TIRED OF AN ALGORITHM TELLING YOU WHAT TO READ?

Find hundreds of great books—from the hottest new releases and bestsellers to tried and true classics to rare gems—each hand-picked and hand-curated from Southern indie booksellers' websites, newsletters, emails, facebook and twitter posts and from the moments when they stop us in the street, push a book in our hands and say…"YOU'VE GOT TO READ THIS!"


RECENT RECOMMENDATIONS FROM SOUTHERN INDIES...

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy LefteriLefteri has written a powerful story of a family who has suffered mightily during the Syrian war as they watched their city and country being decimated. Their journey to escape the devastation is in itself a harrowing experience. Beautifully written and heartbreaking, Nuri, a beekeeper, and his wife Afra struggle to maintain hope as forces pull them apart. It was difficult to read but so poignant and I couldn’t put it down! This story speaks to the power of love, loss and the strength of family.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri ($27.00*, Ballantine Books), recommended by Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL.

Everything Inside by Edwidge DanticatEverything Inside transported me into the distant, unknown worlds of Haitian, Caribbean, and Haitian-American culture. Each story explores the tenuousness of relationships--how things can change in an instant, or how a fuzzy detail about someone we feel close to becomes clearer and more telling in retrospect. These are beautifully written and moving that will linger with me in the weeks and months to come.

Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat ($25.95*, Knopf), recommended by Bards Alley, Vienna, VA.

Dead Voices by Katherine ArdenKatherine Arden tells a great spooky story, one that remembers the personhood of her characters, no matter their age. Genuinely scary without being too scary or leaving her characters agentless against the dark and terrifying. I look forward to the next in the series!

Dead Voices by Katherine Arden ($16.99*, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers), recommended by Sundog Books, Santa Rosa Beach, FL.

The Warlow Experiment by Alix NathanTerrific. Grade A-plus historical fiction. Customers who are champing at the bit for Mantel's next can be quietened for a bit with The Warlow Experiment. I love this mix of research and imagining, and I toast Nathan for taking that long-ago advertisement and fanning it out for us so well.

The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan ($26.95*, Doubleday), recommended by Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. KendiIn the follow up to his essential Stamped from the Beginning, Ibram X. Kendi has given us another indispensable book in How to Be an Antiracist. Blending personal memoir with history, social science, law, and social justice, Kendi continues to reframe and redefine what it means to be “antiracist” in the world today. Accessibly written and constantly engaging, How to Be an Antiracist is a perfect book for our historical moment and one that I hope will continue to reshape my own and others’ thinking.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi ($27.00*, One World), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy ColbertThis is a story I think many teens will relate to. There is so much pressure to achieve and succeed now for kids, and it starts so early. In addition, one in three Americans is personally affected by addiction. On top of that, every family has its own secrets and challenges. And then you think about how much harder it is to achieve when you start life as a person of color in an incredibly prejudiced and segregated society. Birdie's story is complex, but when you boil it down, it's the normal story of a present-day girl trying to grow up in America.

The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert ($17.99*, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

The Last Widow by Karin SlaughterWOW! I think the last few times I have read Karin's new books I think they are the best yet. This book is no exception to that pattern. The plot of an epidemic is incredibly real and the continued unfolding of Will and Sara's relationship during extreme duress is spellbinding. The focus on things, like domestic terrorism, that are sometimes swept under the rug are front and center in this book. I have a hard time imagining how much research was involved to reach the level of detail in so any complex medical and scientific situations in this book. The pace is fast and if you skip a page you will miss something important. There are perfect examples of evil hiding in plain sight, but also wonderful examples of sacrifice and heroism. Don't miss this journey with Will and Sara.

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter ($27.99*, William Morrow), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.