Lady Banks

Be a giver (of good books)


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{Be a giver (of good books)}

In which her ladyship exhorts her readers to stand on street corners, pushing books, Ms. Kathy Poires notes the similarities between southern stories and kudzu, Mr. Ron Rash discovers that there are more people reading his books than the family dog, Ms. Leslie Reiner insists that bookselling is the best job in the world (she is correct), and Mr. Taylor Polites enjoys reading Godey's Ladies Book.

January 22, 2012

In This Issue

Special to the Southern List

(Books that appear on the Southern list, but not the national list)  Click on a book to purchase from a great indie bookstore!
 The Litigators  Rules of Civility  Invisible Ones  Jack Kennedy  Through My Eyes

 Arguably  The Psychology of Wealth  The Greater Journey  The Peach Keeper  Night  5 Love Languages  Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey  Rose A Raisin in the Sun  
The Sentry
 
The Catcher in the Rye
 

Good Omens

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

I am a Bunny

Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go 

Glory Be

Freak the Mighty

Thirteen Reasons Why


Author Readings


Drew Magary, author of The Postmortals at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (January 31 2012)

Kathy Hester, author of The Vegan Slow Cooker at Regulator Bookshop in durham, NC  (January 31 2012)

Lucia Greenhouse, author of fathermothergod at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (January 31 2012)

Okra Pick!Joshilyn Jackson, author of A Grown-up Kind of Pretty at Lemuria Books in JACKSON, MS  (January 31 2012)

Gin Phillips, author of Come In and Cover Me at A Cappella Books in Atlanta, GA  (January 31 2012)

Naomi Benaron, author of Running the Rift at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (February 1 2012)

Alan Shapiro, author of Broadway Baby at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/01/2012)

Lisa Alther, author of Washed In The Blood at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (February 1 2012)

Drew Magary, author of The Postmortal at Regulator Bookshop in durham, NC  (February 1 2012)

Kaihan Krippendorff, author of Outthink the Competition at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (February 2 2012)

STARSAnne Barnhill, author of At the Mercy of the Queen at Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, SC  (February 2 2012)

KRISTEN SIMMONS, author of ARTICLE 5 at Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL  (February 2 2012)

Taylor Stevens, author of The Innocent at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (February 2 2012)

Lawrence Lohr, author of And Then They Stood: Old Textile Mills of the Caro at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/02/2012)

Lisa Alther, author of Washed in the Blood at Regulator Bookshop in durham, NC  (February 2 2012)

Stephen Hren, author of Tales from the Sustainable Underground: A Wild Jou at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (February 2 2012)

Jason Morgan Ward, author of Defending White Democracy: The Making of a Segrega at Lemuria Books in JACKSON, MS  (February 2 2012)

Alan Shapiro, author of Broadway Baby at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (February 2 2012)

Taylor Stevens, author of Informationist at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (February 3 2012)

Carl Ernst, author of How to Read the Qur'an: A New Guide with Select Tr at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/03/2012)

STARSAnne Clinard Barnhill, author of At the Mercy of the Queen at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC  (February 3 2012)

Mary Foster, author of Charleston: A Historic Walking Tour at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (02/03/2012)

Okra Pick!STARSRose Senehi, author of Render Unto the Valley at The Fountainhead Bookstore in Hendersonville, NC  (February 3 2012)

Barrett Hathcock, author of The Portable Son at Lemuria Books in JACKSON, MS  (February 4 2012)

STARSAnne Barnhill, author of At the Mercy of the Queen at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC  (February 4 2012)

Arlene Showalter, author of Butternut Tears at Literary Book Post in Salisbury, NC  (February 4 2012)

Patricia Schultz, author of 1000 Places To See Before You Die at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (February 4 2012)

Hugh McColl, author of From the Highlands to High Finance at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (February 4 2012)

Pat Davies, author of Wizard Jasper and the Lost Princess at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (February 4 2012)

Tim Dorsey, author of Pineapple Grenade at Muse Book Shop in Deland, FL  (02/04/2012)

Gloria Robinson, author of African American Religious Experiences: A Case Stu at That Bookstore in Blytheville in Blytheville, AR  (February 4 2012)

STARSSigne Pike, author of Faery Tale at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/04/2012)

Beth Aldrich, author of Real Moms Love to Eat at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (February 4 2012)

Sherri Patterson, author of Mad Lyfe of an NBA Wife at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (February 4 2012)

Lisa Alther, author of Washed in the Blood at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (February 5 2012)

Oran Hesterman, author of Fair Food at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (February 6 2012)

Adrian Bejan, author of Design in Nature at Regulator Bookshop in durham, NC  (February 6 2012)

Okra Pick!Joshilyn Jackson, author of A Grown-up Kind of Pretty at Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL  (February 7 2012)

Alan Shapiro, author of Broadway Baby at Regulator Bookshop in durham, NC  (February 7 2012)

Orson Scott Card, author of Shadows in Flight at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (February 7 2012)

MIKE DOUGHTY, author of THE BOOK OF DRUGS: A MEMOIR at Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL  (February 8 2012)

Henry Alford, author of Would it Kill You to Stop Doing That? A Guide to M at Regulator Bookshop in durham, NC  (February 8 2012)

Arun Abey, author of How Much is Enough? at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (February 8 2012)

Randy Fertel, author of The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak at A Cappella Books in Atlanta, GA  (February 8 2012)

Beth Holmgren, author of Starring Madame Modjeska: On Tour in Poland and Am at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (February 8 2012)

Jackie Cooper, author of BACK TO THE GARDEN: THE GOAL OF THE JOURNEY at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC  (February 9 2012)

Stephanie Tyson, author of Well, Shut My Mouth!: The Sweet Potatoes Restauran at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/09/2012)

Eleanor Brown, author of The Weird Sisters at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (February 9 2012)

Kristin Hannah, author of Home Front at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (February 9 2012)

Tim Dorsey , author of Pineapple Grenade at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (February 9 2012)

Lisa Gardner, author of Catch Me at Eagle Eye Book Shop in Atlanta, GA  (February 9 2012)

Okra Pick!STARSRose Senehi, author of "Render Unto the Valley" at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (02/10/2012)

Alex George, author of A Good American at Alabama Booksmith in Homewood, AL  (02/10/2012)

James Maxey, author of Greatshadow: Book One of the Dragon at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (February 10 2012)

Scott Poole, author of Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/10/2012)

Sharon Ewell Foster, author of The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part Two: The Test at Regulator Bookshop in durham, NC  (February 10 2012)

Kerby & Mary Neill, author of Binding Their Wounds: America's Assault on its Vet at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/11/2012)

Garret Freymann-Weyr, author of French Ducks in Venice at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/11/2012)

Judith Toy, author of Murder as a Call to Love at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC  (February 11 2012)

Beth Revis, author of A Million Suns, and Fracture at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/11/2012)

Don Van Natta, author of Wonder Girl at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (February 11 2012)

Okra Pick!Taylor Polites, author of The Rebel Wife at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC  (February 11 2012)

