LADY BANKS' COMMONPLACE BOOK

 
 
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LADY BANKS COMMONPLACE BOOK
 
Week of January 31, 2019
 
>> IN THIS ISSUE
 
The Commonplace Book | Read This! | Okra Picks | Southern Indie Bestsellers | Events
 
 
{American cities, American problems.}
 
In which Mr. Maurice Carlos Ruffin finds a connection between Ralph Ellison and Trayvon Martin, Ms. Meg Medina turns her childhood love of bike riding into a novel that wins the Newbery, and Ms. Ntozake Shange insists the best way to cook pig tails is by instinct. Brown sugar is optional.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Dearest Readers

We CAst a ShadowEven people in the South have been bundled up the past few days, as we enjoy what her ladyship, the editor, is wont to call "our week of winter." Naturally, the best defense against falling temperatures is always a hot drink and a good book. Her ladyship is warding off the chill with Maurice Carlos Ruffin's We Cast a Shadow. It is an amazing piece of writing.

And speaking of good books, readers have one more day to cast their vote for "Best Southern Book of the Year."

www.southernbookprize.com

Read independently, and shop local.

 
 
her ladyship, the editar
her ladyship, the editor
 
 
 
 
Lady Banks' Pick of the Week
 
 
 
Lady Banks' Commonplace Book
 
Excerpted noteworthy poetry and prose from her ladyship's bedside reading stack.
 

 

We CAst a ShadowWe lived, at that time, in a part of the City once inhabited by Mosoelea Indians who migrated to the marshlands to avoid the white man, then by immigrants from Continental Europe who, having left behind crowd, famine, and disease, fled the City to escape the black man, then inhabited by black who were vigorously re-appropriated to the penitentiary at the parish line, and finally by the descendants of those earlier whites who returned when the coast was again clear. Except for me and half my son, there were no other blacks in our neighborhood.

Our enclave was not without its charms. Sometime before we bought in, our neighbors prosecuted an altogether different kind of war of the roses so that every porch and garden box was an explosion of floral fireworks: elephant ears reared back from mouse flowers, pineapple lilies and calla lilies brushed sisterly hips, a Mexican hen and chicks soundlessly clucked from a terracotta pot left behind on our porch by the previous owners.

Our house was very fine, long and narrow as a folio book, so it seemed quite quaint from the front. But inside, the house, with its long, left-centered hallway, when on for many chapters.

 

--Maurice Carlos Ruffin, We Cast a Shadow (One World, 2019) 9780525509066

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Read This! Books with Street Ced
 
Recommended reading from Southern Indie Booksellers


The Perfect Liar by Thomas Christopher Greene
When single mom and widow Susannah meets mysterious artist Max W at a party, they quickly connect. Having both overcome turbulent pasts, they find solace together and Max bonds with Susannah's son Freddy. Their idyllic life is threatened when Susannah finds a note on their front door that says I KNOW WHO YOU ARE. The couple worries separately about what the note means and who left it and things start to unravel when Max figures it out - or does he? This is a fast, twisty story about how your past can come back to haunt you and how you never really know your partner as well as you think. 

The Perfect Liar by Thomas Christopher Greene ($26.99*, St. Martin’s Press), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.

 



An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
Who knows better how to manipulate someone for their own nefarious purpose than a psychiatrist who understands when a person is damaged and vulnerable because of past trauma. That  is the premise of An Anonymous Girl, a terrific psychological thriller with a complex plot that is both sick and twisted. Jessica Farris lies her way into what she thinks is a psychological study on ethics and morality conducted by psychiatrist Dr. Shields because she needs the money. She quickly comes to greatly admire Dr. Shields (because Dr. Shields knows how to manipulate her) and doesn’t realize that she is being used to help Dr. Shields build a case against her cheating husband. You won’t want to miss this one.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen ($27.99*, St. Martin’s Press), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

 



The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Roshana Chokshi's The Gilded Wolves is a delightful adventure through history as six young people, each with their own demons, chase their dreams, only to find the fate of society in the balance. Besides delving into each character's unique post and how their struggles inform their tenuous hopes for the future, the story also explores the bitterness of letting one's dream, both acknowledged and unacknowledged, go unrealized. Above all, Chokshi's cleverly built scavenger hunt encompassing history, math, science and magic makes it easy to fall in love with each word, as if were again our first time breathing.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi ($18.99*, Wednesday Books), recommended by Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

 A Winter 2019 Okra Pick

 
More bookseller recommendations

Gossip

 

