Favorite Southern fiction?
Catherine #questionnaire #fiction
Prince of Tides and Beach Music
Beach Music is my absolute favorite. Pat Conroy stories will break your heart.
I cried more reading that than anything before or since but absolutely loved it!! Read everything he wrote and wish there were more
Same. I love all his books, but Beach Music, Prince of Tides, and South of Broad are my favorites. In that order. When my mom died, a friend of mine from South Carolina sent me a copy of Charleston Receipts (The cookbook Leo King and his dad cooked so many recipes from in SoB). It is the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever received.
I like Dorothea Benton Frank’s Low Country books
Great summer reads!
Anything by Falkner
Midnight in the Garden of Evil
Loved that book!
Anything by William Faulkner.
Definitely Faulkner. He captures the essence of the South like no one else.
Anything by Reynolds Price.
Anything by Faulkner
The Help and Steel Magnolias.
The At Home In Mitford series by Jan Karon
Anne Rivers Siddons is the goddess of southern fiction.
Probably TKAM, but, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was awfully good, too!
@Rhonda “To Kill a Mocking Bird”
To Kill A Mockingbird
@Pat thanks, not usually so slow on the draw!
Anne Rivers Siddons & Pat Conroy.
To kill a Mocking bird South of Broad and Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
I love Pat Conroy, and of course TKAM, but another of my favs is Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns.
Cold Sassy Tree is one of my favs.
What, who, is TKAM
@Loretta To Kill a Mockingbird. I saw that acronym here on the thread and felt like a true member of the club when I used it ??.
The Coal Tattoo.
Pat Conroy.. if I had to pick a favorite it would be Beach Music. Celia Rivenbark for humor. Sean Dietrich and Rick Bragg for short stories and bios. Gresham for legal.
Love Celia Rivenbark!!!
@Molly after I posted I realized it was not fiction but she is a hoot.
I also met her at a book signing in Myrtle Beach, just as darling and unpretentious as her books.
Perfect time of year to read Light in August by Faulkner.
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. A phenomenal book! A must read
Next on my list!
Hated it. ???
I’ve been saving this for my book group later this year. Really liked Salvage the Bones.
To Kill Mockingbird and all of the Fannie Flagg books
Southern Gothic fiction. As many have said, Faulkner, but Flannery O’Connor as well.
The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers.
One of my favorites!
Prince of Tides
james dickey’s DELIVERANCE
Anything from the Deborah Knott series by Margaret Maron. She has the truest modern Southern voice of any author I’ve ever read. I’m from the South, and I swear I know some of those people!
Fanny Flagg, Faulkner, Pat Conroy
Charlaine Harris has written some really fun, quick books all set in the south. Not just the True Blood books!
Eugenia Price – Savannah Quartet, St Simons Trilogy
Her books were what really got me into reading historical fiction
Anything by Wiley Cash.
My thoughts exactly
If you like Wiley Cash, you’ll like Ron Rash.
@Denise thank you for the recommendation!
Denise Walsh you might want to add Rick Bragg to your list- essays and biographies but really fantastic!
Gone with the Wind
Can’t forget Carson McCullers!
Their Eyes Were Watching God.
That book absolutely blew me away!
Anything by Fannie Flagg
Gone With The Wind
Anything by Flannery O’Connor
Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All
Just about anything from Lee Smith or Susan Gabriel or Fannie Flagg.
William Faulkner, Flannery O’ Connor, Early Cormac McCarthy
Anything by Lee Smith
To Kill a Mockingbird
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Whistle stop cafe!
Anything Karen White!
The Lords Of Discipline by Pat Conroy, Walker Percy.
Whistle Stop Café, To Kill a Mockingbird
Fried Green Tomatoes
To Kill a Mockingbird, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolf
Cold Sassy Tree an Fried Green Tomatoes
The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin.
Also To Kill A Mockingbird
Roll of Thunder Here My Cry
Roll of Thunder great YA book
The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook
James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux books or Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find.
The Color Purple, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Ellen Gilchrists stories.
Fried Green Tomatoes, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Help are the three that come to mind.
To Kill a Mockingbird.
Esp. Prince of Tides!
Fried green tomatoes at the whistle stop cafe.
Fannie Flagg and Rebecca Wells
Cold Sassy Tree
To Kill a Mockingbird and The Help
Walker Percy, Eudora Welty
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Help, the Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross
@Manda time to shine
Flannery O’Connor, Cormac McCarthy, and Daniel Woodrell for the win!! Also, True Grit by Charles Portis and a comic book series by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour called Southern Bastards.
