Thursday, September 03, 2009

Book Around the States Challenge Finished

WooHoo!!! I Made It!!
That's right, folks, almost exactly two years ago, I started this challenge to read a book from every state and the District of Columbia. That's a long time to work on one challenge, but I DID it!! For the most part, this was a great challenge for me and caused me to discover some books I probably would never have read. Of course, there were some bowsers along the way also. My biggest challenge was finding books for each state. Nevada, West Virginia, Michigan, Idaho were some of the most difficult. I think about repeating this challenge in the future (I even bought a book just for Nevada) but it's going to be quite a while. Here's a list of the books I read and my ratings with my favorites marked in red:
Alabama - The Hundredth Man by Jack Kerley, Rating 4.75
Alaska - The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon, Rating 3.5
Arizona - Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver, Rating 5
Arkansas - Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene, Rating 4
California - S is for Silence by Sue Grafton, Rating 3.75
Colorado - The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle, Rating 3.5
Connecticut - Sacred Cows by Karen E Olsen, Rating 2
Delaware - Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler, Rating 4
District of Columbia - The Smithsonian Institution by Gore Vidal, Rating 3.75
Florida - Marley and Me by John Grogan, Rating 4
Georgia - The Woodsman Daughter by Gwyn Hyman Rubio, Rating 2.75
Hawaii - Damien the Leper by John Farrow, Rating 3
Idaho - Whatchagot Stew by Patrick McManus, Rating 2.75
Illinois - Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, Rating 4.75
Indiana - In God We Trust by Jean Shepherd, Rating 4
Iowa - The Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson, Rating 3.5
Kansas - The Wizard of Oz by Fran Baum, Rating 3.5
Kentucky - Clay's Quilt by Silas House, Rating 3.75
Louisiana - The Lost German Slave Girl by John Bailey, Rating 4.5
Maine - More Than You Know by Beth Gutcheon, Rating 5
Maryland - A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler, Rating 4
Massachusetts - Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott, Rating 4.5
Michigan - True North by Jim Harris, Rating 2
Minnesota - Pontoon by Garrison Keillor, Rating 3
Mississippi - Daisy and the Miracle Man by Fannay Flagg, Rating 3.75
Missouri - Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fanny Flagg, Rating 4
Montana - English Creek by Ivan Doig, Rating 5
Nebraska - My Antonio by Willa Cather, Rating 4
Nevada - Silence is Golden by Penny Warner, Rating 3
New Hampshire - The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery, Rating 3.5
New Jersey - Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich, Rating 2
New Mexico - The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook, Rating 4
New York - Let Me Finish by Roger Angell, Rating 5
North Carolina - The Valley of Light by Terry Kay, Rating 4.75
North Dakota - Peace Like a River by Lief Enger, Rating 5
Ohio - The Prize Winner of Definance, Ohio by Terry Ryan, Rating 4.5
Oklahoma - Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, Rating 4
Oregon - The Boxmaker's Son by Donald Smurthwaite, Rating 5
Pennsylvania - Daddy's Girl by Lisa Scottoline, Rating 4
Rhode Island - Gods of Newport by John Jakes, Rating 2
South Carolina - Charleston by Alexandra Ripley, Rating 3
South Dakota - By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rating 4
Tennessee - Widow of the South by Robert Hicks, Rating 3.75
Texas - A Dilly of a Death by Susan Albert Wittig, Rating 4
Utah - Nothing to Regret by Tristi Pinkston, Rating 4
Vermont - Second Glance by Jodi Picault, Rating 4
Virginia - Wedding Ring by Emilie Richards, Rating 4
Washington - Broken for You by Stephanie Kallas, Rating 5
West Virginia - October Sky by Homer Hickam Jr, Rating 4.75
Wisconsin - Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink, Rating 5
Wyoming - Where Rivers Change Direction by Mark Spragg, Rating 4.25
I have to admit as I was typing my list, I was thinking several times, "Really, I rated this one that high?" There are even a couple that I would probably rate higher after this much time has elapsed. I added to my TBR list and bought ten books by authors that I enjoyed while doing this challenge. Eighteen of the books I read were ones I either bought or borrowed to meet the challenge that were not on my TBR list. Only one of those was highlighted in red. So maybe I shouldn't do this challenge again since my goal is to get more books read from the TBR list. So, if I don't buy any more books (not counting the twelve I just ordered from Amazon) or add more to my list, I could have the TBR list read in four years at my current rate. Than I could do this challenge again. Not going to happen, is it?


  1. Four years is a very long time for you to go without buying a new book. (For me, too.) Frankly, I don't see the point. Our hobbies could be something much more expensive and a lot less rewarding, such as gambling! Doesn't that make buying a few (12) books here and there a little less distasteful? If you need any more help with that rational type of thinking just let me know.

    Congratulations on completing a big challenge. I'm going to tackle it someday. When I enter my books into LibraryThing I include a tag with the state where it's set, if applicable. Maybe I should make a list of which states I already have books for. That's a task that will keep me from getting those dishes washed. Great idea! Seriously, way to go!

  2. Congratulations - that's a huge accomplishment!

  3. If I were to take on a challenge, it would be this one. I think it's a real cool idea. Congratulations on completing it! :)

  4. Wow, you did it...bask in the moment...hell, make it a week because you deserve it!!!