Lady Banks' Commonplace Book is a newsletter for people interested in Southern literature, sponsored by booksellers who are members of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) and featuring an overview of the literary news and events found on Authors 'Round the South.


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{On grace, and grit, and heirloom tomatoes.}

In which Mrs. Lilly Ledbetter demonstrates both grace and grit, Mr. Mark Smirnoff did not notice an abundance of silver spoons in the South in which he grew up, Mr. Pat Conroy is ruined by success, and Mr. Harry Crews gets off the train.

March 25, 2012

In This Issue

Special to the Southern List

(Books that appear on the Southern list, but not the national list)  Click on a book to purchase from a great indie bookstore!
Chasing Midnight

Rules of Civility

The Healing

Kill Shot



Force of Nature

In the Garden of Beasts

Jesus Calling

That Woman

Killing Lincoln

Some Assembly Required

The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Catherine the Great

Sarah's Key

The Great Gatsby

The Things They Carried

The Lost Wife

The Illumination

Extremely Loud and Incredible Close

What to Expect When You're Expecting

Duke Sucks


The Devil in the White City

Steal Like an Artist


In the Sanctuary of Outcasts

The Sixth Man

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

Tickle Time

One Cool Friend

A Nest for Celeste

The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math

Author Readings

Peter Golden, author of Comeback Love at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (April 4 2012)

Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain at Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA  (April 4 2012)

Cheryl & Griffith Day, author of Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook at Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham, AL  (04/05/2012)

Ann B. Ross, author of Miss Julia to the Rescue at Literary BookPost in Salisbury, NC  (April 5 2012)

Brad Crowther, author of "The Ninth Man" at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (04/06/2012)

Okra Pick!STARSRose Senehi, author of Render Unto the Valley at Literary BookPost in Salisbury, NC  (April 7 2012)

Ron Rash, author of The Cove at Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham, AL  (04/10/2012)

Winston Groom, author of Shiloh, 1862 at A Cappella Books in Atlanta, GA  (April 11 2012)

Paul & Angela Knipple, author of The World in a Skillet at Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham, AL  (04/12/2012)

Robert A. Pastor, author of The North American Idea: A Vision of a Continental at A Cappella Books in Atlanta, GA  (April 12 2012)

Ann B. Ross, author of Miss Julia to the Rescue at That Bookstore in Blytheville in Blytheville, AR  (April 13 2012)

Charles Martin, author of Thunder and Rain at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (April 13 2012)

Philip Gerard, author of The Patron Saint of Dreams at Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, SC  (April 13 2012)

Mark K. Updegrove, author of Indomitable Will at A Cappella Books in Atlanta, GA  (April 17 2012)

Wendy Reed, author of Circling Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality at Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham, AL  (04/18/2012)

Taylor M. Polites, author of The Rebel Wife at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (April 20 2012)

James Higdon, author of The Cornbread Mafia at Lincolns Loft Bookstore in Hodgenville, KY  (04/20/2012)

Homer Hickam, author of Crater (Helium - 3) Novel at Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham, AL  (04/20/2012)

Wiley Cash, author of A Land More Kind than Home at Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham, AL  (04/27/2012)

Tennant McWilliams, author of Chaplain's Conflict: Good and Evil in a War Hospit at Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham, AL  (04/27/2012)

Jo Humphries, author of Palmetto Portrait Project at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (April 27 2012)

Imran Ahmad, author of The Perfect Gentleman at A Cappella Books in Atlanta, GA  (May 2 2012)

Jim Harrison, author of The Palmetto and Its South Carolina Home at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (May 4 2012)

Biran Latell, author of Castro's Secrets: The CIA and Cuba's Intelligence at Books & Books Inc in Coral Gables, FL  (May 4 2012)

Ron Rash, author of The Cove at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (05/11/2012)

STARSMary Alice Monroe, author of Beach House Memories at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (05/14/2012)

Oneal Smalls, author of Blessed Be the Ties that Bind at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (05/18/2012)

Wiley Cash, author of A Land More Kind Than Home at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (05/25/2012)

Okra Pick!Michel Stone, author of The Iguana Tree at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (06/01/2012)

Jeff Shaara, author of A Blaze of Glory at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (06/08/2012)

Dorothea Benton Frank, author of Porch Lights at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (06/12/2012)

STARSMary Ann McFadden, author of The Book Lover at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (06/15/2012)

Mary Kay Andrews, author of Spring Fever at Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham, AL  (06/19/2012)

STARSKaren White, author of Sea Change at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (06/22/2012)

Angie LeClercq, author of A Grand Tour of Gardens at Litchfield Books in Pawleys Island, SC  (06/29/2012)

Authors Round the South

Dearest readers,

In celebration of National Poetry Month her ladyship would like to remind her readers of the current poetry books nominated for the 2012 SIBA Book Award. There are sixteen books on the list, some by very familiar names (Ron Rash, Robert Morgan), others by poets who ought to be much, much more familiar. In honor of the month, why not commit to reading one of the books by an author you don't know?



