GREAT READS HANDPICKED BY GREAT SOUTHERN BOOKSELLERS...

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  • The Bat by Jo Nesbø

    Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case. Harry is free to offer assistance, but he has firm instructions to stay out of trouble.

    The victim is a twenty-three year old Norwegian woman who is a minor celebrity back home. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Harry befriends one of the lead detectives, and one of the witnesses, as he is drawn deeper into the case.  Together, they discover that this is only the latest in a string of unsolved murders, and the pattern points toward a psychopath working his way across the country.

    The Bat: The First Inspector Harry Hole Novel by Jo Nesbø (Vintage) Recommended by Steve at Fountain BookstoreRichmond VA

  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

    On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

    Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren--a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

    An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose--to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.

    Ancillary Justice By Ann Leckie (Orbit) Recommended by Steve at Fountain Bookstore Richmond VA
     

  • The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick

    I cannot recall the last time a book captivated me so completely. It felt fresh, smart, clever, and, perhaps best of all, genuine and sweet in the very best sense. The story line is beautifully original and combines so many fascinating concepts and ideas.

    The mix of folklore and science is amazing. Who would have thought that the second law of thermodynamics could be presented in such a fun context! And I'll never look at entropy in quite the same way again.

    The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick (Algonquin) Recommended by Laura at Malaprops Asheville NC.

  • Where I'm Calling From: Selected Stories by Raymond Carver

    Carver is where I go for stories of the working class.

    The subject matter might be hard-edged, but it's also full of a human tenderness that leaves me a few moments where I'm unable to move on to anything else.

    This is an essential read in realist short fiction. Fans of Mary Miller or Barry Hannah will like this.

    Where I'm Calling From: Selected Stories by Raymond Carver (Vintage) Recommended by Dottie at Square Books Oxford MS.

  • The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante

    The second book of the Neapolitan Novels series is a rich portrait of two girls and their friendship.

    Beginning in the 1960s when the more academically gifted Lila marries instead of continuing her education, we follow Elena through her success. Psychologically acute, this is a great work of modern fiction, and good news, there will be one more book.

    The Story of a New Name By Elena Ferrante (Europa Editions) Recommended by Sandra at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

  • Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

    The follow-up to The Shining, King's latest novel marks a return to the style of books such as It and Salem's Lot, a world of unrelenting horror, of things that go bump in the night.

    Seamlessly weaving supernatural demons with his character's own internal battles, King transcends the traditional horror narrative and presents a novel concerned with the very real tension between good and evil.

    Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (Scribner) Recommended by Kaitlyn at Square Books Oxford MS.

  • Want Not by Jonathan Miles

    From the critically acclaimed author of Dear American Airlines, a compulsively readable, deeply human novel that charts the course of three intersecting lives—a freegan couple living off the grid in Manhattan, a once prominent linguist struggling with midlife, and a New Jersey debt-collection magnate with a new family and a second chance at getting things right—in a thoroughly contemporary examination of that most basic and unquenchable emotion: want. 

    Want Not By Jonathan Miles (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), recommended by Lynne Marie at Fountain Bookstore, Richmond VA.

  • Pickett's Charge by Charles McNair

    McNair’s prose begins thin and lapping, then gradually builds like a hurricane crescendo that carries the reader on a whitewater crest toward a conclusion that is as unexpected as it is dreadful.

    From the top of that mountainous wave of skillfully drawn landscapes, familiarly detailed characters, and painfully wrought human interactions, we get a glimpse, through Threadgill’s last steps on earth, of what might have been, had Threadgill--had all the Billy Yanks and Johnny Rebs of the world--chosen to throw a barbecue instead of launch a Civil War.

    Pickett's Charge by Charles McNair ($18.95, Livingston Press), recommended by Connie, Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC.

  • The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

    It was first published in 1989, but this historical novel set in South Africa is as relevant today as then.

    A five-year-old English boy is sent to a boarding school and the cruelty against him and the blacks who serve them there is almost unimaginable. The boy learns he must be independent (the power of one), learn to think, and with help from the local librarian, a musician/scientist, a teacher, and others along the way, easily rises to first in his class.

