Thursday, August 21, 2008

Southern Reading Challenge wrap-up

So i did take and complete the "Maggie Reads: ___Southern Reading Challenge Y'all!" I had to read 3 books from southern authors in a southern setting by August 15th.
I Chose
Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
Cant Wait To Get To Heaven by Fannie Flagg
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.

WIDOW OF THE SOUTH(3 out of 5 stars)- The history and the subject was very interesting. Living in the South I am always amazed when i learn new things about the Civil War. The book is based on the true Story of Carrie McGavock who used her own land to create a cemetery for the soldiers who died during the Battle Of Franklin. (the bloodiest 5 hours of the Civil War- almost 10,000 casualties). However he included a fictional character for carrie to fall in love with. So no basis, just a diversion.
Violent and gratuitous use of the N-word. (VERY gratuitous use). A few little side stories that you arent sure why he threw it in there, maybe in order to use some of the sources he researched. I felt a few things were out of place or just thrown in for the heck of it.
It took me awhile to get into it. Then halfway through it was a little better. I found the last 25 pages or so the best part of the story. The very end with the authors notes, photos etc was the most interesting part of the entire book.You actually get to see pictures of the McGavock family and plantation and find out what happened to them all. I would have to give it a 3. It was Good, just not great for me. Maybe if I were more of a civil war buff I would enjoy it.

CANT WAIT TO GET TO HEAVEN(5 stars out of 5)- i REALLY liked this book.
I personally enjoy Fannie Flagg's style of writing and her witty observations, so this was no different.
This book really struck a chord with me about being a good person no matter what. Life is a gift and each day is precious. Life is a roller coaster-sit back an enjoy the ride.
great characters, and a funny and endearing story.
At age 80 something Elner Schimfizzle falls out of her fig tree. Did she or didnt she die? did she or didnt she meet her maker?
This story proves that One person can touch the lives of so many people and change it for the better, without even realizing it. Elner is just that woman. She is an odd duck, but people love her and she touched and changed the lives of everyone around her for the better.
I HIGHLY recommend this book.

GARDEN SPELLS(4 stars out of 5)- I really enjoyed this book.
This book shows that no matter who you are you cannot escape(nor should you) who you really are and where you come from. You are given talents and gifts and you should use them to your best abilities and not hide them or be embarassed by them. We all have gifts. You cannot escape from your past no matter how hard you try.
This book had a great premise and some really great elements: two sisters with nothing in common, a prophetic aunt and a crazy apple tree.
I would read this again.
i cannot QUITE give it 5 stars as I was a tad disappointed in the ending.

BONUS READ: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg.
My problem is I saw the movie first instead of reading it, so all i can see is Cathy Bates as Evelyn couch. It was an enjoyable book, typical witty Fannie Flagg. A good story, a story of love, friendship and a cafe that brings it all together.
3 1/2 out of 5.

So go sit on the porch, enjoy some sweet tea and pecans and enjoy a good southern read, hon.
(or sugar or ma'am...all three are acceptable around here)
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