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RECENT RECOMMENDATIONS FROM SOUTHERN INDIES...
This is the boldest kind of writing because it speaks directly to people. Terese Marie Mailhot addresses numerous people she has loved in her life--a mother, a father, a lover, and others--and in doing so, she gets right to the core of it: what it feels like to love, to accept love, despite our and its limitations.
Heart Berries is a deep, wrenching, searching sort of book, and it contains impossibly raw, yet seamless, sentences: "You think weakness is a problem. I want to be torn apart by everything." It isn't sensational. To call anything in this memoir "sensational" would be to eschew its logic.
Everything in Heart Berries rings true to me. Many up-turned stones appeared familiar, felt new. This writing is tactile. Though it deals in questions of love, health, grief, inheritance, and shame, it gave me something to hold.
Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot ($23.00*, Counterpoint LLC), recommended by Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.
The Wedding Date is a fun read featuring two adults who throw caution to the wind for a fun weekend but then have to navigate their budding romance while balancing professional lives in separate cities. Skip Valentine's Day and stay home with this book instead!
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory ($15.00*, Berkley Books), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.
Blood Sisters opens with a radio announcement that a murder has occurred at a men’s prison, with details to come. Allison is leading a lonely single life barely making ends meet teaching art lessons when she sees an advertisement for a job teaching art in a men’s prison takes the job. She is guilt ridden and unhappy and we slowly discover why as the story of Allison and her younger half-sister Kitty is told in flashbacks from two points of view.
Blood Sisters is a sad story of sibling rivalry, parents who don’t always do the right thing, teen violence, and a childish prank all of which probably contributed to the tragedy which occurred when Kitty was 11 and Allison was a senior in high school, and which kept Allison so filled with guilt. We think we know what happened 15 years ago, and we think we know what just happened at the prison. But, as the story is slowly revealed we find that truths and lies become totally intertwined and what really happened both at the time of the accident and in the present at the prison is a total surprise.
Blood Sisters by Jane Corry ($26.00*, Pamela Dorman Books), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.
I learned so much from this beautiful picture book. Bobbi Gibb was the first woman who ran the Boston Marathon--but she had to do it in secret. This story of her life is fascinating and incredibly inspiring, heightened by the gorgeous collage art of Micha Archer.
Girl Running by Annette Bay Pimentel, Micha Archer ($17.99*, Nancy Paulsen Books), recommended by McIntyre's Fine Books, Pittsboro, NC.
This Is Memorial Device by David Keenan ($16.00*, Faber & Faber Social), recommended by Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC.
Samantha Spinner feels slightly slighted when from her (now missing) uncle, her sister receives $2,400,000,000; her brother is given the New York Yankees; and all Samantha gets is a ratty, rusty, red umbrella. But when the umbrella is revealed to contain a map with secret passageways throughout the entire world, Samantha feels very, very lucky indeed.
Clever, smart and sometimes even a bit silly, this fun mystery from game designer Russell Ginns also includes a few extra secrets for the especially inquisitive mind.
Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans by Russell Ginns, Barbara Fisinger (Illustrator) ($16.99*, Delacorte Press), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.