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!"

I read all kinds of fantasy novels and it takes new ideas to capture me like California Bones did. 

I have never come up against the idea of Osteomancy being the bringer of magic.  Osteomancy is the use of bones in magic.  That is a simple explanation, but it means that the magic comes from consuming the bones of magical creatures in a kind of soup.


This book takes place in California, a California that has seceded from the United States.  The places that we know as Amusement Parks, Disneyland and others are, real places of magic.  There is so much magic in this book that you can almost smell it, like the characters can in the story. 

I recommend you read California Bones by Greg Van Eekhout if you want to go on a magic carpet ride.

California Bones by Greg Van Eekhout (Tor Books) Recommended by Molly at The Fountainhead Bookstore Hendersonville NC

This is a fine collection of fictional essays by Muir.  

Her main character, Sophia, is the heir to the gift of the family's ability to see invisible beasts. The descriptions of the beasts make you long for these to be real.  Some of my favorites are the Truth Bats, the Hypnogator, and the Fine-Print Rotifers.

The Truth Bats hang in your hair near your ears and help you make your way through the world.  They will leave you in a flash if you tell a lie or even a small fib.  Sophia looses hers and makes a desperate attempt to get them back.  She has to tell her sister the truth about the invisible. The Hypnogater is an invisible alligator that has vision problems and that gives him the ability to hypnotize his victims.  This invisible has a friend called the Poltergeist Possum, who takes human things.  The Fine-Print Rotifers eat the fine print in documents that you have to sign.  It's not that you can't see them, it's that they are being eaten. 

This fine book full of humor and love of animals real or imagined would be a great read for any explorer.

Invisible Beasts by Sharon Muir (Bellevue Literary Press) Recommended by Molly at The Fountainhead Bookstore
Hendersonville NC

The incredible journey of one man who sets out to circumnavigate the globe on a vintage motorbike fueled by kindness.


Follow the inspirational journey of a former stockbroker who leaves his unfulfilling desk job in search of a meaningful life. He sets out from Los Angeles on a vintage motorbike, determined to circumnavigate the globe surviving only on the kindness of strangers. Incredibly, he makes his way across the U.S., through Europe, India, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and finally to Canada and back to the Hollywood sign, by asking strangers for shelter, food, and gas. Again and again, he's won over by the generosity of humanity, from the homeless man who shares his blanket to the poor farmer who helps him with his broken down bike, and the HIV-positive mother who takes him in and feeds him.

At each stop, he finds a way to give back to these unsuspecting Good Samaritans in life-changing ways, by rebuilding their homes, paying for their schooling, and leaving behind gifts big and small. The Kindness Diaries will introduce you to a world of adventure, renew your faith in the bonds that connect people, and inspire you to accept and generate kindness in your own life.


The Kindness Diaries: One Man's Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around the World by Leon Logothesis (Reader's Digest) Recommended by Jamie at Ducks Cottage Manteo NC

This wicked little satire features a Danish cartoonist who draws a cartoon about the Muslim reaction to the original Danish cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad.

What could possibly go wrong? A comedy of errors ensues when after his house is burned down the cartoonist goes into hiding in the most dysfunctional small town imaginable in upstate New York.

The Happiest People in the World by Brock Clarke (Algonquin) Recommended by Elizabeth at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC


Watership Down for bees, wasps, and spiders.

A political thriller set entirely in a beehive and surrounding fields. A lowly worker bee navigates her way through the different jobs bees do and overthrows a corrupt oligarchy. Since it's a novel, liberties are taken with the science but the basics are covered.

 A great story for anyone who is fascinated by the beehive at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

The Bees By Laline Paull (Ecco) Recommended by Elizabeth at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

Reading Jonathan Carroll can seem like waking from a particularly strange dream. Random details that seemed so vital at the time can prove challenging to explain afterwards.

While cloaked in the guise of a fairly straightforward science fiction tale of alien "mechanics" battling chaos, Bathing the Lion is also a meditation on life and death, on memory and illusion, and yes, on dreams. It is a small window on the genius of Jonathan Carroll.

Bathing the Lion by Jonathan Carroll (St. Martin's Press) Recommended by Tony at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC