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Reading Road Trip Across the US

IBDLiteraryMapUSA

Welcome to our summer 2017 reading challenge where together we will read our way across the United States! The goal of the challenge is to travel (a.k.a. read) from the East Coast to the West coast and amass the highest points. The challenge will begin July 1 and will end September 30 at midnight EST.

How to play:
All players will begin on an East Coast state of their choice: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, or Florida.

To travel across the country you must read and review books corresponding to each state. The book either must be predominantly set in that state OR the author has to be from the state. You will be awarded points for each state you visit. You must move across the country in the same way you would drive — you can’t skip states (see exception below).

To move across a state you must complete your book and post a mini review (or link to your view on Goodreads or your blog) as a comment on this page.

Five bonus points will be awarded the following pitstops:
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Zion National Park, Utah
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
Savannah, Georgia
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Rock and Roll hall of fame in Ohio
Liberty Bell, Pennsylvania
Spotted Cat Jazz club, New Orleans, Louisiana
Graceland in Tennessee
Largest ball of twine, Kansas
Lucy the Elephant, New Jersey
Dreamland BBQ, Alabama
Las Vegas, Nevada
Federal Hill, Rhode Island

Your trip will end when you arrive in Washington, Oregon, or California and finish your book for that state.

Travel Exceptions: Each Monday (starting July 5) three major events will happen that can impact your game. One event type will advance your game and the other two event types will delay you.

  1. Flight hubs: Each Monday we will use random.org to select 5 states that will become flight hubs for the week (Monday-Sunday). If you arrive in this state any time in that next week, you will be able to either skip over one state to in your move west OR travel eastbound to any landmark located east of your current location. In order to take advantage of this opportunity you must declare that you are using the flight hub and where you are going before the end of the week.
  2. Travel delays: Two randomly selected participants will be picked each Monday to experience a travel delay. If you are selected, then you will not be able to advance to a new state until the following Monday. You can finish your current book but will not be able to start a new book until your travel restriction is lifted. If you have bad luck, you may be delayed multiple times throughout the game but no player will be given back-to-back delays.
  3. Weather warning. Two states will be randomly selected as blackout states each Monday. This means that for that week, you will be unable to travel through that state. If you are already in that state when the weather warning occurs, you may finish your book for that state but you may not start your book for the next state until the blackout is over. If you are adjacent to that state and want to travel through it, you must either wait until the end of the week OR find a alternate route.

Additional Rules:

  • You can only read one book at a time.
  • You must complete the book and write a mini review BEFORE you move onto the next state.
  • Please keep track of your own score on this page. You can start a thread for yourself by posting a comment with your name. Then each time you return to update, just hit reply to your original comment with the mini review and score update. I will double check all scores.
  • Books must be over 120 pages and no graphic novels allowed.

Points & Prizes:
-1 point per state you complete
-5 points per landmark you visit (basically you will get 6 points for visiting states with one of the landmarks listed above).

Grand Prize: A print of the literary map in the top image and a box filled with bookish gifts worth about $100. To win this prize you must a) reach the West coast AND b) have the highest number of points among all those who also reach the west coast. If you have the most points but fail to reach a West coast state by end of game (September 30) you win a big fat nothing.
Early Bird prize: $50 book depository gift card for the first person to arrive on the West Coast.
Unlucky: Gag gift to the person who is selected the most for travel delays.
Random winner: Randomly selected person will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. To qualify you have to have completed a minimum of one book. You do not have to complete the challenge to win this prize.

List of participants:
1. Jen
2. Sushicat
3. Tessa
4. Rachel O
5. Jenni
6. Tracy
7. Currey
8. Diane S
9. Jean
10. Cindy
11. Chili: Delayed until July 31
12. Rachel N
13. Blueberry
14. JoLene
15. Jan
16. Nicole
17. Lara
18. Book Worm
19. Debbie: Delayed until Monday July 31
20. Jessica: 
21. Jenny
22. Kamisha
23. Katie
24. Katja
25. Betty
26. Unidragonfrag
27. Kristel
28. Erin S
29. jyotioo
30. Charisma
31. Denise: Delayed until Monday July 31
32. Katie

First flight hubs: Oklahoma, New Jersey, Utah, Michigan, & Delaware. If you arrive in a flight hub location prior to Monday July 31, you may book a flight skipping over one state westbound OR anywhere eastbound. You must call where you are traveling to before week end in order to use the flight hub.

Delayed travelers: Chili and Debbie (you may complete your current book but may not start your next book until Monday July 31).

Blackout states: Alabama and Nebraska (These states are closed to travel until Monday July 31)

 

201 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jen’s Road Trip
    Starting location: Georgia
    Book: Gradle Bird by J.C. Sasseh
    Current points: 0

    Like

    June 27, 2017
  2. Tessa Bartels #

    Tessa’s Road Trip
    Starting location: Massachusetts
    Book: ??
    Current points: 0

    Like

    June 28, 2017
    • Tessa Bartels #

      Massachusetts
      Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann
      2**

      This is Klaussmann’s debut and I see a nugget of a good story ideal here. But the execution falters. The dialogue is tortured. And the fractured timeline and changes in point of view do little to help the story arc. Klaussmann gives the reader some clues … dividing the book into sections titled with the character from whose point of view events will be relayed and heading each chapter with the year and month. However, within the chapters events go back and forth in time as the character reflects on things. I’m sure the author intended that this device would help build suspense, but mostly it just confused me. By the time the big reveal takes place I didn’t care, I just wanted the book to end.

      1 point

      Total points: 1

      Next stop: New York

      Liked by 1 person

      July 3, 2017
    • Tessa Bartels #

      New York
      The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership That Defined a Presidency by Kathryn Smith
      4****

      I had never heard of Miss LeHand, and yet she was written about during her tenure as Roosevelt’s private secretary, with a TIME magazine cover in 1934 that featured the four people who formed FDR’s secretariat, and several profile articles in LIFE and LOOK magazines, as well as regular mention in newspapers. So how is it that she has slipped out of our collective memories?

      Perhaps the answer is that, until this work, there has never been a biography of this extraordinary woman. Smith did extensive research and she includes detailed notes and a bibliography at the end of the main biography. Her interest in Missy and her access to letters, journals and records, helped Smith craft a book that is interesting, balanced and fascinating.

      (NOTE: Connection to state: both Missy and FDR were living in New York for at least the first third of the book, and made frequent trips back to Hyde Park during the White House years as well.)

      1 point

      Total points: 2

      Next stop: Pennsylvania

      Like

      July 12, 2017
  3. Chili’s Road Trip
    Starting Location: South Carolina
    Book: The Secret Life Of Bees
    Points: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    June 28, 2017
    • South Carolina
      The Secret Life Of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
      👍👍👍
      This is the story of Lily Owens and her quest to find answers about her mother. After breaking Rosaleen out of police custody at the hospital, they set off for Tiburon. With a picture found in her mother’s things Lily is led to the home of the Boatwright sisters. Under the tutelage of August Boatwright, Lily learns beekeeping and some hard truths about her mother.

      Current Points: 1
      Next State: Georgia

      Liked by 1 person

      July 1, 2017
    • Georgia
      Landmark Savannah
      Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil by John Berendt
      👍👍👍👍
      This is a nonfiction book that reads like fiction. The events take place in Savannah in the 1980’s starting with the death of Danny Hansford. The author admits to changing the names and descriptions of some of the people. I find this to be a bummer because I really want to know what happened to some of the people, especially Chablis and Joe Odom. The city of Savannah is a major character in the story. If the events had taken place somewhere else, things may have happened differently. Savannah is in it’s own little world and the people like it that way.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 2, 2017
    • Alabama
      Landmark: Dreamland BBQ
      To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
      ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
      This is one of my favorite books and one of the very few I will re-read. The story is narrated by Jean Louise Finch, aka Scout, who is eight years old. Scout along with her older brother Jen must deal with the criticism of the town when their father Atticus defends Tom Robinson. Scout and Jem learn things about their father and their neighbors that surprise them.

      Current Points: 13
      Next up Tennessee

      Liked by 1 person

      July 3, 2017
    • Tennessee
      Landmark: Graceland
      Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
      👍👍

      Ugh! This was a slog, I would have bailed if not for the challenge. Set in rural Tennessee, the story starts with Dellarobia Turnbow heading up the mountain for an illicit rendezvous with the hot telephone man. When she reaches the top the valley appears to be on fire, but without her glasses she does not know it is full of butterflies. She gets her in-laws and husband up the mountain for a look before it is clear cut. The news of the butterflies gets out bring people from all over including Dr. Byron. She ends up working for Dr. Byron as an assistant. The author is trying to address the issue of climate change, but the story of Dellarobia and her family is a snooze. The only thing I found interesting was the science surrounding the butterflies.

      Current Points:19
      Off to Mississippi

      Liked by 1 person

      July 5, 2017
    • Mississippi
      Salvage The Bones by Jesmyn Ward
      4.5👍
      This is a very emotional read. Set in Mississippi in the days leading up to, during and the day after Hurricane Katrina. The story is told by fifteen year old Esch, who is pregnant. She lives with her father and three brothers. The story begins with her brother’s pit bull, China giving birth. This causes Esch to remember the birth of her younger brother Junior and her mothers death. During the days leading up to Katrina, Esch begins to come to terms with her impending motherhood and the family tries to prepare for the storm. This was a hard read for me, especially the dog fight.

      Current Points: 20
      Next up Louisiana

      Liked by 1 person

      July 6, 2017
    • Louisiana
      Landmark: Spotted Cat Jazz club, New Orleans
      The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke
      👍👍
      Set in New Orleans and surrounding areas, the story starts with homicide detective Dave Robicheaux visiting a death row inmate. The condemned man tells Dave that there is a contract out on his life. This leads Dave and his partner to follow leads that lead to Julio Segura. This is only the tip of the iceberg. There is arms dealing in Central America, memories of Vietnam and My Lai. Dave fights against police corruption and organized crime. Annie brings some light into Dave’s dark life.

      Current Points: 26
      Off to Texas

      Like

      July 8, 2017
    • Texas
      Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
      👍👍👍👍
      Set in El Paso Texas in 1987-88, Ari Mendoza is trying to figure out his life and who he is. At the pool he meets Dante, who offers to teach him to swim. This is the beginning of the first real friendship of Ari’s life. Ari has unresolved feelings about his brother, who is in prison. His parents and sisters will not talk about Bernardo and this frustrates him. While in Chicago for his professor father’s job, Dante begins to discover he prefers boys. He writes to tell Ari, who says he will still be his friend. Ari finally comes to terms with his sexuality after a heart to heart with his parents.

      Current Points:27
      Off to Oklahoma

      Like

      July 8, 2017
      • Currey #

        I can’t believe I am at 2 points and you are at 27. However, I guess it is the love of the journey that counts. Congrats on your making it half way across the country.

        Liked by 2 people

        July 9, 2017
      • There will be prizes for those that don’t read at lightening speed too! She’s pretty amazing at speeding through. I’ve only read 1 book 😁

        Like

        July 9, 2017
    • I wanted to get a head start before the 10th. I will be slowing down now. My daughter has knee surgery on Tuesday and I have jury duty in August. Plus the family luck will kick in with the travel delays and blackouts. The randomizer always bites me in the behind. So enjoy the journey, I hope you get to read some great books. This doesn’t end until September 30th, so anyone can win this.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 9, 2017
      • Currey #

        I am still in awe of your reading! I hope your daughter recovers well. And yes, I am going to read some great books.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 9, 2017
    • Oklahoma
      The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
      👍👍👍👍
      I still find it amazing that the author was only sixteen when she wrote this. I think the story holds up pretty well considering it was published in 1967. I didn’t love it as much as I did when I first read it in junior high, that was a long time ago. The greasers and the socs fight basically because they can. Ponyboy and Johnny get jumped by the socs and a boy ends up dead. They are helped by Dally and get out of town. After deciding to turn himself in, Johnny and Ponyboy save some children from a burning church. The headline in the paper is Juvenile Delinquents Turn Heros. There is no happy ending for Johnny and Dally.

      Current Points: 28
      Up next Arkansas

      Like

      July 9, 2017
    • Oklahoma
      Closely Akin To Murder by Joan Hess
      2.5👍
      Bookstore owner Claire Malloy receives a phone call from her supposedly dead cousin asking for help. Cousin Ronnie says she is being blackmailed and ask Claire for help. Thirty years ago, Ronnie was jailed for the murder of Oliver Pickett in Mexico. Claire along with her sixteen year old daughter Caron head to Acapulco. While asking questions in Acapulco, Caron is held hostage by the bum Chico. Claire rescues her daughter and they head home to Arkansas. Claire does not stop her investigation into Pickett’s death, which leads her to Phoenix and Pickett’s ex-wife. Claire solves the case.

      Current Points:29
      I would like to go to Mississippi and catch a flight to New Jersey.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 10, 2017
      • This is Arkansas not Oklahoma

        Like

        July 18, 2017
      • Someone else brought this to my attention but turns out you skipped reading Mississippi. You need to read the flight hub state before flying out. Since the instructions weren’t super clear, I will let you read Mississippi after you finish your current book (after your travel delay) but without needing to move back to Mississippi.

        Apologies because this was not clear. I will try to clarify in the instructions when I get home.

        Like

        July 24, 2017
    • New Jersey
      Landmark: Lucy The Elephant
      American Pastoral by Philip Roth
      3.5👍
      I made the mistake of reading this at the same time as Auster’s 4321, otherwise I might have liked it more. The beginning of the story is Nathan “Skip” Zuckerman’s hero worship of triple letterman Seymour “Swede”Levov. As a friend of Swede’s strange little brother, Skip gets to be near the Swede at home. At their 45th high school reunion, Jerry tells Skip of the Swedes passing. Skip being a writer then begins to imagine what Swede’s life was like. Swede the perfect person has an imperfect life. He marries the beauty queen and has a daughter. As a teenage war protester, his daughter not only blows up a post office but the family as well.

      Current Points:35
      I’m off to New York

      Like

      July 18, 2017
    • New York
      The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
      👍👍👍👍👍 & 💜
      This is the story of two Jewish cousins and their adventure into the growing world of comic books. Josef “Joe” Kavalier is smuggled out of Prague inside the coffin of the Golem. He arrives in New York City at his cousin Sammy Kleyman’s house. Together they come up with the comic book character of the Escapist. Joe is tormented by the fact his family is still in Nazi occupied Prague. They escape into the world of comic books, creating many new characters. I loved this book! It was well written, with believable characters.

      Current Points: 36
      I’m off to Pennsylvania

      Like

      July 23, 2017
    • I’m sorry I misunderstood, I thought since I already read a book for Mississippi that I didn’t need to read another one. After the 31st I will read another one. I’m sorry, I should have asked about that. Sorry.

      Like

      July 24, 2017
      • When did you read the Mississippi book? Earlier in your travels? No need to apologize, my fault for not making it clear

        Like

        July 24, 2017
    • Yes. Between Tennessee and Louisiana. I read Salvage The Bones.

      Like

      July 24, 2017
      • And then you went backward to take the flight? Sorry on my phone so can’t see your list in front of me as I type this.

        Like

        July 24, 2017
      • Oh wait, I see what you did. Okay let me think about it. I will get back to you with an answer in the next hour.

        Like

        July 24, 2017
    • Yes. I flew to New Jersey. We can go east to landmark states but only skip one state going west is how I understood it. I just finished Arkansas when Mississippi became a flight hub. Since I was right above it, I thought I could go there and catch a flight east. I should have asked if I needed to read another book for Mississippi.

      Like

      July 24, 2017
      • okay, so I gave it some thought and you will have to read a second book if you visit a state twice. I would have allowed you to avoid this but I think it may have already impacted a few other players. But feel free to read it whenever as long as you complete it by end of game and you can progress as usual. Sorry about that.

        Like

        July 24, 2017
  4. Jenni Langford #

    Jenni’s road trip

    Starting location: Maine

    Book: The Dark Tower by Stephen King

    Current points: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    June 28, 2017
    • Jenni Langford #

      Finished my first book for Maine – The Dark Tower by Stephen King. Link to my review on Litsy: http://litsy.com/p/eEM1U1doVUk3

      Current points: 1

      I am off to New Hampshire!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 9, 2017
    • Jenni #

      Book 2 finished!

      I read A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Another big book, but I’m trying to use my TBR for this challenge. 😃

      This one is worth 1 point. Link to my review on Litsy: http://litsy.com/p/aGRJR3J6d29L

      Current points: 2

      Liked by 1 person

      July 13, 2017
      • Jenni #

        And I forgot to say… I’m off to Massachusetts.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 13, 2017
    • Jenni Langford #

      Book 3 is finished. For Massachusetts, I read The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. Link to my Litsy review: http://litsy.com/p/Z1E5UWpnSGMy

      This one is worth 1 point, so my total is up to a whopping 3!

      I’m off to Rhode Island now… starting My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. 😃

      Liked by 1 person

      July 17, 2017
    • Jenni Langford #

      Book 4 is finished! For Rhode Island, I read My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Link to my review on Litsy: http://litsy.com/p/ZjVKUk1HWTE4

      This state is worth 6 points, so my current total is 9.

      Off to Connecticut next! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

      July 18, 2017
    • Jenni #

      Book 5 finished!

      I read Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates for my sad visit to Connecticut. 🙁

      Link to my Litsy review:

      http://litsy.com/p/OWtLT0xEMzNi

      This book was worth 1 point, so my running total is up to 10.

      I’m off to New York!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 22, 2017
    • Jenni Langford #

      Book 6 is done! I read Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut for New York. Link to my Litsy review: http://litsy.com/p/WDE0S0VyY0NN

      New York was worth 1 point, so I am up to 11 points total.

      I am off to New Jersey now. 😃

      Like

      July 23, 2017
    • Jenni Langford #

      Book 7 is done! For New Jersey, I read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick. Link to my review on Litsy: http://litsy.com/p/YVduaXVlTUtO

      This state was worth 6 points, so my running total is up to 17!

      Tomorrow, I will be off to Pennsylvania, but now I sleep. 😴

      Liked by 1 person

      July 24, 2017
  5. Currey #

    Starting: New Hampshire
    Book: Reading the Forested Landscape
    Points: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    June 28, 2017
    • Currey #

      Book: Reading the Forested Landscape by Tom Wessels
      It is almost cheating as this 165 page books has lots of beautiful Black and White prints. It is really a must read for anyone who wonders about the woods and forests that they walk through in New England. Little blurb in Litsy

      Current Points: 1

      I am off to Vermont

      Liked by 1 person

      July 1, 2017
      • Currey #

        Book: Water Witches by Chris Bohjalian
        Setting: Vermont
        Nice depiction of small town life in Vermont but only a so-so story. Blurb in Litsy.
        Current points: 2
        New York up next

        Liked by 1 person

        July 5, 2017
    • Currey #

      I jumped from Vermont to Long Island, almost 100 years and many miles away.
      Book: The Great Gatsby
      Setting: New York
      Blurb in Litsy
      Current points: 3
      On to New Jersey. A large book for a smaller state. I am tackling Paul Austen’s 4321

      Like

      July 13, 2017
    • Currey #

      Currey takes the 2 lane back road, slow going….
      Book: 4321 By Paul Auster
      Setting: New Jersey
      Brief stop to see Lucy the Elephant
      Points: 6 + 3 = 9

      Blurb in Litsy and Review in Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1853971960

      PA next up

      Liked by 1 person

      July 22, 2017
  6. Tracy S #

    Tracy’s Trip to Wally World (without Chevy Chase)
    Starting: Maine

    Like

    June 28, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      Maine
      Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
      4 stars
      Set in Maine, this story of a mother and daughter with secrets, and how those secrets come out in the unbelievably hot summer of 1968, was a pretty good one. This is Strout’s first novel, and it’s pretty melodramatic. But her writing style and character development are really good, and the people in this book could be your neighbors, they’re that real.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 6, 2017
      • Tracy S #

        1 point.

        Like

        July 6, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      New Hampshire
      The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis
      3.5 stars
      Set in a college campus in New Hampshire in 1985, this is a “love” triangle story. Paul loves Sean, who loves Lauren (who slept with Paul), who loves Victor (who doesn’t remember her name), and Stuart is crushing on Paul. There’s plenty of drugs, booze, and cultural references to go with the unprotected, often anonymous, sex. And some cameos from other characters in Ellis’ work, including Sean’s big brother, Patrick Bateman. Despite all this 20-something irresponsibility that would normally make me set a book aside, the writing is brilliant, and once I started, I couldn’t stop reading.
      Total points so far: 2

      Like

      July 7, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      Vermont
      A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid
      3.5 stars
      Author lives in Vermont. This is her tribute, albeit a cynical one, to her home island of Antigua. She remarks on corruption of government officials, and how tourists’ money is welcomed, but not so much the tourists. Her words could describe many places in the world, unfortunately.

      Like

      July 8, 2017
      • Tracy S #

        Total points so far: 3

        Like

        July 8, 2017
    • Tracy S. #

      Massachusetts
      Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
      Umm. Yeah. This was just weird, and almost impossible to explain. Eileen is a 24 year old, who is very naive, even for 1962. She also has some very odd ideas. It’s almost as her development was arrested at age 6. She lives in Massachusetts with her alcoholic father. Her mother has passed, and her sister only shows up when she wants money. When she meets a new education specialist at the juvenile boys’ prison where she works, she develops a crush, and things go south.
      I honestly don’t know what to feel about this one- the writing shows flashes of something very promising, but I worry about what kind of sick mind thought this up. It’s like Shirley Jackson’s literary/horror talent meets a child obsessed with her own poop.

      Like

      July 10, 2017
    • Tracy S. #

      Rhode Island
      Child of God by Cormac McCarthy
      I really need to read a happy book. This was not a happy book. But it’s Cormac McCarthy- I knew going in it was going to be stark. And it was.
      Lester Ballard is a man in Appalachian Tennessee, mid-20th century. He’s not well-respected, and does nothing to command a whole lot of respect, but he tends to leave others pretty much alone. Until he is falsely accused of rape. Then his mind seems to snap, Cormac McCarthy style.
      Leave it to McCarthy, though, to lead me to feel sympathy for a man who acts reprehensibly. The simple, stark and yet somehow tender writing style is what draws me to his writing. And leaves me feeling icky every time.
      The author is from Rhode Island. Yep. Go figure.
      Total points so far: 9

      Like

      July 11, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      Connecticut
      A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
      I found my happy book! This series was a childhood favorite of mine. Meg and Charles Wallace Murry travel to a far away planet via another dimension, a process called a tesseract, to save their father from evil. This will be a movie next year, and I’m pretty excited about it.
      The author lived in Connecticut.
      Total points so far: 10.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 11, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      New York
      You Don’t Look Your Age and other Fairy Tales by Sheila Nevins
      This was a group of essays and anecdotes written by NYC native Nevins, a director/producer/writer, and friend to a lot of great readers who translate well to audio: Glenn Close, RuPaul, Meryl Streep, Lena Dunham, and many more. The best voice by far was Janet Mock’s. All the stories were feminist, but from a baby boomer point of view that has evolved to a modern one. I liked this- some humorous, some sad, but all stories were worth hearing.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 14, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      Pennsylvania
      The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
      A children’s book by one of my sons’ favorites. The audio was very good. A boy wants to believe his sister is still alive, despite evidence to the contrary. When he is told by a fortune teller that an elephant will lead him to her, and then an elephant materializes, he starts his search. The author is from Pennsylvania.

      Like

      July 14, 2017
      • Tracy S #

        Total points 16

        Like

        July 14, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      New Jersey
      Turbo Twenty-three by Janet Evanovich
      Another dead body, another blown up vehicle, another inner debate over Morelli or Ranger. Stephanie Plum stories are getting old, but they are still entertaining.
      Total points so far: 21

      Liked by 1 person

      July 16, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      Delaware
      Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
      I guess since the first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club…
      I just don’t get Palahniuk’s appeal. I didn’t care for this one- the violence and the disjointed jumps in the narrative weren’t my thing.
      Total points so far: 22

      Liked by 1 person

      July 16, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      Maryland
      The Baltimore Waltz by Paula Vogel
      This is a play about a first grade teacher who gets a fatal disease from the toilet seat, and her brother takes her to Europe to find a cure. In reality, it’s him that is ill, and she is finding a way to grieve. I liked this very much- it was an audio performance of a humorous, not cloying look at AIDS. It won an Obie for best American play in 1992.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 16, 2017
      • Tracy S #

        23 points so far.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 16, 2017
      • Tracy S #

        Next stop West Virginia.

        Like

        July 16, 2017
      • Rachel N #

        Hi Tracy. To me it looks like you have been shorting yourself a point in monument states and giving yourself only 5 points instead of 6. Maybe Jen can confirm but it looks like you should have 3 more points.

        Like

        July 17, 2017
      • Tracy S #

        You’re right! Thanks!
        Total points: 26

        Liked by 1 person

        July 18, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      West Virginia
      The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart by M. Glenn Taylor
      Early “Trenchmouth” Taggart is a foundling raised by a widow in the hollows of West Virginia. He sees the majority of the 20th century and meets many of its icons. This reminded me of Forrest Gump, and I really enjoyed it.

      Like

      July 19, 2017
      • Tracy S #

        Total points: 27
        Next: Virginia

        Like

        July 19, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      Virginia
      Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin
      Salatin is a successful farmer and lecturer on saving the planet by re-adopting the old ways of farming. I agreed with about half of what he said, and plan to research more. But he was kinda condescending, and, I think,a little too backwards on some of his points. His Polyface farm is in Virginia.
      Total points: 28
      Next: North Carolina

      Liked by 1 person

      July 21, 2017
      • Hmmm, sounds like something I might like. I “know” of him via Food Inc, and was impressed.

        Like

        July 22, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      North Carolina
      Hide by Matthew Griffin
      When Frank and Wendell meet in post WWII North Carolina, it’s love. Forbidden love, so they have to hide it from the world by moving out to a secluded home. Fifty years later, they’re like an old married couple, health issues included, and still hiding. I loved the writing style- Griffin’s got a bright future. Since Wendell is a taxidermist, the descriptions of his work can get graphic, so an animal lover or squeamish person may want to think twice. But these characters, flaws and all, were engaging and their situations very real.
      Total points: 29
      Next: South Carolina

      Liked by 1 person

      July 23, 2017
    • Tracy S. #

      South Carolina
      The Resurrectionist by Matthew Guinn
      Set in a South Carolina medical school, in the mid 19th century and the late 20th. A cache of bones is found buried in the basement of what was once the anatomy lab, and the flashbacks to 19th century tell the story of the African-American man who not only found the bodies, but taught dissection. The writing is suspenseful, and overall this is a good read.
      Next up: Georgia

      Liked by 1 person

      July 24, 2017
    • Tracy S. #

      Georgia
      Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadahata
      See review here:
      https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/18768635-kira-kira-by-cynthia-kadohata–4-5-stars
      Next stop: Florida, and the end of the East Coast!
      Total points: 36

      Liked by 1 person

      July 26, 2017
    • Tracy S #

      Florida
      Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen
      I used to love Hiaasen, and there is a lot to like about this book- his usual dose of humor, environmental pokes, political pokes, and a wacky case for a detective/restaurant inspector to solve.
      But all his books have those things. This one does have a monkey, but really this was just more of the same. I guess I’m over same.
      Total points: 37
      Next stop- next week- Alabama.

      Like

      July 27, 2017
  7. Diane Shea #

    Diane’s Summer Road Trip

    Starting: Maine
    Book: Scrappy Little Nobody
    Points: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    June 28, 2017
  8. Jean Kelso #

    Jean’s Summer Road Trip

    Starting State: South Carolina

    Liked by 2 people

    June 28, 2017
    • Jean Kelso #

      South Carolina: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – 5 stars

      I started out reading this book as an interesting work of fiction about Sarah Grimke and her sister, Angelina. It wasn’t until near to the end that I found out it was a fictionalized biography of them. They were raised in South Carolina in a slave holding family. Entering adulthood they made their way north and became abolitionists, and early suffragettes. I found it to be a really interesting book.

      Current points: 1

      Liked by 1 person

      July 11, 2017
  9. Not sure how I’ll do, but I’ll give it a try. I might learn US geography a bit better while I’m at it! I have a few options for places to start, but I think I’ll start in North Carolina.

    Cindy’s US Road Trip

    Starting State: North Caroline
    Book: Fatal Voyage / Kathy Reichs

    Like

    June 28, 2017
    • Changed my book.

      State: North Carolina
      Book: Drums of Autumn / Diana Gabaldon
      Points: 1

      Drums of Autumn / Diana Gabaldon
      4 stars

      Claire and Jamie (and Jamie’s nephew Ian) are travelling from South Carolina, heading north. Jamie has an aunt in North Carolina, so they stop there for a while. Meanwhile, back in the 20th century, Brianna and Roger are becoming better acquainted, but Bree misses her mother. Way more going on in this one, but I don’t want to give too much away.

      I really liked this one. It picked up in the 2nd half. One thing that gets tricky with these long books, though (at least for me) is remembering all the characters (some of the characters, I’m sure are being reintroduced from earlier in the series, as well)! Someone will be reintroduced at some point, and it takes me ages (and some kind of hint by the author, usually!) to remember who they are! It’s just that that hint doesn’t always come… or it comes quite some time after the character has reappeared. Have to admit, I was very angry with Jamie for a while. However, this may be my favourite in the series, so far.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 9, 2017
    • Do we need to post our next state ahead of time? I see most people are. Just in case, I’m planning on heading to Tennessee next.

      Like

      July 11, 2017
      • It’s a good idea especially to do so before a Monday since if you fail to announce where you are going and you get delayed, then you have to wait a week to start the next book.
        You don’t have to announce though

        Like

        July 11, 2017
    • I just finished what I thought was my Tennessee book, but only a small part of it was set there. Not sure what I’m doing next, as my immediate next book was also going to be for my next state (and it’s also for a July challenge, so I’m not going to put it off). Will have to rethink what I’m doing. 😦

      Like

      July 22, 2017
      • I’ve chosen another Tennessee book, but I have to wait for the hold to come in.

        Like

        July 23, 2017
  10. Rachel O #

    Rachel O’s Summer Holiday
    Starting location: New Jersey
    Book: Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
    Current points: 0

    Like

    June 29, 2017
  11. Rachel N #

    Rachel N’s road trip
    Starting location:Rhode Island

    Like

    June 29, 2017
    • Rachel N #

      Rhode Island

      Monument Federal Hill

      Teaser by Jan Brogan 3 stars

      Hallie Ahern is a reporter for a newspaper in Providence, Rhode Island. Hallie begins investigating teenage girls who are being provided webcams for free and in return they are being talked into making sexually explicit videos. The book is a bit dated since most laptops these days come with webcams but the danger of the internet is still real. There isn’t a huge mystery but I liked the characters and the setting.

      Next stop Massachusetts

      Current points = 6

      Like

      July 4, 2017
    • Rachel N #

      Massachusetts

      Scratch the Surface by Susan Conant 3 stars

      Felicity Pride is the author of cat cozy mysteries. She comes home from a book signing to find a dead body and a live cat in her vestibule. The book is a fun parody of cozy mysteries. I’;m disappointed the author didn’t write more cat mysteries. I liked this better than the one dog mystery of hers I’ve read.