Okra Pick!Joshilyn Jackson, author of A Grown Up Kind of Pretty at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/12/2012)

Sharon Ewell Foster, author of The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part Two: The Test at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (February 12 2012)

Eleanor Brown, author of The Weird Sisters at Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL  (February 13 2012)

Stephanie McAfee, author of Diary Of A Mad Fat Girl at Lemuria Books in JACKSON, MS  (February 13 2012)

Okra Pick!Joshilyn Jackson, author of A Grown-up Kind of Pretty at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (February 13 2012)

Patricia Schultz, author of 1000 Places to See Before You Die at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (February 13 2012)

Annie Baker, author of Circle Mirror Transformation at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/13/2012)

Jacqueline Ogburn, author of Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the Worl at Regulator Bookshop in durham, NC  (February 13 2012)

L.A. Weatherly, author of Angel Fire at That Bookstore in Blytheville in Blytheville, AR  (February 14 2012)

Jodi Kantor, author of The Obamas at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (February 14 2012)

Eleanor Brown, author of The Weird Sisters at Lemuria Books in JACKSON, MS  (February 14 2012)

Stephanie McAfee, author of Diary Of A Mad Fat Girl at Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL  (February 14 2012)

Okra Pick!Joshilyn Jackson, author of A Grown-up Kind of Pretty at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (February 15 2012)

Naomi Benaron, author of Running The Rift at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (February 15 2012)

Sydney Nathans, author of To Free a Family at Regulator Bookshop in durham, NC  (February 15 2012)

Naomi Benaron, author of Running The Rift at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (February 15 2012)

Kristin Hannah, author of Home Front at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (February 15 2012)

Dan Furst, author of Surfing Aquarius: How to Ace the Wave of Change at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/15/2012)

Naomi Benaron, author of Running the Rift at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (February 16 2012)

STARSMindy Friddle, author of Secret Keepers at Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, SC  (February 16 2012)

Okra Pick!Joshilyn Jackson, author of A Grown-up Kind of Pretty at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA  (February 16 2012)

Danny Kofke, author of A Simple Book or Financial Wisdom: Teach Yourself at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/16/2012)

Deborah Kalb, author of Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presiden at Regulator Bookshop in durham, NC  (February 16 2012)

STARSMarjory Wentworth, author of Taking a Stand: The Evolution of Human Rights at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/17/2012)

STARSNicole Seitz, author of "Beyond Molasses Creek" at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (02/17/2012)

STARSValerie Nieman, author of Blood Clay at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC  (February 17 2012)

Eleanor Brown, author of The Weird Sister at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (February 17 2012)

Eleanor Brown, author of The Weird Sisters at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC  (February 18 2012)

Okra Pick!STARSRose Senehi, author of Render Unto the Valley at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (February 18 2012)

Oscar Nash, author of Next Time at Muse Book Shop in Deland, FL  (02/18/2012)

Daniel Ladinsky , author of A Year with Hafiz, and I Have Fallen in Love with at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/18/2012)

Jack Gardner, author of Uptown at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (February 19 2012)

Alan Huffman, author of We're with Nobody: Two Insiders Reveal the Dark Si at Lemuria Books in JACKSON, MS  (February 21 2012)

Rachel Simon, author of The Story of Beautiful Girl at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (February 23 2012)

Graham Salisbury, author of Under the Blood-Red Sun at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA  (February 23 2012)

Sara Benincasa, author of Agorafabulous!: Dispatches from My Bedroom at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/23/2012)

Tom Spector, author of Our Two Gardens: How to Cultivate Healing at Regulator Bookshop in durham, NC  (February 23 2012)

SAUNDRA AMRHEIN, author of GREEN CARD STORIES at Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL  (February 23 2012)

Jordan Sonnenblick, author of Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (February 23 2012)

Sarah McCoy, author of The Baker's Daughter at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA  (February 24 2012)

C.B. Cole, author of Winter at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC  (February 24 2012)

Lisa See, author of Dreams of Joy at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC  (February 24 2012)

LIsa Alther, author of Washed in the Blood at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/24/2012)

Lisa See, author of Dreams of Joy at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, NC  (February 24 2012)

Margaret Baroody, author of "The Unexpected Visitor" at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (02/24/2012)

Ron Tanner, author of From Animal House To Our House - Great for Owners at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA  (February 25 2012)

Christopher Arbor, author of Static to Signal at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/25/2012)

Robert Savage, author of Rendering Unto Caesar at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (February 25 2012)

Nathalie Dupree, author of Southern Biscuits at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC  (February 25 2012)

Kyle Harper, author of Moving Beyond Mind at Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC  (February 26 2012)

Karen Kemper, author of If You Have to Wear an Ugly Dress, Learn to Access at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC  (02/26/2012)

Peggielene Bartels, author of King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Desti at A Cappella Books in Atlanta, GA  (February 28 2012)

Sara Arnold and Steve Hoffius, author of "The Life and Art of Alfred Hutty: Woodstock to Ch at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (03/02/2012)

Matthew Pearl, author of The Technologists at Regulator Bookshop in durham, NC  (March 2 2012)

Alexandra Styron, author of Reading My Father at A Cappella Books in Atlanta, GA  (March 7 2012)

Okra Pick!STARSRose Senehi, author of Render Unto the Valley at Regulator Bookshop in durham, NC  (March 9 2012)

John Lane, author of "My Paddle to the Sea" at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (03/09/2012)

Stephanie McAfee, author of "Diary of a Mad Fat Girl" at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (03/16/2012)

Jodi Picoult, author of Lone Wolf at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC  (March 17 2012)

Crescent Dragonwagon, author of Bean by Bean: A Cookbook at That Bookstore in Blytheville in Blytheville, AR  (March 23 2012)

Bill Noel, author of "Ghost:: A Folly Beach Mystery" at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (03/23/2012)

STARSKirk Neely, author of "Banjos, Barbecue and Boiled Peanuts" at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (03/30/2012)

Lauren Groff, author of Arcadia at A Cappella Books in Atlanta, GA  (April 3 2012)

Ann B. Ross, author of Miss Julia to the Rescue at Literary Book Post in Salisbury, NC  (April 5 2012)

Brad Crowther, author of "The Ninth Man" at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (04/06/2012)

Okra Pick!STARSRose Senehi, author of Render Unto the Valley at Literary Book Post in Salisbury, NC  (April 7 2012)

Ann B. Ross, author of Miss Julia to the Rescue at That Bookstore in Blytheville in Blytheville, AR  (April 13 2012)

Philip Gerard, author of The Patron Saint of Dreams at Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, SC  (April 13 2012)

STARSKarla Telega, author of Box of Rocks at Swift Books in Orangeburg, SC  (December 24 2012)


Authors Round the South
www.authorsroundthesouth.com




Dearest readers,

Her ladyship, the editor, became a bookseller not only because she loved to read, but because she loves to get other people reading. She thinks it is highly probably that you, her readers, have similar inclinations. If that is so, then you need to know that February 1 is the deadline to be a book giver for World Book Night.

