Lady Banks Bookshelf

Lady Banks Pick of the Week


view in your browser | subscribe | unsubscribe
Week of March 28, 2019
The Commonplace Book | Read This! | Okra Picks | Southern Indie Bestsellers | Events
{On evenings spent sipping Rum-Cocos.}
In which readers are given a tour of Mr. Tennessee Williams's New Orleans, cocktail by cocktail, Ms. Elaine Neil Orr finds sand in her applesauce and is not happy about it, Mr. David Sedaris is kicked out of the house but is mistaken about why, and her ladyship, the editor, welcomes the spring.


Dearest Readers

When the warm sun, that brings
Seed-time and harvest, has returned again,
'T is sweet to visit the still wood, where springs
The first flower of the plain.

--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "An April Day"


April is one of her ladyship, the editor's very favorite months. Her garden has begun to shake off winter and her ladyship's online friends have had to endure an endless series of posts of the daffodils she planted last fall, now in full and glorious bloom.


April is also the one time of year when her ladyship can talk about poetry without apology or compunction. Not that she is wont to do either at other times of the year, but in April, at

least, "National Poetry Month" provides an excellent excuse to be blatant about it.


And the South, it must be said, is as fertile ground for poetry as it is for daffodils. Here is a little "tour" of the South via its poets laureate:


Little Wanderer From Darkening Porches To Start With, Feel Fortunate Sabbath Creek
Alabama | Jennifer Horne Arkansas | Jo McDougall Florida | Peter Meinke Georgia | Judson Mitcham
The Bounteous World No Brother, This Storm Heating and Cooling Breath of Song
Kentucky | Frederick Smock Louisiana | Jack Bedell Mississippi |Beth Ann Fennelly North Carolina | Jaki Shelton Green
The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle Gentle Scholar James Dickey Reader  
South Carolina | Marjory Heath Wentworth Tennessee | Margaret Britton Vaughn Virginia | Henry Hart  


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.


How the Light Gets InHejira

It wasn't anything I had planned on, but at the age of twenty-two, after dropping out of my second college and traveling across the country a few times, I found myself back in Raleigh, living in my parents' basement. After six months spent waking at noon, getting high, and listening to the same Joni Mitchell record over and over again, I was called by my father into his den and told to get out. He was sitting very formally in a big, comfortable chair behind his desk, and I felt as though he were firing me from the job of being his son.

I'd been expecting this to happen, and it honestly didn't bother me all that much. The way I saw it, being kicked out of the house was just what I needed if I was ever going to get back on my feet. "Fine," I said, "I'll go. But one day you'll be sorry."

I had no idea what I meant by this. It just seemed like the sort of thing a person should say when was being told to leave.

...I wouldn't know it until months later, but my father had kicked me out of the house not because I was a bum but because I was gay. Our little talk was supposed to be one of those defining moments that shape a person's adult life, but he'd been so uncomfortable with the most important word that he'd left it out completely, saying only, "I think we both know why I'm doing this." I guess I could have pinned him down, I just hadn't seen the point. "Is it because I'm a failure? A drug addict? A sponge? Come on, Dad, just give me one good reason."

Who wants to say that?


--David Sedaris, in Every True Pleasure, edited by Wilton Barnhardt (UNC Press, 2019) 9781469646800

top | share this   fb   tw

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

Sing to It by Amy Hempel
Amy Hempel has mastered the short story, and Sing to It is no letdown, and brimming with the kind of simple, glorious humanity one comes to expect from her writing.

Sing to It by Amy Hempel ($25.00*, Scribner), recommended by Malaprop's Bookstore Café, Asheville, NC.









Fake Plastic Girl by Zara Lisbon
Justine is surrounded by celebrity and wealth, her shoulders brushing, bumping against it, but never quite attaining any of it for herself.  When she meets her new neighbor, Eva Kate Kelly, a former child actress and shiny social media star, Justine's no longer just gazing at all the beautiful people on her phone, now she's among them.

A modern take on The Great Gatsby, but with lots more Taylor Swift references (for what it's worth, I am totally in agreement with Justine on what she thinks happened between Swift and Kanye West on that infamous phone call). Fun, neurotic, and twisty!

Fake Plastic Girl by Zara Lisbon ($17.99*, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.




The Other Americans by Laila Lalami
The first word I thought as I finished this book was "beautiful." With the precision of a surgeon, Lalami crafts a terrific follow up to The Moor's Account. Told in succinct chapters from many characters perspectives, she doesn't discredit their accounts or create unreliable narrators as much as she simply delves into human nature. As a young woman returns home with the news of her father's sudden death in a hit and run, she finds much more about herself and family secrets than she intends. Each character is wonderfully crafted and important to the story so that most of all I came away with the knowledge that you can never fully know all sides of a story. I have a feeling this will hold up through the year as a favorite.

The Other Americans by Laila Lalami ($25.95*, Pantheon), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.


More bookseller recommendations


top | share this   fb   tw



News of a literary nature

Night of the Iguana"He and a writer friend spent their evenings in hammocks sipping Rum-Cocos “until the stars of the Southern Cross…began to flit crazily about like fireflies caught in a bottle"

keep reading: Mixing Drama and Drinks -- Tennessee Williams



"What a great day. What a sweet day"

keep reading: Charis Books moves


Swimming Between Worlds"Soon the grounds appear covered with a thin layer of snow. When a car takes off, a ghost of sand flies away behind it. But there is football and there are student body elections and no one but me notices when the applesauce in the cafeteria turns gritty."

keep reading: Elaine Orr -- Desolation



top | share this   fb   tw
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.


"I wish there had been more books like this for me to read as a child. I like the combination of poetry and friendship in this tale and the idea of children having their own poetrees!"
--Beth, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Poetree by Shauna LaVoy ReynoldsA girl writes a poem to a tree, but then is surprised when the tree writes back in this wondrous and warm picture book about friendship, nature, and the power of poetry.

The snow has melted, the buttercups are blooming, and Sylvia celebrates winter’s end by writing a poem. She ties her poem to a birch tree, hoping that it doesn’t count as littering if it makes the world more beautiful. But when she returns, a new poem is waiting for her. Could the tree really be writing back? Sylvia decides to test her theory, and so begins a heartwarming poetic correspondence…as well as an unexpected new friendship.

Lyrical and sweetly satisfying, Poetree is about finding beauty in the world around you, and new friends in unlikely places.

Poetree by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds
March 19, 2019 | (PRH) Dial Books | 9780399539121


top | share this   fb   tw
Southern Indie Bestsellers

For the week ending March 24. 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

1. Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
2. Black Leopard, Red Wolf
Marlon James, Riverhead Books, $30, 9780735220171
3. Run Away
Harlan Coben, Grand Central, $29, 9781538748466
4. The Reckoning
John Grisham, Doubleday, $29.95, 9780385544153
5. The Silent Patient
Alex Michaelides, Celadon Books, $26.99, 9781250301697

1. Becoming
Michelle Obama, Crown, $32.50, 9781524763138
2. Educated
Tara Westover, Random House, $28, 9780399590504
3. Dreyer's English
Benjamin Dreyer, Random House, $25, 9780812995701
4. Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself
William W. Li, Grand Central, $30, 9781538714621
5. Women Rowing North
Mary Pipher, Bloomsbury, $27, 9781632869609
Special to the Southern List

The Reckoning John Grisham, Doubleday, $29.95,  Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt Arthur C. Brooks, Broadside Books, $27.99, Women in Sunlight Frances Mayes, Broadway, $17, Hotel Scarface: Where Cocaine Cowboys Partied and Plotted to Control Miami Roben Farzad, Berkley, $17, 

