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swynn's 50 states

Fifty States Fiction (or Nonfiction) Challenge

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Edited: Feb 20, 1:09am Top

These will be my 2015/16 reads for the 50 State Challenge. Expect a mix of fiction and nonfiction, and maybe even a few juvenile books.

Previous lists are here:

I have visited 42 states (84%) so far this tour.

AL: Threshold / Caitlin McKiernan
AK: A Cold Day for Murder / Dana Stabenow
AZ: Last Stand at Saber River / Elmore Leonard
AR: The Bird Eater / Ania Ahlborn
CA: Pacific Fire / Greg van Eekhout
-- The Eyes of the World / Harold Bell Wright
CO: The Dead of Winter / Lee Collins
-- Boundary Crossed / Melissa F. Olson
CT: The Hour of the Oxrun Dead / Charles L. Grant
DE: Koningsmarke / James Kirke Paulding
FL: Wolf Hunt / Jeff Strand
-- A Choir of Ill Children / Tom Piccirilli
GA: Magic Bites / Ilona Andrews
HI: Fires of Eden / Dan Simmons
ID: Debaters and Dynamiters / David H. Grover
-- The Man Who Fell In Love With the Moon / Tom Spanbauer
IL: Skin Game / Jim Butcher
IN: A Girl of the Limberlost / Gene Stratton-Porter
IA: Blood Farm / Sam Siciliano
-- Zombie Baseball Beatdown / Paolo Bacigalupi
KS: Blood and Salt / Kim Liggett
KY: Days of Darkness / John Ed Pearce
LA: White Trash Zombie Apocalypse / Diana Rowland
ME: The New Year's Owl / Susan Hand Shetterly
MD: The Catonsville Nine / Shawn Francis Peters
MA: The Witches : Salem, 1692 / Stacy Schiff
MI: Bath Massacre / Arnie Bernstein
MN: The Evening Crowd at Kirmser's / Ricardo J. Brown
MS: Father and Son / Larry Brown
MO: The Crisis / Winston Churchill
MT: Those Who Wish Me Dead / Michael Koryta
NE: Nuclear Nebraska / Susan Cragin
NV: Shotgun Arcana / R.S. Belcher
NH: The Last Policeman / Ben H. Winters
NJ: Two for the Dough / Janet Evanovich
NM: Dust Devils / Jonathan Janz
-- Child of a Rainless Year / Jane Lindskold
NY: Tom Grogan / F. Hopkinson Smith
-- Horrorween / Al Sarrantonio
-- K / Mary Roberts Rinehart
-- The Dragon Conspiracy / Lisa Shearin
-- Razzle Dazzle / Michael Riedel
NC: Goblins / David Bernstein
--A Net of Dawn and Bones / C.R. Chancy
-- Bootlegger's Daughter / Margaret Maron
OH: The 5th Wave / Rick Yancey
OR: Listening for Coyote / William L. Sullivan
PA: Canary / Duane Swierczynski
SC: Where / Kit Reed
TX: Life or Death / Michael Robotham
VT: Shadow Child / Joseph A. Citro
VA: To Have and to Hold / Mary Johnston
-- The Family Tree / John Everson
-- The Deliverance / Ellen Glasgow
WA: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet / Jamie Ford
-- Folly / Laurie R. King
WV: Bitter River / Julia Keller
WI: Wolf's Trap / W.D. Gagliani
WY: Stone Cold / C.J. Box
-- Endangered / C.J. Box
-- The Virginian / Owen Wister

Edited: Feb 8, 2016, 11:13am Top

These are my 2011 reads for the 50 state challenge. Several are juvenile books, and one is a little bit of a cheat: "Ella Minnow Pea" actually takes place on a mythical island country just off the coast of South Carolina.

