7 Books for Summer from Local Authors

From fiction to nonfiction, cookbooks to kids’ books, Triangle authors have been busy writing!
by Mamie Potter

Raleigh and Durham authors have been busy writing new work! In the mix: a collection of essays and recipes that celebrate North Carolina food; personal reflections on celebrity, race, and family; and great fiction for kids of all ages. Hit up a local bookstore like Quail Ridge Books, So & So Books or Read with Me to grab one of these seven new books from Triangle authors for summer 2022 to support local with your vacation reading.

You’ll find many of our beloved NC food people such as Vivian Howard, Ricky Moore and Bill Smith featured in Edible North Carolina: A Journey Across a State of Flavor (UNC Press). Essays, interviews, beautiful photographs by Baxter Miller, and surefire recipes make up this gorgeous anthology assembled by food historian Marcie Cohen Ferris.

Curious about what it was like to be the first person of color chosen for The Bachelor? Matt James explores this, plus the dynamics of being raised by a single parent in Raleigh, along with spirituality and more in his new book, First Impressions (Worthy Books). James attended Sanderson High School, Wake Forest University, and went on to play for the NFL. 

Siblings Mark McDonald and Rachel Elliott have written a powerful memoir about their discovery as adults that they were family. Their mother gave Mark up for adoption when he was an infant. Love & Genetics (Unsolicited Press) is an intimate and fresh exploration of familial identity and the power of secrets to alter one’s life irrevocably. 

You’ll never think of motherhood the same after reading theologian Erin Lane’s book, Someone Other Than a Mother: Flipping the Scripts on a Woman’s Purpose and Making Meaning Beyond Motherhood (TarcherPerigee). Lane takes a searing look at the stereotypes associated with the traditional role of being a mother and invites women to challenge them.

Award-winning author Ali Standish has another winner in Yonder (Harper Collins). Danny Timmons forms a friendship with Jack Bailey, an adult he has admired and befriended since his father has been away fighting in WWII. This book is a mystery of sorts, but addresses more complicated questions of war, friendship, and what it means to be a hero. (Ages 8-12)

Having seen the love my granddaughters lavish on their dads, and the joy the dads take in spending time with them, I found Daddy-Daughter Day (Little Brown Books for Young Children) especially charming. Written by Durham musician Pierce Freelon and illustrated by Olivia Duchess, this is a wonderful Father’s Day gift for father-daughter reading! (Ages 4-8)

Your children will learn all about Guam in Mrs. Coco’s Lemon Trees: The Story of How Guam Got Its Shape (Myer Krah), written by Durham native Lt. Myer Krah and his wife, Tianna, both US Naval Academy graduates currently stationed in Guam, with illustrations by Sisca Angreani. Follow Avery and Azai as they try to solve the puzzle of a disappearing island! Lemons to the rescue! (Ages 6-10)

Mamie Potter is a local author and longtime staffer at Quail Ridge Books.