As I tried to decide how to handle the multiple bird sightings in the books, I chuckled to myself that I could compile a “life list.” And then I stopped chuckling and realized that was actually ideal. Birding life lists are often broken down by geographic regions such as state. The table below can be […]

I’ve decided – I’m reading my way across the United States. Three to five books set in each state of the US – especially books where the setting becomes another character, and those which deal with some aspect of the people, geography, or history of the state.

If you have a woman, you recognize when you have said the wrong thing. Somehow she rearranges the ions in the air and you can’t breathe as well.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

I’m reading my way across the USA–3-5 books from each state, with an emphasis on books where the setting becomes another character, and which teach us something about the people, history, and/or geography of a particular state. We are just starting Georgia, and we have a good one here. The Last Buffalo Soldier is a […]

In my country, there is an old belief that if a bird flies into your home it is an angel who has come to guide you and you must look at its presence as a blessing from God. —House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III I’m not doing a full review of House […]

Georgia’s on my mind. We spent so much time in California, with 13 books read (!), that I knew I had to head somewhere completely different–and soon! So I decided to head to the Deep South. But what to do when I’ve already read most of the books that top everyone’s list for Georgia? Gone […]

The Buddha In the Attic by Julie Otsuka. I’ve been putting off this review for a while now. I’m not really sure where to begin. I loved it, but… It sort of worked for the challenge, but… The 1st person plural voice was an interesting technique, but… It’s a difficult book for me to write […]

This was an unexpected addition to my list, and it was a great one! I read this snippet from an interview with the author and just had to add it: One journalist kindly alerted me to the fact that there was a hoax in my Wikipedia entry, a claim that I was writing about “the […]

While I was investigating young adult and young reader choices for California, I stumbled across Ana of California by Andi Teran (2015), which is meant to be a modern take on Anne of Green Gables, the much loved classic book by Lucy Maud Montgomery from 1908. While the original took place in Canada, Ana of […]

I really enjoyed Vikram Seth’s The Golden Gate (1986). I was, understandably, a bit apprehensive about the whole verse thing… The Golden Gate is written in Onegin sonnets (for those interested in rhyme scheme and history, eNotes has an interesting analysis of the sonnet style used, available to the browsing public), but the voice is […]

Robert Louis Stevenson, Jekyll & Hyde, Jack the Ripper, and modern day land management ranger Rafael Salazar; London, a health spa in the Swiss Alps, the Samoan Islands, and Topanga Canyon near Los Angeles. If this sounds like an episode of “One of these things is not like the other…” well, you might be right, […]

What a fantastic choice for my reading challenge! The Wild Birds by Emily Strelow really hit the spot for California… or Oregon… or maybe Jefferson… Although the book info and many reviews say it follows three storylines/timelines, I’d actually say it’s more like 2… or 4. There are two main stories, plus two which are closely […]