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Buffing up on the cultural color and history is definitely a good idea before or even after a visit to Savannah. An author to consider beginning with is an honoree from Georgia's writing hall of fame, Conrad Aiken. Three of his novels are in the hall of fame, Blue Voyage, Great Circle, and King Coffin.
Much more nationally recognized, thanks to the Clint Eastwood directed movie, the critically acclaimed Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, took place in Savannah. The book and movie made Savannah more recognized to the rest of the country with its descriptive narratives of the city and one of its grandest mansions.
Before there was "Midnight," there was Harry Hervey and The Damned Don't Cry, a sensationalist account of the Southern Gothic world of early 20th century Savannah. This title has recently been reissued. If you've read Berendt's book, you will recognize the origins of several of the real-life characters and families in Hervey's work.
And, speaking of Southern Gothic, the great Flannery O'Connor spent much of her childhood living the "Irish" section of historic Savannah. Scholars have often cited her experiences living in the shadow of St. John's Cathedral and the seamy side of life around the squares. Check out her famous short stories like "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" and "The Life You Save May Be Your Own."
If you're interested in Juliette Gordon Low and the founding of the Girl Scouts in Savannah, a nice read is Lady from Savannah, a colorful if a little old-fashioned account of the remarkable Daisy and the social world of post-Civil War Savannah.
Food lovers rejoice over Savannah native and Food Network star, Paula Deen. She has made a splash in the culinary world with her good and hearty comforting Southern cuisine. Once you leave Savannah, you'll be thanking her availabilty of books to keep the delicious treats cooking in your home! The Lady & Sons Country Savannah County Cookbook is a great place to start, but she has many more than just this!
Upon a return trip from Savannah, continue to savor its charm and beauty with the wonderful The Majesty of Savannah which will make a perfect addition to any coffee table as it is full of gorgeous pictures from this heartwarming city.