Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

APLS Book Club Sets: Book Club Sets

Featured and New!

The Best Cook in the World

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  From the beloved, best-selling author of All Over but the Shoutin', a delectable, rollicking food memoir, cookbook, and loving tribute to a region, a vanishing history, a family, and, especially, to his mother. Including seventy-four mouthwatering Bragg family recipes for classic southern dishes passed down through generations. Margaret Bragg does not own a single cookbook. She measures in "dabs" and "smidgens" and "tads" and "you know, hon, just some." She cannot be pinned down on how long to bake corn bread ("about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the mysteries of your oven"). Her notion of farm-to-table is a flatbed truck. But she can tell you the secrets to perfect mashed potatoes, corn pudding, redeye gravy, pinto beans and hambone, stewed cabbage, short ribs, chicken and dressing, biscuits and butter rolls. Many of her recipes, recorded here for the first time, pre-date the Civil War, handed down skillet by skillet, from one generation of Braggs to the next. In The Best Cook in the World, Rick Bragg finally preserves his heritage by telling the stories that framed his mother's cooking and education, from childhood into old age. Because good food always has a good story, and a recipe, writes Bragg, is a story like anything else.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

"...a hauntingly atmosphericlove letter to the first mobile library in Kentucky and the fierce, brave packhorse librarians who wove their way from shack to shack dispensing literacy, hope, and -- just as importantly -- a compassionate human connection."--Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything--everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt's Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome's got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter. Cussy's not only a book woman, however, she's also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she's going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler. Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creekis a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere--even back home. Additional Praise for The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: "A unique story about Appalachia and the healing power of the written word."--Kirkus "A timeless and significant tale about poverty, intolerance and how books can bring hope and light to even the darkest pocket of history."--Karen Abbott, New York Timesbestselling author of Liar Temptress Soldier Spy "Emotionally resonant and unforgettable, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creekis a lush love letter to the redemptive power of books."--Joshilyn Jackson, New York Timesand USA Todaybestselling author of The Almost Sisters

The Second Mrs. Hockaday

When Major Gryffth Hockaday is called to the front lines of the Civil War, his new bride is left to care for her husband's three-hundred-acre farm and infant son. Placidia, a mere teenager herself living far from her family and completely unprepared to run a farm or raise a child, must endure the darkest days of the war on her own. By the time Major Hockaday returns two years later, Placidia is bound for jail, accused of having borne a child in his absence and murdering it. What really transpired in the two years he was away? A love story, a story of racial divide, and a story of the South as it fell in the war, The Second Mrs. Hockaday reveals how this generation--and the next--began to see their world anew.

Something in the Water

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this taut psychological thriller debut--for readers of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Shari Lapena. "A psychological thriller that captivated me from page one. What unfolds makes for a wild, page-turning ride! It's the perfect beach read!"--Reese Witherspoon (Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine book pick) If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?   Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .   Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?   Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .   Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?   Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman's enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we're tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves. Praise for Something in the Water "Arresting . . . deftly paced, elegantly chilly . . . [Catherine] Steadman brings . . . wit, timing and intelligence to this novel. . . . Something in the Water is a proper page-turner."--The New York Times "With unreliable characters, wry voices, exquisite pacing, and a twisting plot, Steadman potently draws upon her acting chops. . . . A darkly glittering gem of a thriller from a new writer to watch."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Captivating . . . daring . . . The threats and increasingly bad decisions accelerate with Bourne-like velocity. . . . Steadman [is] a newcomer worth watching."--Publishers Weekly "An unbearably tense debut with a knockout premise, Something in the Water had me hooked from the very first sentence. Thrilling and thought-provoking, it's the perfect beach read. I devoured it!"--Riley Sager, bestselling author of Final Girls

The Hideaway

In this USA TODAY and Amazon Charts Bestseller, Sara is wrenched back to Sweet Bay, Alabama, by her grandmother's will, where she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever knew in her life.  After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags's ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed The Hideaway to her and charged her with renovating it--no small task considering her grandmother's best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.  Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid drywall dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected. Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags's friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed her grandmother's destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways. When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice--stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she's grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.  In The Hideaway, Lauren Denton tells a gripping story of love and loyalty as Sara Jenkins must choose either to fight for the people she has come to love, or return to her life of solitude and simplicity.  "A story both powerful and enchanting: a don't-miss novel in the greatest southern traditions of storytelling." --Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author  "Two endearing heroines and their poignant storylines of love lost and found make this the perfect book for an afternoon on the back porch with a glass of sweet tea." --Karen White, New York Times bestselling author

Book Club Sets