In which her ladyship, the editor, goes shopping, and encourages her readers to do the same.
December 1, 2013
‘Tis the Season. No doubt most of her ladyship’s readers are not reading her ladyship at all, but instead running hither and yon in search of gifts for friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, secret santas, and not so secret office gift exchange parties.
This season, to make everyone’s life just a little bit easier, her ladyship will be providing a holiday gift guide culled from the catalogs and gift guides sent out by some of the Southern indie bookstores. This week is all about kids, middle grade, and young adult literature. Which, let’s be honest, are the kinds of books we have the most fun buying! Raise your hand if you end up getting copies for yourself sometimes…..yes, that’s right, her ladyship thought as much.
Happy holiday book buying. Remember to read independently!
her ladyship, the editor
Lady Banks' Commonplace Book
Noteworthy poetry and prose from her ladyship's bedside reading stack.
A ruffle of wind came up the hill from the creek and Emma hugged her chest. She hop-scotched to the center of her back yard and turned in a circle. Now she smelled biscuits and turned her eyes toward the kitchen where Uncle Eli’s daughter. Mittie Ann, was making breakfast. The windows of the small building flowed as the wood stove inside it glowed and Emma knew when Mittie Ann opened the oven, little sparks would fly. She let her feet follow the dirt path between the kitchen and back stairs. A low stone wall ran along the perimeter of the house for flower beds and rather than step up and into the house, Emma launched herself onto this elevated path, taking it all along the side of the house parallel with the street and to the front yard, watching her feet, her arms extended straight out at her sides. In a moment, she caught sight of her mother moving across the grass with her red scissors and a flat basket. Emma stepped down, her arms still out.
“Good morning, missy. You’re mighty early. Are you warm enough?” Mama said. “Come. I’m making a nice chrysanthemum bouquet for you.”
The house faced to the south and the sun struck here first, just as now. Emma leaned over the blooms, catching their sharp, oily scent as her mother cut the stems long, each one curved in its cutting and laid them in the basket. They would go in the tall crystal vase at the center of the dining table.
“Quick to put them in water,” Mama said, placing a hand at Emma’s neck. Then she was gone, the rustle of her dress behind her.
--Elaine Neil Orr, A Different Sun (Berkley, 2013) 9780425261309
The books lying open on her ladyship's kitchen counter.
Hot Chocolate Mix
The Aztecs would give our hot chocolate blend a thumbs-up because of its tough of spice an dhint of heat. The cayenne offers a subtle wake-me-up without being blaringly hot.
Makes 4 cups
2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine all 12 ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container for up to 12 months.
Hot Chocolate for Four:
In a large saucepan, heat 2 1/2 cups whole milk and 2 cups half-and-half over medium heat just until steaming. Turn the heat to low and simmer the milk for 6 to 7 minutes; do not let it boil. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 3/4 cup hot chocolate mix until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately, with Vanilla Marshmallows.
--Cheryl and Griffith Day, The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook(Artisan, 2012) 9781579654580
Ideal for bed time reading, this book will appeal to parents and children who love Grandfather Twilight and On the Night That You Were Born. Author, illustrator, and creator of The Black Apple Etsy shop, Emily Martin convinces children to close their eyes and discover who their dream animal might be—and what dream it might take them to. With a perfect nighttime rhyme and gorgeous illustrations, this book is irresistible.
The inspiration for this novel came from several sources. One source is a story my wife told me: when she was a child she and her father used to walk to the baseball field near their home and throw ball during the summer. I thought it was a beautiful image: a father and his daughter on a ball field at dusk in the summer. Wiley Cash Interview
I cannot remember everything, but I remember that stingy moon, remember a sliver of cold in a black sky, thin and useless. You might as well try to light your way with a piece of broken glass, for all the good it was. My flashlight, a relic from the Korean War, had died about eighteen seconds after full dark. The boys in front of me, friends, brothers, and cousins, mostly, were barely better off. They had to shake their hand-me-down batteries every few steps to coerce a last feeble glint of electricity, but I could have shaken mine like a Birmingham Hoochie Koo and still been walking in the dark. Only my brother Sam, who was born grown, who already had sideburns at age thirteen, had a good battery in his light. He was irritating that way. People said the day he was born he just dusted himself off in the hospital and walked home. Rick Bragg on Boys and Coon Dogs
One morning in November, sometime before World War II in the worker's quarters of an old Louisiana sugar cane plantation, a young boy named Sonny wakes up to find his little world falling apart. I don't know who's calling me, he says, but it must be Momma because I'm home. I don't know who it is because I'm still asleep, but it must be Momma. A Long Day Into November by Ernest Gaines
STARS 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.
Read This! Recommended Reading from Southern Indie Holiday Catalogs:Children's, Middle Grade and Young Adult
How to Train a Train Have a little one on your Christmas shopping list who loves trains? This adorably illustrated children’s book is the perfect gift for them! Author Jason Carter Eaton has teamed up with award winning illustrator, John Rocco (Blackout), to create How to Train a Train, where readers will discover everything there is to know about having a “pet” train, from how to catch one, to how to care for it. This book reads as a “how-to-guide” for the little locomotive enthusiasts out there, who would prefer a pet train to a pet dog or cat. The pictures of all the different train types are beautiful and the story is humorous, perhaps the funniest book on trains out there.
Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey Looking for a great bedtime story? Perfect for fans of On the Night That You Were Born, this beautifully illustrated book by Emily Martin, convinces children to close their eyes and discover who their dream animal might be—and what dream it might take them to. This sweet little book turns sleep into an adventure, where kids go on a journey through the stars, with the help of animal guides. With a perfect nighttime rhyme and gorgeous illustrations, this book is irresistible and would make a wonderful Christmas gift!
Madeline and the Old House in Paris You can’t go wrong with a classic Madeline book for a Christmas! For years we enjoyed many books in this series by Ludwig Bemelmans and now his grandson, John Bemelmans Marciano. In the newest addition, Madeline and Pepito find themselves exploring after an attack on their old house in Paris, and ghostly cries lead them there where they find none other than the ghost of Felix de La Morte. It is now up to Madeline and Pepito to help their new ghost friend find his telescope so that he can catch a comet that he’s been waiting to see for hundreds of years. This not-so-scary ghost story is perfect for any fans of the Madeline series!
If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws The perfect Christmas, winter feel, If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws, is a hilarious rendition of the infamous song that brings together a group of furry friends who play and tumble around in the snow. This masterful work, by the same team who brought us the delightful Ten on the Sled, Kim Norman and Liza Woodruff, is not just a read along, but a sing-a-long too! This fun picture book will have your little ones laughing and singing along, as they dream of all the fun they can have in the snow!
Grandma Loves You! Hello Grandma’s! If the title doesn’t give it away, this is the perfect little gift for you to give to your grandkids! In Grandma Loves You!, by author Helen Foster James and illustrator Petra Brown, Grandma Bunny, who has been anxiously waiting the new member of her family, joyously welcomes the new arrival through warm and tender rhyme. Grandma’s touching endearments reflect the sentiments of anyone who has welcomed a new member of the family. In this story, the love that grandparents have for their grandchildren is put front and center, and it even includes space, in the last three pages, dedicated to the child’s name, their photo and a special letter from the grandma to the grandchild. Truly the perfect gift that expresses the love a person has for that special child.
Friends Just in time for Christmas, author and illustrator Eric Carle, the creator of the hit classic Very Hungry Caterpillar, brings us a sweet story about the power of friendship. After a young boy’s best friend moves away, he embarks on an adventure to find her. In this dreamlike story you will find artwork that is unmistakably Carle’s, created with painted tissue papers, as collage elements. Young readers will cheer on the boy as he braves currents, climbs mountains, and dashes through rain before, finally, reuniting with his friend. A story alive with love and perseverance, brightened with vibrant art and Eric Carle's trademark fostering of imagination.
An Otis Christmas Don’t pass up the next holiday classic this Christmas! From the #1 bestselling creator of Otis and the illustrator of The Little Engine that Could, comes this sure-to-be holiday favorite, An Otis Christmas. In this sweet story we find a different Christmas miracle thanks to Otis, the friend you can always count on. This is warm, feel-good Christmas tale that can honestly be read at any time, but is perfect for this season, full of beautiful illustrations and holiday cheer!
Pete the Cat If you’re looking for a fun set to get your kiddos this Christmas, you should definitely check out Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses as well as Pete The Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons! James Dean's picture books are not only New York Times bestsellers, they are also a sure hit with kids, that tell the adventures of Pete, the ‘cool’ cat. In The Magic Sunglasses, Pete is feeling a little sad and it’s up to his friend, Toad, to cheer him up with a pair of magic sunglasses; in this tale Pete learns that happiness has been inside him all along. In the other Pete book, His Four Groovy Buttons, he wears his favorite shirt that includes four different colored buttons. When one of the buttons falls off, he handles it by keep singing along, because the only thing cooler than a four buttoned shirt, is one with three. These precious whimsical tales teach children how to cope with everyday problems with a good attitude and smiles.
The Blessing Cup The Blessing Cup, by Patricia Polacco, is a companion story to the beloved and bestselling classic The Keeping Quilt. This story follows Anna, a young Russian Jewish girl in the early 1900s, whose family lived a hard life with few possessions and in constant fear of the Czar’s soldiers. Their only treasure is a beautiful china tea set, which promises a blessing from anyone who drinks from it. When they leave Russia for America, they bring this tea set with them, which in deed brings many blessings. This tender tribute to the importance of a loving lineage would make the perfect Hanukkah gift, or present to anyone who wants to teach their kids about the bond of love that unites a family throughout the generations.
I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love This widely acclaimed, bestselling children’s book would make a perfect gift for any child! With over 5 million copies sold, Nancy Tillman has created another heartfelt, celebrating the joys of imagination, and the comfort of always knowing that "you are loved." She touches on the subject, that every young one wonders: what would it be like to be different? Yes, every child is special and unique, but at some time or another, every child also loves to dream of being something different. A perfect gift for any occasion, I'd Know You Anywhere, My Love, profoundly reassures a young audience that there is comfort in knowing that, no matter what, they will always be loved.
Dear Santasaurus Looking for a little something to give your kiddos pre-Christmas? Dear Santasaurus, by author Stacy McAnulty and illustrator Jef Kaminsky, is a hilarious story about the countdown to Christmas that is sure to put the holiday spirit in the air. Told through a series of 17 letters written to Santasaurus, with beautiful illustrations, your kids are sure to have fun reading this book with you, and sharing their favorite holiday with a cast of prehistoric characters!
The Mischievians An ‘Elf on the Shelf’sort of book, The Mischievians is a kind of encyclopedia of all things that make mischief, make mayhem, make noise and make you crazy! The creators of the #1New York Timesbestselling and Academy Award–winningThe Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, have brought us yet another hit thatdeals with the everyday child [and sometimes every adult] drama of where’s my other sock and what’s that in my belly button… and no it’s not their fault! It’s the Mischievians, an ancient race of global mischief-makers who do all the things that embarrass you. Readers young and old will get a kick out of this book that answers those simple questions that none of us ever seem to be able to answer… who always moves the remote?
Frog Trouble A Southern young‘n’s Christmas Dream! In this fully illustrated song book and CD, bestselling author Sandra Boynton has put together the works! This set includes music from Nashville’s biggest stars such as Alison Krause, Ben Folds, Dwight Yoakam, Darius Rucke and Brad Paisley, to name a few. If you’re a country music fan or know one, you really shouldn’t miss out on this perfect gift. Not only is the album great and full of original tracks, it also includes a read-along section, sheet music section, and extras like "How to talk like a cowboy" and dance steps to the Alligator Crawl.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore If you’re looking for a holiday gift that truly celebrates the joy and gift of reading, this is the book for you! Bestselling author William Joyce offers another imaginative story that teaches, in today’s world of traditional books, eBooks, and apps, it’s story that we truly celebrate—and this story, no matter how you tell it, begs to be read again and again. In a beautiful collection of illustrations, this story is sure to leave an impression on your child’s heart about the love of reading.
