Tuesday 8 January 2013

Southern Lit Reading challenge

I said I wouldn't do this. I definitely said I would not do this! I said would not do any challenges this year apart from Carl's. And then I signed up for What's in a Name. Now I'm signing up for the The Southern Literature Reading challenge which is being hosted by The Introverted Reader. Why? Well, I scanned the books I've read for my personal American challenge and observed that I had majored on crime novels. That wasn't the plan originally... I planned to read all kinds of books including non-fiction and classics. I have read a few non-fictions but, as far as can remember, no classics. Not good enough. Could do better. So I need to change that, and I've just started I Know Where the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou in order to put this right. As soon as I saw this new challenge I knew the book I've just started would be perfect for it, but also that the challenge would encourage me to read a lot more non-fiction, set in the southern states of the USA.

The rules:

Read a book(s)--non-fiction or fiction of any genre, for any age group--written by an author from the South and set mostly in the South.

Definitions of the South are flexible, so I've decided to define it the way I want. That's the fun of hosting your own challenge, right? :-)

The states:
South Carolina
North Carolina
West Virginia

Please keep in mind that this is a Southern literature challenge. It's possible to find books set in each of these states that are not Southern in nature or feeling. Use your best judgment when choosing your books.


Level 1--C'mon in the house! Read 1 book.
Level 2--Pull up a seat and stay a while! Read 2 books
Level 3--Have a glass of sweet iced tea, honey. Read 3 books
Level 4--Y'all come back now, y'hear! Read 4 books

The challenge will run from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013.


So... in order to challenge myself properly and actually get some books read I'm going to go for Level 4, which is to read 4 books. I think this might be a lot of fun and rather interesting. And if anyone has any particular book recommendations please feel free to leave a comment.

And just because I can, here're a few of my favourite vintage travel posters for several of the states or cities therein.



DesLily said...

ohhh a book i enjoyed could fit your challenge... it's called "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" by Tom Franklin (born in Alabama) and the story takes place in Missippi. It's not a big book but it was very good. fyi heh.

Cath said...

Oooh, thanks Pat. I looked it up on Amazon and it sounds very good. Then I found my library has a copy although it's out at the moment. So have made a note and will grab that when it comes back in.

Susan said...

How about Eudora Welty? To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee? Let's see....Duma Key by Stephen King is set in the south (Florida)! lol James Lee Burke - oh, I know, you want to get away from mysteries. I'll have to put my thinking cap on - Oh! Flannery O'Connor will help you in the classics area too :-)

Have fun with this challenge, Cath. I think you are a bit like me, can't resist them.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Cath,

This sounds like quite a challenge, with its relatively narrow choice of reading, so I shall be following your progress with interest.

I see that you have already had some great ideas for titles and I can't personally think of any good additions right now, but I'll work on it!

There are definitely no challenges for me this year.

Good Luck,


Cath said...

Susan: I really do have trouble resisting challenges, especially ones that fit was I was planning to do anyway. LOL

I've made a note of all of those suggestions. I'm actually wishing the challenge was a bit more than 4 books, but never mind, I can still read the books.

My husband's a huge James Lee Burke fan and I gave him two of his books for Christmas, so I may grab one. I can't do this challenge without including one mystery can I? LOL

Yvonne: It's not too bad at only 4 books, and I'm halfway through the first book already. I thought it was a narrow choice too until I saw all the states that are included! Fairly simple to choose 4 books from all of those.

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

I'm just doing the one book challenge this year and that's the British Book Challenge. Good luck with yours! :)

Jen at Introverted Reader said...

Thanks for signing up! I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is tough but so good. You've gotten some great recommendations already! I'll add Gone With the Wind (if you're brave enough to tackle this brick!), Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt (nonfiction), In the Forest of Harm by Sallie Bissell (very dark mystery), good old Tom Sawyer and/or Huckleberry Finn (classics), The Color Purple by Alice Walker (classic), Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (classic), and any of Rick Bragg's family memoirs. Did I just scare you off? We love to tell stories in this part of the world! And I obviously love to recommend them. :-)

Cath said...

Nikki-ann: Thank you. Good luck with reading your 12 books for the British Book challenge.

Jen: My pleasure. Yes, IKWtCBS is quite harrowing in places, but it's a fantastic read. I read Gone With the Wind in my late teens. Thought it amazing but probably don't want to reread it. I've made a note of the others, apart from the 2 Mark Twains which I've read. Some new to me authors and books there which sound like they might be extremely good. Nope, not scared off. LOL.