      Next stop New York

      Current Points = 7

      Liked by 1 person

      July 7, 2017
    • Rachel N. #

      New York

      Dead Canaries Don’t Sing by Cynthia Baxter 2.5 stars

      Jessica Popper is a veterinarian with a mobile service on Long Island. On her way to see a client her car becomes stuck and her two dogs find a dead body with a dead canary buried nearby. For no real reason Jessica becomes obsessed with finding the murder even though several people warn her how dangerous this is. The book barely touches on her vet work which I found to be disappointing.

      Next stop New jersey

      Current Points = 8

      Like

      July 10, 2017
    • Rachel N #

      New Jersey

      Landmark Lucy the elephant

      Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich 3 stars

      Stephanie Plum is recruited by her parents neighbor to find her missing granddaughter Evelyn and Evelyn’s seven year old daughter Annie. Stephanie runs afoul of Eddie Abruzzi who begins a war campaign against her. There’s the usual bungled fugitive apprehensions and car explosions. Some major developments happen in Stephanie’s love life but I felt they were rushed over. An okay entry in the series but nothing outstanding about it.

      Next stop Pennsylvania

      current points = 14

      Like

      July 12, 2017
    • Rachel N #

      Pennsylvania

      Monument Liberty Bell

      Eat, Drink, and be Wary by Tamar Myers 2.5 stars

      Magdalena Yoder runs an inn in the fictional Hernia, Pennsylvania. Magdalena’s cook Freni convinces Magdalena to allow a cooking contest in the inn. Then the man in charge of the cooking contest is found dead in the barn. I like Magdalena and Freni. The book has several major editing problems, including characters names being changed, which lowered my rating. The suspects also weren’t very well developed so I had a hard time keeping tack of who was who.

      Next stop Maryland

      Liked by 1 person

      July 14, 2017
      • Rachel N #

        Forgot to add this

        Current points = 20

        Like

        July 14, 2017
    • Rachel N #

      Maryland

      The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot 5 stars

      Henrietta Lacks was a poor African American woman who went to John Hopkins to have her cervical cancer treated. Henrietta died from the cancer but cells taken from her tumor while she was alive formed the first immortal line of cells and have been used for numerous scientific discoveries. Along with tracing the history of the cells the author traces the lives of Henrietta’s husband and five children. I found the book fascinating and maddening in that Henrietta’s family didn’t know for over 20 years about her cells still existing.

      Henrietta lived in Maryland as does most of her family and it’s the location of John Hopkins hospital.

      Current points = 21

      Next stop West Virginia

      Liked by 1 person

      July 16, 2017
    • Rachel N #

      Looks like I’ll be spending a leisurely week in West Virginia, darned delay :-). Glad I rushed to finish my last book Sunday night so I can read something this week for the challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 17, 2017
    • Rachel N #

      West Virginia

      A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller 4 stars

      Acker’s gap, West Virginia is rocked when three men are killed at a local fast food joint. Carla Elkins, daughter of prosecuting attorney Bell Elkins, witnessed the whole event. A strong book focusing on how illegal prescription drug sales are impacting West Virginia.

      Current points = 22

      Not sure where the next stop will be once I can move again on Monday, either Ohio, Kentucky or Virginia.

      Like

      July 21, 2017
      • Rachel N #

        I don’t know if it matters but I decided to go to Ohio next

        Like

        July 25, 2017
  12. Cynthia Allas #

    Blueberry’s Road Trip

    Starting location: North Carolina

    Liked by 1 person

    June 29, 2017
    • Blueberry #

      North Carolina
      Finally finished Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. Number 9 in the series. Added bunches of new characters. Too many characters to follow for me. 3.5 stars

      Liked by 1 person

      July 11, 2017
      • Blueberry #

        Georgia
        Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson 2 stars
        There were some parts I was interested but too much I wasn’t. I only finished it because of the challenge.
        Stopped by to check out Savannah 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        July 16, 2017
    • Blueberry #

      Tennessee
      State of Wonder by Ann Patchett 4 stars
      I liked this book a lot but it almost started to drag in the middle and I didn’t like part of the ending.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 25, 2017
      • Blueberry #

        Savanna and Graceland were great! Savanna was beautiful and full of southern charm.

        Heading to Arkansas.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 26, 2017
  13. JoLene R #

    JoLene’s Hitting the Road – Summer 2017
    Starting Location: North Carolina
    Book: The Girl who Chased the Moon

    Liked by 1 person

    June 29, 2017
    • JoLene R #

      Starting Location: North Carolina — Setting
      Book: The Girl who Chased the Moon
      Rating: 4 stars
      Date Finished: 02Jul
      A sweet story about the residents of Mullaby North Carolina. Julia returns to town when her father dies; she is trying to get her father’s business back in the red so she can sell and get back to her real life. Emily is a teenager who recently lost her mother, and has come to live with a grandfather she didn’t know existed. While Julia is trying to escape her past, Emily is trying to discover her mothers past. This is a character driven story with a sprinkling of magical realism, perfect reading for the holiday weekend (and the start of a roadtrip).Full Review on GR

      Liked by 1 person

      July 3, 2017
    • JoLene #

      Stop 2: South Carolina – setting
      Book: Underground Railroad
      Rating: 3.5 stars
      This is the story of Cora, a slave who escapes her plantation in Georgia and travels via the Underground Railroad through various states. The actual states play an important role in the narrative because they each represent a different ideology in terms of how slavery and the black population should live.

      Points: +1
      Challenge Total: 2

      Liked by 1 person

      July 8, 2017
      • JoLene #

        Stop 3: Georgia – setting
        Book: The Source
        Rating 3.5
        Landmark: Savannah, GA
        Second book in the urban fantasy series, Witching Savannah, about a powerful family of witches who maintain the “line” which protects the world from demons. Mercy Taylor is trying to learn how to use her newly acquired powers and also trying to find her lost twin sister. However, someone from her past returns and turns her world upside down I terms of what is true about her families history as well as the line itself. Overall, this is an entertaining urban fantasy with a plucky heroine (who seems to have matured from the first book).

        Points: 6
        Challenge Total: 8

        Next stop: Florida

        Like

        July 11, 2017
    • JoLene Ramm #

      Stop 4: Florida – setting
      Book: Their Eyes Were Watching God
      Rating: 4 stars
      This book has been on the TBR for a while. It was written in the 1937 and is the story of Janie, a black woman in the period after the Civil War freed the slaves. Janie is recounting her life, starting with her grandmother marrying her off to a much older man, to a 2nd marriage filled to a jealous man with a lust for power and finally to finding love with a gambling, migrant worker named Tea Cake. As the story unfolds, so does Janie’s awakening as a strong black woman in the early part of the 20th century. NOTE: The dialog in the story is not for the faint of heart but the audio by Ruby Dee is excellent. However, the prose writing is amazing and makes wading through the dialog well worth it.

      Points: 1
      Challenge Total: 9
      Next Stop: Alabama –> and Dreamland BBQ (although I prefer Full Moon)

      Like

      July 15, 2017
    • JoLene Ramm #

      Stop 5: Alabama – setting
      Book: Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
      Rating: 4 stars
      Landmark: Dreamland BBQ
      This is the story of the year that Ha and her mom and 3 brothers, escaped Vietnam, became refugees and ended up sponsored by a “cowboy” to live in Alabama. The story is told in snippets written in verse. It was a quick read but packed a lot of punch as the situation worsens in Vietnam (setting is 1975), the family deals with uncertainty and then bullying for being different.

      Points: 6
      Challenge Total: 15
      Next Stop: Tennessee (but it’s a big book so I’ll be there a while :-D)

      Liked by 1 person

      July 16, 2017
    • JoLene #

      Stop 6: Tennessee — author lives there
      Book: The Archived by Victoria Schwab
      Rating 4 stars
      Landmark: Graceland
      Imagine a world where when you die, your entire life is recorded and placed in an giant library. There is a dark maze of hallways which act as a barrier between this archive and the world, because sometimes things can go wrong. These hallways are patrolled by people like MacKenzie who inherited this secret job from her grandfather. Don’t want to say much more as this is a twisty turns story where things begin to go wrong when MacKenzie and her family move into an apartment in a renovated hotel.

      The world building in the story is a very interesting concept which didn’t completely hang together for me. While it started a bit slow, the characters and plots twists kept me reading until late in the night. I didn’t enjoy this as much as Darker Shades trilogy by Schwab, but she is definitely an author that I will follow.

      Points: 6
      Challenge Total: 21
      Next stop: Mississippi

      Like

      July 21, 2017
    • JoLene Ramm #

      Stop 7: Mississippi – setting
      Book: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
      Rating 4.5 stars
      This is the story of Silas, a black boy without father and Larry, an awkward white kid obsessed with horror stories and snakes; the two boys spent a summer secretly hanging out, but once school started — they were destined not to be friends. Flash forward 25 years, and the two are brought together again when Silas, now the town constable, is investigating a young girl’s disappearance. The crime is similar to a disappearance that happened when the boys were in high school and Larry was a suspect.

      I started listening to the audio and the author was create at capturing all the southern accents. However, the narrative did change POV and time fairly frequently so it was easier to read — plus, once the story got going, I wanted to find out what happened next and I read faster than I listen. The characters of Silas and Larry were well developed, but some of the supporting cast, were a bit stereotypical. There were several stories that unfolded at the same time and even though I did guess as some of the revelations, I was engaged by the descriptions of the small southern town atmosphere.

      Points: 1
      Challenge Total: 22
      Next Stop: Louisiana

      Like

      July 23, 2017
    • JoLene Ramm #

      Stop 8: Louisiana
      Book: Out of the Easy
      Landmark: Spotted Cat Jazz Club
      Rating: 4 stars
      This is the story of Josie Moraine, the daughter of a prostitute. Josie is a smart girl and tries to divest herself from her mother by working in a bookstore and living above the store. However, her mother keeps getting into trouble and that drags Josie back into her life in major ways. I loved Josie and the cast of characters that function as her family. There are quite a few plot lines that are interwoven and I loved the setting of New Orleans — but I’m biased since I did live there. Very enjoyable read.

      Points: 6
      Challenge Total: 28
      Next Stop: Arkansas

      Liked by 1 person

      July 27, 2017
  14. Jan’s US Road Trip
    Starting Location: Georgia
    Book: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

    Liked by 1 person

    June 29, 2017
  15. Lara Pesek #

    Lara’s USA Coast to Coast Reading Adventure

    Starting State: Georgia

    Reading: The Color Purple

    Liked by 1 person

    June 29, 2017
  16. This sounds like so much fun! Since I live in Canada, I’m not sure yet of my starting point, but I’ll record it here when I know. I might be able to cross America by reading cozy mysteries I already have on my Kindle. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    June 30, 2017
    • So everyone has to start on an East Coast state regardless of where you live. You’ll need to pick one of the 14 states listed as a starting point. Good luck!

      Like

      June 30, 2017
    • Cindy Wiebe #

      I’m in Canada, as well. I found a US map online to make it easier to figure out. (And that was also why I commented on learning US geography better via this challenge!)

      Like

      June 30, 2017
  17. Jessica’s USA Adventure
    Starting State: Massachusetts
    Reading: Dept. of Speculation

    Liked by 1 person

    June 30, 2017
    • jesshodg #

      This book was fantastic, even more so because somehow I’d never heard anything about it before. About a crumbling marriage, it reminded me a little of Grief is the thing with feathers, and has got so many quotable passages (some on litsy where I’m @jhod. I will definitely seek out more of Offill’s work. No idea where I’m going next, I have a feeling this challenge suits the planners better 🙂

      Like

      July 9, 2017
      • Unfortunately you were selected for a travel delay. You may finish reading your current state but then must wait until next monday to start your next book. Since you were selected this week, you will be exempt from a travel delay next week.

        Liked by 1 person

        July 10, 2017
      • jesshodg #

        Lesson learnt – if in transit, declare your decision on next state before Monday!

        Like

        July 11, 2017
    • jesshodg #

      Yay, am on the move again!
      In New York to read Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

      Liked by 1 person

      July 17, 2017
      • jesshodg #

        3 stars, hmmm. I liked the writing and some of the characterisation of middle class Brooklyn life, but it was a bit too neatly tied up at the end, and frankly, not a lot happens. Just a bit bland…

        Next up Pennsylvania and J Robert Lennon Broken River

        Like

        July 21, 2017
  18. Jenny #

    Jenny’s Roadtrip

    Starting Location: Pennsylvania

    Book: ??

    Current Points: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    June 30, 2017
  19. Sushicat #

    Sushicat’s Meanderings

    I think I’ll be starting in Georgia.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 30, 2017
    • Did you want to play both versions or use the same books? I will reach out by email to discuss some options. A few people are doing both

      Like

      June 30, 2017
    • Sushicat #

      Georgia: The Color Purple by Alice Walker – 5 stars

      Through her letters we learn about Celie’s life, the circumstances she grows up in, the loveless marriage she is trapped in, the people she meets and what happens to them. We see her struggle with daily life, how her view of the world changes, how her growth in strength changes her relationships, how being black affects her and the people around her.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 15, 2017
    • Sushicat #

      Sushicat | 152 comments Alabama: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – 5 stars and lots of hearts

      Through the eyes of 8 year old Scout we learn about their life in Alabama in the 30s, about the small town neighborhood, with all it’s weird and wonderful people, about the reclusive neighbor nobody’s seen in ages, about where people fit in the grand scheme of things, about Atticus – her father – and his court appointment to defend a black man and the ripple effect the case has on all their lives.

      Wow. Just: wow.

      Like

      July 19, 2017
      • Sushicat #

        Off to Tennessee

        Like

        July 20, 2017
  20. Kamisha’s Roadtrip

    Starting Location: North Carolina
    Book: Serena

    Liked by 1 person

    June 30, 2017
    • Starting Location: North Carolina
      Book: Serena
      Rating: 4/5 stars
      Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/651998990

      Took me a while to read this one! Hopefully I’ll pick easier reads from now on…

      Liked by 1 person

      July 9, 2017
    • Location: South Carolina
      Book: Virals
      Rating: 3.5/5

      This was a fun, easy little whodunit YA read with some elements sci-fi experimentation added in. For fans of Reich’s Temperence Brennan’s series the main character in this book is Tory Brennan, Tempe’s great-niece. I’ve never actually read any of the “Bones” series, but I have watched the show and in the young adult novel Reich’s gives several good shout outs and nods to the elements of her other series. Tory is similar to her Great-Aunt in that she loves science, she thirsts for knowledge and the truth, and she doesn’t have time for the social norms other teenage girls care about (such as cotillion, dresses, who gets to date the popular boys, etc.). Tory and her group of friends are all the children of scientists who work at a lab off the coast of South Carolina. They’re all science nerds deemed unworthy by the popular elite at their private school on the main land. They make for a likable, relatable gang. While exploring Loggerhead Island (where the institute their parents work at is located) they find something that leads them down a journey they were not prepared for. I think this book would be well suited for middle school aged readers. I didn’t mind reading it, but probably won’t be checking out the rest of the series.

      Current points: 2
      Next Location: Georgia
      Book: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

      Liked by 1 person

      July 14, 2017
    • Location: Georgia
      Book: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
      Rating: 4/5

      I really enjoyed reading this nonfiction book about an editor’s account of his years spent in Savannah and the interesting characters and stories he collects along the way. I had heard from many people that this book could be considered a “nonfiction that reads like fiction,” and that certainly described it well to me! I really enjoyed the way the author set up certain chapters as little character vignettes, it kept things interesting and fun. And I loved the way Savannah was essentially a character itself in the story. It was mysterious, quirky, sometimes creepy and always intriguing. “You mustn’t be taken in by the moonlight and magnolias. There’s more to Savannah than that. Things can get very murky.” Would recommend to anyone who wants to feel immersed in the culture of this area!

