Thing to Do #52: Read the Greatest Books Ever Written-the Southern Edition

Totally stealing from Miranda again (don’t worry, she knows when I do).  She found this list of The Best Southern Novels of All Time by Oxford American.   I’m disappointed that it’s so short; it seems to imply that out of all of the Southeastern United States since the beginning of time, there are only 10 novels worth your time.  I think we could come up with a longer list, and a more diverse list than just Faulkner’s oeuvre.  Where is Gone With the Wind,   Look Homeward, Angel,   Blood Meridian, The Color Purple, and Native Son?  And they aren’t novels but The Mind of the South or Let Us Now Praise Famous Men are quintessential Southern Books.

Having grown up in the South, having taken both Southern History and Southern Literature courses in college, I probably should have done better with this list (6 out of 10-hey, it’s a majority).

1) Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
2) All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
3) The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner-X
4) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain-X
5) To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee-X
6) The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
7) As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner-X
8 ) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison-X
9) Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
10) Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston-X

About Jessica

Mild mannered marketing drone by day. Bucket list adventurer by late afternoon. Having first drafted a list in high school, Jessica's list of things to do before she dies has slowly taken over her life and consumes her thoughts. Because of the list, she has traveled to Mordor, plummeted towards the Earth's surface from 13,000 feet up, cavorted with whale sharks in open water, skinny dipped herself into the Guinness World Book, and cursed the day she was born during the last miles of a Marathon. It's safe to say that if Jessica is doing it, it's on the list.

5 Responses to “Thing to Do #52: Read the Greatest Books Ever Written-the Southern Edition”

  1. You beat me! I only have To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. However, I still tend to associate Twain’s home state of Missouri as Midwest vs. The South. But then again that’s my Illinois roots showing. Haha.

  2. Yeah, there are always debates about what defines “Southern Literature” just as there are debates about exactly what is “The South” (does Florida count? does Northern Virginia? does Western Texas?) Flannery O’Connor usually counts because she wrote books that took place in the South and she wrote while living in Charlotte, NC, although she was not from the South. Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird while living in NYC.

    You can count Mark Twain for the Midwest too!

  3. PS – How are the Sookie Stackhouse books? My friend Crymson and I were talking about starting them!

  4. They are good, difficult to put down and most definitely Vampire Porn :). The writing is simplistic, VERY easy to read-actually, the writing itself is not that great, but if you’re looking for brain candy, its perfect. I actually think the TV show is better, but this is a great substitute in between seasons.


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