Entertainment Weekly, my favorite periodical, has come out with a list of representative books from each state and I am thrilled! These are the ones I have read, followed by those I intend to read very soon~
Alabama - TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - Anyone past grade 11 at BHS has read this too and knows why it is so great!
Alaska - JULIE OF THE WOLVES - I read it as a kid and it is second only to Farley Mowat's NEVER CRY WOLF, it is my favorite wolf book.
Arizona - ANIMAL DREAMS - Sometimes Barbara Kingsolver makes me crazy, but usually she makes me look at the world differently. Thanks, Barbara!
Arkansas - TRUE GRIT - Okay, I only saw the movies, but I loved them both!
Connecticut - THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND - I am not a witch! But I have been accused, not unlike Kit.
Florida - THE YEARLING - Again, the movie. But why would they make a movie out of a book if that didn't count?
Georgia - GONE WITH THE WIND - HA! I saw the movie once, couldn't stand it, but I must have read the book 12 times, cringing at the racism each time, but still loving the story.
Hawaii - THE DESCENDANTS - Fine, fine, I'll read the book. But I am going to think of how amazing George Clooney was in the movie the whole time.
Idaho - HOUSEKEEPING - Maybe I should be a film archivist instead of a librarian. I saw, didn't read, this one too. But I have to admit, the makers of the list are only listing books that were made into awesome movies, so I think they would give me the benefit of the doubt too!
Kentucky - IN COUNTRY - I loved this movie, but I read the hell out of this book too. And the movie didn't get great reviews, but I truly loved it. Not as much as the book, but still...
Maine - EMPIRE FALLS - This was an amazing book. I didn't see the movie. I think it was a cable miniseries back when they still called them cable miniseries. Usually I am not big on books that stress a feeling of place, but Russo is an astounding writer.
Maryland - THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST - This was heartbreaking and a wonderful story. And I read it before the (wonderful) movie came out so I get extra credit.
Minnesota - THE BETSY TACY SERIES - Seriously?? My favorite books ever! I thank you EW for recognizing perfection!
Missouri - THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN - I really hate dialect, and Twain is always messing about with it. But it is still a spectacular cultural touchstone.
Nebraska - MY ANTONIA - I have called it LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE with sex and violence. It is tremendous.
Nevada - FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS - I really just read it to look cool in college. Thompson seems like the person I would most hate to take a road trip with, but the book pops.
New Hampshire - A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY - I never thought I would love an Irving book as much as GARP, but this one was spectacular.
North Carolina - JIM THE BOY - This was a quiet gem that took me completely by surprise.
Oklahoma - THE GRAPES OF WRATH - Yes, I threw it at the wall when I finished for its lack of hope, but it is still a book that sometimes sneaks into my brain and twists me around when I am not expecting it.
Oregon - GEEK LOVE - My mother recommended this to me. Which shocks me to this day. It is twisted, weird and wonderful.
South Carolina - THE PRINCE OF TIDES - I still remember the tree I was parked under when I read this book in my car back in 1988. Every time I drive by I think of it.
Texas - LONESOME DOVE - This is the first book I am going to read if I ever get the chance to retire. I surely will have forgotten most of it by then and can enjoy it with fresh old lady eyes. I can't wait!
Washington - THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART TIME INDIAN - Hey, this is on the summer reading list! It is the first book I put on twice. Funny and heartbreaking, who's to say I won't put it on again someday!
Okay, I have to read at least 2 more to have read half of them. I'm going to get:
California - PLAY IT AS IT LAYS
Massachusetts - THE WAPSHOT CHRONICAL
Ohio - WINESBURG, OHIO
Vermont - SONGS IN ORDINARY TIME
Because I love America!