view in your browser | subscribe | unsubscribe
Week of July 25, 2019
The Commonplace Book | Read This! | Okra Picks | Southern Indie Bestsellers | Events
{What to read on an airplane}
In which a bookseller explains the secret to success, a group of musicians and writers make a record to save a mountain, and her ladyship, the editor, takes a vacation and packs more books than clothes.

2019 Conroy Legacy Award 

Dearest Readers

"It is not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are" -- Wendell Berry

Her ladyship, the editor, is taking a vacation to visit her folks in New York (the state, not the city). As per usual for her on trip, she spends most of her packing effort deciding which books to bring, while the clothes are chosen according to whatever happens to be residing in the clean laundry basket at the moment. She invariably finds herself on trips with plenty to read, but not quite enough pairs of blue jeans.

This list, which includes representatives from both the "books I must read" and "books I've been meaning to read" stacks, plus a few under the "books I finally have time to read" label, nearly put her suitcase over the weight limit for checked baggage at the airport. Her ladyship wonders whether Mr. Colson Whitehead would be interested to know that his book was deemed more important than an extra pair of shoes:

Late MigrationsThe Yellow HouseThe Nickel BoysMigrant BrothersGrand Union

Her ladyship was also gratified to find, as she crammed herself into a succession of tiny airplane seats, that her fellow passengers were also of the type who travelers with books in hand and bag. In her immediate vicinity she counted two iPads and five books, which, being one of those nosy people who has to see what other people are reading, she took due note of:

David and GoliathThe Marriage of OppositesCemetery RoadThe Other Woman5 Love Languages

Special marks to the determined person who lugged the 600-page hardcover of Cemetery Road onto the plane!

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.

The Nickel BoysElwood received the best gift of his life on Christmas Day 1962, even if the ideas it put in his head were his undoing. Martin Luther King at Zion Hill was the only album he owned and it never left the turntable. His grandmother Harriet had a few gospel records, which she only played when the world discovered a new mean way to work on her, and Elwood wasn't allowed to listen to the Motown groups or popular songs like that on account of their licentious nature. The rest of his presents that year were clothes--a new red sweater, socks--and he certainly wore those out, but nothing endured such good and constant use as the record. Every scratch and pop it gathered over the months was a mark of his enlightenment, tracking each time he entered into a new understanding of the reverend's words. The crackle of truth.


--Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys (Doubleday, 2019)


Meet the author:

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

top | share this   fb   tw

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

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal
I was so nervous about a sophomore slump, but hooray! — there was nothing to be worried about. The Lager Queen of Minnesota is as delightful and well-written as Stradal's debut, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, and I'm consistently impressed with his ability to make you deeply care about a place and its people. I’m a teetotaler from the South, and now I want to move to Minnesota and drink beer, so... I think it’s safe to say I loved this book. (No previous knowledge or appreciation of lager required.)

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal ($26.00*, Pamela Dorman Books), recommended by The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA.



The Marriage Clock by Zara Raheem

What a charming and utterly lovable book! I kept finding myself grinning and laughing out-loud (when I wasn't cringing at the content that was WAY too relatable). I recommend this for anyone looking for a fun romp through dating in your mid-twenties and anyone interested in learning a new perspective on Indian culture.

Under mounting pressure to get married and "start" her life, twenty-six year old English teacher Leila makes a deal with her parents -- if she can't find her own husband in three months, her parents can arrange a marriage for her. Thus we tumble with Leila through awkward first dates, ambush dates, speed dating, online dating and more as she attempts to find her Bollywood romance before her parents can set her up with a boring (or worse! OLD!) mate. Along the way, Leila learns more about herself, her culture, and her family.


The Marriage Clock by Zara Raheem ($15.99*, William Morrow Paperbacks), recommended by Story on the Square, McDonough, GA.

More bookseller recommendations


top | share this   fb   tw




News of a literary nature

American Pop". It started out with a hypothetical question: What would a novel about the Kennedys be like if they made their fortune by inventing Coca-Cola? "

keep reading: A Meridian author comes home


Best New Poets 2019"“So the book is dealing a lot with American history, race in America…” Priest said. “What it means to be black, to live with white parents, to grow up in a working class white area.”"

keep reading: Joy Priest wins Donald Hall Prize for Poetry


" I think we kept very close to our core values, which were really to serve our community. I'm not saying the other stores didn't, but it's just something we kept doing over and over again, because that's what we wanted."

keep reading: Mitchell Kaplan, on the key to bookselling success


The Pine Mountain Sessions


"There are giant chunks of land on that mountain that have never been destroyed by humans. The old trees are still there. Those ancient ecosystems are intact. In this point in human history, in the history of the earth, that’s an extraordinary thing, it’s very unusual ,"

keep reading: The Pine Mountain Sessions


top | share this   fb   tw
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.


