Novelist | Speaker | Adventurer

Want a cheap way to visit all 50 states? Take the 50-state book tour.

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Read your way across America hop on the 50 states book tour. Discover the multiple stories, voices, and histories that will make an indelible impression on your mind. You’ll gain meaningful knowledge of our country’s literary inheritance for pennies on your book purchases instead of dollars on your cross-country trip.

 

 

Let’s continue the book tour and visit Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Maine.

Kansas

 

What’s unique about this state?

  • At one time it was against the law to serve ice cream on cherry pie in Kansas.
  • The first woman mayor in the United States was Susan Madora Salter. She was elected to office in Argonia in 1887.
  • The first black woman to win an Academy Award was Kansan Hattie McDaniel. She won the award for her role in “Gone with the Wind.”

Kansas’ classic novel is The Wiz of Oz L. Frank Baum

Journey to the spectacular land of Oz with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz! This classic tale from L. Frank Baum has enchanted readers for over a century. Now, in this stunning hundredth-anniversary edition featuring the original illustrations by W.W. Denslow, new readers will learn the power of the phrase “There is no place like home.”

 

Kentucky

What’s unique about this state?

  • The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held horse race in the country. It is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville on the first Saturday in May.
  • The Bluegrass Country around Lexington is home to some of the world’s finest racehorses.
  • Kentucky was a popular hunting ground for the Shawnee and Cherokee Indian nations before being settled by white settlers

Kentucky’s classic novel is Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

When a Kentucky farmer is forced to sell two slaves to a plantation owner, it becomes a turning point in the lives of both slaves. For Eliza, it’s one of escape—a harrowing flight north with her young son. For Uncle Tom, sent down the Mississippi River, it’s a more certain fate, as he struggles to survive against the brutal exploitation of his traders.

Louisiana

What’s unique about this state?

  • The world famous “Mardi Gras” is celebrated in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is an ancient custom that originated in southern Europe. It celebrates food and fun just before the 40 days of Lent: a Catholic time of prayer and sacrifice.
  • The Battle of New Orleans, which made Andrew Jackson a national hero, was fought two weeks after the War of 1812 had ended and more than a month before the news of the war’s end had reached Louisiana.
  • Louisiana was named in honor of King Louis X.

Louisiana’s classic novel is A Confederacy of Dunces  by John Kennedy Toole

Meet Ignatius J. Reilly, the hero of John Kennedy Toole’s tragicomic tale, A Confederacy of Dunces. This 30-year-old medievalist lives at home with his mother in New Orleans, pens his magnum opus on Big Chief writing pads he keeps hidden under his bed, and relays to anyone who will listen to the traumatic experience he once had on a Greyhound Scenicruiser bound for Baton Rouge. (“Speeding along in that bus was like hurtling into the abyss.”)

Maine

What’s unique about this state?      

  • The White Mountain National Forest covers 800,000 acres; the forest covers a landscape ranging from hardwood forests to the largest alpine area east of the Rocky Mountains
  • Aroostook County at 6,453 square miles covers an area greater than the combined size of Connecticut and Rhode Island.
  • Approximately 40 million pounds (nearly 90 percent) of the nation’s lobster supply is caught off the coast of Maine.

Maine’s classic novel is Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition – its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.

At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance; a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband, Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.

 

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