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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Southern Writers and Okra Picks!

Let me just start off by saying thank you to my fellow blogger Deborah over at Lavender Rose Ramblings for posting about this wonderful Challenge!  I have included a link to the hosting site for the Okra picks challenge with all the details and rules. I really liked the idea of participating in this challenge and broadening my reading horizons just a little bit more. I was born and raised in the south and I love to read stories that are based here, and supporting southern authors is just another nice perk! As part of the Challenge we have to select the books we will read, so here are the titles I have selected.

Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage sci-philes who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.
As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killers scent.
Fortunately, they are now more than friends theyre a pack. They are Virals.

Tom Franklin's extraordinary talent has been hailed by the leading lights of contemporary literature—Philip Roth, Richard Ford, Lee Smith, and Dennis Lehane. Reviewers have called his fiction "ingenious" (USA Today) and "compulsively readable" (Memphis Commercial Appeal). His narrative power and flair for character-ization have been compared to the likes of Harper Lee, Flannery O'Connor, Elmore Leonard, and Cormac McCarthy.
Now the Edgar Award-winning author returns with his most accomplished and resonant novel so far—an atmospheric drama set in rural Mississippi. In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county—and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town.
More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they've buried and ignored for decades.

"Stay and wait." Anne Brumley heard these words years ago in the bell tower at Saint Michael's Church in Charleston. She's certain they were from God and has been waiting for true love ever since. Saint Michael's new rector may be the answer to Anne's prayers.
In 1962 the Cubans have their Russian missiles pointed right at the sugarcane plantations of Red Church, Louisiana, but nine-year-old Charlie Boone and his gravel-eating younger brother, Jute, are fixed on velvet ants and the declining health of a horse named Lunch Time. Their father has been sent upriver after a botched convenience store holdup and a walloping with a can of Crisco. Their mother, too, has vanished Memaw and Pawpaw insist she disappeared in a hurricane. Buckle up for a big dose of Cajun comedy as Charlie takes charge.
The beloved Fannie Flagg is back and at her irresistible and hilarious best in I Still Dream About You, a comic mystery romp through the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, past, present, and future.

Meet Maggie Fortenberry, a still beautiful former Miss Alabama. To others, Maggie’s life seems practically perfect—she’s lovely, charming, and a successful real estate agent at Red Mountain Realty. Still, Maggie can’t help but wonder how she wound up in her present condition. She had been on her hopeful way to becoming Miss America and realizing her childhood dream of someday living in one of the elegant old homes on top of Red Mountain, with the adoring husband and the 2.5 children, but then something unexpected happened and changed everything.

Maggie graduated at the top of her class at charm school, can fold a napkin in more than forty-eight different ways, and can enter and exit a car gracefully, but all the finesse in the world cannot help her now. Since the legendary real estate dynamo Hazel Whisenknott, beloved founder of Red Mountain Realty, died five years ago, business has gone from bad to worse—and the future isn’t looking much better. But just when things seem completely hopeless, Maggie suddenly comes up with the perfect plan to solve it all.

As Maggie prepares to put her plan into action, we meet the cast of high-spirited characters around her. To Brenda Peoples, Maggie’s best friend and real estate partner, Maggie’s life seems easy as pie. Slender Maggie doesn’t have to worry about her figure, or about her Weight Watchers sponsor catching her at the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. And Ethel Clipp, Red Mountain’s ancient and grumpy office manager with the bright purple hair, thinks the world of Maggie but has absolutely nothing nice to say about their rival Babs “The Beast of Birmingham” Bingington, the unscrupulous estate agent who hates Maggie and is determined to put her out of business.

Maggie has heartbreaking secrets in her past, but through a strange turn of events, she soon discovers, quite by accident, that everybody, it seems—dead or alive—has at least one little secret.

I Still Dream About You is a wonderful novel that is equal parts Southern charm, murder mystery, and that perfect combination of comedy and old-fashioned wisdom that can be served up only by America’s own remarkable Fannie Flagg.

So, here we have it the selections for my first Challenge ever! :-) I hope all of you will join me in participating in this fun and very exciting Okra Picks Challenge. I wish everyone a great Tuesday and Happy Reading! ^.~

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you're joining the challenge! I hope you discover lots of great books through the challenge.