Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bookshelf Tour: Southern Lit

Last month's CYOA Book Club topic was Southern authors - I'll be writing about the meeting later, but I couldn't resist posting this book shelf tour first.  It started as just pulling a couple of short works by Southern authors to look at before making a final choice and evolved into this miss.  I decided I'd pull it all, or at least one representative from each author, to see what exactly I've got and what I need to work on developing.  I wound up amazed at just how much Southern Lit I have and seeing a few areas that need more focus.

And of course Pompom had to be involved.

I did my best to come up with sub-genres to fit the overall category of Southern Lit and photographed accordingly:

We've got the straight up ladie's fiction - Joshilyn Jackson, Claire Cook, Billie Letts, Rebecca Wells.  I don't find myself gravitating towards women's fiction the way I once did, but I'm still continually drawn in by these authors and will read anything they publish.

This is an area I realized I really need to work on - the African American voices of the South.  I've got the couple Toni Morrisons and a few other Hurstons that aren't pictured, but it's really a poor representation that I'll be looking to improve.

Another sub-genre I could have sworn I owned more books in than I actually do is books about books and authors.  I was somewhat shocked by how sparse my collection was, although not as much surprised that it skews towards Harper Lee and Flannery O'Connor, my favorites.

Southern humor is a constant source of entertainment for me.  I read Bo Whaley as a child and never got over how funny I think it is to be Southern.  This is another area where I limited the number of books I chose from each author - I've got quite a few other Florence Kings, Sweet Potato Queens, and Celia Rivenbarks.

No one writes short stories like a Southern lady, as evidenced by this collection.  I would be interested in seeking out Southern short stories with male authors, as these favorites are all female authored - and I'm hard pressed to come up with the name of a Southern male short story author.

I couldn't believe this was the extent of my Southern memoir collection.  Another category to add to the to-buy list.

Straight up chick-lit/romance.  I could have combined this with the women's lit, but I really felt like these are distinct in that they don't even attempt to tackle heavier topics than love and romance.

Southern literary fiction - not much lacking here.  I mean obviously, there are plenty more to add, but it's probably my healthiest sub-genre and the one that I own the widest range of in terms of publication date.

All of these fit just fine in other categories, but are some of my proudest signed works.  Decatur Book Festival is the place to find contemporary Southern authors ready to sign their books!

Another category that needs some work is poetry.  My brother is doing his best to keep me kept up to date on contemporary poetry, so I do have these signed collections, including his own!

So now that you've seen what I've got in my collection, I would love to have your input on what I should add.  What essentials am I missing and how would you recommend that I beef up my less developed sub-genres?

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