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Tutu's Trek across America

Fifty States Fiction (or Nonfiction) Challenge

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1tututhefirst
Edited: Feb 8, 2016, 12:14am Top

Hi--great idea Linda! I've cut and pasted your list here so I can enter books and track how I'm doing on my own challenge. I 'll just have to remember to post a new one so it will show up if people star the thread.




Alabama - Gods in Alabama
Alaska - Burning Cold: The Cruise Ship Prinsendam and the Greatest Sea Rescue of all Time
Arizona - The Blessing Way
Arkansas Shakespeare's Trollop
California Our Lady of the Artichokes
Colorado Plainsong
Connecticut Last Night at the Lobster Stewart O'Nan
Delaware Choker
Florida Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society
Georgia Fireworks over Toccoa
Hawaii Lester Higata's 20th Century
Idaho Then Came the Evening
Illinois 206 Bones by Kathy Reich
Indiana A Girl Named Zippy
Iowa Dewey the small Town Library Cat Vicki Myron
Kansas Doc Mary Doria Russell
Kentucky Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman
Louisiana Called out of Darkness
Maine Lobster Chronicles Linda Greenlaw
Maryland Noah's Compass
Massachusetts True Compass
Michigan Death is a Cabaret
Minnesota Key Lime Pie Murder
Mississippi Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Missouri Can't Wait to get to Heaven
Montana Montana 1948
Nebraska Once Upon a Town
Nevada The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
New Hampshire Labor Day
New Jersey - A Widow's Story:
New Mexico - A Thief of Time Tony Hillerman
New York Lethal legacy Linda Fairstein
North Carolina - Hard Row Margaret Maron
North Dakota The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Ohio Destiny of the Republic
Oklahoma Ghost at Work
Oregon The Shack
Pennsylvania Bubbles Unbound by Sarah Strohmeyer
Rhode Island The Gods of Newport
South Carolina South of Broad
South Dakota
Tennessee Shakespeare's Landlord
Texas You Know when the Men are Gone
Utah When the Emperor was Divine
Vermont Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
Virginia Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Washington - 16 Lighthouse Road Debbie Macomber
West Virginia - Bitter River by Julia Keller
Wisconsin - Shotgun Lovesongs by Nicolas Butler
Wyoming The Dream Stalker

2tututhefirst
Jun 30, 2009, 1:32pm Top

Well.l I had to make my first state Maine, although my 2ndwill be Maryland when I get home from the pool later today. Don't forget you can search your library to see where you've already been by going to Statistics/Memes from your home page, and then clicking on Places. you'll be surprised how many are already in your library.

Anyway Linda Greenlaw's book Lobster Chronicles is so so Maine, I couldn't pick any other (although there are about 30 in my library). My review is posted in the book.

3tututhefirst
Jul 1, 2009, 10:24am Top

Entering the ones I've read so far this year:

Oregon The Shack by Wm. Young.
Washington 16 Lighthouse Road Debbie Macomber
North Carolina Hard Row Margaret Maron
New York Lethal Legacy Linda Fairstein
Iowa Dewey the small Town Library cat Vicki Myron
Connecticut Last Night at the Lobster Stewart O'Nan

Reviews are on my 75 in 09 Challenge thread, and posted in the book itself.

Looks like we're all off to a fun start on this adventure.

4tututhefirst
Sep 22, 2009, 12:25am Top

South Carolina South of Broad by Pat Conroy.

The review is posted now in the book, and at Tutu's Two Cents

Put it on your Christmas list...

5countrylife
Sep 22, 2009, 2:02pm Top

Enjoyed that review, tutu! Sounds like an interesting book. Though I've already finished my South Carolina read (Sullivan's Island), I may look for it later, anyway.

6tututhefirst
Apr 2, 2010, 3:49pm Top

wow....I really got behind on this one...I've updated the master list in msg one. My reviews are posted in each book. I'll try to do better to stay caught up.

7tututhefirst
Dec 25, 2010, 11:11pm Top

Hard to keep this one up to date....I just added

Alabama - Gods in Alabama
Alaska - Burning Cold: The Cruise Ship Prinsendam and the Greatest Sea Rescue of All Time
Arizona - The Blessing Way
Mississippi - Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Missouri - Can't Wait to get to Heaven
Montana- Montana 1948
Texas - You Know when the Men are Gone

So I'm up to exactly 1/2 done- 25 out of fifty. Have a great New Year no matter what state or province or country you're in.

8tututhefirst
Apr 29, 2011, 3:09pm Top

Catching up....just posted

Wyoming The Dream Stalker by Margaret Coel
Arkansas Shakespeare's Trollop by Charlaine Harris
Hawaii Lester Higata's 20th Century by Barbara Hamby

This gets me to 29 states....still marching on.
Reviews are posted on the book pages.

9tututhefirst
Jun 24, 2011, 2:54pm Top

Added Bubbles Unbound set in Lehigh Pennsylvania. I certainly hope most inhabitants aren't as ditzy as Bubbles and will certainly keep my eyes out for something more edifying......oh.....just remembered. David McCullough's The Johnstown Flood much better represents the citizens of the Keystone State!.

10tututhefirst
Jan 2, 2013, 1:25pm Top

Wow....way behind on tracking this challenge. Will be reviewing books read in 2012 to see if any meet the criteria, and will keep the missing states in mind as I read in 2013.

11tututhefirst
Edited: Jan 17, 2013, 4:33pm Top

Catching up after reviewing what I read last year...

Ohio Destiny of the Republic
Indiana A Girl Named Zippy
Florida Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society
Rhode Island The Gods of Newport
Tennessee Shakespeare s Landlord
DelawareChoker
Utah When the Emperor was Divine
New Hampshire Labor Day

39 down, only 11 more to go!!

12cyderry
Jan 18, 2013, 11:57am Top

aren't you doing DC?

13tututhefirst
Jan 18, 2013, 5:19pm Top

Good grief, every third book I read is about or set in DC.!!! Group title is Fifty States.

14thornton37814
Jan 21, 2013, 3:18pm Top

Tina - I think every third book I read was set in Massachusetts while I was doing that challenge!

15tututhefirst
Feb 20, 2013, 7:22pm Top

Added/updated....total read is now 41. I've identified possibles for all the missing except for Nevada and North dakota. I've seen some candidates for each but they weren't appealing, so I'll keep searching.

16cyderry
Feb 20, 2013, 11:52pm Top

There are a few Anna Pigeon's set in Nevada.....

17thornton37814
Feb 21, 2013, 1:52pm Top

I wasn't really thrilled with my choices for either of those states either, but I did manage to read something for each. If I had it to do over again, I'd probably go with a Louise Erdrich book for North Dakota instead of the one I used by Enger.

18tututhefirst
May 8, 2013, 9:56pm Top

Added Once Upon a Town for Nebraska .... a rather slow book about the canteen run by the people of the town of North Platte during WW II to serve sandwiches, cakes, and drinks to GIs on troop trains coming through the town.

19thornton37814
May 9, 2013, 12:56pm Top

I'm sure that the people in that town heard some interesting stories, but unless the book included many of those stories and the interaction between the townspeople and GIs, etc., I can understand why it would be "rather slow."

20tututhefirst
May 9, 2013, 3:44pm Top

Oh the book did include lots of the stories, but I think because it was done by a reporter, the journalistic writing (at least to me) overpowered any real emotional ties. I think about my parents/grandparents, and it seems to me that those generations were not socialized to speak publicly of their feelings, so they talked about facts....how they met, how long they'd been married, how they gathered the eggs, and how thankful the "boys" all were.

It was also very much about how society and small towns have changed since the interstates and airlines grew and passenger trains died off.

21tututhefirst
Edited: Jun 4, 2013, 1:02pm Top

Finished Beth Hoffman's Looking for Me set in Kentucky and So Carolina. and Left Neglected set in Vermont and Boston, so I only have five to go! It would be great to finish this challenge this year! Here's what's left:

Nevada --I'm thinking Larry McMutry's Desert Rose - I've been meaning to read one of his.
North Dakota - I'm going to read Round House by the end of the year.
South Dakota - Laura Ingalls Wilder's Long Winter is looking like a good re-read from my kids childhood
West Virginia
Wisconsin - The Story of Edgar Sawtelle has been sitting on my shelf for well over 3 years now....time to get cracking.

So if anyone has suggestions for West Virginia, let me know.

22cyderry
Jun 4, 2013, 1:50pm Top

I heard/read that A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller was supposed to be a pretty good murder mystery.

23thornton37814
Jun 22, 2013, 7:44pm Top

I think your South Dakota choice is an excellent one to re-read!

24tututhefirst
Jun 22, 2013, 9:45pm Top

Cheli....thanks for the lead on the Keller book for WVA....it's available in audio via ILL so I have requested it.

25tututhefirst
Jun 16, 2014, 12:51pm Top

A Killing in the Hills and its sequel Bitter River, both set in West Virginia were excellent. I love the tough character of the protagonist, Bell Elkins, and enjoyed Keller's portrayal of the hard life endured by the inhabitants of the poverty-stricken coal mining town of Akers Kill WV.

I'm especially happy to see that Keller is continuing the series with a third volume Summer of the Dead due out very shortly. I have an ARC to read and can't wait.

26tututhefirst
Edited: Feb 8, 2016, 12:18am Top

Almost finished!!!! - added Shotgun lovesongs to WIsconsin - a fabulous read - one of my favorites from last year. Added Louise Erdrich's beautiful The Round House for North Dakota - very moving but a bit melancholy.
Then I added The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt for Nevada since a large portion of the story was set in that rowdy state. It's a real doorstop of a volume, and IMHO it's about 30% longer than it needs to be but, it fills the bill. So.....now all I have left is South Dakota.

ETA - it's been so long since I've updated, I forget how to move the ticker, so you'll have to take my word.

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