a bunch of books

Reading Challenge 2014

I came across a good post on Reddit that got me thinking about what some of my goals are for 2014. I’ve already got some fitness goals (first triathlon) as well as personal goals (done with an office job by August). But, being a fairly avid reader when time allows, I thought this was a good idea:

  • The goal is to read as many books as you can written by authors from different US states.

  • An author’s state is the state in which he was born; Hemingway lived in Florida and Idaho, but he was born in Illinois.

Here are the achievement levels, based on number of states “visited” in 2014:

  • Turn Off the Television: 1-5 states visited
  • Homebody: 6-10 states visited
  • Budget Traveler: 11-15 states visited
  • Frequent Flier: 16-20 states visited
  • Pathfinder: 21-25 states visited
  • Lewis and Clark: 26 or more states visited

In a best-case outcome you would read 50 books, roughly one per week. If you don’t think that even 26 is an achievable number, remember that’s just one book every 2 weeks. And consider the following partial list of novelists and their home states:

  1. Ernest Hemingway – Illinois
  2. Tom Perrotta – New Jersey
  3. Mark Twain – Missouri
  4. F. Scott Fitzgerald – Minnesota
  5. John Dunning – New York
  6. Dan Jenkins – Texas
  7. Robert B. Parker – Massachusetts
  8. Marisha Pessl – Michigan
  9. Carl Hiaasen – Florida
  10. Stephen King – Maine
  11. Jim Butcher – Missouri
  12. John Steinbeck – California
  13. Dean Koontz – Pennsylvania
  14. Dashiell Hammett – Maryland
  15. John Grisham – Arkansas
  16. Sue Grafton – Kentucky
  17. Laura Moriarty – Hawaii
  18. James Thurber – Ohio
  19. Ray Blackston – South Carolina
  20. S.E. Hinton – Oklahoma
  21. Flannery O’Connor – Georgia

Keep in mind that each state only counts once; Mark Twain and Jim Butcher are both from Missouri, but if you read the entire Dresden series and Tom Sawyer it only counts as one state visited (even if you detoured into Kansas in between). But this also shows the flexibility of this challenge: fans of the classics and fans of Sci-Fi/Fantasy both have options in Missouri.

I doubt I’ll find the time to get myself up to 26 or more, but I’m going to aim for 11-15 – and I’m going to include short stories. Being part of a reading club helps, and although I don’t always end up falling in love with new readings, I’ve found it helpful to branch out into different authors and subject matters. You never know where it will end up affecting your life!

Read the full article on the challenge here: http://somersetbooks.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-50-states-reading-challenge.html

Leave a Reply