The Best Southern Books of July 2022

Whew, it’s been a month, y’all. I’m not sure what to say, except that I’m glad you’re here. I’m so grateful for books, and I hope you enjoy these wonderful Southern offerings from this month.

The Light Always Breaks
By Angela Jackson-Brown
July 5, 2022

Harper Muse: “As 1947 opens, Eva Cardon is the twenty-four-year-old owner of Washington, D.C.’s, most famous Black-owned restaurant. When her path crosses with Courtland, a handsome white senator from Georgia, both find themselves drawn to one another — but the danger of a relationship between a Black woman and a white man from the South could destroy them and everything they’ve worked for.”

The Displacements
By Bruce Holsinger
July 5, 2022

Riverhead Books: “An adrenaline-fueled story of lives upended and transformed by an unprecedented catastrophe. To all appearances, the Larsen-Hall family has everything: healthy children, a stable marriage, a lucrative career for Brantley, and the means for Daphne to pursue her art full-time. Their deluxe new Miami life has just clicked into place when Luna — the world’s first category 6 hurricane — upends everything they have taken for granted.”

The Burning Season
By Alison Wisdom
July 5, 2022

Harper Perennial: “Rosemary has often felt like trouble, and now at thirty-two, her marriage to her college sweetheart, Paul, is crumbling. In a last-ditch attempt to restore it, she agrees to give herself over to a newly formed Christian sect in central Texas, run by charismatic young pastor Papa Jake. Rosemary begins to question the reality of her life, and wonders if trouble will always find her — or if she’ll ever be able to outrun it.”

Ramadan Ramsey
By Louis Edwards
August 10, 2021
Paperback July 5, 2022

Amistad: “Spanning from the Deep South to the Middle East, Ramadan Ramsey bridges multiple countries and cultures, entwining two families who struggle to love and survive in the face of war, natural disasters, and their equally tumultuous, private mistakes and yearnings. Intimate yet epic, heartbreaking yet triumphant, Ramadan Ramsey explores the urgency of 21st-century childhood and the richness and complexity of the modern family as a shared global experience.”

Wake the Bones
By Elizabeth Kilcoyne
July 12, 2022

Wednesday Books: “After dropping out of college, all she wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can’t help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed.”

Pretty Baby
By Chris Belcher
July 12, 2022

Avid Reader Press: “As Belcher moves between the embodied world of the pro domme and the abstract realm of academia, she discovers how lessons from the classroom apply to the dungeon, and vice versa. Still, fear that her doctoral program won’t approve burdens her with a double life. Pretty Baby is her second coming out. In this sharp and discerning memoir, we see through Belcher’s eyes how power and desire can be renegotiated — or reinforced.”

Music and Mystique in Muscle Shoals
By Christopher M. Reali
July 19, 2022

University of Illinois Press: “The forceful music that rolled out of Muscle Shoals in the 1960s and 1970s shaped hits by everyone from Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin to the Rolling Stones and Paul Simon. Christopher M. Reali’s in-depth look at the fabled musical hotbed examines the events and factors that gave the Muscle Shoals sound such a potent cultural power.”

Calling for a Blanket Dance
By Oscar Hokeah
July 26, 2022

Algonquin: “Told in a series of voices, Calling for a Blanket Dance takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle through the multigenerational perspectives of his family as they face myriad obstacles. Honest, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, Calling for a Blanket Dance is the story of how Ever Geimausaddle found his way to home.”