Around the USA in 52 Books discussion

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message 1: by Denise (new)

Denise | 4 comments I' ve decided to do 25. So half of the United States. I tried to first focus on book's I already own or wanted to read for other reasons.. Other than that very few rules.

Alabama
Murder on a Girls' Night Out

Alaska
The Snow Child

Arizona
The Bean Trees

California
The Big Sleep

Connecticut
Revolutionary Road

Georgia
Deliverance

Hawaii
From Here to Eternity

Idaho
Housekeeping

Illinois
Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Louisiana
Dead Until Dark

Maryland
The Accidental Tourist

Massachusetts
The Bostonians

Michigan
Song of Solomon

Mississippi
Life on the Mississippi

Montana
Red Harvest

Nevada
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

New Mexico
Death Comes for the Archbishop

New York
Sex and the City

North Carolina
Bones and Flesh

Oregon
Sometimes a Great Notion

Pennsylvania
American Rust

Tennessee
A Death in the Family

Utah
Desert Solitaire

Virginia
The Confessions of Nat Turner


message 2: by Denise (new)

Denise | 4 comments First Quarter Update.... I've done pretty well. Here are the ones that I've read and a few changes.

Alaska - I'll actually probably end up reading Drop City which is partially set in Alaska.
Drop City

1) Arizona
The Bean Trees - I really liked this one. I was on a trip to Arizona at the time and it showed a different side of Tucson.

2) California
The Big Sleep - I get why people like this book. Maybe it wasn't my genre.

3) Idaho
Housekeeping - Really enjoyed this one.

4) Maryland
The Accidental Tourist - Good book set in Baltimore, but it was more character driven then setting driven.

5) Mississippi - This was probably a bit of a cheat, but it has been in my TBR pile for too long. It's about a trip down the Mississippi so very little of it is set in the state. The first half was more enjoyable than the second half.
Life on the Mississippi

6) New Mexico - I'm about one chapter from finishing this and have really enjoyed it. Great sense of place.
Death Comes for the Archbishop

7) New York - I know that there are so many other options for New York City. The show was much better than the book.
Sex and the City

8) North Carolina - Focuses on Nascar which is a side of North Carolina that I haven't experienced.
Bones and Flesh

9) Pennsylvania - Excellent book. I'm from Pennsylvania and found the descriptions of the town to be so evocative of much of PA.
American Rust

My goal is to read 25 books this year so I'm well on my way!


message 3: by Denise (new)

Denise | 4 comments I started this project a little over three years ago. I thought I would finish it in two - 25 books and 25 books. It was incredibly rewarding and I read a number of books that I doubt I would have read otherwise. Generally I enjoyed books more if there was a sense of place. Some states were more difficult to find than others. Some books just fell into my lap.

For those that are interested, here is my list

Alabama - Murder on a Girls' Night Out (Southern Sisters Mystery, #1) by Anne George Murder on a Girls' Night Out
Alaska - Drop City by T.C. Boyle Drop City
Arizona - The Bean Trees (Greer Family, #1) by Barbara Kingsolver The Bean Trees
Arkansas - The Stand by Stephen King The Stand
California - The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler The Big Sleep
Colorado - Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner Angle of Repose
Connecticut - I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb I Know this much is true
Delaware - The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez The Book of Unknown Americans
Florida - Get Shorty (Chili Palmer, #1) by Elmore Leonard Get Shorty
Georgia - A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O'Connor A Good Man is Hard to Find
Hawaii - The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings The Descendants
Idaho - Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson Housekeeping
Illinois - Dreams from My Father A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama Dreams from My Father
Indiana - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green The Fault in Our Stars
Iowa - Midnight Assassin A Murder in America's Heartland by Patricia L. Bryan Midnight Assassin
Kansas - An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser An American Tragedy
Kentucky - The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Louisiana - Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1) by Charlaine Harris Dead Until Dark
Maine - Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan Maine
Maryland - The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler The Accidental Tourist
Massachusetts - On Beauty by Zadie Smith On Beauty
Michigan - Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex
Minnesota - Main Street by Sinclair Lewis Main Street
Mississippi - Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain Life on the Mississippi
Missouri - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn Gone Girl
Montana - Empty Mansions The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman Empty Mansions
Nebraska - My Ántonia by Willa Cather My Antonia
Nevada - The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark The Ox-bow Incident
New Hampshire - The Pact by Jodi Picoult The Pact
New Jersey - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
New Mexico - Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather Death Comes for the Archbishop
New York - Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell Sex and the City
North Carolina - Flash and Bones (Temperance Brennan, #14) by Kathy Reichs Flash and Bones
North Dakota - The Round House by Louise Erdrich The Round House
Ohio - The Gate At The End Of The World by Philip Glazebrook The Gate At the End of the World
Oklahoma - The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton The Outsiders
Oregon - Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey Sometimes a Great Notion
Pennsylvania - American Rust by Philipp Meyer American Rust
Rhode Island - The Marriage Pact (The Marriage Pact, #1) by M.J. Pullen The Marriage Pact
South Carolina - Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1) by Kami Garcia Beautiful Creatures
South Dakota - Death Along the Spirit Road by C.M. Wendelboe Death Along the Spirit Road
Tennesse - A Death in the Family by James Agee A Death in the Family
Texas - Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon, #1) by Nevada Barr Track of the Cat
Utah - Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey Desert Solitaire
Vermont - The Secret History by Donna Tartt The Secret History
Virginia - The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls The Silver Star
Washington - Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple Where'd You Go, Bernadette
West Virginia - Purple Dots by Jim Lehrer Purple Dots
Wisconsin - The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach The Art of Fielding
Wyoming - The Legend of Earl Durand
Washington DC - American Quartet (Fiona FitzGerald Mysteries, #1) by Warren Adler American Quartet

If you are waffling on continuing the project, I encourage you to press on. It was so worth it to me. Thanks to everyone for reading along with me.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 146 comments Mod
Congratulations! I've been at it a few years but not too intentionally so I still have a few outliers. Which was your absolute favorite?


message 5: by Denise (new)

Denise | 4 comments I'm not sure I can decide on an absolute favorite. My favorite non-fiction was Empty Mansions - a fascinating story about a woman who lived as a recluse, but was fabulously wealthy. Some of the fiction that really stuck with me was Drop City, The book Of Unknown Americans, and Middlesex. The hardest to find was South Dakota. I ended up traveling to South Dakota and buying a mystery book from a local author which I enjoyed. The Outsiders was the only one I had read before, but I read it when I was about 14 so it was interesting to return as an adult.


message 6: by Suzanne (last edited May 16, 2016 05:29AM) (new)

Suzanne Congratulations!! I feel the same way. It took me a little over two years to finish, but I love the variety of books that round out my list. You have some great books on yours. One of my all time favorites is Sometimes a Great Notion.


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