News of a literary nature

The Elephat in the RoomWhite People"And then around the time Trayvon Martin was killed, I thought of those conversations around what happened to him — his murder — those conversations combined in my mind and I thought I could write a book about a very American city with a very American problem."

keep reading: Maurice Carlos Ruffin on We Cast a Shadow

 

 

 

 

If I Can Cook You Know God Can"Obviously, the tails have gotta be washed off, even though the fat seems to reappear endlessly. When they are pink enough to suit you, put them in a large pot full of water. Turn the heat high, get ’em boilin’. Add chopped onion, garlic, and I always use some brown sugar, molasses, or syrup. Not everybody does. Some folks like their pig extremities bitter, others, like me, want ’em sweet."

keep reading: Ntozke Shange, If I Can Cook You Know God Can

 

Merci Suarez Changes Gears"Meg Medina’s warm and honest novel masterfully depicts one Cuban-American family’s life with authenticity and empathy"

keep reading: Meg Medina is awarded the John Newbery Medal

 

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The Okra Picks: The winter season

 

Make a New Year’s Resolution to read more Okra! Southern Independent booksellers have chosen the 2019 Winter Okra Picks – a collection of the best forthcoming Southern books of the season. Add a bit of tasty reading to your literary diet. Serve yourself a helping of Okra Picks.

 

"Maurice Carlos Ruffin's new novel, We Cast a Shadow, is an earth-shaking and eye-opening story of how a father will stop at nothing to ensure that his son will have a safe and happy life, even if it means completely erasing who his son is. A passionate story that offers controversial topics and themes, one can't help feel for all the characters involved in this tale of race and what one's place means in society. This book raises all of the right points and is absolutely a must-read."
--Delany, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC


We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos RuffinA bold, provocative debut for fans of Get Out and Paul Beatty’s The Sellout, about a father’s obsessive quest to protect his son—even if it means turning him white.

“You can be beautiful, even more beautiful than before.” This is the seductive promise of Dr. Nzinga’s Clinic, where anyone can get their lips thinned, their skin bleached, and their noses narrowed. A complete demelanization will liberate you from the confines of being born in a black body—if you can afford it.

In this near-future Southern city plagued by fenced-in ghettos and police violence, more and more residents are turning to this experimental medical procedure. Like any father, our narrator just wants the best for his son Nigel, a biracial boy whose black birthmark is getting bigger by the day. The darker Nigel becomes, the more frightened his father feels. But how far will he go to protect his son? And will he destroy his family in the process?

This electrifying, hallucinatory novel is at once a keen satire of surviving racism in America and a profoundly moving family story. At its center is a father at war with himself who just wants his son to thrive in a broken world. A writer whose work evokes the crackling prose of Ralph Ellison and the dizzying menace of Franz Kafka, Maurice Carlos Ruffin is a ferociously talented new writer who fearlessly shines a light on the violence we inherit, and on the desperate things we do for the ones we love.

We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
January 29, 2019 | (PRH) One World | 9780525509066 | Buy

 

 

 

 

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Southern Indie Bestsellers
 

For the week ending January 14. Books on the Southern Indie Bestseller List that are southern in nature or have been recently recommended by southern indie booksellers.

 

Southern Indie Bestsellers

 
See the full list here.
The Southern Book Prize | A SIBA Okra Pick
Special to the Southern List | Read This Next!
Printable versions (PDF): Hardcover | Paperback | Children's
 
 
 
HARDCOVER FICTION
 

1. Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
2. Unsheltered
Barbara Kingsolver, Harper, $29.99, 9780062684561
3. The Reckoning
John Grisham, Doubleday, $29.95, 9780385544153
4. Devotions
Mary Oliver, Penguin Press, $30, 9780399563249
5. The New Iberia Blues
James Lee Burke, S&S, $27.99, 9781501176876

 
HARDCOVER NONFICTION
 
1. Becoming
Michelle Obama, Crown, $32.50, 9781524763138
2. Educated
Tara Westover, Random House, $28, 9780399590504
3. The Library Book
Susan Orlean, S&S, $28, 9781476740188
4. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
Samin Nosrat, Wendy MacNaughton (Illus.), S&S, $35, 9781476753836
5. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Marie Kondo, Ten Speed Press, $16.99, 9781607747307
 
Special to the Southern List
 

Mouthful of Birds: Stories Samanta Schweblin, Riverhead, $26,  The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man's Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America Tommy Tomlinson, Simon & Schuster, $27, The Au Pair Emma Rous, Berkley, $16, A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader Maria Popova, Claudia Bedrick (Eds.), Enchanted Lion Books, $34.95, 

 
 
