Southern Indie Bestsellers

 

HARDCOVER FICTION

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. All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr, Scribner, $27, 9781476746586
5. The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins, Riverhead, $26.95, 9781594633669
6. Eligible
Curtis Sittenfeld, Random House, $28, 9781400068326
7. Fool Me Once
Harlan Coben, Dutton, $28, 9780525955092
8. The Summer Before the War
Helen Simonson, Random House, $28, 9780812993103
9. The Swans of Fifth Avenue
Melanie Benjamin, Delacorte, $28, 9780345528698
10. Miller's Valley
Anna Quindlen, Random House, $28, 9780812996081

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

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
3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Marie Kondo, Ten Speed Press, $16.99, 9781607747307
okra4. Dimestore: A Writer's Life
Lee Smith, Algonquin, $24.95, 9781616205027

5. Being Mortal
Atul Gawande, Metropolitan, $26, 9780805095159
6. Lab Girl
Hope Jahren, Knopf, $26.95, 9781101874936
7. Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Spiegel & Grau, $24, 9780812993547
8. Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two
Jim Koch, Flatiron, $27.99, 9781250070500
9. The Third Wave
Steve Case, S&S, $26.95, 9781501132582
10. First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies
Kate Andersen Brower, Harper, $28.99, 9780062439659

 CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL LIST 

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America is a bad land for gods.

This is a fantastic novel about the nature of worship and belief, and what that means for the ideas people leave behind on their way to the next thing.


American Gods by Neil Gaiman (HarperTorch) Recommended by Melanie at Octavia Books New Orleans LA

The Second World War is about to begin.

Hitler is rallying his forces and preparing to conquer the world. Yet, for Ada Smith, a different war is about to begin.

Ada was born with a clubfoot. She cannot walk, and she is forced to stay in her families one-room apartment at all times. Ada doesn’t know
what the world looks like outside of her little apartment. Life for Ada seems very bleak, until the mandatory evacuation of all London’s children is announced.

Suddenly, Ada and her little brother Jamie are sent to the country with thousands of other Londoner children. When they arrive in Kent, Ada expects life to remain as it has always been, but instead Ada will discover a world she never knew existed.

Ada will discover that she is not as broken as she seems, and with time and a lot of love she might be able to change the way the world sees her. A poignant tale set in war-time England of a little girl’s triumph over her disability and the life that she has always known.

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Dial Books for Younger Readers) Recommended by Gretchen at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC


On a Greyhound bus headed from Jackson, MS (aka Mosquitoland) back to Cleveland, Ohio, 16-year-old Mim knows that if she can get to her sick mother by Labor Day, then all the confusion of the divorce, her new stepmom, and the recent move will no longer matter.

Mim's voice in this amazing amalgam of a love story, a road trip novel, and a coming-of-age story, will stay with you long after you finish Mosquitoland.
 
Mosquitoland by David Arnold (Viking) Recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC


What an adventurous life it was! Louisa married John Quincy Adams when she was 21, and followed him to diplomatic posts in Germany, Prussia, St. Petersburg and eventually the United States. 

You share her struggles through multiple miscarriages, the deaths of two babies and years of separation from her children. You're there at the high points, such as her presentation to the court of the tzar. In Washington her parties and balls became legendary. 

Full of first person accounts, from Louisa's memoirs to John Quincy's diary...Louisa makes you feel as if you know this woman. Fabulous history!

Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams by Louisa Thomas (Penguin Press) Recommended by Helen at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

Okra Picks

Lauded for her “astute and engrossing” (People) writing style imbued with “originality galore” (RT Book Reviews), Kim Wright channels the best of Jennifer Weiner and Sarah Pekkanen in this delightful novel of self-discovery on the open road as one woman sets out for Graceland hoping to answer the question: Is Elvis Presley her father?

Blues musician Cory Ainsworth is barely scraping by after her mother’s death when she discovers a priceless piece of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia hidden away in a shed out back of the family’s coastal South Carolina home: Elvis Presley’s Stutz Blackhawk, its interior a time capsule of the singer’s last day on earth.

A backup singer for the King, Cory’s mother Honey was at Graceland the day Elvis died. She quickly returned home to Beaufort and married her high school sweetheart. Yearning to uncover the secrets of her mother’s past—and possibly her own identity—Cory decides to drive the car back to Memphis and turn it over to Elvis’s estate, retracing the exact route her mother took thirty-seven years earlier. As she winds her way through the sprawling deep south with its quaint towns and long stretches of open road, the burning question in Cory’s mind—who is my father?—takes a backseat to the truth she learns about her complicated mother, the minister's daughter who spent a lifetime struggling to conceal the consequences of a single year of rebellion.