Happy reading! 

her ladyship, the editor

Southern Indie Bestsellers

For the week ending March 25, 2012

Columbia, SC -April 4, 2012 - The Southern Indie Bestseller List, as brought to you by and SIBA, for the week ended Sunday, March 25, 2012. Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and

STARS - A STARS Author | Okra Pick! - A SIBA Okra Pick 
Titles in red are SIBA Book Award winners and finalists!
Printable versions: Hardcover | Paperback | Children.

Hardcover Fiction

1. Stay Close
Harlan Coben, Dutton, $27.95, 9780525952275
2. The Paris Wife
Paula McLain, Ballantine, $25, 9780345521309
3. Chasing Midnight
Randy Wayne White, Putnam, $25.95, 9780399158315
4. Death Comes to Pemberley
P.D. James, Knopf, $25.95, 9780307959850
5. Rules of Civility
Amor Towles, Viking, $26.95, 9780670022694
okra6. The Healing
Jonathan Odell, Nan A. Talese, $26, 9780385534673

7. Kill Shot
Vince Flynn, Atria, $27.99, 9781416595205
8. Lone Wolf
Jodi Picoult, Atria, $28, 9781439102749
9. Arcadia
Lauren Groff, Voice, $25.99, 9781401340872
10. The Litigators
John Grisham, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385535137
11. The Expats
Chris Pavone, Crown, $26, 9780307956354
12. The Marriage Plot
Jeffrey Eugenides, FSG, $28, 9780374203054
13. Force of Nature
C.J. Box, Putnam, $25.95, 9780399158261
14. The Sense of an Ending
Julian Barnes, Knopf, $23.95, 9780307957122
15. The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385534635

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. In the Garden of Beasts
Erik Larson, Crown, $26, 9780307408846
2. Imagine
Jonah Lehrer, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780547386072
3. Unbroken
Laura Hillenbrand, Random House, $27, 9781400064168
4. The Blood Sugar Solution
Mark Hyman, Little Brown, $27.99, 9780316127370
5. The Power of Habit
Charles Duhigg, Random House, $28, 9781400069286
6. Jesus Calling
Sarah Young, Integrity, $15.99, 9781591451884
7. That Woman
Anne Sebba, St. Martin's, $27.99, 9781250002969
8. American Sniper
Chris Kyle, et al., Morrow, $26.99, 9780062082350
9. Killing Lincoln
Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard, Holt, $28, 9780805093070
10. Revelations
Elaine Pagels, Viking, $27.95, 9780670023349
11. Steve Jobs
Walter Isaacson, S&S, $35, 9781451648539
12. Some Assembly Required
Anne Lamott, Riverhead, $26.95, 9781594488412
13. Quiet
Susan Cain, Crown, $26, 9780307352149
14. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier
Ree Drummond, Morrow, $29.99, 9780061997181
15. Catherine the Great
Robert K. Massie, Random House, $35, 9780679456728

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. The Tiger's Wife
Téa Obreht, Random House, $15, 9780385343848
2. The House at Tyneford
Natasha Solomons, Plume, $15, 9780452297647
3. The Weird Sisters
Eleanor Brown, Berkley, $15, 9780425244142
4. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Stieg Larsson, Vintage, $15.95, 9780307454560
5. The Buddha in the Attic
Julie Otsuka, Anchor, $13.95, 9780307744425
6. Swamplandia!
Karen Russell, Vintage, $14.95, 9780307276681
7. A Discovery of Witches
Deborah Harkness, Penguin, $16, 9780143119685
8. Sarah's Key
Tatiana De Rosnay, St. Martin's, $13.99, 9781250004345
9. The Great Gatsby
F.Scott Fitzgerald, Scribner, $15, 9780743273565
10. Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese, Vintage, $15.95, 9780375714368
11. The Things They Carried
Tim O'Brien, Mariner, $14.95, 9780618706419
12. The Help
Kathryn Stockett, Berkley, $16, 9780425245132
13. The Lost Wife
Alyson Richman, Berkley Publishing Group, $15, 9780425244135
14. The Illumination
Kevin Brockmeier, Vintage, $15, 9780307387776
15. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Jonathan Safran Foer, Mariner, $14.95, 9780547735023

