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{Treat language like it is a big lush banquet.}

In which Mr. Pat Conroy does not cackle with laughter, Mr. Jack Hatfield claims he is the great great grandson of the Devil himself, and Ms. Julia Franks spies something nasty in the . . . refrigerator.

May 8, 2016

In This Issue

Lady Banks' Commonplace Book | Read This! | The Pat Conroy Prize | Okra Picks | Author 2 Author | The Southern Bookstore | Book and Author Gossip | One Book, One South | Special to the Southern List | Southern Indie Bestsellers | Event Calendar


Dearest Readers,

Sometimes, her ladyship, the editor, rather resents the fact that she can only read one book at a time. She wishes for three sets of eyes and three pairs of hands, and possibly three different brains, so that she may read three books at the same time or perhaps three times as many books. 

The Birds of OpulenceThis week, her ladyship has been vacillating between the current Okra Pick, Over the Plain Houses, Shakespeare's Henry V, and Crystal Wilkinson's new novel, The Birds of Opulence. You can perceive her dilemma. Shakespeare, at least, could be enjoyed on audio -- part of the Arkangel production that is her ladyship's constant companion while she works in her garden. Indeed, the association between Shakespeare and gardening is at this point so strong within her that she misses the smell of sun on the dirt when she happens to be watching a production on television. It is possible that at this point her ladyship can only enjoy Shakespeare productions out of doors. 

But Over the Plain Houses and The Birds of Opulence vied with each other for her ladyship's attention the rest of the week. "Imagine a tree, a bird in the tree, the hills the creek, a possum, the dog chasing the possum. Imagine yourself a woman who gathers stories in her apron," begins Wilkinson's novel.

The Scribe"It was the week before Easter when the lady agent first showed up to church. When the gray coupe rolled past, the first thing Irenie Lambey noticed wasn't that a woman was driving but that a sculpted angel leapt straight out from the grill, her head raised and her back arched, silvery winds sweeping behind her as if she were about to take flight,"  is how Julia Franks starts her story.

It is always such a pleasure to find a book that is so good one "can't put it down," as readers are wont to say. But what to do when one has two such books? Or three? Or four?

Her ladyship solved the problem this week by spending the time reading she otherwise would have spent vacuuming. And putting away the laundry. She worries for the state of her floors and dreads the consequences of such a tactic as a long term solution. But what can be done? She has two books she can't put down. Her hands, and her brain, are full.

Read Independently! And shop local. And eat fresh fruit.

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.

Over the Plain HousesIt was the week before Easter when the lady agent first showed up to church. When the gray coupe rolled past, the first thing Irenie Lambey noticed wasn't that a woman was driving but that a sculpted angel leapt straight out from the grill, her head raised and her back arched, silvery winds sweeping behind her as if she were about to take flight.

Later, after the agent and her husband were dead and the Department of Agriculture had closed its extension office for good, there were those who held out that her first day had been sometime in the summer.

But Irenie knew different. She know on account of the birds. It was moment in the year when winter still tightened the earth but spring snuck in from overhead. Robins and warblers and purple martins were back, and the flax birds had switched out their gray feathers for yellow. The trunks of the sassafras and sourwood ran wet and black with sap, and the fingers of the service trees had swelled but not budded. It had to be the Last Supper service because her sister wore her blue muslin, and there were those who turned out for the first time since the fall, and the whole fray about how close was too close to park the automobiles to the horses and mules started up all over again.

And Irenie Lambey felt alive, unfurled.

--Julia Franks, Over the Plain Houses (Hub City Press, 2016) 9781938235214


The Birds of OpulenceImagine a tree, a bird in the tree, the hills, the creek, a possum, the dog chasing the possum. Imagine yourself a woman who gathers stories in her apron.

The sun peeped through the silver maples the day I was born. In the back field, one of Old Man Lucien's beagles corners a possum. The dog snarled, pulled back on her haunches, and bit the possum's neck and hindquarters. The possum, bloody and scared, caught in the first streams of daylight, played dead. Up on the knob, mist burned off quickly into another hot day.

Crystal Wilkinson, The Birds of Opulence, (University Press of Kentucky, 2016) 9780813166919

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Read This!

Recommended reading from Southern Indie Booksellers

From Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, NC

The Rip-OffThe Rip-Off by Jim Thompson

I’m not sure why I’m compelled to read Jim Thompson. Perhaps I’m granted a look inside a world I hope never to visit: like Disneyworld, only in a twisted mirror of psychosis and violence. There’s no use pretending it doesn’t exist, and Thompson is my favorite explorer of the criminal mind. - Brian

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power And Culture In The Digital Age by Astra Taylor

The People's Platform

Astra Taylor presents an astute and readable assessment of our current technological age with a special focus on the struggle for power on the internet and the challenges faced specifically by artist or “content creators.” The People’s Platform challenges us to rethink the utopian fantasies we’ve been taught about the democracy and power of the internet, providing clear data and reasoned arguments in the slow battle to regain some element of creativity online. - Steve


From Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN

Where the Light Gets in: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again by Kimberly Williams-Paisley (foreword by Michael J. Fox)

Where the Light Gets InDementia is a grim subject, but Williams-Paisley is already a master storyteller. Her book pulled me in immediately. I cannot wait to read more of her work. – Sissy Gardner 

Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve by Tom Bissell

Tom Bissell’s interests are a map with no edges — he’s written cogently on topics ranging from Werner Herzog to Grand Theft Auto to Tommy Wiseau to the creative process itself. In Apostle, his curiosity shifts to the lives and legends of Jesus’ most beloved followers. If you want a brilliant, secular exploration of these men from a respectful (and humorous) layman, this is the book for you. – Tristan Charles 

The Big Red Book of Modern Chinese Literature: Writings from the Mainland in the Long Twentieth Century by Yunte Huang (editor)

The Big Red Book of Modern Chinese LiteratureFilled with both poetry and prose, this book is a literary testament to China’s century of crisis, as well as to the resurgence of creativity and current moment of promise. – Nathan Spoon 

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

The Paper MenagerieI don’t have the words to do justice to Ken Liu’s beautiful story collection, so I’ll let NPR’s Amal El-Mohtar take the reins on this one: “I will be honest, and blunt, because this is a book that has scoured me of language and insight and left itself rattling around inside the shell of me. I have never been so moved by a collection of short fiction.” – Lindsay Lynch 

More bookseller recommendations

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Ask Kate

Ask Kate

Raymie NightingaleThis spring, Kate DiCamillo's new book, Raymie Nightingale, was chosen by Southern Independent Booksellers as their inaugural One Book, One South, Jr pick. For the past month booksellers have been coordinating with teachers and librarians in their communities to read Raymie Nightingale to classes and at storytimes. Then they had kids write down questions they'd like to ask the author. Earlier this month, Kate answered their questions during a Facebook Q&A.

