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!"

Rachel's daily train commute takes her past the back yards of a residential street.

She loves to fantasize about the people who live there. At one house she often sees an attractive young couple on the patio. They seem so happy, so perfect. A few doors down is another house she dreads seeing, yet she cannot avert her eyes. It was her's. Now her ex lives there with his new wife -and child. 

This brilliantly crafted thriller draws you in as it reveals the complex interconnection of these characters' lives. The story is narrated in turns by three characters. Even though they are all females of roughly the same age, Hawkins has created such distinct voices that I always knew who was speaking and totally accepted each of them.

This is riveting,  intelligent writing. 


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead) Recommended by Samantha at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC
 

Michael Crummey takes you into the heart of the insular fishing community of Chance Cove, Sweetland Island, Newfoundland.

68-year-old Moses Sweetland's family goes back to the founding of the island. He is the only holdout when the government offers the residents a generous cash settlement to relocate, but only if everyone signs on. Told in sparse, beautiful prose, with generous helpings of the local dialect, the characters and story are reminiscent of Annie Proulx's The Shipping News, where conversations give hints of the tangled history and relationships of family and friends who have known each other for generations.

Sweetland is a requiem for the intimate knowledge of place that a transient society can just barely remember.

Sweetland By Michael Crummey (Liveright Publishing) Recommended by Sarah at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

Upon finding success as a writer, director, and actress, Dunham releases her autobiography as an exciting look into the events that shaped her.

She offers an unedited look at her life through a series of personal essays, some humorous and others quite painful, in hopes that her stories will keep readers from repeating her mistakes. With brutal honesty, she gives detailed accounts of her hardships in love and work, without shame or apology.

Her ability to share without excuse shows the strength that makes her such a relatable artist and celebrity.
Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's Learned by Lena Dunham (Random House) Recommended by Emily Catherine at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

 

Marine biologist Nichols reveals groundbreaking neuroscience that proves what we intuitively know: We are emotionally, physically and spiritually healthier when we are near or in the water.

He  presents the evidence in terms easily accessible to non-scientists and reminds us that it is imperative that we humans protect the waters of our planet for the good of all of the beings who inhabit it. 


Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, & Better at What You Do by Wallace J. Nichols (Little, Brown and Co.) Recommended by Samantha at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

In the late nineteenth century, one of the last unmapped places of the globe was the North
Pole. The United States and the world was obsessed with news of Arctic exploration.

In 1879, American naval officer and explorer George De Long set sail with a crew of 32 men on the
U.S.S. Jeanette only to disappear in the Arctic waters of Russia. Their fate was not to be
discovered until years later.

Hampton Sides vividly reconstructs the time period and the expedition itself.


In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides
(Doubleday) Recommended by Squarebooks Oxford MS
          

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