Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Reading Challenge 2009 and a Long Sappy Note About Sisters

Summer Challenge 2009

I'm sure you've seen several of these already but this is the one I found yesterday and given the simple fact that this dear Blogger has Southern in her title, I'm in.  Introducing Susan, of A Southern Daydreamer, who has challenged us to make a list of books we'd like to read this summer and check back in in September.  

My goal is to ready "literature" but I am willing to expand my list to include some "dessert" reads as well.  How big of me.  I've also stumbled upon a great source of Southern Authors: Authors Round the South.

My List:
1. Delta Wedding, Eudora Welty
3. At least one of the Miss Julia books, by Ann B. Ross (fell in love with the writer after reading Miss Julia throws a Wedding.  Miss Julia reminds me so much of my grandmother).
4. The Color of Light, Karen White (cheating, as I'm currently reading)
5. The Help, Kathryn Stockett
6. The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It, Tilar J. Mazzeo
7.  Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mosbsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink, Tyler Colman
8. Milk Teeth: A Memoir of a Woman and Her Dog, Robbie Pfeufer Kahn
9. From Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava, Jay Kopelman
10. Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa, Martin Meredith

Speaking of reading, the movie based on one of my all-time favorite books comes out today.
As I've mentioned, I have a "little" sister, whom I dearly love.  While we've certainly had our moments over the years, I cannot imagine my life without her.  Years ago, there was an event that caused me to experience the potential of losing her-- a time I try not to think about except in remembering how precious she is to me.  To me, the loss of a sister must be one of the most challenging trials to face.  Both my sister and I thought of this again when my mother lost her dear sister to breast cancer nearly 7 years ago.

Many books involving the relationship between sisters have been written; I've had trouble with some (I couldn't finish In Her Shoes because I just couldn't get my head around selfish sister love) and loved others.  My Sister's Keeper obviously falls into the latter category.  In addition to exploring the relationship between sisters, the novel delves into so many other issues- the ethics of creating children, familial relationships during times of turmoil, a mother's love, dogs, and celebrating each day we have been given. Like many Jodi Picoult, there is a twist at the end. Since My Sister's Keeper, I've ready many Picoult novels, but none have touched me as deeply as this one.

I face going to see the movie with some trepidation as I've heard the ending is different.  I will not give away the ending to the book, except to say that it is powerful.  Dear Mr. Southern and I were on a plane to attend a wedding, when I finished the book.  Tears were streaming down my face- uncontrollably- so much so that the flight attendant asked if I was OK.  Fortunately we were in the first row so it was a quick trip to the lavatory to try to get myself together.  Not that I am encouraging crying, but I highly recommend reading this book.

So here's to a summer of reading and holding close the ones we love!



  1. My heart skipped a beat when I read this post! As you've probably noticed on Sanity Fair, I've been visiting a lot of Southern author's homes lately - Flannery O'Conner, Margaret Mitchell, etc. I've decided to read my way through the Souther Literary Trail this summer (, and it has already been SO much fun - and, I'm visiting author's homes along the way as I have the opportunity.
    Can't wait to check out the other sites you mention above! Great list, and happy reading!

  2. I did notice you were visiting author's homes but did not know about Must check it out!!

  3. i loved the book too, but i can't imagine the ending being different. seriously?!
    p.s. you don't have to thank me for reading your blog, the please is all mine. and didn't i mention we southerners have to stick together? :) have a great weekend.

  4. They changed the ending? How could they? Like you, that is one of my favorite books and the ending is one of the main reasons it is on that list.
    The Help is on my TBR list as well. So many books....

  5. Sounds very good.....I, too, have a very special relationship with my little sister. I could totally relate to your tears on the plane. ;>)

  6. Love reading books, especially the ones you cannot put down!! x

  7. Wonderful post - I'm always looking for great book suggestions! Thank you!

  8. This post inspired me to get myself to the library! I picked up three books this weekend - What is the What: the autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, Moloka'i, and The Madonnas of Leningrad. I've started reading the first two and am really enjoying them. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. P.s. thanks so much for your support today! XO

  10. I love to read. Right now I'm in the middle of The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It is great!

  11. I love Karen White's books. I have one autographed copy sent to me by a friend.
    I wonder how closely the movie of My Sister's
    Keeper will follow the book. I will probably wait for the DVD.

  12. My name is Patricia Neely-Dorsey. I am from Tupelo,MS and the author of Reflections of a Mississipi Magnolia-A Life in Poems.
    I have been enjoying reading your blog and was wondering if you might possibly feature my book on your blog to introduce my " little book of southern poems" to your readers.

    Patricia Neely Dorsey's Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems is "a true celebration of the south and things southern." The author states , "There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the south in general. In my book, using childhood memories, personal thoughts and dreams, I attempt to give a positive glimpse into the southern way of life. In my book I try to show that there is much is more to Mississippi and the south than all of the negatives usually portrayed .I invite readers to Meet Mississippi (and the south) Through Poetry ,Prose and The Written Word."

    If you want a glimpse of Southern life,
    Come close and walk with me;
    I'll tell you all the simple things,
    That you are sure to see.
    You'll see mockingbirds and bumblebees,
    Magnolia blossoms and dogwood trees,
    Caterpillars on the step,
    Wooden porches cleanly swept;
    Watermelons on the vine,
    Strong majestic Georgia pines;
    Rocking chairs and front yard swings,
    Junebugs flying on a string;
    Turnip greens and hot cornbread,
    Coleslaw and barbecue;
    Fried okra, fried corn, fried green tomatoes,
    Fried pies and pickles too.
    There's ice cold tea that's syrupy sweet,
    And cool, green grass beneath your feet;
    Catfish nipping in the lake,
    And fresh young boys on the make.
    You'll see all these things
    And much, much more,
    In a way of life that I adore.
    Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey
    from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems


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