shelf talkers is a new series on Lit Hub where independent bookstore booksellers across the country share their favorite reads of the moment. The titles below are available from Salisbury’s independent bookstore, South Main Book Company, located at 110 S. Main St. in Salisbury, North Carolina. Alissa Redmond, owner of the store, shares her picks below.
Find more picks from store staff here.
Celeste Ngg, our lost hearts
This deserves to be a huge box office hit when it opens in October. Its dystopian synopsis: Our government can relocate children in an anonymous report of seditious behavior by parents. A woman uses poetry to combat these kidnappings and to combat the rampant anti-Asian hatred that is taking over society, as behind-the-scenes librarian heroes attempt to document fractured family ties. If you don’t already know that Celeste Ng is a literary force, this book will illuminate her perspective.
Corban Addison, we stopped
Corban Addison we stopped has something for everyone as a southern true-crime procedural thriller (particularly interesting if you’ve ever driven down Interstate 40 toward the North Carolina coast wondering, “What’s that smell?”). A legal dream team fights environmental racism perpetrated by corporate pig farms on their disadvantaged neighbors.
Kristy WoodsonHarvey, the bridal veil
Kristy Woodson Harvey’s ninth novel, and first work of historical fiction, features incredible characters brought to vivid life from the prologue. A young Edith Dresser, wearing roller skates at her mother’s boudoir, tries on a wedding veil and is mesmerized by her mother’s tender forecast of her future marital bliss. Flashforward a few years, and Edith marries George Vanderbilt, who takes her to her new home, the Biltmore Estate in the mountains of North Carolina. Readers of contemporary romance novels will thoroughly enjoy the chapters set in the present day, as the mystery of a wedding veil changes several life stories.
Jon Krakauer, Where the Men Win the Glory: The Pat Tillman Odyssey
Krakauer details Pat Tillman’s post-9/11 struggle as he dropped out of his NFL contract to enlist in the US Army, only to return home from Afghanistan in a body bag, with many unanswered questions. This book could shatter his faith in our government’s ability to tell the truth; It’s not moving, but this story will move you. There was much more to Pat Tillman than how he died, and Krakauer does a terrific job of giving him a voice from beyond the grave.
Tracy Deonn, Legend
(Books by Margaret K. McElderry)
If you haven’t read Tracy Deonn’s book Legend however, you simply must before its sequel marked with blood was released in November. Set on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Deonn infuses the legend of King Arthur with southern gothic traditions and teen angst in a riveting sci-fi novel for young adults. Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, perhaps with an added affinity for Colson Whitehead? Deonn’s newly created world has rocked the literary world, and it is very likely that she will continue to break down walls and push new frontiers in these genres for many years to come. .
Lyla Lee, Mindy Kim
(Aladdin Pocket Books)
Lyla Lee’s Mindy Kim The series showcases great depth of story for an emerging reader, and with an eighth title due out this summer, this is the perfect series for your kids to miss out on when school is out. I should note a triggering caveat here regarding Mindy’s deceased mother, who passed away after a prolonged illness prior to the origin of this series. My daughters (ages 11 and 6) are obsessed with Mindy’s campaigns for a dog, good friends, and a great vacation; I appreciate Mindy’s courtesy and kindness, which is not often shown in the pages of the first chapters of the books.
Dave Eggers, sick. by ShawnHarris, his right foot
(Books of Chronicles)
his right foot begins with the true story of the creation of the Statue of Liberty in France and its relocation to Ellis Island in New York City. Eggers leaves the reader with many profound questions about what the statue literally “represents”: does her leg show an intention to move, and does that movement appear to be directed toward the sea? I continually get goosebumps towards the conclusion of this story, when we realize that Lady Liberty is breaking free of her chains to meet newcomers to the United States where they are, to accept them as they are, to give them welcome to our shores. Children’s literature can sometimes convey more grandiose statements than works intended for adults; This is one of those rare books.