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Topic: Literary Road Trip: USA

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Subject: Literary Road Trip: USA
Date Posted: 1/27/2011 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 41
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I am intrigued by these reading challenges that I see every now and then, but I've never done one myself.  I'd like to start a discussion here that would involve all of us listing our recommendations for books that take place in or represent each state.  Ideally, we'd end up with a list of books that covers all 50 states.  More than one book per state is okay, too. 

 

I've started below with the 2 books I just finished up in the past 2 weeks.  Anyone want to play?

 

1. Alabama-
2. Alaska-
3. Arizona-
4. Arkansas-
5. California-
6. Colorado-
7. Connecticut-
8. Delaware-
9. Florida-
10. Georgia-
11. Hawaii-
12. Idaho-
13. Illinois-
14. Indiana-
15. Iowa-
16. Kansas-
17. Kentucky-
18. Louisiana-
19. Maine-
20. Maryland-
21. Massachusetts-
22. Michigan-
23. Minnesota-
24. Mississippi-
25. Missouri-
26. Montana-
27. Nebraska-
28. Nevada-
29. New Hampshire-
30. New Jersey-
31. New Mexico-
32. New York-
33. North Carolina-
34. North Dakota-
35. Ohio-
36. Oklahoma-
37. Oregon-
38. Pennsylvania-
39. Rhode Island-
40. South Carolina-
41. South Dakota-
42. Tennessee-
43. Texas-
44. Utah- The 19th Wife, by David Ebershoff; 
45. Vermont-
46. Virginia-
47. Washington-
48. West Virginia-
49. Wisconsin- The Dive from Clausen's Pier - by Ann Packer; 
50. Wyoming-
 

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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New Jersey- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. It's actually set in the city in which I grew up.

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 8:28 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2008
Posts: 1,996
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Just an FYI:

If you need some help finding books set in specific states or even other countries, try this website:

http://www.bookssetin.com/

I'll be using it for next year's personal challenge!

Date Posted: 1/27/2011 10:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2007
Posts: 1,101
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Black Hills by Dan Simmons is set in South Dakota  

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/28/2011 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Indiana - So Cold the River by Michael Koryta

 

Date Posted: 1/29/2011 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 41
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WASHINGTON - Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - just started it yesterday

Date Posted: 4/6/2011 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2009
Posts: 6
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The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian is set in Vermont. Great book with an interesting ending!
Date Posted: 4/6/2011 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 9/1/2009
Posts: 6
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I've never read this one - but I can imagine it is pretty funny since it is by Garrison Keillor - Lake Wobegon Days - set in Minnesota.
Date Posted: 4/6/2011 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2009
Posts: 52
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South Carolina: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Louisiana: Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts

Alaska: And She Was by Cindy Dyson



Last Edited on: 4/6/11 6:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/6/2011 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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Wisconsin - The Elegant Gathering of White Snows by Kris Radish and Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen.

Date Posted: 4/8/2011 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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For Kansas, I'll offer the non-fiction In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

If you prefer fiction, The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

Date Posted: 4/8/2011 8:27 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,546
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Alabama- Boy's Life by Robert McCammon   Great book, one of Robert McCammon's finest and the whole book takes place in Alabama.

Hawaii- Fluke by Christopher Moore.   There are more obvious choices, but Christopher Moore makes me laugh. :-)

Washington- Fledgling by Octavia Butler    A lot of the story takes place in Washington, but some takes place in California as well. 

Iowa- Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron  Non-fiction, sweet story.

I'm sure there are loads of others I could help with, but these were the ones that popped into my head first.

 

Date Posted: 4/8/2011 9:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 533
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1. Alabama- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

2. Alaska-
3. Arizona-
4. Arkansas- Sugar by Bernice McFadden
5. California-
6. Colorado- Plainsong by Kent Haruf
7. Connecticut-
8. Delaware-
9. Florida- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
10. Georgia- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
11. Hawaii- Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
12. Idaho- Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
13. Illinois-
14. Indiana-
15. Iowa- A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
16. Kansas-
17. Kentucky-
18. Louisiana- Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
19. Maine- Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
20. Maryland- Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
21. Massachusetts- Still Alice by Lisa Genova
22. Michigan-
23. Minnesota-
24. Mississippi- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
25. Missouri-
26. Montana-
27. Nebraska- My Antonia by Willa Cather
28. Nevada-
29. New Hampshire-
30. New Jersey-
31. New Mexico-
32. New York- Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
33. North Carolina-
34. North Dakota-
35. Ohio- Beloved by Toni Morrison
36. Oklahoma-
37. Oregon-
38. Pennsylvania- The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
39. Rhode Island-
40. South Carolina-
41. South Dakota-
42. Tennessee- A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor
43. Texas-
44. Utah- The 19th Wife, by David Ebershoff; 
45. Vermont-
46. Virginia-
47. Washington- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
48. West Virginia-
49. Wisconsin- The Dive from Clausen's Pier - by Ann Packer; 
50. Wyoming-
 

 
Subject: New Mexico
Date Posted: 4/9/2011 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols
Date Posted: 4/10/2011 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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Lousiana---Confederacy of Dunces

North Carolina---any of Jan Karon's books (altho she is not as literary as most listed here)

Florida---Swamplandia (new novel just out); , and "Cross Creek" by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Date Posted: 4/10/2011 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Ohio - The Awakening Land, by Conrad Richter

Date Posted: 4/10/2011 9:31 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2010
Posts: 14
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Oklahoma- Out Of The Dust by Karen Hesse

Date Posted: 4/10/2011 10:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2007
Posts: 5,272
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Kansas-- Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Date Posted: 4/11/2011 10:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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Bound by Sally Gunning is set in Boston, MA.

Date Posted: 4/12/2011 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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California - most of Steinbeck's books

and most of Amy Tan books.

The Kitchen God's Wife
by Amy Tan
 

Date Posted: 4/12/2011 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 43
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Missouri - Bitsy's Bait & BBQ by Pamela Morsi

Date Posted: 4/13/2011 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Arizona - The Blessing Way, by Tony Hillerman
Date Posted: 4/16/2011 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2007
Posts: 21
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Kansas -- The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas

Date Posted: 4/17/2011 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,531
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Sandra Dallas' book The Chili Queen for New Mexico is a good historical.  But Margaret is right that Milagro Beanfield War and the entire trilogy that it belongs to by John Nichols absolutely represents Northern New Mexico.  John Nichols is an aquaintance  and an interesting observer of people. 

 

Alaska - The Fugituve Wife by Peter C. Brown  excellent gold rush book.

 

Date Posted: 4/19/2011 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2011
Posts: 61
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South Dakota  -- There are actually a lot of them.

 

I truly enjoyed The Land of the Burnt Thigh

I also recommend I Am Hutterite

(can't remember the authors right now)

 

Also Laura Ingalls Wilder --- I don't remember which book in the series it is, but she lived in South Dakota with her family for a while. :)

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