FICTION of note

1. Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
4. The Reckoning

John Grisham, Doubleday, $29.95, 9780385544153
5. An American Marriage
Tayari Jones, Algonquin Books, $16.95, 9781616208684
10. Women in Sunlight

Frances Mayes, Broadway, $17, 9780451497673

11. See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy
Frances Mayes, Crown, $27, 9780451497697
13. Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt

Arthur C. Brooks, Broadside Books, $27.99, 9780062883759
15. The Trial of Lizzie Borden

Cara Robertson, S&S, $28, 9781501168376
3. The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home

Denise Kiernan, Touchstone, $17, 9781476794051
5. Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy

Anthony Harkins, Meredith McCarroll (Eds.), West Virginia University Press, $28.99, 9781946684790
6. Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest
Hanif Abdurraqib, University of Texas Press, $16.95, 9781477316481
11. Hotel Scarface: Where Cocaine Cowboys Partied and Plotted to Control Miami
Roben Farzad, Berkley, $17, 9780399583254
13. The Power of Habit
Charles Duhigg, Random House, $17, 9780812981605
top | share this   fb   tw  
What's happening at Southern Indies across the South?
See the full calendar | Find a Southern Indie Bookstore near you.

Roger Johns Signs River of Secrets  (author appearance)
Roger Johns | 03/30/2019, 11:00 am | Sundog Books | Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Veronica H. Hart Book Signing  (author appearance)
03/30/2019, 12:00 pm | Horton's Books | Carrollton, GA

Wright Thompson with THE COST OF THESE DREAMS  (author appearance)
Wright Thompson | 03/30/2019, 05:00 pm | Square Books | Oxford, MS

Steve Miller with NC Civil War Unionists  (author appearance)
Steve Miller | 03/30/2019, 01:00 pm | City Lights Bookstore | Sylva, NC

Nourish Your Tribe with Nicole Margryta  (author appearance)
Nicole Margryta | 03/30/2019, 04:00 pm | Main Street Books | Davidson, NC

Rosemary Poole-Carter Book Launch  (author appearance)
Rosemary Poole-Carter | 03/30/2019, 02:00 pm | Page 158 Books | Wake Forest, NC

Author Event: Kent Walker - Soldier of the Secret Wars  (author appearance)
Kent Walker | 03/30/2019, 11:00 am | Park Road Books | Charlotte, NC

Gillian McDunn - Caterpillar Summer  (author appearance)
Gillian McDunn | 03/30/2019, 02:00 pm | Quail Ridge Books | Raleigh, NC

Author event with Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin at Harding Academy  (author appearance)
Clea Shearer | 03/30/2019, 02:00 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Launch Party for Natalie Lloyd’s OVER the MOON!  (author appearance)
Natalie Lloyd | 03/30/2019, 04:00 pm | Star Line Books | Chattanooga, TN

Linda Fairstein presents Blood Oath  (author appearance)
Linda Fairstein | 03/31/2019, 01:00 pm | Vero Beach Book Center | Vero Beach, FL

George Singleton - Staff Picks  (author appearance)
George Singleton | 03/31/2019, 02:00 pm | A Cappella Books | Atlanta, GA

An Afternoon with Lisa Kline  (author appearance)
Lisa Kline | 03/31/2019, 03:00 pm | Main Street Books | Davidson, NC

Author Event: Carla A. Carlisle - Journey to the Son  (author appearance)
Carla A. | 03/31/2019, 02:00 pm | Park Road Books | Charlotte, NC

Philip Gerard - The Last Battleground: The Civil War Comes to North Carolina  (author appearance)
Philip Gerard | 03/31/2019, 02:00 pm | Quail Ridge Books | Raleigh, NC

Joelle Biele, Kyle Dargan, and DaMaris Hill   (author appearance)
DaMaris Hill | 03/31/2019, 04:00 pm | New Dominion Bookshop | Virginia, VA

