Apr 18, 2007

Another challenge!

When I was reading the blogs that are taking part in the Once Upon a Time challenge , I came across another challenge that I cannot resist:

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This challenge is being hosted at Maggie Reads, and I find it a lovely idea. I've always found the American South fascinating, and being a big fan of authors like Truman Capote, John Kennedy Toole or Walker Percy, I'm dying to read more works of Southern fiction.

This challenge will only start on the first of June, so there's plenty of time. Here's my list, which I might change or add to in the future:

1. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
There is absolutely NO excuse for me not having read this book yet, so I'm going to take this chance to change the situation once and for all.

2. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
I've heard a lot about this book, so I'm going to finally find out what the fuss is all about. From what I've heard, I think I'll like it quite a lot.

3. The Watermelon King by Daniel Wallace
Daniel Wallace is best known for "Big Fish", the book that was wonderfully adapted to the big screen by Tim Burton. I read the book after I'd seen the movie, and, for the first time in my life, I found myself liking a movie better than the book that had inspired it. It was only when I decided to compare the two for my Literature and Cinema course in university that I came to really appreciate Daniel Wallace. "Big Fish" is a small book, so a lot of what we see on the screen is missing, but it's wonderful in its own way. The writing is superb, and Daniel Wallace's magic realism is of a brand I'm particularly fond of. The book I'm picking for this challenge, "The Watermelon King", also takes place in the fictional Alabama town of Ashton. I've been meaning to read it for over a year, and so I'll use this challenge as an excuse to finally do it.

And now, allow me to present a List of suggestions for the challenge. These are books I've already read, and I want to use the challenge to discover new things, so I won't put them on my list. But still, they'd be perfect choices, so here's the list in case some of you are still not quite sure what to pick.

- Big Fish by Daniel Wallace
For the aforementioned reasons. I know the setting is not exclusively Southern, but Ashton is in Alabama, and Daniel Wallace is from Alabama himself, so I think this qualifies.

- The Grass Harp by Truman Capote
Capote is one of my all-time favourite writers, and this is probably my favourite of his books. It's a very tender and moving tale of both childhood and old age.

- A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
This book, which takes place in New Orleans, is most likely one of the funniest things you'll ever read in your life, but it can also be extremely sad at times, especially if you keep in mind the tragic circumstances of Toole's own life. This is one of those books everyone should read at least once in their lives.

- The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
I first read this book because of "A Confederacy of Dunces" - it was Percy who finally got it published after Toole's suicide. This is a wonderful southern tale of awkwardness, loneliness, estrangement and loss.


  1. Oh, I'm thrilled you are joining and thanks for the suggestions. May I create a poat using them and crediting you? Confederancy of Dunces is one of my all time favorites! :)

  2. You haven't read To Kill a Mockingbird yet? Oh, you are in for a treat. It ranks as one of my all-time favorite books ever, and the movie is also excellent (Gregory Peck is fantastic in it). I periodically reread it, savoring the language and the images over and over again. You're going to love it.

  3. Don't feel bad, I just read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time last year...and I actually had it as an assignment in an American Lit class in high school and didn't read it. Got an 'A' in the class...I think it was because I was helping the teacher put the yearbook together as well.

    It is a wonderful book. I was so blown away and it was nothing like I expected it to be.

  4. I'm really looking forward to reading it at last.

    It's funny, I've been meaning to reading it for so long, and a few years ago, when I finally decided to, my library's copy went missing!

    But I'm going to buy it for this challenge, because I'm sure it's one of those really worth owning.

  5. Hi Nymeth - Thank you for stopping by the other day. Isn't Maggie's challenge a good one? I still need to figure out which books I want to read. And, a big "YES" to Confederacy of Dunces. That book is hilarious.

  6. You have some great books listed!! I keep debating on whether I have time or not for this challenge. It does sound like fun!

  7. bookgirl - it really is a great one!

    stephanie - It's only 3 books, and starting on the first of June. You should join!


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