I am convinced that I was Southern in a past life. I love country music (but only female singers–except for Johnny Cash and Hank Williams of course), cowboy boots (I’ve always wanted a red pair), comfort food, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE books with sassy female characters in a southern setting. I love the word bouganvillea and lush decriptions of sultry locales–I can’t get enough!
The triumvirate of Southern Chick Lit (in my humble opinion) is comprised of the authors Anne Rivers Siddons, Mary Kay Andrews, and Rebecca Wells. In addition to these lovely ladies I think that Pat Conroy is the master of the evocative southern setting (as well as the supremely dysfunctional family).
My new favorite author/Southern belle is Sarah Addison Allen. Most of our staff has read her lovely debut–
Garden Spells and I’m afraid that fisticuffs may break out to determine who will be the first to check out her new title Sugar Queen.
As far as music is concerned I can’t say enough about Loretta Lynn. The album Van Lear Rose will not only please existing fans of hers, but it will amaze the uninitiated as well. White Stripes front man Jack White is the album’s producer and sings a duet with Loretta Lynn that is mind blowing! I also adore Lucinda Williams–anything by her is beautiful, twangy, and heart wrenching.
Some further Sassy&Southern reading suggestions from our lovely reference librarian/reader’s advisory maven (aka Audra):
The Land of Mango Sunsets by Dorothea Benton Frank
Hunk City by James Wilcox
Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Cruise and Bob Mayer
For even more suggestions try browsing Novelist. Novelist is an amazing database that helps readers choose that next great book to check out. You can browse by subject (I used “Women–Southern States”) or look at an author “read-alike” (I tried Anne Rivers Siddons).
So grab some sweet tea, sit on your porch, and dive into a warm, summer-y, southern read.
~Tricia is the youth librarian at the OWL and is currently reading Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews. If you love sassy heroines, southern locales and cooking, then this is definitely the book for you.