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. Moonwalking With Einstein
Joshua Foer, Penguin, $16, 9780143120537
2. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey
The Countess of Carnarvon, Broadway, $15.99, 9780770435622
3. Unlikely Friendships
Jennifer S. Holland, Workman, $13.95, 9780761159131
4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot, Broadway, $16, 9781400052189
5. Bossypants
Tina Fey, Reagan Arthur Books, $15.99, 9780316056878
6. Heaven Is for Real
Todd Burpo, Thomas Nelson, $16.99, 9780849946158
7. What to Expect When You're Expecting
Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel, Workman, $14.95, 9780761148579
8. The Social Animal
David Brooks, Random House, $16, 9780812979374
9. Duke Sucks
Reed Tucker, Andy Bagwell, St. Martin's Griffin, $12.99, 9781250004635
10. Cleopatra
Stacy Schiff, Back Bay, $16.99, 9780316001946
11. The Devil in the White City
Erik Larson, Vintage, $15.95, 9780375725609
12. Steal Like an Artist
Austin Kleon, Workman, $10.95, 9780761169253
13. Pulphead
John Jeremiah Sullivan, FSG, $16, 9780374532901
14. Empire of the Summer Moon
S.C. Gwynne, Scribner, $16, 9781416591061
15. In the Sanctuary of Outcasts
Neil White, Harper Perennial, $14.99, 9780061351631

Mass Market

1. A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553593716
2. A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780345535429
3. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Stieg Larsson, Vintage, $9.99, 9780307742537
4. The Girl Who Played With Fire
Stieg Larsson, Vintage, $9.99, 9780307949509
5. A Feast for Crows
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553582024
6. A Storm of Swords
George R.R. Martin, Bantam, $8.99, 9780553573428
7. Ender's Game
Orson Scott Card, Tor, $6.99, 9780812550702
8. To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee, Warner, $7.99, 9780446310789
9. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson, Vintage, $9.99, 9780307949486
10. The Sixth Man
David Baldacci, Vision, $9.99, 9780446573092

Children's Illustrated

1. The Lorax
Dr. Seuss, Random House, $14.95, 9780394823379
2. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
Eric Litwin, James Dean (Illus.), Harper, $16.99, 9780061906220
3. Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617
4. Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet
Jane O'Connor, Robin Preiss Glasser (Illus.), Harper, $17.99, 9780061703812
5. The Easter Egg
Jan Brett, Putnam, $17.99, 9780399252389
6. I Am a Bunny
Ole Risom, Richard Scarry (Illus.), Golden, $5.99, 9780375827785
7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle, Putnam, $10.99, 9780399226908
8. Pat the Bunny
Dorothy Kunhardt, Golden, $9.99, 9780307120007
9. Tickle Time!
Sandra Boynton, Workman, $6.95, 9780761168836
10. Green Eggs and Ham
Dr. Seuss, Random House, $8.99, 9780394800165

Children's Interest

1. The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Brian Selznick, Scholastic, $24.99, 9780439813785
2. The Fault in Our Stars
John Green, Dutton, $17.99, 9780525478812
3. War Horse
Michael Morpurgo, Scholastic, $8.99, 9780545403351
4. Divergent
Veronica Roth, Katherine Tegen Books, $9.99, 9780062024039
5. The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $12.95, 9780810989955
6. Wonder
R.J. Palacio, Knopf, $15.99, 9780375869020
7. Wonderstruck
Brian Selznick, Scholastic, $29.99, 9780545027892
8. The Hunger Games Tribute Guide
Emily Seife, Scholastic, $7.99, 9780545457828
9. A Nest for Celeste
Henry Cole, Katherine Tegen Books, $6.99, 9780061704123
10. The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math
Sean Connolly, Workman, $12.95, 9780761163749

Children's Fiction Series Titles

1. The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $12.99, 9780545425117
2. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $17.99, 9780439023498
3. Mockingjay (The Final Book of the Hunger Games)
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, $17.99, 9780439023511
4. Big Nate Goes for Broke
Lincoln Peirce, Harper, $12.99, 9780061996610
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $13.95, 9781419702235
6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Jeff Kinney, Amulet, $13.95, 9780810983915
7. Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House #1)
Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca (Illus.), Random House, $4.99, 9780679824114
8. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)
Rick Riordan, Hyperion, $7.99, 9781423134947
9. Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)
Ally Carter, Hyperion, $16.99, 9781423147947
10. Abe Lincoln at Last! (Magic Tree House #47)
Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca (Illus.), Random House, $12.99, 9780375868252


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Good Gossip

Literary News & Gossip passed along from the readers, the writers, the reviewers, the resellers, the riff raff, and dutifully repeated here by her ladyship (who falls into the last category).

My Reading Life" Does success change everything? Yes, it does. It ruins everything. I got to know this too late, but it has damaged me, my brothers and sisters, my children. My oldest daughter, Jessica, was in third grade, when she introduced me to a friend, Suzy. "I’d like to introduce you to Pat Conroy," she said. And I had to tell her, "Daddy. You’re introducing daddy." Has success ruined Pat Conroy?

"It's not easy for a commercial airline pilot to bounce back from two hijackings and still play a great game of poker" Former White House press corps pilot writes first novel

“He told me ‘I want to get off this train,' ” Sally said. “He said he wanted to die at home.” Harry Crews dead at 76

A Feast of Snakes" Crews made Hemingway look like a weenie." Harry Crews, RIP

We don’t really talk about “Midwestern literature” post-Sherwood Anderson (or maybe Saul Bellow). “New England literature” sends us all the way back to Emerson and Thoreau. Yet you still hear “Southern Literature” all the time. It resounds like the drone-string of a banjo every time one of these old white rebel novelists dies. Harry Crews and the Death of Southern Literature

“There was really a feeling of excitement that I’d love to put into a bottle and save for next year” VA Festival of the Book Sees another strong year

" Literature doesn't just make us smarter, however; it makes us us, shaping our consciences and our identities." A Slow-Books Manifesto

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, the only Southern magazines I recall seeing in Oxford, Miss., were Southern Living and Mississippi. Both magazines flaunted a South that seemed cordoned off for the private use and pleasure of wealthy white people. In those pages, I did not see the poorer, grittier, younger, and slightly more integrated South that I was coming to know. Nor did I encounter good writing. G&G Me With a Buccellati Silver Spoon!

Literary novelist Ann Patchett's fight to save independent bookshops, which has seen her open her own shop in Tennessee and champion the importance of bookselling on American television, has led to her nomination as one of Time magazine's most influential people in the world. Ann Patchett named as one of Time's most influential people

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Lady Banks' {Book} Trailer Park

Thirty Days of Poetry from Bound to be Read Books
April is National Poetry Month.  To celebrate, we've asked poets, authors, and customers to read an original poem or a favorite by another poet on video, so we can share a new poem for every day of April.  If you're interested in reading a poem for our Thirty Days of Poetry for National Poetry Month, please contact Jef Blocker, our Store Manager, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thirty Days of Poetry

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Lady Banks' Commonplace Book

Noteworthy poetry and prose from her ladyship's bedside reading stack.

Head Off & Split: PoemsHeirloom

Sundown, the day nearly eaten away,

the Boxcar Willies peep. Their
inside-eyes push black and plump

against walls of pumpkin skin. I step
into dying backyard light. Both hands

steal into the swollen summer air,
a blind reach into a blaze of acid,

ghost bloom of nacre & breast.
One Atlantan Cherokee Purple,

two piddling Radiator Charlies
are Lena-Horne lured into the fingers

of my right hand. But I really do love you,
enters my ear like a nest of yellow jackets,

well wedged beneath a two-by-four.

But l really didn't think I would (ever leave),
stings before the ladder hits the ground.

I swat the familiar buzz away.
My good arm arcs and aims.

My elbow cranks a high, hard cradle
and draws a fire. The end of the day's

sweaty air stirs fast in a bowl, the coming
shadows, the very diamond match I need.

One by one, each Blind Willie
takes his turn Pollocking the back

fence, heart pine explodes gold-leafed in
red and brown-eyed ochre. There is practice

for everything in this life. This is how
you throw something perfectly good away.

--Nikky Finney, Head Off & Split: Poems (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2011)

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Author 2 Author: Lanier Scott Isom

For her debut book, Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond, Birmingham writer Lanier Scott Isom tackled one of the hardest tasks known to writers – penning someone else’s memoir. If that wasn’t a daunting enough task, consider writing the memoir of a historical figure still living – Lilly Ledbetter, the fireball behind the Fair Pay Act of 2009. Ledbetter sued Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. for discrimination.