      Current points: 8
      Next Location: Tennessee
      Book: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

      Liked by 1 person

      July 24, 2017
      • I think I’m going to be switching my Tennessee read from Flight Behavior to An American Haunting: The Bell Witch. Normally really love Kingsolver’s work but right now the pacing just feels slow to me and it’s not keeping my interest 50 pages in. Let me know if there are any issues with me changing!

        Liked by 1 person

        July 26, 2017
      • Nope, feel free to change books at any time. Better than slogging though a book you are not enjoying

        Like

        July 26, 2017
  21. Katie’s Road Trip

    Starting location: Georgia

    Book: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

    Current points: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    July 1, 2017
  22. Katja N #

    Katja’s roadtrip:

    Starting location: North Carolina
    Book: The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
    Current points: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    July 1, 2017
    • Katja N #

      First book finished: The Fiery Cross

      Review:
      I finished this beast on the airplane back from Bali. It was great to revisit the characters, but I didn’t enjoy this as much as the other books. It felt a bit less coherent, with a lot of hasty conclusions. So many things happened, and still very little happened, if that makes sense. It felt like this was a filler book, until Gabaldon reached a more interesting time in history.

      Current points: 1

      Liked by 1 person

      July 6, 2017
    • Katja N #

      Second book: The Accidental Universe by Alan Lightman (author from Tennessee)

      Review:
      I wasn’t impressed by this. Lightman repeats himself a lot, and the essays just didn’t grab me at all. There were some interesting facts, and Lightman can definitely write, but after reading this, I can conclude that I like his fiction better than his nonfiction.
      And a little rant: In his last essay, Lightman begins to write about the development of technology and I just got the feeling of an elderly gentleman critiquing the younger generation. I could almost hear him saying “young people today…”. This essay annoyed me quite a lot, but it was also the only one to actually provoke an emotional response from me, so yeah.

      Current points: 7

      Liked by 1 person

      July 16, 2017
    • Katja N #

      Third state: Mississippi
      Deadreckoning by Charlaine Harris (author from Mississippi )

      Review:
      I loved the Cookie Stackhouse novels when I were younger, but I haven’t read a book from the series in 4 or 5 years. And now I know, those years have made a difference in my reading of the books. I hadn’t noticed earlier how repetitive the writing style is and how annoying Sookie can be at times. The plot line in this 11th book wasn’t that exciting, and it was pretty predictable.
      But somehow, I was still entertained. Not in an exciting, new way, but in a familiar way. That’s why my next book will be the next book in the series. Also I have already borrowed the audiobook, so there’s that.

      Current points: 8

      I’m off to Louisiana now!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 21, 2017
    • Katja N #

      Fourth state: Louisiana
      Book: Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris (set in Louisiana)

      Review:
      This was a little better than Dead Reckoning, but still, not great. The plot line was more engaging though, which made up a bit for the repetitive writing. It did help listening to the books, instead of reading them as physical books.
      I need a break from the series now, but I will probably read the 13th and last book some day.

      Current points: 14

      Now I am off to Texas with “The Bear and the Nightingale”

      Liked by 1 person

      July 23, 2017
    • Katja N #

      Fifth state: Texas
      Book: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (author from Texas)

      Review:
      I enjoyed this book a lot! Once it got going. The first part was really confusing, for me, and I couldn’t really figure out the point. But from the second part and onwards, I were hooked! I love Russian mythology, and I think Arden used it very well in her novel.
      It did feel a bit like a set-up novel, and there’s a lot of unanswered questions, which, hopefully, will be answers in book two.

      Current points: 15

      Now I am going to New Mexico!

      Like

      July 23, 2017
  23. Betty
    Betty’s roadtrip
    Starting location: North Carolina
    Book: Byrd by Kim Church
    Current points: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    July 1, 2017
    • You were selected for a travel delay this week. You may finish your current read but may not start your next state until Monday July 17. This also means that you are exempt from selection next week.

      Like

      July 10, 2017
  24. unidragonfrag #

    Not certain if I’ll make it with my books, but it sounds fun!

    Michelle’s Coast-to-Coast Road Trip.

    State: Maine
    Book: Pet Cemetery

    Liked by 1 person

    July 1, 2017
    • Yay, I worked. I’ll add you to the player list when I get home (hard to do from the app)

      Like

      July 1, 2017
    • unidragonfrag #

      Starting Location: Maine
      Book: Pet Sematary
      Rating: 4 stars
      Date Finished: July 06

      Man, Louis was a selfish prick. 😠 Great, nerve-wracking King read – first of his novels for me and definitely not my last! Don’t ever bury your pets or loved ones in ancient Indian burial ground is the moral of this horror tale!

      Points so far: 1
      Next up: New Hampshire (book to be determined, but likely an ebook)

      Like

      July 7, 2017
    • unidragonfrag #

      Starting Location: New Hampshire
      Book: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon – Stephen King
      Rating: 4 stars
      Date Finished: July 11

      Man, what a harrowing trip! The thing that followed was so awful, especially since it was described by a poor, little girl slowly coming unhinged after I think two weeks alone in the wild. Even though a not well thought through decision started her trek, Trisha was surprisingly resourceful and resilient. I think the thing that scared me the most reading this was the thought of my own daughter in that situation! It starts in Maine, but ends in New Hampshire.

      Points so far: 2
      Next up: Massachusetts (The Sword of Summer – Rick Riordan)

      Liked by 1 person

      July 11, 2017
  25. Kristel #

    Kristel’s Road Trip,
    Starting state: Delaware, read #1001 Books, any 1001 book.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 1, 2017
    • Kristel #

      Finished my book, 1001, Hallucinating Foucault. 1 point. Next state, deciding between Maryland or Pennsylvania.

      Like

      July 4, 2017
  26. Nicole’s 3 month stint in Connecticut

    Starting Location: Connecticut
    Book: The Witch of of Blackbird Pond
    Current Points 1

    Liked by 1 person

    July 1, 2017
    • OK, changing to The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Elizabeth George Speare
      Connecticut

      Liked by 1 person

      July 9, 2017
      • The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Speare 5/5

        I’d forgotten all about this book which I’m certain I read as a kid (absolutely NO recollection) and which won the Newberry Medal in 1959.

        Age range for this book was 10-12 years old, but that seems kind of young for me. The protagonist is 16, and some of the themes seemed more mature than 10, but what do I know, I’m old.

        Kit is from Barbados and recently lost her grandfather who raised her. She travels to Connecticut to live with family there. She’s rather a free spirit, which in the 1700’s New England must mean you are a witch. She reminded me a lot of Anne of Green Gables. A little less wide-eyed, but totally delightful.

        The stupid puritans did their stupid puritan thing, but it’s a children’s book so the stupidity was halted before anything serious could happen.

        I loved it! What a great way to spend a few hours. Now I just need to sit here and not obsess about the Salem Witch Trials and how sadly relevant they still seem.

        POINTS: 1 (hear me roar)

        Like

        July 10, 2017
    • From CT skipping New York, moving to PA with Jerry Spinelli (from PA) Stargirl

      Liked by 1 person

      July 10, 2017
    • Pennsylvania – Jerry Spinelli from there

      Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli 2/5

      I’m not trying to read YA or kids books here, it’s just what popped up. After The Witch of Blackbird Pond this was such a disappointment. A really irritatingly weird quirky girl starts at a new school and is weird and quirky and everybody hates her, then everybody loves her, then everybody hates her again, so she tries to be somebody else and everybody loves her, but she hates herself and Lesson, so she goes back to being weird and quirky. I thought it was dumb.

      Audio was read by John Ritter which was a little surreal.

      Current Points 2
      Moving to Ohio

      Liked by 1 person

      July 13, 2017
    • Points: 2

      Hillbilly Elegy – JD Vance +1
      3.5/5
      Visited: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame +5

      I haven’t been a fan of books like A Girl Named Zippy and the Glass Castle, Glass Castle to me was just abuse. I realized as I was reading this book that I have a degree of bias against working class white people (read: poor) that I don’t have against poor black people. For some reason I feel like the white people aren’t trying and the black people are. This book helped to remind me that poor is poor and circumstances of birth are not a persons fault whether it be skin color or socioeconomic condition.

