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.