We avid readers wait, with bated breath, the release of the latest New York Times Best Sellers list to see what’s top of the charts this week. Or for the more cerebral type, the IndieNext Lists, which feature monthly selections of the best selling titles from independent bookstores across the nation. We get word-of-mouth recommendations from other booklovers as to what to read next, but when was the last time you picked up a recently released book by a local author? Where does one even go to find such books?
Local, oftentimes self-published, authors are the most impassioned, determined people around. They are not just going door-to-bookstore door to sell their wares, they are sharing their stories – their brainchildren that have been birthed and nurtured for months, if not years. These authors will do whatever it takes to get their books into the right hands to increase the awareness and appeal to the broader masses. Many an author has passed through our bookstore doors, and I am so grateful they have. By making the personal connections with these talented, and persistent, authors, I have been introduced to literary adventures that I otherwise would not have embarked upon.
While some of the more tech-savvy self-published authors have their titles available through a multitude of online resellers, most rely on the local, brick and mortar bookstores within their community for help with signings and promotional efforts. Many independent bookstores feature a great assortment of titles written by local authors, from poetry to fiction to cookbooks - most of the time they have signed copies available. But don’t take my word for it, next time you’re in your community bookstore, ask one of the booksellers, they’d be happy to share these local treasures.
Some new releases by local authors worth the read.
Drifting: Two Weeks on the Hudson by Mike Freeman (non-fiction)
As controversial as it is comforting, Freeman's narrative makes us think in hard ways about America as the country itself drifts toward an uncertain future. But throughout, of course, is the magnificent Hudson, whose resilient beauty speaks well both to nature's toughness and America's greatest strength--the ability to redirect and change course when necessary.
In an era when the political Left and Right, the back-to-the-Pleistocene ecological purist, and the `drill, baby, drill' zealot are at a divide far wider than the Hudson itself, Freeman shows how close observation, not only of nature but also of parenthood, citizenship, nation, and history, can reveal truths that bind us not merely as Americans but as a species. We'd all do well to follow his model." -- -- Sydney Lea, author of Hunting the Whole Way Home
Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love, by Sebastian Cole (fiction) is an epic, heart-wrenching love story about the one who got away. It is best described as a romantic fantasy, kind of like The Notebook with a splash of The Sixth Sense. Similar to a Nicholas Sparks novel, but uniquely different, Sand Dollar is a thought-provoking, emotional read with real life situations that might even have you yelling at the main characters at times. And not only is it filled with plenty of twists and turns, but the ending will knock your socks off!
"Sand Dollar is one of those rare books that makes you feel, laugh and cry all at the same time. This smashing debut by Sebastian Cole reads like the best of Nicholas Sparks with just enough schmaltz. Moving and emotive, it's every bit THE NOTEBOOK done up for summer." - Jon Land, bestselling author of STRONG AT THE BREAK
The 13th Apostle, an original work by author Raina C. Smith (adult fiction/thriller), readers are compelled to review the choices they’ve made in their own lives to discover the path they’ve chosen to follow thus far; all in an effort to measure the worth of the human race.
This masterful author takes her readers on a global journey to explore the true depth of the human spirit. Set at the Vatican, Tibet, Nebraska and in Rhode Island, the dynamic but intensely challenged characters of The 13th Apostle reveal to readers the triumphant nature of mankind as well as his decided plunge to self-ruin. The 13th Apostle introduces readers to characters who possess the purest of heart and others who bring new meaning to the word diabolical!
The Italian Way (cookbook) by Teresa Bert
Teresa and her husband John got the idea for their book while chatting at a wedding with friends who were about to open an Italian Restaurant. Musings on menu yielded such a wealth of recipe ideas, the couple decided to do a cookbook of their very own. The Italian Way: Recipes from the Old Country, contains 61 recipes inspired by Teresa’s family traditions and experiences with Italian cooking. Her husband John did all the beautiful food photography for the book.