For many of you who don't get the chance to drop in to Turnrow Books everyday, we wanted to let you know how much we enjoy recommending new titles. Here's a synopsis of some of the top books we're recommending at the moment, all chosen for their quality as well as their popularity, each one read and enjoyed by at least one staff member. If you trust us and take our April recommendations, we'll ship any of these premium titles freight free, standard domestic shipping, for the month of April.
Safe from the Neighbors by Steve Yarbrough
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more captivating or authentic fictional portrayal of modern Delta life than in the new novel by Steve Yarbrough, a recent customer favorite. It's the story of a history teacher who becomes reacquainted with an old family friend. Both their fathers were among the many white men who tried to obstruct James Meredith's enrollment at Ole Miss during the 1960s. Putting together the pieces of their family history, they begin to explore the repercussions of old sins while forging new ones. Yarbrough captures the rhythm and sense of living history that is palpable in the Delta. We have signed copies.
Solar by Ian McEwan
McEwan (Atonement), simply one of our finest wordsmiths, appears to be having a lot of nasty fun in this new novel about a Nobel laureate scientist whose marriage is in shambles, whose career is running on fumes, and whose dubious character will send him deeper and deeper into trouble, all to the attuned readers' delight. McEwan has drawn a great character and put him in so many wonderfully uncomfortable situations that it hardly matters whether or not you like him. This is a sophisticated comedy of errors with a finger on the nervous pulse of our age. Signed first editions available.
Walking to Gatlinburg by Howard Frank Mosher and Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives by Brad Watson
Two books that readers of the blog will recall from recent postings. Still two of our favorites, fast becoming customer favorites as well. Read our reviews of the Mosher novel and the Watson stories.
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
This is not so much like reading a novel about the Vietnam War as enlisting and experiencing a tour of duty. No war novel we've ever seen captures the sights, sounds, emotions, tensions and language of jungle warfare better. We're proud to say that Karl Marlantes will be dropping in for a visit in May, so pre-order your signed first edition here.
Burning Bright by Ron Rash
A new book by Rash, one of our favorites, is always a cause for celebration. These tales of hard-scrabble Appalachian lives represents some of the best in contemporary Southern literature.
One Night of Madness by Stokes McMillan
Another customer favorite, this story of a heinous true-crime in Attala County, Mississippi in 1950 has all the elements of a standard race crime. But this is a story like no other. The players involved are not your typical Jim Crow-era killers and law-men, nor is the man who brought the killers to justice — a Greenwood man and Parchman trustee known as Hogjaw Mullen — your run-of-the-mill hero. If you enjoy reading Southern true-crime, order a signed copy here.
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
We can't say enough nice things about this charming debut, a modern comedy of manners that is easy, pleasant and constantly rewarding — the perfect novel to take in the backyard during these merciful days of spring. The title character is a widower who meets the challenges of old age, small-town busybodies, greedy relatives and the chance at new romance with dignity and grace. He's a bastion of old-school values in a crass new world, and you'll root for him every step of the way.
Nothing Happened and Then It Did by Jake Silverstein
One of the most unique books we've seen in a while, this is one young writer's chronicle of his quest to become a journalist. Rambling from Texas to Mexico to Louisiana and other points around the southwest, Silverstein relates his assignments and the many characters he meets, his exploits moving seamlessly between truth and fiction, telling a much bigger, and ultimately very truthful, story of the modern American character.