Books about Southern Culture

  1. Absalom, Absalom!

    by William Faulkner
    A tangled web of family secrets, betrayal, and tragedy in the American South.

    Absalom, Absalom! details the rise and fall of Thomas Sutpen , a white man born into poverty in West Virginia who moves to Mississippi with the complementary aims of gaining wealth and becoming a ... (Wikipedia)

  2. The Sound and the Fury

    by William Faulkner
    Tragic story of the decline of a southern family, exploring the human condition.

    The first section of the novel is narrated by Benjamin "Benjy" Compson, a source of shame to the family due to his diminished mental capacity; the only characters who show genuine care for him are ... (Wikipedia)

  3. Light in August

    by William Faulkner
    A story of redemption and hope set in the Jim Crow South.

    The novel is set in the American South in the 1930s, during the time of Prohibition and Jim Crow laws that legalized racial segregation in the South. It begins with the journey of Lena Grove, a young ... (Wikipedia)

  4. The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion

    by Fannie Flagg
    A woman discovers the truth about her family's past, unlocking a legacy of secrets.

    Poland, 1909 Stanislaw is determined to escape the Russians and follow his brother to America, a land where anything seems possible. Wisconsin, 1941 With all the men off to war, Fritzi and her ... (Goodreads)

  5. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

    by Fannie Flagg
    A nostalgic tale of friendship, courage and resilience set in the American South.

    Throughout the novel the narrator and time period change, and the reader relies on the chapters' headings to establish the date and the source of the chapter. Some of the narration comes in the form ... (Wikipedia)

  6. Big Stone Gap

    by Adriana Trigiani
    A small-town woman's journey of self-discovery, finding love and purpose in unexpected places.

    Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the tiny town of Big Stone Gap is home to some of the most charming eccentrics in the state. Ave Maria Mulligan is the town's self-proclaimed ... (Goodreads)

  7. Collected Stories

    by William Faulkner
    A collection of short stories set in the American South, exploring themes of race, class, and family.

    “A Bear Hunt,” “A Rose for Emily,” “Two Soldiers,” “Victory,” “The Brooch,” “Beyond”—these are among the forty-two stories that make up this magisterial collection by the writer who stands at the ... (Goodreads)

  8. Wise Blood

    by Flannery O'Connor
    A darkly comic Southern Gothic tale of faith and sin, and a man's struggle to find redemption.

    Recently discharged from service in World War II and surviving on a government pension for unspecified battle wounds, Hazel Motes returns to his family home in Tennessee to find it abandoned. Leaving ... (Wikipedia)

  9. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

    by Beth Hoffman
    A young girl's journey of self-discovery, gaining strength and resilience in the face of adversity.

    Twelve-year-old CeeCee is in trouble. For years she’s been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille— the crown-wearing, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. Though it’s 1967 and ... (Goodreads)

  10. A Virtuous Woman

    by Kaye Gibbons
    A woman's struggle to overcome poverty and take control of her own destiny.

    When Blinking Jack Stokes met Ruby Pitt Woodrow, she was twenty and he was forty. She was the carefully raised daughter of Carolina gentry and he was a skinny tenant farmer who had never owned ... (Goodreads)

  11. Standing in the Rainbow

    by Fannie Flagg
    A comedic story of a small town in Alabama and its eccentric inhabitants, highlighting the beauty of human relationships.

    Along with Neighbor Dorothy, the lady with the smile in her voice, whose daily radio broadcasts keep us delightfully informed on all the local news, we also meet Bobby, her ten-year-old son, destined ... (Goodreads)

  12. The Collected Stories

    by Eudora Welty
    A collection of short stories that explore the complexities of human relationships and the Southern way of life.

    With a preface written by the author especially for this edition, this is the complete collection of stories by Eudora Welty. Including the earlier collections A Curtain of Green , The Wide Net , The ... (Goodreads)

  13. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

    by John Berendt
    A journalist's exploration of a mysterious murder in Savannah, Georgia.

    A sublime and seductive reading experience. This portrait of a beguiling Southern city was a best-seller (though a flop as a movie). ~ Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty, ... (Goodreads)

  14. Go Set a Watchman

    by Harper Lee
    Confronting the past and present, a woman struggles to reconcile her beliefs with those of her hometown.

    Jean Louise "Scout" Finch, a single 26-year-old, returns from New York to her hometown, Maycomb, Alabama, for her annual fortnight-long visit to her father Atticus, a lawyer and former state ... (Wikipedia)

  15. Bluebird, Bluebird

    by Attica Locke
    A Texas Ranger investigates a double homicide in a town full of secrets and racial tensions.

