The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of 5 January, 2020

You have received this email because you are currently subscribed to receive The Southern Bookseller Review. Please click @@unsubscribe_url@@ if you no longer wish to receive these communications.
View this email online. | unsubscribe | SBR Archive

facebook  twitter  instagram 
sbr logo

January 5, 2021

What to read next.

Read This Next Winter 2021

A feminist Western? A thriller about motherhood? A novel that combines the best of poisons and mudlarking? Every season, southern booksellers choose a generous dozen or so of new and forthcoming books they are especially looking forward to convincing all their customers to read. The Winter 2021 Read This Next! list has just been announced, a selection of winter new releases generating extra excitement from Southern independent booksellers. Each of its fifteen titles will publish between January and March of 2021, and has received multiple high ratings and enthusiastic reviews from southern booksellers, marking them as hand-sell favorites for the forthcoming season.  They reflect the wide range of reading tastes of booksellers from across the entire Southeast.  Put one of these at the top of your TBR stack, because you will want to read these next!

Also in this edition of SBR, booksellers are buzzing about Becky Cooper's fascinating investigation and expose of a cold case in We Keep the Dead Close. Plus, reviews from E. Shaver, bookseller in Savannah, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina, Bookmiser in Roswell, Georgia, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, and Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia.

More bookseller reviews at SBR:

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

Coming up this week on the Reader Meet Writer Author Series:

The Wife Upstairs with Rachel Hawkins
Thu Jan 7th 7:00pm - 8:00pm 2021

The Wife UpstairsRachel Hawkins

What booksellers are saying.

Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies...

The Children's Train


The Children's Train by Viola Ardone
HarperVia / January 2021

More Reviews from The Country Bookshop.

Amerigo is a child in southern Italy sent north with other children to escape the deprived conditions after WWII. Choosing to stay with his adoptive family he lives a good life. Going home fifty years later for his mother’s funeral causes him to rethink his life and what a family really means. A great book that will provoke good book club discussions.

--Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre


The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by Robin Talley
HarperTeen / December 2020

| | |
More Reviews from Bookmiser

Melody is in her junior year of high school and all her dreams have come true. She finally gets to be the stage manager of her high school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. But the theatre is riddled with superstition. Every new play has a new superstition and a counter-curse for that superstition. So, when Melody’s love life causes problems with their current play the stage kids decide that when Melody is in love, that’s when things go wrong. The superstition for the spring musical is going to be that Melody doesn’t fall in love. Melody is on board with the plan. But that’s before their local celebrity, Odile Rose, comes back from filming a TV show and is cast in the musical. Everyone thought Odile was snobby and standoffish, but she’s not that way with Melody…

-- Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Inc. in Roswell, Georgia

The Narrowboat Summer


The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson
Flatiron Books / January 2021

More Reviews from Bookmarks

This delightful book is the perfect antidote to what was a difficult year for so many–the perfect book to begin a new year with. Eve and Sally are both looking for an escape from their everyday life. They meet while rescuing a dog from a barge–who turns out not to need rescuing after all–and promptly meet the owner of the dog and the barge, who needs both somewhere to stay and someone to take care of her boat. So Eve and Sally set off down the canals in their borrowed boat, discovering new friends and learning new skills along the way. Their first time taking the boat through a tunnel is literally some of the most riveting writing I’ve read in ages. I loved this book and can’t wait to share it with readers looking for their own escape!

--Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

No Surrender


Black, White, and The Grey by Mashama Bailey & John O. Morisano
Lorena Jones Books / January, 2021

More Reviews from E. Shaver, bookseller

Living in Savannah and being a huge fan of The Grey, I was really excited for this book. I'm so glad its presented with both Mashama and John O.'s perspectives. I found Mashama's parts especially to be very reflective and an important contribution to the discussion of race in this country and, specifically, in the south. The recipes are an excellent addition.

--Melissa Taylor, E. Shaver, bookseller in Savannah, Georgia



Consent by Annabel Lyon
Knopf / January 2021

| Siblings
More Reviews from Oxford Exchange

In Vancouver, two women are innately connected by the sources of their grief. What at first begins as separate family tableaus--of Sara's and Saskia's parents and young adulthood and strife in defining themselves as individuals beside their siblings--slowly and masterfully braids into a mystery led by these two protagonists, haunted by the apparitions and very memories of those for whom they cared. Peppered with the lush descriptions of decadent textures, jewel-like alcohols and olfactory notes so accurate you can almost sense them, Consent is a sensual and sophisticated-yet-blunt story of grief and retribution that I couldn't put down.

--Cat Chapman, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Winter 2021 favorites from Southern indies...



Outlawed by Anna North
Bloomsbury Publishing / January, 2021

| | | | |
More Reviews from Fountain Bookstore

Anna North has taken the traditional Western and flipped it on its head with a feminist twist for a very refreshing and timely novel about self worth. Taking place in an alternate past, Ada marries at 17, but after a year of trying, can’t conceive a child. She is kicked out by her husband’s family and accused of witchcraft by the town she grew up in, forcing her to flee. She ends up with an atypical group of outlaws by way of a convent and begins to learn to survive on the outside of traditional society. Intimate and exciting, this is a very fun book!

– Carl Kranz, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Bookseller Buzz


Spotlight on We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper

Becky Cooper

When Becky Cooper was an undergraduate at Harvard University, there was a story going round the department about a girl who was murdered by a professor she was having an affair with. According to the whispered rumors, the man was never convicted or even charged, and he still taught in the department to that day.

Every rumor has a starting point. Cooper, who was studying investigative journalism, found this story's origin in the cold case murder of Jane Britton, a student who had been bludgeoned to death in her apartment forty years earlier.

"True Crime" is a genre people tend to associate with sensational and gruesome homicides committed by psychopathic predators with a predilection for body parts. If so, then We Keep the Dead Close is not "true crime." Except that it obviously is. Cooper's book is a careful and empathetic investigation into an unsolved murder that never loses sight of the reality of a crime. That a girl had died, and that her death was still felt by the people who knew her, who knew of her, who simply walked the same halls she had walked, forty years later.

In an interview with Vogue, Cooper talks about what drew her to the story of Jane Britton, and why she worked so diligently to focus on the life of the victim, rather than her unknown killer: "It’s not the facts of her death and the gruesome details of the tragedy that really interested me. It was the quotes that she would make, the letters that she wrote from the archaeological dig in Iran, where she’s like, “I wouldn’t mind getting married, but I also wouldn’t mind having a pizza when I got home.”

We Keep the Dead CLose

What booksellers are saying about We Keep the Dead Close

  • A deep dive not only into the investigation of Jane Britton's murder but also into the world of archaeology, the 1960s, and the institution of Harvard itself. This is not just true crime, it is a nonfiction expose of the best kind. --Faith Park-Dodge, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC

  • If you are a student, a teacher, a staff member, a mentor, or a parent: this is an absolute must-read. Please read this book in honor of all of the aspiring young women you impact. This is beyond a great true crime. This is the perfect non-fiction book. --Karyn Cumming, Fountain Books in Richmond, VA

  • Not only are we trying to solve this mystery, we also get a view of the secret world of Harvard and how it operates. This was such an addicting read! --Deanna Bailey, Story on the Square in McDonough, GA

  • A fascinating, angering, and intriguing look into the world of crime as it relates to the world of academia. -- Jen Minor, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

About Becky Cooper

Becky Cooper is a former New Yorker editorial staff member and Senior Fellow at Brandeis's Schuster Institute for Investigative Reporting. Her undergraduate thesis, a literary biography of David Foster Wallace, won Harvard's Hoopes Prize, the highest undergraduate award for research and writing. Research for this book was supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the International Women's Media Foundation's Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists. She is also the author of Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers (Abrams, 2013).


Southern Bestsellers

What's popular this week with Southern Readers.

The Midnight Library The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse Shuggie Bain
These Truths We Hold Pirate Stew

[ See the full list ]

lady banks bookshelf

Parting Thought

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.
– Haruki Murakami

Publisher: The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance /
Editor: Nicki Leone /
Advertising: Linda-Marie Barrett /
The Southern Bookseller Review is a project of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, in support of independent bookstores in the South | SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805

SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Drive | Asheville, NC 28805
You have received this email because you are currently subscribed to receive The Southern Bookseller Review. Please click @@unsubscribe_url@@ if you no longer wish to receive these communications.