Southern Indie Bestsellers 9/25/16

HARDCOVER FICTION

1. Commonwealth
Ann Patchett, Harper, $27.99, 9780062491794
2. Razor Girl
Carl Hiaasen, Knopf, $27.95, 9780385349741
3. A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles, Viking, $27, 9780670026197
4. Home
Harlan Coben, Dutton, $28, 9780525955108
5. Nutshell
Ian McEwan, Nan A. Talese, $24.95, 9780385542074
6. The Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead, Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385542364
7. A Great Reckoning
Louise Penny, Minotaur, $28.99, 9781250022134
8. The Woman in Cabin 10
Ruth Ware, Gallery/Scout Press, $26, 9781501132933
9. All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr, Scribner, $27, 9781476746586
10. The Risen
Ron Rash, Ecco, $25.99, 9780062436313
11. The Nix
Nathan Hill, Knopf, $27.95, 9781101946619
12. Here I Am
Jonathan Safran Foer, FSG, $28, 9780374280024
13. Another Brooklyn
Jacqueline Woodson, Amistad, $22.99, 9780062359988
14. Before the Fall
Noah Hawley, Grand Central, $26, 9781455561780
15. The Girls
Emma Cline, Random House, $27, 9780812998603

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

1. Killing the Rising Sun
Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard, Holt, $30, 9781627790628
2. Hillbilly Elegy
J.D. Vance, Harper, $27.99, 9780062300546
3. Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill
Candice Millard, Doubleday, $30, 9780385535731
4. The Hidden Life of Trees
Peter Wohlleben, Greystone Books, $24.95, 9781771642484
5. Love Warrior
Glennon Doyle Melton, Flatiron, $25.99, 9781250075727
6. The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo
Amy Schumer, Gallery, $28, 9781501139888
7. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
Bill Burnett, Dave Evans, Knopf, $24.95, 9781101875322
8. White Trash
Nancy Isenberg, Viking, $28, 9780670785971
9. When Breath Becomes Air
Paul Kalanithi, Random House, $25, 9780812988406
10. Being Mortal
Atul Gawande, Metropolitan, $26, 9780805095159
11. The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics
Maureen Dowd, Twelve, $30, 9781455539260
12. The Perfect Horse
Elizabeth Letts, Ballantine, $28, 9780345544803
13. Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day
John Currence, Ten Speed Press, $30, 9781607747369
14. Guinness World Records 2017
Guinness World Records, $28.95, 9781910561331
15. Jungle
Dan Kainen, Kathy Wollard, Workman, $25.95, 9780761189534

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The Genius of Birds is a splendidly written account of the remarkable ways, many of which are newly discovered, that birds gossip, eavesdrop, exact revenge, manipulate, sympathize, use tools, and communicate in myriad ways.

This smart and entertaining narrative appeals to bird geeks and the commonly curious alike with anecdotes, science, and new insights into what birds know about our frighteningly changing world.

The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman (Penguin) Recommended by Richard at Square Books Oxford MS

There seems to be a new Bowie book out about once every two months these days and I am such a big fan that I have read just about every one. But there is a law of diminishing returns and even I feel that at this point there is very little left to say. Luckily this biography takes a refreshing new tack. It concentrates on the two years that Bowie lived inside his greatest creation, the fictitious and otherworldly Ziggy Stardust. About half the book is gone before you get to Ziggy's rise and it's all context and subtext. Just like Stanley Crouch's book on Charlie Parker Kansas City Lightning it really helps you understand the time, the place and the preceding history and therefore get a better understanding of the work itself. It puts you dead center in the insane whirlwind that burgeoning stardom can bring and the leaves you with a half broken Bowie saying, "Who can I be now?"

Ziggyology: A Brief History of Ziggy Stardust by Simon Goddard (Ebury Press) Recommended by Chris at Acappella Books Atlanta GA

All the intimacy and power that Anne Frank's war diary gave us--the real breath and thoughts and fears of a human living under inhumane circumstances--are aged and magnified in Saif's account of war in Gaza.

