We can start by talking about what constitutes the American South – I think it begins at the Mason-Dixon line – heads south and is pretty much bounded by the Mississippi River but most people think it includes the southwest which certainly takes it to Texas and the surrounding area – and I think Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry is one of the great American novels – so I could go with that.
What kind of books excite you?
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (started out in Arizona but was in West Virginia when most of this memoir occurred (see – we’re very loose about our definitions)
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – Barbara Kingsolver – (another transplant)
pretty much anything about the Civil War
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson – story of his establishment of the Equal justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.
Being Dead is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral by Gayden Metcalfe (and yes – there are recipes and yes – it’s funny)
Authors include Eudora Welty and Mark Twain (although probably not Yankee in King Arthur’s Court), Kate Chopin, William Faulkner, Katherine Anne Porter, Thomas Wolfe, Robert Penn Warren, Tennessee Williams, (Margaret Mitchell?)
Too many to count but given the recent publicity we’d have to start with Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman
The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg, The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, Sophie’s Choice by William Styron, Mudbound by Hillary Jordan, and Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith. (just to mention a few selected at random and it doesn’t even include all my favorites)
By author – just a few of the many – John Grisham, Margaret Maron, Patricia Sprinkle, David Balducci, Michael Malone – they all have so many titles that you just list them by name
(not a field I know a lot about so you may have to help here) How about Jan Karon’s Mitford series?
and it goes on and on – please post your suggestions and – since you have several weeks before we meet – get reading.