Sunday, April 08, 2007

Summer Reading Challenge Info...

Well, I know, you need another reading challenge like you need another hole in your head. BUT, I promise this will be one you won't want to miss.

I believe one of the major reasons we have a whole genre named after our region is because "sense of place" or the setting becomes a character in most Southern books. I want to bring this to your challenge experience!

First and foremost, I will draw weekly from participants' names, and the winner will receive a Southern (Mississippi) made product. Secondly, I set up a separate blog so we can discuss our shared experiences within our readings. How? Well, I will take your post (reviews and/or notes) and copy them onto the blog and leave comments open for participation. (You will get credit w/ a link back to your original entry!) Thirdly, I will try to enhance your entries by taking pictures around my community and adding them to your posts.

Okay, I looked around at the time period for other challenges and I would like to set this challenge during the months of June, July, and August. Our most hot and humid time, dare I say, our most Southern time.

For this challenge you will need to read 3 Southern books. Having read The Road will not qualify you for the challenge. (Yes, Cormac McCarthy is a Southern author and the father/son travel to the south, but the setting is post-apocalyptic. Can you imagine me running around trying to get a picture of ashen destruction?) The books must contain a Southern setting by a Southern author!

We will begin on June 1st so be thinking of your titles. Between now and the start I will provide ideas to spark your interest in the genre. I'll give you booklists of authors and titles. I will quote Southern voices and possibly jokes. I will try to be YOUR ultimate Southern Librarian! :D

84 comments:

Restless Reader said...

I'm looking forward to it!

Henk said...

"Southern" means Belgium to me, and Mississippi sounds Western (Mississippi is a river somewhere in America, right?).
So, could you clarify to us Europeans (and other non-Americans) what "Southern" means?

Maggie said...

Great Restless Reader and I love your blog!

Henk, I'm sorry, I assumeth too much! I did a post with the definition and map just for you! ;)

WorkingWords100 said...

As long as you don't make me read William Faulkner.

I am looking forward to the idea list.

If I watch 2 southern movies, can it count for one book?

Maggie said...

No, you will not be forced to read Faulkner, WW100. :P

I was thinking I would let a couple of movies fly. Thanks for asking. When we get closer to time I'll announce the official rules. I envision the 2 movies as having to make the watcher sweat in order to be a challenge! ;D

Lynne said...

Count me in! Thinking of books right now.

tdn said...

I'm in! My very first online challenge...just the thing to break up a school librarian's summer! Titles already scrolling through my mind...how to choose?!

Paul said...

Lee Smith,Clyde Edgerton,Harper Lee,Carson McCullers,Truman Capote,Barry Hannah,Willie Morris,Larry Brown,Dorothy Allison,Peter Taylor, James Agee-Southern authors all. :)

Wendy said...

What a great idea, Maggie!

I've added you to my reading challenge blog (http://novelchallenges.blogspot.com/), so hopefully you will get a ton of participation for this one. *runs to go peruse her stacks for possible reading choices*

Lisa said...

I am so in on this one!

Wendy said...

I have a tentative list here:
http://caribousmom.blogharbor.com/blog/
_archives/2007/4/9/2867978.html

Subject to change of course :)

iliana said...

This really sounds fun so I'll have to spend some time perusing my shelves to see what counts :)

Kim said...

I am in!!!! This sounds like fun :0)

Amy said...

I can't pass up a challenge. I am in! I will post my choices as soon as I figure them out.

Dark Orpheus said...

Oh my. Yes, please count me in. I'll have to take some time to figure out my list. Will post when I have a tentative booklist out.

Thanks for doing this. I am looking forward to this.

3M said...

Great idea, Maggie. I'm thinking about it!

Maggie said...

I'm just tickled y'all want to participate! :)

This will be fun! I'm already shopping around for the best gifts the south can offer.

The blog is ready and I'll unveil it a little closer to June.

Thank you for considering this challenge amongst many.

heidijane said...

Ooh, I think I might be persuaded, as it falls outside a lot of the other challenges in terms of timeframe.

I think all I've read of the South is Gone with the Wind, so would be good to expand this...

Les said...

I'm in! This sounds like fun. I took a look at my TBR stacks and came up with a dozen possibilities.

Laura said...

Great idea and count me in!
Laura
http://laura0218.livejournal.com

Kelly Fisher said...

I have a good friend who turned me onto Southern fiction. Being an avid, reader...I still had never heard that term before...but, I have to tell you...once I read some Southern fiction...I was hooked. Can't wait to get involved in the challenge, too! If it's okay - I am going to post a link to your challenge from my blog! Thanks again!

pussreboots said...