Lilly Ledbetter & Lanier Scott Isom

Here’s what United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said about Lilly’s case: “Lilly Ledbetter was a supervisor at Goodyear Tire and Rubber’s plant in Gadsden, Alabama, from 1979 until her retirement in 1998. For most of those years, she worked as an area manager, a position largely occupied by men. Initially, Ledbetter’s salary was in line with the salaries of men performing substantially similar work. Over time, however, her pay slipped in comparison to the pay of male area managers with equal or less seniority. By the end of 1997, Ledbetter was the only woman working as an area manager and the pay discrepancy between Ledbetter and her 15 male counterparts was stark: Ledbetter was paid $3,727 per month; the lowest paid male area manager received $4,286 per month, the highest paid, $5,236.[4] This pay disparity led to further inequity in her "overtime pay, contributory retirement, 401(k), and social security.”

Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and BeyondJoin in as author Karen Spears Zacharias interviews Lanier Scott Isom, the author of Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond.

KAREN: How did you meet Lilly Ledbetter?

LANIER: I first met Lilly when I wrote a magazine profile on her in 2009, soon after President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act.  The day I interviewed Jon Goldfarb, her attorney, he mentioned that a literary agent had been calling him trying to contact Lilly about her life story. I asked if they’d chosen a writer yet. He said he and Lilly had a few local writers in mind because they wanted an Alabama author to write the book. I told him before they made a final decision to throw my hat in the ring.

Turns out Lilly and I had a good rapport, she loved the article about her, and the next thing I knew, she asked me to write her story. Writing the memoir of an Alabama woman seeking social justice was a dream project for me to say the least.

KAREN: What did you know about Lilly Ledbetter's story before you met her?

LANIER: Only that President Obama’s first piece of legislation was named after her.

KAREN: What did you fear most about writing her story?

LANIER: My greatest fear was not being able to capture Lilly’s voice. Part of the process of finding her voice included telling her story of being harassed without making Lilly sound like she was always the victim, always whining. I knew if I didn’t find Lilly’s voice the project would not succeed. It’s a scary proposition to invest years of your life in a work to have it fail. Especially, since I would be failing not only myself but also Lilly and her dream.

KAREN: What elements are critical for the author when writing someone else's story in first-person?

LANIER: Creative nonfiction requires as Anna Quindlen says, using “the eye of a reporter and the heart of a novelist.” In other words, to weave a compelling narrative requires the journalistic skills of a reporter and the craft of a novelist.  Once you have researched, interviewed, and fact checked, you have to wear your storytelling hat. It’s time then to take the material you’ve gathered and give the story heart. But I struggled to get much emotion from Lilly. She, like many southern women, is not one to reveal her innermost thoughts very easily.  As one of the “Greatest Generation” she also isn’t one to complain; she just endures, and then, she acts. Over two years together, we spent countless hours talking, but one moment stands out in my mind: the moment when Lilly finally decided to open up and trust me, to show me a sense of vulnerability.

It was one winter afternoon when we’d been driving around Possum Trot, looking at her childhood home and her grandfather’s farm. We’d stopped at the small family cemetery. Standing in the cold on her grandfather’s grave, squinting her eyes as she looked across the cemetery to the bare trees scattered on the ridge, she mentioned as casually as if she were commenting on the chilly weather, “You know, Tot tried to kill my dog once, but Mama backed him down with a butcher knife.” That’s all she said. I didn’t press. After that moment in the cemetery, I knew she felt comfortable talking honestly about the harsh challenges she endured throughout most of her life. That’s how we worked from then on. She gave me a glimpse, a tiny glimmer, the actual facts of the matter as we continued our conversations over days and weeks and months. I then dug deep within myself to express her feeling about these experiences.

KAREN: You have done an overwhelming amount of research. What surprises did you come across in your research?

LANIER: How many legal documents a lawsuit generates. By the time Lilly went to court, the number of documents generated stacked as high as a three story building.

KAREN: Was it hard for you to imagine the dismissive ways in which Lilly was treated by Goodyear given that you are much younger and have grown up in a generation where women CEOs are commonplace?

LANIER: I have to say I’ve experienced and seen enough discrimination myself not to be the least bit surprised by how Lilly was treated, so I wasn’t shocked by the fact the harassment existed. What was shocking and almost unbelievable was the extent of the harassment Lilly endured, how long she endured it, and the fact the sexism was so deeply entrenched in the work culture during the two decades she worked at Goodyear. I also have to say that women CEOs aren’t commonplace enough. Huge gains have been made for women, but we can’t take the rights we’ve won for granted, and more work has to be done. Specifically, in reference to Lilly’s story, the passage of the Fair Pay Act

KAREN: What do you admire most about Lilly?

LANIER: Her determination and unwavering belief in standing up for what is right.

KAREN: What stories did she tell you that ended up on the cutting room floor that you wish were in the book?

