04 December 2014

Reading On Topic: Southern Dreaming

Snowy weather and cold temperatures mean that winter is truly here, and along with it comes the holiday rush and end-of-the year tasks. My solution to December's stress? Good escape reading that transports me to more temperate climates.

Today's Reading On Topic takes us to the American South. The adult books mix Southern charm with family drama, and the novels for younger readers are action packed.

Southern Drama

Reunion by Hannah Pittard; Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton BarnhardtReunion by Hannah Pittard (Grand Central Publishing, 9781455553617, 2014) Setting: Atlanta. When Kate learns her father has died, she meets her brother and sister in Atlanta to settle the estate. Complicating matters are her father's many failed marriages and her clan of half-siblings. Told from Kate's point of view, this novel explores family, self-discovery, and forgiveness. Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton Barnhardt (St. Martin's Press, 9781250020833, 2013) Setting: Charlotte, NC. Spanning ten years in the lives of the prominent Jarvis-Johnston family, this novel focuses on the dark, hidden side of several generations of relatives. Although there seems to be no bottom to the well of family sins, this Southern Gothic story is both sympathetic and entertaining. Family dysfunction at its best.

Trouble in Florida

Skink--No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen; On the Edge by Allison Van DiepenSkink--No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780375870514, 2014) Setting: Florida. When fourteen-year-old Richard's teenage cousin Malley runs off with an older guy she met online, he teams up with Skink, ex-governor of Florida, on a road-trip rescue chase across the state. This crazy adventure, with its underlying environmental message and quirky hero, is great fun for readers of all ages. On the Edge by Allison Van Diepen (HarperTeen, Hardcover, 9780062303448, 2014) Setting: Miami. On the way home from celebrating her acceptance into Florida State University, Maddie Diaz witnesses a gang-related murder of a homeless man. After being granted protection, Maddie agrees to testify, despite the very real danger. This thriller-romance features great characters and explores ethical issues, making choices, and working hard for a better future.


(Diane) bookchickdi 12/4/14, 7:42 AM  

Lookaway, Lookaway was one of my favorites this year.

Leah @ Books Speak Volumes 12/4/14, 8:48 AM  

I loved Reunion and have Lookaway, Lookaway on my shelf!

bermudaonion 12/4/14, 9:41 AM  

We think it's cold here in the south as well but you'd probably laugh at our temperatures. I haven't read any of those books. :(

OnDBookshelf 12/4/14, 11:03 AM  

Really enjoyed Lookaway Lookaway, the scene at the Christmas table was one of the funniest things I've read!

Beth Hoffman 12/4/14, 11:11 AM  

"Family dysfunction at its best." ... SOLD!

JoAnn 12/4/14, 11:54 AM  

I Really want to read Lookaway, Lookaway!

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 12/4/14, 12:29 PM  

I love me some Southern fiction! I loved Reunion...one of my favorite of the year and have Lookaway, Lookaway on my TBR list.

rhapsodyinbooks 12/4/14, 1:17 PM  

Hah! I'd rather physically escape! LOL

Belle Wong 12/4/14, 1:45 PM  

I'm more of a cool-weather person, so I won't be looking for escape until Feb. On The Edge sounds good!

Nise' 12/4/14, 10:05 PM  

I listened to and liked Reunion. I've got Lookaway on the stacks and think I would like On The Edge.

Daryl 12/8/14, 1:34 PM  

they all sounds good and i am a huge fan of Hiaasen

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