The Snatchabook In this cute whimsical bedtime story, author Helen Docherty and illustrator Thomas Docherty, tell a story about bedtime stories through fable and rhyme. It follows a young rabbit name Eliza, who one night settles down to read a story when a Snatchabook arrives. Shortly after, one by one, all over town, books start disappearing. Eliza comes up with a sweet solution, if the Snatchabook returns the book, everyone in town will take turn reading bedtime stories, which is the only thing the little creature wanted after all. This is a cute little bed time stories about how everyone out there loves a good bedtime story.
Spot the Dot This book is the perfect gift for your tech-savvy kiddo! In Spot the Dot, pop-up master and bestselling children's author David A. Carter adapts his creative app game into an engaging novelty book that plays with COLORS in a fun, hands-on way! With eye-popping, interactive search-and-finds throughout, toddlers and preschoolers will love this colorful adventure as they SPOT THE DOT hidden in lift-the-flaps, turn-wheels, pull-tabs, and a giant pop-up that leaps off the page! The bright, graphic illustrations and vibrant colors are sure to keep kids on the hunt as they turn the pages, lift the flaps, pull the tabs, and discover a world of colors--dot-by-dot. And if you want to seem like an even cooler adult, you can help them download the app on any app friendly device!
The Unwanteds: Island of Fire Islands of Fire is the third book in Lisa McMann’s Unwanted series, and is a great holiday gift for the pre-teen/teen in your life who loves adventure stories! Fans of Percy Jackson, The Beyonders and The False Prince series will love this story, which, has been described as The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter. The story follows the lives of identical twin brothers who live in a society where all thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths. When the two boys are placed into separate categories, we learn the secret behind the Unwanteds is that they aren’t actually put to death, but rather sent away to learn how to cultivate magic. Island of Fire is the 3rd installment of the unfinished series (book 4 will come out September, 2014), so you should consider buying this as a gift set for your kiddo, because this bestselling blockbuster is sure to be devoured over the holiday break!
Fortunately, The Milk At any given moment, life can change and we’re suddenly on an adventure- even a quick trip out for milk can become life altering, especially with Neil Gaiman around! Topping every bestseller list, the Newbery Medalist and bestselling author has teamed up with illustrator Skottie Young, to bring us Fortunately, The Milk, an incredibly imaginative, whirl wind of a tale. You should definitely check this one out for the Holiday’s and find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of breakfast cereal and time travel with pirates, aliens, and wumpires.
Dork Diaries If you’re looking for a great gift set for your middle school gal, you should totally check out Dork Diaries! Now with the release of the 6th book, which has over 8 million copies in print, this series has truly touched the hearts of millions of girls all over the world. Dork Diaries follows 8th grader Nikki Maxwell as she trucks through the dramas of middle school. In this Tales from A Not-So-HappyHeartbreaker, it’s finally time for the girls of Dork Diaries to tackle the subject of love. They’re getting ready for the biggest dance of the year and Nikki is anxiously hoping her crush will ask her to be his date.
Will in Scarlet Need a stocking stuffer for the adventurer at heart? Or how about someone who loves Fairy Tale re-tellings? Then you should check out this rendition of the Robin Hood legend, where we discover the young boy behind the bandit hero’s rise to fame. Brought to us by Matthew Cody, the same author who wrote the hit Super and Powerless, you will find a fast paced story about a band of mischiefs who become heroes.
Ghost Hawk Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper, brings us another tale of adventure and friendship using her famous poetic and descriptive prose. This book, about the friendship of a young Native American and a colonial New England settler, would be a good holiday gift for the YA reader in your life who is a fan of historical fiction.
Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere Michael Vey is an international bestselling series that would be a great addition on any Young Adult fantasy/supernatural booklovers shelf. Battle of the Ampere is the 3rd book of a planned 7 book series, which follows high school student Michael Vey, who is for the most part, your everyday teenager except for suffering from Tourette’s syndrome. However, as it turns out, he is anything but normal, holding special electrical powers. As the story unfolds, he learns that he isn’t the only kid with special powers, and they must all join together to fight terrorism. A fast paced YA book that both teenagers and adults can enjoy, this is a safe bet for a holiday buy!
