2012 Southern Literature Challenge

A black-and-white photo of a front porch with a row of rocking chairs that reads "Southern Literature Challenge"

I have an affiliate relationship with Bookshop.org and Malaprop's Bookstore in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site. Read more on my affiliate page.
A black-and-white photo of a front porch with a row of rocking chairs that reads "Southern Literature Challenge"

It’s that time of year again–time to sign up for challenges! I’ve decided to host the 2012 Southern Literature Challenge this year. I personally read more Southern lit this year than I usually do because of this challenge, and I hope it encouraged a few of you to read it as well. The rules will be the same as last year.

Read a book(s)–non-fiction or fiction of any genre, adult or young adult–written by an author from the South and set mostly in the South.

Definitions of the South are flexible, so I’ve decided to define it the way I want. That’s the fun of hosting your own challenge, right? 🙂

The states:
South Carolina
North Carolina
West Virginia

Please keep in mind that this is a Southern literature challenge. It’s possible to find books set in each of these states that are not Southern in nature or feeling. Use your best judgment when choosing your books.


Level 1–C’mon in the house! Read 1 book.

Level 2–Pull up a seat and stay a while! Read 2 books

Level 3–Have a glass of sweet iced tea, honey. Read 3 books

Level 4–Y’all come back now, y’hear! Read 4 books

The challenge will run from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. You can join in anytime throughout the year.

I am not limiting the challenge to bloggers.  You can also link to a review you wrote on another site, such as GoodReads or LibraryThing.

Crossovers with other challenges are acceptable, and feel free to read your books in any format you choose.

Reading suggestions: I have a shelf on GoodReads with lots of books on it. There’s also a Best Southern Literature list on GoodReads that readers have voted on that should give you lots of ideas.  Also, check out my spotlight of Southern authors at my Saturdays in the South feature.

I can’t help but feel like there should be a reward for a challenge successfully completed.  So, I’ll offer up one Southern lit book of your choice (up to $15) to two randomly-drawn readers at the end of the challenge.  Each review you link will give you one entry, with a limit of four entries per person.  This part will be open to anyone who lives in an area where Book Depository offers free shipping.

We have some wonderful authors down here, and I hope you’ll join me in discovering them! Just grab the button and sign up on Mr. Linky below!

I’m signing up at the Y’all Come Back Now level. I’ll track my progress here.

  1. Ava’s Man by Rick Bragg
  2. Nelson & Cora: The Beginning by Melinda McGuire
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  4. Sleeping at the Starlite Motel: And Other Adventures on the Way Back Home by Bailey White
  5. Naked Came the Leaf Peeper by Brian Lee Knopp et al.
  6. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  7. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  8. Moon Women by Pamela Duncan
  9. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
  10. The Prince of Frogtown by Rick Bragg

Post your reviews here as well. Just post your name or blog name and the title in parentheses. Ex: The Introverted Reader (To Kill a Mockingbird).

1. Cathy
2. Alex at The Sleepless Reader
3. Lorelei
4. Debbie @ Exurbanis
5. Laurie @ In Laurie’s Mind
6. Justice @ cheapblackpens
7. Suzanne @ bibliosue
8. Risa @ Breadcrumb Reads
9. Emily @ A Few Good Books
10. Alicia
11. Seaside Book Corner
12. Book Snob Wannabe
13. Silsbee
14. Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose
15. Cindy @ Ordo Amoris
16. Melissa @ The Betty and Boo Chronicles
17. Nise’ at Under the Boardwalk
18. Kim @ Page After Page
19. Kelli Robinson
20. Lynne
21. Seaside Book Corner (The Bean Trees)
22. K
23. Richard LeComte
24. Laura @ Bookish Nerd
25. Patti @ Peppermint Ph.D.
26. Michelle
27. Kristi @ Books and Needlepoint
28. Lynne (The Beach Trees)
29. Becky
30. Kelli Robinson (The Member of the Wedding)
31. Jen @ BFTA
32. Vern @ Prissy Book Snob
33. Alex @ Sleepless Reader (Saving CeeCee Honeycutt)
35. Literary Marie’s Precision Reviews
36. Literary Marie’s Precision Reviews {Life is Short But Wide}
37. Colleen@Books in the City
38. Kristi @ Books and Needlepoint (The Color Purple)
39. Kelli Robinson (Gone With the Wind)
40. Kelli Robinson (Kitchen House)
41. Lorelei’s Cards & Pages (The Waiting Time)
42. Alex @ Sleepless Reader (The Peach Keeper)
43. Lynne (SOUTH OF BROAD)
44. Quixotic Magpie (The River Witch)
45. Richard LeComte (All Other Nights)
46. Colleen @Books in the City (The Good Father)
47. Quixotic Magpie (The Peach Keeper)
48. Quixotic Magpie (Spring Fever)
49. Richard LeComte (Safe From the Neighbors))
50. Page After Page (The Cotton Queen)
51. Page After Page (The Peach Keeper)
52. Avid Series Reader (Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons)
53. Quixotic Magpie (Blue Asylum)
54. Quixotic Magpie (Porch Lights)
55. Quixotic Magpie (A Year on Ladybug Farm)
56. Quixotic Magpie (The Secret Sense of Wildflower)
57. Avid Series Reader (The Waiting Time by Eugenia Price)
58. Quixotic Magpie (The Sisters Montclair)
59. The Book Nook (As I Lay Dying)
61. Quixotic Magpie (Heading Out to Wonderful)
62. Debbie @Exurbanis (Arkansas) The Homecoming of Samuel Lake
63. Debbie @Exurbanis (Kentucky & Louisiana) Uncle Tom’s Cabin
64. Debbie @Exurbanis Challenge WRAP-UP
65. Avid Series Reader (Return to Marshall’s Bayou by S.H. Baker)
66. Avid Series Reader (A Killer Plot by Ellery Adams)
67. Cindy(Ordo-Amoris) 7 SL for the Year

