Southern Indie Bestsellers 8/21/16

HARDCOVER FICTION

1. The Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead, Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385542364
2. Truly Madly Guilty
Liane Moriarty, Flatiron, $26.99, 9781250069795
3. The Woman in Cabin 10
Ruth Ware, Gallery/Scout Press, $26, 9781501132933
4. The Girls
Emma Cline, Random House, $27, 9780812998603
5. The Last Days of Night
Graham Moore, Random House, $28, 9780812988901
6. The Black Widow
Daniel Silva, Harper, $27.99, 9780062320223
7. The Nightingale
Kristin Hannah, St. Martin's, $27.99, 9780312577223
8. All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr, Scribner, $27, 9781476746586
9. Bright, Precious Days
Jay McInerney, Knopf, $27.95, 9781101948002
10. Three Sisters, Three Queens
Philippa Gregory, Touchstone, $27.99, 9781476758572
11. First Comes Love
Emily Giffin, Ballantine, $28, 9780345546920
12. Before the Fall
Noah Hawley, Grand Central, $26, 9781455561780
13. Smooth Operator
Stuart Woods, Parnell Hall, Putnam, $28, 9780399185267
14. Behind Closed Doors
B.A. Paris, St. Martin's, $25.99, 9781250121004
15. The Nest
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, Ecco, $26.99, 9780062414212

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

1. Hillbilly Elegy
J.D. Vance, Harper, $27.99, 9780062300546
2. The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo
Amy Schumer, Gallery, $28, 9781501139888
3. When Breath Becomes Air
Paul Kalanithi, Random House, $25, 9780812988406
4. Armageddon
Dick Morris, Eileen McGann, Humanix, $24.99, 9781630060589
5. The View From the Cheap Seats
Neil Gaiman, Morrow, $26.99, 9780062262264
6. American Heiress
Jeffrey Toobin, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385536714
7. White Trash
Nancy Isenberg, Viking, $28, 9780670785971
8. Hamilton: The Revolution
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter, Grand Central, $45, 9781455539741
9. How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything
Rosa Brooks, S&S, $29.95, 9781476777863
10. Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Patriots
David Fisher, Holt, $35, 9781627797894
11. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Marie Kondo, Ten Speed Press, $16.99, 9781607747307
12. Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Spiegel & Grau, $24, 9780812993547
13. Grit
Angela Duckworth, Scribner, $28, 9781501111105
14. Being Mortal
Atul Gawande, Metropolitan, $26, 9780805095159
15. The Rainbow Comes and Goes
Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt, Harper, $27.99, 9780062454942

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Fans of The Hunger Games will love this dystopian remake of Sleeping Beauty.

In Stung by Bethany Wiggins, Fiona wakes up from a coma to find a strange tattoo on her wrist. The world has changed while she was unconscious, her house is
deserted and her family has disappeared, except for her brother, who immediately tries to kill her.

She flees and discovers that since the honey bees’ extinction, the privileged few fight the marked humans who’ve turned into savage beasts. Hunted by both sides, Fiona fights to make sense of what has happened to her before she turns, too.

This page turning-thriller will keep readers guessing until the very end. Ages 14 and up

Stung by Bethany Wiggins (MacMillan) Recommended by Ellen at Hooray For Books Alexandria VA

A kids' book that the world needs to read, Ms. Bixby's Last Day is an affirmation of the immeasurable difference that the Good Ones can make in a life.

Told in alternating chapters by Steve, Brand, and Topher, it is a story about friendship, the power of a teacher, and the challenge of facing grief with strength and hope.

With touches of humor, each boy reveals elements of himself and Ms. Bixby's imprint, as the trio responds to her illness. A perfect choice for fans of Rob Buyea's Because of Mr. Terupt, this book will spur you to profess and practice the doing of good things and to leave your footprint on the paths of those with whom you are making the journey of life.

For readers age 11 and up.

Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson (Walden Pond) Recommended by Cindy at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

 

I love to be scared--big Stephen King fan for decades. In Hex, author Thomas Olde Heuvelt outcreeps the King, and I mean that in the nicest way possible.

I'm also from the Hudson Valley area (where the American version of Hex is set). Heuvelt nails it, getting the feel of a region where you sense something very old can still exist not too far away from your modern world.

Social media versus a centuries-old curse--it sounds as though it'll be a lark, but you'll be keeping the lights on long before you finish Hex.

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Tor). Recommended by Rosemary at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

 

Benjamin Alire Sáenz's stories are of the knock-you-over-powerful variety.

These seven stories-- set in the border towns of Juárez and El Paso, with many of them touching on the wave of violence that engulfed Juárez in the '90s-- all have a connection to the Kentucky Club, a venerable Juárez institution.

Winner of the PEN/Faulkner award and a Lambda Literary award, this book deserves a wider audience.

Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Cinco Puntos Press) Recommended by Elese at Flyleaf Books Chapel Hill NC 

Okra Picks

The award-winning author of The Last Town on Earth delivers a riveting and elegant police procedural set in 1948 Atlanta, exploring a murder, corrupt police, and strained race relations that feels ripped from today's headlines.

Responding to orders from on high, the Atlanta Police Department is forced to hire its first black officers, including war veterans Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers; they aren’t allowed to arrest white suspects, drive squad cars, or set foot in the police headquarters.

When a black woman who was last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up dead, Boggs and Smith suspect white cops are behind it. Their investigation sets them up against a brutal cop, Dunlow, who has long run the neighborhood as his own, and his partner, Rakestraw, a young progressive who may or may not be willing to make allies across color lines. Among shady moonshiners, duplicitous madams, crooked lawmen, and the constant restrictions of Jim Crow, Boggs and Smith will risk their new jobs, and their lives, while navigating a dangerous world—a world on the cusp of great change.

Set in the postwar, pre-civil rights South, and evoking the socially resonant and morally complex crime novels of Dennis Lehane and Walter Mosley, Darktown is a vivid, smart, intricately plotted crime saga that explores the timely issues of race, law enforcement, and the uneven scales of justice.

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From “quite possibly America’s best living writer of short stories” (NPR), Ninety-Nine Stories of God finds Joy Williams reeling between the sublime and the surreal, knocking down the barriers between the workaday and the divine.

Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Joy Williams has a one-of-a-kind gift for capturing both the absurdity and the darkness of everyday life. In Ninety-Nine Stories of God, she takes on one of mankind’s most confounding preoccupations: the Supreme Being.

This series of short, fictional vignettes explores our day-to-day interactions with an ever-elusive and arbitrary God. It’s the Book of Common Prayer as seen through a looking glass—a powerfully vivid collection of seemingly random life moments. The figures that haunt these stories range from Kafka (talking to a fish) to the Aztecs, Tolstoy to Abraham and Sarah, O. J. Simpson to a pack of wolves. Most of Williams’s characters, however, are like the rest of us: anonymous strivers and bumblers who brush up against God in the least expected places or go searching for Him when He’s standing right there. The Lord shows up at a hot-dog-eating contest, a demolition derby, a formal gala, and a drugstore, where he’s in line to get a shingles vaccination. At turns comic and yearning, lyric and aphoristic, Ninety-Nine Stories of God serves as a pure distillation of one of our great artists.

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The 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Winners

Serafina and the Black Cloak
by Robert Beatty 
Disney-Hyperion, Hardcover, 9781484709016, 304pp.

An exciting new mystery-thriller about an unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate and must solve a dark and dangerous mystery. This Disney Hyperion novel became a New York Times Bestseller in the first week of its release, and has been a smash hit ever since.

"Never go into the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul."

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There's plenty to explore in Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt's vast and oppulent home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. She has learned to prowl through the darkened corridors at night, to sneak and hide, using the mansion's hidden doors and secret passageways.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows the clues to follow. A terrifying man in a black cloak stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear, where she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must not only face her darkest enemy, but delve into the strange mystery of her own identity.

