Books about the American South

Check out this list of interesting books to read to help you prepare for your next trip to the American South.

The United States is very large and so has different cultural and historical influences in different regions. In this post we’re going to take a look at The American South.

The American South is also called “The Bible Belt” because of the many churches, both large and small, scattered across the land as well as religious influence on society in the area. Texas is one of the most internationally known Southern states, but Southern culture in Texas is very different from what you’d find in South Carolina or Georgia. Many parts of Texas identify with the American Southwest (think cowboys and Spaghetti Westerns) whereas in the states that make up the American South are more closely related to a slower, sweet-tea and fried chicken kind of lifestyle.

The American South is both enchanting and evil. It is the place where the slave trade started in the United States as well as where the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. It is also home to world-famous Southern hospitality, Gospel, and Soul Food. A place where centuries-old oak trees rustle in the cool Southern breezes. It’s the birthplace of Ray Charles and Hank Williams and where Gullah Geechee culture still thrives today.

In order to give you a chance to experience The American South, we’ve compiled a list of novels and short stories, both fiction and non-fiction, that will transport you among the chaos and beauty of the region.

  1. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – John Berendt

Published: 1999

This non-fiction novel explores the ins and outs of life in Savannah, Georgia while centering around a shocking crime.

  1. The Color Purple – Alice Walker

Published: 1982

The novel explores the lives of two sisters in rural Georgia as they cope with hardship and sacrifice.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Published: 1960

A cornerstone of the American literary canon, this novel depicts both the moral depths of the human conscience as well as a coming-of-age story in a small Southern town.

  1. As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner

Published: 1930

A harrowing tale of one family’s journey across rural Mississippi to bury their wife and mother, Addie.

  1. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café – Fannie Flagg

Published: 1987

This novel ties together two stories of friendship, loss, and adventure, one set in 1980’s Alabama and the other in the 1930’s.

  1. The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor – Flannery O’Connor

Published: 1955

This is the largest compilation of short stories by one of The American South’s most prolific authors.

  1. Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison

Published: 1952

This novel shows the nightmare of the nameless protagonist’s literal journey across The American South to the streets of Harlem as well as the horrors of his figurative journey across the racial divide.

  1. The Water is Wide – Pat Conroy

Published: 1972

The true story of Pat Conroy’s difficult and rewarding year teaching on Yamacraw Island, a land where the way of life is threatened by the fast-growing, overbearing world around it.

 

A Brit in Italy: 5 Things we do in the UK that would be considered a sin in Italy

Italian and British culture are not exactly the same; let’s discover some of the most common differences with Beth !!!

  1. Cocktails with meals

Cocktail culture in the UK & USA is pretty famous all over the world, but we take it to an extent that every Italian would gasp in horror at. We drink pina coladas with steak, long island iced teas with carbonara, strawberry mojitos with hot-dogs… any combination you can think of, we probably do it! Coming to Italy, I’ve learnt that there are certain drinking rules, e.g., white wine with fish, beer with pizza, red wine with red meat. These were all new to me, but I promise I now abide by your ‘laws’!

 

  1. Going out with wet hair

The infamous colpo d’aria is spoken about every day around the country, but many don’t know that it’s just an old wives’ tale! Of course, if you are already sick and you expose yourself to the cold, it could make it worse. But there’s no evidence that suggests going outside with wet hair can produce a virus or bacteria… which is why in the UK, you’ll see many people outside with wet hair. Plus, it rains so often that you’re bound to end up soaking wet anyway!

 

  1. Walking barefoot everywhere

Although the UK is famous for its terrible weather, the country just doesn’t seem to be as dusty as Italy. It is extremely common for us to walk around the house with no shoes or socks on, especially as most of our rooms have carpets. Additionally, those who live in the countryside or who have gardens can walk around barefoot even outside! As a child I spent most of my time with no shoes on, but of course you shouldn’t expect to see people barefoot in public. I think we can all agree that those who take their shoes off on airplanes are the worst!

 

  1. Drinking coffee at all hours (including with dinner)

This one is no longer a shock to most Italians, but yes… we drink cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos, every coffee you can think of at all times of the day! Irish coffees (hot coffee with cream and whisky) are very popular after dinner, and it’s normal for us to have coffee with meals. This of course includes the full English breakfast, but I think you can let us off the hook for that one!

 

  1. Not saying hello/goodbye to everyone

When entering or leaving a party in the UK, we usually just say a sweeping hello/goodbye to the room, or to anyone who needs to know where we are. In Italy, however, I’ve learnt that it’s rude to leave someone out when greetings are involved. Hugs and kisses must be given to everyone! If you visit the UK, feel free to pull an Irish exit… we promise we won’t mind!

 

A Brit in Italy || Vocabulary

Put the following words to the correct definitions.

Paul the Cat – Phrasal Verbs in Action

Welcome to Scrambled Eggs guys! Oggi ci occupiamo dei famigerati Phrasal Verbs, che spesso ci fanno fare tanta fatica. Impara a conoscerli e ad utilizzarli al meglio con questo Reading dedicato a Paul… Paul the Cat!!

TEXT:

” Paul the cat had finally reached the ripe old age of 23. He had lived a very colorful life. He was born on the mean streets of New York City and had to figure out how to manage as an alley cat which often meant stealing his meals from restaurant trashcans and fighting rival cats. Once he had even started a riot that involved all of the neighborhood cats meowing in protest for more food. It was quickly put down by the police, leaving Paul with a piece of his tail missing. Unfortunately, one of his friends had turned him in as the instigator which led to him spending a night in jail. Being turned in by a friend was the biggest betrayal he’d ever faced; it changed his outlook on life. He was eventually found by a nice family and adopted. It took him a long time to adjust to life as a docile feline, but with time he was able to assimilate to life in suburbia. His owners never put him down when he made mistakes and they never made him feel unwelcome; they treated him like part of the family.

At the age of 23 he had seen and done many things. He had also lost many friends along the way. Only a few years ago his friend Steve the cat had been diagnosed with feline cancer and had to be put down. After Steve had passed away Paul felt very lonely. He continued his daily routines like spending the day sleeping, scratching the furniture, and throwing up hair balls, but life wasn’t the same without his friend. Although, his favorite activity was looking for mice, even that had lost its appeal. He would look under the couch, in the attic, and behind the plants as he’d always done and sometimes, he would get lucky and find one, but most days he would call off his search after a few hours and go back to sleep. He would sleep all day, go for a short walk around the house, then turn in for the night around 9pm. “

 

Phrasal Verbs in Action - Definition Match

Put the following words to the correct definitions.

Phrasal Verbs in Action - Fill in the Blank

Fill in the blank with the correct phrasal verb.

 

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