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Topic: Southern Fiction recommendations?

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Subject: Southern Fiction recommendations?
Date Posted: 10/18/2007 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2007
Posts: 52
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I love fiction set in the south.  Especially contemporary fiction.  I'm a big fan of Fannie Flagg, Lee Smith, Clyde Edgerton, Sherri Reynolds, Mary Kay Andrews, etc.  Does anyone have any recommendations?  I also enjoy the Janet Evanovich series with Stephanie Plum, even thought that is not set in the south.

Last Edited on: 10/18/07 3:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/18/2007 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2007
Posts: 78
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Crazy in Alabama by  Childress, any of the YA Ya Sisterhood books, and if you like mysteries, anything by Tami Hoag. The old standby books by Faulkner are a must.

Date Posted: 10/18/2007 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2007
Posts: 52
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I just added the Childress book to my list and I've read the YaYa books.  I haven't tried Tami Hoag....I'll look into some of her stuff.

Date Posted: 10/18/2007 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/9/2007
Posts: 142
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Dorothea Benton Frank's books are set in the Low Country (coastal SC).

Date Posted: 10/18/2007 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2006
Posts: 823
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The Secret Life of Bees

Date Posted: 10/19/2007 7:06 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2006
Posts: 1,322
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The Southern Sisters mysteries by Anne George and the Death on Demand books by Carolyn Hart.

Date Posted: 10/19/2007 7:09 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 862
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Just finished listening to a wonderful book by Anne Rivers Siddon called Low Country.

Date Posted: 10/19/2007 7:37 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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Crazy in Alabama is great.

  A lady at work told me about Virigina Lanier, she's a southern mystery writer...

Kaye Gibbons is a southern author that I love  but her books are fairly heavy, not light reads. Charms for the Easy Life is my favorite of hers.

As far as Southern authors goes Terry Kay's To Dance With the White Dog is a must-read.

Last Edited on: 10/19/07 7:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/19/2007 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 1
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Check out the books by Kathy Hogan Trocheck  - I think this is another name that Mary Kay Andrews writes under.   They are fun quick reads....with quirky characters.       Another Atlanta author that sets her story in the south is Patty Callahan Henry.  I enjoyed all of her books.

Date Posted: 10/19/2007 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 662
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I just ordered James Burke - He has a whole series based in New Orleans ... and came highly recommended!

Date Posted: 10/19/2007 10:46 AM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2007
Posts: 3,129
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The following were set in the south:

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, a classic by Carson McCullars

Cane River by Lalita Tademy, not contemporary but a fascinating historical fiction about slavery

Bloodroot, by Susan Wittig Albert, a China Bayles mystery

All Over But the Shoutin' not fiction but a memoir by Rick Bragg...terrific writing AND story (it's on my bookshelf, too). 

Date Posted: 10/19/2007 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I've loved the books by :: Curtiss Ann Matlock  Some are a series but don't have to be read in order.  Very fun but with a good story line too that encompasses community and family.

The other ones I've found fun is anything by  Adriana Trigiani.   Lots of family situations and a sense of humor.

Last Edited on: 10/19/07 12:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/19/2007 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2007
Posts: 52
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I actually have a couple of James Lee Burke books that I liked.  I've read some Kaye Gibbons, Ann George,  and I just requested a Dorothy Benton Frank book on another site.  I've read the Secret Lives of Bees.  The others that have been mentioned sound like good leads!  Thanks everyone!!

Date Posted: 10/21/2007 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Last Edited on: 2/6/10 1:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/21/2007 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2005
Posts: 714
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Anything by Jill McCorkle. Her novels are great and I like her short stories, too.

Date Posted: 10/21/2007 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2005
Posts: 3,449
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Anne River s Siddons, Mindy friddle, and cassandra King are all good .

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 10/21/2007 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Dori Sanders.  I enjoyed Clover and Mamma Makes Up Her Mind


Date Posted: 10/21/2007 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
Posts: 989
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"The Same Sweet Girls" by Cassandra King. Very good book!

Date Posted: 10/22/2007 8:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2006
Posts: 922
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   Read anything by Michael Lee West, especially Crazy Ladies. My son turned me on to them when he was taking a college Southern Literature class and I've since read all of her books and am on the waiting list for her new one.



