10 books like The Dixie Association

By Donald Hays,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Dixie Association. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Summerland

By Michael Chabon,

Book cover of Summerland

It feels a little misleading to suggest that a Michael Chabon book is widely underread, but this one almost never comes up when I talk to writers and readers about their favorite baseball novels.  Perhaps it’s because Chabon, one of our most celebrated writers, imagined Summerland as a book for young readers, and while it is surely that, it is also surely so much more. It’s strange and wonderful and oh so beautifully written. The author’s prose jumps off every page with an exit velocity that demands your attention. Read it with your kids or your grandkids. Read it on your own. Just, read it. 

Summerland

By Michael Chabon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Summerland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Pulitzer Prize winning Michael Chabon comes this bestselling novel that blends fantasy and folklore with that most American coming-of-age ritual: baseball—now in a new edition, with an introduction by the author.

Ethan Feld is having a terrible summer: his father has moved them to Clam Island, Washington, where Ethan has quickly established himself as the least gifted baseball player the island has ever seen. Ethan’s luck begins to change, however, when a mysterious baseball scout named Ringfinger Brown and a seven-hundred-and-sixty-five-year-old werefox enter his life, dragging Ethan into another world called the Summerlands. But this beautiful, winter-less place…


The Resisters

By Gish Jen,

Book cover of The Resisters

I was looking forward to this one and read it as soon as it came out, early on in these pandemic times. It’s not really a baseball novel, except it kinda, sorta is. Mostly, it’s a subversive look at a dystopian future that turns on the redemptive power of baseball. It made a lot of noise on publication, but the focus of most of the reviews leaned away from the baseball bits and into the dystopian bits. Gish Jen writes gloriously about the game – but also about life and love, longing and belonging, hope and hopelessness. 

The Resisters

By Gish Jen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Resisters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The moving story of one family struggling to maintain their humanity in circumstances that threaten their every value—from the highly acclaimed, award-winning author of Thank You, Mr. Nixon. • “Intricately imagined … [It] grows directly out of the soil of our current political moment.” —The New York Times Book Review

The time: not so long from now. The place: AutoAmerica, a country surveilled by one “Aunt Nettie,” a Big Brother that is part artificial intelligence, part internet, and oddly human—even funny. The people: divided. The “angelfair” Netted have jobs and, what with the country half under water, literally occupy the…


Suder

By Percival L. Everett,

Book cover of Suder

Any novel that shines a light on the adventures and misadventures of a fictional Seattle Mariners third baseman with a pet elephant that answers to the name Renoir is worthy of your time and attention. I’m late to the party on this but so glad I sparked to it. 

Suder

By Percival L. Everett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Suder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Craig Suder, third baseman for the Seattle Mariners, is in a terrible slump. He's batting below .200 at the plate, and even worse in bed with his wife; and he secretly fears he's inherited his mother's insanity. Ordered to take a midseason rest, Suder instead takes his record of Charlie Parker's ""Ornithology,"" his record player, and his new saxophone and flees, negotiating his way through madcap adventures and flashbacks to childhood (""If you folks believed more strongly in God, maybe you wouldn't be coloured""). Pursued by a raging dope dealer, saddled with a mishandled elephant and an abused little white…


Bucky F*cking Dent

By David Duchovny,

Book cover of Bucky F*cking Dent

I loved this book the moment I saw the title. And the cover! I loved it even more when I noticed it shared a publication date with my own baseball novel back in 2016, so it feels to me like we’re related. The title and cover alone should earn this one a spot on your shelf, but there’s tasty goodness inside. Duchovny’s love of the game is apparent – but so too is his Ivy League education. He writes like a lifelong reader, with a keen eye for baseball and its denizens and an ear for poetry. He’s funny af, too.   

Bucky F*cking Dent

By David Duchovny,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bucky F*cking Dent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ted Fullilove, aka Mr. Peanut, is not like other Ivy League grads. He shares an apartment with Goldberg, his beloved battery operated fish, sleeps on a bed littered with yellow legal pads penned with what he hopes will be the next great American novel, and spends the waning malaise filled days of the Carter administration at Yankee Stadium, waxing poetic while slinging peanuts to pay the rent. When Ted hears the news that his estranged father, Marty, is dying of lung cancer, he immediately moves back into his childhood home, where a whirlwind of revelations ensues. The browbeating absentee father…


Sugar

By Bernice L. McFadden,

Book cover of Sugar

Once upon a time, I was the founder and president of a book club, Literary Ladies Alliance. Many moons ago, LLA chose Sugar as our monthly reading selection. I was absolutely floored by this unlikely, unconventional heroine of the same name as the novel set in a small southern town that wasn’t ready for this seductive storm, i.e. Sugar. I found her shockingly bold and beautifully unapologetic despite her disreputable past and “questionable morals.” She hungered for love, endured dangerous risks and scandal; and yet for me, Sugar moved with an air of voluptuous freedom that captivated my church girl imagination and respect. While Dianne McKinney Whetstone is my favorite author, Sugar is undoubtedly my favorite novel! I’ve read the book twice and would readily devour it again for its captivating journey back in time and its uncharacteristic, boldly unforgettable heroine. 

