1Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver (HarperCollins, $26). Three stories and their characters come to terms with nature in three different ways.
2Carolina Preserves, by William Mangum (Carey-Mangum Gallery, $95). A collection of watercolors by Mangum and commentary by famous North Carolinians.
3The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams, by Nasdijj (Houghton Mifflin, $23). Autobiographical essays exploring the author's experiences and thoughts on living on a Navajo reservation.
4Night Listener, by Armistead Maupin (HarperCollins, $26). A professional storyteller deals with the breakup of his relationship by talking long distance with a young fan.
5A Perfect Friend, by Reynolds Price (Atheneum, $16). A young boy connects with an elephant as they both deal with the loss of loved ones.
1The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant (Picador USA, $14). A fictionalized recounting of Biblical traditions from a woman's perspective.
2Plainsong, by Kent Haruf (Vintage, $13). A group of small-town Colorado inhabitants begin to see things in a different light when a new schoolteacher comes to town.
3This is Where We Live: Short Stories by 25 Contemporary North Carolina Writers, edited by Michael McFee (UNC Press, $16.95). A collection of stories about the South by local authors.
4Look Back All the Green Valley, by Fred Chappell (Picador, $13). Jess Kirkman is sent on a journey to secure his dying mother's place in the grave next to her late husband.
5Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $6.99). Young magician Harry Potter returns to sorcerer school to find he is the center of a creepy mystery.