The Southern Bookseller Review Newsletter for the week of April 13, 2021

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 

April 20, 2021sbr logo

Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day.

Independent Bookstore Day

To most of the world, April 24th is Shakespeare's birthday -- a day surely deserving of a bank holiday if every there was one.

It is also, this year, Independent Bookstore Day, -- a day to celebrate your local bookshop, attend some of the special events they have planned, and take advantage of some of the sales and special items only available on this day, from these stores. Everything from free audiobooks to signed special editions of books, limited edition prints, fun gifts, and in many cases special discounts only available for the day.

Over 750 bookstores are participating, and events range from virtual to socially distanced in-person celebrations. Itinerant Literate in Charleston, SC has "transformed our backyard" for a "Big Monsters Only Garden Party".

The "store without a store" in Huntsville, AL, Snail on the Wall will have a pop-up store that day and special "Mother's Day bundles"

Avid Bookshop in Athens Georgia has not yet opened its doors for browsing but has exclusive items for sale on its website, and has created a "donations only sidewalk sale" to benefit a local nonprofit, Help Mutual Aid Athens.

Indie Bookstores in New Orleans: Garden District Bookshop, Baldwin & Co., Blue Cypress Books, Octavia Books, and Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Bookshop have banded together to create a city-wide Scavenger Hunt. Pick up a Bookstore Passport at any of the stores to play. And yes, there are prizes.

Check the map to find out what your local bookstore is doing. Shop local now, so you can shop local later.

Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

Coming up on the Reader Meet Writer Author Series:


The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst with Jaclyn MoriartyThe Stolen Prince of Cloudburst with Jaclyn Moriarty
Tue Apr 27th 7:00pm - 8:00pm | REGISTER

Jaclyn Moriarty is the award-winning author of uniquely creative and readable books for adults and young readers including The Year of Secret Assignments, the Colors of Madeleine trilogy, and The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone. One of the talented and popular Moriarty sisters (including Liane and Nicola), Jaclyn lives in Sydney, Australia. She is very fond of chocolate, blueberries, and sleep.

SobremesaSobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love in Thirteen Courses with Josephine Caminos Oría
Thu May 6th 7:00pm - 8:00pm | REGISTER

Make yourself hungry: watch the book trailer!

Josephine Caminos Oría is an Argentine-American cookbook author, entrepreneur and mom. It was in her early 40s, with five young children in tow, that Josephine took a chance on herself, leaving a C-level career to make dulce de leche. Today, Josephine, along with her Argentine husband, Gastón, is the founder of La Dorita Cooks, an all-natural line of dulce de leche products and Pittsburgh’s first resource-based kitchen incubator for start-up and early stage food makers (see for more information). In addition, Josephine is the author of Dulce de Leche: Recipes, Stories, and Sweet Traditions (Burgess Lea Press, February 2017).

Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies...

Sparrow Envy by J. Drew Lanham


Sparrow Envy by J. Drew Lanham
Hub City Press / April 2021

More Reviews from Avid Bookshop

I found myself underlining something on nearly every page of this slim volume—Lanham’s distinctive voice sings with awe of the natural world and clear-eyed candor of the obstacles a Black man faces in engaging this awe. Here is a writer who can perfectly express the emotive effect of a wood thrush’s 3-part song, someone who finds joy the exuberance of wrens, someone who finds solace in (and solidarity with) winged beings. This is a beautiful, necessary book.

--Reviewed by Hannah DeCamp, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia

Bookseller Buzz


Spotlight on Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Jessica Sutanto

"I really like the trope of 'accidental murder'," says Jesse Q. Sutanto in an interview on the Books Connect Us Podcast. "so what would happen if you accidentally murdered someone and all your meddlesome aunts got involved in the cover up?"

Sutanto, whose father is one of seven children and whose mother is one of nine, knows a little something about meddlesome aunts. Her new novel, Dial A for Aunties, features the trials and tribulations of wedding photographer Meddelyn Chan, who accidentally kills her blind date when he gets a little too handsy. In such a situation most of us might call 911 or a lawyer (not necessarily in that order). Meddelyn calls on the authority figures in her life -- her mother and her aunts. They immediately band together to hide the body -- which is harder to do than you'd think.

"Manic." "hilarious." "Surprising and romantic." The consensus among readers is that Sutanto's first adult novel is a hit, and also a fond and faithful portrayal of Chinese-Indonesian families, right down to the size of the 2000 guest wedding, which some people noted sounded a little small for the occasion.