As we all know, kids ask excellent questions, so for the next couple weeks we're going to pass along some of them, along with Kate's answers.

We loved your use of contrasts and contradictions. For example, Louisiana felt heavy but light. Mrs. Sylvester made everything sound ridiculous, yet possible. Can you tell us more about why you used all the contrasts and contradictions? – Jasmine

Kate: I didn’t know that I was using contrasts and contradictions!  I can see it when you point it out, but I did it unwittingly.

I'm wondering does the candy corn have something to do with the three girls in the story? – Erick

Kate: Mostly, it has to do with the fact that I love candy corn.  It cheers me up.

Who is your favorite character in this book? – Jay

Kate: Oh boy.  That’s a toughie.  Raymie is the character who is the most like me.  So . . . Raymie?

Why did you put Archie in there? – Josie

Kate: Because a good cat can save the day.

How many books have you written? – Brynn

Kate: Raymie is the 20th.  And I am working on 4 more.

Okra Picks

Over the Plain HousesThis novel is so descriptive that the words jump off the page into your mind.  You can feel the nerves, the tension, the anxiousness that fills this story.  

It’s 1939, and the federal government has sent USDA agent Virginia Furman into the North Carolina mountains to instruct families on modernizing their homes and farms. There she meets farm wife Irenie Lambey, who is immediately drawn to the lady agent’s self-possession. Already, cracks are emerging in Irenie’s fragile marriage to Brodis, an ex-logger turned fundamentalist preacher: She has taken to night ramblings through the woods to escape her husband’s bed, storing strange keepsakes in a mountain cavern. To Brodis, these are all the signs that Irenie—tiptoeing through the dark in her billowing white nightshirt—is practicing black magic.

When Irenie slips back into bed with a kind of supernatural stealth, Brodis senses that a certain evil has entered his life, linked to the lady agent, or perhaps to other, more sinister forces.

Working in the stylistic terrain of Amy Greene and Bonnie Jo Campbell, this mesmerizing debut by Julia Franks is the story of a woman intrigued by the possibility of change, escape, and reproductive choice—stalked by a Bible-haunted man who fears his government and stakes his integrity upon an older way of life. As Brodis chases his demons, he brings about a final act of violence that shakes the entire valley. In this spellbinding Southern story, Franks bares the myths and mysteries that modernity can’t quite dispel.


What Julia Franks is Reading:

Perhaps the books that have really changed my life are children’s books, mostly because I read them at a more impressionable age. The one that comes to mind is Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins. It’s based upon the true story of a Kodiak girl accidentally left behind on an island by her tribe. Because she’s alone, she must learn every role in the tribe: hunter, gather, warrior, healer. And what she realizes is that the only thing that was keeping her from these roles before was tradition. Now that she has to learn these skills, she can and she does. She figures out how to not just to hunt, but to make her own weapons, to cure her own meat. That made a big impression on me as a kid. But that novel is also a story of great loneliness. This girl grew into a woman and was self-sufficient for decades, alone on her beautiful island. She was brave and skilled, but wouldn’t it have been better if she could have been that way in a community, with other people? And could she have been that way in her community, with other people?

More recently, I have loved Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. It’s sort of the opposite kind of story: how not to live. In fact, it’s kind Sartre’s No Exit redux. Both Ishiguro and Sartre repeat the same themes, of characters living the same tiny trapped lives, mainly out of fear.

But if I had to pick one writer, it would be Walt Whitman. The books I love most are ones that enlarge and expand. I’m attracted to boldness in its various forms, but especially in language. I can’t resist those expansive Whitmanesque strokes, his wide open syntax. Likewise I love writers who treat language as a big lush banquet: Toni Morrison and Karen Russell and Junot Diaz and Marquez and McCarthy. The list goes on.

I just read Paul Harding’s Tinkers, and the minute I finished it, I started it again. It’s funny, the title and subject matter of that book suggest minutiae, but he uses language in big and exciting ways.

Julia Franks has roots in the Appalachian Mountains and has spent years kayaking the rivers and creeks of Tennessee, North Carolina, and West Virginia. She lives in Atlanta, where she teaches literature and runs, a web service that fosters free-choice reading in the classroom. Her novel, Among the Plain Houses (Hub City Press) was released in May, 2016 and is a SIBA Spring Okra Pick.Okra Picks

The Southern Bookstore: Finding the Road Not Taken with Julia Franks

I don’t like being channeled—which is what happens to us in the digitized age. Our past behavior channels the new information we’re exposed to. Online booksellers have got this down to a science. All those nifty algorithms that tell us “If we liked this, then we’ll like that,” are channeling us. Sometimes I imagine these rutted grooves in cyberspace, worn deeper and deeper and funneling us more and more into the paths we’ve already taken.  (I’ll resist the urge to quote Robert Frost here.). And it’s not just buying books. It’s news too. If you tend to look at news sites featuring women’s issues, then your browsers and your advertisers will give you more of the same.

This is the way lots of retail works too, of course. If you’ve ever bought, say, clogs online, well guess what? Here come more advertisements for more clogs. And large bookstores work the same way. If stories about teens dying of cancer were popular last year, then let’s buy lots and lots more of them. As a purveyor of school kids’ literature, I’m constantly befuddled by the number of series books about, say, dragons, repeating the same basic story over and over again.

And of course our brains work in “channels” too. We tend to reinforce the same neuro-pathways we’ve already created. We tend to notice information that fits with what we already believe. Data that doesn’t fit easily into our neural pathways often doesn’t even register. (Again, I’m resisting the urge to quote Frost.)

But my sense—my hope—is that indie bookstores are countering this trend. They’re not using the same data analytics. Instead you have real live people reading real live books and making real live decisions about them. Walk into an indie bookstore and you’ll see shelves populated with books based upon judgment calls and personal taste. I’m lucky enough to have three in my Atlanta neighborhood. One, A Capella, is going to be stacked chest-high with glossy literary hardbacks that I’ll pick up and heft in my hand and wish I’d written. Down the street, Charis, is going to offer lots of titles that empower women. And if I want someone to recommend to me the hottest kids books, I’m going to head to the Little Shop of Stories.

None have an algorithm to tell you in advance what you will like. You have to go inside. You have to pick up the books, hold them in your hands and riffle through the pages. You might find a different road. It may not make all the difference, but it will make some.

JULIA FRANKS has roots in the Appalachian Mountains and has spent years kayaking the rivers and creeks of Tennessee, North Carolina, and West Virginia. She lives in Atlanta, where she teaches literature and runs, a web service that fosters free-choice reading in the classroom. Her novel, Among the Plain Houses (Hub City Press) was released in May, 2016 and is a SIBA Spring Okra Pick.

