With so many new books with regional interest out, my goal here is to suggest enough to keep you reading all winter. In a coastal romance from a perennial favorite, Nicholas Sparks has a new North Carolina story in Every Breath. Winston-Salem author Sarah McCoy’s novel of historical farm life from before Anne is called Marilla of Green Gables. For historical fiction blended with fantasy and time travel similar to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, try Charleston author Signe Pike’s new book The Lost Queen. Best known for her novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Therese Anne Fowler has a new fictionalized biography of a Vanderbilt matriarch called A Well-Behaved Woman. Rose Senehi’s Catching Fire is a truly local novel based on real people and events following the fires that raged through parts of eastern Henderson County in 2016. Twelve essays about our state’s most celebrated and unique foods make up The Month of Their Ripening by Georgann Eubanks.
In mystery series, Mark De Castrique’s new Buryin’ Barry book Secret Undertaking details a murder at the Apple Festival Parade. J.R. Backlund’s Down the Broken Road follows investigator Rachel Carver from the mountains back to Siler City. For people who like dark books exploring faith and beliefs like Linda Castillo, Hank Early’s second book of North Georgia mountain people is called In the Valley of the Devil.
Looking to discover authors you might not have heard of? Try the short story collection Dead Ends: Stories from the Gothic South, edited by Catherine Coulter’s ghostwriter J.T. Ellison. Another dark mystery, a new horror book Limetown by Cote Smith bills itself as a prequel to the popular podcast about a community of 300 people gone missing near a secretive Tennessee research compound.
For lighter reading, a book about secrets and friendship among women in the Lowcountry, try Karen White’s Dreams of Falling. Perhaps you’re in the mood for something cozy or Christmas-y. G.A. McKevett launches a new 80’s throwback mystery series with Granny Reid in Murder in Her Stocking, a spinoff of her Savannah Reid detective series. For a feel good holiday adoption story, Sally Kilpatrick’s Ellery, Tennessee series continues with Oh My Stars. In Christian fiction, Liz Johnson’s new romantic suspense series debuts with A Sparkle of Silver and Cindy Woodsmall has her first non-Amish book of light romance with As the Tide Comes In, both of which take place along the Georgia Coast.
Two books I’m looking forward to, one takes place after the Civil War in a devastated countryside, a woman with a valuable skill tells people’s stories in Scribe, by Viriginia-born author Alyson Hagy. Another follows a woman released from prison after half a lifetime returns home to a changed West Virginia, Sugar Run by Mesha Maren is described by novelist Lauren Groff as “brilliant and savage and gorgeous”. For a “best of” collection, fifty years of Wendell Berry’s most important essays inspired by living close to tradition and rural Kentucky are compiled in The World-Ending Fire. Thanks for reading!