Reading the States: Alabama

Friday, January 6, 2012

Welcome to the first post of my Read the States series! Every Friday I will be posting books and authors that are great representations of a different state. If you have any additional suggestions for this week’s state or any other states, leave them in the comments!

Alabama is known for the Talladega Speedway and the Civil Rights movement, but there are some wonderful literary connections as well. F. Scott Fitzgerald lived there while writing Tender is the Night. Harper Lee and Truman Capote grew up side-by-side in the tiny town of Monroeville. A state so rich with famous authors provides some fascinating reading possibilities.


- To Kill a Mockingbird* by Harper Lee
- Other Rooms, Other Voices by Truman Capote
- Forrest Gump* by Winston Groom
- Crazy in Alabama by Mark Childress
- Boy's Life by Robert McCammon 
- Gods in Alabama* by Joshilyn Jackson 
- Go Set a Watchman* by Harper Lee 

- All Over but the Shoutin’* by Rick Bragg
- The Story of My Life* by Helen Keller
- Scout, Atticus, and Boo* by Mary McDonough Murphy
- The Watsons Go To Birmingham* by Christopher Paul Curtis 
- The Mockingbird Next Door* by Marja Mills
- Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans 
- Ava's Man* by Rick Bragg

Authors Who Lived Here:
- Harper Lee
- Truman Capote
- Zelda Fitzgerald
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Great Bookstores:
Alabama Booksmith - Known for its first edition club.
Beehive Coffee and Books

Literary Places to Visit:
Fitzgerald's House and Museum
To Kill a Mockingbird Museum
Harper Lee and Truman Capote's Homes

*Books I've Read 
Photo by moi.


Kristi said...

This is a fun idea. I don't have anything to add for Alabama, but I'm looking forward to more Reading the States posts.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I love this idea. I am ashamed to say that I'm fairly clueless about where authors are from (unless they are from Florida!). I wouldn't know an Alabama book if it came up and bit me!

Jeanne said...

I'm fairly clueless about where authors are from, too. I had no idea Fitzgerald wrote about Alabama.

Teacher/Learner said...

This is a great idea for a meme! TKAM instantly came to mind when I saw your post title but I forgot about Forrest Gump (probably because the movie is better known than the book).

nomadreader said...

Love this idea! I can't wait to see the series develop!

B said...

This is such a good idea for a series of posts. I'm guessing you'll be doing them alphabetically? In which case, I've got to wait awhile before you get to Wisconsin :)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kristi - Thanks! I've been working on getting the series ready for awhile now. I might have gotten a little OCD and cut every single state out of a map and then taken pictures of each one pinned to a corkboard. Sometimes I get a bit too focused on projects.

Sandy - I didn't used to pay attention to that either, but this project has made me learn so much more. I love it.

Jeanne - He never really wrote about Alabama, but he wrote Tender is the Night while he was living there with his wife. There's only one museum in the USA devoted to him and it's in AL.

Teacher/Learner - Mockingbird is the quintessential Alabama book. I had so much fun visiting Lee's hometown this past fall.

nomadreader - Thanks! I'm excited about it too. I hope you guys enjoy it.

Brenna - Ha, yes I thought alphabetical would be easiest, but you know I'll get there by the end of the year!

BookQuoter said...

This is wonderful and promises to be a good resource. Grats!!