Reading Around the USA in 90 Days

Shelfari

I’ll be joining a challenge on Shelfari, an online book community like Goodreads and LibraryThing, where we have to read books that are set in the 50 states of America (plus one extra for the capital, Washington, DC).

Each book can count for up to 5 states (any more and it won’t count towards the total). It starts tomorrow (June 1st) and lasts until the end of August. If you’re interested, the challenge is organised by the Play Book Tag group and it’s called Reading Road Trip.

I need your help!

I live in the Netherlands and have a huge stack of books set in my own country, in the UK, in Scandinavia, etc. And yes, a few that take place in the USA. But those won’t be enough. Please help me find books for all these states!!

Note: Since I’m in the Netherlands, my library won’t have (access to) each and every book that was ever published in the USA or any  very recent books. So, I’m looking for books/author that are reasonably well-known. Also, preferably books that take place in more than one state. Any help with the less frequently focused on states, like Oregon and Iowa (and others!) is much appreciated.

Here’s the list, please give me (multiple) ideas (so I can check that the library has them) to get me going on my summer reading trip around the USA.


Alabama Beloved by Toni MorrisonTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison; Big Fish by Daniel Wallace; Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes

AlaskaIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote; The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

Arizona One Breath Away by Heather GudenkaufThe Killing Game by Iris Johansen; Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes; TC; On the Road to Mr Right by Belinda Jones, The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall

ArkansasIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

California*-The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWittThis Bright River by Patrick Somerville; POD by Stephen Wallenfels; In Cold Blood by Truman Capote; TC; Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou; On the Road to Mr Right by Belinda Jones; Private Life by Jane Smiley

Colorado*One Breath Away by Heather GudenkaufYou Remind Me of Me by Dan ChaonIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote; The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks; On the Road to Mr Right by Belinda Jones

Connecticut Miss Me When I’m Gone by Emily ArsenaultRevolutionary Road by Richard Yates; The Ice Storm by Rick Moody; Summer Light by Luanne Rice; Defending Jacob by William Landay

Delaware Beloved by Toni Morrison

Florida On the Road to Mr Right by Belinda Jones; The River King by Alice Hoffman; To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway

Georgia Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. JamesBeloved by Toni Morrison (not used for 2nd time Georgia); The Killing Game by Iris Johansen; A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe; Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes; The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

HawaiiThe Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Idaho Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter; TC; Housekeeping by Marilynne RobinsonMonster by Frank Peretti

Illinois*This Bright River by Patrick SomervilleYou Remind Me of Me by Dan ChaonLook at Me by Jennifer Egan; TC; Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin; Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr; Private Life by Jane Smiley; The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson;  Sara Paretsky’s V I Warshawski mysteries

IndianaThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Iowa One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf

KansasIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Kentucky Beloved by Toni Morrison

Louisiana You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon; TC; A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; On the Road to Mr Right by Belinda Jones, The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall

Maine The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri; Prior Bad Acts by Tami Hoag; TC; The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain

MarylandThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Massachusetts *– The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather BarbieriA Change in Altitude by Anita ShreveThe River King by Alice Hoffman; Turning Angel by Greg Isles; Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr; Defending Jacob by William Landay

Michigan The Fault in Our Stars by John Green; TC

Minnesota Prior Bad Acts by Tami Hoag; TC

Mississippi – Blood Lure by Nevada BarrOn the Road to Mr Right by Belinda Jones; Turning Angel by Greg Isles; Deep South by Nevada Barr; Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes; The Last Juror by John Grisham; Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

Missouri Beautiful Ruins by Jess WalterI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou; Private Life by Jane Smiley

MontanaBlood Lure by Nevada Barr; TC

Nebraska You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon

Nevada Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter; On the Road to Mr Right by Belinda Jones; In Cold Blood by Truman Capote; The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall

New HampshireMiss Me When I’m Gone by Emily ArsenaultChange of Heart [De bekering] by Jodi Picoult; The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve

New Jersey– How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu; TC; Janet Evanovich – Stephanie Plum, Harlan Coben, Philip Roth

New MexicoThis Bright River by Patrick SomervilleSolar by Ian McEwan; TC; On the Road to Mr Right by Belinda Jones

New YorkOn the Road to Mr Right by Belinda JonesLook at Me by Jennifer Egan; TC; Defending Jacob by William Landay

North Carolina – On the Road to Mr Right by Belinda JonesThe Guardian (or another book) by Nicholas Sparks;The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain

North DakotaTravels with Charley by John Steinbeck; Louise Erdrich has a few novels set here

Ohio Beloved by Toni Morrison; TC; The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

Oklahoma – The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

Oregon *-The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWittFifty Shades of Grey by E. L. JamesThis Bright River by Patrick Somerville; TC; The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain

Pennsylvania POD by Stephen Wallenfels; On the Road to Mr Right by Belinda Jones; The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain

Rhode IslandThe Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg; The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton; The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike

South CarolinaVirals by Kathy Reichs

South DakotaYou Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon

Tennessee Beloved by Toni MorrisonMother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes; Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin; On the Road to Mr Right by Belinda Jones

Texas Blood Lure by Nevada Barr; Solar by Ian McEwan; Turning Angel by Greg Isles; In Cold Blood by Truman Capote; TC; On the Road to Mr Right by Belinda Jones

Utah – Beautiful Ruins by Jess WalterThe Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall; The 19th Wife by David Evershof

Vermont Travels with Charley by John SteinbeckThe Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian

Virginia Miss Me When I’m Gone by Emily ArsenaultBig Stone Gap series by Adriana Trigiani; The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot; The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain

Washington*Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. JamesPOD by Stephen Wallenfels; TC

West VirginiaTravels with Charley by John Steinbeck

WisconsinThis Bright River by Patrick Somerville; TC; Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr

Wyoming Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck; Annie Proulx

Washington DCThe Turnaround by George Pelecanos


Will you help me out? I’ll add your suggestion to this table if my library has the book! You know the sort off thing I like, right? Contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, chick-lit, mystery and thrillers, a fun memoir.

EDIT: Laura (see comments) gave me “Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck”, which fit a lot of states. I”ve marked those with TC. I can only use the book for 5 states max. (that’s the rules!) so I still need some more suggestions for those states. Please.

EDIT: Probably will be able to use Bill Bryson or On the Road (by Jack Kerouac) to fill in the gaps at the end of the challenge.🙂 and Driving Sideways by Jess Riley

Thanks!

What books can YOU suggest for my summer reading challenge?

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

61 Responses to Reading Around the USA in 90 Days

  1. Judith, as luck would have it I’m reading The Armageddon Rag by George R.R. Martin at the moment and part of the first half of the book is taken up by a road trip the main character takes to visit his past all over the US. Of course I didn’t take note of which states he was exactly travelling through but I do remember New Jersey, California, Colorado, Nebraska (only drive-through but mentioned), Ohio. Well, that’s five although I’m sure there are more which I missed. By the way, the book is not new (first published in 1983) and it’s a mix between a mystery and a psychedelic fantasy. I haven’t finished reading it yet so can’t say a lot more. It’s strange but fascinating so far though. I hope this helps.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks for the tip – that would be a great book. But… it’s one that my library doesn’t have. They do have other books by this writer, just not this one.😦

      Sounds like a fun, but not an easy read. Hope you’re enjoying it.

      • I am enjoying it, Judith and it is not a difficult read just not quite what you expect when you start the book. I’m very curious how it’s all going to end.
        Shame your library doesn’t have it, but it’s a pre-fame title by Martin now being re-released, so I guess that’s why. Good luck with your search. I really like that list you got from Joke. Let me know if you get stuck. Some online friends of mine have been doing something similar and may be able to provide titles. They all live in America though and tend to read cosy mysteries which can be hard to get here in Ireland, although I’ve no idea how available those titles would be in Holland/Dutch.