Date Posted: 10/22/2007 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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  James Lee Burke is wonderful, especially in that his mystery-thrillers are all set either in New Orleans or nearby "canjun country."

  For a more light-hearted take, try Ad Hudler's "Southern Living," set in Macon, Georgia. His portrayals of southern characters are spot-on, and very funny! HIs third one, "All This Belongs To Me," is in south Florida, which is not really the south as most people think of it, but still good for Florida.

 Carl Hiassen's books are outrageouly hilarious, set in south Florida---but again, as someone who grew up in SC, I would NEVER consider south Florida part of what most people call "The South"!!!!! 

It's New York/New Jersey on the east coast, and MIchigan/Ohio on the west coast.

Last Edited on: 10/24/07 9:44 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/23/2007 8:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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Here's some Fannie Flagg "read alikes"

Ann B. Ross's Miss Julia novels will offer Flagg fans a familiar small-town setting, idiosyncratic Southern characters, gentle humor, and revelations about life hidden in everyday events. The series stars Miss Julia Springer, a proper, recently widowed Presbyterian lady from Abbotsford, North Carolina. In the first novel in the series, Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind, Miss Julia has just settled comfortably into respectable, wealthy widowhood when something her husband left behind shows up on her front porch — an illegitimate, 9-year-old son.

Flagg readers who enjoy the mysteries to be found in her fiction may want to try Anne George's humorous Southern Sisters series. These Southern Fiction meets Cozy stories feature retired Alabama schoolteacher Patricia Anne Hollowell and her polar opposite sister, Mary Alice. The mystery itself frequently takes a back seat to local color and oddball characters, and George's style is often comic. Readers will want to start at the beginning with Murder on a Girls’ Night Out, in which the former owner of Mary Alice's latest entrepreneurial acquisition, the Skoot 'n Boot country-western club, is found gruesomely murdered.

Though she has a softer, more sentimental and inspirational tone, Flagg fans will find much to enjoy in the work of Jan Karon. In the first book in the Mitford series, At Home in Mitford, the reader is introduced to Mitford's engaging inhabitants, including Father Tim, the town's rector, who outwardly exudes Christian charity, but inside is lonely and unfulfilled. Through a series of everyday occurrences, Father Tim's life begins to change.

Lorna Landvik shares Flagg's predilection for small-town settings, balancing hilarity with heartbreak, and providing insights into the human condition, especially where women are concerned. Like the cathartic qualities of Southern cooking in Fried Green Tomatoes, a small-town beauty shop can also provide comfort in the form of haircuts and permanent waves. In Patty Jane’s House of Curl, Patty Jane, with a baby on the way and reeling from being abandoned by her husband, decides to open a neighborhood beauty parlor with her sister. The beauty parlor soon becomes a place for warmhearted female camaraderie complete with laughter and tears.

Louisiana-born Rebecca Wells will provide Flagg fans with piquant Southern settings, a historical flavor, and a focus on vibrant women and their relationships. In Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, three generations of wildly different bayou debutants and their unforgettable friends encounter love, motherhood, laughter, and tears as Wells explores their complex bonds. Wells also delves into the lives of the Ya-Yas in Ya-Yas in Bloom and Little Altars Everywhere.

Bethany M. Latham, Assistant Professor and Electronic Resources/Documents Librarian at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama, is Managing Editor of the Historical Novels Review.

 I would also add Dori Sanders' Her Own Place, she has a cookbook as well that I just love.

Last Edited on: 10/23/07 8:45 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/23/2007 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 66
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Carl Hiaasen books are all set in Florida, very good,funny reads!

Date Posted: 10/23/2007 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 1,305
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I bought Karen Slaughter's TripTych at a FOL sale this weekend, it's her stand alone book based in GA.Her other books have recurring charachters based in GA also. Nice thick novels.


Date Posted: 10/23/2007 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 12
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Try Ferrol Sams and Pat Cunningham Devoto

Date Posted: 10/24/2007 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/24/2007
Posts: 5
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anything by flannery o'connor

the honk and holler opening soon by billie letts