" Stayed up way too late last night finishing this beautiful and heartbreaking new novel from the incredible Colson Whitehead. The story, like UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, is familiar yet wholly original. Whitehead is an expert craftsman who always makes me empathize so deeply with his characters that I mourn their loss after closing the cover. I can't believe he could top U.R., but he does in this powerful novel. " —Jamie Southern, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

The Nickel Boys by Coldon WhiteheadIn this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times-bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.

As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men."

In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble.

The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy.

Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.

Doubleday | 9780385537070 | 7/16/2019


top | share this   fb   tw
Southern Indie Bestsellers

For the week ending July 21. 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. The Nickel Boys
Colson Whitehead, Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385537070
3. The New Girl
Daniel Silva, Harper, $28.99, 9780062834836
4. City of Girls
Elizabeth Gilbert, Riverhead Books, $28, 9781594634734
5. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
Ocean Vuong, Penguin Press, $26, 9780525562023

1. Educated
Tara Westover, Random House, $28, 9780399590504
2. The Pioneers
David McCullough, S&S, $30, 9781501168680
3. Three Women
Lisa Taddeo, Avid Reader Press/S&S, $27, 9781451642292
4. Becoming
Michelle Obama, Crown, $32.50, 9781524763138
5. The Second Mountain
David Brooks, Random House, $28, 9780812993264
Special to the Southern List

Sunset Beach Mary Kay Andrews, St. Martin's, $28.99,Whisper Network Chandler Baker, Flatiron Books, $26.99,Cemetery Road Greg Iles, Morrow, $28.99,The Substitution Order Martin Clark, Knopf, $27.95,The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood, Anchor, $15.95,An American Marriage Tayari Jones, Algonquin Books, $16.95,The Outsider Stephen King, Gallery Books, $18.99,The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek Kim Michele Richardson, Sourcebooks Landmark, $15.99,

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.

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

Dr. Donald J. Salls, Jr. - Live & Love to be 100  (author appearance)
Donald J. | 07/27/2019, 03:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Daniel Silva in conversation with Jamie Gangel  (author appearance)
Daniel Silva | 07/27/2019, 07:30 pm | Books & Books, Inc. | Coral Gables, FL

Janet Ferguson signs The Art of Rivers Southern Sun Press   (author appearance)
Janet W. Ferguson | 07/27/2019, 02:00 pm | Lemuria Books | Jackson, MS

The NCLR Celebration Featuring Amber Flora Thomas  (author appearance)
Amber Flora | 07/27/2019, 03:00 pm | City Lights Bookstore | Sylva, NC

Reading, Recycling, and Radicalism! A Kids Summer Series  (author appearance)
07/27/2019, 10:30 am | Firestorm Books & Coffee | Asheville, NC

Meet the Author: Robin Reams  (author appearance)
Robin Reams | 07/27/2019, 10:00 am | Page After Page Bookstore | Elizabeth City, NC

Ruta Sepetys at North Chesterfield Library   (author appearance)
Ruta Sepetys | 07/27/2019, 07:00 pm | Fountain Bookstore | Richmond, VA

Alex Flinn  (author appearance)
Alex Flinn | 07/28/2019, 07:00 pm | Books & Books, Inc. | Coral Gables, FL

YA Author Panel featuring multiple authors  (author appearance)
Jodie Lynn Zdrok | 07/28/2019, 02:00 pm | Park Road Books | Charlotte, NC

Ray Lambert & Jim DeFelice - Every Man A Hero  (author appearance)
Ray Lambert | 07/28/2019, 02:00 pm | The Country Bookshop | Southern Pines, NC

Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: An evening with Ilise Cohen  (author appearance)
Contributor: Ilise | 07/29/2019, 07:30 pm | Charis Books and More | Decatur, GA

Haider Warraich - State of the Heart: Exploring the History, Science, and Future of Cardiac Disease  (author appearance)
Haider Warraich | 07/29/2019, 07:00 pm | Quail Ridge Books | Raleigh, NC

Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe-Paperback Launch   (author appearance)
Jo Hackl | 07/29/2019, 12:00 pm | M. Judson Booksellers | Greenville, SC

Lunch & Lit with Megan Miranda   (author appearance)
Megan Miranda | 07/29/2019, 12:00 pm | M. Judson Booksellers | Greenville, SC

Andrew Lawler - The Secret Token  (author appearance)
Andrew Lawler | 07/30/2019, 06:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Christie Smith  (author appearance)
Christie Smith | 07/30/2019, 12:00 pm | Tall Tales Atlanta | Atlanta, GA

Middle Grade Authors Melissa Thomson and Malayna Evans  (author appearance)
Melissa Thomson | 07/30/2019, 06:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe | Asheville, NC

Jennifer Dasal - The #MeToo Movement in 17th Century Art  (author appearance)
Jennifer Dasal | 07/30/2019, 07:00 pm | Quail Ridge Books | Raleigh, NC

Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb  (author appearance)
Hazel Gaynor | 07/30/2019, 05:30 pm | Buxton Books | Charleston, SC

Megan Miranda Author of The Last House Guest  (author appearance)
Megan Miranda | 07/30/2019, 11:00 am | Litchfield Books | Pawleys Island, SC

Author event with Oyinkan Braithwaite author of My Sister The Serial Killer  (author appearance)
Oyinkan Braithwaite | 07/30/2019, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

Joshua A. Douglas  (author appearance)
Joshua A. Douglas | 07/31/2019, 06:30 pm | Books & Books, Inc. | Coral Gables, FL

Andrew Lawler - THE SECRET TOKEN  (author appearance)
Andrew Lawler | 07/31/2019, 06:00 pm | Octavia Books | New Orleans, LA

Andy Parker - For Alison: The Murder of a Young Journalist and a Father's Fight for Gun Safety  (author appearance)
Andy Parker | 07/31/2019, 07:00 pm | Quail Ridge Books | Raleigh, NC

STUART EIZENSTAT  (author appearance)
Stuart Eizenstat | 08/01/2019, 06:30 pm | Oxford Exchange | Tampa, FL

Lisa Sandlin - THE BIRD BOYS  (author appearance)
Lisa Sandlin | 08/01/2019, 06:00 pm | Octavia Books | New Orleans, LA

Emily Guendelsberger discusses her book On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane  (author appearance)
Emily Guendelsberger | 08/01/2019, 07:00 pm | Flyleaf Books | Chapel Hill, NC

Fred Chappell presents As If It Were: Poems with Susan Chappell  (author appearance)
Fred Chappell | 08/01/2019, 06:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe | Asheville, NC

Margerita Jurkovic / First Friday Author  (author appearance)
Margerita Jurkovic | 08/02/2019, 06:00 pm | Page & Palette | Fairhope, AL

Alyssa Maxwell presents Murder At Crossways  (author appearance)
Alyssa Maxwell | 08/02/2019, 05:00 pm | Vero Beach Book Center | Vero Beach, FL

Lauren McDuffie - Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest  (author appearance)
Lauren McDuffie | 08/02/2019, 06:30 pm | A Cappella Books | Atlanta, GA

The Love Prison Made and Unmade--Ebony Roberts  (author appearance)
Ebony Roberts | 08/02/2019, 07:30 pm | Charis Books and More | Decatur, GA

Miriam McNamara presents An Impossible Distance to Fall  (author appearance)
Miriam McNamara | 08/02/2019, 06:00 pm | Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe | Asheville, NC

Author Event: Chicken Haiku  (author appearance)
Karin Wiberg | 08/02/2019, 06:00 pm | Page 158 Books | Wake Forest, NC

Meet the Author: Charles Alexander  (author appearance)
Charles Alexander | 08/02/2019, 05:00 pm | Page After Page Bookstore | Elizabeth City, NC

Fiona Davis Author of The Chelsea Girls  (author appearance)
Fiona Davis | 08/02/2019, 11:00 am | Litchfield Books | Pawleys Island, SC

Author event with Jim Noles author of Undefeated  (author appearance)
Jim Noles | 08/02/2019, 06:30 pm | Parnassus Books | Nashville, TN

4 on 4th with Local Authors  (author appearance)
7/28/2019, 7:00 PM | Bookmarks | Winston-Salem, NC

Joshilyn Jackson - Never Have I Ever  (author appearance)
Joshilyn Jackson | 7/30/2019, 5:00 PM | Alabama Booksmith | Homewood, AL

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@@