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Reading America

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I spotted this online somewhere and thought it a neat idea - reading a book set in each of the American States. The list I found had several I'd already read, some I'd never heard of, and an awful lot that didn't interest me in the slightest, so I think I'll do a little research and make my own list - one for each state. Of course, if anyone wants to join in, please feel free, and if you felt like recommending any books, please post telling me the title, author, and the main state in which it's set, and I'll take a look to see if it tickles my fancy.


I think I may well do this, and then continue with a book set in each of the South American countries.


This will be a long term challenge, and perhaps one I may not even finish - who knows? But let's see how I go, eh?


I'll be adding potential books to the list as and when I get a chance to research them. :smile:



AL: Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee / Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

AK: The Call of the Wild by Jack London / The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey / Gentle Ben by Walt Morey


AR: True Grit by Charles Portis

CA: Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown / The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick / Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde / The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain


CT: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain / The Ice Storm by Rick Moody

DE: Beloved by Toni Morrison / Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuiuk

DC: The War of the Roses by Warren Adler

FL: Duma Key by Stephen King / To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemmingway / Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

GA: Deliverance by James Dickey

HI: From Here to Eternity by James Jones


IL: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

IN: The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

IA: The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller / The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson / A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

KS: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

KY: Beloved by Toni Morrison / The Man Who Fell To Earth by Walter Tevis


ME: 11/22/63 by Stephen King / The Cider House Rules by John Irving / 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King






MO: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

MT: The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans

NE: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty

NV: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson


NJ: Election by Tom Perrotta



NC: A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #5) by Diana Gabaldon *



OK: True Grit by Charles Portis


PA: Christine by Stephen King

RI: The Widows of Eastwick (Eastwick #2) by John Updike *




TX: Midnight Cowboy by James Leo Herlihy


VT: Pollyanna by Elanor H Porter

VA: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson




WY: Shane by Jack Shaefer


* I've already read the rest of the series up until this point...



Ontario: The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

Quebec: Deja Dead (Temperence Brennan #1) by Kathy Reichs

Nova Scotia: Before Green Gables (Green Gables #0) by Rudge Wilson

New Brunswick:


British Columbia:

Prince Edward Island: Anne of Green Gables (Green Gables #1) by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Saskatchewan: Last of the Plainsmen by Zane Grey


Newfoundland & Labrador: The Chrysalids by John Wyndham / The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx



Belize: Our Man in Belize: A Memoir by Richard Timothy Conroy

Costa Rica:

El Salvador: The Weight of All Things by Sandra Benitez / The Fifth Son by Nicholas A Patriccia

Guatemala: Betrayed by J. M. Windle / The Evil That Men Do by R. Lance Hill

Honduras: The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux

Nicaragua: A Thousand Deaths Plus One by Sergio Ramirez (trans. by Leland H. Chambers)

Panama: The Tailor of Panama by John le Carre



Argentina: The Lighthouse at the End of the World by Jules Verne
Bolivia: The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Brazil: Brazil by John Updike

Chile: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Colombia: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Guyana: The Middle Passage by V. S. Naipaul


Peru: Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa



Venezuela: The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara





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Ooh, sounds interesting, I've reads lots set in North America, will try and find some time later to see where the good ones were set!

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Just a few that have been favourites of mine:


California - In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Missouri - Red Dragon (first in the Hannibal Lector series) by Thomas Harris 

Washington DC/Tennessee - The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

New York - Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Maine - Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger

Florida/New York - Paper Towns by John Green

Alaska - The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney

Massachusets - Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi


Hope that helps, I may consider this myself!


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I've read a couple of those, Chalie, but there are some good ones on there for me to consider - thank you for the suggestions!

I'm also going to add Canadian provinces to extend the list further...

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On 14/04/2017 at 3:47 PM, Janet said:

I think @willoyd is doing something very similar.  :smile:


Oooh - the advantages of tagging - this came through on my notifications, otherwise might have missed this for a while.


Yes, I am, at least the US States, and there's a thread in this section, here.  Like you, Kell, I've put my own list together, excluding books I've previously read.  I'm not that well read in American literature which is why (a) I've put the list together, and (b) I've not had to exclude too many books!  I also limited myself to one book per author, and to adult fiction (so no Bridge to Terabithia, and no In Cold Blood for instance). Within that remit, I've tried to go for the most famous/prominent book I can find (my judgement, although I've relied a fair bit on web reviews, Pulitzer lists etc!).  It's meant I've not necessarily gone for the most famous book by an author.  I'm really looking forward to tackling it, although just at the moment I'm holding fire (read 1 on the list so far!) as I'm trying to finish the English Counties Challenge off first, but should do that in the next few months.


I won't put the list up here, as it'll just clog up your thread, but if you follow the link above, the current list (I reserve the right to change it!) is on the first post shown. I hope it helps, and look forward to seeing how your list shapes up - it'll be good to compare notes!


BTW - I think you'll find that Beloved is set mainly in Ohio, secondarily in Kentucky - I don't think it includes Delaware as one of its settings (but may, of course, be wrong).  Delaware proved a tricky one


Edited by willoyd

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A couple of recommendations for you, Kell! :biggrin:



Staggerford by John Hassler

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger



A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean



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On 14/04/2017 at 2:34 PM, Kell said:

I've read a couple of those, Chalie, but there are some good ones on there for me to consider - thank you for the suggestions!

I'm also going to add Canadian provinces to extend the list further...

Enjoy it Kell, I may have a go but I'm generally rubbish at challenges, I prefer to just pick up what I fancy. :)

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