The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize:
The Short List

The 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Finalists Announced

(Columbia, SC) – The votes are in! Southern indie booksellers have chosen the finalists for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. Formerly known as the SIBA Book Award, the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize features an expanded list of categories – adding Mystery, Thriller, Literary, and History & Life Stories to the traditional categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Cooking, Children’s and Young Adult.

Finalists were chosen by southern independent booksellers from the long list ballot. The finalist titles will be sent to juried panels of booksellers, who will then decide on the winners in each category. Winners will be announced on July 4, “Independents Day.”

2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Finalists

Above the Waterfall Welcome to Braggsville New and Improved Romie Futch Calloustown
ABOVE THE WATERFALL | Ron Rash | Ecco Press | 9780062349316
WELCOME TO BRAGGSVILLE | T. Geronimo Johnson | William Morrow & Company | 9780062302120
THE NEW & IMPROVED ROMIE FUTCH | Julia Elliott | Tin House Books | 9781941040157
CALLOUSTOWN | George Singleton | Dzanc Books | 9781938103162

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Author 2 Author: SP Rankin talks to Crystal Wilkinson

History. Community. Family. Place. Memory. The thousand other fragile threads connecting us all.

Each is a strand woven throughout Lexington, Kentucky writer Crystal Wilkinson's work--both as a writer and as an independent bookstore owner. The striking cover of her latest book, The Birds of Opulence, published by the University Press of Kentucky in March 2016, features an image of the sankofa symbol. In the Twi language of Ghana, "sankofa" translates to "go back and get it." The Asante Adinkra sankofa symbol of a bird with its head turned to take an egg from its back carries the same meaning, and is often associated with a proverb translated to mean "It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten." Designed and created by the artist Ron Davis (also Wilkinson's life and business partner) the sankofa bird on the novel's cover is an apt symbol for Wilkinson's creative and connected work as a writer and business owner.

Crystal Wilkinson was born in Ohio, but Kentucky became home when, as an infant, she went to live with her grandparents on their seventy-acre farm in Casey County. Her grandfather, a tobacco farmer, and her grandmother, the first writer she knew, provided the freedom and encouragement to foster her artistic talent. The love and regard she carries for the people as well as the land of Appalachia is evident throughout her work. Her childhood and upbringing pervade her previous story collections, Blackberries, Blackberries, winner of the 2002 Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature, and Water Street, a finalist for both the UK’s Orange Prize for Fiction and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. The Birds of Opulence is her first novel. Wilkinson has served on the faculty of several writing programs, and is on the faculty and was recently the Appalachian Writer-in-Residence at Berea College. She was the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the Kentucky Arts Council, the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the recipient of the 2008 Denny Plattner Award in Poetry from Appalachian Heritage, and the Sallie Bingham Award from the Kentucky Foundation for Women for the promotion of feminist artist expression.

Wilkinson has also joined with fellow regional writers and poets to adopt the term "Affrilachian." Coined by Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker in the early 1990s, the term highlights the prevalent yet under-represented presence of those of African descent throughout the mountain South. The Birds of Opulence focuses on generations of the Goode/Brown family, founders of an African-American community in the Kentucky mountains. As stories of family and community intertwine and connect over decades, Wilkinson presents deeply imagined characters and an expansive, yet intimate setting. Like the sankofa bird on the novel's cover, her characters constantly return to the past to bring meaning to the present and future.

Alongside her work as a writer and teacher, Crystal Wilkinson co-owns and manages Wild Fig Books +Coffee in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband, Ron Davis. After a previous incarnation of the store closed in 2014, Wilkinson and Davis re-tooled their original business model, moved to a bustling, transitional Lexington neighborhood and started afresh. Staffed by family and friends and supported by Lexington's active writing community, the new Wild Fig offers an eclectic, inspired collection of books for sale, as well as boutique items with a literary bent. A cafe serving high-end coffees and teas and fresh, locally-sourced food transforms the space into a warm gathering spot for customers, writers, neighbors, and friends.

In a recent blog post, Wilkinson discusses the challenges of opening a new business in an older neighborhood, and honoring a place's history while also acting as an agent of change. She writes, "I read a New York Times article that declared 'Print is Far From Dead.' It discussed the comeback of the book and then cautiously advised that 'the world is changing too quickly to declare that the digital tide is waning.' That's how I would describe us cautiously optimistic that this new model will work and that we will be planning readings, community discussions, collaborations that will benefit neighbors and community. That people will be gathered around tables in our small cafe for years to come with their eyes glued to a good book. That we can be successful business owners and provide good goods and services around the world of books. This is what we love. We love what's happening here. We hope you will fall in love with our vision too."

Once again, the image of the sankofa bird comes to mind, turning back to find the past and carry it forward. As Wilkinson says, "You have to know where you came from to know where you're going."


Interview with Crystal Wilkinson

How did these characters and story come to you? And how did they lead you to this book?

The characters (Mona and Yolanda) were from a previous book I wrote called Water Street. Those characters grabbed onto me and wouldn't let go. I had been trying to write about my mother, or sort of on the legacy of the crazy woman's daughter, and trying to write a nonfiction book. Meanwhile I was looking into these characters more deeply that were in Water Street. I started exploring their backgrounds and their ancestry, and this book bubbled up from there. This book is not autobiographical in any way, but there is a tiny thread of the legacy of the crazy woman's daughter and how that propels forward in talking about communal memory, ancestral memory.

It's interesting to hear that the story sprang from characters and they led to uncovering the history/community, and not the other way around. And there are so many character strands to follow that could lead to their own stories.

I think this book will be my Yoknapatawpha, or my version of that or Wendell Berry's town of Port William. I told my agent I know what happens a generation before this. I don't know if you remember the section on Old Hezekiah and the founding--I have a whole section of about 40-50 pages on those folks--pre-slavery and post-slavery ancestors too, but my agent said, "No. You're just writing yourself into some more procrastination."

They are still living and I feel I still have a lot to discover in those characters, and I plan to do it. I see a number of those characters having their own individual stories with the communal aspects in the background and then the ancestors coming in and having their own stories too.

That sense of a deep history so tied to a particular place is very powerful.

I was thinking of Berry and Faulkner and other writers who have set their stories about characters in the same community. Even some of the secondary characters have their own stories which I know glimpses of.

I know exploring the "Appalachian voice"--in all its complexity and diversity--is important to you, and I wondered if that was an intent while you were writing the novel: to expand what people think of as a typical Appalachian voice.

The Appalachian writer Linda Scott DeRosier who wrote the book Creeker said in a lecture that she had never seen anyone fuse Appalachian dialect and African-American dialect like I had, and I mean that's just where I'm from. I didn't consider myself expanding on that--just exposing another layer of Appalachia that might continue to be invisible. I have, and I think I'll continue to do that because that is a part of my own story, my own heritage.

