HomeBooks10 Picks for Spring Reading

10 Picks for Spring Reading

The latest Southern fiction, short story collections and tales for spring.

Cemetery Road by Greg Iles

Bestselling author Greg Iles is back with an exciting crime thriller set in Bienville, Mississippi. Marshall McEwan left Bienville at the age of 18, making a vow never to return to his hometown as he went on to become a successful career as a journalist in Washington, D.C and rise to a considerable amount of fame. Marshall receives news that his father has become terminally ill, which prompts his return home to Mississippi. Upon arrival, he finds his hometown is much different than it was before he left.  The love of his life Jet Turner has married into the family of the town’s Bienville Poker Club. The club has run the town dry of money and offers to improve economic conditions by building a billion-dollar Chinese paper mill, but before the deal is completed, two citizens are murdered. Marshall joins forces with his former lover Jet to uncover the truth behind the murders as well as the Poker Club in this gripping page-turner. (out now)

 

Every True Pleasure: LGBTQ Tales Of North Carolina edited by Wilton Barnhardt

An anthology focusing on LGBTQ writing, Every True Pleasure highlights modern life in North Carolina and brings together work by authors including David Sedaris, Kelly Link and Randall Kenan. This anthology showcases the diversity of LGBTQ experience in North Carolina and focuses on this experience in various dimensions of life. (out now)

 

Glory Road by Lauren K. Denton

This Southern novel written by Lauren K. Denton follows a mother, daughter and grandmother living together on Glory Road in Perry, Alabama. Thirty-eight-year-old Jessie McBride has cast away any hopes of entering a relationship after her failed marriage and now spends her time caring for her 14-year-old daughter, Evan, and her mother, Gus, who is struggling with the early onset stages of dementia. One of Jessie’s old high school crushes, Ben Bradley, comes back into town, and feelings begin to stir between the two. A wealthy man named Sumner Tate also begins to form a connection with Jessie as he stops into her flower shop one day. Jessies fights to find her heart’s direction as her daughter Evan also struggles with starting high school. The three women spend the summer learning to open themselves more to love. (out now)

 

Joy and 52 other very short stories by Erin McGraw

In these very short stories, narrators step out of themselves to explain their lives to us, sometimes defensively, sometimes regretfully, other times deceitfully. Voices include those of the impulsive first-time murderer, the depressed pet sitter, the assistant of Patsy Cline, the anxiety-riddled new mother, the aged rock-and-roller, the girlfriend of your husband. Crossing time, states, class, and religions, McGraw’s stories are on the edge, causing you to wince even as you laugh. And McGraw, who is retired and living in Tennessee, will draw you to a deep need to read some sentences aloud—a sweet voice, a shrewd insight, some uneasy charm. (out now)

 

Zora And Langston by Yuval Tayor

Yuval Taylor’s latest book explores one of the most important literary friendships of the early 20th century—that of novelists Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. Focusing on their 1927 road trip, this book highlights the beginnings of their friendship up until their rift in 1931, attempting to unravel the complicated nature of this relationship. Zora and Langston offers a unique literary perspective into the complicated lives of two revolutionary writers—and their relationship to each other. (out now)

 

Gimme Some Sugar by Molly Harper

Kentucky writer Molly Harper dives into young widow Lucy Brown’s return to her hometown of Lake Sackett, Georgia, with hopes of conquering her past while escaping the memory of her husband’s death. Much to her surprise, Lucy’s childhood best friend Duffy McCready admits his love for her when she returns home. McCready owns a local bait shop/funeral home. Lucy is ashamed to admit that she finds life without her late husband easier than life with him, and no one knew what a relentless, soul-grinding trudge marriage to him had been. Lucy teams up with Duffy to renovate the town’s old meat shop into a bakery, while also reigniting the passion in her life with Duffy. Gimme Some Sugar is a Southern classic featuring characters readers can’t help but fall in love with. (out April 2)

 

Midnight At The Tuscany Hotel by James Markert

Midnight at the Tuscany Hotels explores the intricacies of art and memory through the story of a father and son. After painter Vittorio’s father Robert, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, vanishes amidst Vittorio’s complicated family life, Vittorio, accompanied by his wife and a fellow veteran, goes to the Tuscany Hotel, the only place he believes his father could remember, where Robert’s memories have been miraculously restored by the fountain at the hotel. (out April 9)

 

A Palm Beach Wife by Susannah Marren

Faith Harrison is the first to admit that she’s found everything she was looking for in life, but the beauty and privilege of Palm Beach, Florida, society comes with a cost. What will happen when everyone learns that Faith is not the woman she says she is? Who will stand by her side when the truth about her past comes to light? For years, Faith has kept a desperate grip on everything she holds dear. Yet even she, the only one who knows how carefully her image was constructed, could never have suspected how far she would fall—and from whom betrayal would come. Things begin to implode when Faith learns of her husband’s impending scandal. Amid the lush exterior of Palm Beach, Faith must confront the haunting truth about what she left behind, her buried regret and the demons that haunt her still. (out April 9)

 

Any Other Place by Michael Croley

From Appalachia to South Korea and back, this debut collection of stories explores themes of home and displacement. “Like the best writers, Michael Croley takes us into the lives of ordinary people who have been thrust into extraordinary circumstances of everyday life. There is not a wasted word in these thirteen taut and thrilling stories of grief, exiles, and devotion,” says Silas House. Every story in this collection offers a new and rich perspective on the male body, the strains of family relations, sacrifices of displacement and the cruelty of geography. (out April 23)

 

Where the Angels Lived by Margaret McMullan

The moment she discovers the existence of Richard, a long-lost relative, at Israel’s Holocaust Museum, Mississippi native Margaret McMullan begins an unexpected journey of revelation and connectivity as she tirelessly researches the history of her ancestors, the Engel de Jánosis. Propelled by a Fulbright cultural exchange that sends her to teach at a Hungarian University, Margaret, her husband and teenage son all eagerly travel to Pécs, the land of her mother’s Jewish lineage. After reaching Pécs, a Hungarian town both small and primarily Christian, Margaret realizes right then and there how difficult her mission is going to be. (out May 1)

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