AL: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe / Fannie Flagg
AK: Fifty Miles from Tomorrow / William Hensley
AZ: The Law at Randado / Elmore Leonard
AR: Lightning Bug / Donald Harington
CA: High Country / Nevada Barr
CO: Hard Truth / Nevada Barr
CT: Orange is the New Black / Piper Kerman
DE: Hawkes Harbor / S.E. Hinton
FL: Dexter is Delicious / Jeff Lindsay
GA: Ancient of Days / Michael Bishop
HI: The Betrayal of Liliuokalani / Helena G. Allen
ID: Killer Weekend / Ridley Pearson
IL: Storm Front / Jim Butcher
IN: Monday I'll Save the World / Larry Hayes
IA: Known Dead / Donald Harstad
KS: Buried Screams / C. Dean Andersson
KY: Upheaval / Chris Holbrook
LA: Atchafalaya Houseboat / Gwen Roland
ME: Deep and Dark and Dangerous / Mary Downing Hahn
MD: Daphne's Book / Mary Downing Hahn
MA: The Scarlet Letter / Nathaniel Hawthorne
MI: Winter Study / Nevada Barr
MN: Staggerford / John Hassler
MS: Mudbound / Hilary Jordan
MO: A Bad Day for Pretty / Sophie Littlefield
MT: Pictures from an Expedition / Diane Smith
NE: O Pioneers! / Willa Cather
NV: Utopia / Lincoln Child
NH: Murder is Binding / Lorna Barrett
NJ: The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed / John McPhee
NM: The Edge of Reason / Melinda Snodgrass
NY: Dogfight, a Love Story / Matt Burgess
NC: Night Train / Clyde Edgerton
ND: Love Medicine / Louise Erdrich
OH: Spellbent / Lucy Snyder
OK: Breathtaker / Alice Blanchard
OR: My Abandonment / Peter Rock
PA: The Wheelman / Duane Swierczynski
RI: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward / H.P. Lovecraft
SC: Ella Minnow Pea / Mark Dunn
SD: Deadwood / Pete Dexter
TN: Carved in Bone / Jefferson Bass
TX: Borderline / Nevada Barr
UT: Calling Out / Rae Meadows
VT: All the Lovely Bad Ones / Mary Downing Hahn
VA: Postmortem / Patricia Cornwell
WA: Miss Zukas and the Library Murders / Jo Dereske
WV: Shiloh / Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
WI: The House on the Mound / August Derleth
WY: Winterkill / C.J. Box

Edited: Jan 8, 2013, 5:28pm Top

These are my 2012 reads for the 50 State Challenge. There's a mix of fiction and nonfiction, and several are juvenile books.

AL: Examining Tuskegee / Susan M. Reverby
AK: BONG HiTS 4 JESUS / James C. Foster
AZ: Holding the Line / Barbara Kingsolver
AR: Malice in Maggody / Joan Hess
CA: The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death / Charlie Huston
CO: Fighting the Underworld / Philip Van Cise
CT: True Confections / Katharine Weber
DE: The Rape Case / Irving Morris
FL: Once a Runner / John L. Parker
GA: Soldiers' Pay / William Faulkner
HI: One Man's Paradise / Douglas Corleone
ID: The Blight Way / Patrick F. McManus
IL: Turn of Mind / Alice LaPlante
IN: The Circus in Winter / Cathy Day
IA: The Big Thaw / Donald Harstad
KS: Bent Road / Lori Roy
KY: The Ridge / Michael Koryta
LA: Mosquitoes / William Faulkner
ME: The Cider House Rules / John Irving
MD: Stepping on the Cracks / Mary Downing Hahn
-- Anna All Year Round / Mary Downing Hahn
-- Tallahassee Higgins / Mary Downing Hahn
MA: Dark Tide / Stephen Puleo
MI: Out of Time / Lynn Abbey
MN: Wild Thing / Josh Bazell
MS: The Ranger / Ace Atkins
MO: Deaths on Pleasant Street / Giles Fowler
-- Guilty Pleasures / Laurell K. Hamilton
MT: The Indian Lawyer / James Welch
NE: Not by the Sword / Kathryn Watterson
NV: Dummy Up and Deal / H. Lee Barnes
NH: Old Dartmouth Under Fire / Marilyn Tobias
NJ: The Pine Barrens / John McPhee
NM: The Sea of Grass / Conrad Richter
NY: The Long Run / Matt Long
-- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn / Betty Smith
-- The Hunter / Richard Stark
NC: Following My Own Footsteps / Mary Downing Hahn
-- The Sweet By and By / Todd Johnson
ND: The Grass Dancer / Susan Power
OH: The Trees / Conrad Richter
OK: Books on Trial / Shirley & Wayne Wiegand
OR: Mountain Rescue Doctor / Christopher Van Tilburg
PA: Dead End in Norvelt / Jack Gantos
RI: Brotherly Love / Charles and Tess Hoffmann
SC: The Day the Johnboat Went Up the Mountain / Carl Naylor
SD: Go Big or Go Home / Will Hobbs
TN: Deathbringer / Bryan Smith
TX: Isaac's Storm / Erik Larson
UT: Riders of the Purple Sage / Zane Grey
VT: Civil Wars / David Moats
VA: How I Learned to Snap / Kirk Read
WA: Stolen Children / Peg Kehret
WV: Thunder in the Mountains / Lon Savage
WI: Envy the Night / Michael Koryta
WY: The Virginian / Owen Wister

Jan 2, 2013, 8:04pm Top

How fun that you are working on your 3rd year of 50 states!

Jan 2, 2013, 11:23pm Top


Yes, and I have really enjoyed it! I do pick up books that I otherwise would not, and am usually pleasantly surprised. I plan to continue this indefinitely as an annual challenge.

Jan 5, 2013, 8:36am Top

I had difficulty locating books for a few states the first time. I remember Delaware was one of those. I'm glad you aren't having that problem.

Edited: Jan 5, 2013, 11:10am Top

Of all the states I think Delaware is the hardest, especially for those completing the challenge with fiction. Last year's Delaware read I found in the University Press of New England's catalog, and that will probably be the first place I search again this year.

What was your Delaware read?

Jan 8, 2013, 4:15pm Top

I think I did one of the YA "diary" books that was about a lighthouse keeper's daughter. I found my thread - it was A Light in the Storm by Karen Hesse. It was the Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin, but it was fictional.

I do recall that I'd found a series of books by looking in a Delaware public library catalog that were set in the state, but they were hard to find outside the state so I didn't pursue them.

Jan 11, 2013, 7:25pm Top

I have to say that one doesn't quite capture my attention, but yeah the pickings for Delaware are slim.

Jan 12, 2013, 12:51pm Top

I think the series I couldn't find locally was written by Wade B. Fleetwood. It was a mystery series set in various locations in Delaware.

Dec 31, 2013, 11:16pm Top

These are 2013 reads for the 50 State Challenge:

AL: The Most they Ever Had / Rick Bragg
AK: The Whale and the Supercomputer / Charles Wohlforth
AZ: And Hell Followed With Her / David Neiwert
AR: Blood in Their Eyes / Grif Stockley
CA: Aloha from Hell / Richard Kadrey
-- The Survivor / Gregg Hurwitz
-- Ex-Heroes / Peter Clines
CO: Hell's Belles / Clark Secrest
CT: The Circus Fire / Stewart O'Nan
DE: The Union Prison at Fort Delaware / Brian Temple
FL: Devil in the Grove / Gilbert King
GA: Killing Floor / Lee Child
HI: The Colony / John Tayman
ID: Pines / Blake Crouch
IL: Chicago Death Trap / Nat Brandt
IN: Notre Dame vs. The Klan / Todd Tucker
IA: By the Iowa Sea / Joe Blair
KS: The Ice Harvest / Scott Phillips
KY: The Cornbread Mafia / James Higdon
LA: Burn / Nevada Barr
-- Dead Until Dark / Charlaine Harris
ME: Settled in the Wild / Susan Hand Shetterly
MD: Nine Years Under / Shari Booker
MA: Shotgun Lullaby / Steve Ulfelder
MI: Detroit : An American Autopsy / Charlie LeDuff
MN: Lake Country / Sean Doolittle
MS: Ranchero / Rick Gavin
MO: A Bad Day for Scandal / Sophie Littlefield
MT: Coyote Wind / Peter Bowen
NE: It's Not the End of the Earth, But You Can See It From Here / Roger Welsch
NV: The Six-Gun Tarot / R.S. Belcher
NH: Truck : On Rebuilding a Worn-Out Pickup / John Jerome
NJ: Killing the Poormaster / Holly Metz
NM: Tijerina and the Courthouse Raid / Peter Nabokov
NY: They Disappeared / Rick Mofina
-- A Cold and Lonely Place / Sara J. Henry
-- The Schwa Was Here / Neal Shusterman
-- A Tap on the Window / Linwood Barclay
NC: Joyland / Stephen King
ND: The Beet Queen / Louise Erdrich
OH: Winesburg, Ohio / Sherwood Anderson
OK: Shadow on the Snow / Bill Wallace
-- Coyote Autumn / Bill Wallace
-- The Deputy / Victor Gischler
OR: The Last Dog on Earth / Daniel Ehrenhaft
PA: Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key / Jack Gantos
-- Joey Pigza Loses Control / Jack Gantos
-- What Would Joey Do? / Jack Gantos
-- I am Not Joey Pigza / Jack Gantos
-- Shoot The Piano Player / David Goodis
RI: The Drowning Girl / Caitlin R. Kiernan
SC: Cry Liberty / Peter Charles Hoffer
SD: Uphill Against Water / Peter Carrels
TN: The Girls of Atomic City / Denise Kiernan
TX: Savage Season / Joe Lansdale
UT: The Proper Edge of the Sky / Edward A. Geary
-- Bloodhound in Blue / Adam David Russ
VT: Rudyard Kipling in Vermont / Stuart Murray
VA: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek / Annie Dillard
WA: Night Kill / Ann Littlewood
WV: The Court Martial of Mother Jones / Edward Steel
WI: If You Could See Me Now / Peter Straub
WY: Trophy Hunt / C.J. Box
-- Out of Range / C.J. Box
-- Blood Trail / C.J. Box
-- Below Zero / C.J. Box
-- Nowhere to Run / C.J. Box
-- Red Dog / Bill Wallace

