Lady Banks Bookshelf

Lady Banks Pick of the Week


  • The Book of Atlantis Black by Betsy Bonner

    Buy/order this book!In 2008, Betsy Bonner's sister is found dead on the floor of a hotel in Tijuana. Is is suicide, or overdose? Is it even her sister? A talented musician and performer who changed her name to Atlantis Black, her sister had always lived on the edge. Bonner's love for her sister is apparent as she relays their overlapping stories and tries to unravel the mysteries of her sister's life.

    The Book of Atlantis Black by Betsy Bonner (List price: $26.95, Tin house Books), recommended by Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • The Perfect Father by John Glatt

    Buy/order this book!I practically grew up on murder stories--from lurid true crime magazines, to the heyday of Court TV, and my ongoing love for Forensic Files. But rarely does a true crime book affect me like The Perfect Father did. Glatt offers a balanced look into the marriage of Chris and Shannan Watts, their strengths, their flaws, and their love. In our Instragram-able world, ever curated to show perfection, it's no surprise that the murder of such a vibrant pregnant mother and two beautiful little girls would capture the nation's attention. This story is heartbreaking, and Glatt shows the devastation not just of their families and friends, but on the first responders and the cops who investigated the murder. It's a tough read. Four beloved souls are forever gone, and countless lives left wrecked, but The Perfect Father is a cautionary tale for our society as it explores the coldness that lurks beneath an online persona.

    The Perfect Father: The True Story of Chris Watts, His All-American Family, and a Shocking Murder by John Glatt (List price: $28.99, St. Martin's Press), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.

  • The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg

    The Third Rainbow Girl "You cannot treat women only for a disease of which men are the main carriers. Nor, I knew, could you punish every man who fell ill." ~ Emma Copley Eisenberg

    The Third Rainvow Girl is part true crime, part memoir, and fully compelling. On the frame of the unsolved Rainbow Murders Eisenberg hangs a discussion of Appalachian life and the complicated history its people have with one another, their history, and the rest of the nation. Traditional true crime reads may find the structure off-putting at first, but the alternating of past and present day events give a richer picture of a community defined by the murder of outsiders.Content warning for discussions of violence, bigotry, alcohol and drug use, and sexual assault.

    The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg (List price: $27.00, Hachette Books), recommended by Page 158 Books, Winston-Salem, NC.

     A Winter 2020 Okra Pick

  • Furious Hours by Casey Cep

    Furious Hours by Casey CepI had hoped that reading Casey Cep's Furious Hours would be like listening to some of my favorite true crime podcasts (S-Town, anyone?), and I was not disappointed. The book weaves together the stories of a black reverend suspected of killing off his family members for insurance fraud, the lawyer who defended him in court countless times, and Harper Lee, who had planned to write a book about them. Equal parts biography, history, and reporting, Furious Hours is the rare nonfiction book that actually reads like fiction.

    Furious Hours by Casey Cep ($26.95*, Knopf), recommended by New Dominion Bookshop, Charlottesville, VA.

  • I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

    I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamaraI'll Be Gone in the Dark is a story of obsession and violence, a woman and a killer. As much a book of true crime as it is a book about a time and a place. And a person: Michelle McNamara. She is a streak of good in the darkness, and how fortunate we are to have this record of her perceptiveness, honesty, and humanity. Go ahead and plan to stay up all night. It's that good (and that scary).

    I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara ($27.99*, Harper), recommended by Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • Who Killed These Girls?: Cold Case: The Yogurt Shop Murders by Beverly Lowery

    Beverly Lowry looks deep into the horrors of four unsolved killings in Austin in the early 1980’s with a detective’s mind and a novelist’s heart. The result is a book that is gripping, moving, and as good as any depiction of a murder case that’s been published since In Cold Blood. Is true crime not your thing? It isn’t my thing either, but this transcends the genre. Brilliant.

    Who Killed These Girls?: Cold Case: The Yogurt Shop Murders by Beverly Lowery (Knopf Publishing Group, $27.95), recommended by Ann Patchett at Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.