“You get a little moody sometimes but I think that’s because you like to read.” So says the troubled poet Savannah Wingo to her brother Tom in Pat Conroy’s Southern classic The Prince of Tides—words more or less uttered, at least in spirit, by every housemate forced to share a room with your inRegister staff during the first idle days of lockdown. Maybe we were digging into pandemic-produced essays like Zadie Smith’s Intimations, or escaping to the eerie otherworld of Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi, but all the while we were flipping through fresh reads of local fare too, from Baton Rouge native M.O. Walsh’s The Big Door Prize to southern transplant Richard Grant’s The Deepest South of All.
Now, we’re inviting our trusty newsletter subscribers to read along with us, taking our “Off the Page” book reviews into the digital sphere once a month as part of a community book club. This month, check out our review of Rebecca Baum’s Lifelike Creatures, a debut novel set in the swamplands of the fictional Terrefine, Louisiana, where the struggling mother Joan Saint-Romaine and her 13-year-old daughter Tara find themselves confronting the might of Big Oil—as well as their own strained relationship—after a sinkhole destroys their home.
So crack out that library card, or place that pick-up order, and share your thoughts with us via Instagram so we don’t have to keep lying awake at night bouncing ideas off the ceiling. We look forward to reading with you!