      I know where my bias comes from, believe me and I experienced it in this book as well as it went on. It’s something I need to work on.

      Mamaw was a completely hysterical person. What a nutter. Would make for great book club discussion.

      TOTAL POINTS: 8

      Moving to Kentucky

      Like

      July 14, 2017
      • fixing my points …

        Missed Liberty Bell Pennsylvania adding +5
        Current total 13

        Tennessee

        Beloved – Toni Morrison
        5/5

        OK, so I guess Toni Morrison didn’t write How Stella Got Her Groove Back. This was good news. i loved this book, it was just dark enough and totally enthralling. The audio was read by the author and she was fantastic.

        Current Points: 14

        Like

        July 19, 2017
      • and moving to Tennessee

        Like

        July 19, 2017
    • and I am leaving Graceland, Graceland, Memphis Tennessee, I’m leaving Graceland.
      +5

      Child of God – Cormac McCarthy
      4/5

      Wow, McCarthy has one twisted imagination. Probably one of the darkest most twisted books I’ve ever read. An earlier McCarthy, you can definitely get a picture of the author he will become.

      This is set in Tennessee I believe in the early 1900’s, and it’s about one man’s depravity/madness, and the town it impacts.

      Fast read, and sadly I was enthralled.

      +1

      Total Points 20

      Moving to Missouri

      Like

      July 23, 2017
  27. Erin’s Road Trip
    Starting State: Florida
    Book: The Yearling
    Current Points: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    July 1, 2017
  28. ABG’s Road Trip
    Starting State: Georgia
    Book: Paperweight, Meg Haston
    Current Points: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    July 2, 2017
  29. jyotioo #

    I’m starting out in Boston Mass, with Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane, an author I’ve never read (but this book was recommended by a reading friend). Off to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    July 2, 2017
  30. Charisma’s Road Trip
    Starting location: Georgia
    Book: The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    Current points: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    July 2, 2017
    • 1. Georgia: [book:The Color Purple|11486] by [author:Alice Walker|7380].

      5 ✭ and a 💗

      The version I listened to is narrated by the author. I enjoyed listening to Alice’s voice and I think nobody could read it better.

      The book itself is a masterpiece, and I was sad it ended so soon. The story, the language, the historical element,.. I loved every last bit of it. I value the learning aspect of it: learning about the cultures in Africa, about the way black people (and especially women) lived and suffered, but also were able to find joy and some type of happiness.

      P.S. While listening to the story, I kept thinking that I know this, and I remember reading about that, etc. But I do not remember reading it before. Yet even the ending sounded familiar, so I must have read it before.

      🚘 ➟ Alabama

      Like

      July 8, 2017
    • 2. Alabama: Quicksand by Nella Larsen

      4 ✭

      I listened to a Librivox recording narrated by Elizabeth Klett.

      I appreciate the writing, but cannot fully sympathise with the main character, Helga Crane. While listening she kept reminding me of a story I’m listening in a car with my kids about a chap who didn’t know what happiness was and went away searching for it. After many days of wondering the world he came back to his village unsatisfied, still not knowing what happiness was. Not because he didn’t find one, but because he kept on missing the opportunity, kept on looking away from it. Helga reminds me of such a person. IMHO, she had many opportunities to find her happiness, but kept missing them, kept getting unsettled, kept wishing for more…

      Another thing that I find interesting, especially after just reading The Color Purple, is the complete opposites in the descriptions of God: one radiates hope, where another is discouraging and depressing at best.

      From The Color Purple:

      “Think what it means that Ethiopia is Africa! All the Ethiopians in the bible were colored. It had never occurred to me, though when you read the bible it is perfectly plain if you pay attention only to the words. It is the pictures in the bible that fool you. The pictures that illustrate the words. All of the people are white and so you just think all the people from the bible were white too. But really white people lived somewhere else during those times. That’s why the bible says that Jesus Christ had hair like lamb’s wool. Lamb’s wool is not straight, Celie. It isn’t even curly. (56.3)”

      From Quicksand:

      “Her mind, swaying back to the protection that religion had afforded her, almost she wished that it had not failed her. An illusion. Yes. But better, far better, than this terrible reality. Religion had, after all, its uses. It blunted the perceptions. Robbed life of its crudest truths. Especially it had its uses for the poor – and the blacks.
      For the blacks. The Negroes.
      And this, Helga decided, was what ailed the whole Negro race in America, this fatuous belief in the white man’s God, this childlike trust in full compensation for all woes and privations in “kingdom come.” Sary Jones’s absolute conviction, “In de nex’ worl’ we’s all recompense’,” came back to her. And ten million souls were as sure of it as was Sary. How the white man’s God must laugh at the great joke he had played on them! Bound them to slavery, then to poverty and insult, and made them bear it unresistingly, uncomplainingly almost, by sweet promises of mansions in the sky by and by.”

      Overall, I am glad to have read the story. I might need to return to it in the future as I feel there is much more to be found/experienced on re-read.

      🚘 ➟ Tennessee

      Current Points: 12

      Liked by 1 person

      July 9, 2017
    • 3. Tennessee: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.

      5 ✭

      A fascinating book! I started it reading an ebook and even though I was reading it extremely slow, I enjoyed it so much more. There are so many things I’ve marked to go back to either for a quote, or to read more information on the subject. Later on, about 2/3 through I got an audio recording and even though the reading went on at a much faster pace, the enjoyment suffered greatly.

      I’m not saying that I liked the story less, but I didn’t have as much time to savor it.

      Overall, I liked the book a lot, and even though I expected quite a different ending to it, I still give it five stars.

      P.S. I might update my review at a later date, when I have time to add all the comments/quotes I have bookmarked.

      🚘 ➟ Arkansas

      Current Points: 18

      Liked by 1 person

      July 24, 2017
  31. Denise #

    This sounds like fun!

    Denise’s Road trip

    Starting State: New York

    Book: Sutton by JR Moehringer

    Current Points: 0

    (Hope I did this right!)

    Liked by 1 person

    July 6, 2017
  32. Ohh I’d like to join!
    Katie’s Road Trip:
    Starting State: Georgia
    Book: The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
    Current points: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    July 6, 2017
  33. BookWorm’s Bookish Break
    Starting State Massachusetts
    Book: The Burning Girl Claire Messud
    Current points 0

    Liked by 1 person

    July 8, 2017
    • The Burning Girl Claire Messud
      3 stars

      Full review to appear on blog soon. Brief outline I enjoyed the story about the dangers facing girls as they become young women but some of the details didn’t work for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      July 9, 2017
      • 2nd State New York
        Book: Crazy House James Patterson
        Current points 1

        Liked by 1 person

        July 9, 2017
      • New York – Author from New York
        Crazy House James Patterson
        3 stars

        Full review to appear on blog soon. Brief overview JP does YA this is a departure from his normal style of writing and while I did enjoy the story it was not as compelling as other YA I have read.

        3rd State Pennsylvania
        Current points 2

        Liked by 1 person

        July 16, 2017
      • Pennsylvania – author born here
        Attraction – Liberty Bell

        Blood Work Michael Connelly

        A solid 3 stars

        This is the 8th Harry Bosch novel which is strange as he is not even mentioned in the story, it is also the 1st Terry McCaleb book which is again strange as he appears to have a whole back story we are missing.

        The mystery side of things is interesting enough and the twist works well if a little unbelievably.

        4th state Ohio

        Current points 8

        Liked by 1 person

        July 18, 2017
    • Ohio – Author studied English here
      Attraction Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

      New Boy by Tracy Chevalier
      3 Stars

      Full review to appear on blog soon, brief outline this is the story of Othello with the main characters as 11 year olds!!

      5th State Kentucky

      Current points 14

      Like

      July 21, 2017
    • Kentucky – author born here

      High Tide Jude Deveraux
      3 Stars

      Solid romantic thriller with likeable characters and a fun (if totally unbelievable plotline)

      Good escapism.

      Like

      July 23, 2017

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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