 
FICTION of note
 

1. Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
8. Sugar Run

Mesha Maren, Algonquin, $26.95, 9781616206215
10. Mouthful of Birds: Stories
Samanta Schweblin, Riverhead, $26, 9780399184628
11. The Current
Tim Johnston, Algonquin, $27.95, 9781616206772
14. Florida

Lauren Groff, Riverhead, $27, 9781594634512
14. The Au Pair
Emma Rous, Berkley, $16, 9780440000457
3. Because of Winn-Dixie
Kate DiCamillo, Candlewick, $7.99, 9780763680862
8. Ghosts
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $10.99, 9780545540629
9. Roller Girl
Victoria Jamieson, Dial, $12.99, 9780803740167
10. The Whispers
Greg Howard, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 9780525517498

 
NONFICTION of note
 
6. The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man's Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America
Tommy Tomlinson, Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781501111617
9. The Soul of America

Jon Meacham, Random House, $30, 9780399589812
6. Hillbilly Elegy

J.D. Vance, Harper, $16.99, 9780062300553
7. The Last Castle
Denise Kiernan, Touchstone, $17, 9781476794051
9. Mindfulness on the Go

Jan Chozen Bays, Shambhala, $8.95, 9781611801705
10. Kitchen Confidential Deluxe Edition
Anthony Bourdain, Ecco, $19.99, 9780062899545
13. The Color of Law

Richard Rothstein, Liveright, $17.95, 9781631494536
14. The Great Halifax Explosion
John U. Bacon, Morrow, $17.99, 9780062666543
15. The Power of Now
Eckhart Tolle, New World Library, $15, 9781577314806
7. A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader

Maria Popova, Claudia Bedrick (Eds.), Enchanted Lion Books, $34.95, 9781592702282
 
         
 
 
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Events
 
What's happening at Southern Indies across the South?
 
See the full calendar | Find a Southern Indie Bookstore near you.
 

Jeffrey W. Massey  (author appearance)
Jeffrey W. | 02/01/2019, 06:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Zeteri M. Hodges  (author appearance)
Zeteri M. Hodges | 02/01/2019, 06:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Lou Vickery  (author appearance)
Lou Vickery | 02/01/2019, 06:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Susan Conley presenting Elsey Come Home  (author appearance)
Susan Conley | 02/01/2019, 05:00 pm | Vero Beach Book Center | Vero Beach, FL

Signing & Chat with Martin Walker.  (author appearance)
Martin Walker | 02/01/2019, 03:00 pm | Bookstore 1 Sarasota | Sarasota, FL

Leigh Bardugo with KING OF SCARS   (author appearance)
Leigh Bardugo | 02/01/2019, 05:00 pm | Square Books | Oxford, MS

Terry Gamble Author of The Eulogist  (author appearance)
Terry Gamble | 02/01/2019, 11:00 am | Litchfield Books | Pawleys Island, SC

Author event with Chris Cander author of The Weight of a Piano  (author appearance)
Chris Cander | 02/01/2019, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Hank Gola -City of Champions  (author appearance)
Hank Gola | 02/02/2019, 07:00 pm | Books & Books, Inc. | Coral Gables, FL

Alyssa Maxwell Booksigning  (author appearance)
Alyssa Maxwell | 02/02/2019, 05:00 pm | Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore | Delray Beach, FL

STORYTIME WITH AN AUTHOR  (author appearance)
Stacy McAnulty | 02/02/2019, 10:30 am | Bookmarks | Winston-Salem, NC

David Gates w/ Tim Osmet  (author appearance)
David Gates | 02/02/2019, 03:00 pm | City Lights Bookstore | Sylva, NC

Mesha Maren, Sugar Run  (author appearance)
Mesha Maren | 02/02/2019, 11:00 am | McIntyre's Books | Pittsboro, NC

Ian Rankin - In A House of Lies   (author appearance)
Ian Rankin | 02/02/2019, 03:00 pm | Quail Ridge Books | Raleigh, NC

Maria Taylor, Alpaca Laca Shish Boom Bang  (author appearance)
Maria Taylor | 02/02/2019, 11:00 am | Scuppernong Books | Greensboro, NC

Bryan Robinson Book Talk & Signing  (author appearance)
Bryan Robinson | 02/02/2019, 11:00 am | Fiction Addiction | Greenville, SC

Children's author event with Heather L. Montgomery, author of Something Rotten and Little Monsters of the Ocean  (author appearance)
Heather L. Montgomery | 02/02/2019, 02:00 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Victoria Raschke, Like a Pale Moon  (author appearance)
Victoria Raschke | 02/02/2019, 02:00 pm | Union Avenue Books | Knoxville, TN