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:


  1. Mr. Linky is working again. I linked your reviews already. Sorry the confusion!

  2. Sorry! I'll be mobile most of the weekend but I will look into it and add your links on there when I'm on my laptop. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. Here is my review of The Peach Keeper….

  4. Apparently Mr. Linky isn't working–but here is my review for The Cotton Queen by Pamela Morsi–set in Texas!

  5. I'm so mad that I just found this now and am already waist deep in reading challenges. Will you be hosting this one next year as well because I would LOVE to sign up!


  6. Since I'm a southern gal this is the challenge for me! I love sweet tea so I'm shooting for level 3!

  7. I love how Florida is set apart from the other Southern states. Florida is not Southern enough for the South lol.

  8. Love your concept and being an obsessive compulsive reader, I will read 4 as yet to be determined southern authors with pleasure. For anyone looking for titles, I would highly recommend anything by Walker Percy. Also, I'm looking for readers interested in being part of an experimental project on bibliotherapy. I'd love to hear from you. Lorebrarian[at]gmail.com

  9. I couldn't find a place to post links to book reviews. So I'll just post one here. I read THE BEACH TREES by Karen White. The author lives in Atlanta and the book was centered in New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi.

    The review is on my blog:


  10. I'm so tempted. This would give me a good excuse to reread Confederacy of Dunces, and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, two of my favorite southern books.

  11. Hi, I'm going for Level 4 on this challenge. I also just signed up for your non-fiction challenge as well.

  12. I've already picked out my first book: Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers (born in Georgia). The setting is a small Southern town but is not specifically named. I hope this works!

  13. I just learned about his over on Book Snob Wannabe's blog. I'm in! I'm behind on my posts but before the end of the year I will post and link to the challenges I'm participating in.

    Can the book just be set in the south or does it have to be both set in the south and have the author be from the south? Just asking because I don't do any research on authors before choosing a book.

  14. Can't believe it is that time of year. I did not realize, to link up everytime I read a southern book. This year, I'll do better. I read four books. But only 2 linked up. My favorite southern was Looking for Cee Cee Honeycutt. Great read.

  15. Hello,
    I am Alicia and I just sign up for your new challenge at level 2 (2books). I am exciting to read some interesting books that I have found and match this challenge.

  16. I am glad you are hosting this again because this is the year I am signing up. I'll come back with my official post ASAP.

    (I'm a follower now — thought I was before, but apparently not. Oops!)

  17. I'm in too — I'm sadly unfamiliar with most Southern writing, this will get me started. Thanks for hosting.

  18. I am looking forward to reading 2 books maybe Anne River Siddons and a Eugenia Price book I have in my stack. Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. I have just signed up for the challenge. Really looking forward to reading and blogging about Southern Literature

  20. Ah! I'd signed-up for this one for 2011 I now remember. I'd forgotten all about it while hopping around and shifting my blog at the beginning of the year! :-/ — I did finish the challenge however, with Gone with the Wind. 🙂

    I'll sign up again this year for ONE book. I might decide to climb later. 🙂


I love to hear from you! Please contact me (menu bar, above) if you're having trouble commenting.