Lady Banks Bookshelf

Lady Banks Pick of the Week



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Week of July 18, 2019
The Commonplace Book | Read This! | Okra Picks | Southern Indie Bestsellers | Events
{Sally's summer reading list}
In which Mr. Wendell Berry acknowledges he is luckier than he deserves, Mr. N. John Shore, Jr. navigates Asheville by its breweries, and Ms. Sally Brewster picks the books she thinks we should read this summer.

2019 Conroy Legacy Award 

Dearest Readers

"He's absolutely my favorite legal writer. Most of this takes place outside of the court room, which is where most law takes place." -- Sally Brewster, Park Road Books, on Martin Clark's The Substitution Order

When Sally Brewster, owner of Park Road Books in Charlotte, North Carolina, visited the studio of WFAE for their "Charlotte Talks" program to talk about her picks of the summer books, the host asked her how she chose the nine books she brought.

"They're the ones that speak to me at the moment," she said. "my list changes weekly."

It is a statement for which her ladyship, the editor has a great affinity. On any given day the list of books her ladyship has just read, the books she is thinking about, the books she wants to read, and the books she wants others to read is likely to change, to shuffle itself around according to, as Ms. Sally Brewster put it, "what speaks to her at the moment.

The problem, of course, is that there are just SO MANY GOOD BOOKS.

Here are the books that Sally Brewster has on her summer reading list. You can listen to her talk about them here.


Fleischman is in TroubleSomeone Who Shall Love You in All Your Damaged GloryThe Book Woman of Troublesome CreekNevery Have I EverGrowing Things
The Substitution Order
Ghosts of Eden ParkFurious HoursThe VagabondsEmperors of the Deep



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.

May 1989


The Substitution OrderFor years, I was an excellent lawyer, as honest and effective as you could ever want, and I'm a decent enough person, and despite my mistakes, which--I concede--were hellacious, I deserve better than this misery.

It's the middle of June, hot and stagnant, especially behind the counter here in the restaurant, a Subway knockoff called SUBstitution, and the heat will soon become worse because Luther, the owner, insists that we switch on the old oven at noon and then again at six, as if we were really baking fresh bread. Twice daily, when the big lunch and dinner crowds are waiting in line, I cover my hand with a mitt and slowly slide the store-bought decoys out of the oven, a sham show that allows a two-hundred-degree belch to escape and loiter and clot the air. Sometimes, to entertain myself, I quick-drop the lukewarm silver tray, pull off the mitt and shake and blow on my fingers. The few minutes of fake-bake dries and hardens the prop rolls, but I'm able to stash them in the refrigerator and use them over and over for weeks, until the first greenish-gray mold spots appear.

Today, the first customer through the door is a Sutphin girl from the apartments down the street. She's wearing flannel pajama bottoms, the fabric pilled and grimy. Her hair's a mess, straight, dirty and brown. She's hardscrabble bony, pasty white, braless under a T-shirt and covered in tats, none of them worth a damn, amateur ink that some dolt applied with a safety pin and a cigarette lighter. This is exactly how she looked when she went to bed on a floor mattress last night, exactly how she'll look the entire day, exactly how she'll look tomorrow.


--Martin Clark, The Substitution Order (Knopf, 2019)

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Lady Banks' {Book} Trailer Park: We Don't Do That Here

Mississippi Book Festival


"I thought this morning who better to start us off than Mississippi's first lady of letters Eudora Welty a very young Eudora Welty and I want you to look this morning look at the steely determination in her eyes and I wonder when I look at this photograph if she knew this independence and courage she would demonstrate through her writings or if she knew the number of influential writers she would encourage and mentor and the legions of others she would inspire with her words" -- Holly Lange, founder and Executive Director of the Mississippi Book Festival

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

Salvation Day by Kali Wallace
This fun and exciting scifi thriller is a page-turner and the perfect weekend read! What happened to the crew of the spaceship House of Wisdom? No one really knows. All of its crew members died within a 24-hour period. The government states that a lethal virus was intentionally released by a crew member. The ship is under quarantine as it’s not safe to go onboard. But someone is going to try. A small group from one of Earth’s desert cults is planning to board, clear and cleanup the ship and take it for themselves. They have even planned to kidnap the one survivor of the virus, Jas Bhattacharya, the son of the ship’s engineer, who can insure their entrance to the ship. But the government was wrong about what killed the crew.

And the small group boarding the ship is about to find out that what killed the crew is still there on the ship, waiting for another chance.

Salvation Day by Kali Wallace ($26.00*, Berkley), recommended by The Little Bookshop, Midlothian, VA.

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin
Quentin Garrison is working on a true crime podcast about a series of murders from the 1970s, committed by a teenage couple. Quentin thinks April, the female of the murderous couple, is the mother of Robin Diamond, a website columnist. At first Robin thinks this is ridiculous at first. But the more she looks into it, the more she's unsure of her conviction.

This is one of those books where very early on, you're SURE you know what the twist is and you're disappointed. But you keep reading to confirm your suspicions. But then the book throws you a curve and you were totally wrong. Soon you have no idea who really did what and you can't wait to find out.

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin ($16.99*, William Morrow Paperbacks), recommended by Bookmiser, Roswell, GA.

Gettysburg by Kevin Morris
An entertainment lawyer in Hollywood going through a mid-life crisis joins a reenactment of the battle of Gettysburg in Southern California and is joined by a former playmate and Miss Universe. Ever thought you'd read all that in a sentence? I didn't either! I swear this book was written just for me. But y'all will love it too. Kevin Morris takes on the entertainment industry, American history and culture in this bizarre and hilarious story while also trying to figure out what "it all means." You will do some soul searching but mostly laughing!

Gettysburg by Kevin Morris ($26.00*, Grove Press), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.

More bookseller recommendations


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News of a literary nature

To Live Here You Have to Fisght"I walked through (Berea) as a little girl, barefooted and dusty, and sold blackberries and bought me some cheese and crackers and sat on that campus and watched those girls, hopping and skipping, and looked at those buildings and wished and prayed that I might be able to prepare myself for a better life."

keep reading: Unraveling the Hidden Black History of Appalachian Activism


The Art of Loading Brush"My daddy said to me, about five years after I married Tanya, “Well, you’ve got a good girl.” And I said, proudly, “I know it,” and he said, “Well, you don’t deserve a damn bit of credit for it.” "

keep reading: Going Home with Wendell Berry


"At Cafe Lit, everything from the wallpaper to the menu will pull from the legacies of famed black writers like Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Nikki Giovanni "

keep reading: Black Literature Themed Lounge Planned for Nashville



Everywhere She's Not"I live in Asheville, NC. The reason I love it so much is because no matter where you are in the city, if you but close your eyes and walk five steps you’ll bump into a brewery. "

keep reading: Jon Mayes talks to N. John Shore, Jr.


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The Okra Picks: The Summer Season


Southern Independent booksellers have chosen the 2019 Summer 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.


" Just as funny as his earlier novels, with time Clark's writing has gained a newfound depth while expanding its unique brand of dirty grace. I found myself laughing out loud on one page only to turn to the next and have to put the book down for a moment for fear my heart might break from a sad and perfect truth plainly and perfectly told. " —Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

The Substitution Order by Martin Clark Kevin Moore, once a high-flying Virginia attorney, hits rock bottom after an inexplicably tumultuous summer leaves him disbarred and separated from his wife. Short on cash and looking for work, he lands in the middle of nowhere with a job at SUBstitution, the world's saddest sandwich shop. His closest confidants: a rambunctious rescue puppy and the twenty-year-old computer whiz manning the restaurant counter beside him. He's determined to set his life right again, but the troubles keep coming. And when a bizarre, mysterious stranger wanders into the shop armed with a threatening ""invitation"" to join a multimillion-dollar scam, Kevin will need every bit of his legal savvy just to stay out of prison.

A remarkable tour of the law's tricks and hidden trapdoors, The Substitution Order is both wise and ingenious, a wildly entertaining novel that will keep you guessing--and rooting for its tenacious hero--until the very last page."

Knopf | 9780525656326 | The Substitution Order by Martin Clark 

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Southern Indie Bestsellers

For the week ending July 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

1. Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
2. City of Girls
Elizabeth Gilbert, Riverhead Books, $28, 9781594634734
3. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
Ocean Vuong, Penguin Press, $26, 9780525562023
4. Summer of '69
Elin Hilderbrand, Little Brown, $28, 9780316420013
5. Circe
Madeline Miller, Little Brown, $27, 9780316556347

1. Three Women
Lisa Taddeo, Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781451642292
2. Educated
Tara Westover, Random House, $28, 9780399590504
3. The Pioneers
David McCullough, S&S, $30, 9781501168680
4. Becoming
Michelle Obama, Crown, $32.50, 9781524763138
5. Spying on the South
Tony Horwitz, Penguin Press, $30, 9781101980286
Special to the Southern List

Queen Bee Dorothea Benton Frank, Morrow, $27.99,The Bookish Life of Nina Hill Abbi Waxman, Berkley, $16,The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke Andrew Lawler, Anchor, $17,Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved Kate Bowler, Random House, $16,Mindfulness on the Go Jan Chozen Bays, Shambhala, $8.95,Shoe Dog Phil Knight, Scribner, $20,Confederates in the Attic Tony Horwitz, Vintage, $17,

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What's happening at Southern Indies across the South?
See the full calendar | Find a Southern Indie Bookstore near you.

Gary John Bishop  (author appearance)
Gary John Bishop | 07/19/2019, 08:00 pm | Books & Books, Inc. | Coral Gables, FL

Jeff Newberry and Justin Evans with Cross Country  (author appearance)
Jeff Newberry | 07/19/2019, 06:00 pm | Midtown Reader | Tallahassee, FL

Graham Brunk Booksigning  (author appearance)
Graham Brunk | 07/19/2019, 07:00 pm | Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore | Delray Beach, FL

A Field Trip To The Moon Story Hour with guest author/illustrator John Hare  (author appearance)
John Hare | 07/19/2019, 10:30 am | Vero Beach Book Center | Vero Beach, FL

Ace Atkins - The Shameless (A Quinn Colson Novel)  (author appearance)
Ace Atkins | 07/19/2019, 07:00 pm | Quail Ridge Books | Raleigh, NC

Storytime with Matt Myers - Hum and Swish  (author appearance)
Matt Myers | 07/19/2019, 10:30 am | The Country Bookshop | Southern Pines, NC

Thomas Mallon Author of Landfall  (author appearance)
Thomas Mallon | 07/19/2019, 11:00 am | Litchfield Books | Pawleys Island, SC

Book Signing • Gary Cosby Jr.  (author appearance)
Gary Cosby Jr. | 07/20/2019, 10:30 am | Ernest & Hadley Booksellers | Tuscaloosa, AL

Burgin Mathews - Doc: Jazz Man  (author appearance)
Burgin Mathews | 07/20/2019, 03:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Story Time with Busker the Tusker  (author appearance)
Susanne Brunner | 07/20/2019, 03:00 pm | Wordsworth Bookstore | Little Rock, AR

Rush Bassist Geddy Lee - Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass   (author appearance)
Geddy Lee | 07/20/2019, 03:00 pm | A Cappella Books | Atlanta, GA

J.S. Breukelaar in conversation with Anya Martin  (author appearance)
J.S. Breukelaar | 07/20/2019, 02:00 pm | Eagle Eye Book Shop | Decatur, GA

Lynne Russell  (author appearance)
Lynne Russell | 07/20/2019, 02:00 pm | Tall Tales Atlanta | Atlanta, GA

Book Signing: John Marek  (author appearance)
John Marek | 07/20/2019, 10:30 am | Main Street Books | Davidson, NC

Martin Clark, The Substitution Order  (author appearance)
Martin Clark | 07/20/2019, 11:00 am | McIntyre's Books | Pittsboro, NC

John Larison, Whiskey When We’re Dry  (author appearance)
John Larison | 07/20/2019, 02:00 pm | McIntyre's Books | Pittsboro, NC

Author Event: Jon S. Rennie  (author appearance)
Jon S. Rennie | 07/20/2019, 02:00 pm | Page 158 Books | Wake Forest, NC

Eugene Kusterer presents All Clear! Shakespeare  (author appearance)
Eugene Kusterer | 07/20/2019, 11:00 am | Park Road Books | Charlotte, NC

Matt Myers - Hum and Swish  (author appearance)
Matt Myers | 07/20/2019, 10:30 am | Quail Ridge Books | Raleigh, NC

Meet the Author: Tonza D. Ruffin  (author appearance)
Tonza D. Ruffin | 07/20/2019, 11:00 am | Page After Page Bookstore | Elizabeth City, NC

Author event with David Bell author of Layover in conversation with J.T. Ellison  (author appearance)
David Bell | 07/20/2019, 02:00 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

An Interactive Evening w/ Tracey Carisch  (author appearance)
Tracey Carisch | 07/20/2019, 06:30 pm | Star Line Books | Chattanooga, TN

Delia Owens Author Event  (author appearance)
Delia Owens | 07/21/2019, 02:00 pm | Wordsworth Bookstore | Little Rock, AR

Agnes Gomillion  (author appearance)
Agnes Gomillion | 07/21/2019, 04:00 pm | Books & Books, Inc. | Coral Gables, FL

Debut Novelist ERICA WITSELL Celebrates with Bites and Bubbles!  (author appearance)
Erica Witsell | 07/21/2019, 02:00 pm | Bookmiser | Marietta, GA

Author Event: Brian Lampkin  (author appearance)
Brian Lampkin | 07/21/2019, 03:00 pm | Page 158 Books | Wake Forest, NC