Dial A for Aunties

What booksellers are saying about Dial A for Aunties

  • I LOVED this book. Like, deep love. Like help dispose of a body and cover up a murder love. --Kate Towery from Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA
    Buy from Fountain Bookstore

  • I loved this book!! The aunties were a believable mess of loyalty. I was invested in Meddy's character development. I loved the romance, and I was thrilled by the murder and ensuing foibles.  -- Becca Sloan from Novel in Memphis, TN
    Buy from Novel.

  • This book is a hysterical ride full of outlandish circumstances all made possible due to an accidental murder. --Jamie Southern from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, NC
    Buy from Bookmarks

About Jesse Q. Sutanto

Jesse Q. Sutanto grew up shuttling back and forth between Indonesia, Singapore, and Oxford, and considers all three places her home. She has a Masters from Oxford University, but she has yet to figure out how to say that without sounding obnoxious. Jesse has forty-two first cousins and thirty aunties and uncles, many of whom live just down the road. When she’s not writing, she’s gaming with her husband (mostly FPS), or making a mess in the kitchen with her two daughters.

Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke


Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / April 2021

More Reviews from Fountain Bookstore

A book that combines my two favorite things–true crime podcasts and a page turning thriller! Season Three is going to be huge for podcaster Elle, she’s taking on The Countdown Killer years after he stopped killing. Cops think he’s dead, but Elle knows in her bones that he’s still out there. When the murders start up again, Elle must help determine if it’s the work of a copy cat, or if The Countdown Killer is back to finish his job. And when the killer draws her into his twisted game, Elle decides to play by her own rules.

--Reviewed by Kate Towery, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Clues to the Universe by Christina Li


Clues to the Universe by Christina Li
Quill Tree Books / January 2021

More Reviews from The Haunted Bookshop

Benji is a comic-book-loving artist whose dad abruptly left his family. Ro is a list-making rocket scientist whose father tragically died in a car accident. When they team up to build a rocket for Science Fair and Ro becomes determined to track down Benji’s father, the two become friends. I love how one main character is artistic and the other scientific. Lots of fun space science facts in Ro’s chapters. It’s a good blend of personalities and disciplines. The two deal with grief left by their fathers, bullying, and what it means to be a friend to others as well as yourself. I also really enjoyed the plot/character thread of the kids developing a deeper understanding and friendship with a neighbor, Mr. Voltz, who suffers from PTSD as a veteran from WWII & Korean War. Lots of good stuff in this heart-warming story, including Ro embracing her Chinese heritage as a half Chinese, quarter Scottish, quarter Irish, as she describes herself.

--Reviewed by Candice Conner, The Haunted Bookshop in Mobile, Alabama

Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown by Brandon Jew, Tienlon Ho


Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown by Brandon Jew, Tienlon Ho
Ten Speed Press, / March 2021

More Reviews from Righton Books

This very readable cookbook details the history of Chinese food in the United States, and weaves fascinating stories about the author’s lifetime experiences in San Francisco’s Chinatown around authentic, and often accessible, Chinese and Chinese-American recipes.

--Reviewed by Anne Peck, Righton Books in St Simons Island, Georgia

Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley


Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley
Algonquin Books / April 2021

More Reviews from Flyleaf Books

An old building housing a brothel stands in the middle of Soho. The young millionaire who owns the property wants to turn it into luxury condos. Unfortunately, the tenants aren’t going to leave without a fight. A riveting tale about wealth, class, gentrification, power, and gender, this story shows readers just how unjust the world can be, but in the most entertaining and amusing way possible. (And just look at that cover!) A 2021 must-read!

--Reviewed by Jen Minor, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Read This Next!

Books on the horizon: Forthcoming favorites from Southern indies...

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib


A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib
Random House / April 2021

More Reviews from Union Ave Books

Anything new by Hanif Abdurraqib is something to celebrate. He’s quickly become one of my favorite writers. This book, which highlights some of the many, many black performers in American history, is my favorite so far. It made me laugh, it made me angry, it made me think, and it made me look up old clips from Soul Train on YouTube. I am grateful that his book made me do all of those things. Hanif Abdurraqib is a writer I feel evangelical about. I cannot wait to press a copy of this into people’s hands.

– Chelsea Bauer, Union Ave Books in Knoxville, TN

Southern Bestsellers

What's popular this week with Southern Readers.

The Lost Apothecary Broken The Henna Artist
The Yellow House Someone Builds the Dreaml,.

[ See the full list ]

lady banks bookshelf

Parting Thought

“I grabbed my book and opened it up. I wanted to smell it. Heck, I wanted to kiss it. Yes, kiss it. That’s right, I am a book kisser. Maybe that’s kind of perverted or maybe it’s just romantic and highly intelligent.” – Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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.