The Lord of Opium The Lord of Opium is the sequel to the modern classic House of the Scorpion, which won the National Book Award, as well as a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor. The story follows the life of Matt, a clone of the Lord El Patrón. The lord is the only person who doesn’t treat Matt like a monster, but that’s only because the Lord loves himself above everything else and is a terrible, evil ruler. The first book is full of thrills and controversy as Matt has to try and escape the evil grips of his clone master while in The Lord of Opium, Matt finds himself suddenly in the position of ruling over his own country. This book is truly special.
Knowledge Encyclopedia Do you have any curious kiddos on your holiday shopping list? The Knowledge Encyclopedia is a perfect, practical gift that the whole family can enjoy and is definitely worth checking out! Created in conjunction with the Smithsonian, the Knowledge Encyclopedia is not your Mom’s dusty old encyclopedia- it’s full of illustrations that include fascinating facts, maps, timelines, and graphics. The latest CGI imagery and rendered 3D images not only makes the images beautiful, it also makes exploring the wonders of the world fun. It is separated into 6 different categories; space, earth, nature, human body, science & technology, and history & culture, plus a reference section -- a wide range of topics come to life. And it’s presented in a way that makes complex subjects easy to understand- so a perfect resource for kids, whether to help them with homework or to pique their curiosity.
Chomp Carl Hiaasen’s latest book Chomp is a great book for just about anyone. Hiaasen received a Newbery Honor Award for his Children’s book Hoot, which touches on themes of environmental issues, as do all of his MG/YA books. In Chomp, Hiaasen explores the consequences of reality TV and wildlife issues through the life of Whaoo Cray, who lives in a zoo with his father. When money gets tight Whaoo’s father decides to take a job with a reality TV show and the stations egotistical host (think of an over-the-top Steve Erwin type, with a fake Australian accent). This book is funny and a non-stop adventure, which would make a great gift for anyone who both likes humorous books and animals.
Three Times Lucky This debut novel, by Sheila Turnage, is a hilarious, southern, Young Adult thriller that will entertain both kids and adults! Full of wisdom, humor and wonderful characters, it’s not only a Newbery Honor Winner, it an exciting book as well! Based in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in a place where everyone's business is fair game and no secret is sacred. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known. This is a sweet family friendly YA novel, full of hope, friendship and the true meaning of family.
34 Pieces of You 34 Pieces of You, is a page turning mystery that would make a great Christmas gift for YA fans of books like The Fault in Our Stars, Skinny or If I Stay. A bit on the heavier side, the book is about a girl, Ellie, who dies from an overdose and how it affects her 3 best friends afterward. Ellie was a daring, charismatic, broken young girl and after she dies her best friends find a box with 34 clues, 34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed, which hold the secrets of a brief and painful life. This book sheds light into the, often hidden, struggles of a teenager’s life. It does a good job of showing how important it is for friends to pay attention and how important it is to take certain things seriously. It also shows how dangerous drugs can be, and is also an entertaining book that has been well received within the YA genre.
A Million Suns Got any sci-fi, fantasy readers on your Christmas list? If so, you really have to check out the Across the Universe trilogy, by Beth Revis. This is a timeless space story with the works; love, betrayal, family, a quest to save lives- and it is sure to be adored by any fantasy lover who hasn’t stumbled upon the series yet! The three books in this trilogy have all been published (as of earlier this year) and follows the life of Seventeen-year-old Amy. Amy and her parents have been frozen and are riding as cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed, on their way to a new planet which is far away (like three hundred years in the future, far). However, when her frozen slumber comes to an end fifty years too soon, Amy is thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Fathomless Fathomless is part of Jackson Pearce’s shelf of fairy tale retellings, and is one of her best works so far. A modern day spin on the Little Mermaid, this book would be a great gift for any fan of the mega-popular YA genre right now. Here we’ve got fantasy/fable creatures, supernatural gifts and of course a bit of love, making it the perfect combination for our Twilight, Vampire Academy (etc.) fans! This book has already sold millions of copies and is a safe bet if you’re looking for an ‘under the tree’, special read! If this book sounds right for someone on your gift list, you should consider buying them a Fairytale Retellings set, which includes three other novels based on the classic stories, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, and The Snow Queen.
