Recommended Reading from Southern Indie Booksellers, culled from their websites, newsletters, emails, facebook and twitter posts, and from the moments when they stop us in the street to push a book in our hands saying, "You've got to read this!"

Everyone Brave Is Forgiven

Written with surprising clarity and insight, this novel gives a heartbreaking account of life in England before the US joined in World War II.

Mary North comes from an aristocratic family who detests her involvement teaching the children who have no way of escaping the violence in the city. Mary learns about love and trust through her time as a teacher and later as an ambulance driver helping victims of the relentless bombing of the city. Her boyfriend, Tom, and his roommate, Alistair, learn that doing your part in the war effort often becomes the greatest sacrifice.

This novel will stay with you for a long time!

Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave (Simon & Schuster) Recommended by Linda at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

 

The Fifth Avenue Artists Society

 A realistic look at life in 1890s New York. 

Callaway's prose will awaken all your senses to everyday life in the growing city. She tells the story of Virginia, a writer in a family full of creativity. Virginia finds that you can never forget your first love and that finding love elsewhere can also be problematic.

The society of artists that Ginny discovers helps her find a new focus on her life. Through several tragedies, she finds purpose in her writing even while losing those who are closest to her.

The Fifth Avenue Artists Society by Joy Callaway (Harper) Recommended by Linda at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

The Witch Hunter

Elizabeth has devoted her life to being a witch hunter, and she's one of the best in the land.

Then she's accused of being a witch herself and sentenced to burn at the stake. On the run from the most powerful man in the kingdom, she makes new friends with actual witches and wizards, people she'd always thought were her enemies but who end up becoming more of a family than she's ever had.

Fans of Graceling will love the action and romance in this medieval fantasy.

 

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Everything She Forgot

Georgiana is a disgrace to her family.

She does not act properly in social settings. Her physical appearance is unbecoming to those around her. And her aptitude for science and experimentation has caused more than a little ruckus among her family and neighbors.

When one of Georgiana’s more bold experiments leads to a near fatal fire, her family decided to be rid of her in the only way available to them. They send her to the Stranje House, a school for unruly girls. When they first arrive to the school, Georgiana is horrified by the sights that she witnesses…young ladies strapped to medieval racks or suffering inside an iron maiden.

Yet, her family is more than happy to leave her with the head mistress Miss Stranje. However, the school might not be all that it seems. Soon Georgiana will find secret passageways, long-forgotten smuggler’s coves, unusual curriculum, and unexpected allies. Georgiana will discover her real purpose at this school is to create an invisible ink that will save many lives across Europe. Yet, if she fails, the cost many be more than she could ever imagine.

Danger lurks in every corner, often from Georgiana herself. Will she be able to find the perfect mixture for the invisible ink, or will her failure create a disaster that will lead to the fall of Europe. Only time will tell. A thrilling tale that will keep you on your toes, and leave you yearning for more! Fans of The Jane Austen mysteries, The Agency series, and Wrapped will love A School for Unusual Girls!

Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne (William Morrow)Recommended by Gretchen at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

 

The Fourteenth Goldfish

Ellie doesn't like how things have changed in her eleven years of life, the most recent change being that her best friend doesn't seem to be her best friend any more.

Then her scientist grandfather shows up under very strange circumstances and shows Ellie a glimpse into the world of science -- Salk, Oppenheimer, Galileo, Newton -- and Ellie has to decide what changes she wants to make and which might not be worth the risk.

A great introduction to science for interested kids, and Ellie will make it even more appealing for girls.

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm (Dell Yearling) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Five

Geo-caching, clues tattooed on a dead body, complex riddles and clues ultimately leading to the end of the hunt.

A puzzle that only Detective Beatrice Kaspary can solve in order to catch a most unusual serial killer. A complex storyline and a psychological thriller written by a talented new author. 

A must read!

Five by Ursula Archer (Minotaur) Recommended by Nancy at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Redemption Road

John Hart’s newest novel, Redemption Road, is a thriller.

Innocents are dying, people are being chased and tortured and the good guys are hard to tell from all of the bad.