Sugar

By Bernice L. McFadden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sugar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

20th Anniversary Edition—with a New Foreword by Kimberly Elise

A novel by a critically acclaimed voice in contemporary fiction, praised by Ebony for its “unforgettable images, unique characters, and moving story that keeps the pages turning until the end.”

A young prostitute comes to Bigelow, Arkansas, to start over, far from her haunting past. Sugar moves next door to Pearl, who is still grieving for the daughter who was murdered fifteen years before. Over sweet-potato pie, an unlikely friendship begins, transforming both women's lives—and the life of an entire town.

Sugar brings a Southern African-American town vividly to life, with…


Strangled Prose

By Joan Hess,

Book cover of Strangled Prose

As owner of a dusty bookshop and mother of a teen daughter, widow Claire Malloy is hesitant to host a book party for a smutty romance author. But the two women are friends, so she does, and this being a cozy mystery, murder results. Claire’s droll wit, the funny situations, and the sparring between Claire and the handsome detective keep the pages turning in this well-plotted mystery. Strangled Prose is the first book in the Claire Malloy series.

Strangled Prose

By Joan Hess,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Strangled Prose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Claire Malloy's friend has written a trashy novel. Claire agrees to host a book party but at the end of the evening her friend is found strangled. She had admittedly offended many people but who could have hated her with such passion?


Melting the Blues

By Tracy Chiles McGhee,

Book cover of Melting the Blues

I was struck by the beautiful writing in this novel and the way the author, a woman, convincingly depicts male friendship. Augustus Lee Rivers, a black farmer in Arkansas, is happiest when playing his guitar; he has dreams of making it big in Chicago. David Duncan, an enthusiastic fan of Hummin’ Gusty’s music, comes from a wealthy white family. What can happen to a black man’s dreams in rural Arkansas in the 1950s? Trust me, you’ll keep reading to find out. 

Melting the Blues

By Tracy Chiles McGhee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Melting the Blues as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze Medal for Regional Fiction  (2017)    Set in Arkansas in 1957,  the complexities of identity, yearnings for love and acceptance, and racial tension are all unmasked in the riveting literary drama, Melting the Blues, by debut author Tracy Chiles McGhee. Augustus Lee Rivers, a farmer and bluesman, has two obsessions:  his relationship with the Duncan family and his desire to leave small town Chinaberry to become a musician in Chicago. When his plans are prevented by a devastating betrayal, Augustus is driven into the belly of the blues where he must reckon with his past if…


Warriors Don't Cry

By Melba Pattillo Beals,

Book cover of Warriors Don't Cry: The Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High

One of nine Black students to integrate the high school in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957, Beals faces threats to her life as well as constant cruelty not only from white people but also from members of her own community, who disapprove of her decision. Her book gives us an unflinching account of what it feels like to be inside the maelstrom. Education seems almost beside the point when she needs protection from the National Guard. Most resonant to me, Beals admits that being a warrior for social change is exhausting. “Sometimes,” she writes in her diary, “I just need to be a girl.”

Warriors Don't Cry

By Melba Pattillo Beals,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Warriors Don't Cry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this essential autobiographical account by one of the Civil Rights Movement’s most powerful figures, Melba Pattillo Beals of the Little Rock Nine explores not only the oppressive force of racism, but the ability of young people to change ideas of race and identity.

In 1957, well before Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Melba Pattillo Beals and eight other teenagers became iconic symbols for the Civil Rights Movement and the dismantling of Jim Crow in the American South as they integrated Little Rock’s Central High School in the wake of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown…


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

By Maya Angelou,

Book cover of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I first read this book in high school and it had a profound impact on me. This memoir of Angelou’s life is described as “a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself.” I find myself returning to it again and again, especially when I am preparing to write something new. Angelou’s voice, her vulnerability, and her honesty inspired me as a 15-year-old and still feed my soul today. Reading her words feels like home.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

By Maya Angelou,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Maya Angelou's seven volumes of autobiography are a testament to the talents and resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a Black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy,achievement and celebration. In this first volume of her six books of autobiography, Maya Angelou beautifully evokes her childhood with her grandmother in the American south of the 1930s. She learns the power of the white folks at the other end of town and suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother's lover.


The Lions of Little Rock

By Kristin Levine,

Book cover of The Lions of Little Rock

I had long been familiar with the events of Little Rock Central High, having read books, articles, and online accounts of the attempt to integrate this Arkansas school. I found The Lions of Little Rock an accurate and compelling novel that provides young adults with a masterful introduction to how attempts to integrate the Jim Crow South impacted its children. Built on the seminal events to integrate Arkansas’s Little Rock High in 1958, the friendship of young Marlee and Liz portrays how segregation damages not just communities, but friendships. Young adults will be pulled in by Levine’s blend of plot, humor, and emotion to make this a memorable work of historical fiction that may inspire young readers to engage in the cause of civil rights. 

The Lions of Little Rock

By Kristin Levine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lions of Little Rock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Satisfying, gratifying, touching, weighty—this authentic piece of work has got soul."—The New York Times Book Review

As twelve-year-old Marlee starts middle school in 1958 Little Rock, it feels like her whole world is falling apart. Until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is everything Marlee wishes she could be: she's brave, brash and always knows the right thing to say. But when Liz leaves school without even a good-bye, the rumor is that Liz was caught passing for white. Marlee decides that doesn't matter. She just wants her friend back. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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