The Southern Writer Challenge

I set myself up to read 18 books from Southern US writers this year. That’s 18 titles on top of the other 60 or so that I usually read because, hey, I want to be the librarian “in the know,” because I’m a geek and just that competitive and hate to be out of “the know.”
Plus, reading helps with my Compulsive Procrastination Disorder.
Need to clean? Oh, but there’s this book…
Need to work on my own “novel”? Oh, but the best research is reading other writers!
I can do put-stuff-off all day. And I do.

And today, at this moment, here and now, I was going to tell you about the first book I read from my self-imposed list, but here’s the deal…
In my internet meanderings — as part of my job, of course — I discovered there’s a new Backman book called “Bear Town” or “Beartown” — I can’t discern correctly if the title is one word or two, as though that matters, but it does because of course I want to get everything just right when it comes to a Backman book — coming in April! The 25th, to be exact, and the publishers better not let me down because doggone it, I’ve spread the word to 800 people that this book will be in stores on that date and there’s going to be a line at book sellers everywhere and holy crow the disappointment river will run deep if it doesn’t happen.
And I will be the one crying the river.
Since my favoritest author ever, ever, ever, Mr. Pat Conroy, passed away, I have put my displaced adoration for brilliant writing onto Mr. Fredrik Backman, who is Swedish. He’s lucky in that regard, because stalking in English is my only capability. I cannot speak Swedish and I’m too afraid of what Google Translate would do to my well-meaning words of exaltation for his characters and story lines.
So to update my Southern reading challenge: I’m on the third book of my list.
Maybe Backman is from Southern Sweden?

Until the 25th of two-and-a-half months from now, I’m begging for advanced reading copies from every source I can find.