The Birds of Opulence refers to the women, and bird imagery is everywhere in the book--you just never knew when something was going to pop off the page. But in the midst of all the bird imagery, there's the intense scene of Lucy when she almost drowns, and after she's rescued people call her "Little Fish." Did you want to contrast that with the bird imagery?

Well, I know that I wanted to contrast Lucy and it was a conscious choice to make her stand out from the other characters.

And to continue with talking about birds--one of the aspects of the bird is the point of view. I really worked on controlling the omniscient point of view--was it God?--but then I realized even the point of view is a bird. The point of view can fly over the town, or then fly down close to or inside a character. And then fly back up to give some overall commentary.

My husband designed the cover for the book. The sankofa bird is an Adinkra symbol that means you have to know where you came from to know where you're going. Which is also a theme throughout the book, so that's another use of birds. The literal birds and the metaphorical birds played a big role and when it came to Lucy, I wanted something to be different about her. She almost drowned, and with her fixation on breathing and not breathing, life and death were all mixed in with her. I had to fight the urge to make her a primary character. As I did a lot of them! There were so many of them! I had to fight for a while for it not to be Minnie Mae's story.

In a story about primarily women characters, the men characters were also so well-drawn. And it was such a strong choice that in the end the standard-bearer for the family and all these powerful women was Joe.

I thought the only way for things to be carried forward with a dying community, as a lot of these Appalachian communities are, that it would be an outsider who would carry on the tradition and their names, and have their names on his tongue.

This seems like the place to turn to your store, Wild Fig Books + Coffee in Lexington. When you say you have to know where you've been to know where you're going, that makes me think of your business and its connection to its community. You sound like such a busy writer and teacher, how do you integrate that with being a busy, connected business owner?

It's really difficult, but I do it for now! I'm juggling all these things and trying to keep up with it all. Ron is really the one who runs the store, and I'm there a lot there too. My daughter is the cafe manager, and we have two other people who work for us, primarily in the kitchen. We have lots of help from the writing community, and the reading community and that's how we keep that going. A writing friend of mine, Savannah Sipple, helps with events and we have some great volunteer people to help us with things, and it's been pretty amazing.

Wild Fig is located in a neighborhood that is the site of a lot of renewed interest and gentrification, and in a house with its own history. You wrote in a blog post about the inherent tension in that process--in wanting to bring a place back to life, but also realizing that it's complicated. The post is from several months ago--is it an evolving process?

It continues to be a struggle for us. There is the duality of gentrification and being trying to be more and more a part of the neighborhood. So we try to balance it. There are some people in the neighborhood who are leery of us, but a lot of the other people in the neighborhood have said that they're glad we're there so that's been good and special, and we've enjoyed getting to know some of the neighbors.

I think a bookstore has a special role in the way it connects in the community. Do you think that because you're a bookstore that's made a difference to your neighbors?

One of the things that is hard for us is that we have so many events--because we're writers and not a business conglomerate, or we're not a public library--everything from social justice discussion to classes and lots of other things that may not have a book or product attached to it, we have to remind ourselves we need to pay rent! So we'll have a reading or whatever with a book to sell. We have to go back and forth on that, but we love having the events and will continue to do that. Savannah teaches too, which has put me more in charge of events as Ron tends to the rest of the store, so we hope to get a couple people--maybe interns and someone else who's going to take more of that on. It takes a lot to get the public informed about an event.

But the social aspect of it has been great, and we love it. We are a meeting place. We host some meetings for the Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice at the store, we've gone in with several area universities and had all their creative writers read at the store. The University of Kentucky's MFA program has sort of adopted us as their store, and they have all of their thesis readings at the store. But we've also had a knitting club, and a lot of variety. We're going to go in with some farming co-ops to get our kitchen supplies, and we have had talks about sustainability. So, we're really a community-driven place and it's been pretty amazing.

Author photo courtesy of The University Press of Kentucky. Bookstore images courtesy of Wild Fig Books + Coffee.

SP Rankin is North Carolina writer and graphic designer. In a bygone era, she received a BA from the University of North Carolina, and more recently a MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University in Charlotte. SP loves talking and writing about books and the reading life, and a number of other things you’re probably not all that interested in and who could blame you? Her most recent book, Common Threads: Gastonia and Gaston County Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, was published in 2014.

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Book & Author Gossip

Eatin' with the HatfieldsEatin' with the Hatfields

Jack Hatfield sat in the lobby of the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Theater in Pigeon Forge signing copies of his new cookbook “Eatin’ with the Hatfields” and answering questions about his infamous Hatfield family. Invariably, the question arose of how he was related to the bunch to which he would reply, “I am the great-great grandson of the Devil himself.” Hatfield was referring to his ancestor Anderson “Devil Ans” Hatfield. Last year Hatfield’s grandmother died and he later discovered a treasure trove of as many as 3,000 Hatfield family recipes dating back well before the famous feud with the McCoy family broke out.

Raymie Nightingale's wisdom and beauty

Raymie NightingaleAt times, books like this - quiet, lyrical and wise - can get lost in the rush and clamour of attention-grabbing YA (young adult) fiction, blockbuster action adventure or fantasy series and celebrity-driven children's novels. But missing this book would be a mistake. Raymie Nightingale is a tale filled with such wisdom and beauty that I found myself stopping to re-read sentences, marvelling at how DiCamillo manages to get so many profound ideas across in such seemingly simple sentences.  9780763681173

Cackling with laughter, sitting in gloom and darkness

While perusing some of Pat Conroy’s writing, I came across a sad and startling statement by the writer who died a few weeks ago. He remarked that his wife, Cassandra, was a much happier writer than he was. “I’ll hear her cackle with laughter at some funny line she’s written,” he said. “I’ve never cackled with laughter at a single line I’ve ever written. None of it has given me pleasure. She writes with pleasure and joy, and I sit there in gloom and darkness.”

John Hart on how he stumbled into writing Redemption Road

Redemption RoadIn an interview, Hart said his novels don’t begin with a plot outline, but with a strong sense of the person whose story I want to tell. “To understand fully that character,” he said, “I identify two or three emotional drivers that will propel him or her through the story, whether those drivers are guilt and shame, anger and loss, or some other emotional cocktail. That will always be the core of the story – that beating heart.”

This novel is so descriptive that the words jump off the page into your mind.  You can feel the nerves, the tension, the anxiousness that fills this story.

Interview with Julia Franks

Redemption RoadQ: What inspired the story of Brodis and Irenie?

JF: In 2008 my (then) husband and I bought a farm in western North Carolina. The old homestead was still standing. This was a house that had been constructed by hand in 1865 and then a hundred years later abandoned.  There were still dishes in the cabinets, clothes in the closet and mayonnaise in the refrigerator.  (Yes, I know.) And the old lady who’d lived there had been a meticulous hoarder. She’d preserved all these items that were meaningful to her: baby clothes, animal bones, locks of hair, bearskins, insect hives. And a lot of it was labeled. As in, “This was the hat I wore to Evie’s graduation,” etc.  She even saved teeth and other body parts. One little jar had a scrap of paper in it that read: “Fingernail, 1959, Wilson’s truck door.” And the fingernail was in there too. This lady ended up moving into a facility for the elderly in 1973, and her sons left all of this stuff. Including hundreds of jars of canned food. You can imagine.

