Maria Elena Naggi (Illus.), Random House/Disney, $3.99, 9780736431200 9. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Ransom Riggs, Quirk, $10.99, 9781594746031 10. The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner, Book 2) James Dashner, Ember, $9.99, 9780385738767