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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Susan Rebecca White's favorite books of 2009

click to enlarge Susan Rebecca White
  • Susan Rebecca White

We asked our favorite Atlantan writers and readers to tell us their favorite books of 2009.  Susan Rebecca White is the author of Bound South. Her second novel, A Soft Place to Land, is forthcoming in May, 2010.

There has been a remarkable output of excellent literature by Atlanta authors this year, and because I'm the literary equivalent of a locavore I've read a bunch of it.  Indeed, three out of the five books on my list are by local authors, and all are by southerners.  Call me biased, but I do think southerners know how to tell a story.  And not because we live in a land of moonlight and magnolias--but rather a strange and unsettling place:

1. Invisible Sisters - Jessica Handler takes a heartbreaking (and true) story and brilliantly renders it into something life-affirming.

2. The Help - Kathryn Stockett's novel, exploring (among many other things) the complicated relationship between black housekeepers and the white children they are (underpaid) to raise, is a wonder.

3. The Confederate General Rides North - Amanda Gable really nails the voice of her eleven year old protagonist.  If Ellen Foster were a Confederate war buff, this would be her book.

4. The Sweet By and By - Todd Johnson's wonderful novel explores territory many of us would rather ignore until we find ourselves there: aging and death.  And in his exploration, he finds humor and grace.

5. Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned - Wells Tower gets to have a super cool name and be a writer of tough yet funny prose? No fair.

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