World Book NightWho better than to pass along the joy of reading on World Book Night, April 23, 2012 than people who love southern literature? We are the champeens of book-pushing, book-peddling. Just fill out the online form at www.worldbooknight.org, pour some of that passion into your answers, and you’re in. 

Spread the word! Post World Book Night info on twitter and on your Facebook pages. Here are two easy 140 character options:

Hey book lovers, be a volunteer book giver on World Book Night, April 23, 2012. Sign up at www.worldbooknight.org by Feb. 1. 

Want to participate in a million book giveaway to promote reading?  Sign up at www.worldbooknight.org by Feb. 1.

Be part of a group of people so passionate about books and reading they are willing to spend a night hanging out on street corners pushing books into the hands of complete strangers.

Any questions? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Happy reading! 


her ladyship, the editor


Southern Indie Bestsellers

For the week ending January 8, 2012

Columbia, SC -January 19, 2012 - The Southern Indie Bestseller List, as brought to you by IndieBound.org and SIBA, for the week ended Sunday, January 1, 2012. Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and IndieBound.org.

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

Hardcover Fiction

1. Death Comes to Pemberley
P.D. James, Knopf, $25.95, 9780307959850
2. Believing the Lie
Elizabeth George, Dutton, $28.95, 9780525952589
3. The Paris Wife
Paula McLain, Ballantine, $25, 9780345521309
4. The Litigators
John Grisham, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385535137
5. 11/22/63
Stephen King, Scribner, $35, 9781451627282
6. The Orphan Master's Son
Adam Johnson, Random House, $26, 9780812992793
7. The Sense of an Ending
Julian Barnes, Knopf, $23.95, 9780307957122
8. The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385534635
9. The Art of Fielding
Chad Harbach, Little Brown, $25.99, 9780316126694
10. The Marriage Plot
Jeffrey Eugenides, FSG, $28, 9780374203054
11. Raylan
Elmore Leonard, Morrow, $26.99, 9780062119469
12. Rules of Civility
Amor Towles, Viking, $26.95, 9780670022694
13. 1Q84
Haruki Murakami, Knopf, $30.50, 9780307593313
14. The Invisible Ones
Stef Penney, Putnam, $25.95, 9780399157714
15. State of Wonder
Ann Patchett, Harper, $26.99, 9780062049803

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Killing Lincoln
Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard, Holt, $28, 9780805093070
2. Elizabeth the Queen
Sally Bedell Smith, Random House, $30, 9781400067893
3. Catherine the Great
Robert K. Massie, Random House, $35, 9780679456728
4. In the Garden of Beasts
Erik Larson, Crown, $26, 9780307408846
5. Steve Jobs
Walter Isaacson, S&S, $35, 9781451648539
6. The End of Illness
David B. Agus, M.D., Free Press, $26, 9781451610178
7. Unbroken
Laura Hillenbrand, Random House, $27, 9781400064168
8. Ameritopia
Mark R. Levin, Threshold Editions, $26.99, 9781439173244
9. Jack Kennedy
Chris Matthews, S&S, $27.50, 9781451635089
10. Through My Eyes
Tim Tebow, Harper, $26.99, 9780062007285
11. Arguably
Christopher Hitchens, Twelve, $30, 9781455502776
12. American Sniper
Chris Kyle, et al., Morrow, $26.99, 9780062082350
13. The Psychology of Wealth
Charles Richards, McGraw-Hill, $26, 9780071789295
14. The Greater Journey
David McCullough, S&S, $37.50, 9781416571766
15. Goodnight iPad
Ann Droyd, Blue Rider, $14.95, 9780399158568

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. The Tiger's Wife
Téa Obreht, Random House, $15, 9780385343848
2. The Peach Keeper
Sarah Addison Allen, Bantam, $15, 9780553385601
3. The Girl Who Played With Fire
Stieg Larsson, Vintage, $15.95, 9780307454553
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jonathan Safran Foer, Mariner, $14.95, 9780547735023
5. Swamplandia!
Karen Russell, Vintage, $14.95, 9780307276681
6. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John le Carré, Penguin, $16, 9780143120933
7. A Visit From the Goon Squad
Jennifer Egan, Anchor, $14.95, 9780307477477
8. Room
Emma Donoghue, Back Bay, $14.99, 9780316098328
9. Sarah's Key
Tatiana De Rosnay, St. Martin's Griffin, $13.99, 9781250004345
10. Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese, Vintage, $15.95, 9780375714368
11. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson, Vintage, $15.95, 9780307949493
12. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Helen Simonson, Random House, $15, 9780812981223
13. The House at Tyneford
Natasha Solomons, Plume, $15, 9780452297647
14. A Discovery of Witches
Deborah Harkness, Penguin, $16, 9780143119685
15. The Help
Kathryn Stockett, Berkley, $16, 9780425245132

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. Bossypants
Tina Fey, Reagan Arthur Books, $15.99, 9780316056878
2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot, Broadway, $16, 9781400052189
3. Heaven Is for Real
Todd Burpo, Thomas Nelson, $16.99, 9780849946158
4. At Home
Bill Bryson, Anchor, $15.95, 9780767919395
5. Night
Elie Wiesel, FSG, $9.95, 9780374500016
6. Unlikely Friendships
Jennifer S. Holland, Workman, $13.95, 9780761159131
7. The 5 Love Languages
Gary Chapman, Northfield, $14.99, 9780802473158
8. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey
The Countess of Carnarvon, et al., Broadway, $15.99, 9780770435622
9. Empire of the Summer Moon
S.C. Gwynne, Scribner, $16, 9781416591061
10. The Warmth of Other Suns
Isabel Wilkerson, Vintage, $16.95, 9780679763888
11. Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor
Rosina Harrison, Penguin, $15, 9780143120865
12. The Happiness Project
Gretchen Rubin, Harper, $14.99, 9780061583261
13. The Hare With Amber Eyes
Edmund de Waal, Picador, $16, 9780312569372
14. The Social Animal
David Brooks, Random House, $16, 9780812979374
15. Just Kids
Patti Smith, Ecco, $16, 9780060936228

Mass Market

1. A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553593716
2. The Girl Who Played With Fire
Stieg Larsson, Vintage, $9.99, 9780307949509
3. A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553579901
4. To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee, Warner, $7.99, 9780446310789
5. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson, Vintage, $9.99, 9780307949486
6. A Storm of Swords
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553573428
7. A Raisin in the Sun
Lorraine Hansberry, Vintage, $7.50, 9780679755333
8. The Sentry
Robert Crais, Berkley, $9.99, 9780425245729
9. The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger, Warner, $6.99, 9780316769488
10. Good Omens
Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, HarperTorch, $7.99, 9780060853983

Children's Illustrated

1. Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617
2. Pinkalicious: Pink of Hearts
Victoria Kann, Victoria Kann (Illus.), HarperFestival, $6.99, 9780061989230
3. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
Eric Litwin, James Dean (Illus.), Harper, $16.99, 9780061906220

4. Llama Llama Nighty-Night
Anna Dewdney, Viking, $5.99, 9780670013272
5. One Cool Friend
Toni Buzzeo, David Small (Illus.), Dial, $16.99, 9780803734135
6. I Am a Bunny
Ole Risom, Richard Scarry (Illus.), Golden, $5.99, 9780375827785
7. Pat the Bunny
Dorothy Kunhardt, Golden, $9.99, 9780307120007
8. If You Give a Dog a Donut
Laura Joffe Numeroff, Felicia Bond (Illus.), Balzer & Bray/Harper, $16.99, 9780060266837
9. Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go
Richard Scarry, Golden, $14.99, 9780307157850
10. On the Night You Were Born
Nancy Tillman, Feiwel & Friends, $7.99, 9780312601553

Children's Interest

1. The Fault in Our Stars
John Green, Dutton, $17.99, 9780525478812
2. War Horse
Michael Morpurgo, Scholastic, $8.99, 9780545403351
3. Heart of a Samurai
Margi Preus, Abrams $7.95, 9781419702006
4. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs, Quirk, $17.99, 9781594744761
5. The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Brian Selznick, Scholastic, $24.99, 9780439813785
6. Wonderstruck
Brian Selznick, Scholastic, $29.99, 9780545027892
7. Glory Be
Augusta Scattergood, Scholastic Press, $16.99, 9780545331807
8. Freak the Mighty
Rodman Philbrick, Scholastic, $6.99, 9780439286060
9. Thirteen Reasons Why
Jay Asher, Razorbill, $10.99, 9781595141880
10. The Book Thief
Markus Zusak, Knopf, $12.99, 9780375842207

Children's Fiction Series Titles

1. The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $8.99, 9780439023528
2. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $17.99, 9780439023498
3. Mockingjay (The Final Book of the Hunger Games)
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $17.99, 9780439023511
4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $13.95, 9781419702235
5. The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, Book Two)
Rick Riordan, Hyperion, $19.99, 9781423140597
6. The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4)
Rick Riordan, Hyperion, $7.99, 9781423101499
7. Abe Lincoln at Last! (Magic Tree House #47)
Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca (Illus.), Random House, $12.99, 9780375868252
8. Theodore Boone: The Abduction
John Grisham, Dutton, $16.99, 9780525425571
9. Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle, Book 4)
Christopher Paolini, Knopf, $27.99, 9780375856112
10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $13.95, 9780810983915

 

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Good Gossip

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

" There were so many years when I had no audience. Well, maybe my dog would hear my work, but that was about it, so this is wonderful."
One Book, One Columbia reads Rash's Saints at the River

"As the political season heats up, Gaithersburg Book Festival committee members recommend some of their favorite political reads and tell you why they enjoyed them so much."
Recommended political reading from GBF

"People ask Pories to define “Southern writing” or “Southern stories.” She developed a standard answer to the question. “We like to play fast and loose with these terms — basically, any story set in the South, or referring back to the South, or with a Southern character …or by a Southern writer. We’re not trying to keep people out, but trying to discover all of the ways in which the South stealthily creeps into and overtakes a story, not unlike kudzu.”
Good writing, not-so-good news

"Ernest J. Gaines will be the inaugural winner of the Lanier Prize. His works, set primarily in his native Louisiana, tell the stories of southerners living with dignity in the face of adversity."
Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Literature

"In a well-known poem, Robert Frost once depicted humans as standing on a shore looking out to sea, unable to perceive much about their world. Philip Gerard, however, writes from the North Carolina coast with an unusual gift for peering not only “out far,” but also “in deep”
A review of The Patron Saint of Dreams

"Christie’s New York will offer in a special sale the sumptuously-bound “Duke of Portland” set of these 435 lushly hand-colored engravings (estimate: $7,000,000 – 10,000,000), still considered the highest achievement in ornithological art.  Bibliographers calculate that the entire first edition numbered just 200 completed copies produced over an eleven-year period, of which 161 copies were created for paid subscribers.  At present, only 120 complete sets are known to exist in the world, 107 in institutions and 13 in private hands."
Complete edition of Audubon's Birds of America auctioned at Christies

"#1 New York Times bestselling author Brad Thor launches the 2012 Savannah Book Festival with a dynamic evening on Wednesday, February 15 at the Plantation Club on Skidaway Island."
Countdown to the Savannah Book Festival

it may be the hardest job in the world, but it’s the best job in the world. You meet so many interesting people…”
For the love of bookshops

"University of Georgia alumnus Eugene Methvin spent his career fighting against corruption and communism."
Former Reader's Digest Editor Eugene Methvin

""A Confederacy of Dunces" penned by John Kennedy Toole and translated into Persian by Peyman Khaksar"
Confederacy of Dunces available in Iran

"This year’s Paideia prize winner is author, agrarian and philosopher Wendell Berry. Berry is a prolific writer. An Amazon search for his name yields pages and pages of Berry’s individual titles, including compilations, essays, novels, short stories, poetry and even children’s literature. In spite of that not every one is familiar with Berry. One of my friends said, “Wendell who?”
Wendell Who?

In addition to selling books, the Coral Gables branch serves as a community center that attracts standing-room-only audiences to its nightly free lectures presented by prominent authors of important books. And it well may be that the success of Books & Books is in part because of these evening gatherings attracting book-lovers who then proceed to purchase books before they leave.
Meet the locals: go to an indie bookstore reading

"The bookstore that became an unofficial community center for LGBT Atlanta and also attracted visitors from around the world to its landmark location in the heart of Midtown officially closed today. Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse will not reopen and is filing for bankruptcy."
Outwrite Bookstore closes

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Lady Banks' Commonplace Book


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

The Signet Classic Book of Southern Short StoriesOn sighting Dare's Gift

It was the year after Mildred's first nervous breakdown, and Drayton, the great specialist in whose care she had been for some months, advised me to take her away from Washington until she recovered her health. As a busy man I couldn't spend the whole week out of town; but if we could find a place near enough--somewhere in Virginia! we both exclaimed, I remember--it would be easy for me to run down once a fortnight. The thought was with me when Harrison asked me to join him for a week's hunting on James River; and it was still in my mind, though less distinctly, on the evening when I stumbled alone, and for the first time, on Dare's Gift.

...From the warm red of its brick walls to the pure Colonial lines of its doorway, and its curing wings mantled in roses and ivy, the house stood there, splendid and solitary. The rose of darkened windows sucked in without giving back the last flare of daylight; the heavy cedars crowding thick up the short avenue did not stir as the wind blew from the river; and above the carved pineapple on the roof, a lonely bat was wheeling high against the red disc of the sun.

--Ellen Glasgow, "Dare's Gift" in The Signet Classic Book of Southern Short Stories, edited by Dorothy Abbott and Susan Koppelman (Signet, 2005)

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Okra Picks


Okra PicksGreat southern books, fresh off the vine! Picked for you with care by Southern Indie Booksellers

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
Grand Central Publishing, January 2012

A Grown-Up King of Pretty"Madness! Mayhem! Laughter! Tears! Emotional rollercoasters, old lies and an unmarked grave propel the Slocumb women into action. Joshilyn Jackson's signature style explodes in""A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY". "Buckle up and enjoy!"--Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Very Valentine

A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother, whose maternal love braids together the strands of the women's shared past--and who will stop at nothing to defend their future.

