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.

I have kind of an odd reason for choosing Ohio next. First of all, I should say that I read more books than just those that I read for Reading My Way. And I am working on Book Riot’s Read Harder 2020 challenge. As I looked at books for that challenge, I took note of […]

Ok, I admit I was wrong to wait so long to read this! It’s beautiful and savage, and the characters are so wonderfully drawn. On the one hand, I totally agree with McMurtry himself, who said it was overly-romanticized: “Would you want your menfolk to act like that?” And on the other hand, I feel […]

Harrigan’s inclusion of a botanist as one of the fictional characters we follow across Texas, makes this book a great one for this challenge, but the pervasive mythology of the Alamo makes it an essential one. I am reading my way across the USA–5 or so books from each state, with an emphasis on those […]

This was a good book, and a good fit for our challenge, but not–for me anyway–a great book. It was a great look at an interesting period of time–Texas during Reconstruction–with lots of details about the timeframe. The profession of the main character as an itinerant newsreader means he’s an educated man and an outsider […]

Oof. This is not my cup of tea… or shot of whisky. There’s a reason I don’t read horror books. I’m not exactly squeamish, but I don’t really enjoy an excess of violence. That said, I’d rather read a book like this than watch the movie of it. Did it have a great sense of […]

Wow! If you want a good look at race relations in the 1930s, this is your book. It takes place in the Sabine River bottoms–which occupy several hundred miles along the border between Louisiana and Texas, south of Shreveport to just north of the Gulf of Mexico. Somewhere I read that the Sabine also marks […]

I’ve never been a fan of horror. But I have enjoyed several of Stephen King’s forays outside the genre. This is one I’ll add to that list. King says he got the idea and started writing it in the early days of his career but quickly realized he didn’t have the time or the skills […]

Texas. The Lone Star State. The Alamo. Oil. Guns. Football. Border politics. Where do we start? My husband and I drove with my sister-in-law from California to the east coast along the southern route late one fall sometime in the early to mid-’00s. On that trip we drove across Interstate 20, through Abilene, Dallas, and […]

This book is a wonderful look at the Trail of Tears! It’s told in little vignettes from multiple points of view, and it follows one group of Cherokee from the moment the soldiers show up at their small village to remove them. We hear most often from Maritole, but we also get little snippets from […]

I’m not sure what happened with this one. It was a great one for setting–Frazier gives us some fabulous descriptions of North Carolina. And it’s not just the area around Cold Mountain itself–Inman walks away from the hospital where he is recovering, across much of the state. But I lost interest in the story pretty […]