South of Broad
Pat Conroy To Kill a Mockingbird
Loved The Help!!
Pat Conroy, Rick Bragg
Beach Music and South of Broad by Pat Conroy, anything by John Grisham, and of course To Kill a Mockingbird.
The help, Fried Green Tomatoes
Traded street series
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren??????
Bastard Out of Carolina The Dry Grass of August Ellen Foster
The Dry Grass of August was phenomenal
@Kelly I love the Penn Cage series.
@Ronda I just finished Devil’s Punchbowl and have Natchez Burning on hold at the library! He’s becoming my favorite southern author!
@Freda …we live in South Carolina but my husband bought a motorcycle online from a guy in Nathez. We listened to Turning Angel on the way. We were telling the guy about Greg Iles. Well, Greg lived in his neighborhood before he became famous. Told us how to get to the private school that the book was loosely based on and the riverbank where the girl was found murdered at the beginning. Best weekend trip.
@Freda there’s a novella, The Death Factory, that goes between The Devil’s Punchbowl and Natchez Burning. It’s listed at 3.5 in the series. Gives some history of Penn’s time in Houston.
@Kelly woohoo! Thank you! Just checked it out from Overdrive. Didn’t know about this one.
@Freda I just finished it. It’s not great but I think it gives some necessary backstory as we move into the next three books.
@Ronda What an amazing story! You should tell that to the Great American Read folks!
@Freda haaaa! It’s not like I got to meet him. I did meet Celia Rivenbark. She taught me how to pose in a picture to look skinnier. ?
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
The Sound and The Fury, To Kill a Mockingbird.
I just finished The Sound and The Fury, really loved it.
Me, too, Andi. I could feel the atmosphere of the South oozing out of the novel.
Midnight in the garden of good and evil
To kill a mockingbird, And The Divine Secrets of the Ya ya sisterhood.
Lords of Discipline by P Conroy
To Kill A Mockingbird and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Rick Bragg’s The Best Cook in the World, Gap Creek by Robert Morgan, long Train Passing by Steven Wise
I love all things Rick Bragg!!
Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg
Terms of Endearment – McMurtry (or Lonesome Dove, take your pick)
Peachtree Road by Ann Rivers Siddons
Cassandra King, Pat Conroy’s wife has written several good ones in this genre. Can’t remember the titles.
And several Anne Rivers Siddons books, the earlier ones.
Prince of Tides and Beach Music, oh man.
Flannery O’Connor. Faulkner, esp: As I Lay Dying; Conroy: The great Santini.
Anne Rivers Siddons
gone with the wind
For fun cozy mysteries, Anne George’s Southern Sisters series & King of Liars by Hart
Anything by Pat Conroy. It is sad that there will be no more.
One of the only books I have read twice, and look forward to reading again.
Prince of Tides.
Gone with the wind
I was thinking the Mitford series.
Cold Sassy Tree, To Kill a Mockingbird, everything by Rick Bragg
Gone With The Wind.
Burdy by Karen Spears @Karen. And Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry.
Awww Thank you
All of Tennessee Williams, just to emphasize how far women have come from his fascinatingly witty but so misogynist writings
I recently watched video clips from “Orpheus Descending”; I think the name of the movie was “The Fugitive Kind”, with Anna Magnani and Marlon Brando, and, I think, Joanne Woodward, and maybe, Karl Malden. I couldn’t believe that I could tolerate this contempt when I was a teenager, but hey, there was so much in real life; life did not look too hopeful for young women who cared. It’s actually offered as _liberating_ when Lady is destroyed. But at least she wasn’t a Bond girl!
I got started reading Williams when a friend and her new friend, my enemy, started reading together through all of Williams’ works, because the friend’s new friend was a second cousin of TW. I decided to invite myself along, so when I talked to my friend, we’d discuss the plays we’d read and the issues within them. Williams seemed ideal for me to read, because our high school library, which was so poor that our school almost lost its accreditation, had those yearly Best Plays anthologies. With a play, you were into the story right away, which was not so different from the movies and TV shows I’d seen so many of, the usual means of receiving a story in my life. And I was going through a period of dissociative forgetting, and that worries a kid: worse than embarrassing if they found out. So when I read the stories that I recognized as movies we’d seen (but shouldn’t have) at the drive-in when I was a child, I got to turn those remembered experiences over in my head, and they helped me connect to other neural traces, and my remembrances broadened. I was eventually thought of as someone who was obssessed with Tennessee Williams, which was neither fair nor true. The two who had started this weren’t thought of that way!
And I loved the fact that Williams did not completely discount God. He was someone who insisted on blowing out those candles, but who couldn’t completely blow them out, himself. Even though the world was indeed now lit with ‘lectricity. That is something to think about, when we are being subtly demanded to relinquish our mattering as human beings, in favor of a digital reality that frequently shows itself hostile to us. We are supposed to placidly agree that we do not _matter_ , and that our numbers make our survival undesirable. Hey, sez who? Who, may I ask, wants to know? Other human beings.
Gone With the Wind.
Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy.
Dorothea Benton Frank, Fanny Flagg, Jan Karon
Whistling Past The Graveyard is one of my favorites. The Help is another.
To Kill a Mockingbird, GWTW and Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil
Anything by Connie May Fowler.
Greg Iles -Natchez Burning Trilogy (Mississippi Blood, etc)
anything by Sarah Addison Allen, especially The Sugar Queen.
Anything by Dorothea Benton Frank. And definitely Gone With the Wind. Read that one 3 times. First time I didn’t read the last chapter because I couldn’t bear the thought of it ending
I felt the same when I read it the first time!
To Kill a Mockingbird, of course.
As I Lay Dying, by Faulkner; The Optimist’s Daughter, by Welty.
I love As I Lay Dying … challenging, irreverent, and hilarious!
I loved Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides.
So many greats!
GWTW, TKM, Rick Bragg, Pat Conroy, Fannie Flagg
Rhett Butler’s people.
On Leaving Charleston by Alexandra Ripley
The Sweet Potato Queens! Loved that group of books!!!
divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood!
Conrad by Pat Comroy
Rubyfruit Jungle, and many by Fannie Flagg
If you are into lighter southern fare—check out books ? by Mary Kay Andrews, especially the Weezie and Bebe mystery series
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Hysterical! Also Venus Envy by Rita Mae Brown, also very funny.
The Tradd Street series by Karen White!!
The Mitford Years series
Reading the Beach House series right now by Mary Alice Monroe
Cold Sassy Tree (Olive Burns), Peace Like a River (Leif Enger), The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (Jacqueline Kelly–young adult fiction), The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd), and OF COURSE, To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)!
I almost forgot about Cold Sassy Tree— the audio book circulated around the workplace (Richard Thomas “John Boy Walton” was the “voice”).
Love Jacqueline Kelly. My daughter and I loved reading Calpurnia Tate together.
Anything by Silas House
Anything by John Hart
To Kill a Mockingbird ❤️??
The Natchez Burning trilogy by Greg Iles..so good!
5 smooth stones by Ann Fairbank.
Gods in Alabama
I read that earlier this summer and loved it! The Opposite of Everyone was also very good.
Freda Ray Rittenhouse -Between, Georgia is a really good one by her too
James Lee Burke’s Robiceaux novels depict New Orleans so vividly, I swear I smell bayou and feel the humidity settle down over me every time I read them.
Yes!! I loved all of these!!
i so concur Burke is a great writer; his prose is so beautifully descriptive & his redemptive endings bring hope and meaning to a damaged world.
Anything by Ron Rash.
the prince of tides
The Great Santini…
Anything by Pat Conroy
Absolutely loved all of conroy’s stuf
As a native Southerner I have strong opinions about this. My opinion, and it is only my opinion is that Pat Conroy (Prince of Tides, the Great Santini, etc always) makes being Southern seem pathological. Reynolds Price however, tells the truth of his South’s conflicted history & quirkiness, but allows you to see the nobility that is there in it. My favorite is A Great Circle trilogy: The Surface of Earth, The Source of Light, and The Promise of Rest. Not Beach reading but a rich novel to fall into. (Tolja I felt strongly. . .)
I will read these!
Thanks for being politely honest, Sandy. I love Pat’s books, but can understand your perspective.
@Barbara I don’t hate Conroy, but just prefer some others to represent “The South” I know and love. I will tell you I was living in Charleston when South of Broad came out and that was a Fun read for all of us there. I’ve often hoped it would be made into a movie — some of those characters would be so great on the screen — and of course they could film it right there in downtown Charleston.
@Barbara I certainly don’t hate Conroy, just prefer some others to represent “The South” I’ve known and loved. I will tell you I was living in Charleston when South of Broad came out and that was a FUN read for all of us there. I’ve often thought that book would make a great movie. Some of those characters seems to be written for the screen. And of course, they could film it in downtown Charleston. — and just in case it sounds like it — I am not a Charlestonian — just got to live there for about 12 years. I’m now back in my native NC where my family roots are rural and so R Price’s family sagas ring true for me.
@Sandy I have never been to NC but have a high school friend ( born and raised in the Midwest) who lives there and loves it. Charleston is on my bucket list. Thanks for the heads up on R Price. And I do love a family saga!
uh..Grits are delicious. ???
Mary Kay Andrews
The Bone Tree
Anything by Conroy…
Kaye Gibbons’ A Virtuous Woman, Charms for the Easy Life and Ellen Foster.
I loved Ellen Foster!
Ellen Foster is a splendid little book
Fried Green Tomatoes!
Secret Life Of Bees
I forgot about that one. Loved that book.
Flannery O’Connor – A Good Man is Hard to Find
Flannery O’Conner, Wise Blood and all her short stories!
I forgot about Fried Green Tomatoes until I saw someone mention Fannie Flagg!
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Oooo yeah, I loved this book!
Pat Conroy and Terry Kay.
I just finished To Dance with the White Dog. It may be my new favorite book! Definitely makes the top five.
All of Terry Kay’s books are great. If you can find a copy of Dark Thirty – it’s my favorite after White Dog – one of his best.
I loved Shadow Song… it is one of my all time favorites
Cold Sassy Tree, and more recently, Where the Crawdads Sing.
Both are great books
Anything by Mary Alice Munroe.
Many good writers mentioned already, but Eudora Welty should be near the top of any list of Southern writers.
Cold Sassy Tree ?
There’s some hot steamy romance books set in the south. Nora Roberts and Jennifer Blake come to mind. It’s from Nora I learned the meaning of “Bless your heart”.
Harry Crews if you like a little grit and edge?
Carolyn Haines and her Sarah Booth mysteries
What could ever top “Gone with the Wind” for a southern setting?
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe and pretty much anything by Fannie Flagg.
Charles Martin books.
This list seems really old—every Faulkner ever but no Pat Conroy????
Only a starting point
Pat Conroy hands down.
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, followed by anything else he’s ever written!!!!
To Kill A Mockingbird!
Dorothea Benton Frank Pat Conroy
Gone with the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird
Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil.
Fried Green Tomatoes, The Help, The Secret Life of Bees, and them aforementioned works!
Anything by Joshilyn Jackson.
Strom Thurmond’s biography
I love the Bregdan Series by Ginny Dye
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Too many to name from many genres but set in the South.
Fanny Flagg, Carson McCullers…
Almost anything by Greg Iles.
Pat Conroy’s Prince of Tides, To Kill a Mockingbird are two of my favorites
Beach Music, Pat Conroy
Prince of tides, the Help, anything by Fanny Flagg & of course Gone With the Wind
Greg Iles. If you want to go back further, Francis Parkinson Keyes wrote awesome books about the south.
Dinner at Antonie’s
@Gina Steamboat Gothic. I own all of her books.
Just finished rereading Beach Music by Pat Conroy!
One of my all time favorite books! Rereading it is a very good idea!!
Anything by Lee Smith, especially Fair and Tender Ladies
Also Ferrol Sams…not a popular author, but so, so good!
Ferris Sam’s is a wonderful storyteller! Run with the Horses was my favorite.
Lee Smith. Silas House. Wiley Cash.
Anything by Joshilyn Jackson
I would add “all things Faulkner,” To Kill a Mockingbird, and my newest find–Jesmyn Ward–Sing, Unburied, Sing and The Men We Reaped.
Crazy Ladies by Michael Lee West
A Land Remembered
The Help and To Kill a Mockingbird
A Painted House
Thank you for making me aware of this book! I’ve just ordered. It sounds wonderful!
Great book! I just received the sequel but haven’t read it yet.
The Invention of Wings
Gone With the Wind – To Kill a Mockingbird – Prince of Tides – John D.MacDonald Travis McGee series – probably will think of more later!
James Lee Burke
The Prince of Tides
I just bought that! Haven’t cracked the spine yet
You’ll love it
A magnificent piece of literature.
Long Man by Amy Greene
Books by Faulkner. It might take a bit of time to get used to the dialect, but his writing really captures the characters.
Their Eyes Are Watching God
Prince of Tides was one of my all time favorite books.
@Meliahone of mine, too!
Love all of Pats books. Have read Beach Music 3 times.
Southern sisters mysteries by Anne George. Just silly, relaxing fun!
And cold mountain
Laura Childs Teashop Mysteries.
A Confederacy Of Dunces
Pat Conroy, without a doubt.
Sookie Stackhouse. ?♂️
Another vote for anything written by Pat Conroy.
Have millions of people already mentioned Harper Lee and her ladies like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum….?
Gone With the Wind
Anne Tyler Raleigh, NC
The Secret Life of Bees
Joshilyn Jackson for contemporary fiction. James Lee Burke is also wonderful. And the book Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is great.
To Kill a Mockingbird!
That was going to be mine. I love miss Julia
We have great taste ?
To Kill a Mockingbird, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Fried Green Tomatoes (and anything by Fannie Flag) and don’t forget the True Blood series!
The Help and Divine Secrets of Yaya Sisterhood
Member of the Wedding
Garden of good and evil
Pat Conroy’s books
So many, but have to say Greg Illes
Joshilyn Jackson’s books. Gods in Alabama, a Grownup Kind of Pretty, etc.
Anything by Anne Rivers Siddons
Anything by Fannie Flagg. Takes me right back to my southern roots!
Fannie Flagg, Karen White, Dorothea Benton Frank.
Anything by Fannie Flagg and Divine Secrets of the Ya -Ya Sisterhood.
Sharyn McCrumb’s The Ballad of Frankie Silver
Their Eyes Were Watching God; The Heart is a Lonely Hunter; and anything by Lee Smith
Flannery O’Connor short stories. And Cormac McCarthy novels.
Have you read the letters of Flannery O’Connor? It’s hard to reconcile her fiction with the humor in the letters
@Beth, no I haven’t read her letters.
I have her letters, but I don’t think its hard to reconcile the two in her fiction and letters at all. They are both full of humor, juxtaposed against the serious undercurrent always running through them. And if you think of a favorite author as a full-fledged human being, there are going to be times when they are more relaxed. That wouldn’t be while they are practicing their art, but when they are relaxing with friends.
The Rising of Glory Land by Janie Devos
Confederacy of Dunces
Bastard Out of @Carolina.
Pat Conroy’s Beach Music.
Ooh, just downloaded it from Bookbub.
@Michele, lucky you! It’s a good one.
The Help and The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Not quite the South since it is set in Ohio, but “And Ladies of the Club” by Helen Hooven Santmyer is a great read as stories of the lives of generation of women who belong to the same book club. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%22…And_Ladies_of_the_Club%22
LOVED this book!
The kitchen house
The entire John Jakes collection, starting with North and South
Lonnie Coleman’s Beulah Land series
To Kill a Mockingbird and The Help, Secret Life of Bees
The prince of Tides.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Carson McCullers, midnight in the garden of good and evil
Anything by Flannery O’Connor.
The Help was pretty great
Tabacco Road (fiction?)
Looooove Erskine Caldwell!
Lee Smith and Flannery O’Connor
Mine, too! ?
Ballad of the sad cafe….
Any thing by Dorothy Benton Frank
Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood
The Heart is A Lonely Hunter by Carson Mccullers
Oh yes,love that one too.
Any Fannie Flagg book! I have so enjoyed them all!
The secret life of bees!
Okay…what do I do with this?
I was asking for everyone’s favorite Southern fiction suggestions.
Ditto … or To Kill a Mocking Bird
A Conroy novel such as Prince of Tides
All Conroy novels!
Ann River Siddons
Southern Gothic: Sharp Objects!
Did u like The HBO adaption?
Isn’t Missouri really more Midwest? Maybe just where I’m from we wouldn’t consider that the South.
@Sandra, loved it.
who is the author, i’m seeing more than one option here
Faulkner Sound & the Fury
The secret life of bees and any thing by Fanny Flagg.
Bastard Out of Carolina.
Prince of tides
The True Blood Series. Light and fun to read
Ooh yeah, and Anne Rice…southern gothic.
Joshilyn Jackson novels.
South of broad basically all pat conroy
To Kill a Mockingbird, no question.
Has to be “to kill a mocking bird”
To Kill a Mockingbird, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Prince of Tides.
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
I forgot about that book. I loved it!!! His, City of Fallen Angels is also really great!
Anne Rice, Harper Lee and of course Margaret Mitchell!
So many of these recommendations…….. except Faulkner—–I have a problem getting into his books (have to admit I haven’t tried since college and right after)
Anything by Pat Conroy.
Flannery and also Faulkner!
Lillian Hellman’s Watch on the Rhine
OMG, y’all are blowing up my Goodreads app right now. I can’t keep up.
To Kill a Mockingbird, garden of good and evil.
Anne Rivers Siddens
We are all excited about great books!
Eugenia Price..Historical Fiction
Magic Time by Doug Marlette
Read that long ago……great book! Thanks for reminding me!
Ten years ago for me.
And I purchased it at the Dollar Tree!