    A powerful thriller about the explosive intersection of love, race, and justice from a writer and producer of the Emmy winning Fox TV show, Empire,. When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays ... (Goodreads)

  16. A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories

    by Flannery O'Connor
    A collection of short stories exploring the human condition, from the comic to the grotesque.

    This now classic book revealed Flannery O'Connor as one of the most original and provocative writers to emerge from the South. Her apocalyptic vision of life is expressed through grotesque, often ... (Goodreads)

  17. All Over But the Shoutin'

    by Rick Bragg
    Memoir of a young man's journey from poverty to achieving the American Dream.

    The extraordinary gifts for evocation and insight and the stunning talent for storytelling that earned Rick Bragg a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 1996 are here brought to bear on the ... (Goodreads)

  18. Home to Holly Springs

    by Jan Karon
    A man's journey to discover his past, uncovering the secrets hidden in his hometown.

    Readers of the nine bestselling Mitford novels have been captivated by Jan Karon's gift for illuminating the struggles that creep into everyday lives along with a vividly imagined world ( People ). ... (Goodreads)

  19. The Prince of Tides

    by Pat Conroy
    A man's search for solace and understanding in his troubled family's past.

    Tom Wingo is a middle-aged man with a wife and three young daughters who has recently lost his job as a high school English teacher and football coach. He learns that his twin sister, Savannah, has ... (Wikipedia)

  20. Walking Across Egypt

    by Clyde Edgerton
    Elderly woman takes in a troubled teenage boy, leading to unexpected adventures and personal growth.

    She has as much business keeping a stray dog as she would walking across Egypt–which not so incidentally is the title of her favorite hymn. She’s Mattie Rigsbee, an independent, strong-minded senior ... (Goodreads)

  21. Natchez Burning

    by Greg Iles
    Murder mystery spanning generations and examining the dark history of racism in the American South.

    From #1 New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles comes the first novel in his Natchez Burning trilogy—which also includes The Bone Tree and the upcoming Mississippi Blood —an epic trilogy that ... (Barnes & Noble)

  22. Rhett Butler's People

    by Donald McCaig
    A retelling of "Gone with the Wind" from Rhett Butler's perspective, exploring his past and motivations.

    Fully authorized by the Margaret Mitchell estate, Rhett Butler’s People is the astonishing and long-awaited novel that parallels the Great American Novel, Gone With The Wind. Twelve years in the ... (Goodreads)

  23. Beach Music

    by Pat Conroy
    A man's struggle to confront his past and find peace with his present.

    An American expatriate in Rome unearths his family legacy in this sweeping novel by the acclaimed author of The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini A Southerner living abroad, Jack McCall is ... (Goodreads)

  24. Black Cherry Blues

    by James Lee Burke
    Detective Dave Robicheaux investigates a murder while confronting his own demons in the Louisiana bayou.

    BACK IN THE UNDERWORLD HE TRIED TO LEAVE BEHIND Haunted by the memory of his wife's murder and his father's untimely death, ex-New Orleans cop Dave Robicheaux spends his days in a fish-and-tackle ... (Goodreads)

  25. Creole Belle

    by James Lee Burke
    Detective Dave Robicheaux investigates the disappearance of a young woman, uncovering a web of corruption and violence in Louisiana's bayou country.

    “America’s best novelist” James Lee Burke returns with another New York Times bestselling entry in the Dave Robicheaux thriller series ( The Denver Post ). Set against the events of the Gulf Coast ... (Goodreads)

  26. Pegasus Descending

    by James Lee Burke
    Detective Dave Robicheaux investigates a murder in New Orleans, uncovering a web of corruption and violence.

    Dave Robicheaux , once an officer for the New Orleans Police Department and before that a U.S. Army infantry lieutenant who fought in the Vietnam War , , works as sheriff's deputy in New Iberia, ... (Wikipedia)

  27. In the Electric Mist With Confederate Dead

    by James Lee Burke
    Detective Dave Robicheaux investigates a murder while haunted by visions of Confederate soldiers.

    Iberia Parish 's Sheriff Detective Dave Robicheaux ( Tommy Lee Jones ) is investigating the murder of a young woman and has a chance encounter with a pair of Hollywood stars, Elrod Sykes ( Peter ... (Wikipedia)

  28. Between, Georgia

    by Joshilyn Jackson
    A small town is torn apart by a feud between two families, and a young girl caught in the middle must choose where her loyalties lie.

