Monday, May 07, 2007

[Blogs] Southern Reading Challenge

Do you love the unique sense of place in Southern fiction?

Check out the "Southern Reading Challenge," sponsored by book critic and librarian Maggie of the blog Maggie Reads. Its runs from June 1 to August 31.

Each week she will draw "from participants' names, and the winner will
receive a Southern (Mississippi) made product." The challenge will have its own blog (with photo illustrations by Maggie) where you can share your reading experiences.

Here's how Maggie defines the Southern Reading Challenge:

I looked around at the time period for other challenges and I would like to set this challenge during the months of June, July, and August. Our most hot and humid time, dare I say, our most Southern time. For this challenge you will need to read 3 Southern books. Having read The Road will not qualify you for the challenge. (Yes, Cormac McCarthy is a Southern author and the father/son travel to the south, but the setting is post-apocalyptic. Can you imagine me running around trying to get a picture of ashen destruction?) The books must contain a Southern setting by a Southern author!

Not familiar with reading challenges? In the world of book blogs, these challenges are issued by a blogger or group of bloggers to encourage reading. In order to join in, you agree to read a certain number of books during a set time period. You sign-up through a "comment" to the original blog post or by linking to the post from your own blog.

Reading challenges are often organized around seasons, themes, genres, etc.

Of course, this is all done in good fun. No one is policing who reads what. In fact, participants often blog about their reading experiences (good and bad).

Want to find more reading challenges? Wendy from California, who describes herself as a "ravenous reader always looking for the next reading challenge," has several listed on her blog A Novel Challenge.


I am interested in participating in this challenge. I love Southern if I could only come up with a list of great ones to choose from.

Is there a Reader's Advisor out there? ; D


At Maggie Reads, Maggie has been posting lists of authors by state.

Like you, I am trying to decide what to read. I am interested in some of Flannery O'Connor's short stories and also re-reading Toole's Confederacy of Dunces.

N.T. on our staff is an expert on southern literature. You may want to ask him.

Thanks for the lovely post, Doris! I still haven't come up with my list either!?! :D
I've been looking around and asking lots of people for suggestions--I've read the three books Celia Rivenbark authored (love her!) and many Sweet Potato Queen books. I also enjoy Bailey White.

Currently I am thinking of reading Sue Monk Kidd's Secret Life of Bees, Julia Reed's Queen of the Turtle Derby , and maybe Cold Sassy Tree.

Maybe another great Southern work will be released during the challenge for us all to enjoy!

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