Spirit Animals If you have a Harry Potter or Percy Jackson fan on your Christmas list this year, you should consider snagging a copy of Wild Born, which is part of the Spirit Animals series. This series has a unique concept in that each book will be written by different bestselling authors. The first book, and currently the only one that has been released, is written by Brandon Mull, one of the greatest imaginations in YA and MG literature today! Spirit Animals is set in the world of Erdas, where children go through a coming-of-age ritual to determine if they have a “spirit animal,” which represents a bond between human and beast that bestows each with great power. The story centers on four children from different cultures who undergo the ritual and discover they have been chosen for a greater destiny. The next book is written by another great and hugely famous author, Maggie Stiefvater.
Meet Jeff High, author of More Things in Heaven and Earth
After growing up on a farm in rural Tennessee, Jeff High attained degrees in literature and nursing. He is the three-time winner, in fiction and poetry, of an annual writing contest held by Vanderbilt Medical Center. He lived in Nashville for many years, and throughout the country as a travel nurse, before returning to his original hometown, near where he now works as an operating room RN in open-heart surgery.
His first novel, More Things in Heaven and Earth, is also the first in a new series set in the fictional Watervalley, Tennessee.
As an ambitious young doctor with a penchant for research, Luke Bradford never wanted to set up practice in a remote rural town. But to pay back his student loans and to fulfill a promise from his past, he heads for Watervalley, Tennessee—and immediately stumbles into one disaster after another. Will he be labeled the town idiot before he’s even introduced as the new doctor?
Very quickly he faces some big challenges—from resuscitating a three-hundred-pound farmer who goes into cardiac arrest to not getting shot by a local misanthrope for trespassing. He expects the people of Watervalley to be simple, but finds his relationships with them are complicated, whether he’s interacting with his bossy but devout housekeeper, the attractive schoolteacher he consistently alienates, or the mysterious kid next door who climbs trees while wearing a bike helmet.
When a baffling flu epidemic hits Watervalley, Luke faces his ultimate test. Whether the community embraces him or not, it’s his responsibility to save them. And he’ll soon discover that while living in a small town may not be what he wants, it may be just what he needs…
Favorite book as a child? Treasure Island! I mean, come on, who doesn’t love Robert Louis Stevenson.
What are you reading right now? Fingal O’Reilly, Irish Country Doctor, by Patrick Taylor. We both write about doctor’s in a small town and have become good friends.
Why independent bookstores matter? Because even imaginary places like Watervalley, Tennessee need bookstores with imagination.
Favorite part of writing a book? Writing words that genuinely make you laugh and unexpectedly make you cry.
Least favorite part of writing a book? Knowing when you have made it the best it can be. I am a tormented rewriter, constantly, continuously, searching for the perfect sentence.
Are you working on anything new? Yes, the sequel to “More Things in Heaven and Earth,” called “Each Shining Hour.”
Comment on the writing life... At the end of the day, it’s just work. It requires discipline, focus, tenacity. But if you love it… it can be oh so wonderful work!
Hardest part of the creation to publication experience? There’s a lot of waiting the process… waiting for edits, waiting for pub dates, waiting sales info, …waiting for this sentence to end.
Why do you write? Because I tried being other things like, you know, a ninja, cowboy, test pilot, neurosurgeon… all boring. Writing is the real challenge.
When did you know you were a writer? Without a doubt… when I was fifteen or sixteen. That was forty years ago. Okay, I’m kind of a procrastinator.
