The Feathered BoneFeathers no matter what size or shape or color are all the same, if you think about them. They're soft. Delicate. But the secret thing about feathers is . . . they are very strong.

In the pre-Katrina glow of New Orleans, Amanda Salassi is anxious about chaperoning her daughter's sixth grade field trip to the Big Easy during Halloween. And then her worst fears come true. Her daughter's best friend, Sarah, disappears amid the magic and revelry gone, without a trace.

Unable to cope with her guilt, Amanda's daughter sinks in depression. And Amanda's husband turns destructive as he watches his family succumb to grief. Before long, Amanda's whole world has collapsed.

Amanda knows she has to save herself before it's too late. As she continues to search for Sarah, she embarks on a personal journey, seeking hope and purpose in the wake of so much tragedy and loss.

Set amidst the murky parishes of rural Louisiana and told through the eyes of two women who confront the darkest corners of humanity with quiet and unbreakable faith, The Feathered Bone is Julie Cantrell's master portrait of love in a fallen world.

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My Father, the Pornographer After inheriting 400 novels of pornography written by his father in the 1970s and 80s, critically acclaimed author Chris Offutt sets out to make sense of a complicated father-son relationship in this carefully observed, beautifully written memoir.

"Clearing Dad's office felt like prospecting within his brain. As I sorted, like an archaeologist, backward through time, I saw a remarkable mind at work, a life lived on its own terms."

When Andrew Offutt died, his son, Chris, inherited a desk, a rifle, and 1800 pounds of porn. Andrew had been considered the king of twentieth century smut, a career that began as a strategy to pay for his son's orthodontic needs and soon took on a life of its own, peaking during the 70s when the commercial popularity of the erotic novel was at its height.

With his dutiful wife serving as typist, Andrew wrote from their home in the Kentucky hills, locked away in an office no one dared intrude upon. In this fashion he wrote 400 novels, ranging from pirate porn and ghost porn, to historical porn and time travel porn, to secret agent porn and zombie porn. The more he wrote, the more intense his ambition became, and the more difficult it was for his children to penetrate his world. Over one long summer in his hometown, helping his mother move out of the house, Chris began to examine his deceased father's possessions and realized he finally had an opportunity to come to grips with the mercurial man he always feared but never understood. Offutt takes us on the journey with him, showing us how only in his father's absence could he truly make sense of the man and his legacy. This riveting, evocatively told memoir of a deeply complex father-son relationship proves again why the New York Times Book Review said, Offutt's obvious kin are Richard Ford, Tobias Wolff, and Ernest Hemingway.

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DimestoreIn her first work of nonfiction, Lee Smith deploys the wit, wisdom, and graceful prose for which she is beloved to conjure her early days in the small coal town of Grundy, Virginia and beyond. For the inimitable Lee Smith, place is paramount. For forty-five years, her fiction has lived and breathed with the rhythms and people of the Appalachian South. But never before has she written her own story. Set deep in the rugged Appalachian Mountains, the Grundy of Lee Smith's youth was a place of coal miners, mountain music, and her daddy's dimestore. It was in that dimestore--listening to customers and inventing life histories for the store's dolls--that she began to learn the craft of storytelling. Even though she adored Grundy, Smith's formal education and travels took her far from Virginia, though her Appalachian upbringing never left her. "Dimestore"'s fifteen essays are crushingly honest, always wise, and superbly entertaining. Smith has created both a moving, personal portrait and a broader meditation on embracing one's heritage. Hers is an inspiring story of the birth of a writer and a poignant look at a way of life that has all but vanished. You know how in Lee Smith's fiction there's always something so fresh, crazy, and loving? In "Dimestore "is the essence of Lee. Roy Blount Jr., author of "Alphabetter Juice: or, The Joy of Text"

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The Secret to Hummingbird CakeWhy won t you just tell me what's in that cake? I d been trying to get Laine's recipe for years. We all had.

When all else fails, turn to the divine taste of hummingbird cake.

In the South you always say yes, ma am and no, ma am. You know everybody's business. Football is a lifestyle not a pastime. Food especially dessert is almost a religious experience. And you protect your friends as fiercely as you protect your family even if the threat is something you cannot see.

In this spot-on Southern novel brimming with wit and authenticity, you ll laugh alongside lifelong friends, navigate the sometimes rocky path of marriage, and roll through the outrageous curveballs that life sometimes throws . . . from devastating pain to absolute joy. And if you're lucky, you just may discover the secret to hummingbird cake along the way.

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No One KnowsIn an obsessive mystery as thrilling as "The Girl on the Train" and "The Husband's Secret," "New York Times" bestselling author J.T. Ellison will make you question every twist in her page-turning novel and wonder which of her vividly drawn characters you should trust.

