Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Southern Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

The Southern Reading Challenge, hosted by Maggie Reads, was truly a fun challenge. Although it officially wraps up the end of August, I thought I would post a summary of my experience soon after finishing all of the books on my challenge list. The challenge was to read at least three books by Southern authors. I read all three books I had originally set out to read, with a slant towards Southern Classics.

And of course, a great big thank-you to Maggie for hosting this wonderful challenge! I love to read about all the southern writers on her blog, and she definitely made this challenge unique and well worth participating in.

My finished challenge books are:
The Mermaid Chair - Sue Monk Kidd
The Optimist's Daughter - Eudora Welty
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

The best book: To Kill A Mockingbird would definitely come out as the lead book. As I had hoped, it completely lived up to its acclaim.

What book could I have done without: I did not like The Mermaid Chair. It certainly did not hold a flame to Kidd's first novel, The Secret Life of Bees, a book I really enjoyed. However, I would still read one of her books if she comes out with a new novel.

Any new authors? This was the first time I had read anything by Eudora Welty, and Harper Lee was also a first.

Books I did not finish: I finished all of the challenge books I set out to read.

What did I learn -- about anything -- through this challenge? I learned that although I thought I was well-read in the Southern Literature genre, I most certainly was not! The challenge helped me to catch up on some classics I had been meaning to read. I also added a LOT of books to my TBR list looking at what other challenge participants were reading. If Maggie would decide to hold this challenge again next year, I would definitely participate, and try to read some of the lesser-known Southern authors.


3M said...

Congrats on finishing! I have one more, The Known World, then I'm done also.

Sent you an invite for The Pulitzer Project!

SuziQoregon said...

I haven't read The Optimist's Daughter, but I completely agree with you on the other two. I adore To Kill a Mockingbird and The Mermaid Chair was one of the biggest 2nd book letdowns I'd ever experienced.

Nyssaneala said...

@3m - Thanks! I'm still amazed at the number of challenge you have completed!!

@suziq - Yeah, Mermaid chair was one of the biggest letdowns for me as well. Along with Zadie Smith's third book (but second one I had read), On Beauty.

iliana said...

Yay - congrats on finishing the challenge! I really liked how you summarized it too. What you learned, best book, etc. I may have to steal that (granted, if I ever finish a challenge!) :)

Nyssaneala said...

@iliana - Steal away! I originally nabbed it from Callapidder Days after the Spring Reading Challenge.

Maggie said...

Mardi Gras - Fat Tuesday - Party Time - Nyssaneala has finished the Southern Reading Challenge! I'm so thrilled! :D Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance!

Literary Feline said...

Congratulations on completing the challenge! I'm one book away . . . Maybe by the end of the weekend if I'm really lucky, but we'll see.

I'm sorry you didn't care for The Mermaid Chair. That was one I really did enjoy. Can't like everything though, can you? :-)