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2017 US States Reading Challenge

Welcome to the 2017 thread for this ongoing challenge. This is a multi-year rolling challenge - start when you like, set your own limit (12 months, 18 months 24 months).

Here are the rules:
Read a book from every state in the USA (bonus: optional is the District of Columbia). The book's setting should be primarily in that state, but doesn't have to 100% stay in the state. Any kind of book is fine - library, e-book, audiobook or BC book. One state per book please. (list of states at the bottom of this post)
Instead of a long list, post what # state you're up to AFTER you read the book, the book title, BCID if applicable and a little about it.

??'s - post below or PM me.
Some great books can be found by searching on a keyword at the library & looking at the juvenile section. Search previous years in Book Talk forum (keyword “states” or the state you're looking for)
If you do LibraryThing, some folks have added Common Knowledge places to books. Just add "CK: Important Places" to one of your lists of books to see if someone entered a place that you need.

Here is a link to some book suggestions for the 50 states:
Kids books: http://wrappedinfoil.com/
http://www.businessinsider.com/---/most-famous-book-set-in-every-state-map-2013-10
http://www.bkmag.com/---/the-literary-united-states-a-map-of-the-best-book-for-every-state

2016 BC links
Jan –Mar 2016 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/526659
Apr – June 2016 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/529335
July – Sept 2016 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/531536
Oct – Dec 2016 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/534600

2015 BC links
Jan – Mar 2015 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/515029
Apr – June 2015 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/518295
July – Sept 2015 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/520454
Oct – Dec 2015 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/523521


Here are the states:
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
District of Columbia (optional)

Complete Thread

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Welcome to the 2017 thread for this ongoing challenge. This is a multi-year rolling challenge - start when you like, set your own limit (12 months, 18 months 24 months).

Here are the rules:
Read a book from every state in the USA (bonus: optional is the District of Columbia). The book's setting should be primarily in that state, but doesn't have to 100% stay in the state. Any kind of book is fine - library, e-book, audiobook or BC book. One state per book please. (list of states at the bottom of this post)
Instead of a long list, post what # state you're up to AFTER you read the book, the book title, BCID if applicable and a little about it.

??'s - post below or PM me.
Some great books can be found by searching on a keyword at the library & looking at the juvenile section. Search previous years in Book Talk forum (keyword “states” or the state you're looking for)
If you do LibraryThing, some folks have added Common Knowledge places to books. Just add "CK: Important Places" to one of your lists of books to see if someone entered a place that you need.

Here is a link to some book suggestions for the 50 states:
Kids books: http://wrappedinfoil.com/
http://www.businessinsider.com/most-famous-book-set-in-every-state-map-2013-10
http://www.bkmag.com/---/the-literary-united-states-a-map-of-the-best-book-for-every-state/

2016 BC links
Jan –Mar 2016 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/526659
Apr – June 2016 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/529335
July – Sept 2016 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/531536
Oct – Dec 2016 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/534600

2015 BC links
Jan – Mar 2015 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/515029
Apr – June 2015 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/518295
July – Sept 2015 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/520454
Oct – Dec 2015 http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/523521


Here are the states:
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
District of Columbia (optional)
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I managed to complete both previous challenges, and have been saving "state" books for this one. Some states can be really hard to find interesting books for. Good luck to everyone on the coming challenge!
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I'm in.

I have an Oklahoma book in transit to me... :)
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Hooked into Murder by Celeste Bennett. This is actually the 2nd book in her Yarn Genie mysteries. My daughter bought me both autographed books. About a spoiled billionaire woman who suddenly loses all her money. She basically knows how to do nothing for herself, but has been involved in two criminal situations. Probably self published, many editing mistakes make it hard to read smoothly.
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I think I only managed a few on my first try with this one last year...I'll have to find the old thread and review to see for certain, but I'm going to try again this year!!! THANKS for hosting, NancyNova!!! : )
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I think I only managed a few on my first try with this one last year...I'll have to find the old thread and review to see for certain, but I'm going to try again this year!!! THANKS for hosting, NancyNova!!! : )

HAHAHAHAHA!!! "A few" was wishful thinking on my part. I only managed ONE last year, see here http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/6/531536/8782853, but I'm happy I searched back because NN's response reminded me of the Linda Lael Miller series books I wanted to check back on. Can't recall if they contain any "States", but I think I own a few of them, and if not...the Library may. I believe I'll turn my States Challenge into a 24-month Challenge. Read 1 last year, need 52 with DC for this year...wish me luck!!! I'm hoping this combines well with this newest challenge from efell I recently joined that someone here may also be interested in...

READING challenge 2017 (efell) http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/6/536928,

and these other two I've joined this year (all are listed on my Bookshelf)...

Challenge yourself to read from the 1001 list 2017 (Stoepbrak) http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/537603

666 for 2017- an around the world reading challenge (kiwiinengland) http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/537414

I better quit while I'm ahead and START READING!!! : D
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I too join LOTS of challenges, and then wind up juggling them. But it does direct my reading a bit, instead of the same old, same old that I would tend to do otherwise. And it's good to see what others are reading, albeit dangerous because then those go on my wishlist...and then there are MORE books in my house.
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A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14345856

Billed as "a modern classic" - it gets assigned to students often, probably because it provides quite a bit of food for thought - and for essays/book reports.