It is about Elizabeth Black, a decorated hero cop with a deep dark secret. But, in addition to being a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout it is a compelling and very emotional story of love – love that is sick and twisted, love that is so blind it allows horrible things to be done in its name, love so hidden by guilt it is hard to see, love born out of despair and a love that is so pure and good it allows hope to shine through.

It is obvious that John Hart has poured all of his heart and soul into this beautifully written story of sadness, despair, love and hope.

Redemption Road by John Hart (Thomas Dunne Books) Recommended by Nancy, Jill, and Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Season of Fear

Brian Freeman’s first Cab Bolton thriller was supposed to be a stand alone.

I am sure glad he changed his mind so we could read more about Cab Bolton. A Season of Fear brings Cab back to Florida and finds him involved, thanks to his always interfering mother, with the players in the upcoming FL gubernatorial race.

A powerful tropical storm collides with the culmination of a 10 year-old murder investigation that has lain inactive for many years, resulting in a shocking ending. It is a masterfully written, carefully plotted political thriller… fast paced and suspenseful.

Season of Fear by Brian Freeman (Quercus) Recommended by Nancy at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

The War That Saved My Life

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

Mosquitoland

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

Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams

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

Rebel of the Sands

Amani is a desert girl who doesn't feel comfortable unless she has a gun in her hand, and who wants nothing more than to leave her dead-end life in a family and town that have no use for her.

When she meets Jin, a fellow fighter, it seems like she might have met her salvation. If she can convince him to take her with him when he leaves. And if they can manage to escape capture alive. And if Jin's secrets don't tear them apart.

A fantastically imagined story that will keep you turning the pages until the end. I hope there's more coming.

Rebel of the Sands by Arwyn Hamilton (Viking) Recommended by Melissa O. at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Miller's Valley

A coming of age novel reminiscent of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Mimi is a precocious young girl who struggles to survive under emotionally difficult family circumstances. Mimi wonders if she will ever achieve her dream of leaving Miller's Valley and making something of her life.

Beautifully written!

Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen (Random House) Recommended by Linda at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

The Advocate's Daughter

Sean Serrat thinks the horrible event that occurred when he was only 14 is buried so deeply that it will never see the light of day. But, just as Sean, a prominent Supreme Court lawyer, learns he is on the short list for nomination to the highest court in the land, his life becomes a living nightmare and his past comes back to haunt him.

His daughter, a talented law student, is found murdered and Sean begins to suspect the police have arrested the wrong person for her murder. As he tries to find out the truth others will do anything to prevent the truth from ever being known.

The Advocate's Daughter is a powerful story of loss and revenge set against the background of the Supreme Court.

The Advocate's Daughter by Anthony Franze (Minotaur) Recommended by Nancy M. at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Fellside

I expected dark and perhaps brutal – it was after all taking place in a maximum security prison for serious
offenders – but I wasn’t expecting the supernatural element.

Normally, that would have immediately turned me off but it was so well done and so almost believable that I continued reading. Besides, by that time I was already hooked by Jess.

Fellside is a powerfully written story about drugs, love and hate, and power and corruption. It is an interesting look at the workings inside a prison and an equally interesting study of the human soul.

Fellside by M.R. Carey (Orbit) Recommended by Nancy M. at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

The Travelers

The Travelers is a stunningly complex novel of espionage and counter espionage; a definite page-turner with a story that unfolds at breakneck speed as you travel internationally with a top rated traveler’s magazine.

Who can you trust in this world of modern-day espionage? Twists and turns culminate in a huge surprise ending… Pavone’s best yet!

The Travelers by Chris Pavon (Crown) Recommended by Nancy M. at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler's U-Boats

In Sea Fever, John Masefield's sailors go down to the sea and ask in part for quiet sleep and a sweet dream.

The sailing men of Mathews, of whom there were many, had no illusions about what they were getting into when they flooded the Navy and Merchant Marine during WWII.

The Mathews Men is the story, long too-quiet, about usually poor men who stepped up for the sake of their country and their families – and who also had an almost uncanny affinity for seamanship.

If you loved The Boys in the Boat, you'll also fall for these men on ships.

The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler's U-Boats by William Geroux (Viking) Recommended by Rosemary at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC.

A Shadow All of Light

When manager Sarah asked me if I wanted to read Fred Chappell's A Shadow All of Light, I asked her, "Fred Chappell the poet?" She said yes, but explained that this time he had written a fantasy novel.

Chappell has created a 17th century-ish, Italian-ish world where a country boy named Falco recounts his apprenticeship to the master shadow thief Maestro Astolfo, and there are many reasons why a person would want to steal, sell, buy, or otherwise deal in shadows.

The novel is excellent, and I particularly liked its episodic nature--the story is advanced through a series of stand alone vignettes. From now on I'll ask, -Fred Chappell the fantasy writer?-, when I hear his name ... and I'll keep a closer eye on my shadow.

A Shadow All of Light by Fred Chappell (Tor Books) Recommended by Bill at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

My Sunshine Away

A wonderfully written story about a boy coming of age in the late 80s in Baton Rouge, LA. It is narrated by a 14-year-old boy who, along with all of the other young boys in the neighborhood, is infatuated with 15-year-old Lindy Simpson.

Everything changes the summer Lindy is brutally raped, and no one is ever charged with the crime. Told with humor, some sadness, and at times wisdom beyond his 14 years, the story focuses on all of the suspects and shows how suspicion and violence can change lives forever.

This debut author spins a tale that will grab you from the first page and keep you turning pages until the last.

My Sunshine Away  By M. O. Walsh (G.P. Putnam's Sons) Recommended by Nancy at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

This fabulous Southern debut novel is set in Kentucky during the 1980s, at the height of the coal mountaintop removal mining; it is a beautifully moving coming-of-age story with a touching grandfather-grandson relationship.

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth  By Christopher Scotton (Grand Central Publishing) Recommended by Jill and Nancy at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Ida, Always

Gus and Ida are polar bears at the Central Park Zoo, and they are the best of friends, doing everything together. Then one day, Ida gets sick, and Gus has to deal with feelings he's never had before, and he has to do it without his friend.

My 6-year-old, who does not like to cry, sobbed while reading this book, but she wanted to read it again and again, and event wanted to share it with her class. This book is special. It speaks to people, kids and grown-ups, even if they haven't been through something like Gus has.

I love that Gus (and Ida) roars his anger at losing his friend, that he doesn't want to do anything without his friend, that it's not just left at "he was sad and cried a lot, but then he felt better."

There is so much more to grief than tears, and this book has captured that so well. It is a gift.

Ida, Always by (Atheneum) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC


 

Water Is Water

This nonfiction picture book will make it fun to learn about the water cycle, from water to steam and from clouds to rain and back again.

Younger kids will like the poetic, rhyming text, and older kids will learn something new with all the water cycle facts.

And the beautiful illustrations add something even more.

Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul (Roaring Brook Press) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Disclaimer

Catherine is a happily married successful TV documentary maker with a 25 year old son. Stephen is a washed up, disgraced teacher who is still grieving the recent death of his wife and that of his son 20 years earlier.

They have never met each other and neither realizes that the same event in the past will soon have serious repercussions on both of their lives. Catherine thought she was protecting herself and her family when she chose to keep secret the events of 20 years ago. Stephen thinks he is doing what his wife would want and is seeking revenge for what he thinks happened 20 years ago.

They are both wrong as will be seen in this unique and unusual psychological thriller.

Disclaimer by Renee Knight (HarperCollins) Recommended by Nancy at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

 

Flood Girls

If you are looking for a somewhat irreverent novel, don't mind some raunchy humor and language, but love a good story despite all this, you will love this novel.

A cast of misfits comes together to form a wacky softball team and in the process learns about forgiveness and starting over. The novel centers around Jake, a 12-year-old whose love of vintage clothing and romance novels irritates his mom's live-in boyfriend. A neighbor befriends Jake and provides the things he needs to be himself.
Jake soon becomes an asset that The Flood Girls, the softball team, can't afford to lose.

Flood Girls by Richard Fifield (Gallery Books ) Recommended by Linda H. at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Be Frank With Me

When Alice is sent from her desk job at a New York publishing house to the Bel Air mansion of M.M. Banning, a reclusive one-hit wonder in the literary world, she relishes the idea of doing something new and helping Mimi write her next great novel.


