Monday, April 16, 2007

CHALLENGE | Southern Reading Challenge 2007

The news has been going around for a while now for Maggie's Southern Reading Challenge 2007. She has even gone to the trouble of doing a bit of research for Southern Region Defined!

I've too many books half-read already. Do I really need another Book Challenge? Like I need a root canal. But is that going to stop me from signing up? Of course not. *grin*

My interest in Southern Lit is more slanted towards what is commonly known as Southern Gothic. Been meaning to read Carson McCullers and other Southern Gothic authors for a while now. I dug into my personal library first to see what I can come up with – because Book Challenges are a good excuse to get around to reading your unread books. That's when I found this forgotten copy of Flannery O'Connor's The Complete Stories. I don't recall when I bought it. It must have been my university days when I was into the literature of the Gothic. Just as well — I've been meaning to get around to her stories since Dorothy and Jenclair started writing about her. This volume collects 31 of O'Connor's stories, so it's a good place to start.

Meanwhile, these are the shortlisted titles I am considering for the challenge:

The Complete Stories Flannery O'Connor
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter Carson McCullers
The Color Purple Alice Walker
Orpheus Descending Tennessee Williams
Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All Allan Gurganus
Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady Florence King
The Awakening Kate Chopin

Challenge starts 1st June, until August. The challenge is to read 3 books. More details later, closer to the date.

As usual, if I don't own the books, I will try to get the books from the libraries or from friends. No buying of new books for the challenges.


maggie moran said...

I'm thrilled you are joining the challenge! I thought I would work on a Southern Gothic List tonight. Thanks also for such a great list. BTW, I loved The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

Rebecca H. said...

I do hope you enjoy the O'Connor stories if you decide to read them -- I'd be curious to hear your thoughts.

darkorpheus said...

Maggie: Thanks for organising this challenge. It's a great excuse for me to push myself into reading Carson McCullers and Flannery O'Connor. All these books I promise myself to pick up - but never can find the time. I hope I enjoy "Heart is a Lonely Hunter" too. So looking forward to it.

Dorothy: I think I'm confirmed with Flannery O'Connor for the Southern Challenge. Been trying to keep my hands off it until June.

Anonymous said...

I loved the Color Purple. Maybe you would like to check out the Video Book Review. Saw the movie too.

Anonymous said...

I really want to do this challenge and like you I'm going to dig around in my shelves and see which books I can use.

Anonymous said...

I don't need any new challenges either, but I couldn't pass this one up, too. I have to decide still on my titles. I loved The Awakening by the way--and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, too! Enjoy!

darkorpheus said...

iliana: Good luck picking out something suitable from your stash. I didn't realise I have O'Conor hidden behind my old Lonely Planet guides until I looked. Never know what you're going to find. :)

Danielle: This challenge is just too hard to pass up, isn't it? I've only read a few of Chopin's short stories - but I like them. I thought I should tackle "Awakening" this year.

Wish me luck. Will I be able to finish all the challenges? D'oh.

Stephanie said...

Oh...I have been looking at this challenge but didn't have a clue what to read. I like your choices. (or at least, the shortlist!) I read The Awakening a couple of years ago. Great story.

darkorpheus said...

Stephanie: Hi, Stephanie. Thanks for dropping by. The "Shortlist" is getting longer though. Hmmm. WIll have to narrow it down, or maybe I'll just have a long list of "shortlisted" titles to pick from.

I'm never good at pinning down what I want to read next.