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“Ahab’s Wife”

by Sena Jeter Naslund (2001 winner of the Harper Lee Award)
From the opening line—"Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last"—you will know that you are in the hands of a master storyteller and in the company of a fascinating female hero. Inspired by a brief passage in Moby-Dick, Sena Jeter Naslund has created an enthralling and compellingly readable saga, spanning a rich, eventful, and dramatic life. At once a family drama, a romantic adventure, and a portrait of a real and loving marriage, Ahab's Wife gives new perspective on the American experience. Purchase

“The Keepers of the House”

by Shirley Ann Grau
Pulitzer Prize–winning classic, about the racial prejudice and long-buried secrets that threaten to destroy a distinguished Southern family. Purchase

“The Bad Seed”

by William March
What happens to ordinary families into whose midst a child serial killer is born? This is the question at the center of William march's classic thriller. After its initial publication in 1954, the book went on to become a million–copy bestseller, a wildly successful Broadway show, and a Warner Brothers film. The spine–tingling tale of little Rhoda Penmark had a tremendous impact on the thriller genre and generated a whole perdurable crop of creepy kids. Today, The Bad Seed remains a masterpiece of suspense that's as chilling, intelligent, and timely as ever before. Purchase

"A Walk Through Fire"

by William Cobb (2007 winner of the Harper Lee Award)
Vividly details the clash of complex passions aroused by a small Alabama town's halting mid-century march from Old South status quo toward integration and civil rights. Purchase


by Larry Williamson
Two brothers from Virginia migrate to new lands in the Mississippi territory (present-day Alabama) in the early 1800s. There they take brides, one a Native American woman and the other the daughter of another settler, and try to build lives on the border of the Creek Nation. At first, life is peaceful and happy as the two couples farm, build and trade with the Creeks living nearby. But as more Europeans arrive, economic forces, political ambition, and personal aggression result in increasing conflict and then bloodshed, culminating in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. Purchase

“The Never List”

by Koethi Zan
The most relentless, deeply disturbing thriller writer since Jeffery Deaver and Gillian Flynn For years, best friends Sarah and Jennifer kept what they called the “Never List”: a list of actions to be avoided, for safety’s sake, at all costs. But one night, against their best instincts, they accept a cab ride with grave, everlasting consequences. For the next three years, they are held captive with two other girls in a dungeon-like cellar by a connoisseur of sadism. Ten years later, at thirty-one, Sarah is still struggling to resume a normal life, living as a virtual recluse under a new name, unable to come to grips with the fact that Jennifer didn’t make it out of that cellar. Now, her abductor is up for parole and Sarah can no longer ignore the twisted letters he sends from jail. Purchase

“Boy Gets Girl: A Play”

by Rebecca Gilman (2008 winner of the Harper Lee Award)
What is a stalker? And what kind of life can a woman lead when she knows she is being followed, obsessively and perhaps dangerously, by one? Purchase