Jasmine Green Rescues: A Piglet Called Truffle by Helen Peters, Ellie Snowdon (Illustrator) (List price: $14.99, Walker Books US), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.
A haunted manor, star crossed lovers, a good guy to save the day – what more could you ask for in a wonderfully creepy gothic thriller set in the 1940s and in modern day? How about a really great surprise ending?
The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James (List price: $26.99, Minotaur Books), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.
For the week ending 5/24/2020.
|1. Camino Winds
John Grisham, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385545938
2. The Book of Longings
Sue Monk Kidd, Viking, $28, 9780525429760
Curtis Sittenfeld, Random House, $28, 9780399590917
4. The Last Trial
Scott Turow, Grand Central, $29, 9781538748138
5. All Adults Here
Emma Straub, Riverhead Books, $27, 9781594634697
|1. The Splendid and the Vile
Erik Larson, Crown, $32, 9780385348713
Glennon Doyle, The Dial Press, $28, 9781984801258
Tara Westover, Random House, $28, 9780399590504
4. The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think
Jennifer Ackerman, Penguin Press, $28, 9780735223011
Michelle Obama, Crown, $32.50, 9781524763138
The Coyotes of Carthage by Steven Wright
"Dark humor and dark money make for a compelling combination and Dre Ross may be the most sympathetic villain around. A cautionary tale for our times full of heart and dire warnings of how politics can go wrong."
~ Jan Blodgett, Main Street Books, Davidson, NC
A blistering and thrilling debut—a biting exploration of American politics, set in a small South Carolina town, about a political operative running a dark money campaign for his corporate clients
Dre Ross has one more shot. Despite being a successful political consultant, his aggressive tactics have put him on thin ice with his boss, Mrs. Fitz, who plucked him from juvenile incarceration and mentored his career. She exiles him to the backwoods of South Carolina with $250,000 of dark money to introduce a ballot initiative on behalf of a mining company. The goal: to manipulate the locals into voting to sell their pristine public land to the highest bidder.
Dre arrives in God-fearing, flag-waving Carthage County, with only Mrs. Fitz's well-meaning yet naïve grandson Brendan as his team. Dre, an African-American outsider, can't be the one to collect the signatures needed to get on the ballot. So he hires a blue-collar couple, Tyler Lee and his pious wife, Chalene, to act as the initiative's public face.
Under Dre's cynical direction, a land grab is disguised as a righteous fight for faith and liberty. As lines are crossed and lives ruined, Dre's increasingly cutthroat campaign threatens the very soul of Carthage County and perhaps the last remnants of his own humanity.
A piercing portrait of our fragile democracy and one man's unraveling, The Coyotes of Carthage paints a disturbingly real portrait of the American experiment in action.
The Book of Lost Friends
In 2107 Lisa Wingate published Before We Were Yours, a novel based on a true story about a Memphis-based adoption organization that kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families in 2017. One of the people who read the book was Diane Plauche, who found much of the story achingly familiar.
Plauche is a volunteer with the Historic New Orleans Collection museum. In 2015, she began assisting the museum in creating a database of historical Lost Friends advertisements, through which formerly enslaved people desperately tried to find their lost families in the decades following emancipation. To date, Diane has entered over 2500 unique ads, and tens of thousands of names in the museum's database, preserving the histories of thousands of families. Plauche wrote to Wingate about the project, saying "There is a story in each one of these ads."
Wingate agreed. Her new novel, The Book of Lost Friends, was just released last month.
On Thursday, May 28 at 7:00 pm the Reader Meet Writer Author Series will host a special online event with Lisa Wingate and Diane Plauche, in conversation with the author Kristy Woodson Harvey. They will be discussion Wingate's new novel, and the little-known facet of American life that inspired it.
Tickets are available at the following bookstores:
Righton Books, St. Simons Island, GA
The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC
Duck's Cottage, Manteo, NC
Malaprops Bookstore, Asheville, NC
Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC
Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC
Read Books, Virginia Beach, VA
Books that made me dream big.
Books That Made Me Dream Big
Carrie J. Knowles
When I was nine, I had a frightening case of mumps. The doctor told my mother that I should not go outside or be exposed to bright lights. So, she confined me to my room, turned off the overhead light and closed the drapes.
Complete darkness, she believed, was the cure that would save me.
In an act of mercy, and a way to keep me in bed, she allowed me to turn on a small bedside lamp and gave me her favorite book: Good Morning, Miss Dove, by Francis Gray Patton.
It was my first real book. No pictures. Just words and a world of everyday people who had a teacher they loved.
By the end, I loved Miss Dove, as well.
After Miss Dove, my mother gave me Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations. I devoured it, and had fevered dreams of Miss Havisham, sitting in her decaying house, wearing a soiled and tattered wedding dress, angry and determined to exact revenge on all men in the world.
When I recovered from the mumps, my mother took me to the library. With a wink and a nod to the librarian, I was welcomed into the wonder of the adult section.
My world exploded.
What I had loved about Miss Dove was that she was someone I might know. She was a teacher. Everyday. Ordinary. But, extraordinary in how she lived her life.
What I loved about Dickens were his bigger than life, wicked characters who jumped off the page with their wild ideas and dangerous daring.
These two books set the bar for all other books that came in their wake.
Then the librarian introduced me to T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. There I met the gawky Arthur. A man-child. An ordinary person called on to do extraordinary things. He was magnificent and mortal. But, best of all, he had a man of magic to mentor him.
Oh, Merlin! You lived backwards and knew everything that was going to happen. Why aren’t you here today to prepare us for what’s going to happen next in our very futures?
I reread The Once and Future King every couple of years just to get back to center. It gives me hope. Makes me dream big again. I wore the covers off my hardback copy and eventually had to glue the whole thing back together using a wide strip of handmade lace.
Equally life-enhancing and magical to me are two extraordinary non-fiction books: Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen and John Steinbeck’s masterful retelling of a trip with his best friend, Ed Ricketts, The Log From the Sea of Cortez.
I have read both of these books again and again and given them as gifts.
I never teach a writing workshop without talking about the brilliant opening line of Out of Africa: “I had a farm in Africa.”
That’s the whole book. Right there. Six words. Perfection.
And, then there’s the first book that ever made me laugh out loud, William Goldman’s The Princess Bride…don’t get me started.
Carrie Jane Knowles has published dozens of short stories and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, and four novels: Lillian’s Garden (Roundfire Books, 2013), Ashoan’s Rug (Roundfire Books, 2013), A Garden Wall in Provence (Owl Canyon Press, 2017), The Inevitable Past (Owl Canyon Press, 2020), a collection of short fiction, Black Tie Optional: 17 Stories (Owl Canyon Press, 2019) and a writing workbook, A Self-Guided Workbook and Gentle Tour on Learning How to Write Stories from Start-to-Finish (Owl Canyon Press, 2020). Her non-fiction memoir about her family’s struggles with their mother’s Alzheimer’s, The Last Childhood: A Family Story of Alzheimer's, was originally published by Three Rivers Press.