The Southern Lit Challenge

I am committing to joining the Southern Literature Challenge by reading one book!   Thank you to Beth Fish Reads for not only advertising my John Cusack Challenge but for letting me know about The Introverted Reader.

I need your help.

Spurred on by this post of Five Valued Books by Siobhan Fallon’s at The Book Lady’s Blog, I want to read something deliciously dark* by Flannery O’Connor.    I can hardly go wrong;  all of her works have a 4+ rating in

Please recommend a book or do you think I should just start with the short story collection A Good Man is Hard to Find?

I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else’s. But behind all of them there is only one truth and that is that there’s no truth.
-Flannery O’Connor


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20 thoughts on “The Southern Lit Challenge

  1. Ruthiella

    Hi Care,

    I am pretty sure I have also read that collection: “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, but to be honest, it was a long time ago. From what I remember, all her short stories are a little bit “off”, so you should be ok with choosing that book to start with. Around the same time I read “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers. That was a pretty bleak book. But I don’t know if it is “deliciously dark”. The only book that comes to mind this instance for deliciously dark is Shirley Jackson’s “We Have Always Lived in the Castle”.

  2. Oh, I envy you (in a good way 🙂 reading Flannery O’Connor for the first time ….

    I think “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is a good choice.

    (I’m doing this challenge too. 🙂

  3. I haven’t read Flannery O’Connor so I can’t help you on that, but I’d recommend reading some Eudora Welty for the challenge and I love, love, love Larry Brown’s nonfiction — ON FIRE and BILLY RAY’S FARM are both great, if sometimes a little disturbing. I was heartbroken when I heard Larry Brown died of a heart attack (but if you read his nonfic, you’ll think he was asking for it). Does NF work? If not, you should just read one of those books, anyway, since you love NF.

  4. Ann Marquez

    I haven’t read O’Connor and I don’t read dark, delicious or not, but the title … A Good Man is Hard to Find works for me 😉
    Hope you enjoy!

  5. I can’t be of much help as all I’ve read by her is the title story of that collection. But that story–yep, definitely dark! I’m not sure I could add the “delicious” though…that story really got to me. Don’t get me wrong, it was incredibly good. And I’ve meant to read more by her ever since. Can’t wait to hear what you think, no matter which book you decide to go with.

  6. Thanks for joining my challenge!

    I only read a few of O’Connor’s short stories in school, but I really liked them. I would describe the ones I read as being a bit Southern Gothic with a twisted twist. I do intend to read at least the entire collection of A Good Man is Hard to Find someday.

  7. I am writing an article about reading challenges and would love to hear more about the Southern Lit challenge. Can you contact me?
    Kate Taylor
    Arts Section
    Globe and Mail, Toronto

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