    Nonny Frett understands the meaning of the phrase "in between a rock and a hard place" better than any woman alive. She's got two mothers, "one deaf-blind and the other four baby steps from flat ... (Goodreads)

  29. Blood Memory

    by Greg Iles
    A lawyer returns to her hometown in Mississippi to defend her father, a civil rights activist, against murder charges. Secrets from the past resurface.

    Forensic expert "Cat" Ferry has a stellar reputation until a panic attack paralyzes her at a New Orleans murder scene. Praying the attack is a one-time event, she continues working, but when the same ... (Goodreads)

  30. Wish You Well

    by David Baldacci
    A family's journey to reclaim their heritage in the Appalachian Mountains.

    The story starts out with the Cardinal family going on a trip to relieve them from some unknown stress. On the way back, it is revealed that the Cardinal family plans to move to California, due to ... (Wikipedia)

  31. Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!

    by Fannie Flagg
    A comedic journey of self-discovery and identity as a woman in the modern world.

    Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! is the funny, serious, and compelling new novel by Fannie Flagg, author of the beloved Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (and prize-winning co-writer of ... (Goodreads)

  32. Paperboy

    by Vince Vawter
    A young boy with a stutter takes over his friend's paper route for a month, facing racial tensions and personal challenges along the way.

    The story takes place in 1959 in Memphis. "Little Man" Victor, an eleven-year-old boy who stutters, takes over his best friend Rat's paper route while Rat is visiting his grandparents. Little Man has ... (Wikipedia)

  33. A Lasting Impression

    by Tamera Alexander
    A talented artist struggles to find her place in society while navigating love and loss in the late 1800s.

    To create something that will last is Claire Laurent's most fervent desire as an artist. It's also her greatest weakness. When her fraud of a father deals her an unexpected hand, Claire is forced to ... (Goodreads)

  34. A Good Man Is Hard To Find

    by Flannery O'Connor
    A family's road trip takes a dark turn when they encounter a criminal known as The Misfit.

    A man named Bailey intends to take his family from Georgia to Florida for a summer vacation, but his mother (referred to as "the grandmother" in the story), wants him to drive to east Tennessee , ... (Wikipedia)

  35. Trouble in Mudbug

    by Jana Deleon
    A humorous mystery novel set in a small Louisiana town, where a ghostly presence and a murder investigation collide.

    Scientist Maryse Robicheaux thought that a lot of her problems had gone away with her mother-in-law’s death. The woman was rude, pushy, manipulative and used her considerable wealth to run herd over ... (Goodreads)

  36. Savannah Breeze

    by Mary Kay Andrews
    A woman inherits a beach house in Georgia and discovers secrets about her family's past while navigating new friendships and romance.

    “A sheer delight and will have readers laughing out loud by the second page.” — Daytona Beach News-Journal “The perfect mix of comedy, action and romance makes this book nearly impossible to put ... (Barnes & Noble)

  37. There's a

    by Laurie Notaro
    A hilarious story of a woman's misadventures in a small town, including a beauty pageant and a sewage problem.

    The first novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club is a rollicking tale of small-town peculiarity, dark secrets, and one extraordinary beauty ... (Goodreads)

  38. The Dry Grass of August

    by Anna Jean Mayhew
    A coming-of-age story set in the 1950s American South, following a young girl's journey of self-discovery and racial awakening.

    In this beautifully written debut, Anna Jean Mayhew offers a riveting depiction of Southern life in the throes of segregation, what it will mean for a young girl on her way to adulthood—and for the ... (Barnes & Noble)

  39. Sullivan's Island

    by Dorothea Benton Frank
    A woman returns to her childhood home on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, and confronts family secrets and personal demons.

    The New York Times bestseller—in paperback for the first time! Set in the steamy, stormy landscape of South Carolina, Sullivan's Island tells the unforgettable story of one woman's courageous journey ... (Goodreads)

  40. Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man

    by Fannie Flagg
    A coming-of-age story of Daisy Fay, a young girl growing up in Mississippi during the 1950s, and her encounters with a charismatic con man.

    Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man is told in diary writings starting in 1952 when the protagonist , Daisy Fay Harper, is 11 years old. She lives with her mother and her father in Jackson, Mississippi . ... (Wikipedia)

  41. Dixie City Jam

    by James Lee Burke
    Dave Robicheaux investigates a decades-old plane crash and uncovers a web of corruption and violence in New Orleans.

    As a child he was frightened by the stories..., It's out there, under the salt of the Gulf of Mexico, off the Louisiana coast–a buried Nazi submarine. Detective Dave Robicheaux of the New Ibera ... (Goodreads)

  42. The Devil's Punchbowl

    by Greg Iles
    A lawyer uncovers a dark secret in a small Mississippi town, leading to a dangerous investigation and a fight for justice.