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Teen and adult fans of All the Bright Places, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and Everything, Everything will adore this quirky story of coming-of-age, coming out, friendship, love…and agoraphobia.

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But how can she prove she deserves a spot there? 

Solomon is the answer.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa thrusts herself into his life, introducing him to her charming boyfriend Clark and confiding her fears in him. Soon, all three teens are far closer than they thought they’d be, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse, as well.  

A hilarious and heartwarming coming-of-age perfect for readers of Matthew Quick and Rainbow Rowell, HIGHLY ILLOGICAL BEHAVIOR showcases the different ways in which we hide ourselves from the world—and the ways in which love, tragedy, and the need for connection may be the only things to bring us back into the light.

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The 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize [Short List]

The Southerner's Cookbook: Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories
by Garden & Gun (Editor) 
Harper Wave, Hardcover, 9780062242419, 320pp.

From Garden & Gun - the magazine that features the best of Southern cooking, dining, cocktails, and customs - comes an heirloom-quality guide to the traditions and innovations that define today's Southern food culture, with more than 100 recipes and 4-color photography throughout.

From well-loved classics like biscuits and fried chicken to uniquely regional dishes such as sonker (Piedmont, North Carolina's take on cobbler) or Minorcan chowder (Florida's version of clam chowder), each recipe in The Southerner's Cookbook tells a story about Southern food and its origins. With contributions from some of the South's finest chefs, a glossary of cooking terms, and essays from many of the magazine's most beloved writers, The Southerner's Cookbook is much more than simply a collection of recipes: it is a true reflection of the South's culinary past, present, and future.

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 alt= Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab
by Steve Inskeep 
Penguin Press, Hardcover, 9781594205569, 448pps.

Jacksonland is the thrilling narrative history of two men - President Andrew Jackson and Cherokee chief John Ross - who led their respective nations at a crossroads of American history. Five decades after the Revolutionary War, the United States approached a constitutional crisis. At its center stood two former military comrades locked in a struggle that tested the boundaries of our fledgling democracy. Jacksonland is their story. 

One man we recognize: Andrew Jackson - war hero, populist, and exemplar of the expanding South - whose first major initiative as president instigated the massive expulsion of Native Americans known as the Trail of Tears. The other is a half-forgotten figure: John Ross - a mixed-race Cherokee politician and diplomat - who used the United States' own legal system and democratic ideals to oppose Jackson. Representing one of the Five Civilized Tribes who had adopted the ways of white settlers - cultivating farms, publishing a newspaper in their own language, and sending children to school - Ross championed the tribes' cause all the way to the Supreme Court. He gained allies like Senator Henry Clay, Chief Justice John Marshall, and even Davy Crockett. In a fight that seems at once distant and familiar, Ross and his allies made their case in the media, committed civil disobedience, and benefited from the first mass political action by American women. Their struggle contained ominous overtures of later events like the Civil War and set the pattern for modern-day politics. 

At stake in this struggle was the land of the Five Civilized Tribes. In shocking detail, Jacksonland reveals how Jackson, as a general, extracted immense wealth from his own armies' conquest of native lands. Later, as president, Jackson set in motion the seizure of tens of millions of acres - "Jacksonland" - in today's Deep South. 

Jacksonland is the work of renowned journalist Steve Inskeep, cohost of NPR's Morning Edition, who offers here a heart-stopping narrative masterpiece, a tragedy of American history that feels ripped from the headlines in its immediacy, drama, and relevance to our lives. 

Harrowing, inspiring, and deeply moving, Inskeep's Jacksonland is the story of America at a moment of transition, when the fate of states and nations was decided by the actions of two heroic yet tragically opposed men.

CANDICE MILLARD, author of Destiny of the Republic and The River of Doubt
"Inskeep tells this, one of the most tragic and transformative stories in American history, in swift, confident, colorful strokes. So well, and so intimately, does he know his subject that the reader comes away feeling as if Jackson and Ross's epic struggle for the future of their nations took place yesterday rather than nearly two hundred years ago."

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Lady BanksIn which Mr. Lenard Moore explains how Green Eggs and Ham was instrumental in his decision to become a poet, Mr. Pat Conroy worries about his future fame, and her ladyship, the editor, attempts to make strawberry jam, with dubious success.

Lady Banks' Commonplace Book

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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 loosecanon.com, 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.

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.



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Free BookWe 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! 
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Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

The Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

How well do you know your Southern lit?

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.

Play a sample puzzle online! | See the answers