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

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April 27, 2021sbr logo

The trouble with werewolves.

Jaclyn Moriarty

This evening's Reader Meet Writer Series features Jaclyn Moriarty, the author of The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst. "I want everyone one to read it," says Carolyn Roys of Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, IL, "because it weaves magic, ogres, faeries, intrigue, disaster, heartache, boarding school, sisters, friends and parents into the perfect story you won't be able to put down. I will place it in the hands of parents, teachers, grandparents and kids coming in to find the perfect book to hold their attention and remind them why they love reading. Moriarty gets it just right."

Fun fact: Jaclyn Moriarty's sister is the bestselling novelist Liane Moriarty!

Register here

Next week on May 6th is a conversation with Josephine Caminos Oría, whose book Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love in Thirteen Courses is a perfect Mother's Day gift. The word refers to a Spanish tradition of relaxing at the table and talking to family after a meal.

“At once a magical matrilineage, recipe book, and love letter to Argentinian culture, Josephine's Sombremesa is not only a moving culinary memoir, but a timely cultural portrait and call to return to a slower, more sensual relationship with our loved ones and ourselves.”—Allie Rowbottom, author of Jell-O Girls

Watch the beautiful trailer below, and register here.


Read This Now | Read This Next | The Bookseller Directory

Coming up on the Reader Meet Writer Author Series:


The The Last Thing He Told MeThe Last Thing He Told Me with Laura Dave
Tue May 11th 7:00pm - 8:00pm | REGISTER

Laura Dave is the national and international bestselling author of Eight Hundred Grapes and other novels. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Ladies’ Home Journal; Glamour; Redbook; Self; and The New York Observer. Dave has appeared on the CBS Early Show, The Modern Love Podcast, and NPR’s All Things Considered; and Cosmopolitan named her a “Fun and Fearless Phenom” of the year. She resides with her family in Santa Monica.

Blood and Treasure : Daniel Boone and the Fight for America's First FrontierBlood and Treasure : Daniel Boone and the Fight for America's First Frontier with Bob Drury and Tom Clavin
Thu May 13th 7:00pm - 8:00pm | REGISTER

Bob Drury and Tom Clavin are the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of The Heart of Everything That IsLucky 666Halsey's TyphoonLast Men Out, and The Last Stand of Fox Company, which won the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation's General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award. They live in Manasquan, New Jersey, and Sag Harbor, New York, respectively.

Read This Now!

Recommended by Southern indies...

Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa


Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
Orbit / May 2021

More Reviews from Page 158 Books

You say you want liberty, but you can never be free alone. None of us are free until all of us are. To be free of Bassa requires power– power in service of us all. Not for you to derive joy from controlling a beast.

In Son of the Storm, Suyi Davies Okungbowa introduces readers to a complex and fascinating new world. One with a complex cast system in which power is isolated in the bloated elite, the truth is hidden even from scholars, and anyone who looks different is exiled to the dangerous fringes of the continent. As a secret power from the time of a mad emperor reemerges and a sunken nation reappears, a young scholar and his intended follow two very different paths to save themselves and their people. I was completely entranced by this story. While he pulls no punches, Okungbowa does not need to lean into the grotesque to make his world compelling. I yelled, I cheered, I felt conflicted about my loyalties, and I absolutely cannot wait to find out what happens next. Content warnings for harm to children and pregnancy in addition to violent fantasy elements.

--Reviewed by Faith Parke-Dodge, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina

Bookseller Buzz


Spotlight on: Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal

Kristen O'Neal

"In a lot of ways this is a novel about accessibility," says Kristin O'Neal when she talks about her debut book, Lycanthropy and Other Illnesses, "and about how the Internet is the space where people can come together who would never have met otherwise...I think it is fitting that I wrote most of it on a computer at the New York Public Library."

The story centers around Priya, a premed student whose life is upended when she is diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. Contending with a chronic illness would feel almost impossible, if it weren't for the help and understanding she discovers in an online support group for people with chronic conditions, and especially the online friendship she forms with a fellow group member, Brigid.

Then, suddenly, Brigid goes off line. And when Priya tries to visit to check on her, she finds her friend's chronic illness is nothing like Lyme disease at all.