    From New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles comes his most electrifying thriller yet. The Devil's Punchbowl reveals a world of depravity, sex, violence, and the corruption of a Southern town. As ... (Goodreads)

  43. Little Altars Everywhere

    by Rebecca Wells
    A Southern family struggles to find connection and understanding amidst their chaotic lives.

    Little Altars Everywhere is a national best-seller, a companion to Rebecca Wells' celebrated novel Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Originally published in 1992, Little Altars introduces ... (Goodreads)

  44. Gods in Alabama

    by Joshilyn Jackson
    A woman's journey of self-discovery, facing her ghosts while unearthing her family secrets.

    For 10 years Arlene has kept her promises, and God has kept His end of the bargain. Until now. When an old schoolmate from Possett turns up at Arlene's door in Chicago asking questions about Jim ... (Goodreads)

  45. The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder

    by Rebecca Wells
    A young woman navigates life in a small Louisiana town, facing love, loss, and self-discovery along the way.

    In the small river town of La Luna, Louisiana, Calla Lily Ponder bursts into being, a force of nature as luminous as the flower she is named for. Under the loving light of the Moon Lady, the feminine ... (Barnes & Noble)

  46. Sanctuary

    by William Faulkner
    A Southern Gothic story of a man's attempt to escape the consequences of his past.

    The novel is set in Faulkner's fictional Yoknapatawpha County , Mississippi and takes place in May/June 1929. In May 1929, Horace Benbow, a lawyer frustrated with his life and family, suddenly leaves ... (Wikipedia)

  47. Backseat Saints

    by Joshilyn Jackson
    A woman flees her abusive husband and confronts her past, seeking redemption and a new life.

    Rose Mae Lolley's mother disappeared when she was eight, leaving Rose with a heap of old novels and a taste for dangerous men. Now, as demure Mrs. Ro Grandee, she's living the very life her mother ... (Goodreads)

  48. Charms for the Easy Life

    by Kaye Gibbons
    Three generations of women in the South navigate love, family, and independence in the early 20th century.

    A family without men, the Birches live gloriously offbeat lives in the lush, green backwoods of North Carolina. Radiant, headstrong Sophia and her shy, brilliant daughter, Margaret, possess powerful ... (Goodreads)

  49. I Still Dream About You

    by Fannie Flagg
    A former beauty queen turned real estate agent navigates life's ups and downs in Birmingham, Alabama.

    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. ... (Goodreads)

  50. The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing

    by Sheila Turnage
    Mo and Dale investigate a haunted inn to clear a friend's name. Along the way, they uncover secrets about their town's past.

    The eagerly anticipated followup to the Newbery honor winner and, New York Times, bestseller,, Three Times Lucky, Small towns have rules. One is, you got to stay who you are – no matter how many ... (Goodreads)

  51. Fair and Tender Ladies

    by Lee Smith
    A series of letters from Ivy Rowe, a woman from the Appalachian Mountains, detailing her life, loves, and struggles.

    From Ivy Rowe's birth on Blue Star Mountain, her life is full of passion and longing as she writes letters to family and friends. Ivy's talent as a budding writer is recognized early on, but just as ... (Goodreads)

  52. A Summons to Memphis

    by Peter Taylor
    Adult siblings confront their father's decision to sell their childhood home in Memphis. Secrets and family tensions are revealed.

    One of the most celebrated novels of its time, the Pulitzer Prize winner, A Summons to Memphis, introduces the Carver family, natives of Nashville, residents, with the exception of Phillip, of ... (Barnes & Noble)

  53. A Redbird Christmas

    by Fannie Flagg
    A man discovers a newfound joy of life and love in a small town in Alabama.

    From the beloved author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe comes her latest New York Times bestseller–a new Yuletide classic about small-town America and larger-than-life wonders. ... (Goodreads)

  54. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls

    by Anton DiSclafani
    A young girl is sent to an equestrian boarding school in the 1930s, where she discovers secrets about her family and herself.

    “Emotionally engaging...[A] romantic page turner.”—Michiko Kakutani,, The New York Times, “A sexy, suspenseful, gorgeously written book.” —Curtis Sittenfeld, author of, Prep, A propulsive novel about ... (Goodreads)

  55. Hissy Fit

    by Mary Kay Andrews
    A wealthy Southern belle throws a fit when her husband leaves her for a younger woman. She seeks revenge and finds love along the way.

    "Andrews is at her best in this thoroughly satisfying story with the right blend of mystery, romance, and sharply funny writing." —Orlando Sentinel Whether it’s a mystery, sassy women’s fiction, or a ... (Barnes & Noble)

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