The day Aubrey Hamilton's husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn t want to move on; she wants Josh back. It's been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage they were happy, weren t they? screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn t Josh show up at his friend's bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?

In "No One Knows," the "New York Times" bestselling coauthor of the Nicholas Drummond series expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. This masterful thriller for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins will pull readers into a you ll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops no one knows. 

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ForsakenForsaken is a gripping, beautifully realized work of historical fiction by Ross Howell Jr. It tells the story of the sensational crime committed by Virginia Christian, a young black girl who, in 1912 Virginia, was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the electric chair. Charlie Mears, a white man, covered the case as a rookie reporter. The book chronicles the story of the trial and its aftermath as seen through Mears’s eyes. The novel’s premise is ambitious, its events striking and tragic, and fiction and non-fiction are deftly blended in this powerful read on the themes of injustice, corruption, and racial conflict set in the poisonous epoch known as Jim Crow.

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Hanging MaryThe untold story of Lincoln's Assassination.

1864, Washington City. One has to be careful with talk of secession, of Confederate whispers falling on Northern ears. Better to speak only when in the company of the trustworthy. Like Mrs. Surratt.

A widow who runs a small boardinghouse on H Street, Mary Surratt isn't half as committed to the cause as her son, Johnny. If he's not delivering messages or escorting veiled spies, he's invited home men like John Wilkes Booth, the actor who is even more charming in person than he is on the stage.

But when President Lincoln is killed, the question of what Mary knew becomes more important than anything else. Was she a cold-blooded accomplice? Just how far would she go to help her son?

Based on the true case of Mary Surratt, Hanging Mary reveals the untold story of those on the other side of the assassin's gun.

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A Mysterious Life and CallingA rare discovery, A Mysterious Life and Calling is the autobiography of Charlotte Levy Riley, who was born into slavery but after emancipation achieved a fulfilling career as a preacher in the South Carolina Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, schoolteacher, and civil servant. Although several nineteenth-century accounts by black preaching women in the northern states are known, this is the first memoir by a black woman preaching in the South, both before and after the Civil War, to be discovered.

Born in 1839, Charlotte Riley recounts her unusual experiences growing up as a young slave girl in Charleston under the protection of her parents and the dominion of her wealthy owners. She was taught to read, write, and sew, despite laws forbidding black literacy, and while still a slave married a free black architect. Raised a Presbyterian, she writes in her memoir of her conversion at age fourteen to the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, embracing its ecstatic worship and led by her own spiritual visions. After the war, she separated permanently from her husband, who objected to her call to preach, and despite poor health pursued a career into the early twentieth century as a licensed minister of the AME church, a powerful preacher at multiracial revivals, and a school teacher and principal. She contributed to the civic development of South Carolina in the post-Reconstruction era and early twentieth century, including appointment in 1885 as postmistress of Lincolnville, an all-black incorporated town in South Carolina. She published her autobiography around 1902.

Crystal J. Lucky discovered Riley’s forgotten book in the archives of the Stokes Library at the historically black Wilberforce University in Ohio. She provides an introduction and notes to the narrative, explaining Riley’s references to contemporaries, events, society, and religious practice throughout her childhood and the turbulent years of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Lucky also places A Mysterious Life and Calling in the context of other spiritual autobiographies and slave narratives. 

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The Serpent King"The Serpent King" is a book you won t be able to resist or forget. The Southern boy in me savored every syllable and the reader in me fell in love with every page. John Corey Whaley, National Book Award finalist and Printz Award winner.

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father's extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.

Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

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Fallen LandA modern-day civil rights champion tells the stirring story of how he helped start a movement to bridge America's racial divide.

Fallen Land is Taylor Brown's debut novel set in the final year of the Civil War, as a young couple on horseback flees a dangerous band of marauders who seek a bounty reward. Callum, a seasoned horse thief at fifteen years old, came to America from his native Ireland as an orphan. Ava, her father and brother lost to the war, hides in her crumbling home until Callum determines to rescue her from the bands of hungry soldiers pillaging the land, leaving destruction in their wake. Ava and Callum have only each other in the world and their remarkable horse, Reiver, who carries them through the destruction that is the South. Pursued relentlessly by a murderous slave hunter, tracking dogs, and ruthless ex-partisan rangers, the couple race through a beautiful but ruined land, surviving on food they glean from abandoned farms and the occasional kindness of strangers. In the end, as they intersect with the scorching destruction of Sherman's March, the couple seek a safe haven where they can make a home and begin to rebuild their lives. Dramatic and thrillingly written with an uncanny eye for glimpses of beauty in a ravaged landscape, "Fallen Land" is a love story at its core, and an unusually assured first novel by award-winning young author Taylor Brown.

