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My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South Hardcover – September 15, 2015
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''Bragg tells about the South with such power and bone-naked love . . . he will make you cry.'' --Atlanta Journal-Constitution, praise for the author --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Bragg is at his best when he's writing about what is clearly one of his favorite topics, southern food. I was reading this on a Southwest airplane eating a teeny tiny bag of honey peanuts while he described his mama making cornbread: "Later my mama would take the cracklin's and mix them in a skillet of cornmeal and then bake it. As the meal cooked, the essence of the cracklin's would melt through the pone of the bread, and when it was done she would cut it into triangles and serve it with pinto beans and stewed squash and slice Spanish onions and pickled pepper so hot it would blind a baby if he rubbed it on his eyes." I sat in my teeney airplane seat and I didn't know what in the heck pone is but I wanted some of that cornbread "right quick." My mouth watered as I ate my darn peanuts and began to plan my next trip home. And that's where Bragg's artistry lies - just a few sentences and you're there. I won't even repeat his description of a place called "Harold's Barbecue" because if I do both you, dear reader, and me are going to have to go eat something and I've got to finish this review. Also, I loved that he mentioned one of my favorite smoked fish shacks in St. Pete Florida... Ted Peter's.Read more ›
‘My Southern Journey’ continues this love affair with a series of short articles, many reprinted from magazines, that describes, in his unique style, what makes ‘The South’ special. From its food to its music, from the back-country religions to its armadillos, Bragg describes them all and does in that passionately biased way that he has that imbues even the most mundane aspects of life with a quaint charm.
As an unrepentant Yankee, I particularly enjoyed his descriptions of how the English language is spoken in the South differs from the rest of the country. Speaking of Thanksgiving, Bragg said ‘When I mentioned that we were having turkey and dressing at my house, my Yankee friends looked confused. You mean, they asked, the stuff you put on salads? It is a miracle we only fought one war.’
Perhaps my favorite line from the book is when he describes his attitude towards drinking in general and drinking bourbon in particular. ‘I am not a big drinker, but there has always been something comforting about brown liquor. After one, I always felt like I was covered in a warm quilt. The secret, across my life and my ancestor’s lives, was not to drink seven more, turn the drink into a parachute, and jump off something tall.’
Speaking of moderation, I wouldn’t describe the book as ‘sweet’ but after reading it I can almost hear some woman’s voice saying ‘Ain’t that sweet!Read more ›
Do not, whatever you do, read this when you are hungry, planning your next meal, digesting your previous meal, making your food shopping list, or just sitting and reading and minding your own business. The next thing you know you will be up out of your chair, going through the cupboards and the fridge looking for something to tide you over until you can get all the ingredients for that meal that Rick Bragg was just talking about. This is a very dangerous book, and no one who is thinking of or on a diet should read this. In fact, read this on a plane like I did, when the only food available is the blue chips and the attendant looks at you strangely when you ask if there are any more bags. The chapter on Table is all about food. It is my favorite chapter, and I read it twice. He starts with food and drink in New Orleans, snow cones and ends with stories about Grouper sandwiches. The stories in between are much too dangerous to relate at lunchtime. Maybe a big tomato sandwich, tomato fresh from the garden.
Stories of rednecks, big storms, football in Alabama, his mother, his brother and his brother's dog Pretty Girl. All of these stories and more are such a treat. The Southern gentility we have all heard about comes peaking through. The people are fun, wise, rich and poor, but they all have heritage and stories to share. Holiday fruit cakes, 'Have Gun Will Travel' , and the Spirit of the South. It is all here, in these stories. Rick Bragg has had a Southern life and he loves to talk about it.
Recommended. prisrob 08-09-15
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My Southern Journey is a must read for anyone who grew up in the Deep South in the 1950's or 1960's. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Thomas L. Atkins
Rick Bragg is the best Southern writer I have ever encountered. When my Southern Living magazine arrives each month, the first thing I read is Rick's page. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Peppy
I loved the book and enjoyed the descriptions of his favorite southern foods. He is a master of bringing his memories of the south to life. Read morePublished 4 days ago by C Robinson
I love rick bragg.my family grew up not too far from his family. my people are from Cherokee county. his books are so close to our own lives.tell him I said hey.Published 5 days ago by Carol M. Sheets
Bragg is a brother of the South, our stories cross in our collective growing up as sons, grandsons, nephews, and cousins of a people shaped hard times, sadness, joy, and love.Published 5 days ago by Hiram J Coker
Another terrific and colorful recap of many of Rick's writings. He truly bring out the ways of Southern people, their loves and perhaps some of the sadness of his own life. Read morePublished 5 days ago by woodskill