412-736-0749Belfoure has woven another wonderful tale involving an architect, Douglas Layton. And England during the early 20th century is always a fascinating landscape. Douglas is very good at his profession but a horrible accident involving the collapse of a theater that he designed destroys his career and puts him in jail. Upon release he struggles to clear his name. Belfloure introduces a varied cast of characters that are sure to delight. I was captivated by all of the unique personalities that were found in the vaudeville theater of the time and totally supported the efforts of Douglas as he gets involved in solving the mystery of the theater collapse. I look forward to the next architectural tale by this marvelous storyteller. Great story!

The Fallen Architect by Charles Belfoure ($25.99*, Sourcebooks Landmark), recommended by 819-439-3694, Fairhope, AL.

*List price. Local store price may vary.


Lady BanksIn which a publisher becomes a bookseller, Mr. Harrison Scott Key (and his daughters) dutifully reads all of his negative reviews in the spirit in which they were not intended, and Mr. Terry Roberts remembers how it felt to be word-cursed as a child.

Keep Reading Lady Banks' Commonplace Book | nosological

(775) 703-1979

Instantly Southern by Sheri Castle

Your favorite Southern recipes just got a lot easier thanks to your multicooker and Instant Pot®!

Sheri Castle streamlines go-to Southern dishes to be one-button easy for cooking in an Instant Pot®, multicooker, pressure cooker, or slow cooker. From jambalaya to deviled eggs and praline cheesecake, in Instantly Southern you'll find 85 ways to get fresh, delicious, and soulful breakfasts, lunches, and dinners on the table with less fuss than ever. Featuring supermarket staples such as winter squash, beef chuck roast, pork shoulder, and sweet potatoes, as well as signature Southern ingredients like okra, greens, beans, and Bourbon, these dishes are easy to know and love. Whether you're cooking for company or your family on a hectic night, there are plenty of tempting options for every meal throughout the day.

BREAKFASTS: Shrimp and Stoneground Grits; Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding; Hummingbird Coffee Cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Glaze

HEARTY MAINS: Holiday Ham with Ginger-Peach Glaze; Chicken and Fluffy Dumplings; Bourbon and Cola Beef Short Ribs

SOUPS, SALADS, and HEALTHY SIDES: Winter Squash Soup with Apple Butter Cream; Barley, Peach, and Cherry Salad with Sweet Tea Vinaigrette; Quick Greens

DESSERT!: Red Velvet Cheesecake; Salted Caramel Banana Pudding; Pineapple-Upside Down Cake

Instantly Southern by Sheri Castle
Clarkson Potter Publishers | 9781984822475 | October 2, 2018
buy from an indie


(573) 767-1655

Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo Watson Hackl

How far would you go to find something that might not even exist?

All her life, Cricket's mama has told her stories about a secret room painted by a mysterious artist. Now Mama's run off, and Cricket thinks the room might be the answer to getting her to come back. If it exists. And if she can find it.

Cricket's only clue is a coin from a grown-over ghost town in the woods. So with her daddy's old guidebook and a coat full of snacks stolen from the Cash 'n' Carry, Cricket runs away to find the room. Surviving in the woods isn't easy. While Cricket camps out in an old tree house and looks for clues, she meets the last resident of the ghost town, encounters a poetry-loving dog (who just might hold a key to part of the puzzle), and discovers that sometimes you have to get a little lost...to really find your way.

Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo Watson Hackl (Random House Books for Young Readers)

 2019 Southern Book Prize Finalist in Random House Books for Young Readers

(248) 281-8923


Terry RobertsWhen I was a boy growing up in the mountains north of Asheville, North Carolina, I lived in an old, quarry-stone farmhouse at a place called Sanders Court, because once upon a time it was a tourist court owned by Colonel Harlan Sanders (he of fried chicken fame).

My mother, Helen Roberts, was an eminently kind and devout woman, who believed in Billy Graham and the King James Bible. Every night when I went to sleep as a boy, she would sit by my bed, and I was required to recite the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm.
To truly picture this, you need to imagine that old stone farmhouse on the flank of a mountain ridge, with winter wind howling around the corners and under the eaves. Faraway, the warbling cry of a screech owl, which sounds for all the world like a muffled human scream. There I am, a small boy, curled up under the blankets, reciting for Mama from memory, my voice whispering within the wind.

Appreciate that my mother was a kind and gentle soul—smart and funny and hard-working—in her essence a giving and always sweet presence. If religion, in this case that old-time religion built on the solid rock of the gospel, came into your life through Helen Roberts’ mind and voice, then it was a religion that gave rather than took, forgave rather than judged.

"My problem was that I was word-cursed as a child."

The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and RevivalOn Sunday morning, however, Mama took my sister and I to a local Baptist Church where we were subject to sermons preached in the old style, full of fire and flame—sermons that imprinted the idea of Hell on the acute sensibility of a young boy much more intensely than the notion of Heaven. When you walked out the door of that Baptist church on Sunday at Noon, heaven might have been a distant, foggy notion but hell was real. It was pronounced in two syllables (“hay-ell”), and you or I were in danger of going there. At any moment…due to car wreck or sudden illness.

My problem was that I was word-cursed as a child. I actually listened when the preachers were thundering away. I actually lay awake and thought about what the words of 23rd Psalm might mean (“he leadeth me beside the still waters” … “yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” …). I wrestled with words on a visceral level, and I still do.