I'm in. I have no idea what I'm going to read but I'll figure that out soon. Here's where I will post the list once I've got it sorted out.

Natalie said...

Scampering off to make my list!

Ex Libris said...

This sounds too good to resist! Not sure of titles yet, but I have authors in mind: Gail Godwin, Walker Percy, and Richard Ford. Will let you know when I've decided which of their books I will read.

3M said...

Would Edward P. Jones' THE KNOWN WORLD count? I'm not sure if he'd be considered Southern. He was born in Washington DC and educated at Virginia.

I have another one for backup if this one won't work--A Death in the Family by James Agee.

The others I'm planning on are THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES and THE COLOR PURPLE.

Stephanie said...

Great Idea!! I'll have to think about it....I'm waist-deep in one too many challenges now! If I finish my Fantasy challenge by June, I'm in!

heidijane said...

My tentative list is here: http://adventuresinbookland.blogspot.com/2007/04/southern-reading-challenge.html

Kitchen Madonna said...

Okay, put my name in the pot, I'm a Culinary Cowgirl in a Magnolia World afterall!

The world really can't get enough of the South. If you could bottle it, you would sell out on the streets of Manhanttan in well, a New York minute or two.

What do you think about Southern Gothic? Does it still exist?

Maggie said...

Welcome All! This will be an interesting summer. ;D

Nymeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nymeth said...

Sorry, there was a problem with the link. As I was trying to say, I'm in!

My list is here. I hope my choices qualify. I'll be posting my reviews on the blog as well.

Thank you for this, it's a wonderful idea!

Nyssaneala said...

I'm in! I love the Southern lit genre. I guess re-reads don't count, huh? I have been planning on reading The Color Purple again. But there are authors I have not delved into yet, including Harper Lee and Eudora Welty, so I bet those two will make my final list.

Debi said...

Well, you're absolutely right about needing another book challenge...but you're also right that this just sounds too fun to pass up!
I have to admit that this is not a genre I'm terribly familiar with, so I hope I make appropriate choices. I'm off to post them now.
Thanks for hosting this interesting challenge!

SuziQoregon said...

I've been feeling a bit challenge overloaded lately, so I've avoided signing up for any new ones. But today I started looking at what challenge books I already had scheduled and realized that I have Peachtree Road by Anne Rivers Siddons down for my June book for the Chunkster Challenge.

Guess that means I need to finalize a couple of others and put myself on the list, huh??

:-)

Rebecca said...

oh, such a great challenge! I love,love,love Southern reading. Now I have to find some I haven;t read yet! LOL

Maggie said...

Welcome! This is so cool and I'm very excited to be your host. I look forward to getting started! :D

Stephanie said...

OK. Why not? I'm in!! I may have to browse some other blogs for ideas though. For some reason, I'm totally drawing a blank!!

Literary Feline said...

Maggie - Do you think Jack Kerley would qualify? I really want to participate in the Southern Reading Challenge, but I want to keep my selections on the lighter side. If he's too much of a stretch, maybe I'll read a Dunning book if that qualifies . . . And what about Trigiani's Big Stone Gap if neither of those work?

Maggie said...

Thanks for joining Stephanie. I'm giving suggestions weekly for Southern books. Hope it helps. :)

Litty Kitty, I totally understand the too many challenges, too little time concept. Your plate is full, but if it helps, all the authors/books you mentioned work. ;)

sage said...

Wow, this is a challenge that I shouldn't have to work too hard to achieve--I can't think of many three month periods that I don't read at least three books either about the south or by southern authors. Currently I'm working on two (but neither are fiction). I looked back over my book reviews since January and I've reviewed 4 southern authors/books (although one--Cash's "Mind of the South"--is nonfiction).

After reading A Valley of Light by Terry Kay, I'll probably read two or three of his books this summer. He's from Georgia.

Maggie said...

Sage, welcome to the Southern Reading Challenge. I'm not picky when it comes to fiction/non-fiction. Feel free to read either for the challenge. I hope to do a memoir post 'cause we have some good ones in the South! Ricky Bragg, Ann Moody and Eudora Welty spring to mind. We start in June and I look forward to your choices. :D

aka_Nik said...

I'd like to participate!

Maggie said...

Please do Nik! Just figure out your list of books and let me know...

Isobel said...

I'm definitely going to take part in this. I'm a Texan stuck in Pennsylvania so this will be a little like going home. For those who like something historical I do have a really good suggestion. It's called The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks. I co-reviewed it last September at Book Fetish. It's definitely a good one :-) Unless we're limited to classics..which is fine too!!