LANIER: I wish I could have included more about her relationship with her children and grandchildren. Those stories show a more well-rounded version of her life experiences.

KAREN: Southern women in particular seem to possess a certain mule-headedness. Why do you think that is?

LANIER: Because they’ve had to live with southern men. Dealing with the heat and humidity? No, really, because after the Civil War they had no choice but to rebuild a defeated household and that tenaciousness has filtered down through the generations.

KAREN: There are those who thought Lilly should just forget about the injustices done to her. Do you have a message for those people?

LANIER: Most people do walk away from the injustices they experience, but I do not believe anyone ever forgets. You do have to choose your battles, and I understand why people look the other way when an injustice occurs because they need their paycheck to pay the mortgage and buy groceries. It wasn’t within Lilly’s constitution to live the rest of her life and go to her grave knowing she was mistreated. The message I have for these people is that what happened to Lilly is illegal.

KAREN: What are you working on next?

LANIER: I am seeking a publisher for a young adult novel I’ve written about a high school track star and her Sandusky-like coach. I am also working on a novel about a Southern socialite and a book about a mother/daughter relationship and the impact the mother’s alternative lifestyle has on the daughter. --
Karen Spears Zacharias
April 2012. MacAdamCage

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Read This!: Bookseller Staff Picks

From the Unchained Choices at Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL

ArcadiaArcadia by Lauren Groff – "Groff chronicles the rise and fall of a utopian community from the late 1960s until the very near future through the life of Bit, the first born into the group. Arcadia begins as a camp of temporary shelters on a vast upstate NY estate inherited by one member and turned over to the charismatic leader, Handy, moved inside when the neglected mansion is slowly restored. The runtish 5 year old Bit's perceptions are informed by his only book, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and we experience the magic and mystery of nature through his senses. Groff paints indelible word pictures of Bit's world - the wonders of the forest, the glorious mess of childbirth, his mother Hannah's depression and his father Abe's quiet rebellion - with the child's innocence and lack of judgment. We next see Bit as a teen who's never been "outside" but is influenced by friends and who have, notably Handy's daughter, Helle. When the community inevitably breaks up, Bit is a single parent in New York City, and finally in 2018 he returns to Arcadia with his adolescent daughter and ill mother.

I love the world this novel gently creates, the real relationships it presents, and the issues it explores. I completely agree with Richard Russo that 'It’s not possible to write any better without showing off...'" Carla.

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom ThumbThe Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin – “The woman who became famous as “Mrs. Tom Thumb” was born Mercy Lavinia "Vinnie" Bump – a spit-fire of a woman who was only 2’8” tall. Not content to live her life hidden from the public, she knows from the very beginning that she is destined for fame. After writing a letter to Mr. P.T. Barnum, Vinnie joins his traveling circus and tours the world, meeting and marrying Barnum’s most famed personality, General Tom Thumb. A fictionalized narrative of Vinnie’s life, Benjamin draws her character in a realistic, honest light. I found the historical details of Barnum’s early days and Vinnie’s life to be fascinating.” Avery.

The Book of JonasThe Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau - "This debut novel deals with the aftermath of acts of war, told from the perspective of a war orphan, Jonas, relocated to the states, and Rose, the mother of the American soldier who aided him. Spare and moving, The Book of Jonas shows us the confusion and fear of both the soldiers and the civilians in an unnamed Muslim country. Tension builds as Jonas slowly reveals more about the event that destroyed his home, and the inclusion of journal entries by Rose's son, Christopher, serves to add yet another perspective on the consequences of battle. Believable, intelligent, and ultimately redeeming, The Book of Jonas demonstrates the lasting impact of relationships even, maybe especially, in a time of war." Leslie.

The Buddha in the AtticThe Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka – “This beautiful compact book holds a brilliantly executed story of “picture brides” brought from Japan to California as brides for Japanese-American men on the eve of the war. Succinct and succulent prose makes this National Book Award finalist a unique gift anyone who appreciates a slice of history with poignant detail of struggles with new language, new culture, new marriages.” Carla.

The Coffins of Little HopeThe Coffins of Little Hope by Timothy Schaffert - “This novel was an unexpectedly sweet reading experience. Essie is the octogenarian obit writer for her family's small town paper, and she plays a part in all the convoluted stories that are told in this wonderful novel. I confess I am wary of any form of ‘old coot’ as I feel it is a rare gift to not make anyone over 70 too wise or adorable. Schaffert got Essie down perfectly, and in fact the whole book is a great obituary to the obit star herself. She would be pleased with the lack of sentimentality, the ability to see the uniqueness of character, and the acknowledgement that life will be a little bit less without her.” Leslie.