Grand Central Publishing | January 2012 | 9780446582353

More info

SEE MORE OKRA PICKS HERE

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Great Bookstores


An Indie Bookstore you should know

Fiction AddictionFiction Addiction in Greenville, SC

1020A Woodruff Rd.,
Greenville, SC 29607
864-675-0540

Fiction Addiction is owned and managed by Jill Hendrix (nee McFarlane). Mrs. Hendrix grew up in Greenville but had been living in New York City for the past 5 1/2 years before opening Fiction Addiction. She has worked for the Editorial department of St. Martin's Press and several internet startups and is an avid reader.

Fiction Addiction

Fiction Addiction, founded in 2001, is an independent bookstore serving the Eastside of Greenville, SC. Our new address is 1020A Woodruff Rd., Greenville, SC 29607.

We sell books of all flavors: fiction and nonfiction, new and used, paperbacks and hardcovers, and books for adults and children.  We also carry a variety of gift items, including Melissa & Doug educational toys, greeting cards, booklights, bookholders, reading glasses, and jewelry.

One of the most popular things to do at Fiction Addiction is attend their "Book Your Lunch" reading series, which pairs great writers with delicious food. Sit down and have lunch with a favorite writer and get a chance to ask them all those embarrassing questions about their books!

The schedule is here: http://www.bookyourlunch.com/

website | twitter | facebook | events | signed books  | shop

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Author 2 Author: Taylor Polites


Taylor PolitesOne of the greatest pleasures of SIBA’s tradeshow is the opportunity to connect with authors, booksellers, and readers. At this past tradeshow in Charleston, author Karen Spears Zacharias met debut novelist Taylor Polites. The two bonded during a drive out to Nathalie Dupree’s lovely home, where everyone was treated to a delightful dinner. Listen in as Karen and Taylor discuss his debut novel, THE REBEL WIFE, an OKRA pick and recently named by O Magazine as one of the Top Ten Titles to Pick Up Now.  “This engrossing novel about a resilient heroine in the post-Civil War South has all the drama of the era and none of the clichés,” says O Magazine.  

The Rebel Wife

KAREN: What did you do before you became a novelist?

TAYLOR: I studied History and French in college and after graduation had this plan to get a PhD in history—either Renaissance France or American history (with a focus on the Civil War South, of course).  A friend encouraged me to move to New York City for the year between college and grad school.  I did and fell in love with New York.  I started as an admin assistant in a large investment bank and ended up after twelve years overseeing the investor reporting and investor communications for a large group of private equity funds.  A fascinating place to be in the 1990s and 2000s!

KAREN: What was the incident that happened in your own life that made you know you had to write this story?

TAYLOR: I had this idea a long time ago, back in 1998, when I was working on what I thought would become a novel set in North Alabama, but didn’t.  A Reconstruction side-story came to me of a woman from a family who was wealthy before the war and was forced to marry a scalawag after.  Then the scalawag dies from a blood fever and she is left alone in the midst of ever-growing chaos.  There was something about this woman that captivated me.  I couldn’t stop thinking about her.  Soon I abandoned the earlier novel and focused exclusively on the Reconstruction story.  I focused my reading and research on the period and the idea developed, taking on a larger meaning.  It grew into something imperative for me.  While I have had many ideas since 1998 and worked on different projects, The Rebel Wife was always a must-do story.

KAREN: What intimidated you about writing The Rebel Wife?

TAYLOR: Getting the history right—the details of the period right. That was intimidating.  I did a lot of reading of newspapers and period magazines to get a sense of what people were talking about, what they thought about and consumed.  I also read a lot of diaries and letters and other period sources to get a sense of voice and place.  The most challenging part of the process, of course, was writing the voice of a woman in 1875 North Alabama.  Sometimes, I wondered what on earth I was thinking to take on this challenge!  But those sources were a major help in pulling me through.  The voice of Mary Chesnut in her diaries, and Huntsville’s Kate Fearn in her letters (collected in a book called Cease Not to Think of Me), and the spunky Sarah Morgan in her Louisiana Civil War diary.  Listening to those women talk was critical to developing Augusta’s voice and keeping her on track.

KAREN: Did you ever hit that wall? The one where you told yourself, I cannot do this?

TAYLOR: Yes, I hit that wall a few times.  With anyone who writes, doubt is an ever-present obstacle.  I think it is always there, but on your first project, it must be at its worst (I hope, at least, the worst is behind me).  Writers are notoriously secretive about their work and there is no wonder to that—the wrong word or expression from another person can lead to a spiral of self-doubt, and much worse when you are sharing your work with people.  You have to be very thoughtful about how much you talk about your work and with whom.

KAREN: How did you push through it?

TAYLOR: I was so, so lucky to have a great mentor in the MFA program where I wrote this novel.  The Wilkes University MFA was an incredible community of writers—both established faculty and aspiring students—who provided support and motivation throughout the process.  My mentor, Kaylie Jones, a great novelist to whom I dedicated The Rebel Wife, led me through the drafting process, held my hand really. And when I was having those moments of self-doubt, she read me the riot act and gave me the confidence to push through.  Having that kind of support was critical to finishing the manuscript.  I also rely on a lot of techniques to manage doubt.  I meditate regularly, which is a great way to clear your mind of debris and focus on the important stuff.  I journal regularly, which is another way of clearing out the noise and finding your way to your work.  Exercise is a critical part of my routine.  And anything that can help you slide into that thoughtful zone where you are in touch with your story:  driving, walking, certain types of music, a certain space.  All contribute to pushing through to the writing.

KAREN: I have to confess that Augusta “Gus” Branson was so pathetic, at first I just wanted to slap her into next Sunday. Her metamorphosis into a Rebel Wife was a long-time coming, wasn’t it?

TAYLOR: It is really interesting to see how people react to Gus’ change to rebellion.  I always envisioned her transformation as something incremental, something that built slowly, that was demonstrated to her piece by piece.  So there is certainly a gradual pace to her awakening.  For me, she is a woman of her time—that was the goal, to make her as plausibly of her time as possible.  The idea of empowerment, the ability to find agency in your own life, is something that we are all very familiar with today, but would have been alien (and even subversive) to everyone but white men of a certain class in the 19th century.  Gus is handicapped by her personal history and her self-willed numbness manifested through her use of opium.

When the novel begins, wealth is the key to independence for her—wealth that she would directly control, not wealth via whatever male guardian she had.  When she finds that the money is not truly hers, she is set back, but begins that gradual process of learning about herself and the people around her, and her ultimate connection to the African-Americans in her household, all former slaves, who are looking for agency in their own right.

KAREN: The N- word. Was making the decision to use it difficult for you? How did you arrive at that decision to include it?

TAYLOR: I did put a lot of thought into if I should use the n-word and how to use it. It is abhorrent to us today, but that abhorrence is a part of the experience of The Rebel Wife, too.  The people of 1875, of course, used the n-word frequently and with purpose.  To say someone was black was not uncommon, but to identify an ethnic group as “blacks” was unusual.  Generally, African-Americans after the Civil War were called (by themselves and others) Freedmen, colored or Negro (and most white institutions, like newspapers, did not capitalize Negro until well into the twentieth century, something W.E.B. DuBois considered a gratuitous insult).  The n-word, when used, was used specifically to insult or degrade—and when characters in The Rebel Wife use it, that intent is there as well.

While I disagree with people who want the n-word removed from Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I agree that there is something ugly and vicious in how casually it was used.  I do not get that sense of casualness in reading other texts from the late 19th century.  A woman of education would not have used the n-word, knowing how ugly it is.  So when a woman in The Rebel Wife uses it that indicates her point of view and is meant to create a response in the reader.  When the men in The Rebel Wife use it, that is a further escalation of a pattern of racism and bitterness that is embedded in American society and that had (continues to have) a lot of longevity to it.

It is a word that exists in the English language.  Pretending it does not exist does not advance understanding of the period or of who we are today.  I chose to use the word with an emphasis on its ugliness for its effect on the reader and what it said about the characters who used it.

KAREN: As a journalist, I’m in awe of how much research you put into this story. You offer a detailed list of the readings you did in concert with writing this book. But I also know how easy it is to get waylaid by research. How did you find the balance between giving enough information but not so much you overwhelm the reader?

TAYLOR: I certainly did a lot of reading—and over a period of many years.  I always loved history and made a special focus of North Alabama and the Civil War from my teens.  An accusation of research overkill would not be too far from the mark.  Writers working in a historical period always run the risk of spending too much time researching and not enough time writing—especially when the period is as fascinating as late nineteenth century America.  But when it came to the writing, you must be disciplined.

I understood the narrative arc of the period and used that as a source for structuring the narrative in The Rebel Wife.  A lot of information made it into the book, but as I edited, I concentrated on the very narrow focus of Augusta’s point of view.  What would she know and think about versus what would seem so familiar to her, it would not be worthy of remark.  The challenge was to provide enough historical detail to give the reader a sense of what was going on in this world at this particular moment, but to limit it very narrowly to the point of view of a woman who was immersed in that world.  It was, in the end, a fun and fascinating challenge.  And thank you so much for the great compliment!

KAREN: Did you intentionally craft Gus as a more cunning Scarlett O’Hara?

TAYLOR: I wanted Gus to be a great heroine, tragic or heroic, but in the vein of the great women of fiction who always fascinated me.  Scarlett O’Hara was definitely a major player in my pantheon of women heroines.  But there were so many more, Emma Bovary, Anna Karenina, Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair, Lizzie Eustace from Trollope’s The Eustace Diamonds, Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, even Cathy from Wuthering Heights, Isabel Archer from The Portrait of a Lady, Lily Bart from The House of Mirth.  These were women who captivated me, moved me, made me cheer or writhe in frustration.  Since The Rebel Wife is set in the South with a female heroine who survived the same upheavals that Scarlett faced, comparisons are inevitable, and I don’t shrink from those either.  Gone With the Wind was such an important book to me when I was growing up.  I hope The Rebel Wife embraces its best parts and challenges its worst.  There are whispers of GWTW throughout the book.  I want Augusta and The Rebel Wife to take their place in the tradition of Southern books and Southern heroines.

KAREN: Did you know how this story would end when you began writing it?

TAYLOR: I did know the ending when I began writing the book, but it was a very different ending from what I finished with!  When I start something, I feel very much the need to know precisely where I am going.  I do not feel comfortable writing into the dark.  That said, as you write, the story changes in interesting ways.  Working with my mentor, Kaylie Jones, my agent, Trena Keating, and my editor, Trish Todd at Simon & Schuster, was an incredible learning experience.  All of that work and cooperation led to the climactic ending of The Rebel Wife—and it is an ending I love!

KAREN: What surprised you most in the writing of The Rebel Wife?

TAYLOR: The critical role of revision is probably the most surprising part of this experience.  The more you revise, the better the work becomes.  I could feel the narrative become more streamlined, more focused.  The text became smoother, more distinctly Augusta’s voice.  The story of Augusta’s internal struggle and the action of the story became clearer and made other decisions, to add or remove, easier.  The revision process is arduous and repetitive, but absolutely necessary.

KAREN: One of my favorite scenes takes place on the day of Eli’s funeral in the music room and it’s solely because of your description of that moment: “It is dark. The shadows and black cloth seem to blend. Great swells of bombazine and barege fill the room, along with flurrying ribbons of crape and velvet and great veils pinned against black bonnets. They are like so many crows picking their way under the trees…”. I had to go look up bombazine and barege. I noticed in your notes that you spent a lot of time pouring over fashion magazines. Fashion and history are as much characters in this book as Gus and Simon, aren’t they?

TAYLOR: I definitely hope they are. As I said above, the history really fleshed out the arc of the story.  There is something allegorical about the characters, their stories and how they work together that reflects the currents and shifts of the period.  Fashion, too, that indulgent detail, was a major element for me.  I loved looking through the Godey’s Lady’s Books, the Harper’s Bazars and Peterson’s Ladies Magazines.  They were true lifestyle magazines, giving the latest fashions and social gossip, as well as recipes, housekeeping tips, advice on manners, hygiene and handiwork.  They created a whole world unto themselves—the highly structured domestic sphere assigned to women (and replete with its own set of myths).  Fashion in this period was both a burgeoning consumer market and a signal of social class.  To participate in social ritual required specific behavioral norms as well as an observance of the role that clothing played in the ritual.  Gus is very concerned with both, and concerned about the ways she contravenes both, her first small rebellions.

KAREN: I am taken with the way you were able to capture the cautious nature of Simon’s relationship with Gus. Were there moments when you worried that Simon had pushed too hard?

TAYLOR: Thank you!  I love that relationship, the very careful dance that Simon and Gus do.  Simon is so reserved, aware of the restrictions built around the interactions of a black man and a white woman, but also able to take advantage of the opportunities presented by being a member of the household.  Gus, for me, was the one who transgressed, who pushed too hard or too impetuously, and yet she was just as confined by the taboos of her time and the watchful eyes of her neighbors.  Simon was always a character who remained firmly locked up inside of himself.  If anyone needed restraints (as her character developed), it was Gus.

KAREN: Any scenes end up on the cutting floor that you wished you could have included?

TAYLOR: That revision process again!  I have to say, I think of the scenes I cut back or reconfigured—or cut completely—and I still feel like they were all good choices.  If they distracted from the story or did not contribute something to its development, they were gone—and rightly so.  I tried to use a very critical eye in assessing what moved things along and what did not, but you also get so wrapped up in the work, you can lose perspective.  Having great editors and advisors is such an important part of the process.  I am very lucky I had great advice!

KAREN: It’s difficult in this election year to imagine Republicans as they are portrayed in The Rebel Wife. In Gus’s day, Republicans were the progressives fighting for social justice. What’s the message in that for readers?

TAYLOR: Over the past 30 years or so, there has been a reassessment of Reconstruction.  The traditional narrative, the one I learned as I grew up, was that Reconstruction was a period of rampant corruption when the governments of the Southern states were taken prisoner by Yankees hell-bent on picking clean the corpse of the defeated South.  Historical schools of thought of the early 20th century established this point of view that was repeated in popular literature and films until it became a reflexive assumption.  The new scholarship, from books like Philip Dray’s Capitol Men (2010), Stephen Budiansky’s The Bloody Shirt (2008) or The Scalawag in Alabama Politics by Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins (1977), brought to the forefront the incredible idealism of some (certainly not all) of the people leading Congressional Reconstruction in the South.  Only 150 years ago, slavery existed in this country.  When it ended, not only were those in bondage freed, but the freed men (the women’s movement and its relationship to abolition and Reconstruction is another fascinating topic) were guaranteed in the amended Constitution equal civil rights with other men in this country.  Has this ever happened in the history of the world?  There are great stories of a people released from bondage—but then made full citizens with equal civil rights?  It seems a natural conclusion to us today, particularly when we see how this amazing experiment failed; but certainly, to those of the time, it must have seemed a truly radical and incredible act.  If readers take any message from the book, I would hope they would revisit their assumptions about Reconstruction and what was tried and accomplished after the Civil War.

KAREN: Fear grips the Alabama town of Albion when Eli and others die of the blood fever. Yellow fever is still not eradicated. An estimated 30,000 people die from this mosquito-borne disease annually and it’s been identified as one of the reemerging diseases. What reports or records helped you capture the terror of this loathesome disease?

TAYLOR: These new and re-emerging infectious diseases were definitely a source of ideas for me in thinking about the blood fever that grips Albion.  We are (in industrialized countries) so insulated from sickness and injury today compared to people from 100 or more years ago.  If we get sick, we call the doctor and get antibiotics (we forget that penicillin has only be generally available since World War II).  There are few things that are wholly untreatable.  Yet we get a glimpse of them in new flu strains or the horrible scourge of AIDS or the aggressiveness of cancer.

There seems to be a new consciousness of imminent pandemic—will it be Ebola or Marburg virus?  Is it airborne or by touch or bodily fluids?  This is how people viewed sickness years before there were treatments for them or even the most basic understanding of bacteria or how infections were spread.  Doctors treated their patients with heroic doses of mercury or antimony, often doing more harm than good.

What struck me in some of the letters I read, particularly those of Kate Fearn Steele, who lived in Huntsville, Alabama through the Civil War, was the focus on sickness.  Her letters to her husband are often two-thirds about who was well in Huntsville and who was ill, how ill they were, what the symptoms were, what the doctor said, if it was catching, if they had heard about sickness in other places.  There was something enlightening about that—to understand this obsession with health and to find its analog in our own society.

KAREN: You grew up in Alabama but moved off up North. Do you feel at home in Yankee territory? Do you think you’ll ever return to the South to live?

TAYLOR: I love New England.  I really do.  I lived in New York City for thirteen years before moving further north, first to Cape Cod and now in Providence.  There is a unique and identifiable culture and point of view in New England that is as region-defining as a sense of “Southern-ness” in the South.  We are all human beings, there are plenty of good people and not so good.  But those region-specific characteristics that you find in geography, architecture, history and culture are fascinating to me—and fascinating when you see them truly reflected in the behavior and mores of people.  I have adjusted well to snow and seasons and have no plans to move, but I would never rule out a return to the South.  My parents both live in the South and I have a lot of family there, so I spend a lot of time down South.

KAREN: What are you working on next?

TAYLOR: I am working in Albion, Alabama again.  This time a story set during the Depression, but that looks back (as everything in the South does) to the Civil War.  The Depression was another period of intense change in the South, particularly in the Tennessee Valley.  The Tennessee Valley Authority’s dam-building projects brought jobs, flood control, electricity and cheap fertilizer to one of the most impoverished areas of the country.  The system of sharecropping, which had replaced slavery after the Civil War, was giving way to larger corporate farms and mechanized farming.  But the legacy of the Civil War was still strong, achieving the peak of its mythology and sentimentalism.  It is a fascinating period and I am enjoying the research and watching the story grow.
--
Karen Spears Zacharias
A SILENCE OF MOCKINGBIRDS
April 2012. MacAdamCage
Order your copy today!

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STARS Authors on Tour

STARSWhat 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.

Susan Gregg GilmoreFeatured Author:
Susan Gregg Gilmore from Chattanooga, TN

Susan Gregg Gilmore has written for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Los Angeles Times, and the Christian Science Monitor. Her debut novel, Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen, was called a stand-out coming-of-age novel by NPR's Allan Cheuse and was a SIBA 2009 Book Award Nominee. Her second work, The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove, was a SIBA 2010 Summer OKRA Pick and a Target Emerging Author Selection. Her third novel, set in Tennessee's Sequatchie Valley, will be released in 2013. Susan lives in Chattanooga with her husband and youngest daughter.

The Improper Life of Bezellia GroveBook: The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove

Nobody in Nashville has a bigger name to live up to than Bezellia Grove. As a Grove, she belongs to one of city's most prominent families and is expected to embrace her position in high society. That means speaking fluent French, dancing at cotillions with boys from other important families, and mastering the art of the perfect smile.

Also looming large is her given name Bezellia, which has been passed down for generations to the first daughter born to the eldest Grove. The others in the long line of Bezellias shortened the ancestral name to Bee, Zee or Zell. But Bezellia refuses all nicknames and dreams that one day she, too, will be remembered for her original namesake's courage and passion.

Though she leads a life of privilege, being a Grove is far from easy. Her mother hides her drinking but her alcoholism is hardly a secret. Her father, who spends long hours at work, is distant and inaccessible. For as long as she can remember, she's been raised by Maizelle, the nanny, and Nathaniel, the handyman. To Bezellia, Maizelle and Nathaniel are cherished family members. To her parents, they will never be more than servants.

Relationships are complicated in 1960s Nashville, where society remains neatly ordered by class, status and skin color. Black servants aren't supposed to eat at the same table as their white employers. Black boys aren't supposed to make conversation with white girls. And they certainly aren't supposed to fall in love. When Bezellia has a clandestine affair with Nathaniel's son, Samuel, their romance is met with anger and fear from both families. In a time and place where rebelling against the rules carries a steep price, Bezellia Grove must decide which of her names will be the one that defines her.

website| blog | facebook | twitter

Susan Gregg Gilmore
Dickson, TN 2/11/2012-2/11/2012
Charlottesville, VA 3/21/2012-3/24/2012
Little Rock, AR 4/12/2012-4/14/2012
Oxford, MS 6/15/2012-6/17/2012
Marietta, GA 8/22/2012-8/22/2012

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More STARS Authors:
see the full list online here and find the authors touring in your area here

 

Kala Ambrose
Raleigh, NC 2/25/2012-2/26/2012

Lori Beard-Daily
Atlanta, GA 1/26/2012-1/26/2012

Daleen Berry
Savannah, GA 2/14/2012-2/16/2012
Charlotte, NC 2/13/2012-2/14/2012
Charlottesville, VA 2/10/2012-2/12/2012
Winter Haven, FL 2/17/2012-2/24/2012

