Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Reading Road Trip ... Georgia

John Berendt is a terrific writer. His book, The City of Falling Angels, is so seductive in its story of the destruction of the city's famed opera house that you almost feel like you're there (with side trips to some glass-blowing factories. The book that made his name, though, was Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Not only was the book a runaway best-seller, spending four years at the top of the New York Times bestseller list (longer than any work of fiction or nonfiction before), but the photo used on the cover sent so many tourists to the Bonaventure cemetery in Savannah where "the bird girl" statue was located that the family had it removed. (Ironically, the photographer who took th iconic shot used on the cover is buried in the same cemetery where the sculpture used to stand.)

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is true crime of the very best sort. It reads like fiction, full of quirky and multi-faceted chraacters, with a brooding sensibility that is dripping with Southern Gothic trappings. It's a great read.

If you're looking for a great crime fiction set in Georgia, check out Karin Slaughter's Undone. Set in Atlanta, the book is number three in her series about Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Will Trent. It's paced like a movie thriller and it just does not stop. I like Slaughter's work a lot, and this is one of my favorite of her novels.

And finally, there's Melissa Fay Greene's Praying For Sheetrock, a finalist for the 1991 National Book Award and a New York Times "Notable Book." The story of how one black man took on the racist power structure and prevailed is as timely now as it was two decades ago.

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