Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata is my Young Readers choice for Georgia. It’s a Newberry Award winner, and very reminiscent of Bento Box in the Heartland, by Linda Furiya, which we read in Indiana. I am reading my way across the USA–5 or so books from each state, with an emphasis on books where the setting […]

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones was a great addition to my challenge reading list for Georgia… or Louisiana. The story was split–Roy’s family lives in Louisiana, and that’s where he is wrongfully convicted and serves five years in prison. Celestial grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and she received her childhood home as a wedding […]

Among the Living by Jonathan Rabb is set among the Jewish community in Savannah, Georgia, immediately after World War II. I am reading my way across the USA–3-5 books set in each state, with an emphasis on those books where the setting becomes another character, or those that help me learn a bit about the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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! […]

Linda Furiya does a wonderful job of evoking place throughout her memoir Bento Box In the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America. Although I read it as part of my challenge travel through Indiana, it also has parts that take place in Japan and New York City, and, to a lesser degree, New Jersey […]

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 […]