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Southern Indie Bestsellers

For the week ending May 1. Books on the Southern Indie Bestseller List that are southern in nature or have been recently recommended by southern indie booksellers.

- The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize | Okra Pick! - A SIBA Okra Pick 
Printable versions: Hardcover | Paperback | Children.


1. The Nest
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, Ecco, $26.99, 9780062414212
2. The Last Mile
David Baldacci, Grand Central, $29, 9781455586455
3. The Nightingale
Kristin Hannah, St. Martin's, $27.99, 9780312577223
4. My Name Is Lucy Barton
Elizabeth Strout, Random House, $26, 9781400067695
5. Miller's Valley
Anna Quindlen, Random House, $28, 9780812996081
6. All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr, Scribner, $27, 9781476746586
7. Eligible
Curtis Sittenfeld, Random House, $28, 9781400068326
8. The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins, Riverhead, $26.95, 9781594633669
9. The Summer Before the War
Helen Simonson, Random House, $28, 9780812993103
10. Extreme Prey
John Sandford, Putnam, $29, 9780399176050
11. Lilac Girls
Martha Hall Kelly, Ballantine, $26, 9781101883075
12. The Swans of Fifth Avenue
Melanie Benjamin, Delacorte, $28, 9780345528698
13. The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
Dominic Smith, Sarah Crichton Books, $26, 9780374106683
14. Family Jewels
Stuart Woods, Putnam, $28, 9780399174698
15. Maestra
L.S. Hilton, Putnam, $27, 9780399184260


1. The Rainbow Comes and Goes
Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt, Harper, $27.99, 9780062454942
2. When Breath Becomes Air
Paul Kalanithi, Random House, $25, 9780812988406
okra3. Dimestore: A Writer's Life
Lee Smith, Algonquin, $24.95, 9781616205027
4. Fascinate: How to Make Your Brand Impossible to Resist
Sally Hogshead, HarperBusiness, $28.99, 9780062206480
5. The Third Wave
Steve Case, S & S, $26.95, 9781501132582
6. The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business
David S. Rose, Wiley, $32, 9781119163794
7. Lab Girl
Hope Jahren, Knopf, $26.95, 9781101874936
8. Being Mortal
Atul Gawande, Metropolitan, $26, 9780805095159
9. Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Spiegel & Grau, $24, 9780812993547
10. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
Carlo Rovelli, Riverhead, $18, 9780399184413
11. Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting
Lesley Stahl, Blue Rider, $27, 9780399168154
12. The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler's U-Boats
William Geroux, Viking, $28, 9780525428152
13. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Marie Kondo, Ten Speed Press, $16.99, 9781607747307
14. The Road to Little Dribbling
Bill Bryson, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385539289
15. It's All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook
Gwyneth Paltrow, Grand Central Life & Style, $35, 9781455584215


1. My Brilliant Friend
Elena Ferrante, Europa Editions, $17, 9781609450786
2. A Man Called Ove
Fredrik Backman, Washington Square Press, $16, 9781476738024
3. The Little Paris Bookshop
Nina George, Broadway, $16, 9780553418798
4. A Spool of Blue Thread
Anne Tyler, Ballantine, $16, 9780553394399
5. A Little Life
Hanya Yanagihara, Anchor, $17, 9780804172707
6. Me Before You
Jojo Moyes, Penguin, $16, 9780143124542
7. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Fredrik Backman, Washington Square Press, $16, 9781501115073
8. Brooklyn
Colm Toibin, Scribner, $15, 9781501106477
9. The Story of a New Name
Elena Ferrante, Europa Editions, $18, 9781609451349
siba book award finalist10. My Sunshine Away
M.O. Walsh, Putnam, $16, 9780425278109
11. The Great Gatsby
F.Scott Fitzgerald, Scribner, $15, 9781451689433
12. The Green Road
Anne Enright, Norton, $15.95, 9780393352801
13. The Guilty
David Baldacci, Grand Central, $15.99, 9781455586431
14. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
Elena Ferrante, Europa Editions, $18, 9781609452339
15. Career of Evil
J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith, Mulholland, $17.99, 9780316349895 


1. Dead Wake
Erik Larson, Broadway, $17, 9780307408877
2. H Is for Hawk
Helen Macdonald, Grove Press, $16, 9780802124739
3. The Boys in the Boat
Daniel James Brown, Penguin, $17, 9780143125471
4. The Devil in the White City
Erik Larson, Vintage, $16, 9780375725609
5. Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs
Sally Mann, Back Bay, $18.99, 9780316247757
6. Alexander Hamilton
Ron Chernow, Penguin, $20, 9780143034759
7. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
William Finnegan, Penguin, $17, 9780143109396
8. Between You & Me
Mary Norris, Norton, $15.95, 9780393352146
9. The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America
David Sibley, Knopf, $19.95, 9780307957917
10. The Mindfulness Coloring Book
Emma Farrarons, Experiment, $9.95, 9781615192823
11. The Soul of an Octopus
Sy Montgomery, Atria, $16, 9781451697728
12. Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868
Cokie Roberts, Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780062002778
13. We Should All Be Feminists
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Anchor, $7.95, 9781101911761
14. In the Garden of Beasts
Erik Larson, Broadway, $16, 9780307408853
15. You Are a Badass
Jen Sincero, Running Press, $16, 9780762447695


1. Slaughterhouse-Five
Kurt Vonnegut, Laurel Leaf, $7.99, 9780440180296
2. Make Me
Lee Child, Dell, $9.99, 9780804178792
3. The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger, Little Brown, $8.99, 9780316769488
4. 1984
George Orwell, Signet, $9.99, 9780451524935
5. Animal Farm
George Orwell, Signet, $9.99, 9780451526342
6. American Gods
Neil Gaiman, HarperTorch, $7.99, 9780380789030
7. 11/22/63
Stephen King, Pocket, $9.99, 9781501120602
8. Lord of the Flies
William Golding, Perigee, $9.99, 9780399501487
9. A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780553593716
10. A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $9.99, 9780345535429


1. Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Dr. Seuss, Random House, $17.99, 9780679805274
2. Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle, Putnam, $10.99, 9780399226908
4. Little Blue Truck
Alice Schertle, Jill McElmurry (Illus.), HMH Books for Young Readers, $6.99, 9780547248288
5. Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak, Harper, $18.99, 9780060254926
6. On the Night You Were Born
Nancy Tillman, Feiwel & Friends, $7.99, 9780312601553
7. The Night Gardener
Terry Fan, Eric Fan, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 9781481439787
8. The Giving Tree
Shel Silverstein, Harper, $16.99, 9780060256654
9. Where the Sidewalk Ends
Shel Silverstein, Harper, $18.99, 9780060572341
10. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Bill Martin, Eric Carle (Illus.), Holt, $7.95, 9780805047905


okra1. Raymie Nightingale
Kate DiCamillo, Candlewick, $16.99, 9780763681173
2. Demigods & Magicians: Percy and Annabeth Meet the Kanes
Rick Riordan, Hyperion, $14.99, 9781484732786
3. Smile
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $10.99, 9780545132060
4. The Book Thief
Markus Zusak, Knopf, $12.99, 9780385754729
5. Drama
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $10.99, 9780545326995
6. Pax
Sara Pennypacker, Jon Klassen (Illus.), Balzer + Bray, $16.99, 9780062377012
7. Rad American Women A-Z
Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl (Illus.), City Lights, $14.95, 9780872866836
8. James and the Giant Peach
Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illus.), Puffin, $7.99, 9780142410363
9. The BFG
Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illus.), Puffin, $6.99, 9780142410387
10. Matilda
Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illus.), Puffin, $7.99, 9780142410370


1. The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, Book 4)
Maggie Stiefvater, Scholastic Press, $18.99, 9780545424981
2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
J.K.Rowling, Scholastic, $10.99, 9780590353427
3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition (2015)
J.K. Rowling, Jim Kay (Illus.), Arthur A. Levine Books, $39.99, 9780545790352
4. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs, Quirk, $10.99, 9781594746031
5. Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Marissa Meyer, Square Fish, $9.99, 9781250007209
6. Disney After Dark (Kingdom Keepers, #1)
Ridley Pearson, Hyperion, $8.99, 9781423123118
7. Mercy Watson to the Rescue
Kate DiCamillo, Chris Van Dusen (Illus.), Candlewick, $5.99, 9780763645045
8. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)
Rick Riordan, Hyperion, $7.99, 9781423134947
9. In a Blink (Never Girls, #1)
Kiki Thorpe, Jana Christy (Illus.), Random House/Disney, $5.99, 9780736427944
10. The Boxcar Children
Gertrude Chandler Warner, Albert Whitman, $5.99, 9780807508527

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Special to the Southern List

Click on a book to purchase from a great indie bookstore! See the full Southern Indie Bestseller list here.

 The Last Painting of Sara De Vos The Swans of Fifth AvenueFamily Jewels Dimestore: A Writer's LifeThe Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler's U-BoatsCareer of Evil  Becoming GrandmaIn the Garden of BeastsThe Devil in the White City It's All Easy  The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North AmericaCapital DamesThe Road to Little Dribbling Hold Still The Great Gatsby The Green RoadThose Who Leave and Those Who StayAmerican GodsThe Catcher in the Rye 1984 Animal FarmA Game of Thrones A Clash of Kings 11/22/63 Slaughterhouse Five Lord of the Flies Where the Sidewalk Ends The Giving TreeBrown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?The Night Gardener SistersJames and the Giant Peach The Book Thief


Events at Southern Indie Bookstores

authors all around the south!

Betsy Lerner - THE BRIDGE LADIES - Gables  (author appearance)
Betsy Lerner | 05/11/2016, 06:30 pm | Books & Books Inc | Coral Gables, FL

Meet Author Matthew Griffin: HIDE  (author appearance)
Matthew Griffin | 05/11/2016, 06:30 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Ace Atkins-ROBERT B. PARKER’S SLOW BURN  (author appearance)
Ace Atkins | 05/11/2016, 07:30 pm | Eagle Eye Book Shop | Atlanta, GA

Willie Drye - For Sale: American Paradise: How Our Nation was Sold an Impossible Dream in Florida  (author appearance)
Willie Drye | 05/11/2016, 07:00 pm | Regulator Bookshop | Durham, NC

okraAuthor event with Lee Smith author of Dimestore  (author appearance)
Lee Smith | 05/11/2016, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

J. Patrick Redmond - Some Go Hungry - Gables  (author appearance)
J. Patrick Redmond | 05/12/2016, 08:00 pm | Books & Books Inc | Coral Gables, FL

Avid Poetry Series  (other event)
Philip Lee Williams | 05/12/2016, 06:30 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Elise Blackwell - The Lower Quarter  (author appearance)
Elise Blackwell | 05/12/2016, 07:00 pm | Scuppernong Books | Greensboro, NC

Dawson Carr: NC 12 Gateway to the Outer Banks  (author appearance)
Dawson Carr | 05/12/2016, 05:00 pm | The Country Bookshop | Southern Pines, NC

Author event with Jennifer Haigh author of Heat and Light  (author appearance)
Jennifer Haigh | 05/12/2016, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

THOMAS SWICK - The Joys of Travel - Gables  (author appearance)
Thomas Swick | 05/13/2016, 08:00 pm | Books & Books Inc | Coral Gables, FL

Diamonds & Rust: Live Band  (other event)
05/13/2016, 06:00 pm | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

okraJohn Hart Author of Redemption Road  (author appearance)
John Hart | 05/13/2016, 02:00 pm | Litchfield Books | Pawleys Island, SC

Author event with Terry Huff author of Living Well with ADHD  (author appearance)
Terry Huff | 05/13/2016, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Karen Gross- Lady Lucy's Quest- Gables  (author appearance)
Karen Gross | 05/14/2016, 10:00 am | Books & Books Inc | Coral Gables, FL

Taylor Moxey- The Adventure of Taylor the Chef- Gables  (author appearance)
Taylor Moxey | 05/14/2016, 01:00 pm | Books & Books Inc | Coral Gables, FL

MICHAEL JARVIS - Dog Head - Gables  (author appearance)
Michael Jarvis | 05/14/2016, 07:00 pm | Books & Books Inc | Coral Gables, FL

SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE - The Romanovs - Gables  (author appearance)
Simon Sebag Montefiore | 05/14/2016, 08:00 pm | Books & Books Inc | Coral Gables, FL

ACE ATKINS here with Robert B. Parker's SLOW BURN  (author appearance)
Ace Atkins | 05/14/2016, 02:00 pm | Inkwood Books | Tampa, FL

Ancient Greece Party  (book festival)
Rick Riordan | 05/14/2016, 01:00 pm | Horton's Books & Gifts | Carrollton, GA

Octavia Books Science Fiction Book Club - THE FIFTH SEASON  (author appearance)
05/14/2016, 10:30 am | Octavia Books | New Orleans, LA

Author event with Lin Stepp author of Welcome Back  (author appearance)
Linn Stepp | 05/14/2016, 02:00 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Adele Rodriguez - The Way To Happiness - Gables  (author appearance)
Adele Rodriguez | 05/15/2016, 04:00 pm | Books & Books Inc | Coral Gables, FL

