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Local Winter Reading List

Turn the page on these regional reads.

Written By:  Kate Parrish

Photographers:  Supplied

Eat Only When You’re Hungry by Lindsay Hunter (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Greg’s son, GJ, has a habit of disappearing. An addict, he will often vanish for days at a time. When GJ disappears for three weeks, however, Greg is sure something is different this time. Middle-aged, overweight, and convinced he’s the only one who can find his son, Greg rents an RV and heads for Orlando, Florida, to begin a search for GJ. As he travels around Florida, he is forced to confront his own mistakes as a husband, father, and man.

Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music by Ann Powers (Dey Street Books)

In her latest book, Powers, a Nashville resident, delivers more than two decades of work examining popular music and its effects on American ideas and beliefs. As one of the country’s leading music journalists, Powers explores the complicated intersections of art, race, feminism, freedom, and more through the lens of pop music. From the Beatles to Britney Spears and all points before, after, and in between, Good Booty offers new insights into a genre that can’t be pinned down.

The Hidden Light of Northern Fires by Daren Wang (Thomas Dunne Books)

When Daren Wang, Atlanta resident and executive director of the Decatur Book Festival, decided to finally write a book of his own, he was immediately drawn to the history of his hometown of Town Line, New York, the only secessionist city north of the Mason Dixon Line. In his debut novel, readers follow Mary Willis, an abolitionist living among anti-Unionists and bounty hunters, who will stop at nothing to aid escaped slaves along the road to freedom.

Love Heals by Becca Stevens (Thomas Nelson)

As the founder and president of Thistle Farms—a Nashville-based organization that has become the largest social enterprise in the U.S. run by survivors of violence, prostitution, and addiction—Becca Stevens lives by the belief that “love is the most powerful force for change in the world.” In her latest book, Stevens shares transformational stories of trial and triumph. Whether it’s navigating death, fear, or simply a new phase of life, each chapter offers principles and practices for introducing and growing love.

A Murder In Music City: Corruption, Scandal, and the Framing of an Innocent Man by Michael Bishop (Prometheus Books)

When Michael Bishop stumbled upon a file containing information about the 1964 murder of 18-year-old Paula Herring in Nashville, he had no idea he was about to embark on a multi-decade search to uncover the truth about her murder. Shortly after Herring’s death, a judge’s son with a spotty past is convicted of the crime. But did he really do it? In this true story, Bishop works with some of the world’s top forensic experts to finally solve a 50-year-old mystery.

For You To See The Stars by Radney Foster (Working Title Farm)

After nearly four decades of sharing stories through music, singer-songwriter Radney Foster found himself needing more than three minutes to tell a story. In his first collection of short fiction, Foster pairs each story with a song. Both story and song—the project is sold as a set—are meant to stand alone, but each is enhanced by the other. Readers and listeners alike are able to take a deeper dive into the characters’ lives, exploring where they came from and what they’re feeling.

The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash (William Morrow)

North Carolina native and bestselling author Wiley Cash's latest novel, The Last Ballad, is set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929, it tells the tale of Ella May, who was forced to work in a dangerous and dirty mill to support her four children and no-good husband. Hoping for better working conditions—and a better life—Ella May joins the controversial movement to unionize. A city divided, violence ensues, and the effects of Ella May’s decision continue to ripple out for years to come.

Never Look at the Empty Seats by Charlie Daniels (Thomas Nelson)

Daniels has sold more than 60 million albums over a career spanning six decades. He’s a Grammy Award-winning artist and a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. And, as one of country music’s most iconic acts of all time, it’s safe to say Charlie Daniels also has a few stories to tell. In his memoir, Daniels takes fans behind the scenes of his personal and professional life, revealing the trials, joys, and unbelievable moments he has experienced along the way.

The Book of Separation by Tova Mirvis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

In her memoir, Memphis-born novelist Tova Mirvis recounts her first year following the decision to leave her marriage, her faith, and her community. Born and raised in the Orthodox Jewish faith, Mirvis initially finds acceptance and purpose by following the directives and attitudes of her religion. She marries and starts a family. As time goes on, however, she realizes that all she’s ever known has never actually sat quite right with her. In what becomes her greatest act of faith up to that point, Mirvis leaves it all behind to start a new life.

The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst (Algonquin Books)

In her debut novel, C. Morgan Babst, a New Orleans native, captures the grief, pain, and redemption that only a storm like Hurricane Katrina could bring. As Katrina closes in on the city, the Boisdorés, a Creole family with deep New Orleans roots, decides to evacuate. But not everyone in the family leaves. Who stays, who goes, and the state the family finds itself in once everyone returns to the city leaves the Boisdoréses struggling to find what can actually be repaired following a storm.

The Death of an Heir by Philip Jett (St. Martin’s Press)

On February 9, 1960, while on his way to work, Adolph “Ad” Herman Joseph Coors, III, heir to the Colorado beer empire, was abducted. The disappearance of the 44-year-old CEO set off one of the largest manhunts in U.S. history. In his latest book, Nashville author Philip Jett explores Colorado’s most notorious crime and the hunt to find Joseph Corbett, Jr., Coors’ abductor. As authorities close in on Corbett, the Coors family anxiously awaits any news that might put an end to their grisly misfortune.

The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

In her latest novel, Greensboro, N.C.-based author Holly Goddard Jones departs from her usual contemporary literary fiction slant and takes readers into a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future, instead. Deadly disease-carrying ticks threaten the United States, and the only protection from them is to remain behind the border—the salt line. A small motley crew of adventurers, however, decides to cross the line. Once on the other side, they’re taken hostage by a group of outer-zone survivors. As friendships and alliances begin to shift, the salt line becomes an even more divisive border.

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