My daughter has a goal to read a book about every president. I decided to take that same idea, but change it up a little. I have always loved history and geography. So I decided make my goal about US History, but keep it more specific and read about individual states.
I don’t have a set time frame in mind for this goal. But over the next couple of years I want to read at least one non-fiction book about every state in the US.
I decided to keep the basic subject of each state pretty flexible. As long as it is about the state in general, a famous event that happened in the state, a person that has helped form the history of the state, or even a book about a specific town or time period of a state, will count.
I have not given myself strict rules for this challenge. My main goal is to read more non-fiction books that are a little different than the normal books that I tend to read.
Today I am sharing a few of the books that I have read so far. I will occasionally share updates about how the challenge is going.
- (Alaska) If You Lived Here I Would Know Your Name– The author writes for her local small town newspaper and she shares her story and the story of the people around her in this book. It contains a lot about small town Alaskan life, but it also contains so much about small towns in general. If you grew up in a small town like I did, than you can probably relate to a lot of the stories in this book. Many of the stories though are simply stories that would only happen in Alaska, which makes it the perfect book for my challenge.
- (Maine) The Stranger In the Woods– This was a fascinating book about a modern day hermit, and how he went undiscovered for years. It is one of those stories that is kind of unbelievable, but true. It happened in Maine and the book describes how Maine and its culture, landscape, and people made this possible.
- (North Carolina) The Last Castle, which I read last fall, will be my North Carolina book because it weaves so much of the history of that state into the story of the Vanderbilt family.
- (Ohio) The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio-This story in this book takes place in a small town in Ohio. It doesn’t cover a lot of Ohio history, but I am going to count it as my Ohio book because it shares a lot about what it was like to be a housewife in a small town in middle America during the 1950’s and 60’s. This is one reason that I am loving this challenge. So many of the books about an individual state tell the story about what so many others went through during that same time period.
- (Oklahoma) Dust Bowl Girls – This book made reading about girls basketball during the 1930’s interesting and fun. It is an inspiring story of how a group of girls, from small Oklahoma towns, inspired people going through some of the most difficult times in Oklahoma history. This book was not only a great read for my challenge, it will also make my list of top books for 2018.
- (Oregon)Shoe Dog-I am going to count it as a book about Oregon. Nike was founded in Oregon and the book shares so much about Oregon and life in Oregon during the years that Nike became the company it is today.
- (Oregon) The Oregon Trail– Some states might get two books, and Oregon is an example of that. This is totally different than the book Shoe Dog. The Oregon Trail A New American Journey covers so much more than Oregon history. It is a modern day story of two brothers, a covered wagon, and a team of mules who traveled the Oregon Trail in modern day. It weaves so much history of the Oregon Trail in an interesting and entertaining way.
- (Washington) The Boys In the Boat –This book weaves so much about Washington, the people, the weather, and more into it. It is perfect for a Washington state book.
Now I need your help! I am making a list of must read books about every state. I have a few on my list that I want to read, but I need help with many of the states.
Do you have any books to suggest? Can you think of a book from your state or a state that you know of that I can add to my list? Please leave a comment and share your suggestion. I hope to put a post together with all the suggestions so I can’t wait to hear what you have recommend.
5 thoughts on “Books For Every State Reading Challenge”
I’m totally going to steal your challenge idea. Thank you for sharing with us.
I am so glad that you like the challenge idea! I will be sharing updates and lists as I read more books for my challenge. So far I have found some great ones.
So, have you chosen a book for South Carolina yet?
No. Do you have one to recommend? I read The Last Castle for North Carolina, but don’t have one for South Carolina yet.
Definitely The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy.