Thursday, May 8, 2008

Count Me In

I wanted to join The Southern Reading Challenge ever since I heard about it (too late) last year. But, I've had a hard time deciding what I want to read. I think I finally have my list, but it could still change.

Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote
I'm reading this one for the Year of Reading Dangerously, as well. I really enjoy Capote's writing.

Light in August by William Faulkner
As I've mentioned on here before, I really need to give him another try. I read As I Lay Dying years ago and hated it. I have a sneaking suspicion that this had more to do with me at the time than it did Faulkner. We'll see. Anyway, he's such an icon of Southern fiction that I felt like he should be on the list.

Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons
I've loved everything I've ever read by Kaye Gibbons. I don't hear a great deal about her from others in the book blogging world, and I'm not sure why. I was first introduced to her in a Southern Literature class as an undergrad. We read Ellen Foster, and I was hooked. Other books by Gibbons that I've read and enjoyed are: A Virtuous Woman, On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon, The Life All Around Me and Divining Women. She has all the hallmarks of great Southern literature, including the dysfunctional family, but my favorite aspect of her writing is the strong female characters.

Possible alternates include:

Down River by John Hart
This book won the 2008 Edgar Award. I heard Hart speak at a Friends of the Library event at Pfeiffer University in April. He's a very entertaining speaker, and he's from my neck of the woods. He's from Salisbury, North Carolina and currently lives in Greensboro, NC. This book, as well as his first book, The King of Lies, is set in Rowan County. It's so neat to read about all these places that I see on a daily basis. If the Faulkner gets to be too much, I'll switch it out for this one.

I also thought about several books by Clyde Edgerton. He's another good Southern writer that I don't hear about often. And then of course, there's Flannery O'Connor and Eudora Welty and the list could go on forever. If you couldn't tell already, I really like Southern literature.


Nymeth said...

Other Voices, Other Rooms is wonderful. I really enjoy Capote's writing as well. I still have to make up my mind about what to pick for this challenge. I hope you enjoy all your picks :)

Lisa said...

nymeth, I know it's so hard to choose for this one. There are so many really great Southern writers.

Maggie said...

Yea, Lisa! Thanks for joining! I hope you win some pecans! ;D

Lisa said...

Thanks for hosting such a fun challenge. I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone is reading for this one.

Danielle said...

I tried to do this challenge last year, but I ended up not reading even one of the books on my list. I'll just watch this year, but I really should read more Southern Lit. I have read and enjoyed Kaye Gibbons, though! Charms is my favorite of her books that I've read.

Lisa said...

danielle, If you haven't already, check out some of Maggie's recommendations on her site. There are some good ones on there. I'm so glad you've read Kaye Gibbons and like her work. I just don't hear very many people talk about her, and I really like her writing. I can't really pick a favorite. I'm looking forward to Charms.