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Book challenge: US states

The challenge: Read at least one novel set in each of the 50 US states.

Progress so far:states I've read

Any recommendations for books set in the states I’m missing would be grateful!

State Book read When visited
Alabama To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Alaska Away – Amy Bloom
Arizona The Host – Stephenie Meyer 2000, 2011
Arkansas A Painted House – John Grisham
California The Day of the Locust – Nathaniel West 2000, 2002
Colorado 2011
Connecticut Kristy’s Great Idea – Ann M Martin 2004
Florida Bad Monkey – Carl Hiaasen 2006
Georgia The Color Purple – Alice Walker
Hawaii Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
Idaho 2000, 2011
Illinois Divergent – Veronica Roth 2002
Indiana The Fault in our Stars – John Green
Kentucky 1999
Louisiana A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole 2002
Maine The Cider House Rules – John Irving
Maryland Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant – Anne Tyler 1996, 2000
Massachussetts The Heretic’s Daughter – Kathleen Kent 2000, 2004
Michigan The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger 2000
Minnesota Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater
Mississippi As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
Missouri Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
Montana The Divide – Nicholas Evans 2000, 2011
Nebraska  Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell
Nevada Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S Thompson 2000
New Hampshire The Hotel New Hampshire – John Irving 2004
New Jersey One for the Money – Janet Evanovich 1996, 2000
New Mexico Tiger Eyes – Judy Blume 2011
New York The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald 1996, 2000, 2004
North Carolina Safe Haven – Nicholas Sparks
North Dakota Tracks – Louise Erdrich
Ohio Welcome to Temptation – Jennifer Crusie 1999, 2000
Oregon The Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt 2002
Pennsylvania The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold 1996, 1999, 2000
Rhode Island My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
South Carolina Agnes and the Hitman – Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
South Dakota
Tennessee The Orchard Keeper – Cormac McCarthy
Texas Vernon God Little – DBC Pierre 2002
Utah The 19th Wife – David Ebershoff 2000, 2011
Vermont The Secret History – Donna Tartt 2004
Virginia Big Stone Gap – Adriana Trigiani 2000
Washington Snow Falling on Cedars – David Guterson 2002
West Virginia Bitter River – Julia Keller 1999?
Wyoming 2000, 2011

N.B. Obviously for some states I will have read more than one book; in that situation I have selected the book which most jumped out to me as having been set in that state.

States I’ve visited

States I've visited
States I’ve visited. Map courtesy of

I also want to try to visit every state, so I have also included that on my challenge list. (Rules: it doesn’t count if I have just been through the state on a train or had a stopover at an airport; I have to have physically walked on that state’s ground).


5 thoughts on “Book challenge: US states”

  1. Cool challenge! If you want, you could take a look at In Cold Blood (Truman Capote) for Kansas, A Prayer for the Dying (Stuart O’Nan) for Wisconsin, True Grit (Charles Portis) for Oklahoma, and The Shining (Stephen King) for Colorado. Good luck!

  2. I’m suggesting The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving for, well, New Hampshire and White Oleander by Janet Fitch for California. Two GREAT reads. I love this book challenge concept. Good luck!

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