Maggie said...

Welcome Isobel! I have Widow of the South on my nightstand just waiting for me to pick it up! Thanks for reminding me... :)

pussreboots said...

I've finally settled on my list.

raidergirl3 said...

I didn't think I wanted to do this challenge, for a few reasons, mostly being there were no books I was hoping to read in the near future that fit this genre. BUT, you have been doing an awesome job selling this. I keep peeking back here, and the lists of books and authors are becoming intiguing. I think I will have to bite. In the next month I'll try to narrow it down to three. I'm thinking The Confederacy of Dunces, a Mark Twain, and something else, maybe one of those mysteries you mentioned.
Were you an iceseller in Alaska in a former life?

Maggie said...

Yippee! I'll run over to your blog to see the final three, PussReBoots!

Double Yippee, Raidergirl3! Would you like cubed or crushed? ;D

Henk said...

I'm in. Huckleberry Finn has been on my TBR list since high school (and that's a long time ago), and I really want to read To kill a mockingbird. I'll post my list on Masterpieces some time next month.

booklogged said...

Maggie, my post is up with my selections. Since I decided to join I've found lots and lots of books that would fit this challenge. I'm adding many titles to ever-growing TBR list.

Lesley said...

Oh, I'm so in! I have plenty of appropriate books to choose from among my TBR stacks ... now to just decide which three will make the cut. Great challenge idea, Maggie!

tinylibrarian said...

I'm in, too! What a fun idea, I love Southern lit. Should they be authors we haven't read before or can we include faves?

Maggie said...

Yeah, Henk, you might also like to read the new book Finn, based on Huck's dad!

Great, Booklogged! I hope this challenge is worth your reading time!

It is hard, isn't it, Leslie! :)

Welcome, TinyLibrarian!
The choice is up to you. Some are rereading To Kill a Mockingbird, and some are trying a new author suggested by readers or myself. Looking forward to your list. :)

tinylibrarian said...

Okay, I've got my list here:
http://tinylittlelibrarian.blog-city.com/southern_challenge.htm

I hope they all count!

I can't use it because I've already read it, but for anyone still looking, The Garden Angel by Mindy Friddle (South Carolina) is *fab*!!!

raidergirl3 said...

I've posted my list here
This looks like fun

sage said...

Okay, I've signed up with the following books:

Terry Kay, The Year the Lights Came On

Ted Ownby, Subduing Satan, Religion, Recreation and Manhood in the Rural South, 1865-1920

Ernest Gaines, A Gathering of Old Man

And to add one more to the mix--which I hope to read this summer--Taylor Branch's "At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1963-1965"

I noted the challenge in today's blog post

Maggie said...

Yeah RaiderGirl and Sage! Thanks for joining in!

Diane said...

As an attorney who loves to read, and hopes to become a librarian for my next career, this sounds like a lot of fun!

Here from sage's blog

SuziQoregon said...

Posted my official list today :-)
SuziQ's List

Gentle Reader said...

I'm joining up! Hope it's not too late. I posted my list on my blog. Do you need me to do anything else? Can't wait to start!

Diane said...

With sage's help, I have selected

Flannery O'Conner - Wise Blood
Robert Raurk - The Old Man and the Boy
Guy Owen - The Ballad of the Flim-Flam Man

By the way, none of these authors were available at my local (so cal) Barnes and Noble!

Carol said...

This sounds like fun. I would like to give it a try.

Maggie said...

Glad to have you guys on board! It should be a long, hot Southern summer!

SuziQ, love the list! Ditto, Diane!

Oh no it isn't too late Gentle Reader! We start June first. I look forward to your list.

Carol, for review, list, banter, etc. do you have a blog? If not, just leave your list on this list and I'll try to keep up w/ you.

Deana said...

I just finished Larry Brown's last work "A Miracle of Catfish" and I know that counts as Southern. He is in fact my favorite Southern writer...right before my husband!

Now I just need 2 more. I'll read the new Hiasen, another favorite.

Carol said...

Maggie,

I don't have a blog. I do like to read the blogs of others. I find lots of new books that way.

I picked these three books. I hope they are ok.

Sweet Hush - Deborah Smith
Ladder of Years - Anne Tyler
Outer Banks - Anne Rivers Siddons

sage said...

I just posted a review of two books by Eastern NC authors for people looking for books--Robert Ruark and Guy Owen--Diane is planning on reading these

ikkinlala said...

This sounds interesting and I'll probably be reading along (I'll have to come up with a list), but I don't have a blog.

mlh said...

Maggie~I will join your challenge! Since I don't have a blog I will post my list here which features authors with Alabama ties:

Homesick~Sela Ward(She is from Mississippi but was Homecoming Queen at The University of Alabama)
Old Dogs and Children~Robert Inman
Terminal Bend~Patricia Mayer

I see some have recommended the novel,The Garden Angel by Mindy Friddle.I totally agree that was a great work of Southern Lit.

If one like that book I think they would also enjoy As Hot As It Was You Ought To Thank Me by Nanci Kincaid(she has Alabama roots but lives in Texas now).She has written a number of books including one called Balls about football which I plan to read during football season.

And I am glad gods in Alabama is going to be read by a number of people who are doing your challenge.It's another entertaining read.

Rebecca said...

I would love to join, too!

Robin said...

I know this is really the last minute, but I hope it's not too late to join! I've posted my book choices on my blog, and am really looking forward to this challenge! Thanks for hosting it!

sophie said...

I'm glad I saw the link on KnitStory's blog today. My appetite for reading seems to be seasonal and I was just thinking I need a few good books for reading in the hammock after work.

I would love some recommendations for Southern books ... does Fannie Flagg count?

Maggie said...

Welcome Deana, Carol (without blog or WB), Ikkinlala, MLH(wb), Rebecca, Robin, and Sophie. I'm excited you guys want to participate! Sorry, it took so long to reply. I'm in-between laptops and having to share my husbands!

MLHwb, I love your theme within this theme! Dr. Atkinson told our class about a book, which I purchased, with Alabama author and based on her experience growing up with polo. I'll pull that out and read Alabama with u!

Of course, Fannie Flagg is acceptable, Sophie! She's way Southern! ;D

Diane said...

today I posted my review of The Ballad of the Flim Flam Man by Guy Owen!

NOLADawn said...

I'm joining in late, but I'm joining :)
A little Louisiana gumbo to add to the mix.

Belinda said...

I wish I'd known about this! Is it too late? Is no one taking on one of my personal favorites, Eudora Welty? How about Ellen Gilchrist, a New Orleans native who adopted Fayetteville, Arkansas as her home? And is Larry McMurty, being a Texan, qualified? I've always thought that he fit the genre very well.

Just about any Southern Fiction I would choose for this project would mean re-reading...but that is certainly not a bad thing!

pussreboots said...

My second review is up: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

SuziQoregon said...

Finished my second one today and loved it. SWAG: Southern Women Aging Gracefully by Melinda Rainey Thompson

Laura said...

My second review (Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man) is now up: http://laura0218.livejournal.com/18081.html

Vidalia said...

My friend Tiny suggested the challenge. Is it too late? I'd really like to join. I'd start with Walker Percy.

NOLADawn said...

I've finally posted my first review...
http://noladawn.wordpress.com/2007/07/24/book-reviewsouthern-reading-challenge-no-place-louisiana/

N.Vasillis said...

Thanks, Maggie! My blog is 1330v.blogspot.com

Laura said...

I've just finished my third book which means I've completed this challenge!

Here's my review of Eudora Welty's The Optimist's Daughter.

Thanks for hosting the challenge, it was great fun!

creditavidreader said...

well, as far as I see, everyone wants to compete here. i'll be original then... i read for pleasure, not for competition

Grilsgood said...

This was fun. I was away and this is the first change I hav had to pst what i hve read. I do not have a blog.

1. Patterson, James Sundays at Tiffany's w. Palm Bach, FL
2. Johansen, Iris The Face 0f Deception Atlanta, GA
3. Deaver, Jeffrey The Bone Collector Charlottesville, Virginia
4. Barton, Beverly Tuscumbia, Alabama
5. Fetzer, Amy J. Maryland
6. Hooper, Kay The Matchmaker and Shadows western NC
7. Woods, Stuart Sante Fe Dead Manchester, GA
8. MacDonald, John D. TheThe Empty Copper Sea Florida
9. Unger, Lisa Black Out Florida
10. Price, Eugenia Where Shadows go St. Simons Island, GA
11. Deaver, Je4ffrey The Bone Collector VA
12. O'Connor, Flannery Violent Bear it Away, The GA
13. Iles, Greg Footprints, of God, The Natchez, MS
14. Twain, Mark The Adventures of Huclebury Finn MO
15, Twain, Mark A Murder, a mystery, a marriage MO
16. Price, Eugenia Bright Captivity St. Simons, GA
17. Karon, Jan A Light inthe Window b Lenoir, NC no Blowing Rock, NC

I will post it to A Novel Challenge but not until Oct. Lindy