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RECENT RECOMMENDATIONS FROM SOUTHERN INDIES...
I fell in love with Tayari Jones's writing when I read Silver Sparrow in 2011, and I've been waiting somewhat impatiently for Tayari's next book, An American Marriage, to be published. It was well worth the wait. An American Marriage is a beautifully crafted story of love, loyalty, and loss in the midst of an undeserved but all too common tragedy. What does it mean to truly love someone? How can marriage vows be kept when something so unexpected comes between spouses? Just read this. Do not read the jacket copy. Do not read a synopsis. Just trust me.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones ($26.95*, Algonquin Books), recommended by Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.
In The Great Alone, Kristen Hannah captures both the breathtaking beauty and brutal harshness of Alaska. The Allbright family escapes to the state to hopefully banish inner demons and get a fresh start. They are totally unprepared for the starkness, danger and isolation of their new home. Daughter Leni comes of age in this environment and comes to fall in love with the Alaskan wilderness. This book is another sure winner for Hannah!
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah ($28.99*, St. Martin's Press), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.
This Narrow Space is incredibly well written, honest, and compelling! While dealing with some very delicate issues, namely the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and life-threatening pediatric illness, Dr. Waldman manages to express his observations and views without voicing any obnoxious political opinions! He is idealistic, yet humble; brilliant, yet ever eager to seek and to learn. He speaks of everyone with respect. I went into this book interested in the cultural and medical experiences of an accomplished physician; I came out blown away by the reflections of a profoundly gifted writer.
This Narrow Space by Elisha Waldman ($25.95*, Schocken Books), recommended by Vero Beach Book Center, Vero Beach, FL.
This was a big staff favorite last year. Nearly the whole staff read it! Great to be able to sell it in paperback this season. David and Adele seem like a perfect couple but when Louise, David's secretary, starts looking at their relationship harder, secrets begin to emerge. Everything you want in a thriller with a twist at the end. You'll get the hashtag associated with the release #WTFThatEnding! Oh. And it doesn't have "Girl" in the title. Bonus!
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough ($15.99*, Flatiron Books), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.
Attia is the last of her warrior people after the Romans conquered her land. Now she's a slave, given to Xanthus, a champion gladiator, as a reward for his victories in the arena. Attia has vowed to fight the Romans until she gains her freedom or dies trying, but she doesn't count on Xanthus, a fellow slave, treating her with such care and gentleness. As the two form a relationship that goes beyond their shared bonds, Attia finds herself fighting for Xanthus as much as herself. This book will appeal to fans of strong, fierce female characters, and though there's no magic, fantasy fans will have much to love in the world of the ancient Romans.
Blood and Sand by C. V. Wyk ($17.99*, Tor Teen), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.
As adorable as it is a poignant signpost for kids and adults that the taking care of the planet and its inhabitants seems sometimes far-fetched and near impossible, but worthwhile because of imagination and effort.
Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! by Marikka Tamura, Daniel Rieley ($16.99*, Nancy Paulsen Books), recommended by Square Books, Oxford, MS.
My mind is all kinds of messed up from this book, a very disturbing, thrilling, and thought-provoking meditation on power, gender, religion, and history, plus super morally ambiguous and compelling characters. This one is for all Margaret Atwood fans and anyone who loves a speculative or science fiction story that pushes their buttons and makes them think!
The Power by Naomi Alderman ($26.00*, Little, Brown and Company), recommended by Hills & Hamlet Bookshop, Chattahoochee Hills, GA.