Read This! Books with Street Cred...

Jasmine Green Rescues: A Piglet Called Truffle by Helen Peters, Ellie Snowdon (Illustrator)This fun new series will get early readers a chance to love reading. Fun and beautiful while pulling at the strings of your heart for the love of animals. Delightful

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.

The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca JamesA 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.

 Current Southern Indie Bestseller List...

Southern Bestsellers

For the week ending 6/28/2020.

HARDCOVER FICTION
HARDCOVER NONFICTION
1. The Vanishing Half
Brit Bennett, Riverhead Books, $27, 9780525536291
2. Deacon King Kong
James McBride, Riverhead Books, $28, 9780735216723
3. Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
4. Camino Winds
John Grisham, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385545938
5. American Dirt
Jeanine Cummins, Flatiron Books, $27.99, 9781250209764
1. The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir
John Bolton, S&S, $32.50, 9781982148034
2. How to Be an Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi, One World, $27, 9780525509288
3. The Splendid and the Vile
Erik Larson, Crown, $32, 9780385348713
4. Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates, One World, $26, 9780812993547
5. Untamed
Glennon Doyle, The Dial Press, $28, 9781984801258

 A SIBA Okra Pick | SIBA Book Award winners and finalists! |  Special to the Southern List

 From the Current Crop of Fresh Okra Picks...

Blacktop WastelandBlacktop Wasteland by S. A. Cosby
Flatiron Books, July 14, 2020

A husband, a father, a son, a business owner…And the best getaway driver east of the Mississippi.

"Sensationally good—new, fresh, real, authentic, twisty, with characters and dilemmas that will break your heart. More than recommended." —Lee Child

Beauregard "Bug" Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hard-working dad. Bug knows there's no future in the man he used to be: known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast.

He thought he'd left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can't-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver's seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear.

Haunted by the ghost of who he used to be and the father who disappeared when he needed him most, Bug must find a way to navigate this blacktop wasteland...or die trying.

Like Ocean's Eleven meets Drive, with a Southern noir twist, S. A. Cosby's Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime.

 The Latest from Lady Banks' Commonplace Book...

Black-Owned Southern Bookstores

All Things Inspiration Giftique, Mableton, GA

Black Dot Cultural Center, Lithonia, GA

Books and Crannies, Martinsville, VA

BRADLC Museum, Tampa, FL

Brave and Kind Bookshop, Decatur, GA

Community Book Center, New Orleans, LA

Cultured Books, St. Petersburg, FL

DARE Books, Longwood, FL

Eden Books, Newberry, FL

Harambee Books & Artwork, Alexandria, VA

House of Consciousness, Norfolk, VA

Medu Bookstore, Atlanta, GA

Nubian Bookstore, Morrow, GA

Onyx Bookstore Cafe, Covington, GA

Pass Books, Pass Christian, MS

Positive Vibes, Virginia Beach, VA

Pyramid Books, Boyton Beach, FL

Shelves Bookstore, Charlotte, NC

The Book Worm Bookstore, Powder Springs, GA

Turning Page Bookshop, Goose Creek, SC

Urban Moon Books, Chesapeake, VA

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 Southern Books | Authors | Literary News...

Books That Made Me Dream Big
Carrie J. Knowles

The Inevitable PastCarrie Jane 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.

Miss Dove Great Expectations The Once and Future KIng Out of Africa
The Log of the Sea of Cortez The Princess Bride

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.



Parapalooza! Paragraphs Worth Spreading

Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

Do you know your Southern lit?

The Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

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. Need some hints or looking for answers? Pssst.