50 States Reading Challenge (3+ Books For Every State, Over 250 total!)

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Yay! I finally have my first reading challenge up! This is the ultimate USA reading challenge. I included at least three books per state so that way if you’ve read the main one you have some other options right there.

I won’t have descriptions of any of the books on this post because that would be a lot more overwhelming than usual or than it needs to be, so it’s just a list with books set in every state.

I also tried to make sure this list was very diverse. I chose tons of LGBTQ+ books, books by authors of color, and books with main characters varying in colors and sizes. I did not want this to be a massive list of old white guy books, though there still are some included.

I also tried to include a wide variety of genres from contemporary to memoir, YA romance to natural science, thrillers, and more. The only thing there isn’t much of is fantasy and sci-fi just because they’re usually in their own worlds. But there is a mermaid book or two and a couple of witchy books.

So, I hope you join me in this 50 states reading challenge and are inspired to see more of the US after this or that is help gets you excited for a trip you already have planned. I’m not usually big on reading challenges (I like the idea but rarely stick with it) but want to give this one a try.

Some states have a lot more books (California, New York, Florida) and others are very hard to find books for (Delaware, anyone?) but I did my best. If you have any suggestions for the states with fewer books, I would love to hear them! I would also love any suggestions from local authors for anywhere to add.

SO, how do you even tackle a list like this? Well, I would do it one state at a time. I would either start with the ones that interest you the most to the least or just do them in alphabetical order. Or backward. There are plenty of options, but I would recommend saving this for later for easy reference. You can save the pins right under here or at the bottom of the post.

  • If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free.  Get that Audible deal here.
  • If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd!  You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
  • Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
  • If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
  • Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
  • Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
  • Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.

Alabama – Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

Alaska – The Sun is A Compass

Arizona – The Music of What Happens

Arkansas – Cottonmouths

California – Clover Blue

Colorado – Columbine

Connecticut – Silver Lake

Delaware – The Book of Unknown Americans

Florida – The Orchid Thief

Georgia – Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Hawaii – Molokai

Idaho – Educated

Illinois – I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Indiana – You Should See Me in a Crown

Iowa – A Thousand Acres

Kansas – Letters Never Sent

Kentucky – Come and Go, Molly Snow

Louisiana – Beware the Wild

Maine – Orphan Train

Maryland – Bewitching Hannah

Massachusetts – How to Hang A Witch

Michigan – American Street

Minnesota – We Contain Multitudes

Mississippi – The Gone Dead

Missouri – The Empire Rolls

Montana – Missoula

Nebraska – There’s Someone Inside Your House

Nevada – Harley in the Sky

New Hampshire – The Secret History

New Jersey – All Boys Aren’t Blue

New Mexico – Paperweight

New York – The Thirty Names of Night

North Carolina – I Wish You All the Best

North Dakota – The Master Butchers Singing Club

Ohio – Other Words for Home

Oklahoma – Kind of Kin

Oregon – Piecing Me Together

Pennsylvania – With the Fire on High

Rhode Island – Providence

South Carolina – Lying Beneath the Oaks

South Dakota – The Work of Wolves

Tennessee – Nothing to See Here

Texas – This Is My America

Utah – Autoboyography

Vermont – All the Best People

Virginia – Miracle Creek

Washington – The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali

West Virginia – Almost Heaven

Wisconsin – Amina’s Voice

Wyoming – Skies Like These

It feels like it’s been weeks that I’ve been working on this (over a year on and off) but really hasn’t taken all that long. A few days at least. But it’s finally done and I’m so excited to do this myself next year and to share it with all of you!

I hope you’ll join me on this 50 states reading challenge. Make sure to comment and let me know if you join me or share it in my Facebook book club group! You can join that here. And don’t forget to leave any suggestions for books to add below, especially from diverse and local authors!

Is there anything you would add to this? Or take off? Are you going to join me in the 50 states reading challenge!?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a cheesehead at heart currently residing in the Sunshine State. You can probably find me reading, watching Forensic Files, or both.

2 thoughts

  1. If you want to add DC, may I suggest Monday’s not comming by Tiffany D Jackson? a diverse book with many tough themes. You also get a peak in to the local music.


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