Lady Banks Bookshelf

Lady Banks Pick of the Week

"Passages from books are part of my passages across ocean and land, moving me, tying me into a culture and place, into friendships distant and close." -- Karen Elizabeth Gordon, The Ravenous Muse

Like many avid readers, her ladyship, the editor has a particular attraction to books about books. Indeed, there is an entire section in her library that might be labeled "bibliophilia" -- books about other books, about book people, about the worlds-within-worlds of the book-mad.

And, like many of those book-mad people, her ladyship's own book obsession is not limited to accounts of other people's book-hoarding. Like them, she also finds it impossible to resist stories about books, real or imagined. They don't exist on the bibliophilia shelf, but nevertheless, her ladyship can, at any given moment, put her hands on at least a dozen novels wherein the theme is most definitely books. The Shadow of the Wind, The Name of the Rose, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, The 351 Books of Irma Acuri, The Bookman's Promise, The Eyre Affair, Fahrenheit 451, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, The Thirteenth Tale, Alif the Unseen...the list goes on.

And on, and on. Here are some bookish stories for summer:

The Book Woman of Troublesome CreekThe Book Woman of Troublesome Creek (May, 2019)

"This novel combines history and fabulous storytelling to convey the history of the Kentucky Pack Horse Librarians and the blue people of the same state. Cussy and her family have skin that is tainted blue. They sharply feel the prejudice of the people in their community of Troublesome Creek. Cussy's job is taking books on loan to the people in the isolated mountains. Through reading, these people start to find purpose to their lives, and Cussy starts to learn that even she can be loved." -- Linda Hodges, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

"I loved this wonderful story about Cussy Mary, a pack horse librarian in eastern Kentucky in the 1930's and one of the last of the blue-skinned people of that area. As Cussy faces pressure to marry and difficulties maintaining her arduous book route through the twisty and dangerous mountain passes, she earns the respect of the mountain people she serves to faithfully. Beautifully written and heartbreaking at times, this is a story I will never forget." --Mary Patterson, The Little Bookshop, Midlothian, VA

The Bookish Life of Nina HillThe Bookish Life of Nina Hill (July, 2019)

"A sweet and lovely story about books, love, and family. The perfect summer read!" -- Faith Park-Dodge, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC

"Nina Hill is an all-too-organized, overscheduled bookseller who loves routines and doesn't accept change with the greatest of ease. She loves her friends, her job, her planner, and her trivia team, but when she inherits an unknown family at the same time a romantic interest appears in her life (a trivia competitor nonetheless!), life becomes frazzled and messy for Nina. The end result is a super fun read about adapting to change, accepting people for who they are, and learning to love yourself. I want Nina Hill to be my new friend!" -- Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

The Book CharmerThe Book Charmer (July, 2019)

"If an inanimate object has to talk, books are a great choice. The story takes place in Dove Pond and centers around Grace, a woman who has to leave a well-paying job in Charlotte to become the caregiver for both her thirteen-year-old niece and her foster mother, Mama G who is suffering from Dementia. Grace brings her small family to Dove Pond because the little town is where Mama G grew up. The story is also about Sarah Dove who is the town librarian and is also the person books talk to. This is a charming & whimsical story and is a great read if you are looking for something on the light side." --Pam Craw, Bookmiser, Rosewell, GA

"I adored this book. It is so charming and the characters are people you wish you met. From the magical Dove family to still recovering foster children the aspects of the story are so vivid you feel you are watching events unfold. Sarah Dove is trying to save her town, she believes that is her destiny. So what if she is a little quirky, who is not? Grace has more sudden responsibility than a driven and controlling loner could imagine. Only adding to the challenge is that the responsibility is for a parentless eight-year-old and her aging foster Mother who has Alzheimer's. How can they possibly unite for the greater good? Read this book, enjoy every minute and hope for a sequel." -- Jackie Willey, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC