Tag: U.S.

Books from All Fifty States – NPR asked poets laureate, state librarians, bookstore owners

As the summer travel season kicks off, many of us look forward to exploring new places on trips away from home. To help with this, NPR asked poets laureate, state librarians, bookstore owners and other literary luminaries from all 50 states — plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico — to recommend quintessential reads that illuminate where they live.

Here are more than 100 recommendations for you — whether you want to read about somewhere you’re heading, a place you hope to go someday, or somewhere you live and want to get to know better….

The Man Who Came Uptown by George Pelecanos: The latest from George Pelecanos, The Man Who Came Uptown is a crime novel focusing on a man returning to a Washington, D.C., that has changed dramatically during his time in prison. In researching the story, Pelecanos spent time with the D.C. Jail’s librarian to develop one of the main characters in the story, Michael Hudson.
Washington, D.C

New Jersey Noir edited by Joyce Carol Oates: This anthology is a collection of stories from all around New Jersey and is a representation of the richness of experiences with a twist: It’s not all glass skyscrapers and clouds. This anthology gives voice to stories that don’t make polite society, as most of us urban Jersey kids wouldn’t. It’s a thrilling read that brings shadows to life.
New Jersey

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines: The award-winning novel by Ernest J. Gaines focuses on two African American men: Jefferson, who is accused of murder, and Grant, who had gone away for school and returns home to a community struggling to survive. Grant visits Jefferson in prison as he waits to be executed, and the men develop a bond, both eventually learning from the other. Set in a small, segregated Louisiana town in the late 1940s, A Lesson Before Dying is filled with important and timeless themes, including justice, growth, dignity and death.
Louisiana

The Virginian by Owen Wister: For many, Owen Wister’s The Virginian established the myth of the West and Western pulp fiction. Wyoming walks the dichotomy between the myth and our reality: Wyoming turns to the myth for tourism and great stories, but we ultimately find that keeping to the myth holds us back and becomes something that we cannot shake off even today. The Virginian is a great snapshot of Wyoming’s past and present struggle with our relationship to the myth of the West. the myth of the West and Western pulp fiction. Wyoming walks the dichotomy between the myth and our reality: Wyoming turns to the myth for tourism and great stories, but we ultimately find that keeping to the myth holds us back and becomes something that we cannot shake off even today. The Virginian is a great snapshot of Wyoming’s past and present struggle with our relationship to the myth of the West.
Wyoming

See the whole selection here:
Traveling this summer? Here are book picks for all 50 states (and then some)