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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.
- 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. Get that deal 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
- Tip of the Iceberg
- Tourist Attraction
- The Final Frontiersman: Heimo Korth and His Family, Alone in Alaska’s Arctic Wilderness
- I Know You Remember
Arizona – The Music of What Happens
Arkansas – Cottonmouths
California – Clover Blue
- Missing, Presumed Dead
- The Joy Luck Club
- Post Office
- The Girl with Ghost Eyes
- Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
- Music from Another World
- Full Disclosure
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
- The Revolution of Birdie Randolph
- Ghost Boys
- Love, Hate & Other Filters
- The Beauty of Your Face
- The Nix
- We Speak in Storms
Indiana – You Should See Me in a Crown
Iowa – A Thousand Acres
Kansas – Letters Never Sent
- The Great Unknowable End
- Moon Over Manifest
- The Virgin of Small Plains
- The Persian Pickle Club
- The Deepest Roots
- The Babysitters Coven
Kentucky – Come and Go, Molly Snow
Louisiana – Beware the Wild
Maine – Orphan Train
- Evvie Drake Starts Over
- Sweet Salt Air
- Miss Portland
- The Second Mother
- The Last True Poets of the Sea
Maryland – Bewitching Hannah
Massachusetts – How to Hang A Witch
- The Lace Reader
- The Physick Book of Deliverance
- The Perfect Couple
- Things You Save in a Fire
- Seaview Road
- We Were Liars
- We Were Promised Spotlights
Michigan – American Street
Minnesota – We Contain Multitudes
- Riding with Brighton
- The Last Shadow Warrior
- This Town Sleeps
- Ordinary Grace
- The Lager Queen of Minnesota
- Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words
Mississippi – The Gone Dead
Missouri – The Empire Rolls
Montana – Missoula
- Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post
- A Yellow Raft in Blue Water
- Blind Your Ponies
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
- The Sundown Motel
- Clap When You Land
- Felix Ever After
- An Unwanted Guest
- Let Me Hear a Rhyme
- The City We Became
- The Stars Beneath Our Feet
North Carolina – I Wish You All the Best
- All the Missing Girls
- The Edge of Anything
- In West Mills
- The Woods are Always Watching
- No One Is Coming to Save Us
- The Weight of This World
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
- The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
- The Gravity of Us
- Bleeding Violet
- Orpheus Girl
- The Field Guide to the North American Teenager
- Barely Missing Everything
- Tigers, Not Daughters
Utah – Autoboyography
- The Desert Sky Before Us
- A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention
- Junction, Utah
Vermont – All the Best People
Virginia – Miracle Creek
Washington – The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
- Girl, Unframed
- Dead Girls Don’t Lie
- The Orchardist
- My Name Is Venus Black
- The Highest Tide
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!?