Novelist | Speaker | Adventurer

Your 50 states best book tour begins with Alabama, Alaska, and Arizona.

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Enjoy the ride. On this journey, you will discover that each state has something special woven into the quilt of American life.

The journey begins in Alabama.

What’s unique about this state?

 

  • Alabama introduced the Mardi Gras to the western world. The celebration is held on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent begins.
  • Alabama workers built the first rocket to put humans on the moon.
  • The world’s first Electric Trolley System was introduced in Montgomery in 1886.

Alabama’s best book is To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and a wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

 

Megan Medeiros offers some great ideas on why everyone should read to Kill a Mockingbird.

Now on to Alaska

What’s unique about this state?

  • Outsiders first discovered Alaska in 1741 when Danish explorer Vitus Jonassen Bering sighted it on a voyage from Siberia.
  • Russian whalers and fur traders on Kodiak Island established the first settlement in Alaska in 1784.
  • In 1867 United States Secretary of State William H. Seward offered Russia $7,200,000, or two cents per acre, for Alaska.

           Alaska best book is Into The Wild, Jon Krakauer.

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Check out Netflix for the Into the Wild movie starring Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay, and William Hurt.

Next, down to Arizona

What’s unique about this state?

  • Arizona is a right-to-work state. The law states no person shall be denied the opportunity to obtain or retain employment because of non-membership in a labor organization.
  • The Arizona trout is found only in Arizona.
  • The battleship USS Arizona was named in honor of the state. It was commissioned in 1913 and launched in 1915 from the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

 Arizona best book is The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver

The Bean Trees is bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel, now widely regarded as a modern classic. It is the charming, engrossing tale of rural Kentucky native Taylor Greer, who only wants to get away from her roots and avoid getting pregnant. She succeeds but inherits a 3-year-old native-American little girl named Turtle along the way, and together, from Oklahoma to Tucson, Arizona, half-Cherokee Taylor and her charge search for a new life in the West.

Read Erin Flaaen’s The Book that launches a beloved author.

What’s Next?

 

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