Well, I am currently in the middle of many books (an unfortunate condition I am trying to get myself out of by finishing my Fitzgerald bio)
but a biggie is I have begun The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver.
I am really enjoying it, although I just started it, and think it is very well-written.
As far as I am aware, it is considered a good high school book and is often used to encourage young people to look at the world a little broader. However, I don't see that it is a young adult book, particularly, other than the general ages of the characters and their corresponding topics.
Well, anyway, on the cover The Bean Trees is touted as "a Southern novel taken West." The book definately reads (to me) as a "Southern novel" even though that very idea is hard to quantify. To me, the "voice" of the author is especially important.
So, just what is a "Southern novel"? And have I already read some?
Well, I suppose when To Kill a Mockingbird was shoved down my throat in high school, that counted. Mark Twain surely counts. Hmm, well if I am excluding books written in the western part of the south (east of the Mississippi) then that doesn't leave a lot. I have a nonfiction collection of essays called Fragments and Splinters that I think wonderful things of that was born in rural Virginia on a tenant farm. Haha, and then there's Ender's Game, haha!