    The underlying theme of apartheid's injustices and the dramatic events of a boy's growing up make this a powerful story.

    The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay ($16.00, Ballantine Books), recommended by Nancy, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh NC.

  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

    I loved this delightful book about a genetics researcher (he doesn't realize he has Asperger's syndrome) who decides to find himself the perfect wife. 

    From the candidates that fill out the detailed applications to his best friend who is trying to map the world with his bedroom conquests (using the candidates his friend discards), this book is a wonderful story full of characters that you will adore.

    The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Simon & Schuster), recommended by The Country Bookshop Southern Pines NC.

  • Guests On Earth by Lee Smith


    Do not let anyone tell you that this is another book about Zelda Fitzgerald.

    This book is deeper and better.

    Yes, Zelda makes an appearance, several in fact, but she is a peripheral character. This book is really about Evalina, a young woman born to curious circumstances in New Orleans, and sent to a progressive mental institution in Asheville, North Carolina. This book is about the inhabitants of Evalina's life and about the music that connects us all.

    Guests on Earth by Lee Smith (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill), recommended by The Country Bookshop Southern Pines NC.

  • The Tilted World by Tom Franklin, Beth Ann Fennelly

    I grew up knowing about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 but this book brings that time to life.

    You can feel the unceasing rain and the mud and the growing fear of the flood coming their way. In this setting we meet a federal agent and a bootlegger brought together by an orphaned baby: a story of seemingly ordinary people who find hope and deliverance where they least expect it--in each other.

    The Tilted World By Tom Franklin, Beth Ann Fennelly (William Morrow & Company), recommended by Rene at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh NC.

  • The Last Banquet by Jonathan Grimwood

    The Last BanquetIn the pre-dawn of the French Revolution, Jean-Marie d’Aumont strives to wrest an ounce of immortality from every experience, taste, and sensation this world has to offer. From his rescue as a child at the foot of a dung heap to his appointment as Lord Master of the Menagerie, d’Aumont’s life is "built almost entirely on a foundation of events colliding." Grimwood takes us on a tour through French history, from the death of the Sun King to the Revolution, but at its heart The Last Banquet is a beautiful--and, at times, macabre--meditation on the inexorable march of history and man’s struggle to leave an indelible mark before his own time is spent.

    The Last Banquet: A Novel, by Jonathan Grimwood ($26.95, Europa Editions), recommended by Amanda, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL.

  • The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman by Sena Jeter Naslund

    The Fountain of St. James CourtThis is a fascinating tale of two women artists — writer Kathryn Callaghan in this century and painter Elizabeth Vigée-Le Brun who lived during the French Revolution. Vigée-Le Brun was a real-life portraitist who included Marie Antoinette among her subjects. Callaghan is 70 and brings the wisdom of her age to the story. Naslund offers a very perceptive look at two women as they progress through their art and their lives. A great read!

    The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman by Sena Jeter Naslund Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL.

  • Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips

    Quiet DellAward-winning author Phillips has been haunted by this story for 40 years. Her novel is based on the murder of the Chicago widow Asta Eicher and her three children in 1931. Lonely and out of money, Asta corresponds with a seemingly moneyed and well-mannered stranger named Harry Powers. She is lured to West Virginia, where, within a few days, the family is brutally murdered. Emily Thornhill is the Chicago journalist who becomes deeply involved in solving the sensational case, during which she falls into a passionate but problematic love affair. Phillips portrays the Eicher family so charmingly, especially the youngest child, Annabelle, that our horror and outrage are tenfold. This earns a place on the shelf with such classics as Night of the Hunter and In Cold Blood.

    Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips ($28, Scribner) recommended by Lisa, Square Books, Oxford, MS.

  • Brother, Brother by Clay Carmichael


    Set on an island off the coast of NC, this novel explores the unexpected complications in family lives.

    Brother Grace is 17 when he learns that he has a twin. In his efforts to locate him, Brother finds disturbing family secrets mixed in with local political power. Carmichael, a Carrboro resident, writes movingly of Brother's struggle to understand his real family and thus more about himself. For ages 12 and up.

    Brother, Brother by Clay Carmichael (Roaring Brook Press), recommended by Carol, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh NC.