South Toward Home
A wry andhumorous take on life and culture in the American South. In thinking about her native land, Julia Reed quotes another Southern writer, Willie Morris, who said, “It’s the juxtapositions that get you down here.” These juxtapositions are, for Julia, the soul of the South and in her warmhearted and funny new book, South Toward Home, she chronicles her adventures through the highs and the lows of Southern life—the Delta hot tamale festival, a masked ball, a rollicking party in a boat on a sand bar, scary Christian billboards, and the southern affection for the lowly possum. She writes about the southern penchant for making their own fun in every venue from a high-toned New Orleans dinner party to cocktail crawls on the streets of the French Quarter where to-go cups are de rigeur. And with as much hilarity as possible, Julia shines her light on the South’s more embarrassing tendencies like dry counties and the politics of lust. As she puts it, “My fellow Southerners have brought me the greatest joy—on the page, over the airwaves, around the dinner table, at the bar or, hell, in the checkout line.” South Towards Home, with a foreword by Jon Meacham, is Julia Reed’s valentine to the place she loves best.

South Toward Home Details

TitleSouth Toward Home
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 31st, 2018
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
ISBN-139781250166340
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Humor, American, Southern

South Toward Home Review

  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    I loved reading SOUTH TOWARD HOME, and I caught myself laughing out loud too many times to count! Julia Reed is from Mississippi and now resides in New Orleans. She is a writer for Garden and Gun magazine. Anyone who loves the south and all of it's craziness should give this a read. I highly recommend!
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  • Ruth Woodman York
    January 1, 1970
    I won an ARC of this book on Goodreads. Having lived for a few years in the south, and being a fan of southern culture, I had high hopes. However, it appears I am in the minority. I found the various essays to be scattered in train of thought. Each story seemed interspersed with yet other stories, that detracted (to me) from the original story the author was trying to convey. It felt very disjointed and distracting.
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  • Bonnye Reed
    January 1, 1970
    GN South Toward Home, a memoir in the form of a collection of essays, is a laugh a minute, and for those of us no longer living in the deep south the occasional tear accompanied by a deep sense of loss. I could not pick a favorite story if my life depended on it, but this is a book I will keep handy for time's I need cheering up. This is a book I will treasure, and gift to others also living in exile. The southwestern desert is home but the south holds my heart. And if you are not familiar with GN South Toward Home, a memoir in the form of a collection of essays, is a laugh a minute, and for those of us no longer living in the deep south the occasional tear accompanied by a deep sense of loss. I could not pick a favorite story if my life depended on it, but this is a book I will keep handy for time's I need cheering up. This is a book I will treasure, and gift to others also living in exile. The southwestern desert is home but the south holds my heart. And if you are not familiar with the south or plan to visit there, you should read South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures in my Native Land, before you head down there. It will add tons of enjoyment to your visit. Julia Reed is a contributor to the magazine Garden & Gun. You can't get any more southern than that. If you feel an affinity to things southern, or you love NOLA or Mississippi or you can't get enough southern rock music, you are missing out on a good thing if you don't have Julia Reed on your radar. I received a free electronic copy of this collection of essays from Netgalley, Julia Reed and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all, for sharing your hard work with me. pub date extended to July 31, 2018St. Martin's PressCould not publish on B&N
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- In considering the pleasures and absurdities of her native culture, Julia Reed quotes another Southern writer, Willie Morris, who said, “It’s the juxtapositions that get you down here.” These juxtapositions are, for Julia, the soul of the South, and in her warm-hearted and funny new book, South Toward Home, she chronicles her adventures through the highs and the lows of I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- In considering the pleasures and absurdities of her native culture, Julia Reed quotes another Southern writer, Willie Morris, who said, “It’s the juxtapositions that get you down here.” These juxtapositions are, for Julia, the soul of the South, and in her warm-hearted and funny new book, South Toward Home, she chronicles her adventures through the highs and the lows of Southern life—taking us everywhere from dive bars and the Delta Hot Tamale Festival to an impromptu shindig on a Mississippi River sandbar and a coveted seat on a Mardi Gras float. She writes about the region’s music and food, its pesky critters and prodigious drinking habits, its inhabitants’ penchant for making their own fun—and, crucially, their gift for laughing at themselves.With her distinctive voice and knowing eye, Julia also provides her take on the South’s more embarrassing characteristics from the politics of lust and the persistence of dry counties to the “seemingly bottomless propensity for committing a whole lot of craziness in the name of the Lord.” No matter what, she writes, “My fellow Southerners have brought me the greatest joy—on the page, over the airwaves, around the dinner table, at the bar or, hell, in the checkout line.” South Toward Home, with a foreword by Jon Meacham, is Julia Reed’s valentine to the place she knows and loves best.As a woman born and raised in southern CANADA, this book made me laugh out loud at times at the depiction of "the South" - we could not be more different. The quirkiness of these southern states is presented in a delightful manner: I laughed out loud at times and said "WTH" to myself at others. Any fan of fun writing that is self-deprecating yet insightful and the of human condition will enjoy this book: I certainly did!
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    The funny and amusing essays in South Toward Home are all about life in the American South. Frankly, they were just what I needed for a good laugh. In the book, Ms. Reed alludes to the fact that Southerners are often called upon to make their own fun, and from many of the episodes and adventures in this book it is clear that Ms. Reed is quite adept in doing just that. Whether she was attending a food festival in Greenville Mississippi, her hometown or pointing out the tourists in a New Orleans b The funny and amusing essays in South Toward Home are all about life in the American South. Frankly, they were just what I needed for a good laugh. In the book, Ms. Reed alludes to the fact that Southerners are often called upon to make their own fun, and from many of the episodes and adventures in this book it is clear that Ms. Reed is quite adept in doing just that. Whether she was attending a food festival in Greenville Mississippi, her hometown or pointing out the tourists in a New Orleans bar and wondering about their behavior, there was always something to like about her observations.I particularly enjoyed Hell on Wheels where the author explains the love of her first car a 1978 Toyota Celica and all the joy and adventure she had in it. I also enjoyed Going Deep in Dixie and her defense of the Florida panhandle as a summer destination. Most, if not all of these short essays were amusing or told me something I didn't know about the South and as I'm a resident of the region, I'm almost a bit ashamed to admit that I hadn't heard of the author before this book. Of course, I now count myself as a fan of Ms. Reed's style and humor. So for anyone who isn't familiar with the American South, South Toward Home is an excellent place to dip your toe. I think you will find the quirkiness and charm of southern culture and people spread throughout the pages of this book. And if you like what you read and want to try it out in person, remember (and this is my own observation) it's hot as hell, the mosquitoes are as big as elephants and the poison oak packs a mean punch but otherwise, as this book shows it's all good fun.Thanks to Goodreads and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.More reviews at: www.susannesbooklist.blogspot.com
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Being familiar with Julia Reed as a Garden & Gun subscriber, I am fully convinced that she is to us what Erma Bombeck was to our mothers & grandmothers. Fallible & funny, real and relatable, Reed is unerringly truthful about life in the South, such as the hoarding of all things be it email, magazines, old LPs, or what have you-and we love her for it. After all, we see ourselves in her cherished neuroticism. She bares her soul to the reader as easily as a best girlfriend would over a Being familiar with Julia Reed as a Garden & Gun subscriber, I am fully convinced that she is to us what Erma Bombeck was to our mothers & grandmothers. Fallible & funny, real and relatable, Reed is unerringly truthful about life in the South, such as the hoarding of all things be it email, magazines, old LPs, or what have you-and we love her for it. After all, we see ourselves in her cherished neuroticism. She bares her soul to the reader as easily as a best girlfriend would over a glass of wine admitting her faults, shortcomings, and hijinks. And there are plenty of hijinks with Reed, as she relates every one with characteristic nostalgia and humor. Reading South Toward Home reminds me once more why I’ve no desire to live anywhere other than the South. Yes, you’ll find some crazy folk down here, but for the traveling I have done in my life, I have never known total strangers to be kinder than those chanced upon below the Mason Dixon. Besides, I much prefer the atmosphere and architecture. Full disclosure, I received a digital copy of this book as an ARC and I am, as Reed, a born and bred Southerner. So to say I'm a tad biased here would be a little silly. I was thrilled to receive the book and several times laughed out loud at her shenanigans-if only because it sounded like something me and my girlfriends would do. Considering the upcoming summer months, this is a great pick for lazy seaside/lakeside days. Give it a spin! And Julia...hurry up with the next one please, that is, after you clean out all those old magazines laying around the house!!
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  • SundayAtDusk
    January 1, 1970
    Well, if you’re a baby boomer who really likes booze, you really might like this book, because it is a very boozy book. If you don’t drink, however; or do drink, but don’t feel compelled to laugh, or even crack a smile, every time alcohol consumption is mentioned in a memoir; many of the stories in this book might bore you. If you’re an animal lover you might like some of the included stories, but probably not the ones that animal killers might like. If you’re a person who likes individuals who Well, if you’re a baby boomer who really likes booze, you really might like this book, because it is a very boozy book. If you don’t drink, however; or do drink, but don’t feel compelled to laugh, or even crack a smile, every time alcohol consumption is mentioned in a memoir; many of the stories in this book might bore you. If you’re an animal lover you might like some of the included stories, but probably not the ones that animal killers might like. If you’re a person who likes individuals who have had privileged childhoods, and who are really into name-dropping and shout-outing in their memoirs, you will definitely like this book. Not that any of the three aforementioned things are sins, but they all unfortunately heavily contributed to the feelings of exclusivity while reading Julia Reed’s writings. One couldn’t help but get the feeling while reading that one was being seen as privileged to read the adventures in this book. Moreover, if one had never lived in the areas of the country that Ms. Reed lived in, or had the experiences she had, one really wasn’t going to completely understand or appreciate what one was reading. Nevertheless, that was okay, as long as one laughed at the appropriate times while reading, such as every time booze was mentioned, particularly in excessive quantities.(Note: I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher or author.)