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The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles 
William Morrow & Company, Hardcover, 9780062311115, 816pp.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles comes the second novel in his Natchez Burning trilogy which also includes Natchez Burning and the upcoming Mississippi Blood an epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice, featuring Southern lawyer Penn Cage.

Former prosecutor Penn Cage and his fiancee, reporter and publisher Caitlin Masters, have barely escaped with their lives after being attacked by wealthy businessman Brody Royal and his Double Eagles, a KKK sect with ties to some of Mississippi's most powerful men. But the real danger has only begun as FBI Special Agent John Kaiser warns Penn that Brody wasn t the true leader of the Double Eagles. The puppeteer who actually controls the terrorist group is a man far more fearsome: the chief of the state police's Criminal Investigations Bureau, Forrest Knox.

The only way Penn can save his father, Dr. Tom Cage who is fleeing a murder charge as well as corrupt cops bent on killing him is either to make a devil's bargain with Knox or destroy him. While Penn desperately pursues both options, Caitlin uncovers the real story behind a series of unsolved civil rights murders that may hold the key to the Double Eagles downfall. The trail leads her deep into the past, into the black backwaters of the Mississippi River, to a secret killing ground used by slave owners and the Klan for over two hundred years...a place of terrifying evil known only as the bone tree.

The Bone Tree is an explosive, action-packed thriller full of twisting intrigue and deadly secrets, a tale that explores the conflicts and casualties that result when the darkest truths of American history come to light. It puts us inside the skin of a noble man who has always fought for justice now finally pushed beyond his limits.

Just how far will Penn Cage, the hero we thought we knew, go to protect those he loves?

BUY FROM AN INDIE

The Latest from Lady Banks

Lady BanksIn which there's a man in a bookshop that has probably read every book on the shelf, .Parnassus Books teams up with Killer Nashville to create a killer book convention, and her ladyship offers a gentle warning for the forthcoming election season: poets are never silent, and what they say tends to be remembered far longer than a campaign speech.

Lady Banks' Commonplace Book

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Turn the Page with Southern Writers

Tales of Edgar Allan PoeBetty Crocker CookbookThe Thorn Birds

We had three books at home when I was growing up: The Tales of Edgar Allan PoeBetty Crocker Cookbook and The Thorn Birds.  Not exactly great options for a curious kid.  Luckily, Mom took my sister and me to the public library, where she allowed us to choose our own books.

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HOLD LOVE STRONG by MATTHEW AARON GOODMAN – “Goodman’s relevant and enlightening debut novel belongs somewhere on the shelf between Richard Wright’s Native Son and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, both for its social importance and literary beauty. The novel is told in a series of vignettes, and centers around Abraham Singleton, a young man using all his available resources to navigate the housing projects of New York City. For Abraham, desperation and hope always coexist, but with the ups and downs of his life he finds one constant: the enduring love of his family. A brilliant read, everyone should be able to get into this coming of age story.” Amanda at Inkwood Book in Tampa, FL


Free Book Stimulus Plan

Increase your karmic footprint.

Free BookWe understand that you can buy books anywhere.  You understand that while loving independent bookstores is a wonderful thing, loving them with your shopping dollars is even more wonderful! 
These Southern Indie Booksellers want to entice you to shop with them.  Buy online or in store from any of these shops, then complete the form below and mail it in with your receipt and get a free book.  
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Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

The Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

How well do you know your Southern lit?

We dare you to use a pen on these crossword puzzles, each inspired by one of the winning titles of the SIBA Book Award, honoring ten years of the very best in Southern literature as chosen by the people who would know...Southern Independent Booksellers! A great gift for your book club, for puzzle-lovers, and anyone who loves Southern literature. $9.95 paperback. Available at Southern Indie Bookstores.

Play a sample puzzle online! | See the answers