Twenty-Two Southern Books for 2022

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This post began as “Five Southern Books to Start the New Year With.” But the wonderful thing about Southern literature is the breadth of variety we have.

Simply, there were too many good books for me to choose from.

About This List: Where possible, I gave preference first to our many wonderful diverse writers. Second, I gave preference to Mississippi writers… because home-state and all.

I found many of these titles on lists from Ozy, The Bitter Southerner, and Lemuria Books and compiled my favorites here to share with you.

Reading widely is a true delight to me, and I hope you find something that tickles your fancy as well.


The Deepest South of All by Richard Grant (travel writing)

A Place Like Mississippi by W. Ralph Eubanks (travel writing)

Maverick Gardeners by Felder Rushing (nature)

Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light by Helen Ellis (essays)

Bress ‘N’ Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer by Mattew Raiford with Amy Paige Condon (cookbook)

Outlands by William Eggleston (photography)

Graceland, At Last by Margaret Renkl (essays)

When Evil Lived In Laurel by Curtis Wilkie (investigative reporting)

The Mama Chronicles by Teresa Nicholas (memoir)


Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (Teen & YA Affrican-American fiction)

The Last Checkmate by Gabriella Saab (WWII Historical fiction)

Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian (magical realism)

When The Reckoning Comes by LaTanya McQueen (southern fiction)

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix (horror suspense)

Long Division by Kiese Laymon (African-American literary fiction)

Matrix by Lauren Groff (Medieval Historical Fiction)

Mother May I by Joshilynn Jackson (Domestic Thrillers)

The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You by Maurice Carlos Ruffin (short stories)


Lace & Pyrite by Ross Gay & Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Danger Days by Catherine Pierce

The Essential Muriel Rukeyser by Natasha Trethewey

Taking The Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker

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