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  • Gail Smith
    January 1, 1970
    I discovered Julia Reed several years ago in Fetch, an on-line magazine produced by an upscale shopping site. I chuckled at her wit. As a true Southern belle, she regaled me with her classic style and her penchant for food and drink. When I saw that she had a new book, I was quick to get my hands on a copy. I enjoyed South Toward Home. I read it as a group of short stories rather than from cover to cover—a few chapters at a time made it a nice little appetizer. She covers all manner of Southern I discovered Julia Reed several years ago in Fetch, an on-line magazine produced by an upscale shopping site. I chuckled at her wit. As a true Southern belle, she regaled me with her classic style and her penchant for food and drink. When I saw that she had a new book, I was quick to get my hands on a copy. I enjoyed South Toward Home. I read it as a group of short stories rather than from cover to cover—a few chapters at a time made it a nice little appetizer. She covers all manner of Southern life from critters to humidity, from hunting to debutante balls. Since I share the same regional background, and about the same time frame, many of her recollections were poignant to me. And I loved her Play List! Any Southern songfest without Poke Salad Annie is just not right! I’d recommend this book for any true Southerner, or someone who wants to be.I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for an honest review. Thanks to both.
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  • Jean
    January 1, 1970
    Having spent time in the South and ready many books (fiction and non-fiction) set there, I so wanted to enjoy reading this book. Every region of the U.S. has it quirks and “isms”. It is always fun to learn about them especially when the author pokes fun at him/herself. However, I found that the writing style was a bit sophomoric. If I had to read “I digress” one more time, I would have screamed. Unlike books that have recipes at the end of each chapter, the couple that were incorporated were hap Having spent time in the South and ready many books (fiction and non-fiction) set there, I so wanted to enjoy reading this book. Every region of the U.S. has it quirks and “isms”. It is always fun to learn about them especially when the author pokes fun at him/herself. However, I found that the writing style was a bit sophomoric. If I had to read “I digress” one more time, I would have screamed. Unlike books that have recipes at the end of each chapter, the couple that were incorporated were haphazard and did not add to the book. Maybe they should have been grouped together at the end of the book. I can understand why others enjoyed this book and why I am probably in the minority. That is why there are so many options in the greater reading world. Thank you, NetGalley,
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    I've been reading Julia Reed for years in various publications so this compilation of her essays was a treat. She can be a polarizing writer, as she does tend to wander off track- meander-in pretty much every one bit that's part of her charm. Think of this as a book to dip in and out of and don't take it too seriously. Yes, she's privileged and not reflective of the whole South but this is her reality and it is what it is. Enjoy her for that. I liked her writing, I liked the subject matter (she' I've been reading Julia Reed for years in various publications so this compilation of her essays was a treat. She can be a polarizing writer, as she does tend to wander off track- meander-in pretty much every one bit that's part of her charm. Think of this as a book to dip in and out of and don't take it too seriously. Yes, she's privileged and not reflective of the whole South but this is her reality and it is what it is. Enjoy her for that. I liked her writing, I liked the subject matter (she's a fan of food, drink, and animals) and while I might not always agree with her, she's always good for a chuckle. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. If you have not read her before, this is a good place to start.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Let me start by saying that my three star rating is purely personal. Here are so many books where I so argue that they deserve only the rating I give them, but this one is completely dependent on the person reading it. I guess that’s my way of apologizing to the author for the “so-so” review. Julia Reed is an amazing writer, and I can certainly learn a lot from her. In terms of writing, this is definitely a five star book. It’s the subject matter that didn’t grab me. Reed has a few anecdotes tha Let me start by saying that my three star rating is purely personal. Here are so many books where I so argue that they deserve only the rating I give them, but this one is completely dependent on the person reading it. I guess that’s my way of apologizing to the author for the “so-so” review. Julia Reed is an amazing writer, and I can certainly learn a lot from her. In terms of writing, this is definitely a five star book. It’s the subject matter that didn’t grab me. Reed has a few anecdotes that had me laughing out loud. I feel like I’m too young for the material. I recommend this to women about 40 - 60 years old.