CroakCroak by Gina Damico - “Aside from the regular insanities of adolescence, 16-year old Lex also finds herself increasingly blindsided by an uncontrollable fury and super-human strength—attributes not necessarily encouraged by her wary teachers and peers. Out of options, her parents decide to send her upstate for the summer to live with her elusive Uncle Mort who, unbeknownst to anyone, has chosen Lex as a shoo-in for the grim family business. Thoroughly planning to hate her new life in Croak, Lex is surprised to find genuine friendship, a sense of belonging, and even a little romance. Croak is a very funny, clever and wholly engrossing book teens will devour.” Amanda.

Gods of GothamGods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye - "Set in New York in 1845, Gods of Gotham tells the story of former bartender Timothy Wilde who becomes one of the very first members of the newly minted NYPD. The new force (yes, there was once a New York without policemen) is disorganized and not always welcome, and so when Timothy encounters a blood covered 10 year old little girl he finds himself a reluctant copper star in his battle for justice. Full of fascinating history and wonderful characters, Gods of Gotham brings alive the chaos of the 40's, as well as the devastating impact of the potato famine. A stellar debut that leaves you wanting the next installment." Leslie.

IchiroIchiro by Ryan Inzana - “Ichiro’s story has its roots in the very beginnings of Time, but he doesn't know it yet. Born to a Japanese mother and an American father who died when Ichiro was young, he doesn’t feel at home in his own skin or - for that matter - in his own neighborhood. When he travels back to his mother’s girlhood home in Japan to spend time with his grandfather, Ichiro comes face to face with the mythology and culture of his Japanese heritage. But don’t let the existential tones fool you - this is an exciting and scary adventure story that will take Ichiro to hell and back again, depicted in bold and gorgeous illustrations.” Amanda.

In ZanesvilleIn Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard - “Here is a lovingly drawn story about a ‘late blooming’ 14-year old girl in the factory town of Zanesville, Illinois, whose tremulous ascent from childhood to adulthood consumes the drama of this novel. Beard’s spare prose and subtle storytelling helps you focus on the simple importance of the everyday, and her characters endear you with their frankness. The palpable teenage angst spread across these pages sent me reeling back to a time when my mom was my greatest friend and foe, boys were unfathomable beings, and my best friend held the power of life and death in her hands.” Amanda.

The Language of FlowersThe Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh – “This book is the sort of book that made me want to lock myself at home and just keep reading. The story begins when the prickly, hard-to-love, main character Victoria ages out of the foster care system at age 18. Finding herself alone on the streets, she puts her extensive knowledge and love of flowers to use to get herself on her feet. As the story progresses, we learn how she came to be on her own, and if she will be able to overcome her past and move forward. Diffenbaugh has written a beautiful book, and filled it with specialized knowledge of the ‘language of flowers’.” Avery

Meet Mee at the MoonMeet Me At the Moon by Gianna Marino – “As the dry season rolls to a climax, Little One’s mama must leave him behind to go and ask the sky for rain. With a string of sweet endearments and a promise to meet him at the moon, she sets off into the horizon, and Little One comforts himself with his mama’s song in the wind and her embrace in the sun. Paired with absolutely stunning illustrations, this makes a lovely bedtime story for every mama and her little one.” Amanda.

Turn of MindTurn of Mind by Alice Laplante – 9780802145901 “What a plot! A woman with dementia is suspected in the death of her neighbor, a dear friend, and she doesn’t know whether or not she’s guilty - and the tale is told from her point of view. Turn of Mind is terrifically successful as a literary murder mystery with a complex domestic drama, and as a compelling portrait of an accomplished and intelligent woman struggling to cope with an unreliable mind. Perfect for spring reading, with lots of fodder for book groups.” Carla.

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One Great Bookstore

An Indie Bookstore you should know

Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, LA

Cavalier House Books

Cavalier House Books is an independently owned general interest bookstore in Denham Springs, LA.

Cavalier House Books began in August of 2005 as a way to help local schools acquire the books they needed after the loss of Book Warehouse of Baton Rouge, which had been a local institution for over twenty years. Business was conducted through our phones and homes as we scouted a location for our first brick and mortar store. In June of 2009 the perfect venue became available in the form of a shop located in the historic downtown area of Denham Springs, LA. Cavalier House Books opened its doors on September 5, 2009. Since then, CHB has integrated itself into the community through events and social gatherings and hopes to continue to grow with this great community.

We want to be more than mere vendors of books as we seek to imbue literature and reading further into our customers lives. We want to treat books as less of a commodity and more as the purveyor of ideas that they are. We hope to be more than a cookie cutter bookstore and to become a hub of free expression and discussion. We hope to embody the spirit of independent commerce and independent thinking and to help mold and participate in the community which surrounds us.

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STARS Authors on Tour

STARSWhat are "STARS" authors? These are authors listing in the Southern Traveling Authors Registration Service--a directory of authors who live in, or are traveling in the South and are interested in meeting with book clubs, civic groups, classrooms, and readers of all kinds. The STARS directory is brought to you by Southern Indie Booksellers, who want to connect readers with their favorite writers.

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see the full list online here and find the authors touring in your area here

Lynne Barrett
Sarasota, FL 4/7/2012-4/7/2012
Tampa, FL 4/16/2012-4/16/2012

Pamela Bauer Mueller
Walterboro, SC 4/27/2012-4/28/2012
Columbia, SC 5/18/2012-5/20/2012
Greenwood, SC 6/22/2012-6/23/2012
Jekyll Island, GA 11/9/2012-11/11/2012

Emily Cooper
Spartanburg, SC 4/13/2012-4/14/2012

Susan Gregg Gilmore
Little Rock, AR 4/12/2012-4/14/2012
Oxford, MS 6/15/2012-6/17/2012
Marietta, GA 8/22/2012-8/22/2012

Mark Hainds
Hattiesburg, MS 4/14/2012-4/14/2012
Montgomery, AL 4/20/2012-4/21/2012
Starkeville, MS 5/15/2012-5/17/2012
Waveland, MS 6/23/2012-6/23/2012
Denham Springs, LA 6/23/2012-6/23/2012

Sarah Frances Hardy
Hattiesburg, MS 4/11/2012-4/13/2012
Oxford, MS 4/14/2012-4/14/2012
Natchez, MS 4/19/2012-4/19/2012
Tupelo, MS 4/21/2012-4/21/2012
Grenada, MS 4/28/2012-4/28/2012
Greenwood, MS 5/5/2012-5/5/2012
Jackson, MS 5/11/2012-5/12/2012
Birmingham, AL 5/18/2012-5/18/2012
Athens, GA 5/19/2012-5/19/2012
Waynesville, NC 6/5/2012-6/5/2012
Hendersonville, NC 6/6/2012-6/6/2012
Woodstock, GA 6/23/2012-6/23/2012
Sylva, NC 6/24/2012-6/24/2012

sr johannes
Pensacola, FL 3/31/2012-4/7/2012

Alma Katsu
Nashville, TN 4/21/2012-4/22/2012
Asheville, NC 4/21/2012-4/22/2012
Raleigh, NC 4/22/2012-4/23/2012
Virginia Beach, VA 5/4/2012-5/5/2012

George Leibowitz
The Villages, FL 4/2/2012-4/7/2012

John Malik
Chapel Hill, NC 5/4/2012-5/7/2012

Nancy Naigle
Nashville, TN 8/23/2012-8/26/2012
Naples, FL 9/7/2012-9/9/2012

Tracy A. Spaine
Holly Springs, NC 4/10/2012-4/10/2012
Elizabeth City, NC 5/5/2012-5/7/2012

Dorothy St. James
Bethesda , VA 4/27/2012-4/29/2012
Columbia, SC 5/18/2012-5/20/2012

David Taylor
Richmond, VA 4/4/2012-4/4/2012
Baton Rouge, LA 10/26/2012-10/27/2012

Lori Verni-Fogarsi
Bracey, VA 5/1/2012-9/1/2012
Elizabeth City, NC 7/21/2012-7/22/2012

Tamra Wilson
Asheville, NC 5/17/2012-5/17/2012

Lady Banks' Bookshelf

Blue Moon BayLast Plea Bargain by Randy Singer

"You learn early that you don't get to prove your case with Boy Scouts and nuns. Yes, convicted felons will say anything to get out of jail, but they also know a lot."Plea bargains may grease the rails of justice, but for Jamie Brock, prosecuting criminals is not about cutting deals. In her three years as assistant DA, she's never plea-bargained a case and vows she never will. But when an infamous defense attorney is indicted for murder and devises a way to bring the entire justice system to a screeching halt, Jamie finds herself at a crossroads. One by one, prisoners begin rejecting deals. Prosecutors are overwhelmed, and felons start walking free on technicalities. To break the logjam and convict her nemesis, Jamie must reevaluate every principle that has guided her young career. But she has little choice. To convict the devil, sometimes you have to cut a deal with one of his demons.


Read more books on her ladyship's bookshelf

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