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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

TTT: 'Cause There's Just Somethin' About the South, Y'all

It's been awhile since I participated in Top Ten Tuesday, my hands-down favorite weekly bookish meme, and I've missed it.  Terribly.  Interacting with this huge, online reading community is the best part about book blogging for me.  I love creating TTT lists, reading other people's lists, finding awesome new blogs to read, and just having a good ole time.  So, here I am.  If you haven't joined the party, do.  It's a whole lotta fun, I promise!

The lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish choose a new list-y topic every week.  This week's is:  Top Ten Favorite Books With X Setting (i.e., futuristic world, school setting, during World War II, set in California, etc.).  I really had to wrack my brain for this one.  I was trying to think of something really unique so I could talk about books I hadn't highlighted before, but, in the end, I came up with this not-so-original-but-still-fun list ...

Top Ten Favorite Books Set in the American South

1.  Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell—This one's pretty much a no-brainer.  I loved the book the first time I read it, but it enchanted me even more after I'd visited Atlanta.  Touring the Margaret Mitchell House museum was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

2.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett—I know this one's gotten some flack for various reasons, but I really enjoyed it, both in book and movie form.  

3.  Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts—Another story (this one's about a pregnant teenager in Oklahoma, who's trying to rebuild her life after being abandoned by her boyfriend) that charmed me as a book and as a movie.

4.  Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler—As heartbreaking as this story about a young white girl in 1940s Kentucky who falls in love with a black man is, it really spoke to me.  A word of advice:  keep the Kleenex handy.

5.  To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee—Another no-brainer.  It's a classic for a reason, y'all.  

6.  The Temperance Brennan novels by Kathy Reichs—I talk quite a bit about this series, which features a forensic anthropologist who solves murders both in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Toronto, Canada.  

7.  Circle of Secrets by Kimberley Griffiths Little—Kimberley (she's my IRL friend, so I can use her first name—we're friendly  like that) has written several interconnecting, middle grade novels that take place "deep in the heart" of the Lousiana bayou.  I'm not sure which book is my favorite, but I love both Circle of Secrets and The Healing Spell.

8.  Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys—Another atmospheric novel set in New Orleans.  This one's teeming with colorful characters, vivid scenery and mystery.  It's a rich, absorbing read that kept me riveted from its first word to its last.

9.  The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom—Although this novel's absolutely heart-wrenching, it's also absorbing and affecting.

10.  Tomorrow River by Lesley Kagen—I love this author and Tomorrow River, a Southern novel about family and friendship, is one of my favorites.

How about you?  What's your favorite Southern novel?  I know there are tons I haven't read yet—which would you recommend?  


  1. Great choice! I loved The Help and TKaM! Awesome list! :)

    Amanda @ i solemnly swear

  2. Oh, I just LOVE the Temperance Brennan novels, and I agree that the setting is just perfect! Thanks for sharing your choices, Susan :)

    I'm your newest follower via GFC!

  3. Love this topic. I'm from Louisiana & of course the south has a special place in my heart. I love reading books set there. My fave are Mary Kay Andrews books. She's hilarious & the books are great. My fave of hers is The Fixer-Upper. I really want to read Out of the Easy. Loved the Help, too. And To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time faves. Great list! ~daphne

  4. Good topic! I've read "The Help," "To Kill a Mockingbird," and "Where the Heart Is," and I've heard "The Kitchen House" is really good. :)

  5. I would have to add "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" and the related novels by Rebecca Wells. Great list and many that I haven't read and will have check out from the library.

  6. Great list! The South is a fun topic to pick, there's something very atmospheric about it as a setting I think. Great mix of classic and new-er picks on here, thanks!

  7. Good topic! and I love any list that includes To Kill A Mockingbird!

  8. This is a great list! What a cool setting to choose. I've loved a good number of your picks. Fabulous!

  9. Wow! We have the same topic here. I chose American Deep South, because I happened to have read 10 books this year set in those states :) I like some of the ones you included that I read, but not this year, Gone With the Wind and To Kill A Mockingbird, and a newer favorite The Kitchen House.
    Thanks for sharing this!

