Thursday, May 7, 2009

Southern Reading Challenge Three

"Whenever I'm asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one."

-Flannery O'Connor

Well, I thought I was going to take a break from posting for a while and what do I do but sign up for the Southern Reading Challenge. The challenge is to read three books about the South by southern authors between May 15 and August 15. I think I can handle that.

The three authors I chose are just barely southern, not from the Deep South, but from Kentucky, close to my hometown. The first two are about hard times in southern Appalachia. The third is a memoir by one of my favorite female writers from the South.

My three are:

Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio

Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund

Clear Springs by Bobbie Ann Mason

If you would like to join in, click on the link above.

"In the South, perhaps more than any other region, we go back to our home in dreams and memories, hoping it remains what it was on a lazy, still summer's day twenty years ago."

----Willie Morris

Okay, I amended my list and removed the Jesse Stuart book, because it is really BORING! I've replaced it with Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund which isn't technically set in the South, but the main character is from Kentucky and brings her Kentucky ways to the Atlantic Coast, namely Nantucket. It looks vastly more interesting.


Char said...

those are great choices - besides I love Flannery.

Susan said...

One of my favorites too, Char!

Ruth said...

Sounds fun. How did you pick the books?

Sandy Nawrot said...

I know nothing about these three books, so I will really look forward to hearing about them! I'm so glad you decided to join. Misery and insanity loves company you know! And if we aren't over-commiting ourselves, then we'd be bored and unfulfilled!

California Girl said...

You might like another blog I follow called "Maggie Reads". I think she's on blogspot. Her mission statement is to get Mississippians to read. She always has interesting choices and the writers are usually Southern tho' not exclusively.

Susan said...

Ruthie, I picked them off my bookshelves! I actually read the first one, but it was so long ago that I've forgotten everything. I had been thinking about reading it again, so this will be a good time to do it.

David collects Jesse Stuart books, well, I collect them for him. He was kind of revered in our English classrooms in school, because he only lived about 60 miles away from us. We read a lot of his short stories in junior high. Also, David's Grandpa liked to quote from one of his books.

Susan said...

Sandy, I think you would definitely like the two books by the women authors. Stuart is a little old-fashioned, but he writes the way all the people I grew up around speak, so I'm looking forward to reading this one.

I need challenges and commitments in my life to keep me more focused. And maybe I won't spend as much time on the internet! Books are a lot easier on the carpal tunnel than keyboards and the mouse!

Susan said...

Cali Girl, Maggie Reads is where the Southern Challenge is! What a quinky-dink, huh? I have a feeling before it's over with, Sandy will have me subscribing to most of her reading blogs. And that's a good thing!

Tipper said...

I hope you'll tell us how the books are-I've read the Stuart one but not the others. Happy Reading!

Susan said...

Tipper, I plan on posting about each one as I finish them. Interesting that you've read Jesse Stuart. I hope you'll discuss it with me after I've read it.

Jacque said...

Oooh, a reading challenge... how fun!

We just went to the Appalachian Festival here in Cincinnati. It did seem like a hard life.

Good luck with your challenge :)

Jacque said...

P.S. Thank you so much for the tip about aebleskivers. I'll bet that is what my mom was talking about :)

Susan said...

Jackee, what the heck are you doing in Cincinnati? You realize, of course, that I'm only 2 1/2 hours away from there! Wish I had known about the festival.

I may have to change one of my books. I didn't remember how difficult it was to read Jesse Stuart. As in boring!!!

And you are welcome, my dear!