For 51 days he and his fellow Gazans live--and die--with the knowledge that life and death are a game of luck, controlled at the hands of an Israeli drone operator. Peace is not permitted for the people of Gaza, restricted by birth to a nation of contested land and continued acts of terror, violence, and grief. This was sixty years of life savings!- a man screams atop the rubble of his home. Ambulances screech all day long, gathering body parts of children and families that moments ago were survivors of the war, and now are its casualties.

Saif and his friends flip a coin on the street--heads, the truce ends, tails, the truce continues. The children fight to plug in their iPads when the electricity comes on, while the adults watch the news to hear which of their friends has been obliterated in their homes this week.

This is the fourth war Saif has lived through, and he knows that it is only by luck that he has lived, and that this war will not be the last--that one day his luck may run out. This is an essential read for those in search of peace in the midst of modern-day warfare, and even more essential for those who aren't sure which side they stand on.

The Drone Eats with Me by Atef Abu Saif (Beacon Press) Recommended by Clara at Acappella Books Atlanta GA

Okra Picks: Curent Crop

From “quite possibly America’s best living writer of short stories” (NPR), Ninety-Nine Stories of God finds Joy Williams reeling between the sublime and the surreal, knocking down the barriers between the workaday and the divine.

Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Joy Williams has a one-of-a-kind gift for capturing both the absurdity and the darkness of everyday life. In Ninety-Nine Stories of God, she takes on one of mankind’s most confounding preoccupations: the Supreme Being.

This series of short, fictional vignettes explores our day-to-day interactions with an ever-elusive and arbitrary God. It’s the Book of Common Prayer as seen through a looking glass—a powerfully vivid collection of seemingly random life moments. The figures that haunt these stories range from Kafka (talking to a fish) to the Aztecs, Tolstoy to Abraham and Sarah, O. J. Simpson to a pack of wolves. Most of Williams’s characters, however, are like the rest of us: anonymous strivers and bumblers who brush up against God in the least expected places or go searching for Him when He’s standing right there. The Lord shows up at a hot-dog-eating contest, a demolition derby, a formal gala, and a drugstore, where he’s in line to get a shingles vaccination. At turns comic and yearning, lyric and aphoristic, Ninety-Nine Stories of God serves as a pure distillation of one of our great artists.

BUY FROM AN INDIE

The summer of 1972 was the most pivotal of Matt Plumley’s childhood. While his beloved Pirates battle for back-to-back World Series titles, Matt’s family moves from Pittsburgh to Dogwood, West Virginia, where his father steps into the pulpit of a church under the thumb of town leader Basil Blackwood. A fish out of water, Matt is relieved to forge a fast bond with two unlikely friends: Dickie Darrel Lee Hancock, a mixed-race boy, and Jesse Woods, a tough-as-nails girl with a sister on her hip and no dad in sight.

As the trio traipses the hills and hollers, Matt begins to fall for Jesse, and their promises to each other draw him deeper into her terrifying reality. One night, the wrath of the Blackwoods and the secrets of Jesse’s family collide, and Matt joins Jesse in a rescue that saves one life and ends another . . . and severs the bond of their friendship.

Years later, Matt is pulled back to Dogwood and to memories of that momentous summer by news of Jesse’s upcoming wedding. He could never shake the feeling that there was more to the story of that fateful night, and he's determined to learn the truth behind the only promise Jesse Woods ever broke.

BUY FROM AN INDIE | READ THE FIRST CHAPTER

The 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Winners

My Sunshine Away
by M. O. Walsh
G.P. Putnam's Sons, Hardcover, 9780399169526, 320pp.

Named A Book of the Year by NPR, The Dallas Morning News, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist. 

Instant New York Times Bestseller

An Entertainment Weekly "Must List" Pick

I really loved this book... I can't praise it enough. ~Anne Rice

It was the summer everything changed.

My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson free spirit, track star, and belle of the block experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too.

In My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh brilliantly juxtaposes the enchantment of a charmed childhood with the gripping story of a violent crime, unraveling families, and consuming adolescent love. Acutely wise and deeply honest, it is an astonishing and page-turning debut about the meaning of family, the power of memory, and our ability to forgive.

BUY FROM AN INDIE

Bull Mountain
by Brian Panowich 
G.P. Putnam's Sons, Hardcover, 9780399173967, 304pp.