Kendall Klym - Step Lightly  (author appearance)
Kendall Klym | 07/22/2019, 03:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Colson Whitehead in conversation with Gail O’Neill, The Nickel Boys  (author appearance)
Colson Whitehead | 07/22/2019, 07:00 pm | Atlanta History Center | Atlanta, GA

Author Event: Flora J Solomon  (author appearance)
Flora J. Solomon | 07/22/2019, 07:15 pm | Page 158 Books | Wake Forest, NC

Rudy Pérez @ BAL HARBOUR SHOPS  (author appearance)
Rudy Pérez | 07/23/2019, 06:30 pm | Books & Books, Inc. | Coral Gables, FL

A Seat in the Shade with Collin Kelley and Theresa Davis  (author appearance)
Theresa Davis | 07/23/2019, 05:30 am | Avid Bookshop | Athens, GA

Quin Hillyer - Mad Jones trilogy  (author appearance)
Quin Hillyer | 07/23/2019, 06:00 pm | Octavia Books | New Orleans, LA

Julie Zuckerman presents The Book of Jeremiah  (author appearance)
Julie Zuckerman | 07/23/2019, 06:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe | Asheville, NC

Author Event: Andy Parker  (author appearance)
Andy Parker | 07/23/2019, 06:30 pm | Page 158 Books | Wake Forest, NC

In Conversation with Ann B. Ross  (author appearance)
Ann B. Ross | 07/23/2019, 06:00 pm | Hub City Books | Spartanburg, SC

Author event with Jeremy Finley author of The Dark Above  (author appearance)
Jeremy Finley | 07/23/2019, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Welcome Back Master Thriller Writer John Gilstrap   (author appearance)
John Gilstrap | 07/23/2019, 06:30 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

An Evening with Colson Whitehead  (author appearance)
Colson Whitehead | 07/24/2019, 07:00 pm | Garden District Book Shop | New Orleans, LA

Suzanne Stone - New Orleans Coffee   (author appearance)
Suzanne Stone | 07/24/2019, 06:00 pm | Octavia Books | New Orleans, LA

Amy Reed presents The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World, in conversation with Jaye Robin Brown and Amber Smith  (author appearance)
Amy Reed | 07/24/2019, 06:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe | Asheville, NC

Courtney Maum Reading and Signing COSTALEGRE  (author appearance)
Courtney Maum | 07/24/2019, 06:30 pm | Star Line Books | Chattanooga, TN

Cadwell Turnbull  (author appearance)
Cadwell Turnbull | 07/25/2019, 08:00 pm | Books & Books, Inc. | Coral Gables, FL

Linda Castillo Booksigning  (author appearance)
Linda Castillo | 07/25/2019, 07:00 pm | Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore | Delray Beach, FL

Colson Whitehead  (author appearance)
Colson Whitehead | 07/25/2019, 07:30 pm | Oxford Exchange | Tampa, FL

Camy De Mario presents Where Is God? God Is Everywhere  (author appearance)
Camy De Mario | 07/25/2019, 06:00 am | Vero Beach Book Center | Vero Beach, FL

Capt. Charley Bartholomay  (author appearance)
Charley Bartholomay | 07/25/2019 | Copperfish Books | Punta Gorda, FL

Joshua Douglas - Vote for US  (author appearance)
Joshua Douglas | 07/25/2019, 07:00 pm | A Cappella Books | Atlanta, GA

Daniel Brook - THE ACCIDENT OF COLOR  (author appearance)
Daniel Brook | 07/25/2019, 06:00 pm | Octavia Books | New Orleans, LA

Kenyatta D. Berry with THE FAMILY TREE TOOLKIT  (author appearance)
Kenyatta D. Berry | 07/25/2019, 05:00 pm | Square Books | Oxford, MS

Valerie Nieman presents To the Bones, in conversation with Jessica Cory  (author appearance)
Valerie Nieman | 07/25/2019, 06:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe | Asheville, NC

Author event with Courtney Maum author of Costalegre  (author appearance)
Courtney Maum | 07/25/2019, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Learn About The Journey to Reparations in Virginia With Author Ken Woodley   (author appearance)
Ken Woodley | 07/25/2019, 06:30 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

An Evening with Colson Whitehead  (author appearance)
Colson Whitehead | 07/26/2019, 08:00 pm | Books & Books, Inc. | Coral Gables, FL

Mystery Author Linda Castillo  (author appearance)
Linda Castillo | 07/26/2019, 05:00 pm | Bookstore 1 Sarasota | Sarasota, FL

Leila Meacham Author of Dragonfly  (author appearance)
Leila Meacham | 07/26/2019, 11:00 am | Litchfield Books | Pawleys Island, SC

Authors Round the South |
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