Shelf Recommendations: Word of South

It is Word of South this weekend. It is a festival all about literature and music. This week, we've put together a list of recommendations of some of the novels that will be displayed at the event. Happy reading! 

How to tell Toledo from the night sky by Lydia Netzer

George and Irene are on a cosmic journey of love, destiny, and truth. Both scientists are dedicated to learning more about space. These two ambitious individuals will be faced with discovering their love for one another.  However, their mothers, life-long friends, have made it their mission to assure their children were soulmates for each other. So, they must uncover their real destiny, whether it be together or apart. 

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

The story of Margaret and John is complicated, the two are engaged, but soon John is hospitalized for depression. Taking place in London, in the 1960s, Margaret decides, despite society's stigmatization of mental illness, that she wants to marry John. A story of love and faith that spans generations, this novel will test the limits of family and marriage. The story focuses on their son, Micheal, and his interactions with his younger siblings. 

binti by Nnedi Okorafor

The first book of a new science fiction trilogy, follows Binti, the first of the Himba people to be accepted into the most prestigious school in the galaxy, Oomza University. This is an incredible opportunity, but if she accepts, it would mean that she would have to leave her family and the safety of her community behind to be amongst strangers who do not respect her culture. The journey to the University will be a dangerous one. Will she get there alive? 

Kill 'em and leave by James McBride

A biography of James Brown. McBride follows Brown's experiences being displaced from his home for America's largest nuclear bomb testing facility. Through interviews with Brown's North Carolina cousin, we learn unknown details about Brown's early sharecropping childhood. McBride also sat down with Brown's beloved adopted son, the Reverend Al Sharpton. McBride gives fantastic insight and weaves together an electric story of a black musician from the South. 

get up, please by David Kirby

In this poetry collection, Kirby captures how exciting and magical the human experience. is He explores the extraordinary through our everyday experiences. His poems  travel throughout the world, and to the imaginations of poets such as Keats and Rilke. These poems are hilarious and thought-provoking. 

silly sing-along by Lisa Loeb

Here is a children's book on our list. Lisa Loeb has an incredibly witty and fun personality that definitely shines through in this book.  This book, with its collection of original songs, has won a Parent's Choice Gold Award for its interactive and whimsical nature. There are also activities, recipes, and choreography that will get your kid moving! 

Miss jane by Brad Watson

A historical fiction novel that was inspired by Watson's own great aunt, Jane Chisolm. Miss Jane was born in the early twentieth-century in rural Mississippi. Miss Jane was born with a genital birth defect that would complicate sex, and ultimately marriage. Miss Jane was a wonderful woman that captivated those around her. Truly a fantastic read. 

you are not a stranger here by Adam Haslett

In his first collection of stories, Haslett infuses grief and explores the lives of people experiencing loss. Moving stories about love and restraint. This is the perfect short-story collection for the reader who enjoys haunting character vignettes.

Union Atlantic by Adam Haslett

This is a test of wills between Doug and Charlotte. Doug is a young banker and Charlotte is a retired school teacher. The two find themselves in a court battle, and Doug is struggling to keep his banking firm to stay open. In the middle of these individuals is high school student, Nate Fuller. Witty and irresistible this is a novel that you will not be able to put down. 

The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson

A fun contemporary novel about a traveling mother and daughter, Kai and Paula. When Kai is sent to prison, Paula is put into foster care and their lives change forever. A moving tale that is about what connects us and what can ultimately separate us. A poignant and humorous tale woven with spirituality and secrets. A definite spring read!