Jan 1, 2015, 3:12am Top

These are my 2014 reads for the 50 state challenge:

AL: The Rented Mule / Bobby Cole
AK: Alaska Traveler / Dana Stabenow
AZ: Hounded / Kevin Hearne
AR: The wowzer / Frank Wheeler, Jr.
CA: Descending Son / Scott Shepherd
-- California Bones / Greg Van Eekhout
CO: Abandon / Blake Crouch
CT: Books Can Be Deceiving / Jenn McKinlay
DE: Final price / J. Gregory Smith
FL: Man in the Blue Moon / Michael Morris
GA: Hitchers / Will McIntosh
HI: Night on Fire / Douglas Corleone
ID: The Last Town / Blake Crouch
IL: Big City Bad Blood / Sean Chercover
IN: Dust / Joan Frances Turner
IA: No Cure for Death / Max Allan Collins
KS: Beyond Cold Blood / Larry Welch
KY: Kentucky Straight / Chris Offut
LA: My Life as a White Trash Zombie / Diana Rowland
-- Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues / Diana Rowland
ME: A Country Doctor, and Selected Stories and Sketches / Sarah Orne Jewett
MD: Homicide : a Year on the Killing Streets / David Simon
MA: The Whole Lie / Steve Ulfelder
MI: Dead Wood / Dani Amore
MN: Fiend / Peter Stenson
MS: Flags in the Dust / William Faulkner
MO: A Road Trip Into America's Hidden Heart / John Drake Robinson
MT: Cold Fear / Rick Mofina
-- Montana / Gwen Florio
NE: Creatures of Appetite / Todd Travis
NV: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas / Hunter S. Thompson
NH: Bookmarked for Death / Lorna Barrett
NJ: Ghostman / Roger Hobbs
-- Toms River / Dan Fagin
NM: American Elsewhere / Robert Jackson Bennett
NY: Bad Behavior / Mary Gaitskill
NC: A Land More Kind Than Home / Wiley Cash
ND: Tracks / Louise Erdrich
OH: False Sight / Dan Krokos
OK: Low Down Death Right Easy / J. David Osborne
OR: Gone But Not Forgotten / Phillip Margolin
PA: The Blonde / Duane Swierczynski
RI: The Burn Palace / Stephen Dobyns
SC: The Resurrectionist / Matthew Guinn
SD: No Mercy / Lori Armstrong
TN: Flesh and Bone / Jefferson Bass
TX: Whirlwind / Rick Mofina
UT: Refuge / Terry Tempest Williams
VT: Mud Season / Ellen Stimson
VA: The Reservoir / John Miliken Thompson
-- The Unlikely Disciple / Kevin Roose
WA: The White Cascade / Gary Krist
WV: A Killing in the Hills / Julia Keller
WI: Afraid / Jack Kilborn
WY: Breaking Point / C.J. Box
-- Cold Wind / C.J. Box
-- The Solace of Open Spaces / Gretel Ehrlich

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