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 sayings "You've got to read this!"

 

Edgar, aka Eggert Furst, aka Comrade Parts, is one of the most intriguing and pathetic villains I've come across.

Okasanen's latest novel, like her international best-seller Purge, delves into the political tumult of little-known Estonia, where the overly ambitious Edgar adopts a new identity, while selling out his friends and colleagues, with each regime swing between the Red Army and the Nazis.

His total lack of conscience and increasing paranoia of exposure by the two people who know him – his alcoholic estranged wife and his freedom-fighting cousin Roland – add just the right hint of dark comedy.

When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen (Knopf Publishing Group) Recommended by Vicki at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

 

 

The Bright Forever by Lee Martin has all the makings of a good beach read—suspense, compelling characters, and fast-paced action.

All of this and it contains gorgeous writing! Nine-year-old Katie Mackie disappears when she rides her bike to the library to return some books.  Katie's math tutor, Mr. Dees, and a drug-addled newcomer, Raymond R., become the focus of the investigation.

Each of them has a motive. The final chapter of the book was stunning in what it revealed about one of the characters. I would say that I couldn’t put it down, but several times I had to take a break from the tension! The book was a 2006 Pulitzer Prize finalist and would make a good book club discussion book. The paperback includes a discussion guide.

 

The Bright Forever by Lee Martin (Three Rivers Press) Recommended by Mamie at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

This utterly compelling, often heartbreaking story of war and lost love is told through a fascinating dual viewpoint.

We see Poxl West through the eyes of his fifteen-year-old nephew, Eli Goldstein, in 1986, and through Poxl's own memoir of World War II. Eli is in thrall to the romantic war hero that comes alive in his uncle's pages, but soon finds that the complexities of one person's life may hold more than one truth. Torday has crafted a remarkable tale that shines a light on nothing less than storytelling itself.

The Last Flight of Poxl West by Daniel Torday (St. Martin's Press) Recommended by Tony at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

 

The men who surrounded Washington during his two terms as president included powerful minds like Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison, and soldiers such as Henry Knox, Lafayette, and the traitor Benedict Arnold.

In the middle was Washington, weary of politics and longing to retire.  He worried that people thought he was not smart enough to understand Hamilton's financial ideas, and he named his greyhound Cornwallis.

Washington emerges as a very human leader.  Fabulous history!


Washington's Circle: The Creation of the President by David S. Heidler, Jeanne T. Heidler (Random House) Recommended by Helen at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

 

 

 

What a delicious memoir of a New Yorker, now married to a Frenchman and living in the south of France!

The couple impulsively buys a quirky old house that belonged to famous poet. They become parents, Gwendal leaves his job, and they open a specialty ice cream shop. This fascinating combination of history, cultures, cuisine (wonderful recipes included) and small town life is at once funny, touching, honest, and totally engaging. I loved it.

Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes by Ellizabeth Bard (Little Brown and Company) Recommended by Carol at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh

Inspector is an absolutely riveting historical thriller.

I'd not read one of David Morrell's mysteries before, and now I want to devour them all. I'm even going to check out the original Opium-Eater to learn more about his fascinating protagonist, Thomas De Quincey.

Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell (Mulholland Books) Recommended by Rosemary at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC