Lady Banks Bookshelf

Lady Banks Pick of the Week


Read This Now: The Index

What if there were an army of indie booksellers enthusiastically reading and reviewing practically every new book coming out in the next year, and what if the books they were the most excited about, the books they couldn't wait to push into their customers' hands with a breathless "You've GOT to read this!" (virtually or otherwise), the ones with all the nine- and ten-star ratings were carefully curated and collected in a handy list? Well, all we can say is...KEEP READING!

Browse the whole list!


I loved this account of the precocious 19-year-old French marquis who was determined to join George Washington and the Americans against the British.

Dry history this is not. Just as in Unfamiliar Fishes (the story of the American takeover of Hawaii), Vowell's writing is a constant reality check on history; her narrative is liberally peppered with her own irreverent, yet spot-on observations, and she is so good at showing how we are always linked to our past.

In Lafayette, the marquis succeeds, though in the process he discovers a more fragmented people than he'd imagined, and through him, Vowell reveals the particular magic of our country's union and disunion.

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell (Riverhead Books) Recommended by Kent at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC