Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Have a Southern Summer (copy)

As a librarian, I take some criticism every year for promoting summer reading. Now, I know what you are thinking. That is crazy, right?!?

Well, some people seem to think I should be promoting reading all year. Um, I do! But, I admit, I do a little extra in the summer. People seem to have a little more time to sit down with a book and a glass of tea. There is less to watch on the television, unless one loves reruns. Vacations require books if traveling by air or train. The last two times I flew, I experienced two separate six-hour layovers.

This year, I wish to plug some southern authors to boost our down-home pride.

Richard Price, a native of Jackson, MS, and current writer for the HBO crime-drama, The Wire, has his eighth book out, Lush Life. Set in New York City, the main character Eric and friend Ike are walking down a city sidewalk when a kid pulls a gun. Ike’s last words are, “Not tonight, my man.” A critic for the New York Times Book Review believes Price channels Raymond Chandler and Saul Bellow in this grim noir.

Joshilyn Jackson’s website states, “born in the Deep South and raised by a tribe of wild fundamentalists” she writes an excellent southern story. Author of gods in Alabama and Between, Georgia, her newest book, the girl who stopped swimming, is no exception. Laurel Gray Hawthorne is haunted by a ghost, a small girl, the girl who stopped swimming.

Born and raised in North Carolina and current associate professor at Vanderbilt University, Tony Earley has written a sequel to Jim the Boy. In soon to be classic The Blue Star, main character Jim Glass is now a teenager and in love; unfortunately, his interest is unavailable Chrissie who dates Bucky Bucklaw. Ah, but Bucky is about to be shipped to the Pacific theater.

Looking for funny? Look no farther than Carl Hiaasen’s new nonfiction. The publishing blurb starts, “Ever wonder how to retrieve a sunken golf cart from a snake-infested lake? Or which club in your bag is best suited for combat against a horde of rats? If these and other sporting questions are gnawing at you, The Downhill Lie, Carl Hiaasen’s hilarious confessional about returning to the fairways after a thirty-two-year absence, is definitely the book for you.”

Pour the sweet tea and set a spell—summer reading is on the way.

16 comments:

Diane said...

When I was a little girl, the libraries always promoted summer reading programs for the kids out on summer vacations, and I always participated and this helped fuel my passion for books - so go for it, Maggie!

First of all, anybody associated with the Wire can do no wrong in my book - I'm in!

And any book by Carl Hiaasen is also a must read in my opinion.

I'm also very excited that the latest book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books was recently released - I LOVE these gems!

Maggie said...

Kewl, Diane. I haven't even gotten my book covers up and you have commented. You are so quick. You know, I'm real excited about a memoir by Hiaasen. His life has to be unbelievable! And, I plan to read the Earley books for SRC. :D

Mary said...

Maggie! I keep changing my mind about which books I'll read for the Southern Challenge. Now I've read your newest post and will add another choice to the list: The Blue Star. I read Jim the Boy last month and liked it. And I know my husband will love to receive Hiaasen's The Downhill Lie for Fathers Day. He'll enjoy reading that sitting in the red adirondack chair on the front porch. Ah, summer...

Maggie said...

Summer is right around the corner Mary, and I just cannot wait! I have so many books! With work I can only do one a week, but with summer...*daydreaming* :D

Debi said...

Sweet tea...oh man, one of my favorite things from the South. Along with grits...oh, how I miss grits.

Anyway, anyone who has criticized you for promoting summer reading needs to have their head examined!!!

Maggie said...

Amen, Debi! :D

Sam Houston said...

I really enjoyed "The Girl Who Stopped Swimming" and I have Price's new one on sitting on my desk right now but just haven't started it yet. I really like his books so it's kind of comforting to see it there, unread, and waiting for me. :-)

Maggie said...

What a nice thought Sam. I really don't have a book waiting in the wings right now, just more science, award nominees, and tb reviews. :P

Lisa said...

I think most people don't understand much about what we librarians do, other than check out books, of course. :) I'm really interested in the Joshlyn Jackson and the Earley book. Thanks for the recommendations. I'm toying with a summer reading promotion here at the community college. Any ideas?

Maggie said...

Well, Lisa, we are doing a reading and blogging program for interested faculty and staff. Our library blog is http://rangerreaders.blogspot.com and we will be reading and blogging southern books all summer. :D I will be running 2 separate Southern Reading Challenges. Wanna Join?!?

Susie said...

Am I on the write blog respond page? Does that question even make sense?I am trying to respond to your comments on my blog. Thanks so much!

Maggie said...

Hi Susie! You found me, I'm so proud. You can also just say a little on your blog in response to me. Ya done good! :)

Brittanie said...

Yes.

sage said...

Thanks to my sister and Diane, I finally got the message to read Hiassen--I've read three of his books and he's a hoot! Looking forward to my summer reading. :)

Maggie said...

Yippee, Sage. A memoir in any form has got to be a Hoot coming from his warped perspective. ;)

Diane said...

sage - I'm so pleased that you enjoy Hiassen!