Other 2017 Vermont reads:

▫ A Part of the Sky by Robert Newton Peck
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12900869
▫ Sable by Karen Hesse
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14637398

2017 states read so far: VT
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A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14345856

Billed as "a modern classic" - it gets assigned to students often, probably because it provides quite a bit of food for thought - and for essays/book reports.

2017 states read so far: VT


I never heard of this "classic"
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A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14345856

Billed as "a modern classic" - it gets assigned to students often, probably because it provides quite a bit of food for thought - and for essays/book reports.

2017 states read so far: VT


I never heard of this "classic"

It was on all the reading lists when I was in school...and the "modern classic" line comes from the front cover. Copyright 1972.

The markings on my copy look like they were made by a student. Of course, since it's the sort of book that gets assigned in school, the would-be book banners are all over it...
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I want to do this , so will just keep plodding on.
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I want to do this , so will just keep plodding on.

Good for you! I admire anyone outside the US who tries this - it must be so much harder! (Some states are challenging even for those of us who live here...)
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I want to do this , so will just keep plodding on.


Glad to have you. Some searches will turn up various books - and sometimes the Young Adult ones are easier to find and read!
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#6 because I restarted the challenge late last year for another round

Bygones by LaVryle Spencer http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/6089220

Women's fiction that unfortunately was not one of her better ones - and of course had the requisite happy ending. Set in Minneapolis, there was a lot of description of the town, since there was a lot of setting in the old house, and the ex's new condo - similarity and differences between the locations.

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The Last Town by Blake Crouch

I saved this book on purpose, from last year so I could use it for Idaho in this challenge. It is the 3rd in his Wayward Pines series, and I liked it the best.

In this series, some people were put into suspended animation for 1800 years. When they were awoken, they discovered that people that woke before them had built a town. They also found out that the town was surrounded by a 25 foot high electric fence to keep the "abbies" out. It seems that they are the last human surviors on earth. In this book, the man that made all this happen gets mad, opens the gate and the abbies attack. Will any one survive, and what will happen to them?
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In this series, some people were put into suspended animation for 1800 years. When they were awoken, they discovered that people that woke before them had built a town. They also found out that the town was surrounded by a 25 foot high electric fence to keep the "abbies" out. It seems that they are the last human surviors on earth. In this book, the man that made all this happen gets mad, opens the gate and the abbies attack. Will any one survive, and what will happen to them?

Sounds like an interesting series..and it's always good to find something for Idaho. :)
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Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Audio download with multiple readers

Auggie knows he's just an ordinary kid inside, but other people don't see that, at least not at first. Born with multiple genetic conditions resulting in a face that startles people at first glance and makes them stare or look away, Auggie has been homeschooled all his life. But fifth grade brings lots of changes: his parents decide that he should start going to a private school, which means a lot of adjustments on everyone's part.

The story is told from multiple viewpoints: Auggie's, his sister's, her boyfriend's, Auggie's friends..

Auggie has a great family and some terrific teachers: I love Mr. Browne's precepts.

2017 states read so far: NY ▪ VT
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Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Audio download with multiple readers



How did that work with multiple readers? Helped or disconcerting?
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Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Audio download with multiple readers

How did that work with multiple readers? Helped or disconcerting?

It was fine: different parts of the book are told from different viewpoints (Auggie's, his sister's, his friend's, etc.) so a new voice/style helped emphasize that events were being presented from someone else's perspective.
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East of the Mountains, by David Guterson

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14350721

Great read - the sort of book that really absorbs you. Ben Givens is a retired Seattle doctor, diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. He takes his dogs and his gun and sets off for a final hunting trip close to his birthplace in rural Washington state, with the intention never to return...
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East of the Mountains, by David Guterson

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14350721

Great read - the sort of book that really absorbs you. Ben Givens is a retired Seattle doctor, diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. He takes his dogs and his gun and sets off for a final hunting trip close to his birthplace in rural Washington state, with the intention never to return...


Your description made me pull my copy back out of the availables and onto a bookshelf for reading :-)
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This is year 3 for me of this challenge, I am determined to complete at some time.

The book I am claiming for Oklahoma is: In the Kingdom of Men by Kim Barnes. About a barefoot girl from Oklahoma who moves with her husband to the oil fields of Saudi Arabia. Gin was raised by her strict grandfather in a two room shack, but becomes an oil company wife in Saudi where she becomes aware of the corruption and the tale climaxes around the death of a young Bedouin woman.


States Completed
Alabama, Arizona, California , Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii , Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts , Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma Pennsylvania , Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin
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Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Born in Pennsylvania but raised in Minnesota, Cheryl's life goes haywire after death of her mother, and collapse of her marriage, disintegration of her birth family. She decides that a walk along the Pacific Crest Trail will assist her get her life together.
I found her very annoying and wanted to shout at her to pull her self together, her reaction to her mother's death seems so self indulgent. Nevertheless she proved she was made of stronger stuff and undertakes a fascinating physical and mental challenge. Inspiring.


34 States completed: Alabama, Arizona, California , Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii , Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts , Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania , Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin
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Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Born in Pennsylvania but raised in Minnesota, Cheryl's life goes haywire after death of her mother, and collapse of her marriage, disintegration of her birth family. ........


Good to know that the author was born in Pa for another challenge.....
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Ford County: Stories by John Grisham
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14356120/

Short stories set in Ford County, Mississippi (same setting as A Time to Kill). Interesting characters; been a while since I've read any Grisham novels.
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The Affair Lee Child I am not a huge fan of Jack Reacher but he is great for a quick lazy Sunday afternoon read when you are tired from reading something far more literary.
I am pleased I read this however as it takes you back to the start of the whole roaming across the USA. In this book set in 1997 Reacher is still an MP and he is sent on a "mission" to investigate the killing of a woman in the town next to a secret army base. It concludes with Reacher hitting the road and the legend begins.


35 States completed: Alabama, Arizona, California , Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii , Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts , Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania , Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin
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The Mirror in My Dorm Room by Lashonda Beauregard. I read this on my Kindle, a short 44 pages. NOT recommended! It reads like a 10th graders English assignment, full of bad grammer, punctuation mistakes and just bad sentences. One that really grated on me was:
"It was more cars in the parking lot than I thought." How about...There were more cars in the parking lot than I thought. The plot is that she is able to go through a mirror in her dorm room, back to the 1930ties where she apparently is assumed to be Laurice Haywood.
Laurice Haywood disappears in September of that year because she witnessed a murder and never reported it. As Laurice, the girl reports the matter to the police, the crime is solved and Laurice lives a long life.
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The Mirror in My Dorm Room by Lashonda Beauregard. I read this on my Kindle, a short 44 pages. NOT recommended! ......


With the e-books, unfortunately, there's a lot more self published/non-edited stuff out there.
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"I" is for Innocent by Sue Grafton
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"I" is for Innocent by Sue Grafton

Is this an author who tends to have a book/state?
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All the books I have read so far are set in California.
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"I" is for Innocent by Sue Grafton

Is this an author who tends to have a book/state?

As I recall, Kinsey's adventures are mostly in California, but she does make occasional forays into Vegas, etc.

On the other hand, the series is well on its way to one book for every letter of the alphabet (the most recent one is X). http://suegrafton.com
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No, I am a big fan and everyone A to X was set in California

"I" is for Innocent by Sue Grafton

Is this an author who tends to have a book/state?

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Seizure by Kathy Reichs

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14167915

Seemed to be a YA book which surprised me - thought Reichs mainly wrote thrillers for adults. Slightly far fetched treasure hunt, a bit like a modern day American Enid Blyton, but an enjoyable read and bits of it were quite informative about 18th century pirate activity off the Carolina coast.
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Seizure by Kathy Reichs

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14167915

Seemed to be a YA book which surprised me - thought Reichs mainly wrote thrillers for adults. Slightly far fetched treasure hunt, a bit like a modern day American Enid Blyton, but an enjoyable read and bits of it were quite informative about 18th century pirate activity off the Carolina coast.


I looked up her book log. Apparently this one is part of her "viral" series
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Yeah I saw the first in the series in the Oxfam shop on Saturday but they are quite dear for books and it wasn't *that* good. Will pick it up if I see it somewhere cheaper... I had started but abandoned one of her adult fiction last year, worth giving her another try I think.
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Yeah I saw the first in the series in the Oxfam shop on Saturday but they are quite dear for books and it wasn't *that* good. Will pick it up if I see it somewhere cheaper... I had started but abandoned one of her adult fiction last year, worth giving her another try I think.
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Another read on my Kindle.

Still Surviving Henry by Erin Taylor Young. A sequel to Surviving Henry.

Think Marley and Me, only with a Boxer instead of a Labrador.
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goodnight, nobody by Jennifer Weiner.

Kate is a bored Connecticut housewife, taking care of 3 kids under four while her husband commutes to New York each day and comes home late. She tries to make friends with the perfect "Stepford Wives" but that doesn't work too well. When she discovers the body of one when she arrives at her house for a playdate, Kate decides to solve the crime herself. After all, she used to be a New York reporter. Problem is, she can only work on it every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:45 to 11:30 while the kids are in nursery school.
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....Problem is, she can only work on it every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:45 to 11:30 while the kids are in nursery school.


And despite the shortened work hours, I'm sure she solves the mystery!
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The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14044305/

The personal and racing story of the eight-oar rowing crew from the University of Washington who overcame personal setbacks and the odds of besting the more 'elite' crews to represent the US in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Highly recommended.
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The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14044305/

The personal and racing story of the eight-oar rowing crew from the University of Washington who overcame personal setbacks and the odds of besting the more 'elite' crews to represent the US in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Highly recommended.