Syrrup: Live Band  (other event)
05/15/2016, 02:00 pm | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Author event with Eileen Campbell-Reed at Scarett Bennett Center  (author appearance)
Eileen Campbell-Reed | 05/15/2016, 02:00 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Author event with Siobhan Vivian author of The Last Boy and Girl in the World  (author appearance)
Siobhan Vivian | 05/15/2016, 02:00 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Author event with Bobby Bones author of Bare Bones at the Nashville Public Library  (author appearance)
Bobby Bones | 05/16/2016, 06:15 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Parnassus Book Club - West of Sunset  (book club)
05/16/2016, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Richard Shapiro - The Endangered Customer - Gables  (author appearance)
Richard Shapiro | 05/17/2016, 08:00 pm | Books & Books Inc | Coral Gables, FL

Inkwood Adult Book Club  (book club)
05/17/2016, 07:00 pm | Inkwood Books | Tampa, FL

Pam Tyler - NEW ORLEANS WOMEN AND THE POYDRAS HOME  (author appearance)
Pamela Tyler | 05/17/2016, 06:00 pm | Octavia Books | New Orleans, LA

Books & Beyond: Book Club  (book club)
Marilynne Robinson | 05/17/2016, 06:30 pm | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Martha Hall Kelly Author of Lilac Girls  (author appearance)
Martha Hall Kelly | 05/17/2016, 02:00 pm | Litchfield Books | Pawleys Island, SC

Author event with Anton DiSclafani, author of The After Party  (author appearance)
Anton DiSclafani | 05/17/2016, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

History Night! Bruce Venter Presents Kill Jeff Davis  (author appearance)
Bruce Venter | 05/17/2016, 06:30 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Meet Authors Bronwen Dickey and John Lane  (author appearance)
Bronwen Dickey | 05/18/2016, 06:30 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Brenda Marie Osbey - ALL SOULS with James Borders - MARKING TIME, MAKING PLACE  (author appearance)
Brenda Marie Osbey | 05/18/2016, 06:00 pm | Octavia Books | New Orleans, LA

Story Time @ 10:30 AM  (other event)
05/18/2016, 10:30 am | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Story Time @ 3:30 PM  (other event)
05/18/2016, 03:30 pm | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Launch Party for Zachary Reid’s Cuba, More of Less  (author appearance)
Zachary Reid | 05/18/2016, 06:00 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Mary Kay Andrews  (author appearance)
Mary Kay Andrews | 05/19/2016, 06:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Author PATRICIA ENGEL here with THE VEINS OF THE OCEAN  (author appearance)
Patricia Engel | 05/19/2016, 07:00 pm | Inkwood Books | Tampa, FL

Science on the Sound: The Mathews Men & the Battle of the Atlantic  (author appearance)
William Geroux | 05/19/2016, 06:00 pm | Duck's Cottage | Manteo, NC

Michael Perry - The Jesus Cow  (author appearance)
Michael Perry | 05/19/2016, 07:00 pm | Regulator Bookshop | Durham, NC

Everything’s Coming Up Rosés  (other event)
05/19/2016, 05:00 pm | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Sit. Sip. Color  (other event)
05/19/2016, 07:00 pm | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Wine with the author featuring John Hart author of Redemption Road  (author appearance)
John Hart | 05/19/2016, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Gregg E. Brickman Booksigning  (author appearance)
Gregg E. Brickman | 05/20/2016, 07:00 pm | Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore | Delray Beach, FL

Ashton Applewhite - This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism  (author appearance)
Ashton Applewhite | 05/20/2016, 07:00 pm | Regulator Bookshop | Durham, NC

Jennie Holton Fant Author of The Travelers' Charleston  (author appearance)
Jennie Holton Fant | 05/20/2016, 02:00 pm | Litchfield Books | Pawleys Island, SC

Author event with Lee Clay Johnson author of Nitro Mountain at Brown's Diner  (author appearance)
Lee Clay | 05/20/2016, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Author Camille Perri: THE ASSISTANTS  (author appearance)
Camille Perri | 05/21/2016, 06:30 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Octavia Books Book Club - THE SOLITUDE OF PRIME NUMBERS  (book club)
05/21/2016, 11:45 am | Octavia Books | New Orleans, LA

Ten Minute Tarot featuring Phil Powers  (other event)
05/21/2016, 06:00 pm | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Book Signing with Chuck Walsh  (author appearance)
Chuck Walsh | 05/21/2016, 02:00 pm | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Book Signing with Grady Query  (author appearance)
Grady Query | 05/21/2016, 04:00 pm | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Author event with Harrison Scott Key and Michael Perry  (author appearance)
Harrison Scott Key | 05/21/2016, 02:00 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

New & Notable Book Club: EVICTED: POVERTY AND PROFIT IN THE AMERICAN CITY by Matthew Desmond  (book club)
05/22/2016, 06:15 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Singer/Songwriter Michael Buffalo Smith  (other event)
05/22/2016, 02:00 am | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Author event with Jean Malone author of Dexter The Very Good Goat  (author appearance)
Jean Malone | 05/22/2016, 02:00 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Kids' Book Club!  (book club)
05/23/2016, 06:30 pm | Inkwood Books | Tampa, FL

Parnassus Classics Club - Kidnapped  (book club)
05/23/2016, 10:00 am | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

okraJohn Hart  (author appearance)
John Hart | 05/24/2016, 08:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Natasha Robinson - Mentor for Life  (author appearance)
Natasha Robinson | 05/24/2016, 07:00 pm | Scuppernong Books | Greensboro, NC

Teen Book Club  (book club)
05/24/2016, 04:30 pm | Books on Broad | Camden, SC

Mary Kubica- Don’t You Cry  (author appearance)
Mary Kubica | 05/25/2016, 06:30 pm | FoxTale Book Shoppe | Woodstock, GA

Salon@615 with Louise Erdrich and Jane Hamilton  (author appearance)
Louise Erdrich | 05/25/2016, 06:15 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Warren Bingham Presents George Washington's 1791 Southern Tour  (author appearance)
Warren Bingham | 05/25/2016, 06:30 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Luncheon with Mary Alice Monroe  (author appearance)
Mary Alice Monroe | 05/26/2016, 11:30 am | Bookmiser | Roswell, GA

Mukasonga, Scholastique | 05/26/2016, 07:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe | Asheville, NC

Author event with Stanley I. Thangaraj author of Desi Hoop Dreams  (author appearance)
Stanley I. | 05/26/2016, 06:00 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Author event with Rien Fertel author of The One True Barbecue  (author appearance)
Rien Fertel | 05/26/2016, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Stephanie Danler – SWEETBITTER  (author appearance)
Stephanie Danler | 05/27/2016, 06:00 pm | Octavia Books | New Orleans, LA

