There are few things better in life than a good book.
One thing better is a good southern book.
Cause we all know I’m slightly partial to the south.
These, in my humble, 100% un-expert, but truly southern opinion are the best southern books – the keepers. Some are fiction, some are non-fiction. Some will pull at your heartstrings and some will have you rolling in the floor. Some are about scraping by to make ends meet and some are about witches and ghosts and all things weird.
Would you expect any less from me?
The Best Southern Books
1. Anything by Rick Bragg
Hands down, Rick Bragg is my favorite author. Start with All Over But the Shoutin’ – his tale of growing up poor in Alabama and how much his mama sacrificed for him and his brothers. Its raw and honest and an amazing memoir. He also has a new one coming out – My Southern Journey – and you’d better believe my copy is already pre-ordered. He writes a column in Southern Living every month as well. I have saved every single one of his columns from the magazine – they are so good.
2. Natchez Burning & The Bone Tree
Every time we go to the beach, it never fails that I spend at least three or four nights up until the wee hours of the morning reading a Greg Iles book. Once you start one of his books, you cannot put it down. His latests ones, Natchez Burning and its sequel, The Bone Tree are unbelievable. They are set in present day Natchez, Mississippi, but everything that’s happening are results of events that happened during the civil rights era. Both are full of unforgettable twists.
3. The Last Madam
As you may remember from my story about visiting a whorehouse, things that most people find weird or scary fascinate me – and I love all things New Orleans. The Last Madam (non-fiction) is a book about just that – the last madam of New Orleans. It is a captivating tale of debauchery. I’ve re-read the book now at least three times. Its that good.
4. The Eden Moore Series
Now, I’m quite partial to these because they are all set in Chattanooga, where I call home. They are all fiction, but the cool thing about the Eden Moore series is that they are based around real ghost stories and historical events here in Chattanooga. Cherie Priest did a spectacular job of creating stories around real events. These are books I’ve read over and over again as well. Start with Four and Twenty Blackbirds to get to know Eden Moore and the three ghosts that protect her. Continue with Wings to the Kingdom and then Not Flesh Nor Feathers. Then, let’s all beg Cherie Priest to write another one in the series because you’re gonna be hooked.
5. The Mayfair Witches Series
While Anne Rice might be most well-known for her vampire books, my personal favorites of hers are The Mayfair Witch books. I’m quite sure they were the first books that I read which were based in New Orleans, so of course I was hooked immediately. The series is centered around a family of witches in New Orleans that is haunted by an unknown being. Start with The Witching Hour, followed by Lasher, and finally Taltos. If you love tales of witches or New Orleans, you’ll love these.
6. The Help
Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past few years, you’ve heard about The Help. You probably even watched the movie. But did you read the book? Because if you didn’t, you need to. The Help is set in Mississippi during the Civil Rights era and man, is it a powerful book. It will make you laugh out loud and cry at the same time.
7. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
New Orleans is my favorite city, but Savannah is a close second. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is set in Savannah and you may have seen the movie for this one too, but the book is worth a read as well. There are mansions and voodoo and crime all rolled into this one.
8. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
If there were ever a group of girls you wanted to be friends with, its the Ya-Yas. This is a tale of strong, true southern women at both their finest and weakest moments.
Ok. Your turn.
What are your favorite southern books?
And you might also want to read about two of the best cities in the South…
You know you don’t wanna miss any of this crazy.
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