I have that on my TBR shelves, but don't have it marked as a potential match for Washington state. Off to remedy that!
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#3 New Jersey

How I paid for college, by Marc Acito

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13861705

Brilliant. Only bought and read this because of the States challenge, and it was laugh out loud funny (laughed out loud on a bus in a part of Glasgow where laughing at books is not normal...). Edward is a would be Julliard student struggling with his sexuality and other teenage concerns in suburban New Jersey. His businessman father threatens to scupper his college plans and Edward and his friends come up with some very dodgy (and very funny) ways of paying his fees. Brilliant characters and dialogue.
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How I paid for college, by Marc Acito

.....Edward and his friends come up with some very dodgy (and very funny) ways of paying his fees. ........


Mine came up with playing on-line poker for 2 years....and yes, he has such a math-centric brain, that he WON to the tune of 7k/year..,..Much to my dismay. I don't cotton much to gambling.
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#8 Ohio

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez https://www.librarything.com/---/reviews

Mostly set in the summers at a resort where the white plantation owners would bring their slave mistresses instead of their wives, right before the civil war. Reread for book club and although not "liked" as it's a disturbing read, all felt it was worth reading.
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A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14376782/

In 1907 Wisconsin, businessman and widower Ralph Truitt advertises for a 'reliable wife' and selects Catherine Land, who writes that she is a 'simple honest woman'. She is not as she presents herself and has her own agenda.

This is a 2012 US World Book Night edition. I did not particularly enjoy this book, but it was for a state I needed and wanted to find out why it was a WBN selection.
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A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14376782/

In 1907 Wisconsin, businessman and widower Ralph Truitt advertises for a 'reliable wife' and selects Catherine Land, who writes that she is a 'simple honest woman'. She is not as she presents herself and has her own agenda.

This is a 2012 US World Book Night edition. I did not particularly enjoy this book, but it was for a state I needed and wanted to find out why it was a WBN selection.


Thanks for the review. I do have another for Wisconsin, so this is culled from Mt Toobie.....
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I've Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark.

Two interwoven plot lines:

1) 5 years ago, when Timmy was three, a man with blue eyes shot his father in front of him. Blue Eyes threatened to get Timmy's mom, and then Timmy himself.

2) Timmy's mom is trying to get a new TV series up and running. She is reenacting a murder that happened 20 years ago, at a graduation party for four graduates. They have always been "under suspicion" for the unsolved mystery.

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#4 Tennessee

If I was your girl, by Meredith Russo

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14378151

Bit of difficulty working out the state for this one - it starts in Atlanta (or as the main character is leaving that city) and then goes to a fictional town. However based on Knoxville and Chattanooga featuring in the book, and having consulted a map, I'm going with Tennessee.

Fabulous book about a transgender teenage girl growing up in the American south. Should be on the curriculum but under Trump it's probably more likely to be banned. Sensitive, well written and insightful (and by a trans author).

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If I was your girl, by Meredith Russo

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14378151

Bit of difficulty working out the state for this one - it starts in Atlanta (or as the main character is leaving that city) and then goes to a fictional town. However based on Knoxville and Chattanooga featuring in the book, and having consulted a map, I'm going with Tennessee.

Fabulous book about a transgender teenage girl growing up in the American south. Should be on the curriculum but under Trump it's probably more likely to be banned. Sensitive, well written and insightful (and by a trans author).



Sometimes, it's a fictional town but a real state and that's OK. And if you're playing the ReadHarder challenge, this book will likely fit.
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If I was your girl, by Meredith Russo

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14378151

Bit of difficulty working out the state for this one - it starts in Atlanta (or as the main character is leaving that city) and then goes to a fictional town. However based on Knoxville and Chattanooga featuring in the book, and having consulted a map, I'm going with Tennessee.

Fabulous book about a transgender teenage girl growing up in the American south. Should be on the curriculum but under Trump it's probably more likely to be banned. Sensitive, well written and insightful (and by a trans author).

Good to know you liked it: I have an e-book version that's TBR.
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Labour Dispute, by Emilie Richards

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14379410

A guilty Sunday night escape - the novel I have on the go is quite hard work. I don't like romance as a genre and would never have picked this up but for the States reading challenge - it's set in Missouri! Actually quite enjoyed it, about a farmer's wife pregnant with her fourth child and questioning her role, in a very tentatively feminist way...
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Labour Dispute, by Emilie Richards

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14379410

A guilty Sunday night escape - the novel I have on the go is quite hard work. I don't like romance as a genre and would never have picked this up but for the States reading challenge - it's set in Missouri! Actually quite enjoyed it, about a farmer's wife pregnant with her fourth child and questioning her role, in a very tentatively feminist way...


Good idea for me if I get stuck for Missouri. While a "romance" it's not a harlequin!
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One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14305080

Three young African-American girls are sent to spend the summer in Oakland, California with the mother who left them behind years before. It's 1968, which is an eventful time in the California Bay Area...