1. Sycamore Row John Grisham, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385537131 2. The Goldfinch Donna Tartt, Little Brown, $30, 9780316055437 3. Aimless Love Billy Collins, Random House, $26, 9780679644057 4. King and Maxwell David Baldacci, Grand Central, $28, 9781455521319 5. The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion Fannie Flagg, Random House, $27, 9781400065943 6. Guests on Earth Lee Smith, Shannon Ravenel Books, $25.95, 9781616202538 7. The Valley of Amazement Amy Tan, Ecco, $29.99, 9780062107312 8. Someone Else's Love Story Joshilyn Jackson, Morrow, $26.99, 9780062105653 9. The First Phone Call From Heaven Mitch Albom, Harper, $24.99, 9780062294371 10. Takedown Twenty Janet Evanovich, Bantam, $28, 9780345542885 11. The Signature of All Things Elizabeth Gilbert, Viking, $28.95, 9780670024858 12. Doctor Sleep Stephen King, Scribner, $30, 9781476727653 13. The Husband's Secret Liane Moriarty, Amy Einhorn Books, $25.95, 9780399159343 14. Dog Songs Mary Oliver, Penguin Press, $26.95, 9781594204784 15. And the Mountains Echoed Khaled Hosseini, Riverhead, $28.95, 9781594631764
1. Things That Matter Charles Krauthammer, Crown Forum, $28, 9780385349178 2. The Death of Santini Pat Conroy, Nan A. Talese, $28.95, 9780385530903 3. The Bully Pulpit Doris Kearns Goodwin, S&S, $40, 9781416547860 4. David and Goliath Malcolm Gladwell, Little Brown, $29, 9780316204361 5. The Southerner's Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life Garden & Gun Magazine, HarperWave, $27.99, 9780062242389 6. Killing Jesus Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard, Holt, $28, 9780805098549 7. This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage Ann Patchett, Harper, $27.99, 9780062236678 8. George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution Brian Kilmeade, Don Yaeger, Sentinel, $27.95, 9781595231031 9. Stitches Anne Lamott, Riverhead, $17.95, 9781594632587 10. Zealot Reza Aslan, Random House, $27, 9781400069224 11. One Summer: America, 1927 Bill Bryson, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780767919401 12. I Am Malala Malala Yousafzai, Little Brown, $26, 9780316322409 13. Cooking From the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way John Besh, Andrews McMeel, $40, 9781449430566 14. Double Down Mark Halperin, John Heilemann, Penguin Press, $29.95, 9781594204401 15. Grain Brain David Perlmutter, Little Brown, $27, 9780316234801
TRADE PAPERBACK FICTION
1. Dear Life Alice Munro, Vintage, $15.95, 9780307743725 2. Me Before You Jojo Moyes, Penguin, $16, 9780143124542 3. Where'd You Go, Bernadette Maria Semple, Back Bay, $14.99, 9780316204262 4. The Dinner Herman Koch, Hogarth, $14, 9780385346856 5. The Round House Louise Erdrich, Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780062065254 6. The Orphan Master's Son Adam Johnson, Random House, $15, 9780812982626 7. The Light Between Oceans M.L. Stedman, Scribner, $16, 9781451681758 8. This Is How You Lose Her Junot Diaz, Riverhead, $16, 9781594631771 9. The Art Forger B.A. Shapiro, Algonquin, $14.95, 9781616203160 10. The House Girl Tara Conklin, Morrow, $14.99, 9780062207517 11. Flight Behavior Barbara Kingsolver, Harper Perennial, $16.99, 9780062124272 12. Life After Life Jill McCorkle, Shannon Ravenel Books, $14.95, 9781616203221 13. Beautiful Ruins Jess Walter, Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780061928178 14. The Great Gatsby F.Scott Fitzgerald, Scribner, $15, 9781451689433 15. A Land More Kind Than Home Wiley Cash, Morrow, $14.99, 9780062088239
TRADE PAPERBACK NONFICTION
