As I’ve told you before, there are fewer things in life better than a good southern book. Losing myself in a good book is by far, for me, the best way to relax. I am a go-go-go person. Being idle is not in my blood. Being wrapped up in a good book though – well that’s one of the few things that can make me actually sit down for a while.
Towards the end of the summer last year, I wrote about some of my favorite southern books. Well, I’ve read more since then and have a whole new list for you. And ya’ll – these are good.
More Favorite Southern Books
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Karen White’s House on Tradd Street Series
I just discovered Karen White and I can’t believe I didn’t find her sooner. I just finished reading The House on Tradd Street and it was amazing. I nearly peed my pants with excitement when I got to the end and discovered that there were three more books in the series. You can bet your bottom dollar that those other three books are already ordered and on their way to me. The House on Tradd Street is set in historic Charleston, South Carolina and centers around Melanie Middleton who can see ghosts. She is a realtor who specializes in selling old homes, but despises old homes. Much to her surprise, an old man whom she barely even knows leaves her his house (a historic Charleston home, hundreds of years old) in his will. The house has a few ghosts with a story to tell – Melanie and her friend, Jack just have to figure it out. Apparently, Karen White also has a new book out, The Forgotten Room, which sounds great as well. It’s not set in the south, but it sounds like it has just as much mystery as the Tradd Street series.
My Southern Journey by Rick Bragg
As you guys well know, Rick Bragg is hands-down my favorite southern author. There’s not a soul in this world who can string words together about the south like he can – and I fully intend on telling him that when I meet him next Thursday! Yep, I just said that! He is coming to Chattanooga as part of the South Bound Lectures and I grabbed my ticket as soon as I heard. Ya’ll I cannot wait! Anywho, his new book, My Southern Journey is a collection of his short stories that have been published in Southern Living magazine and other magazines and media outlets during his writing career. I had already read many of the stories in there, but had forgotten about quite a few. No doubt, this book is a keeper. In true Rick Bragg fashion, he can have you belly laughing one minute and squaling like a baby the next. If you’ve never read Rick Bragg before, start with All Over But the Shoutin‘. I’ve also got more of my favorite books by him here.
Sleep No More & Blood Memory by Greg Iles
While I have been impatiently awaiting the third book in the Natchez Burning series (A MUST READ!) by Greg Iles, I dove into a couple of his other books – Sleep No More and Blood Memory. Both books were thrillers that I just couldn’t put down. Both are set in southern Mississippi (where many of Iles’ books are set) and full of twists and turns that you never see coming. Sleep No More is centered around John who meets a woman who reminds him of an ex-girlfriend who’s been dead for quite a while. Turns out the woman is the ex-girlfriend. Blood Memory centers around Cat who discovers bloody footprints in her childhood bedroom after dropping some chemicals onto the floor. The discovery leads her to revisit the tragedy that occurred during her childhood and discovers that what she’s believed for all these years isn’t actually true.
Madam by Cari Lynn and Kellie Martin
Madam was suggested to me after I posted the first round of my favorite southern books. As many of you may know, New Orleans has my heart and all the history of Storyville and madams intrigues me like nothing else. Madam is a fiction book but it is based on Josie Arlington, one of the most successful madams of Storyville. While others may see her as nothing but a whore, I see her as a smart woman who learned how to break through that glass ceiling females are often left hitting long before the term glass ceiling was ever heard of. Madam proves my point.
Two other New Orleans books that have been suggested to me are Out of the Easy and Hell or High Water. I haven’t been able to dive into either yet, but both show great promise. There are more of my favorite NOLA based books here.
Once There Was a Farm by Virginia Bell Dabney
I checked this book out ten years ago from the public library. I checked it out at least two more times after that and finally bought it for myself a couple years back. Once There Was a Farm doesn’t have any ghosts in it, it isn’t a thriller and there isn’t much drama at all. It’s just a sweet story about a little girl who grew up on a farm and her independent mother who ran the farm by herself. I probably love this book so much because it reminds me of home. There’s no doubt – I’m sure to read it countless more times in my life.
South of Broad by Pat Conroy
I literally just started this book. Once more, when I wrote about my favorite southern books there were a ton of you guys who said I must read Pat Conroy. I looked over his work and settled on South of Broad to read first. This one is also set in Charleston. I am literally on like the fifth page, so you can read the summary of this one here if you want to.
Alright, as always I want your suggestions! Share your favorite books – southern, not southern, anything goes (although I really LOVE ghosts and witches) in the comments! Help me fill up my Amazon cart – but make sure we have a little money left over for booze, mmkay?
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