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  • Marie
    January 1, 1970
    I was given a copy of this book by Net Galley for an honest review. Humorous story about living in the South, especially New Orleans. Showcases the fun, the personality of this wonderful city and the food as well. There were interesting snippets about famous and not so famous characters. Could feel my Southern accent thicken as I read it. Loved it and looking forward to reading more by this author.
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  • Pam Mooney
    January 1, 1970
    Very Entertaining! I loved the introduction by Jon Meacham and the quotes throughout the book.It is interesting to read about a writer finding her voice especially one with so much experience to share. I found this book sometimes funny and sometimes poignant and very amusing. A light read while more relatable to a one percenter still a good read.
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  • Patricia Romero
    January 1, 1970
    As someone from Mississippi, I was sure I would enjoy this. I personally had never heard of Julia Reed or Garden and Gun magazine. Seems an odd pairing. But I gave it a shot.I almost gave up on the forward. Unfortunately this wasn't one of my favorites. There was a lot of jumbled parts and enough of the "I digress".Netgalley/ St. Martin's Press June 26th
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  • Debra Oliva
    January 1, 1970
    South Toward Home is a memoir in the form of a collection of essays. I enjoyed it while chuckling at many of the stories that reminded me of my childhood in the South.The book is ideal for those who grew up in the South or for those who plan a visit so they can understand Southern ways.Many thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    My rating: 4.5 stars.I received a free copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway. Julia Reed is an authentic voice of the South and this collection of stories was such a treat! I’ve never spent any time on the Mississippi Delta and this makes me want to visit. She definitely has a talent for creating a sense of place in her writing. Highly recommend!
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    This is a great book to make a stay at home night fun! Just make yourself a good drink , some yummy snacks, put on your comfortable sweats and have a self-indulgent time enjoying this easy and light read. I love the South and all its foibles!I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveable for this honest review.
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  • Angela Mcvay
    January 1, 1970
    Living in the south and having read many books about the south I thought this would be right up my alley. Perhaps I just set my hopes up too high. The collection of essays just didn’t appeal to me. I really didn’t find any humorous parts which is what I was hoping for. Don’t let my review dissuade you. Thank you Netgalley for an ARC.
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  • Christie
    January 1, 1970
    I did enjoy reading many of the essays in this book, particularly the ones about animals and the ones about food (and the few that touched upon both topics). What I didn't enjoy so much were all the parties. Sure, it's fun to live vicariously through someone going to some decadent shindig with fountains of alcohol and people dressed in feathers. But it got to being a little repetitive.
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  • Sarai Ruke
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome, as always! I just love Julia! I have read all her books and every time I read another I think, "This chick gets me." Lots of fun and funny southern stories. I can't get enough. Can't wait for her next book. :)
  • Russell Howen
    January 1, 1970
    Julia Reed's "South Toward Home" fills the reader with a humorous sense of truths/half-truths and possibly untruths about life in the South. You should receive enough chuckles to make worthwhile the time your nose is in this book.
  • Sandy Fauser
    January 1, 1970
    I was looking for something light and fun to read, but this just didn't do it for me.
  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    Just found out I won a copy of this book. Review to follow.
  • Nat
    January 1, 1970
    Funny, but a bit of a name dropper. Thanks to NetGalley for the preview.
  • Mike He
    January 1, 1970
    Julia Reed's intense emotions about life in the South where she grew up and now calls home are palpable in the beautifully written essays.
  • Gayle
    January 1, 1970
    Being from the South I really enjoyed Julia Reed’s take on many of the customs and traditions I grew up with. Her humor and wit were refreshing. This is a light, great, quick read!
  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Yay! I won a giveaway copy of this look! LOVE Julia Reed!!UPDATE:I was so disappointed with this book. I adored Reed’s first book Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena, but this one felt disjointed and filled with name-dropping. The essays felt too focused on very specific people, places, and events, and didn’t have the broad encompassing feel (to me) of the South as her previous work. The disjointed feeling no doubt comes from the fact that the book simply is a collection of he Yay! I won a giveaway copy of this look! LOVE Julia Reed!!UPDATE:I was so disappointed with this book. I adored Reed’s first book Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena, but this one felt disjointed and filled with name-dropping. The essays felt too focused on very specific people, places, and events, and didn’t have the broad encompassing feel (to me) of the South as her previous work. The disjointed feeling no doubt comes from the fact that the book simply is a collection of her essays for Garden & Gun magazine. There were a couple of essays early on that made me laugh (thus the second star), but the book dragged for me as it went on. I had to force myself to finish and only skimmed the last couple of chapters.
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