1. Unlikely Loves Jennifer S. Holland, Workman, $13.95, 9780761174424 2. Hyperbole and a Half Allie Brosh, Touchstone, $17.99, 9781451666175 3. Proof of Heaven Eben Alexander, M.D., S&S, $15.99, 9781451695199 4. The Old Farmer's Almanac 2014 Old Farmer's Almanac, $7.95, 9781571986030 5. Rude Bitches Make Me Tired Celia Rivenbark, Griffin, $14.99, 9781250029232 6. Think Happy, Be Happy: Art, Inspiration, Joy Workman, $8.95, 9780761177579 7. 12 Years a Slave Solomon Northup, Penguin, $16, 9780143125419 8. Dog Shaming Pascale Lemire, Three Rivers Press, $15, 9780385349345 9. How Music Works David Byrne, McSweeney's, $20, 9781938073533 10. Quiet Susan Cain, Broadway, $16, 9780307352156 11. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power Jon Meacham, Random House, $20, 9780812979480 12. F in Exams Richard Benson, Chronicle, $9.95, 9780811878319 13. Stories of Old Currituck Outer Banks Travis Morris, History Press, $19.99, 9781626193161 14. Gift From the Sea Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Pantheon, $9.95, 9780679732419 15. Orange Is the New Black Piper Kerman, Spiegel & Grau, $16, 9780812986181
1. A Dance With Dragons George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780553582017 2. Ender's Game Orson Scott Card, Tor, $7.99, 9780765370624 3. Speaker for the Dead Orson Scott Card, Tor, $7.99, 9780812550757 4. A Game of Thrones George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780553593716 5. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee, Grand Central, $7.99, 9780446310789 6. A Feast for Crows George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780553582024 7. A Clash of Kings George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780345535429 8. The Racketeer John Grisham, Dell, $9.99, 9780345530578 9. A Storm of Swords George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780345543981 10. 1984 George Orwell, Signet, $9.99, 9780451524935
1. The Day the Crayons Quit Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers (Illus.), Philomel, $17.99, 9780399255373 2. Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving James Dean, Kimberly Dean, HarperFestival, $6.99, 9780062198693 3. Goodnight Moon Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617 4. An Otis Christmas Loren Long, Philomel, $17.99, 9780399163951 5. Little Santa Jon Agee, Dial, $17.99, 9780803739062 6. The Elf on the Shelf Carol Abersoldt, Coe Steinwart (Illus.), CCA and B, $20, 9780976990703 7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas Dr. Seuss, Random House, $15, 9780394800790 8. Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses James Dean, Kimberly Dean, Harper, $17.99, 9780062275561 9. Ladybug Girl and the Big Snow Jacky Davis, David Soman (Illus.), Dial, $17.99, 9780803735835 10. Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak, Harper, $18.95, 9780060254926
1. The Book Thief Markus Zusak, Knopf, $12.99, 9780385754729 2. The Fault in Our Stars John Green, Dutton, $17.99, 9780525478812 3. Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims Rush Limbaugh, Threshold Editions, $19.99, 9781476755861 4. Frog Trouble . . . and Eleven Other Pretty Serious Songs Sandra Boynton, Workman, $16.95, 9780761171768 5. Fortunately, the Milk Neil Gaiman, Skottie Young (Illus.), Harper, $14.99, 9780062224071 6. Looking for Alaska John Green, Speak, $9.99, 9780142402511 7. The One and Only Ivan Katherine Applegate, Patricia Castelao (Illus.), Harper, $16.99, 9780061992254 8. Hatchet Gary Paulsen, Aladdin, $6.99, 9781416936473 9. Paper Towns John Green, Speak, $9.99, 9780142414934 10. Wonder R.J. Palacio, Knopf, $15.99, 9780375869020
CHILDREN'S FICTION SERIES TITLES
1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $13.95, 9781419711329 2. Divergent Veronica Roth, Katherine Tegen Books, $9.99, 9780062024039 3. The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, Book Four) Rick Riordan, Hyperion, $19.99, 9781423146728 4. Insurgent (Divergent, #2) Veronica Roth, Katherine Tegen Books, $17.99, 9780062024046 5. Allegiant (Divergent, #3) Veronica Roth, Katherine Tegen Books, $19.99, 9780062024060 6. Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $12.99, 9780545586177 7. Mockingjay (The Final Book of the Hunger Games) Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $18.99, 9780439023511 8. The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $12.99, 9780545425117 9. Royal Ranger (Ranger's Apprentice) John Flanagan, Philomel, $18.99, 9780399163609 10. When Did You See Her Last? (All the Wrong Questions) Lemony Snicket, Seth (Illus.), Little Brown, $16, 9780316123051