Rien Fertel - The One True Barbecue  (author appearance)
Rien Fertel | 05/27/2016, 07:00 pm | Regulator Bookshop | Durham, NC

Buddy Story Time: Kathy McGougan & Buddy the Dog  (author appearance)
Kathy McGougan | 05/27/2016, 10:30 am | The Country Bookshop | Southern Pines, NC

Facts & Fiction: Literary Trivia Night  (other event)
05/27/2016, 07:00 pm | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Mary Kay Andrews Author of The Weekenders  (author appearance)
Mary Kay Andrews | 05/27/2016, 02:00 pm | Litchfield Books | Pawleys Island, SC

Author event with Damien Durr author of Journey to Greatness  (author appearance)
Damien Durr | 05/27/2016, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Robert Bailey  (author appearance)
Robert Bailey | 05/28/2016, 01:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Reflexology Session with Carlos O’Neal  (other event)
05/28/2016, 11:00 am | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Singer/Songwriter Al Watson  (other event)
05/28/2016, 06:30 pm | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Book Signing with Guy S. Fasciana  (author appearance)
Guy S. | 05/28/2016, 02:00 pm | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Fred Leebron - Christiania  (author appearance)
Fred Leebron | 05/29/2016, 03:00 pm | Scuppernong Books | Greensboro, NC

Karen White  (author appearance)
Karen White | 05/29/2016, 02:00 pm | The Country Bookshop | Southern Pines, NC

Singer/Songwriter Robert Bertinelli  (other event)
05/29/2016, 02:00 pm | Joe's Place | Greenville, SC

Meet Mary Kay Andrews!  (author appearance)
Mary Kay Andrews | 05/30/2016, 09:00 am | Duck's Cottage | Manteo, NC

Grand Re-Opening  (other event)
05/31/2016, 06:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Nevada Barr - BOAR ISLAND  (author appearance)
Nevada Barr | 05/31/2016, 06:00 pm | Octavia Books | New Orleans, LA

Dorothea Benton Frank Author of All Summer Long  (author appearance)
Dorothea Benton Frank | 05/31/2016, 02:00 pm | Litchfield Books | Pawleys Island, SC

Salon@615 with Richard Russo author of Everybody's Fool  (author appearance)
Richard Russo | 05/31/2016, 06:15 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Author event with Ansley T. Erickson author of Making the Unequal Metropolis  (author appearance)
Ansley T. | 05/31/2016, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Dorothea Benton Frank  (author appearance)
Dorothea Benton Frank | 06/01/2016, 07:00 pm | Hub City Bookshop | Spartanburg, SC

Book Club Night  (book club)
06/02/2016, 06:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Bronwen Dickey, Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon with John Lane, Coyote Settles in the South  (author appearance)
Bronwen Dickey | 06/02/2016, 07:00 pm | Regulator Bookshop | Durham, NC

YA Author Panel: Amy Reed, Megan Shepherd, Robin Constantine, and Amber Smith  (author appearance)
Robin Constantine | 06/04/2016, 06:15 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Young Readers' Book Club: SUMMERLOST by Ally Condie  (book club)
06/05/2016, 06:15 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Graphic Novel Book Club: PAPER GIRLS by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang  (book club)
06/06/2016, 06:15 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Howard T. Weir, III Native American History Talk: A Paradise of Blood - The Creek War of 1813-14  (author appearance)
Howard T. | 06/06/2016, 06:30 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Luncheon with Dorothea Benton Frank  (author appearance)
Dorothea Benton Frank | 06/07/2016, 12:00 pm | Books on Broad | Camden, SC

New York Times Bestselling author of Zita the Spacegirl Ben Hatke!!!!  (author appearance)
Ben Hatke | 06/07/2016, 04:30 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Women's History/Music History Author Quincy Whitney Presents American Luthier: Carleen Hutchins  (author appearance)
Quincy Whitney | 06/08/2016, 06:30 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Randy Johnson, Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon  (author appearance)
Randy Johnson | 06/09/2016, 07:00 pm | Regulator Bookshop | Durham, NC

T. John Hughes: Talk on Architecture and Preservation  (author appearance)
T. John Hughes | 06/11/2016, 06:30 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Mark Cooper Book Launch for Mapping Your Adventure at St. James’ Episcopal  (author appearance)
Mark Cooper | 06/12/2016, 11:30 am | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

David J. | 06/13/2016, 06:30 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Morgan Guyton, How Jesus Saved the World from Us: 12 Antidotes to Toxic Christianity  (author appearance)
Morgan Guyton | 06/13/2016, 07:00 pm | Regulator Bookshop | Durham, NC

Jeffrey & Carole Boston Weatherford You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen  (author appearance)
Jeffrey and | 06/15/2016, 07:00 pm | Regulator Bookshop | Durham, NC

Harper Lee Theme Dinner with The Author of Mockingbird, Charles Shields at Camden’s Dogtown Market  (author appearance)
Charles Shields | 06/15/2016, 06:30 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Meet Author Alison Umminger: AMERICAN GIRLS  (author appearance)
Alison Umminger | 06/16/2016, 06:30 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Stephen Jurovics -Hospitable Planet: Faith, Action, and Climate Change  (author appearance)
Stephen Jurovics | 06/16/2016, 07:00 am | Regulator Bookshop | Durham, NC

Meet Author Sally Kilpatrick  (author appearance)
Sally Kilpatrick | 06/17/2016, 06:30 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Have Lunch with Elin Hilderbrand!   (author appearance)
Elin Hilderbrand | 06/17/2016, 12:30 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Paperback Fiction Book Club: IN BETWEEN DAYS by Andrew Porter  (book club)
06/19/2016, 06:15 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Social Justice Book Club: BLACK GIRL DANGEROUS by Mia McKenzie  (book club)
06/20/2016, 06:15 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Waldo 5K  (other event)
06/25/2016, 08:00 am | Horton's Books & Gifts | Carrollton, GA

New & Notable Book Club: THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT by Alexander Chee  (book club)
06/26/2016, 06:15 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Debut Mystery Novelist Heather Weidner Launch Party for Secret Lives and Private Eyes at Uptown Alley  (author appearance)
Heather Weidner | 06/26/2016, 02:00 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Duke Young Writers' Camp, Readings at The Regulator  (writers group)
06/28/2016, 07:00 pm | Regulator Bookshop | Durham, NC

We Welcome Back Timber Hawkeye, Author of Buddhist Boot Camp and Faithfully Religionless  (author appearance)
Timber Hawkeye | 06/28/2016, 06:30 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Jason Morgan Ward- Hanging Bridge  (author appearance)
Jason Morgan Ward | 06/29/2016, 07:00 pm | Regulator Bookshop | Durham, NC

Authors Round the South


Lady Banks is sponsored by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, in support of independent bookstores in the South.
SIBA | 3806 Yale Dr. | Columbia, SC 28409

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