      • Leeswammes says:

        Marleen, thanks. It’s sometimes very hard to find books here, as the library has a lot of translated books (English -> Dutch), but not all, of course. And they have a decent section of English language books, but again, not all of them.

  2. Boekhapper says:

    Een reactie uit onverwachte hoek, zou je zeggen. Maar oh wat vind ik dat leuk, om voor elke staat boeken te zoeken🙂 Ik kon het niet laten.
    Ik heb een abonnement op het amerikaanse e-zine Bookbrowse en daar kun je als abonnee ook zoeken op Settings. Daar staan alle staten van de VS bij, helaas wel een beetje gegroepeerd.
    Zo staat Alabama samen met Mississippi en Georgia bij elkaar, dus het is wat gezoek welk boek bij welke staat hoort. Via een aantal van die boeken kwam ik ook weer op andere boeken…

    Hier alvast het lijstje voor deze drie staten. Alle boeken zijn biep-proof althans bij regiobiep ZOUT te verkrijgen, volgens mij kun jij daar ook reserveren.

    Als ik nog tijd vind, ga ik nog een paar staten doen. Wel straks je complete lijstje op je blog zetten hoor, lijkt me ook wel wat.
    Voor onze engelse vrienden en vriendinnen moet je dit misschien maar ff vertalen🙂
    ik ben er nu te lui voor.

    Alabama
    Rita Mae Brown – Southern discomfort (NL Het bitterzoete zuiden)
    Fanny Flagg – Fried Green tomatoes at the whistle stop café
    Harper Lee – to kill a mockingbird
    Ralph Ellison – Invisible man
    Daniel Wallace – Big Fish (NL Grote vis)

    Georgia
    Iris Johansen – The killing game
    Tom Wolfe – A man in full
    John Berendt – Midnight in the garden of good & evil

    Mississippi
    Hillary Jordan – Mudbound
    Greg Iles – Turning Angel / 24 hours
    Nevada Barr – Deep south (NL Het diepe zuiden) veel van haar boeken spelen zich hier af
    Melinda Haynes – Mother of pearl (NL Moeder van Pearl) / Willem’s filed (NL Terug naar Mississippi)
    John Grisham – The last juror

    Groetjes
    Joke

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks for the list, Boekhapper! This is really helpful. It turns out that a few of the book cover more than one state, even better! That is, they are marked as such in Shelfari, but this is by readers themselves. So, it could be that a state is merely mentioned but the story doesn’t take place there, in which case I can’t use it. For now, I’m going by what Shelfari says and so, included some of your books with other states too.

      *To Kill a Mockingbird* is on my wishlist AND in the library, so I added it. *Mudbound *by Hillary Jordan is fantastic, but I’ve already read it, so won’t add it.

      Thanks for taking the time to find these suggestions for me, it really helps!

  3. Boekhapper says:

    Oh nou ontdek ik net nog een handige site: http://www.bookssetin.com
    Je kunt zoeken van grof naar fijn, dus eerst Noord amerika, dan USA, dan per staat. Zelfs nog per stad van een staat! Het zijn wel echt Amerikaanse boeken die hierbij staan en misschien voor jou dus wel lastig te krijgen.
    Dus ik heb op mijn manier nog maar verder gezocht en hierbij Connecticut en Rhode Island:

    Connecticut
    Wally Lamb – I know this much is true
    Richard Yates – Revolutionary Road
    Rick Moody – The Ice storm
    Luanne Rice – Summer light

    Rhode Island
    Edith Wharton – The age of innocence
    Daisy Goodwin – The American Heiress
    John Updike – The witches of Eastwick

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks, Joke. Nice list. I do wonder if your selection is based on books that *typically* take place in a particular state or happen to be in a state (and possibly others, too). I need as much overlap as I can get. Your new list didn’t overlap.🙂

      I read the Wally Lamb book, I think, years ago. I read a book by Rick Moodyjust a few weeks ago. It was… weird. But fun weird.

      I didn’t even know Rhode Island was a state! I obviously wrote it down myself, but when I saw your comment, I though, Rhode Island??🙂

  4. Rikki says:

    Offhand:
    Kansas: In cold blood by Truman Capote

    Will think of more…

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks, that’s a great one. I’ve read something else by Capote many years ago. I’ve always wanted to read something else by him, so maybe this will be the book! According to Shelfari, this book also covers some other states (of course, it doesn’t say to what extend).

  5. Laura says:

    Oooh, such a fun challenge! Annie Proulx has like 3 books of short stories all set in Wyoming, and one in new England too (cant remember where in new England now lol) and part of Freedom by Jonathan Franzen is set in Washington DC. And the Sookie Stackhouae books are set in Louisiana if they interest you at all!

    Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer might also be worth checking out because I know that a LOT of states are mentioned in that- oh, and On the Road too. Oooh, and Travels with charley by John Steinbeck!

    Clearly im too excited about this challenge…

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks for the suggestions, Laura. Annie Proulx is a good one. I’ve read a few of her books, may re-read one or find another one by her. New England seems to be a region rather than a state. At least it’s not on my list of states.

      I’ve read *The Corrections * by Jonathan Franzen and I’ve never felt the need to read anything else by him. But then, I should be able to get a lot more options for Washington DC . Sookie Stackhouse, I’ve never read. I’ll put it down for now.

      *Into the Wild* I’ve already read, too! Yes, that’s a lot of States – he goes everywhere! John Steinbeck is a favorite author of mine, but I haven’t read *Travels with Charley* so that’s a good choice (and the library has it!).

  6. Conneticut- Julia Spencer-Fleming mystery series. I started with ‘In the Bleak Mid Winter’ and knew after the first 50 pages, I wanted to read the whole series.

    California-Pamela Samuels-Young Her “Buying Time” is a fast read and is great.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Neither are in my library, Carol, but thanks so much for the suggestions! They look like nice and quick reads, very suitable for a challenge. But no worries, I’ll send my challenge-friends to this blog post and tell them to read the comments for more suggestions (most of them are USA based).

  7. If it doesn’t have to be fiction then you can get through quite a few states via Bill Bryson. Seems a little bit like cheating but he is such fun to read. Also, I think quite a few Nicholas Sparks books are set in the Carolinas, which I notice don’t have anything against them on your list. He’s a bit overindulgent in the emotional stuff but very readable.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks, Kate. Bill Bryson would be allowed. I’ll keep him separate as a suggestion – maybe I can use him to fill in the gaps later in the challenge.

      I’m not a Sparks fan, but I found *The Guardian* in my library catalog, that even covers few more states. It seems a sort of romantic suspense/mystery so maybe I will enjoy that.

  8. bibliosue says:

    Oh what a great idea for a challenge! Here’s some quick suggestions off the top of my head that should be available to you:

    I can’t remember if you have read these, but Adriana Trigiani’s Big Stone Gap trilogy is set in West Virginia.
    The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian is set in Vermont
    Crooked Letter Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin is set in Mississippi (I just finished this and really liked it, this might be one of my giveaways for the Giveaway Blog Hop!)

    Some others that might not be available in Europe (yet):
    A Land More Kind than Home by Wiley Cash set in North Carolina (another possible giveaway!)
    Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr set in Wisconsin.

    Also I don’t know if you can/will include non-fiction but Wild by Cheryl Strayed covers California and Oregon as the author hikes the Pacific Crest Trail as well as her home state of Minnesota.

    I’ll browse my bookshelves in the next day or so and let you know if I can give you some more titles.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Great suggestions, Suzanne!

      I have been thinking of re-reading the Big Stone Gap series, so it’s going on the list! (I own all of those books myself). It’s seems they are in Virginia rather than West Virginia – how confusing to have both V and West V. How about East and West?🙂

      Bohjalian is a great idea (and in the library)! I’ve read The Night Strangerslast year and enjoyed it very much.

      I checked the Wiley Cash already (as it’s on my wishlist) but no, as you guessed, not here (yet?). *Wingshooters has* made it over here already. Cheryl Strayed didn’t give any hits.

      Thanks, this is SO helpful!

  9. Boekhapper says:

    On the road by Jack Kerouac covers nearly every state!🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Ha ha, that’s brilliant. I remember once reading (or trying to read) the book. Not sure if I want to do it again… But I’ll keep it as reserve. Thanks.

  10. Rikki says:

    Not sure whether you have read it, but John came up with A confederacy of dunces for Lousiana.

  11. Wow – looking your list over made me think hard about what I’ve read and what I plan to read!

    — Alaska – Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein
    — Arkansas – The Stand (I think, I’m going to read it for the readalong), and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    — Delaware – I heard that Beloved by Toni Morrison is set there, but I don’t remember that when I read it!
    — Florida – To Have and Have Not or The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    — Maryland – Anything by Laura Lippman, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
    — Missouri – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (SO twisted!)
    — North Carolina – The Peachkeeper by Sarah Addison Allen
    — Virginia – The Reservoir is set in Richmond and I have a copy! I can’t wait to read that one!
    — Vermont – The Secret History by Donna Tart. I’ve had this one on my TBR list forever and I’ve never read a negative review of it. Something about boarding schools? I really have to read this one.
    — Wyoming – Brokeback Mountain

    Enjoy!!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks for that great list of suggestions, Natalie!

      I’ve already read *Raven Stole the Moon * (great book), oh, and* The Stand* too (another great book). And *The Secret History* AND *Broke Back Mountain *(both very good).

      I actually have a copy of *Henrietta Lacks* – great suggestion! Thanks for the other suggestions too. I’ve added them if my library has them.

  12. Belinda Jones – On the road to Mr Right was hilarisch, ik heb m in het NL liggen hier, dus als je m wilt lenen dan geef je maar een gil🙂

  13. Katrien says:

    I have recently borrowed ‘The borrower’ (De lener) from the library and I think it’s set in multiple states as well, but I haven’t read it yet.

  14. Have you read Driving Sideways by Jess Riley? An easy read about a drive from Wisc to CA. you will knock off a lot of states from Iowa to Wyoming… which can be challenging. I think you will like the book too!

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/driving-sideways-jess-riley/1100293220?ean=9780345501103

  15. Nadine Nys says:

    What a great challenge, Judith, although I have to admit I usually don’t pay much attention to the states where a book takes place. So no suggestions from me, sorry! But I am curious to see what books you will read.
    I have struggled once too with On the Road, and did finish it.
    Happy reading!

  16. sawcat says:

    Anything by Nicholas Sparks works for North Carolina. He only writes books set there. If you want mystery/crime novels instead, Kathy Reichs’s Temperance Brennan series is partially set in NC as well.

    The Sisters Brothers is set in California and Oregon.

    Nevada Barr has books set in various states, mostly in the South.

    If you want to go into nonfiction, you could see if anything is available about the Hatfields and McCoys for Kentucky and West Virginia.

    I am doing this with Sheila at Book Journey, and I’m going to read one of Kathy Reichs’s young adult novels for South Carolina (they are Virals and Seizure, first two in a series)

    Dances with Wolves, the book the movie is based on would work for Colorado, Kansas, North and South Dakota. One Thousand White Women would work for Wyoming and possibly Montana and the Dakotas

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks for this long list, sawcat! I am planning to pick up The Sisters Brothers from the library today, wanted to read it anyway. Thanks for the suggestion of Nevada Barr. The library has several of her books, including Blood Lure, which covers several states.

      I’m also getting Virals by Kathy Reichs (good idea, as I had nothing for S. Carolina yet). I’ve read One Thousand White Women (beautiful!), not sure I want to read Dances with Wolves but I’ll keep it in mind.

  17. Tien says:

    Oh my, Judith… You have a list! I wast just going to read whatever to begin with and then make up what I’m missing, LOL. Now that you’ve egged me on though… I may have to start a book list. I’ve sort of started a worksheet to help me track though I haven’t quite figured out all the formulas yet :p

    • Tien says:

      Btw, this group in Goodreads have a bookshelf set on settings. Not sure how accurate it is but it might be helpful🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Tien, I love making lists, so, yes, I thought I’ll start one. Plus it’s fun to see what other people come up with, I’ve had so many great suggestions – as you can see.

      I’m not making this into a science, though, I’ll just start reading somewhere, and I’ll check the list for ideas. But I’m not going to read 11 books that exactly fit the 50 states + DC.

  18. Pingback: Bookish News and Publishing Tidbits 1 June 2012 | Read in a Single Sitting - Book reviews and new books

  19. I recently read The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy, which was set in Iowa. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls is set in Oklahoma, I think (but be warned: you’ll cry).

  20. Nicole D. says:

    Hey – It’s Nicole in case my name doesn’t show. I really think you would like Joshilyn Jackson as a writer. She writes Southern Fiction so that might take care of some of your Southern States. I loved gods in Alabama, but I think Between Georgia was my favorite.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Nicole, nice to see a comment from you. Joshilyn Jackson is indeed an author I like to read. At least, I read Gods in Alabama and that’s the only book the library has by her.

  21. One of my favorite authors is Janet Evanovich, her Stephanie Plum series is set in New Jersey. Evanovich is quite a funny writer and the books are easy reads.

  22. Erika says:

    Good luck, Judith! I would recommend The Sausage Maker’s Daughters by A.G.S. Johnson for Wisconsin, although I see you already have a book listed for that state.

  23. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series is set in New Jersey and I recommend that.
    There is a cool website called booksetin.com that is worth browsing through http://www.bookssetin.com/ to fill in your gaps

  24. New Jersey – any of the Janet Evanovich – Stephanie Plum books
    Georgia – Sea Change by Karen White
    Washington DC – Daughters for a Time
    California – any Jackie Collins book!
    Michigan – Night of the Full Moon by Gloria Whelan

    I love all the suggestions so far – you are going to have a busy 90 days of reading! Enjoy.

  25. Leslie says:

    I did a Chicago challenge from my library one summer so I can give you lots of Illinois books, which you probably don’t need more of. Two of them that are still on my to-read list are The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (historical fiction based on real events). I’m going to read this book this year if it kills me! And then there are Sara Paretsky’s V I Warshawski mysteries which take place in Chicago.

    I can give you a few for Iowa: Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. I liked it even if it was a little sappy. The only other one I can think of for Iowa is a baseball book called Shoeless Joe… it was the inspiration for the movie Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner.

    • Judith says:

      Thanks, Leslie. I added the suggestions for Illinois. I don’t mind some extra ideas so I can have a choice!

      Madison County I read years ago and Shoeless Joe isn’t in my library (not sure that would be my sort of book). I’ll keep looking for Iowa.🙂

  26. pburt says:

    I believe The Lonely Polygamist is set in Utah. Big Rock Candy Mountain by Stegner would cover both Utah and North Dakota. I don’t think Angle of Repose ventures into Utah.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Pburt, thanks! My library has a copy of The Lonely Polygamist to my surprise. It seems to also cover a few more states (but maybe not to any sufficient degree). It’s going on the list! I check these things at Shelfari but it sometimes mentions a state when really it’s only mentioed briefly. That may be the case for Angle of Repose. Or maybe there is some kind of flashback to Utah. I’ll leave it on the list for now, and I’ll find out if and when I read it.

      Thanks for your suggestions!

  27. JoV says:

    Do try Into the Wild: http://bibliojunkie.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/into-the-wild-by-jon-krakauer/
    A travel journey that takes Chris from Atlanta all the way up to Alaska. Unfortunately he died there. Very sad and tragic non-fiction read. What about the 19th wife? It is set in Utah as well.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks, Jo. I read *Into the Wild* a few years ago, but *The 19th Wife* is a great idea.

      • JoV says:

        What about The Legend of Suicide by David Vann? It is a thin book and it is set in Alaska or Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

        Really I fear to recommend new books, because you read so much and I don’t know which ones you have read them! lol🙂

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