And so these many years later I ask you…. Is there a god? Is he—or she—loving and forgiving? Or angry and vindictive?

Out of that deep question came the character of Jedidiah Robbins, a prohibition-era evangelist and bootlegger. That’s right … evangelist and bootlegger. An agnostic preacher and con man. A lost soul in search of his own salvation, wherever he might find it. Does he believe? And if so, in what?

The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival is his story, and I invite you to join him on his quest.

Terry Roberts’ direct ancestors have lived in the mountains of Western North Carolina since the time of the Revolutionary War. His family farmed in the Big Pine section of Madison County for generations and is also prominent in the Madison County town of Hot Springs, a consistent setting in his novels. Among his forebears are prominent bootleggers and preachers but no one who, like Jedidiah Robbins, from The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival, combines both occupations.

The Southern Book PrizeThe Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2019 Southern Book Prize, the best books of Southern origin of the year, chosen by the people who would know – Southern independent booksellers.

All the finalists are published in the current calendar year and are Southern in nature – either about the South, or by a Southern author, or both. Over one hundred titles were nominated to this year’s Prize, and finalists were chosen according to the number of nominations they received.

The announcement of the 2019 finalists represents a change in the timing of the Southern Book Prize, which in past years has occurred in the spring. “We have heard from many of our members that they want more opportunities to promote Southern Book Prize titles during the holiday shopping season,” said SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell, “so we moved the timeline of the Prize forward to the fall.”

Another change is in how the winners will be selected from the list of finalists: Winners will be chosen by popular vote, and Southern indie bookstores will be encouraged to involve their customers in the voting process by creating in-store displays of the finalist titles as part of their holiday promotions. Each store will be provided postage-paid postcard ballots to hand out to booksellers and customers. An online ballot will also be available on November 10th. Returned ballots will be entered into a raffle to win a complete set of the finalist titles.

In-store voting will begin the week of the Love Your Bookstore Challenge, November 10-16, building on the momentum of the grassroots campaign to encourage book buying at local bookstores and giving store customers chances to win more prizes. Voting will run from November 10 through February 1, 2019.

Southern Book Prize winners will be announced on February 14, Valentine’s Day.

2019 Southern Book Prize Finalists


2019 Southern Book Award Fiction Finalists

A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler (St. Martin’s Press)
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)
Florida: Stories by Lauren Groff (Riverhead Books)
Gods of Howl Mountain by Taylor Brown (St. Martin’s Press)
Scribe by Alyson Hagy (Graywolf Press)
The Line that Held Us by David Joy (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)


2019 Southern Book Award Nonfiction Finalists

The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table by Rick Bragg (Knopf)
Calypso by David Sedaris (Little, Brown & Company)
One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Southern Discomfort by Tena Clark (Touchstone)


2019 Southern Book Award Childrens & YA Finalists

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt BYR)
I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton (Push)
Lions & Liars by Kate Beasley (Farrar, Straus & Giroux BYR)
Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)
Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo Watson Hackl (Random House BYR)

Honorable Mentions
Books which did not receive quite enough nominations to be finalists, but whose nominations were especially enthusiastic.

Anatomy of a Miracle by Jonathan Miles (Hogarth)
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco)
Treeborne by Caleb Johnson (Picador)
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper)
Varina by Charles Frazier (Ecco)
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)

Bren McClain Receives $10,000 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction for


Author Ann Kidd Taylor given Special Recognition for The Shark Club
Distinguished panel honors life and writings of Pat Conroy
Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry Announced

Bren McClain 

The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction has named the recipient of its 2017 literary award: Bren McClain for her novel One Good Mama Bone (Story River Books). McClain was honored at a ceremony at the New York Yacht Club where she received the award’s $10,000 prize. Author Ann Kidd Taylor received Special Recognition at the ceremony for her novel The Shark Club, for its originality and insight.

Since its inception in 2008, the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, founded by novelist Reba White Williams and her husband Dave H. Williams, has recognized annually a writer whose work is set in the South, exemplifies the tenets of Southern literature—quality of prose, originality, and authenticity of setting and characters—and reflects, in the words of Willie Morris, “hope for belonging, for belief in a people’s better nature, for steadfastness against all that is hollow or crass or rootless or destructive.”  Past recipients include Mindy Friddle, Stephen Wetta, Terry Roberts, Katherine Clark, and Kim Wright, 2016’s honoree for her novel Last Ride to Graceland.   

2017 award winner Bren McClain is a native South Carolinian, who now resides in Nashville, TN. One Good Mama Bone is her debut novel and in addition to widespread acclaim was also a finalist for both the Southern Book Prize by the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Alliance and the 2018 Crook’s Corner Book. She is a two-time winner of the South Carolina Fiction Project and the recipient of the 2005 Fiction Fellowship by the South Carolina Arts Commission. She is now at work on her next novel, Took, which received the gold medal for the 2016 William Faulkner –William Wisdom Novel-in-Progress.  


Parapalooza! Paragraphs Worth Spreading

Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

Do you know your Southern lit?

The Southern Indie Lit Crossword Puzzle Book

We dare you to use a pen on these crossword puzzles, each inspired by one of the winning titles of the (469) 450-2227, honoring ten years of the very best in Southern literature as chosen by the people who would know...Southern Independent Booksellers!

A great gift for your book club, for puzzle-lovers, and anyone who loves Southern literature. $9.95 paperback. Available at 617-890-8499. Need some hints or looking for answers? 714-890-5426.