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.

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 […]

As I noted on the main California page, I was somewhat hesitant to add Island of the Blue Dolphins to my list for California, because I was concerned about the possibility of a very dated view of Native Americans (it was first published in 1960). So I actually read an expanded version: Island of the […]

Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson (2016) is the second in the Gold Seer series, which began with Walk On Earth a Stranger. The first book sees the heroine and her childhood friend travel from Georgia along the Oregon Trail to California gold country in 1849, and although it was quite good and historically […]

As mentioned on my main California page, Walk On Earth a Stranger is the first in Rae Carson’s Gold Seer trilogy, and it mainly covers Leah’s journey from Georgia to California in 1849–and the historical information is fantastic! Because not much of it actually takes place in California, however, it’s not the best book for […]

Devil In a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley (1990) was a fantastic example of the noir genre, and a gritty private eye story from a black perspective. It was fast-paced, the main character was well-drawn, though I felt the supporting characters were not as convincing. The twist was a surprise (although it probably shouldn’t have […]

California, here we come! My adopted home state. We’ve been here since 2011. The company my husband works for moved from Milwaukee to Los Angeles when its founder did, and we came too. When we found out about the move, we looked at each other and grimaced. Los Angeles? LA-LA land? But we love it! […]

Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman was my young readers’ choice for Nebraska, and I must admit I was kind of disappointed in this one. Granted, the premise pretty much indicates that there’s not much plot to this one beyond the storm(s), but I guess I was expecting more than just a play-by-play–although, again, […]

The Meaning of Names by Karen Gettert Shoemaker (2014) was a nice little book, with a well-done historical setting. Stuart, Nebraska is along the northern border of the state, a bit east of center. At the time of the story, in 1918, it’s a rural farming community and small town with a rail line connecting […]

Nebraska. A place where every child knows the rules regarding thunderstorms, tornadoes, and blizzards. Where the weatherman’s report is listened to as if it were a message from God. Where the Farmer’s Almanac is a second Bible. Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos was a great addition to my challenge list! I’m reading my way […]