Dave Barry  (author appearance)
Dave Barry | 04/01/2019, 07:30 pm | Books & Books, Inc. | Coral Gables, FL

Philip Shirley signs The Graceland Conspiracy  (author appearance)
Philip Shirley | 04/01/2019, 05:00 pm | Lemuria Books | Jackson, MS

Acclaimed photographer Frank Van Riper discusses his Photo-Memoir: Recovered Memory: New York & Paris 1960-1980  (author appearance)
Frank Van | 04/01/2019, 07:00 pm | Flyleaf Books | Chapel Hill, NC

Beth Jusino presents Walking to the End of the World: A Thousand Miles on the Camino De Santiago  (author appearance)
Beth Jusino | 04/01/2019, 06:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe | Asheville, NC

Author event with Mary Laura Philpott, author of I Miss You When I Blink  (author appearance)
Mary Laura Philpott | 04/01/2019, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Robert Macomber  (author appearance)
Robert N. Macomber | 04/02/2019, 6:30 pm | Books & Books, Inc. | Coral Gables, FL

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

Kerri Kennedy - Indivisible  (author appearance)
Kerri Kennedy | 04/02/2019, 07:00 pm | A Cappella Books | Atlanta, GA

River Jordan signs Confessions of a Christian Mystic  (author appearance)
River Jordan | 04/02/2019, 05:00 pm | Lemuria Books | Jackson, MS

Alan Shapiro and Jonathan Farmer in conversation  (author appearance)
Alan Shapiro | 04/02/2019, 07:00 pm | Flyleaf Books | Chapel Hill, NC

Ashley Poston in conversation with Beth Revis  (author appearance)
Ashley Poston | 04/02/2019, 06:00 pm | Fiction Addiction | Greenville, SC

Author event with Amy Goldstein author of Janesville  (author appearance)
Amy Goldstein | 04/02/2019, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Zack Miller - Anomaly  (author appearance)
Zack Miller | 04/02/2019, 06:00 pm | Prince Books | Norfolk, VA

Heather Montgomery  (author appearance)
Heather Montgomery | 04/03/2019, 03:30 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Clayton's River Adventures Signing  (author appearance)
Linda Penn | 04/03/2019, 10:00 am | Sundog Books | Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Margery Diamond: Torah and Trails  (author appearance)
Margery Diamond | 04/03/2019, 06:30 pm | Bookmiser | Marietta, GA

C. S. Harris: Who Slays the Wicked   (author appearance)
C.S. Harris | 04/03/2019, 06:00 pm | Garden District Book Shop | New Orleans, LA

River Jordan with CONFESSIONS OF A CHRISTIAN MYSTIC  (author appearance)
River Jordan | 04/03/2019, 05:30 pm | Square Books | Oxford, MS

Jessica Keener presents Strangers in Budapest in conversation with Tommy Hays  (author appearance)
Jessica Keener | 04/03/2019, 06:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe | Asheville, NC

Literary Luncheon with Ruth Reichl  (author appearance)
Ruth Reichl | 04/03/2019, 12:00 pm | McIntyre's Books | Pittsboro, NC

Cookbook Author Event: Bruce Moffett - Bruce Moffett Cooks: A New England Chef in a New South Kitchen  (author appearance)
Bruce Moffett | 04/03/2019, 07:00 pm | Park Road Books | Charlotte, NC

Author event with Claire Gibson Author of Beyond The Point  (author appearance)
Claire Gibson | 04/03/2019, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Lauren Denton  (author appearance)
Lauren Denton | 04/04/2019, 06:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Nathaniel Rich in conversation with Tegan Wendland @ Tulane River and Coastal Center, 1370 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans, 70130: Losing Earth  (author appearance)
Nathaniel Rich | 04/04/2019, 06:00 pm | Garden District Book Shop | New Orleans, LA

Janet Brown signs Deadly Visits  (author appearance)
Janet Brown | 04/04/2019, 05:00 pm | Lemuria Books | Jackson, MS

