Sunday, 23 April 2017

US States Reading Challenge

Some of the books to read soon...
I do like my reading challenges, and when I came across an article called The Most Famous Book Set in Every State (of America) I thought this would be the basis for a really fun challenge. I'm not American, I do like the country though and have visited a few of the US states on holiday (and hope to visit many more in future). This challenge would allow me, through the pages of books, to visit every state. I wasn't sure about it as it would be a big challenge, but then my wonderful wife, Kate, decided we should do a joint challenge and read all the books on the list between us. We can each choose the books we most fancy. So we decided to go for it. We'd probably read about 5 or 6 between us in the past, which still left quite a few. I've just finished the first book I've read for the challenge, 'My Antonia' by Willa Cather, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Anyway, here's the list. Those highlighted in red are read (pun intended!), those in blue/purple are books we are currently reading. I'll update this post as and when we read the books on the list, and include links to the review where we've done them.

ALABAMA - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Steve - pre-challenge)
ALASKA - Into the Wild by Jon Kraukauer
ARIZONA - The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
ARKANSAS - A Painted House by John Grisham
CALIFORNIA - East of Eden by John Steinbeck
COLORADO - The Shining by Stephen King
CONNECTICUT - Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (Steve currently reading)
DELAWARE - The Saint of Lost Things by Christopher Castellani
FLORIDA - To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
GEORGIA - Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
HAWAII - Hawaii by James Michener
IDAHO - Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
ILLINOIS - The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
INDIANA - The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
IOWA - A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
KANSAS - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum (Kate - pre-challenge)
KENTUCKY - Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
LOUISIANA - Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (Kate - pre-challenge
MAINE - Carrie by Stephen King
MARYLAND - Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
MASSACHUSETTS - Walden by Henry David Thoreau
MICHIGAN - The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (Kate - pre-challenge)
MINNESOTA - Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
MISSISSIPPI - The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
MISSOURI - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
MONTANA - A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean
NEBRASKA - My Antonia by Willa Cather (Steve - April 2017)
NEVADA - Fear and Loathing in Law Vegas by Hunter S Thompson
NEW HAMPSHIRE - The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving
NEW JERSEY - Drown by Junot Diaz
NEW MEXICO - Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford
NEW YORK - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Kate/Steve - pre-challenge)
NORTH CAROLINA - A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
NORTH DAKOTA - The Round House - Louise Erdich
OHIO - The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace
OKLAHOMA - Paradise by Toni Morrison
OREGON - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
PENNSYLVANNIA - The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (Kate - pre-challenge)
RHODE ISLAND - My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Kate - pre-challenge)
SOUTH CAROLINA - The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Kate -pre-challenge)
SOUTH DAKOTA - A Long Way From Home by Tom Brokaw
TENNESSEE - The Client by John Grisham
TEXAS - No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
UTAH - The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
VERMONT - Pollyanna by Eleanor H Porter
VIRGINIA - Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson
WASHINGTON - Twilight by Stephanie Meyer - read previously by Kate
WASHINGTON D.C. - The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (Kate currently reading)
WEST VIRGINIA - Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
WISCONSIN - Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
WYOMING - The Laramie Project by Moses Kaufman

So that's the list. I've set no specific deadline, but will just see how we go. I'm hoping that most of these books really give a good flavour of the state they are set in, historic or current, rather than just being a plain vanilla setting. If any don't, I might find another book about that state to read in addition.

It isn't a competition, but if it was then counting books previously read it is 8 - 3 to my wife, so I've got a bit of catching up to do!