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The USA in 51 Books > Skipping My Way Through 50 States + 1 Federal City (Robyn)

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message 1: by Robyn (last edited Nov 02, 2014 02:19PM) (new)

Robyn Looking forward to reminiscing about my homeland through reading! Let's hope I don't get too homesick!

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California - Angelfall by Susan Ee
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Guam
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois - The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts - The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro
Michigan - Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada - The Goldfinch by Donna Tart
New Hampshire - The Last Policeman by Ben Winters
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York - The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon - The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. LeGuin
Pennsylvania - LIttle Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
Rhode Island - The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia - March by Geraldine Brooks
Washington - The Fire Seekers by Richard Farr
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming - Brilliance by Marcus Sakey


message 2: by Robyn (new)

Robyn I am not entirely sure if my first book counts. The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski is a fairly unremarkable YA novel, though enjoyable. The Shades are a fabulous invention. Chicago is so heavily present in the novel that it almost counts as a character in and of itself, but there's a catch - a good half of the book takes place in a Chicago that never experienced the Great Fire of whenever. (I forgot, and I'm too lazy to look it up.)

Anyway, if it passes muster, my first state is Illinois!


message 3: by Robyn (new)

Robyn I keep reading books that are set in the US, but are sci-fi or fantasy! It's hard to decide if they should count. I'm going with Angelfall by Susan Ee as it's set in a clearly recognizable Bay Area, even if it's one that's been destroyed by a horde of angels. She works in a lot of current Silicon Valley culture, and makes great use of Alcatraz in the sequel.

The book on the whole is light fluff, but very enjoyable light fluff!


message 4: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments If it helps, I'm counting everything that remotely qualifies. Your book sounds fun by the way!


message 5: by Robyn (new)

Robyn I think I'm adopting your approach, Em! It seems to make the most sense.

And I did enjoy it ... the sequel is also an entertaining read. Only problem is that now I have to wait for the third one.


message 6: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments I (sort of) enjoy the wait for a next instalment, I know that seems a bit crazy when you're enjoying a series but I tend to hop around different writers, genres, types of book and maybe there's some psychological pleasure deferral thing going on too...


message 7: by Robyn (new)

Robyn I definitely know that feeling. With many books, it's actually quite nice to have the enforced stop. (However, there is such a thing as too long of a gap, George R.R. Martin!)

I have a bad habit with what I call 'fluffy' books (which doesn't really have anything to do with quality, but rather a certain tone? or something), though, where I basically want to mainline them as quickly as possible, and these books fell into that category for me!


message 8: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments I've a friend who describes those books as "chewing gum for the brain."


message 9: by Robyn (new)

Robyn The Golem and the Jinni is a perfect New York City tale, being about immigrant cultures coming together and melding together (and rubbing shoulders with the upper classes). I loved Wecker's take on the traditional mythologies of the golems and the jinnis, and it was a wonderful metaphysical tale.


message 10: by Robyn (new)

Robyn With #4 I might be cheating a little. The Goldfinch in NYC, Amsterdam and Las Vegas, but I liked the Nevada section best so I'm counting it for there. Theo's life with his father in Las Vegas feels like such a Vegas tale, the seamy side of too much construction, too much gambling, too much drinking, and kids allowed to run rampant in the desert.


message 11: by Robyn (new)

Robyn I can't believe it's taken me so long to get 5 states! Celebrating Pennsylvania (specifically Philadelphia, one of my favourite cities) with LIttle Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner. Enjoyable light read!


message 12: by Robyn (new)

Robyn #6 - Virginia, with March by Geraldine Brooks.

Perhaps appropriate that this is a Civil War tale -- Brooks draws a deft portrait of antebellum Virginia and the chaos that ensued during the war.


message 13: by Robyn (new)

Robyn #7 - Massachusetts, with The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro.

In many ways this book was a love song to Boston, and I really enjoyed the characterisation of the city's art scene and museums, as well as the careful dissection of the up and coming neighbourhoods in the city. Made me want to return!


message 14: by Robyn (new)

Robyn #8 is Oregon, with The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. LeGuin. It might be cheeky to include a sci-fi novel set in the future (well, future when it was written, but I think it takes place in 2002), but she really does a good job capturing Portland and it is a novel dominated by its physical setting.

#9 is Rhode Island, with The Lowland. Which I am also sneakily using for India, as it is split equally between the two.


message 15: by Robyn (new)

Robyn I've added #10, New Hampshire, #11, Wyoming, #12, Washington, and #13, Michigan. A few are a bit of a stretch, and I've just realised that three out of four don't actually take place in our world at all. Maybe I should read more realistic fiction?


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