But it turns out, she's mostly wanted to take care of Frank, Mimi's 9-year-old son, a precocious genius who loves old Hollywood movies and dresses better than anyone you've ever met, but who can't seem to bring himself to socialize with other kids.

As Alice is charmed by Frank, she starts to wonder about the life Mimi has built for the two of them and whether she actually has a place in it, however temporary. Fans of Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project will be drawn to Frank and his social awkwardness that somehow manages to also be endearing.
 
Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson (William Morrow) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC


Among Thieves

James Beck wasn’t a criminal when he was sentenced to prison on a falsified charge of killing a policeman, but he was very, very smart and he did what he had to in order to survive.

Eight years later when his conviction was overturned he left prison with a group of ex-cons who would do anything for him. They were family, so when a distant cousin of one of the ex-cons needed help James Beck stepped in. Little did he know they would soon be fighting a Russian arms dealer, Bosnian war criminals and the NYPD.

Among Thieves is an amazingly intelligent, fast paced, well written story about how to get even, steal 116 million dollars and not end up back in jail.

Among Thieves by John Clarkson (Minotaur) Recommended by Nancy at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

The Water and the Wild

The Water and The Wild is a debut children's fantasy that feels akin to the British childhood favorites I grew up reading--The Chronicles of Narnia, The Dark Is Rising, and Alice in Wonderland.

So introduce your child to a modern classic in the making or read it yourself in nostalgic remembrance.

The Water and the Wild by Katie Elise Ormsbee; K. E. Ormsbee; Elsa Mora (Illustrator) (Chronicle Books) Recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

The Cantaloupe Thief

Journalist Branigan Powers begins looking into the ten-year-old unsolved murder of a wealthy resident of Grambling, GA for an article planned to coincide with the anniversary of the murder.

The clients of a homeless mission run by her childhood friend Liam become an important source of information but when two homeless are killed weeks apart in hit-and-run accidents Brannigan begins to fear that she has awakened a murderer.

The Cantalope Thief is an insightful look into the life of the homeless and how others see them. It is a story of love and family and the horrible efects of drug addiction as well as an intriguing mystery with a cast of characters that I hope to encounter in future books.

The Cantaloupe Thief by Deb Richardson-Moore (Lion Publishing)Recommended by Nancy at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Blackbird Fly

For all the geeks, outcasts, and kids who walk to the beat of a different drummer, Blackbird Fly holds out a hand of friendship and invites you to join Filippino immigrant Analyn (known as Apple) as she recovers from her best friend's betrayal and subsequent bullying and finds that music can save one's soul, that you don't have to believe others' opinions of you, and that moms can surprise you.

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly; Betsy Peterschmidt (Illustrator)(Greenwillow Books) Recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Reign of Shadows

Luna has lived her life in darkness. When she was born, a perpetual eclipse started.

In the ensuing chaos, Luna's parents, the king and queen of Relhok, were murdered, and Luna was secreted away to a hidden tower, allowing everyone to believe her dead. But now Luna wants more than life in her tower, and her chance comes when Fowler shows up just before an attack on the tower. Now Luna and Fowler are on the run together and must learn to rely on each other in ways neither of them has needed or wanted to before, fighting the monsters born of the darkness and the humans who would tear them apart.

But they both have secrets that could tear their blossoming love apart.

The start of a new YA fantasy series with plenty of romance and surprises to keep you turning the pages.

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan (Harper Teen)  Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

 

Children and teachers alike will fall in love with spunky Latina heroine Sophie Brown and the super powered chickens she has inherited and must keep safe from both chicken hawks and chicken thieves. This exceptional debut is recommended for fans of Roald Dahl and all animal lovers.

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones; Katie Kath (Illustrator) (Yearling Books) Recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

 

The Photographer's Wife

 

 

A sweeping novel about a young girl who lives with her Father in Jerusalem prior to the war. She is eleven and has an absurd amount of freedom, and with that comes the potential for disaster.

