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15th-Apr-2008 05:00 pm - Old South
Matt Dark
3rd-Jul-2006 10:22 pm - Top 5 Southern Books
Matt Dark
To know everything you need to know about the South, read the following books. Call them the Top 5 books about the South:

5. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry│Now this is what a sweeping epic should read like. An amazing book; Capt.’s Call and McCrae combine grit, determination, conviction to their values and a touch of humor as they embark on an incredible journey that carries them well beyond the South’s scorching climate. The book starts out in Lonesome Dove, Texas and the main character--Gus McCrae--is a Tennessean. Southern.
4. Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horrowitz │Say hello to Robert Lee Hodge--hardcore Civil War re-enactor; you won’t believe the lengths this man will go to replicate the conditions of the Civil War. He searches inexhaustibly for authentic uniform buttons and accessories. He rubs bacon grease in his beard and refuses to bathe for months. He starves himself because if he is emaciated then he will look more emaciated and therefore more like a Civil War soldier aught to look--all in the name of authenticity. This book made me want to visit Shiloh at dawn on the anniversary of the battle. It also made me want to research my ancestry to find out if I had any relatives in the War (I did--one at Gettysburg and a few others elsewhere). I also immediately cooked up some hardtack just to get into the period. I’ve never been much for re-enacting myself, but this book made me want to participate in history in a way that no other book ever has.
3. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt│Here’s a bit of Savannah knowledge that you won’t find in “the book.” If you go to Savannah and hear somebody talking about “the book,” you should know that they’re talking about this book. Read this and it won’t be long before you’ll start booking your Savannah vacation.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee│Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for this book and never wrote anything else. She is reclusive and still lives part-time in Monroeville, where she grew up. This book tackles the issue of race relations masterfully; my wife and I will name our first baby girl Scout after this book’s main character.
1. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell│Rhett. Scarlett. Read it. Now.

Confederates in the Attic is the only book on this list that has not been made into a movie. And what great movies! There’s no doubt that these books and the movies that represent them are many people's favorites of all time.

Worthy of note: The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean; Forrest Gump by Winston Groom (more for the movie than the book); A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving; and Beach Music by Pat Conroy.

Also: We don't rent pigs.
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