Maggie's Southern Reading Challenge was one of the challenges I told myself I would not take on. The last thing I needed to do this summer was take on another challenge, but as I was going through the books in my TBR room, I discovered a few that would qualify. Charlaine Harris is one of my favorite authors, and I hadn't yet tried reading her Lily Bard series. This was the perfect excuse. Why not get all caught up with one of my series reads by reading the latest Jack Kerley book? I should probably make some sort of effort to work towards that annual goal of mine. To balance things out, I chose a book recommended by another blogger, something a little outside of my normal reading zone, a novel by Charles Martin. There were certainly more I could have chosen from, and I would not have minded reading those either, but other reading commitments required I stick to the minimum.
Maggie hoped to give readers a taste of the South, and she certainly succeeded in that.
What was my favorite Southern novel of the three I read?
This is a tough question to answer. Each of these books received a Very Good rating from me.
Charlaine Harris is one of my favorite series authors, and I was quite impressed with the first book in her Lily Bard series. Lily is one tough woman and I really appreciated that there was a strong set of teeth in this cozy.
When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin was a beautiful story--tragic and hopeful all rolled into one.
Jack Kerley's writing gets better and better with each book. He not only writes an entertaining tale, but he kept me on the edge of my seat almost through the entire book. There's enough twists and turns to keep any suspense enthusiast happy.
What book could I have done without?
I cannot even comtemplate question like this, frankly. Each of these books was well worth reading. I got to spend time in small town Arkansas, in a quiet lake side community in Georgia and in the heart of Mobile, Alabama. It was a lovely summer!
What was the best part of the Southern Reading Challenge?
With all of these challenges, the best part is diving into books that I have been wanting to read for ages, but have put off getting to for one reason or the other. For this challenge, I was introduced to a new author who I definitely will revisit in the future, experienced a different genre by a favorite author and enjoyed the company of old friends in the other.
I also had the pleasure of visiting the other participants' blogs, seeing what they were reading and taking down notes of possible books I might someday want to read. I will never lack for something to read, that's for sure!
Maggie did a great job of inspiring a sense of community and camaraderie with the Southern Reading Challenge. I cannot begin to thank her enough for putting this challenge together and allowing me to be a part of it. Thank you, Maggie!