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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

I’ll be reading more by Ron Rash (though perhaps not for this challenge)! One reviewer on Goodreads quipped that Ron Rash’s novel Serena is “like Macbeth in a logging community, with a Greek chorus,” and I kept coming back to that description as I read–especially in the Greek chorus bits! I was also reminded of […]

Wow! This is a wonderful book that evokes all the senses and immerses us in the North Carolina mountains of 1939. There are birds–with calls and local names–there are flowers and herbs, there are trees and loggers riding them downriver. There are descriptions of traditional crafts–woodworking, weaving and spinning–as well as day-to-day facts of life […]

I recently started listening on Audible to Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, and discovered the salt water marshes along the North Carolina coast. So far, this is an entrancing listen, and the wonderful descriptions of the marshes make me wish I had a hard copy of the book so I could share some […]

This was a fun, light read that brought to life a bit of history I was unfamiliar with–the Miss Subway promotional beauty contests that ran from 1941 to 1976. It will probably not go down as the best of our books for New York, but it got us off to a good start. I am […]

I’ve been putting off New York for a while now, but as I finished Hawaii, I decided to come back to the opposite end of the country–and to my roots. I was born and raised in a small town in upstate New York. I have family in the urban areas of upstate–Binghamton, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, […]