January Favorites


Chris's Picks

Chris Eaton has been in the book industry for nearly thirty years. He is usually to be found in the history section, perfecting our selection, or in the back, as our inventory manager.

The Potlikker Papers by John T. Edge

From UGA's own James Beard Award winning author John T. Edge comes The Potlikker Papers, a people's history of the modern South, told through its food. Spanning six revolutionary decades, the book begins with the essential role that cooks and waiters played in the civil rights movement and traces history forward, following the culture of food that has become a shared culinary language across the United States. 

A tremendous book that touches all over the south, featuring stops in Savannah and Athens, The Potlikker Papers should be on the reading list of any history buff, foodie, or person who'd like a deeper, more delicious understanding of the culture of the modern South. 


Mary's Picks

Mary Eaton has also been in the book industry for nearly thirty years. She’s a folk artist with a passion about making literature accessible to everyone, no matter their income level. She loves dogs, especially her furbabies.

Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian

After Spencer McCullough is shot –accidentally?–by his adolescent daughter Charlotte, author Chris Bohjalian launches a story that is suspenseful, humane, and wryly funny. It is first and foremost the story of a family, three generations of women and the men they've built lives with, and the unexpected places we find love. 

From the bestselling author of Midwives comes a tale that examines wildly divisive American issues like gun control and animal rights with emotional dexterity and a skillful turn of story. 

Shannon's picks

Shannon Dominy is a writer and book lover from Warner Robins, Ga. She graduated from UGA in 2016 with a bachelors in Journalism and English with an emphasis in creative writing. She’s a lover of tea, a novelist, a crocheter of cuddly things, a potter, a dog mom, and a wife, in no particular order. She reads mostly young adult and fantasy books, but is broadening her horizons through Normal Books book clubs and events.

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

I laughed out loud a few times, which was NOT what I was expecting. I also cried, which I wasn't expecting either. 

One Plus One is a sweet, fun romp that follows single mother, Jess, and tech big wig Ed, as they each struggle with their own problems — hers making ends meet and his recent charges for insider trading. They fall together largely by accident when she helps him home from a bar and he returns the favor by driving her and her family to Scotland for a Math competition that will determine whether Jess's daughter gets to go to a private school that she desperately wants to attend. 

From the author of Me Before You comes this lovely tale of love, forgiveness, and a really big dog that loves and stinks in equal measure.

Hannah's Picks

Hannah Echols is a senior Journalism and English student from Augusta, Ga. She came to Normal Books with a desire to learn more about the industry with the dream of potentially opening up her own shop one day. She has an affinity for coffee, writing, laying in grass, the beach, hiking, and, of course, reading. You will most likely catch her with a classic, a memoir, or a book on faith and spirituality- and on the best days, with all three at once. 

Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

This coming of age story plants the reader right in the shoes of a young Antonio, who is learning how to navigate his identity, religion, and relationships. Antonio is torn between his mother's wishes for him to be a priest and his father's wishes for him to be a vaquero (cowboy). And then Ultima moves in with them, a healer and doer of magic, which spurs a witch hunt. This is an insightful and exciting story that makes the reader question their own understandings of religion and destiny. 

Mary Eaton