We follow Prue through her marriage and birth of her child. The focus of the book is the incredible way tragedies in childhood can impact your entire life. Parts of the novel are hard to read, but the brutality that exists in the world is brought to life by the authors words.

A strong historical aspect but the main story is that of Prue's life. For any fan of historical fiction based in war time.

The Photographer's Wife By Suzanne Joinson (Bloomsbury USA) Recommended by Jackie at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

 

The Queen of the Tearling

A beautiful, violent epic fantasy about a teenaged princess who must survive to take over her mother's throne, reverse years of greedy governance, and wrest her kingdom out from under neighboring Mortmesne's control. Recommended for fans of George R.R. Martin.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (Harper Paperbacks)  Recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

 

Orphan X

 

What a fun book!! This page turner is exciting, thrilling, and heart stopping.

The US government secretly trained a group of orphaned children to be lethal assassins when they grew up. Evan is one of these children. Now a grown man, he has left the program and disappeared. He only resurfaces to help those in desperate need.

It is through this work that one of his enemies has found him. But, which enemy – the government, one of his fellow orphans or a relative of one of the many bad guys he has gotten rid of? Filled with lots of neat techno gadgets, lots of twists and turns, this book actually does take you on a roller coaster ride, one that will leave you breathless and waiting for the next installment of the Nowhere Man.

Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz (Minotaur) Recommended by Nancy at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Keep Calm

Adam Tatum is a disgraced American ex-cop when his British father in law gets him a job with a powerful investment banker. Adam and his young family travel to London and he ends up in a high power conference at 10 Downing St. Soon after his meeting a bomb goes off and he becomes a suspect.

Keep Calm is a powerfully written political conspiracy where one innocent man is caught in the expanding web of lies and deceit, and must protect his family from the crossfire while he attempts to stay alive and prove his innocence. Action packed and full of suspense, this debut author has written a winner.

Keep Calm by Mike Binder (Henry Holt & Company) Recommended by Nancy at Fiction-Addiction Greenville SC

A Touch of Stardust

I have read Kate Alcott's previous books, so I had high expectations for this novel.

I believe this is my favorite of all the books. The view of Old Hollywood portrayed through the making of the film Gone With The Wind is captivating. Adding in the rise of the Nazi party and war in Europe gives a rare glimpse into two very separate places and how one impacts the other.

Kate's female characters never disappoint and Julie is no exception. When you reflect on how truly unusual her path was for a Smith educated heiress she becomes even more engaging. Historical fiction fans, movie fans and readers who want to disappear into a book must read this book.

A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott (Doubleday) Recommended by Jackie at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

World Gone By

Dennis Lehane has given us another fascinating, and historical look into the rise of the mob. World Gone By takes place in Tampa and Cuba during WWII, and is a mesmerizing look at the honor and loyalty, revenge and retribution, that is an integral part of a mobster's way of life.

Once again Lehane develops characters so rich and so complex that he has us liking and rooting for gangsters.

World Gone By by Dennis Lehane (William Morrow & Company) Recommended by Nancy at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

The Exile: Book One of the Fae

Start of a fun urban fantasy series about Brianna Hai, the half-human daughter of the King of the Fae.

Like Hamilton's Meredith Gentry, Brianna is not sure she can survive deadly Fae politics and is living in the human world, running an occult shop. When her father's enemies attack, however, Brianna can no longer ignore her heritage.

The Exile:  Book One of the Fae by C. T. Adams (Tor) Recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

Wolf

 

Mo Hayder has written the ultimate story of psychological terror and horror. It is a riveting, bone-chilling tale about a family held hostage in their English country manor. This story of such evil doings will haunt you for long after you’ve finished and you will never suspect the shocking ending… it will leaving you breathless!

Wolf by Mo Hayder (Atlantic Monthly Press) Recommended by Nancy at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century

Steven Pinker has been a favorite of mine for a long time.

How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature have hugely influenced my thinking about consciousness, human behavior, and ethical issues.  One of his greatest strengths as a writer is his ability to untangle difficult topics and clearly present them to the reader.

Here, he offers common sense advice to writers who want to improve their writing.  

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker (Penguin Books) Recommended by Brian at Malaprops Bookstore Asheville NC