Interesting, and I enjoyed Delphine (the oldest girl) a lot. I find it difficult to imagine someone really naming their child Hirohito, but that's just my opinion. :s

2017 states read so far: CA ▪ NY ▪ VT
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The Course of Empire by Eric Flint & K.D. Wentworth
e-book from the Baen Free Library
http://www.baen.com/the-course-of-empire.html

Book 1 in the three-part Jao Empire series. Twenty years after aliens take over Earth, a young Jao subcommander is sent to the planet to take over command of the ground forces. Aille must find a way to work around tyrannical (and very possibly not sane) Governor Oppuk and utilize his new human and Jao staff to defend the Earth against the deadly Ekhat - the alien race which created the Jao. Events take place in several US states: Oklahoma (Jao HQ on Earth), Oregon (the pivotal whale hunt and the razing of Salem), and Mississippi (Aille's base, where much of the defense preparation takes place).

2017 states read so far: CA ▪ MS ▪ NY ▪ VT
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Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia
e-book from the Baen Free Library
http://www.baen.com/monster-hunter-international.html

Book 1 in the series: this is a re-read because I read book 1 then skipped to book 4. Now I'm going back to try to fill in the gaps but decided to revisit book 1 again first.

Owen Pitt is trying to be an ordinary accountant, even though he has a terrible boss. Really terrible: Owen's supervisor turns out to be a werewolf, and in order to survive, Owen ends up pushing him out of a 14th-floor window.

While this does mean he loses his job(!), he finds himself with another offer - from an organization called Monster Hunter International, headquartered in Cazador, Alabama.

MHI does pretty much exactly what you'd expect based on their name: they hunt inhuman monsters. These are the ones the federal government doesn't want the general population to know about - not ordinary criminals, but werewolves, vampires, and all sorts of other nasty creatures.

2017 states read so far: AL ▪ CA ▪ MS ▪ NY ▪ VT
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Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14379383

It's 1914, and 14-year-old Peewee plans to help her big brother Jake run a garage in their small Indiana town - the paved road will be coming their way soon, and automobiles are the new big thing. Then a carful of young lady librarians turns up on their doorstep, and Peewee, Jake, and the whole town find all sorts of unexpected changes happening..

2017 states read so far: AL ▪ CA ▪ IN ▪ MS ▪ NY ▪ VT
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......- the paved road will be coming their way soon, and automobiles are the new big thing.


Hard to imagine the lack of roads in 2017, isn't it?
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Hap and Leonard by Joe R. Lansdale
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13866271

This edition is a tie-in to the TV series, but the TV show is based on the books featuring these characters.

Hap Collins is white, liberal, hetero, and a former hippie. Leonard Pine is black, Republican, gay, and a Vietnam vet. That doesn't seem like a combination that should work, but it does. These two best friends get into a whole lot of trouble (more often than not, they go looking for it), mostly in East Texas. To be honest, I'm not at all sure I'd like these guys in person - they're violent and crude and I'd probably be completely intimidated (although they are essentially "good" guys rather than bad) - but I enjoy reading about their crazy escapades.

This book contains less-than-novel-length works in the series, including a couple of prequels which I really liked: "The Boy Who Became Invisible" is the sort of thing that can haunt you.

2017 states read so far: AL ▪ CA ▪ IN ▪ MS ▪ NY ▪ TX ▪ VT
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The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13622688/

Widower Aaron Woolcott, whose wife, Dorothy, died in a freak accident, begins to see and speak with her while he begins to process his life, courtship, and marriage after the event. A short (under 200 pages) quiet read.
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New Hampshire - Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13251652
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#16: NY : Sharon Sala - Blutroter Schnee: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9684677
A bestselling author got bad notes, so a "friend" protected her

#17: NC: Kay Hooper - Das Böse im Blut: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13692794
ein brutal crimstory with inspectors who have an special extrasensory powers - quite interesting

States alredy fineshed 2016:
AL • AK • CO • CT • ID • KS • MA • MN • MO• NH • NJ • OH • VA • WA • WV •

my states 2017:
NY • NC •
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Sing Down the Moon by Scott O'Dell
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14381753

Newbery Honor book. Read this years ago but didn't remember it, so I thought I'd read it again before releasing it.

Fourteen-year-old Bright Morning and her friend Running Bird are tending their sheep in Canyon de Chelly when Spanish slavers take them prisoner. The girls are taken to a town to work as domestic servants. After an eventful escape during which one of their party is seriously injured, they try to settle back into their lives...but then the Long Knives (white soldiers) arrive with a message ordering the Navajo out of the canyon.

2017 states read so far: AL ▪ AZ ▪ CA ▪ IN ▪ MS ▪ NY ▪ TX ▪ VT
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Graverobbers Wanted: No Experience Needed by Jeff Strand

Jeff and his friend Roger are in want of some money pretty badly, so when a beautiful lady asked them to dig up her dead husband (in a secluded spot) so she could retrieve a missing key, they jumped at the $20,000 offer. Only it turned out he wasn't dead, he had been buried alive, with a guy. A now insane guy came out of the coffin shooting, then started banging his head with the gun and eventually clawed his eyes out...and the fun is just beginning!
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Graverobbers Wanted: No Experience Needed by Jeff Strand

Jeff and his friend Roger are in want of some money pretty badly, so when a beautiful lady asked them to dig up her dead husband (in a secluded spot) so she could retrieve a missing key, they jumped at the $20,000 offer. Only it turned out he wasn't dead, he had been buried alive, with a guy. A now insane guy came out of the coffin shooting, then started banging his head with the gun and eventually clawed his eyes out...and the fun is just beginning!

Wow, sounds like a wild ride! :)
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Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14386896/

Raised by their elderly aunts, Gillian and Sally Owens were taunted growing up due to their aunts' mysterious ways. Each escapes in her own way, only to reunite with each other and their aunts to put their lives back in order.

The book opens in Massachusetts but the bulk of the narrative takes place on Long Island, New York.
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Shem Creek by Dorothea Benton Frank
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13712850

A predictable story.
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......A predictable story.


But sometimes that a good read when the brain needs a little down time!
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This showed up in my e-mail so I thought I'd share it here: looks like they're posting a new state each Thursday. They seem to be going in the order the states joined the Union (see http://www.50states.com/statehood.htm) , so Hawaii will be last. :s

• Suggestions from Penguin Random House (overview): http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/the-united-states-of-books/
This is presumably where we'll find additional states as they post them. Click on a state name to see the full list for that state; click on a book title for details.

I find alphabetical order easier for looking up the states, so...these are the ones posted so far.

• Connecticut (Week 5: February 2)
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/---/the-united-states-of-books-connecticut

• Delaware (Week 1: January 5)
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/---/the-united-states-of-books-delaware

• Georgia (Week 4: January 26)
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/---/the-united-states-of-books-georgia

• New Jersey (Week 3: January 19)
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/---/the-united-states-of-books-new-jersey

• Pennsylvania (Week 2: January 12)
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/---/the-united-states-of-books-pennsylvania
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This showed up in my e-mail so I thought I'd share it here: looks like they're posting a new state each Thursday. They seem to be going in the order the states joined the Union (see http://www.50states.com/statehood.htm) , so Hawaii will be last. :s

• Suggestions from Penguin Random House (overview): http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/the-united-states-of-books/
This is presumably where we'll find additional states as they post them. Click on a state name to see the full list for that state; click on a book title for details.

I find alphabetical order easier for looking up the states, so...these are the ones posted so far.

• Connecticut (Week 5: February 2)
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/---/the-united-states-of-books-connecticut

• Delaware (Week 1: January 5)
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/---/the-united-states-of-books-delaware

• Georgia (Week 4: January 26)
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/---/the-united-states-of-books-georgia

• New Jersey (Week 3: January 19)
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/---/the-united-states-of-books-new-jersey

• Pennsylvania (Week 2: January 12)
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/---/the-united-states-of-books-pennsylvania


Thanks for yet another source of book ideas!
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Fractured by Catherine McKenzie. This one will make my best of the month list.

Hard to describe this psychological thriller, possibly along the lines of Gone Girl. It is told from two different points of view.

Julie is an author who lived in Tacoma, WA when she wrote her first book, which turned out to be a blockbuster. However, she has bouts of depression, and someone she knew from her past started stalking her and making threats, so Julie's family moved to Cincinnati, OH. While she some how never really fit into the neighborhood, she did become running partners with her neighbor across the street, John.

Soon she is feeling stalked again, and things rapidly get out of control, especially with one lady, Cindy, trying to control the whole street, telling people what they can and can not do. Things just go from bad to worst, until something terrible happens.
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Fractured by Catherine McKenzie. This one will make my best of the month list.......



And it's only the beginning of the month!
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I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10197859/

In Birmingham, realtor Maggie Fortenberry (a former Miss Alabama), discouraged by a failing economy and her life in general, questions continuing her life and takes steps to end it all - but reality gets in the way.
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I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10197859/

In Birmingham, realtor Maggie Fortenberry (a former Miss Alabama), discouraged by a failing economy and her life in general, questions continuing her life and takes steps to end it all - but reality gets in the way.


I'll keep this author in mind for Alabama. I read something of hers ages ago and didn't like it. Maybe it wasn't the right book at the right time for me.
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A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 by Simon Winchester http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14385904/

Teacher Man by Frank McCourt http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8083509/
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Home by Harlan Coben

2 six year old boys were abducted, never to be seen again. Ten years later, one of them is found. Where has he been all this time, what happened to him, and where is the other boy? Coben brings back Myron Bolitar and friends to help solve the mystery.
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#6 Texas

The Man Who Cycled the World, by Mark Beaumont

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14333448

He travels through multiple states as he pedals from San Francisco to Florida, but the largest was Texas so I've chosen that. The story of a Scotsman who circumnavigated the world by bike in 176 days. A phenomenal achievement and interesting tale. 
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The Man Who Cycled the World, by Mark Beaumont

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14333448

He travels through multiple states as he pedals from San Francisco to Florida, but the largest was Texas so I've chosen that. The story of a Scotsman who circumnavigated the world by bike in 176 days. A phenomenal achievement and interesting tale. 


That is a phenomenal achievement!
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#7 Hawaii

Another one that jumps through multiple states, but I've decided to use it for Hawaii as I had to buy a second hand book from the States for Hawaii last year...

