Spending a day at the beach or pool with a good book is one of the sweetest pleasures of summer. Even if you are on a staycation, reading a book that is set somewhere nearby, fictional or no, makes it even more endearing and cozy. Below are the best Southern Summer Reads we’ve found.
1. Anything by Pat Conroy
Setting: South Carolina
Among his best works are The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, The Water Is Wide, and my favorite, Beach Music. He’s the master weaver of Southern storytelling, and even when his characters and stories seem to resemble each other from book to book, he’s such an entertaining writer that you forgive him.
2. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Setting: South Carolina
It’s been called “mind-blowing” in the reviews by people who know what they are talking about, so you know it is going to be good. Runner up: The Secret Life of Bees.
3. Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
Setting: Often in North Carolina
Everything David Sedaris writes is achingly hilarious, and this book is no exception. Runners up include Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, and Children Playing Before A Statue of Hercules.
4. Divine Secrets of Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
It was the book that was the genesis of the girl-bonding revolution, and is an easy and fun read that is perfect for summer. If you like it, avoid the follow up, Little Altars Everywhere; it ruins the fun of the first book.
5. Peachtree Road by Anne Rivers Siddons
Setting: Atlanta, Georgia
When Pat Conroy says the book is “the Southern novel for our generation,” you read it, regardless of your generation.
6. Isle of Palms by Dorothea Benton Frank
Setting: Isle of Palms, South Carolina
In the South, it’s always about how your family is crazy, right? It seems like we all have one, which is why we all like reading books about families that are a little nuttier than our own.
7. Zelda: A Biography by Nancy Milford
Setting: Montgomery, Alabama; Asheville, North Carolina; various other American and European cities
Warning: this book is long. However, it is a fascinating look in to the exciting, maddening, and ultimately sad lives of the talented and ill Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald.
8. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Setting: Savannah, Georgia
If scandal, drag queens, wealth, people walking imaginary dogs, and voodoo are your thing, you’ll love this book. It’s miles better than the movie, as they usually are.
What are your favorite beach reads set in the South? We’d love to hear your favorites!
Image Source: BigStock, Itunes and suemonkkidd.com