Best Summertime Reads from the South
My book club and I recently read “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. It was on the Reese Witherspoon's Audible book list, so if SHE said it was good, then we thought it may be worth a try.
When I first started reading (or, ok, listening to it on Audible), I thought “Oh, no. here we go-another book about the South that depicts it negatively, not showing it's true glory." But after reading a few more pages, it roped me in, was well written, suspenseful, and entertaining.
One thing I loved about it is that the setting of the North Carolina Marsh nearly seemed to be a secondary character. For the main character, as harsh as her life was, she always had this soft, gentle surrounding encompassing her, with it’s birds, estuaries, and natural green beauty that stayed constant throughout the book. It reminded me a lot of the bayous of the South, minus the trees and Spanish moss, and well, gators. But it’s a good read and I’d pass it on to you if I could.
I adore a good book set in the South. I came across this list from Southern Living, https://www.southernliving.com/travel/best-southern-books, and I’ve read some of the "Best Books about the South" listed, but admit there are more on this list that I have yet to read.
I chuckled when I saw that SL listed one of Brene Brown’s, books, “Daring Greatly." Even though it's non fiction, Brene is pretty amazing with her wisdom gained from years of research, and I love a good Personal Development book.
Another book on this list that I really loved was “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. It was one I did not want to end. Mainly because I was reading it on a weekend girls trip to Ashviille. I loved the book and the movie. And Millie. And the pie scene. You can't beat the pie scene. “
My Sunshine Away” by M.O. Walsh, was noteworthy, but a bit dark. It does take you back to suburbia 1980 in Baton Rouge if you were lucky enough to be alive at that time. I remember going to the Old Governor’s Mansion in Baton Rouge where they had Jimmy Davis’s boots and this old, creepy recording of the song that played when you pressed a button. But I still loved that song, "You are my Sunshine: and I sang it almost every day to my little ones when they were in the NICU.
Of course, they have Faulkner listed, classic, and one of John Besh’s cookbooks, yet I was surprised that Twain didn't make the cut. I did recently pull out "Huckleberry Finn" to read to my own children, as that story just made me laugh out loud, but I quickly dismissed it, realizing it was too different of a time, and mine are too young to understand there are certain words we do not ever use. Plus Huckleberry Finn was smoking at 10 years old. Guess I forgot about certain parts of the book.
My dear own DAD actually wrote a cool book, set in the South, also not listed on the SL post,. Dad's book, Zabu, is about a chemical explosion and investigation that takes place in South Louisiana. The culture and characters are definitely thick in the book, some of them I am sure I had met before, and it's a fun read.
What are some books about the south that YOU would recommend? Any good ones out there that you couldn't put down? Let me know as I'm always looking for a good book to inhale!