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14277863

Tripwire, by Jack Child

Didn't get into this one to start with and set it aside for a while... it got better later in the book and turned into the usual Jack Reacher page turner... Reacher on the trail of a mystery missing soldier from Vietnam.
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Another one that jumps through multiple states, but I've decided to use it for Hawaii as I had to buy a second hand book from the States for Hawaii last year...

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14277863

Tripwire, by Jack Child

Didn't get into this one to start with and set it aside for a while... it got better later in the book and turned into the usual Jack Reacher page turner... Reacher on the trail of a mystery missing soldier from Vietnam.


Glad to read in your review that it turned into a page-turner!
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Another one that jumps through multiple states, but I've decided to use it for Hawaii as I had to buy a second hand book from the States for Hawaii last year...

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14277863

Tripwire, by Jack Child

Wow, Reacher makes it to Hawaii? I had no idea...I wonder if Lee Child is deliberately trying to have him visit all the states.
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The Ghost Writer by Damon Narko - on my Kindle

Ghosts are now the "in" thing to be. When you die, or sometimes, even before you die, you can be recruited by the Orpheum Corporation. They hire ghosts to haunt mansions, graveyards, castles, caves, battle grounds, etc. The money you earn as a ghost can be sent to your loved ones or some charity that you liked. Arnold is an older ghost, and has been writing stories about his life in his spare time. As he writes, he discovers that he remembers that he used to have feelings, and he begins to think that he is starting to feel again. This is not allowed, and the corporation tries to hunt him down so they can disperse all his elements to the winds. Arnold meets
some other rebel ghosts. And that is pretty much where the story comes to an abrupt end. I didn't like the ending, it just didn't make much sense.
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The Ghost Writer by Damon Narko - on my Kindle

Ghosts are now the "in" thing to be. When you die, or sometimes, even before you die, you can be recruited by the Orpheum Corporation. They hire ghosts to haunt mansions, graveyards, castles, caves, battle grounds, etc. The money you earn as a ghost can be sent to your loved ones or some charity that you liked. Arnold is an older ghost, and has been writing stories about his life in his spare time. As he writes, he discovers that he remembers that he used to have feelings, and he begins to think that he is starting to feel again. This is not allowed, and the corporation tries to hunt him down so they can disperse all his elements to the winds. Arnold meets
some other rebel ghosts. And that is pretty much where the story comes to an abrupt end. I didn't like the ending, it just didn't make much sense.


Maybe it's to leave you wanting a sequel?
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Putting on the Witch by Joyce and Jim Lavene

I am very sad to learn that both people in this writing team have passed on. I especially liked their Renassiance series. I will miss reading their books.

Putting on the Witch was the 3rd book in their Retired Witches series. In this book, Molly and her coven are invited to Brian's birthday party. While at the castle, a murder occurs, and all witches are imprisoned in the castle for 24 hours while it is investigated. I feel like several things were wrapped up in this book. They find their lost spell book, turn down seats on the council. It looks like Dorothy and Brian will marry. Olivia remains a ghost, but is learning different powers. Elsie will marry the werewolf, Jerry. And Molly and her family will be safe and secure with her powers from her amulet.
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By Ace Atkins

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14365697

Great thriller set in Mississippi- two violent escaped cons are on the run as a tornado approaches town. Very southern feel, I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

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The Black Wolves of Boston by Wen Spencer
e-book

Joshua thinks he's just a normal high school senior until he finds himself in the hospital after a massacre and his life gets turned upside down. Soon he's involved with werewolves, a vampire, and all sorts of other people he never imagined.

The action takes place both in Massachusetts & New York.

2017 states read so far (9/51): AL ▪ AZ ▪ CA ▪ IN ▪ MA ▪ MS ▪ NY ▪ TX ▪ VT
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Rachel Calof's Story: Jewish Homesteader on the Northern Plains by Rachel Calof
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14381982

Rachel Bella Calof's memoir of her early life and her time homesteading in North Dakota, plus an afterward by her son and two essays about Jewish homesteaders - not that there's any reason they shouldn't have been homesteaders, but I had no idea that was even a thing...until now.

2017 states read so far (10/51): AL ▪ AZ ▪ CA ▪ IN ▪ MA ▪ MS ▪ NY ▪ ND ▪ TX ▪ VT
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Rachel Calof's Story: Jewish Homesteader on the Northern Plains by Rachel Calof
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14381982

Rachel Bella Calof's memoir of her early life and her time homesteading in North Dakota, plus an afterward by her son and two essays about Jewish homesteaders - not that there's any reason they shouldn't have been homesteaders, but I had no idea that was even a thing...until now.

2017 states read so far (10/51): AL ▪ AZ ▪ CA ▪ IN ▪ MA ▪ MS ▪ NY ▪ ND ▪ TX ▪ VT


I'm also surprised. Because typically Jews were not permitted to be landowners, they usually gravitated to the cities, not farms.
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Rachel Calof's Story: Jewish Homesteader on the Northern Plains by Rachel Calof
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14381982

Rachel Bella Calof's memoir of her early life and her time homesteading in North Dakota, plus an afterward by her son and two essays about Jewish homesteaders - not that there's any reason they shouldn't have been homesteaders, but I had no idea that was even a thing...until now.