Author Talk: Stephen Hussey - Health Evolution  (author appearance)
Stephen Hussey | 02/02/2019, 01:00 pm | Book No Further | Roanoke, VA

Book Signing with Johnnie Bernhard  (author appearance)
Johnnie Bernhard | 02/03/2019, 12:00 pm | Lemuria Books | Jackson, MS

Lenard D. Moore - The Geography of Jazz  (author appearance)
Lenard D. Moore | 02/03/2019, 02:00 pm | Quail Ridge Books | Raleigh, NC

Author event with Julia Tanner author of Picnic on the Fault Line  (author appearance)
Julia Tanner | 02/03/2019, 02:00 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Ian Rankin Booksigning  (author appearance)
Ian Rankin | 02/04/2019, 07:00 pm | Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore | Delray Beach, FL

Laurence Leamer presenting Mar-A-Lago  (author appearance)
Laurence Leamer | 02/04/2019, 04:00 pm | Vero Beach Book Center | Vero Beach, FL

Gus Vickery, M.D. presents Authentic Health  (author appearance)
Gus Vickery | 02/04/2019, 06:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe | Asheville, NC

Ian Rankin presenting In A House Of Lies A John Rebus Novel  (author appearance)
Ian Rankin | 02/05/2019, 06:00 pm | Vero Beach Book Center | Vero Beach, FL

Captain Marian Schneider  (author appearance)
Marian Schneider | 02/05/2019, 06:00 pm | Copperfish Books | Punta Gorda, FL

Captain Marian Schneider  (author appearance)
Marian Schneider | 02/05/2019, 07:00 pm | Copperfish Books | Punta Gorda, FL

Sonia Kamal: UNMARRIAGEABLE  (author appearance)
Soniah Kamal | 02/05/2019, 06:30 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

KRISTINA MCMORRIS, NY Times Bestselling Author, Discusses SOLD ON A MONDAY  (author appearance)
Kristina McMorris | 02/05/2019, 01:00 pm | Bookmiser | Marietta, GA

Jenn Lyons Book Launch Party for Ruin Of Kings  (author appearance)
Jenn Lyons | 02/05/2019, 07:00 pm | Eagle Eye Book Shop | Decatur, GA

Jenn Lyons Book Launch Party for Ruin Of King  (author appearance)
Jenn Lyons | 02/05/2019, 07:00 pm | Eagle Eye Book Shop | Decatur, GA

Conversation with Jessica Harris and Carla Hall  (author appearance)
Carla Hall | 02/05/2019, 05:30 pm | Garden District Book Shop | New Orleans, LA

Lori Leachman, Ph.D. presents The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen  (author appearance)
Lori Leachman | 02/05/2019, 06:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe | Asheville, NC

Donna Everhart - The Forgiving Kind  (author appearance)
Donna Everhart | 02/05/2019, 07:00 pm | Quail Ridge Books | Raleigh, NC

Tayari Jones at the First Baptist Church in Decatur  (author appearance)
Tayari Jones | 02/05/2019, 07:00 pm | Fiction Addiction | Greenville, SC

Reading and Book Signing with Cary Holladay  (author appearance)
Cary Holladay | 02/05/2019, 05:30 pm | Burke's Book Store | Memphis, TN

Author event with Sheree Kelley author of Breads & Spreads  (author appearance)
Sheree Kelley | 02/05/2019, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

In Conversation with Debut Novelist Mesha Maren   (author appearance)
Mesha Maren | 02/05/2019, 06:30 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Tim Watson  (author appearance)
Tim Watson | 02/06/2019, 08:00 pm | Books & Books, Inc. | Coral Gables, FL

Charles Todd presenting The Black Ascot An Inspector Rutledge Mystery  (author appearance)
Charles Todd | 02/06/2019, 06:00 pm | Vero Beach Book Center | Vero Beach, FL

Booki Vivat  (author appearance)
Booki Vivat | 02/06/2019, 04:30 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Snowden Wright / American Pop  (author appearance)
Snowden Wright | 02/06/2019, 05:30 pm | Turnrow Books | Greenwood, MS

Voice Rising Vol. 5  (author appearance)
Ivelisse Rodriguez | 02/06/2019, 07:00 pm | Flyleaf Books | Chapel Hill, NC

Leonard Pitts, Jr. presents The Last Thing You Surrender: A Novel of World War II  (author appearance)
Leonard Pitts | 02/06/2019, 06:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe | Asheville, NC

Young Reader Author Event: Jo Hackl - Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe  (author appearance)
Jo Hackl | 02/06/2019, 07:00 pm | Park Road Books | Charlotte, NC

