As I mentioned on the main Minnesota page, this book didn’t seem like a great choice for my reading challenge, although it was an interesting read. For at least 80% of the book, the setting was mostly ignored–even though in the very beginning of the book the main character visits the reservation where her birth […]

When I think of Minnesota, I think of Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” I loved Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, and I think any contemplation of Minnesota must include some sort of reference to it, despite the allegations of […]

Wow! If Run by Ann Patchett was the best pick for (somewhat) contemporary Boston (1990s), then Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks was the clear winner for historical Massachusetts, covering Martha’s Vineyard and Cambridge. I am reading my way across the USA–5 or so books from each state, with an emphasis on those where the setting […]

In the early- to mid-1990s, I lived in Massachusetts, outside of Lawrence, along New Hampshire’s tiny coastal strip, and worked for a Girl Scout council on the North Shore, which included Lawrence, Lowell and Lynn, Salem, Marblehead and Gloucester. I also did an internship a bit to the west, around Worcester. What I remember the […]

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 […]

Photograph © Andrew Dunn, 13 May 2005.

Raintree County by Ross Lockridge, Jr. was an excellent book for my reading challenge. Take a look at some of the passages below, and you’ll see a small portion of how Lockridge describes Raintree County in west central Indiana. This first one is a description of a book within a book–an illustrated atlas of Raintree […]

I’m really enjoying Linda Furiya’s memoir Bento Box In the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood In Whitebread America (2006), but I have a little quibble. During her upbringing in rural Indiana, she experienced many incidents of casual racism. Her memories of comments that stung are poignant; she gives many examples of thoughtless words spoken by white […]

There are several important scenes in Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman, that take place in Chaco Culture National Historic Park. I will try not to give spoilers, but will instead stick to simply “illustrating”–providing the reader with a bit more information on what’s mentioned in the text. First of all, a map of the […]