2017 states read so far (10/51): AL ▪ AZ ▪ CA ▪ IN ▪ MA ▪ MS ▪ NY ▪ ND ▪ TX ▪ VT

I'm also surprised. Because typically Jews were not permitted to be landowners, they usually gravitated to the cities, not farms.

Yes, that's why the book caught my eye in the first place - it seemed quite unusual. These settlers faced more challenges than the average: there's a bit where everyone is desperate for protein so they decide to slaughter one of their few oxen for a baby's bris but then _after_ the ox is killed, the shochet declares it not kosher - which is rather a disaster for the families. I suspect that one of the reasons people tried this was because they *could* - they weren't forbidden to own land in the US.

(Note: I'm not Jewish, so please forgive me if I got any of the terms wrong.)
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only one book in February!

#18: CA: Chris Carter - Der Crucifixkiller: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/11976025
ein brutal crimstory, fouled up beyond all recognition dead body, But I like the inspectors R. Hunter and his new compagnon - so I read fast the 500 pages


States alredy fineshed 2016:
AL • AK • CO • CT • ID • KS • MA • MN • MO• NH • NJ • OH • VA • WA • WV •

my states 2017:
• CA • NY • NC •
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Force of Nature by C.J. Box

This is the 12th book in his Joe Pickett series, and maybe the best. It was very hard to put down. A lot of the book was about his friend Nate, and the secret that he has run from all these years.

Nate is scared, and if Nate is scared, you know something really bad is going to happen. Nate has learned that his old special ops unit is coming after him
and he knows that they will let nothing stand in their way, especially any of Nate's friends. A lot of violence goes down in the mountains of Wyoming during this period of time. We all know Nate has his own way of doing things, but will it keep him alive this time?
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Summer Blowout by Claire Cook. Wasn't as good as some I've read by her.

Bella works for her dad, (as does her whole family) at his hair and beauty salons. She is obsessed with lipstick. She is in a really bitter mood about men, since her half sister started dating her ex husband. While doing a beauty thing at a college, she meets Ryan, but keeps trying to reject his advances. Of course, that doesn't work and by the end of the book they are a couple.
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#9 Alabama

Looking for Alaska, by John Green

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14395455

I seem to be concentrating on the Southern states first this year - not intentional! This book was sent to me by another bookcrosser and was an enjoyable read about teenagers coming of age at a boarding school in Alabama.

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Looking for Alaska, by John Green

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14395455

I seem to be concentrating on the Southern states first this year - not intentional! This book was sent to me by another bookcrosser and was an enjoyable read about teenagers coming of age at a boarding school in Alabama.



I did a double take. I would have guessing this book was set in Alaska from the title, but I guess the southerners were just Looking for that.
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It's been a while since I read a book set in a state that I didn't already report on!

Cowboy by Sara Davidson http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/846224
A now out of print ray, about a screen writer who meets a rawhide artisan cowboy, embarks on an affair with him and tries to shoehorn him into Malibu life, without a whole lot of success. Written as a fictionalized memoir.
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Everywhere That Mary Went by Lisa Scottoline

First book in her law series. I have had several books on MTBR for years, and finally started one. I thought it was okay. Mary has spent 8 years trying to make partner, and is on track to be one in a few months. Someone has been sending her threatening notes and calls her and hangs up. She recently lost her husband to a hit and run, and then the same thing happens to her secretary when she is walking down the street with him. Who is out to get her and why?
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Everywhere That Mary Went by Lisa Scottoline

First book in her law series. I have had several books on MTBR for years, and finally started one. I thought it was okay. Mary has spent 8 years trying to make partner, and is on track to be one in a few months. Someone has been sending her threatening notes and calls her and hangs up. She recently lost her husband to a hit and run, and then the same thing happens to her secretary when she is walking down the street with him. Who is out to get her and why?


Lisa is from my area of PA & that's the setting for most of her books. I find them variable also - some are really good, others so-so
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East of the Mountains by David Guterson http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/6085301

I almost sent this book on it's way w/o reading it until I caught another reviewer here in the states challenge. It really was good after all - lots of lovely description about the mountainous portion of Washington state with all the orchards. And a good story to go with it.
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An American Plague by Jim Murphy http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14231716

This is the second book I've read about the Yellow Fever epidemic in my hometown of Philadelphia. A YA history book, with lots of clippings from the newspapers of the times, plus a lot of info that I didn't know. The last chapter is sobering - Yellow Fever is just dormant, not defeated and can come roaring back any day.
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The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14506071/

Jean is given a photographic assignment to detail a double murder from the previous century on the remote island of Smuttynose off the coast of Maine. She, along with her husband and child, brother-in-law and his girlfriend, sail to the island for her research. Interspersed with their experiences is a written narrative by the survivor of the murders.

I've not had great success in enjoying her works, but I found this one quite held my interest.

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