We're feeling the month of February over at Main Street Books. Bookseller Jennifer scattered Valentine's throughout the store for unsuspecting shoppers to discover, bookseller Eleanor built a shrine to J.K. Rowling in the office, and bookseller Catherine was playing Celine Dion on repeat until Summit made her change the station. Maybe it's the great Valentine's-themed events we have lined up (including our annual Galentine's Day Party and a cooking class with chef and cookbook author Jamie Dement) that have got us in the mood. Or it could be the myriad of fabulous, heart-centric books hitting the shelves this month (I spotlighted my personal favorite, An American Marriage, below). Or, perhaps our staff just wants to spend a month counteracting our nation's current climate of vitriol with some compassion and chocolate. Not matter the reason, I hope you'll stop by the store this month to catch the Valentine's bug that has spread among our staff.
There will be some great events at the store, including a visit from NPR and Code Switch commentator Daisy Hernandez, a Literary Luncheon with author Kimmery Martin, and an appearance from NY Times bestselling Young Adult author Amber Smith. Plus, local legend and Pushcart Prize winner Alan Michael Parker celebrates the release of his new novel with a reading and signing, Heidi Bright offers a health workshop, and Paula Pederson Palmer will converse with authors Carolyn Noell and Gilda Morina Syverson during an immigration panel sponsored by Charlotte Writers Club North.
Read on to learn more about February's new releases and events. Our events are open to the public and free unless otherwise noted. And, as always, we love to share books, community events, and general literary merriment. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones charts the lives of newlyweds Celestial and Roy, who are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. As they settle into the routine of their life together, Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in her childhood friend Andre. After five years, Celestial's love for Roy has faded, but his conviction is suddenly overturned and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized, Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.
Owing to a rare condition, Tom Hazard has been alive for centuries--performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life. So he becomes a high school history teacher and meets a captivating colleague who seems as fascinated by him as he is by her. How to Stop Time by Matt Haig is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.
Haunted by the landscape of his youth, Francisco Cantú joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners are posted to remote regions crisscrossed by drug routes and smuggling corridors, where they learn to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights. Plagued by nightmares, he abandons the Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú discovers that the border has migrated with him. Searing and unforgettable, The Line Becomes a River makes urgent and personal the violence our border wreaks on both sides of the line.
Educated by Tara Westover is an unforgettable memoir in the tradition of The Glass Castle about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.