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message 1: by Chili (new)

Chili Hanson (chilipinkcat) | 108 comments Starting State: New Jersey
States Visited: 0
Current Points: 0


message 2: by Chili (new)

Chili Hanson (chilipinkcat) | 108 comments American Pastoral by Philip Roth
3.5*
1998 Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Set in Newark, New Jersey, Seymour "Swede" Levov lives a charmed life. A triple letterman in high school, Swede is idolized by one and all. Nathan "Skip" Zuckerman befriends Swede's younger brother Jerry, to be close to his idol. Jerry is the smart, unathletic brother, who makes a fur coat out of hamsters to impress a girl. Swede joins the Marines to fight in WWII but remains in the states to play baseball on the base team. Swede attends college, then meets and marries Miss New Jersey 1949. Swede takes over running Newark Maid, the glove making company started by his father Lou. Swede's life is perfect, successful businessman, beautiful wife and daughter and a dream home in Old Rimrock. When Skip runs into Jerry at their 45th high school reunion, he learns of Swede's death. This starts him imagining Swede's perfect life and how one act of violence causes it to implode. His daughter Merry changes from a loving daughter to an angry sixteen year old war protester. Merry blows up the post office located in the general store, accidently killing Dr. Fred. Merry disappears, leaving Swede and Dawn to deal with the aftermath. Swede's perfect life is gone.
I liked this book but didn't love it. I wouldn't have voted for it to win the Pulitzer. Nothing about it stood out to me as award winning. It seemed very average to me.


message 3: by Chili (new)

Chili Hanson (chilipinkcat) | 108 comments Current Points: 3
I'm off to Delaware


message 4: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (Kristelh) | 2184 comments Mod
I started in Deleware. It was a good state for me.


message 5: by Chili (new)

Chili Hanson (chilipinkcat) | 108 comments Delaware: Any 1001 book
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
5*
This is the story of Jewish cousins Joe Kavalier and Sammy Clay. Joe's family pays everything they have to buy his papers to leave Prague. Just before reaching the border, Joe is taken off the train by the Nazis. Unable to face his family, Joe turns to his old magic teacher Kornblum for help. Kornblum is smuggling the Golem out of Prague and hides Joe in the coffin. Joe slowly makes his way to New York City and his cousin Sammy's house. Sammy has the idea to pitch a comic book character to his boss at the novelty company. Together they come up with the Escapist. Joe draws and Sammy comes up with the stories. Joe falls in love with Rosa, who tells him of man who may be able to bring his younger brother to New York. Sammy is trying to come to terms with his sexual orientation, after meeting Tracy Bacon, the actor who plays the Escapist on the radio. Joe is tormented by the fact that he can't save his family and joins the navy. Sammy marries Rosa and quits the comic book industry, only to go back later. Joe finally returns to New York years later to make up with Rosa and Sammy.
This was a wonderful book. Well written, with believable characters. It was interesting to see how comic books started and what a big part they played in American society.

Current Points: 4
I'm heading to Pennsylvania next.


message 6: by Chili (new)

Chili Hanson (chilipinkcat) | 108 comments Pennsylvania
Landmark: Liberty Bell
The Midnight Examiner by William Kotzwinkle
3-3.5*
This was a strange book. Howard Halliday is the editor in chief of the Midnight Examiner, a sleazy tabloid. He works for Chameleon Publications, where trashy is the name of the game. Howard and his quirky staff are responsible for putting out quite a few questionable magazines a month. The owner Nathan, likes to play with a blowgun and poisoned darts. The ad salesman gets the crew involved with voodoo priestess. Howard and the gang go up against mob boss Tony Baloney and his goombahs. I'm really not sure why this is on the 1001 list. I did get a few chuckles from the antics going on, but not that many. It almost seemed like a bad Saturday Night Live skit from the 80's.

Current Points: 7
I'm off to Maryland


message 7: by Chili (new)

Chili Hanson (chilipinkcat) | 108 comments Maryland
Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
3*
An operative of the Continental Detective Agency, San Francisco branch, arrives in Personville for a meeting with Donald Willsson. Before the two can meet, Willsson is murdered. After contacting Willsson's father Elihu, the operative solves Donald's murder and basically blackmails Elihu into paying him to clean up the town. With Elihu trying to stymie him, the operative starts to clean up the town, starting with the crooked police chief Noonan. By stirring up trouble with the help of Dinah Brand, he sets Whisper, Lew the yard, Pete the finn and Reno Starkey against each other. Bullets start flying as the bad guys kill each other off. With the town cleaned up, old Elihu is back in charge and the operative heads out of town. This is an okay read but not really my cup of tea. I kept hearing Humphrey Bogart in my head while reading this.

Current Points: 8
Up next is Virginia


message 8: by Chili (new)

Chili Hanson (chilipinkcat) | 108 comments Virginia
Timbuktu by Paul Auster
3.5-4*
Dying, homeless, poet Willy G. Christmas and his canine companion Mr. Bones, leave Brooklyn and head to Baltimore, in search of Mrs Swanson, Willy's old English teacher. While searching for Mrs. Swanson's house, Willy and Mr. Bones find themselves in front of Edgar Allan Poe's house, taking a rest that signals the end for Willy. Mr. Bones is left to fend for himself, while remembering his life with Willy. He remembers Willy talking about the afterlife, calling it Timbuktu, he wonders if dogs are allowed. Mr. Bones continues to dream of Willy, even after finding a home in Virginia with the Joneses. The story is told from the perspective of Mr. Bones, although I don't think a dog would use some of the words Mr. Bones does. It does have the typical ending of a story featuring a dog as a main character. I did like it and I'm looking forward to reading more of Auster's books.

Current Points: 9
Up next is West Virginia


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