Philip Shirley / The Graceland Conspiracy  (author appearance)
Philip Shirley | 04/04/2019, 05:30 pm | Turnrow Books | Greenwood, MS

Mothers and Strangers: Essays on Motherhood with Samia Serageldin & Lee Smith  (author appearance)
Samia Serageldin | 04/04/2019, 07:00 pm | Flyleaf Books | Chapel Hill, NC

Christine Lynn Herman presents The Devouring Gray, in conversation with Meagan Spooner  (author appearance)
Christine Lynn | 04/04/2019, 06:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe | Asheville, NC

Author Event: Anna Jean Mayhew - Tomorrow's Bread  (author appearance)
Anna Jean Mayhew | 04/04/2019, 07:00 pm | Park Road Books | Charlotte, NC

Amor Towles: A Gentleman in Moscow  (author appearance)
Amor Towles | 04/04/2019, 06:00 pm | The Country Bookshop | Southern Pines, NC

Anne Keene Military Luncheon at the Poinsett Club  (author appearance)
Anne R. Keene | 04/04/2019, 12:00 pm | Fiction Addiction | Greenville, SC

Author event with Harlan Coben author of Run Away  (author appearance)
Harlan Coben | 04/04/2019, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Elisabeth Hasselbeck in conversation with Rebekah Lyons at Church of the City  (author appearance)
Elisabeth Hasselbeck | 04/04/2019, 07:00 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

National Speaker Series- Robert D. Putnam  (author appearance)
Robert D. | 04/04/2019, 05:30 pm | Prince Books | Norfolk, VA

Curtis Maynard  (author appearance)
Curtis Maynard | 04/05/2019, 06:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Dominic Albanese Reading and Book Signing  (author appearance)
Dominic Albanese | 04/05/2019, 06:00 pm | Poetic Justice Books and Arts | Port St. Lucie, FL

The Roth Family JCC and Writer's Block Presents: David Litt  (author appearance)
David Litt | 04/05/2019, 06:30 pm | Writers Block Bookstore | Winter Park, FL

Special Children’s Storytime with Linda Ashman, William’s Winter Nap  (author appearance)
Linda Ashman | 04/05/2019, 10:30 am | McIntyre's Books | Pittsboro, NC

Bill Noel Author of Dark Horse  (author appearance)
Bill Noel | 04/05/2019, 11:00 am | Litchfield Books | Pawleys Island, SC

YA author event with Emily A. Duncan, author of Wicked Saints, and Christine Lynn Herman, author of The Devouring Gray  (author appearance)
Emily A. | 04/05/2019, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Bring-Your-Own-Lunch Event with Bestselling Author Greer Macallister   (author appearance)
Greer Macallister | 04/05/2019, 12:30 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Story Time and Book Signing: The Small Grey Goat  (author appearance)
Sara Ernst | 3/30/2019, 10:30 AM | Givens Books & Little Dickens | Lynchburg, VA

Book Signing with A.D. Hopkins  (author appearance)
A.D. Hopkins | 3/30/2019, 2:00 PM | Givens Books & Little Dickens | Lynchburg, VA

Potential on the Periphery: College Access Panel Discussion  (author appearance)
Omari Simmons | 4/1/2019, 7:00 PM | Bookmarks | Winston-Salem, NC

T.O. Stallings - The Long Decade  (author appearance)
T.O. Stallings | 4/4/2019, 5:30 PM | Lorelei Books | Vicksburg, MS

Jewish Studies & Latin American Studies Book Launch with WFU Humanities Professors  (author appearance)
Dean Franco | 4/4/2019, 6:30 PM | Bookmarks | Winston-Salem, NC


Authors Round the South |
top | share this   fb   tw  
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
You are receiving this email at @@email@@. If you wish to stop receiving email from us, you can simply remove yourself by replying with "unsubscribe" in the subject or by visiting: @@unsubscribe_url@@