Signed First Editions • Delivered To Your Door


If you joined our Read Well Book Club last year, You had a good year as a book collector. You got signed first editions of:

  • “Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story” by Rick Bragg, which is a finalist for the Southern Independent Bookseller's Association Award.

  • “Heritage,” the James Beard Award-winning cookbook by Chef Sean Brock, which is now also a finalist for the SIBA Award.

  • “Screening Room,” Alan Lightman’s memoir of growing up in Memphis.

  • “A Clear View of the Southern Sky,” the latest collection of stories by Mary Hood, which was selected as one of the "10 Books All Georgians Should Read" by the Georgia Center for the Book. And our Read Well members got first editions signed not only by the author but also by the writer of its foreword, Pat Conroy.

Four Signed First Edition Hardcover Books — One Book Per Quarter  — Beginning With “The Jemima Code” This Fall.


Jemima Code book cover.jpg

This year, we’re back, and the first book you’ll get is a doozie: “The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks.”

We are proud to call this book’s author, Toni Tipton-Martin, our friend. We were proud to stand on the stage with her in Oxford, Mississippi, last fall when she and The Bitter Southerner were honored with the Southern Foodways Alliance’s John Egerton Prize. For years, Toni has amassed the nation’s most comprehensive collection of cookbooks by little-known African-American cooks. “The Jemima Code” presents more than 150 black cookbooks that range from a rare 1827 house servant’s manual, the first book published by an African American in the trade, to modern classics by authors such as Edna Lewis and Vertamae Grosvenor.

“The Jemima Code” is her examination of those books and what they say about our culture.

“Talented … inventive … nurturing … how is it that these are not the predominant images of African-American cooks?” Toni writes. “Why don’t we celebrate their contributions to American culture the way we venerate the imaginary Betty Crocker? Why wasn’t their true legacy preserved? Can we ever forget the images of ignorant, submissive, selfless, sassy, asexual bondswomen? Is it possible to replace the mostly unflattering pictures of generous waistlines bent over cast iron skillets burned into our eyes? Will we ever believe that strong African women, who toted wood and built fires before even thinking about kneading bread dough or mixing cakes, left us more than just their formulas for good pancakes?

“I like to think my collection tells a new African-American kitchen story … with culinary truths and whispered wisdom that substantiates a heritage of greatness, exemplifies culinary freedom for black cooks, and allows everyone to embrace Jemima’s bandana.”

It doesn’t get much better than this remarkable book, and we’re tickled pink that it includes a foreword by John Egerton, the great Southern journalist and food scholar after whom the SFA’s prize was named, written shortly before his death in late 2013.


  • Four Signed First Edition Hardcover Books — One Book Per Quarter  — Beginning With “The Jemima Code” This Fall.

  • Members also get advance notification when we sell Southern first-edition books beyond the four quarterly Read Well Book Club selections.  

  • Price includes shipping inside the United States. International shipping is an additional US$100. Please contact us directly at and we'll send you an appropriate link.