  10. I *love* THE HELP and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD! I've heard OUT OF THE EASY is great, too. :)

    Thanks for stopping by My TTT!

  11. It seems like a shame that I haven't read any of these. There looks to be some really good ones on your list. I like the Beautiful Creature books and Shadowed Summer. Creepier Southern tales.

  12. This is a great topic! From your list I've only read The Help so far... and loved it! You have several others on your list that are on my TBR pile. ;)

  13. I love Gone With the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird. I have both The Help and The Kitchen House to read, and have heard good things about both, so am looking forward to reading them.


  14. I love books written in a southern setting as well. To Kill a Mockingbird is a favorite and the Kathy Reichs novels as well. Mary Kay Andrews is great fun to read. I recently discovered Larissa Reinhart who writes humorous cozy mysteries that take place in Georgia. The one I read was Still Life in Brunswick Stew. Ann George is fun too, Murder on a Bad Hair Day.

  15. Great list, the only ones I've read are To Kill A Mockingbird, Gone With The Wind and Deja Dead but there are a couple of others that have sneaked on to my wishlist :)

  16. I desperately need to read Out of the Easy and The Help, as they have both received so much praise. To Kill a Mockingbird is also a great choice and a definite no-brainer for a top ten list about books set in the South. It's one of my favorite classics and a book everyone should read!

    Thanks for stopping by my Top Ten Tuesday. :)

  17. When I saw your topic, I thought I wouldn't have read any of them... but I have read (and enjoyed) Where the Heart Is and To Kill A Mockingbird. I might like to try The Help someday, too.

    Nice choice of topic!

  18. Good topic. I've read a few of these, but certainly not all of them. Gone With the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird are especially great books. Out of the Easy and the Kathy Reichs' books look really good.

    I like Margaret Maron's books which feature Judge Deborah Knott and are mysteries. The first one is Bootlegger's Daughter and they take place in North Carolina. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  19. Another thought... do you feel I should read all the Kathy Reichs' Bones series from the first, or is there another spot I can jump in and appreciate what has happened beforehand? I love mysteries and also forensic books, such as Patricia Cornwell back when she was "good" and Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli & Isles. Thanks for a response to long question :)

  20. Being from the south myself I can totally appreciate your topic choice. But surprisingly I haven't read most of these. Great list!

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT earlier!

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

  21. Oh, fantastic theme! I love To Kill a Mockingbird and I really want to read The Help. I loved the movie.

  22. Great setting choice and some great books! I have Out of the Easy but I still haven't read it. And I keep hearing such great things about it. And I agree with you. TTT is my favorite as well! Glad to see you!

  23. Gone With the Wind is one of my all time favorite books. And To Kill a Mockingbird--love it! ~Pam

  24. Great choices. I love books set in the South. My personal favorites are that of Anne Rice.

    My TTT.

  25. Great choice of setting! I too loved Where the Heart Is, both the book and the movie. I'd like to second the recommendations for Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Beautiful Creatures.

    I never realized some of the Temperance Brennan novels were set in the South, I've been meaning to try this series.

  26. Great list. Love the cover for To Kill A Mockingbird. Going to have to keep an eye out in my library to see if the stock Over the Easy.

  27. Fab choice. I do enjoy books set in the south of the USA, the setting is so different from where I live (London, UK)! I've only read To Kill A Mockingbird but some of the others are on my wishlist.

  28. I really liked Out of the Easy and Where the Heart is. I still need to read the Help *hides in shame* but I do own a copy. Great list!

  29. Hooray for the South!!! Love a good book set here. I haven't read any of these except Where the Heart Is (sooo good!) but feel like I really need to!

  30. If you enjoy books from the south (and about food) I highly recomend anything by Sara Allen Addison, esp Sugar Queen or Garden Spells. She is fantastic and I think right up your ally. Good list!


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