Dial A for Aunties

What booksellers are saying about Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses

  • I was expecting a paranormal cryptid mystery, and what I got in addition to that was a story about funny and wonderful friendship. --Cat Chapman, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL
    Buy from Oxford Exchange

  • Hilarious and witty, Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses not only tackled exactly what the title says with honesty and grace, it was such a good story of knowing that even if you are struggling there will always be someone out there on your side to help you fight your battles. Humorous levity and unorthodox plot twists make this a delightful novel.  -- Olivia Schaffer, The Bookshelf in Thomasville, GA
    Buy from The Bookshelf.

  • This was a fun story that also shed a light on how hard it is for people who have a chronic illness, but also the great friendships you can find if you're open to it. --Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser in Roswell, GA
    Buy from Bookmiser

About Kristin O'Neal

Kristen O’Neal is a freelance writer who has written for sites like Buzzfeed Reader, Christianity Today, Birth.Movies.Death, LitHub, and Electric Literature. She lives on the internet. You can find her at @Kristen_ONeal on Twitter and kristenoneal on Tumblr. Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses is her first novel..

Popisho by Leone Ross


Popisho by Leone Ross
Farrar Straus and Giroux / April 2021

More Reviews from Avid Bookshop

Popisho is pure magic. While it’s clear that Ross pulls influence from Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Toni Morrison among others, the beautifully rendered setting and fully-realized characters (and their magical powers) are unique and wholly refreshing. The musical language makes this novel sing—a song of lost love, fate-determining meals, political intrigue, winged drugs, and lots of sex and strange occurrences. Popisho is sparkling and saucy and sensual, and readers will find themselves hankering for its food, crying at its heartbreaks, and laughing (oh, there will be a lot of laughing) at its sly wit.

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

Pop Song by Larissa Pham


Pop Song by Larissa Pham
Catapult / May 2021

More Reviews from Parnassus

In its best moments, Pop Song makes deeply resonant connections between works of art, the lives of artists and the author’s own experience as an extremely online person trying to find healing and community in the isolating wasteland that is late capitalism’s information economy. There were certainly times where I felt like I was too old for this book; the break-up that anchors the denouement did not feel as sharply observed to me as the relationship’s tender beginnings and what they shook loose. But overall this is a strong effort by a writer I have long admired. And if you came of age on Tumblr this book will probably feel like slipping on a glove.

--Reviewed by Steve Haruch, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney


Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney
HarperTeen, / May 2021

More Reviews from Story on the Square

I adored this fun and impressive debut! Quinn is one of the few black students at a prestigious private school; she finds refuge in writing and making lists in her journal. Her journal goes missing and someone begins to blackmail her with her deepest and darkest secrets. Quinn freaks out, and has to begin working with Carter, a fellow black student who she has never gotten along with. Soon, the hate the hate they had for one another dissolves as they connect to retrieve her journal while being forced by Quinn’s blackmailer to complete Quinn’s lists. This book is about facing your fears, being honest, and falling in love.

--Reviewed by Deanna Bailey, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia

Memory Jars by Vera Brosgol


Memory Jars by Vera Brosgol
Roaring Brook Press / May 2021

More Reviews from Bookmarks

When Freda learns how to capture the flavor of summer by making blueberry jam with her grandmother, she wonders what else she can preserve to save for later. Her collecting gets out of control, though, and soon she can’t enjoy any of her favorite things because they are all in jars. Memory Jars is a cute story about living for the day and celebrating the things we have.

--Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Read This Next!

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

Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal


Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal
Quirk / April 2021

More Reviews from The Haunted Book Shop

A Spring 2021 Read This Next! Title

Oof, ouch, this debut YA yanked me in and I could NOT put it down. Poignant and hilarious, it delves into the mental landscape of chronic illnesses, and brings werewolfism (this should be a word, fyi) into the storyline. I LOVE Brigid’s sense of humor and her and Priya’s friendship is one we ALL need in our lives. Great recommendation for readers who are looking for a solid friendship-themed book. There is a fun hint of romance but it doesn’t shift the story’s focus.

– Candice Corner, The Haunted Book Shop in Mobile, Alabama

Southern Bestsellers

What's popular this week with Southern Readers.

The Lost Apothecary Caste The Hemingway Stories
Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing Last Night at the Telegraph Club

[ See the full list ]

lady banks bookshelf

Parting Thought

"Books are everywhere; and always the same sense of adventure fills us. Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack." --Virginia Woolf, Street Haunting

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

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