Nancy Cohen
Bonita Springs, FL 3/22/2012-3/22/2012
Estero, FL 3/24/2012-3/24/2012

Susan Gregg Gilmore
Dickson, TN 2/11/2012-2/11/2012
Charlottesville, VA 3/21/2012-3/24/2012
Little Rock, AR 4/12/2012-4/14/2012
Oxford, MS 6/15/2012-6/17/2012
Marietta, GA 8/22/2012-8/22/2012

Mark Hainds
Jacksonville, FL 2/17/2012-2/19/2012
Jekyll Island, GA 2/19/2012-2/21/2012
Orange Beach, AL 1/25/2012-1/28/2012
St. Simons Island, GA 2/18/2012-2/18/2012

Jessica James
Amelia Island, FL 2/16/2012-2/21/2012

Alma Katsu
Nashville, TN 4/21/2012-4/22/2012
Asheville, NC 4/21/2012-4/22/2012
Virginia Beach, VA 5/4/2012-5/5/2012

Nancy Naigle
Newport News, VA 2/5/2012-2/5/2012
Suffolk, VA 2/28/2012-2/28/2012
Nashville, TN 8/23/2012-8/26/2012
Naples, FL 9/7/2012-9/9/2012

Renea Winchester
Roswell, GA 2/8/2012-2/8/2012
Roswell, GA 2/23/2012-2/23/2012
Marietta, GA 2/26/2012-2/26/2012
Sandy Plains, GA 3/14/2012-3/14/2012
Alpharetta, GA 3/21/2012-3/21/2012
Lawrenceville, GA 3/15/2012-3/15/2012
Sylva, NC 3/27/2012-3/27/2012

 

 


Lady Banks' Bookshelf


Holy Ghost GirlHoly Ghost Girl by Donna M. Johnson

"What a life! "Holy Ghost Girl" takes you inside a world where God and sin and miracles and deceit and love are so jumbled together you can't tell them apart. Donna Johnson sorts through her story with great insight, compassion and humor, giving us an indelible portrait of a charismatic preacher and the faithful who so desperately believed in him." -Jeannette Walls, "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Glass Castle"

A compassionate, humorous story of faith, betrayal, and coming of age on the evangelical sawdust trail.

She was just three years old when her mother signed on as the organist of tent revivalist David Terrell, and before long, Donna Johnson was part of the hugely popular evangelical preacher's inner circle. At seventeen, she left the ministry for good, with a trove of stranger-than-fiction memories. A homecoming like no other, "Holy Ghost Girl" brings to life miracles, exorcisms, and faceoffs with the Ku Klux Klan. And that's just what went on under the tent.

As Terrell became known worldwide during the 1960s and '70s, the caravan of broken-down cars and trucks that made up his ministry evolved into fleets of Mercedes and airplanes. The glories of the Word mixed with betrayals of the flesh and Donna's mother bore Terrell's children in one of the several secret households he maintained. Thousands of followers, dubbed "Terrellites" by the press, left their homes to await the end of the world in cultlike communities. Jesus didn't show, but the IRS did, and the prophet/healer went to prison.
Recounted with deadpan observations and surreal detail, "Holy Ghost Girl" bypasses easy judgment to articulate a rich world in which the mystery of faith and human frailty share a surprising and humorous coexistence.

Gotham Books | 9781592406302 | October 2011 |$26


Moonlight on LinoleumMoonlight on Linoleum: A Daughter's Memoir by Terry Helwig

""I invited the child I was once to have her say in these pages. I am the one who came out on the other side of childhood; she is the one who searched for the door."

"In the tradition of "The Glass Castle" comes a debut memoir about a woman's hopeful life despite the sad results of her mother's choices. "Moonlight on Linoleum" is an affecting story of a girl who rose above her circumstances to become an early and faithful caretaker to her five siblings. It is about the power one finds in sisterhood to thrive in a difficult and ever-changing landscape as the girls bond in unconditional love despite constant upheaval and uncertainty. In these pages, Teresa Helwig crafts a moving portrait of a mother she loved completely even as she struggled to understand her.

Howard Books | 9781451628470 | October 2011 | $25


Yankee Doodle DixieYankee Doodle Dixie by Lisa Patton

"A charmingly funny testament to second chances in life and love from the acclaimed author of "Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter

Lisa Patton won the hearts of readers last year, her book "Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter "became a sleeper-success. Building on a smashing debut, Lisa's poised to go to the next level--because whether in Vermont snow or in Memphis heat, Dixie heroine Leelee Satterfield is never too far from misadventure, calamity...and ultimately, love.

Having watched her life turn into a nor'easter, 34-year-old Leelee Satterfield is back home in the South, ready to pick back up where she left off. But that's a task easier said then done...Leelee's a single mom, still dreaming of the Vermonter who stole her heart, and accompanied by her three best friends who pepper her with advice, nudging and peach daiquiris, Leelee opens another restaurant and learns she has to prove herself yet again. Filled with heart and humor, women's fiction fans will delight in this novel.

Thomas Dunne Books | 9780312556938 | September 2011 | $24.99


Little Black DressLittle Black Dress by Susan McBride


"I'll read anything by Susan McBride."--Charlaine Harris, New York Times Bestselling Author

Two sisters whose lives seemed forever intertwined are torn apart when a magical little black dress gives each one a glimpse of an unavoidable future.

Antonia Ashton has worked hard to build a thriving career and a committed relationship, but she realizes her life has gone off track. Forced to return home to Blue Hills when her mother, Evie, suffers a massive stroke, Toni finds the old Victorian where she grew up as crammed full of secrets as it is with clutter. Now she must put her mother's house in order--and uncover long-buried truths about Evie and her aunt, Anna, who vanished fifty years earlier on the eve of her wedding. By shedding light on the past, Toni illuminates her own mistakes and learns the most unexpected things about love, magic, and a little black dress with the power to break hearts . . . and mend them.

William Morrow & Company | 9780062027191 | August 2011 | $14.99


Jersalem MaidenJerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner

"Talia Carner uses beautiful language, exquisite storytelling, and detailed research to transport the reader into the world of old Jerusalem . . . This is a book to savor and discuss."--Jewish Book World

In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a young Orthodox Jewish woman in the holy city of Jerusalem is expected to marry and produce many sons to help hasten the Messiah's arrival. While the feisty Esther Kaminsky understands her obligations, her artistic talent inspires her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, to dream of studying in Paris--and to believe that God has a special destiny for her. When tragedy strikes her family, Esther views it as a warning from an angry God and suppresses her desires in order to become an obedient "Jerusalem maiden."

But when a surprising opportunity forces itself on to her preordained path, Esther finds her beliefs clashing dangerously with the passions she has staved off her entire life--forcing her to confront the most difficult and damning question of all: To whom must she be true, God or herself?

Harper | 9780062004376 | May 2011 | $14.99

 

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