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South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures in my Native Land

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  46 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
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 throu
Hardcover, 272 pages
Expected publication: July 31st 2018 by St. Martin's Press
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May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
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!
Ruth Woodman York
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways
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.
Bonnye Reed
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 ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018ng, kindle
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
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
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 ...more
Gail Smith
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, netgalley, 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
May 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Kathleen Gray
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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' ...more
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Pam Mooney
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Patricia Romero
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor
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
Debra Oliva
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways, southern
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!
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Angela Mcvay
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
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.
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.
Sarai Ruke
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was looking for something light and fun to read, but this just didn't do it for me.
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just found out I won a copy of this book. Review to follow.
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, free
Funny, but a bit of a name dropper. Thanks to NetGalley for the preview.
Mike He
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
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!
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways
Yay! I won a giveaway copy of this look! LOVE Julia Reed!!

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
Jack Young
rated it liked it
Mar 11, 2018
Christine Boswell
rated it it was amazing
Apr 16, 2018
rated it liked it
Jun 26, 2018
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