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No Shred of EvidenceScotland Yard’s Inspector Ian Rutledge is caught up in a twisted web of vengeance, old grievances, past secrets, and a shocking accusation of murder involving four unlikely suspects in this absorbing entry in the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series.

On the north coast of Cornwall, on a warm autumn day, an apparent act of mercy is repaid with an arrest. Four young women of good family, out boating on the River Camel, see a young man alone in another boat that appears to be sinking. In the commotion of the rescue, Harry Saunders, the local banker’s son, is gravely injured. A witness to the event, an upstanding local farmer, accuses the women of attempted murder. Taken into custody, they are placed under house arrest. A shocked father calls in a favor at the Home Office, asking Scotland Yard to review the case. When the original inspector suffers a heart attack, a very reluctant Ian Rutledge is sent to Padstow—too near the scene of another case whose tragic end still haunts him.

Unable to find his dead predecessor’s notes, Rutledge is informed that the investigation is all but closed. With the victim in a coma, there is no one to refute the accusations of the witness. Though Rutledge agrees that circumstances look bad for the young women, he still must determine whether they harmed the young man—and what may have motivated them. His inquiry takes an unexpected personal turn when he discovers that one of the accused is none other than the attractive, levelheaded cousin of the woman he intended to marry in 1914.

To find not just the truth but proof of it, Rutledge will require all his skill to deal with the very powerful and very angry families of the accused, the grieving parents of the victim, local police eager to see these four privileged women sent to the infamous Bodmin Gaol, and his own painful memories. And then another person is savagely attacked—but with the suspects in custody, why hasn’t the killing stopped? The only clue leads nowhere.

With no shred of evidence to clear the young women, Rutledge must delve deep into the darkest secrets of a wild, beautiful, and dangerous place if he is to find a killer who may—or may not—hold the key to their fate. 

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The Third ReconstructionA modern-day civil rights champion tells the stirring story of how he helped start a movement to bridge America's racial divide.

Over the summer of 2013, Rev. William Barber led more than a hundred thousand people at rallies across North Carolina to protest cuts to voting rights and the social safety net, which the state's conservative legislature had implemented. These protests, which came to be known as Moral Mondays, have blossomed into the largest social movement the South has seen since the civil rights era and, since then, it has spread to states as diverse as Florida, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Ohio. In "The Third Reconstruction," Rev. Barber tells the story of how he helped lay the groundwork for the Moral Mondays movement and explores the unfulfilled promises of America's multiethnic democracy. He draws on the lessons of history to offer a vision of a new Reconstruction, one in which a diverse coalition of citizens black and white, religious and secular, Northern and Southern fight side-by-side for racial and economic justice for all Americans. "The Third Reconstruction" is both a blueprint for activism at the state level and an inspiring call to action from the twenty-first century's most effective grassroots organizer. 

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The Opposite of EveryoneA fiercely independent divorce lawyer learns the power of family and connection when she receives a cryptic message from her estranged mother in this bittersweet, witty novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Someone Else's Love Story and gods in Alabama an emotionally resonant tale about the endurance of love and the power of stories to shape and transform our lives.

Born in Alabama, Paula Vauss spent the first decade of her life on the road with her free-spirited young mother, Kai, an itinerant storyteller who blended Hindu mythology with southern oral tradition to reinvent their history as they roved. But everything, including Paula's birth name, Kali Jai, changed when she told a story of her own one that landed Kai in prison and Paula in foster care. With the two of them separated, each holding her own secrets, the intense bond they once shared was fractured.

These days, Paula has reincarnated herself as a tough-as-nails divorce attorney with a successful practice in Atlanta. While she hasn t seen Kai in fifteen years, she's still making payments on that karmic debt until the day her last check is returned in the mail, along with a mystifying note: I am going on a journey, Kali. I am going back to my beginning; death is not the end. You will be the end. We will meet again, and there will be new stories. You know how Karma works.

Then Kai's most treasured secret literally lands on Paula's doorstep, throwing her life into chaos and transforming her from only child to older sister. Desperate to find her mother before it's too late, Paula sets off on a journey of discovery that will take her back to the past and into the deepest recesses of her heart. With the help of her ex-lover Birdwine, an intrepid and emotionally volatile private eye who still carries a torch for her, this brilliant woman, an expert at wrecking families, now has to figure out how to put one back together her own.

The Opposite of Everyone is a story about story itself, how the tales we tell connect us, break us, and define us, and how the endings and beginnings we choose can destroy us . . . and make us whole. Laced with sharp humor and poignant insight, it is beloved New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson at her very best.

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