Clayton Burroughs comes from a long line of outlaws. For generations, the Burroughs clan has made its home on Bull Mountain in North Georgia, running shine, pot, and meth over six state lines, virtually untouched by the rule of law. To distance himself from his family's criminal empire, Clayton took the job of sheriff in a neighboring community to keep what peace he can. But when a federal agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms shows up at Clayton's office with a plan to shut down the mountain, his hidden agenda will pit brother against brother, test loyalties, and could lead Clayton down a path to self-destruction.

In a sweeping narrative spanning decades and told from alternating points of view, the novel brilliantly evokes the atmosphere of the mountain and its inhabitants: forbidding, loyal, gritty, and ruthless. A story of family the lengths men will go to protect it, honor it, or in some cases destroy it "Bull Mountain" is an incredibly assured debut that heralds a major new talent in fiction.

BUY FROM AN INDIE

The Latest from Lady Banks

Lady BanksIn which Mr. Pat Conroy describes his ideal writing day (which includes Mr. Doug Marlette being in a terrible bad mood), a family road trip does not include any time to stop and pee, and Ms. Jill McCorkle takes liberties with her hometown.

Lady Banks' Commonplace Book

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Turn the Page with Southern Writers

Barbara O'Connor & Monika SchroederChildren’s authors Monika Schröder and Barbara O’Connor have been friends for years, brought together when they shared the same editor, Frances Foster at FSG. After communicating by email for a year or so, they finally met in person at a librarians’ conference in Washington, DC. But their bond grew closer when Barbara moved from Boston to Asheville, North Carolina, a short distance from Monika. Now they enjoy chatting all things book related while walking their dogs once a week in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Making the bond even more special is the fact that they each have new children’s novels being published just days apart.

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Downtown Knoxville has another reason to celebrate, as the Grand Opening of UNION AVE BOOKS is slated for June 18, 2011. This new Independent Bookstore specializes in new and used books, plus decorative arts and gifts, and looks to be a gathering place for downtown shoppers and dwellers and the business community, as well as the faithful of the former Carpe Librum Bookstore which closed at the end of 2010.

The bookstore, located at 517 Union Avenue in Knoxville will carry a diverse inventory of local and regional titles, as well as fiction and non-fiction bestsellers, and feature a special Kids' Corner. In addition, UNION AVE BOOKS will host book signings, special holiday events, and Saturday activities for children. The store will also be available to Knoxville's numerous book clubs for meetings and after-hours events.

"Downtown Knoxville has exploded in the best possible way over the last few years," said Melinda Meador, one of the new owners and an attorney at the downtown law firm Winchester, Sellers, Foster & Steele, P.C.  "We want to be a part of this exciting time for our city, and selling books - especially given Knoxville's rich literary tradition - is a great way to do it."

Meador has teamed with former Carpe Librum owner Flossie McNabb, who brings to UNION AVE BOOKS an unparalleled expertise in bookselling. McNabb said the new store is a "fresh start" for her and her daughter Bunnie Presswood, who will be the store's business manager.  Rounding out this collaborative family business is Meador's son, Jake Knanishu, a junior at Washington University in St. Louis, who will serve as content and marketing consultant as well as bookseller during holiday seasons. "We want to be a home away from home for booklovers," said McNabb.



Free Book Stimulus Plan

Increase your karmic footprint.

We understand that you can buy books anywhere.  You understand that while loving independent bookstores is a wonderful thing, loving them with your shopping dollars is even more wonderful! 

These Southern Indie Booksellers want to entice you to shop with them.  Buy online or in store from any of these shops, then complete the form below and mail it in with your receipt and get a free book.  

What kind of book? you ask.  Answer:  A Free One.  Read more

Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

Do you know your Southern lit?

The Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

We dare you to use a pen on these crossword puzzles, each inspired by one of the winning titles of the SIBA Book Award, honoring ten years of the very best in Southern literature as chosen by the people who would know...Southern Independent Booksellers!

A great gift for your book club, for puzzle-lovers, and anyone who loves Southern literature. $9.95 paperback. Available at Southern Indie Bookstores.