NPR Showcases Independent Booksellers' Holiday Picks

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As listeners of National Public Radio's Morning Edition finished breakfast, drove to work, or settled into the first tasks of the day on December 12, they heard the voice of independent bookseller Nancy Olson of Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh, North Carolina, telling them that "there are so many good books this season…. Books are in!" Her comments and handselling selections -- along with those of Rona Brinlee of The Book Mark in Atlantic Beach, Florida, and Joyce Meskis of the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver -- were featured in NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg's annual feature of "Booksellers' Picks for the Holiday Season."

Brinlee selected Sandor Marai's Embers (Vintage) -- citing it as a "monologue on friendship ... an exquisitely written book that you can read over and over again" -- and Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad That Crossed an Ocean by Les Standiford (Crown). For young readers, she noted How Murray Saved Christmas by Mike Reiss, illustrated by David Catrow (Price Stern Sloan).

For Meskis, the picks were The Creaky Traveler in the North West Highlands of Scotland: A Journey for the Mobile But Not Agile by Warren Rovetch (Sentient Publications) and When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka (Knopf). About the Otsuka title, Meskis said, "While having been set in time half a century ago, the message is very apropos to our world today as we struggle with our fears while trying to preserve our liberties."

Noting that "I believe Ron Rash is going to break out as one of our great Southern writers," Olson touted his novel One Foot in Eden (Novello Festival). For those looking for a coffee-table gift book, she selected At This Theatre: 100 Years of Broadway Shows, Stories and Stars by Louis Botto, edited by Robert Viagas (Hal Leonard Publishing).

For more of these booksellers' picks, click here.

To hear the segment, click here.

-- Dan Cullen