Author event with Lee McCormick author of The Heart Reconnection Guidebook  (author appearance)
Lee McCormick | 02/06/2019, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Mary Davis presenting Every Day Spirit A Daybook Of Wisdom, Joy, and Peace  (author appearance)
Mary Davis | 02/07/2019, 06:00 pm | Vero Beach Book Center | Vero Beach, FL

Tayari Jones: AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE @ The Foundry  (author appearance)
Tayari Jones | 02/07/2019, 07:00 pm | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Isabel Wilkerson SUMMIT Signature Series Talk and Book Signing - "The Great Migration and Immigration"  (author appearance)
Isabel Wilkerson | 02/07/2019, 07:00 pm | Charis Books & More | Atlanta, GA

Devi Laskar: The Atlas of Reds and Blues at Georgia Center for the Book  (author appearance)
Devi Laskar | 02/07/2019, 07:00 pm | Charis Books & More | Atlanta, GA

Sam Lipsyte with HARK & Snowden Wright with AMERICAN POP on Thacker Mountain Radio   (author appearance)
Sam Lipsyte | 02/07/2019, 06:00 pm | Square Books | Oxford, MS

DaMaris Hill discusses her book A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland   (author appearance)
DaMaris Hill | 02/07/2019, 07:00 pm | Flyleaf Books | Chapel Hill, NC

Robert Turner launches Carrots Don't Grow on Trees: Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities  (author appearance)
Robert Turner | 02/07/2019, 06:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe | Asheville, NC

Author Event: Leonard Pitts - Last Thing You Surrender  (author appearance)
Leonard Pitts | 02/07/2019, 07:00 pm | Park Road Books | Charlotte, NC

Mesha Maren - Sugar Run  (author appearance)
Mesha Maren | 02/07/2019, 07:00 pm | Quail Ridge Books | Raleigh, NC

Kimmery Martin - Queen of Hearts  (author appearance)
Kimmery Martin | 02/07/2019, 05:00 pm | The Country Bookshop | Southern Pines, NC

Author event with Emily Bernard author of Black is the Body  (author appearance)
Emily Bernard | 02/07/2019, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Charles Todd Booksigning  (author appearance)
Charles Todd | 02/08/2019, 07:00 pm | Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore | Delray Beach, FL

Jill Santopolo  (author appearance)
Jill Santopolo | 02/08/2019, 06:30 pm | Oxford Exchange | Tampa, FL

Kristina McMorris  (author appearance)
Kristina McMorris | 02/08/2019, 11:00 am | Bookstore 1 Sarasota | Sarasota, FL

Author Kristina McMorris  (author appearance)
Kristina McMorris | 02/08/2019, 06:00 pm | Copperfish Books | Punta Gorda, FL

Elizabeth Weitzman with RENEGADE WOMEN IN FILM AND TV  (author appearance)
Elizabeth Weitzman | 02/08/2019, 12:00 pm | Square Books | Oxford, MS

J.D. Allen - Skin Game: A Sin City Investigation  (author appearance)
J.D. Allen | 02/08/2019, 07:00 pm | Quail Ridge Books | Raleigh, NC

Gareth Frank Author of The Moment Between  (author appearance)
Gareth Frank | 02/08/2019, 11:00 am | Litchfield Books | Pawleys Island, SC

Merle Temple: Blood on the Ground  (author appearance)
Merle Temple | 2/2/2019, 2:00 PM | novel. | Memphis, TN

Carolyn Frazier: Stanhope, Chronologically  (author appearance)
Carolyn Frazier | 2/2/2019, 4:00 PM | New Dominion Bookshop | Virginia, VA

R.J. Lee: Grand Slam Murders  (author appearance)
R.J. Lee | 2/3/2019, 2:00 PM | novel. | Memphis, TN

Karen Kingsbury & Tyler Russell: Best Family Ever  (author appearance)
Karen Kingsbury | 2/6/2019, 6:00 PM | novel. | Memphis, TN

Fiction Reading by Taylor Brown  (author appearance)
Taylor Brown | 2/7/2019, 7:00 PM | Two Sisters Bookery | Wilmington, NC

Erin Clabough Book Launch: Second Nature  (author appearance)
Erin Clabough | 2/8/2019, 7:00 PM | New Dominion Bookshop | Virginia, VA

 
Authors Round the South | www.authorsroundthesouth.com
 
 
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Lady Banks is sponsored by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, in support of independent bookstores in the South | SIBA | 51 Pleasant Ridge Dr.| Asheville, NC 28805
 
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