Hunker Down with These Books

By Kathie Bennett

Shelter in place? No problem. We’ve got a stack of just-released books to make your Covid-19 quarantine a lot more enjoyable (although we can’t do anything about your kids asking for their thousandth snack today. Sorry!)

The Medical Drama
The Antidote For Everything by Kimmery Martin
When a Southern hospital instructs doctors to stop providing medical care for transgender patients, two doctors must decide to abandon their patients or fight the unjust system. Emotional and timely—and penned by ER doc Kimmery Martin—this book is the perfect respite from all the real-life medical drama unfolding around us.

The True Story
Tell Me a Story by Cassandra King Conroy
Best-selling author of The Prince of Tides (among others) and larger-than-life-personality Pat Conroy was beloved by millions, but perhaps no one knew him better than his wife Cassandra. In this gorgeous memoir, she details their intimate and often hilarious love story—from their nearly-didn’t-happen first meeting to his unusual, endearing proposal and beyond. With gorgeous, yet accessible prose, Cassandra resurrects Pat on the page and lets fans get a behind-the-scenes peek into a life that was as real and funny as the man himself.

The Wine Lover’s Read
The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristen Harmel
Set in Champagne, France (are you sold yet?), this dual timeline narrative follows the wife of a vineyard owner in 1940s German-occupied France and a 2019 modern-day woman who, after she has lost everything, embarks on a trip to France, where she discovers the Champagne caves and wonders what really took place there years ago. Part mystery, part love story, pair with a glass of prosecco for maximum enjoyment.

The Love Story
You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley
When happily-married Mia meets the stranger she’s been dreaming about in real life, she’s left to question everything she thought she knew about fate, destiny and soul mates. Based on the science of dream telepathy, Oakley weaves an intriguing, suspenseful tale—with an ending you’ll never see coming. Fans of Me Before You (Jojo Moyes) and The Light We Lost (Jill Santopolo) will swoon over what’s sure to be their next favorite love story for the ages.

The History Lesson
The Last Year Before the War by Susan Meissner
Your kids are in home school, but why should they be the only ones learning? Meissner’s latest takes us back to the last year of the World War II when Japanese and German families were detained in immigrant camps on American soil. Told from the perspective of a teenage girl whose family suddenly finds themselves behind barbed wire, this book sheds light on a little-known part of U.S. history and is guaranteed to open your mind and heart a little wider.

The Social Justice Novel
The Emancipation of Evan Walls by Jeffrey Blount
This powerful novel about a black child growing up during the forced integration of schools will give Americans of every race an insight into the brutal history of our country. Or as Mary Batten, author of Aliens from Earth, says: “If you aren’t already ‘woke,’ you will be after reading this book.”

The Family Drama
Bells for Eli by Susan Zurenda
Set in the 1960s (remember, back when you weren’t quarantined?), two cousins’ idyllic childhood comes to a screeching halt in the face of a tragic accident. This tender novel expertly explores secrets, family dynamics and the human heart all wrapped up in an entrancing story. Perfect for fans of Karen White, Pat Conroy and other southern reads.

The Beach Read
Feels Like Falling by Kristy Woodson Harvey
You may have had to cancel your spring break trip, but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit the North Carolina coast with Gray Howard and Diana Harrington—two women who don’t seem to have much in common on the surface, but forge an odd-couple friendship in this endearing tale by best-selling author Kristy Woodson Harvey, who Elin Hildebrand crowned “the next major voice in Southern fiction.”

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