There are a plethora of summer reading ideas for kids out there. Between the amazing Scholastic Summer Reading program, all the free programs at book stores and libraries and tons of online resources, we pretty much have kids covered. I even did like three posts already this summer specifically geared towards kids! You can check them out under my Summer Reading tab.
What about ideas for adults though? Maybe you’re thinking we don’t need motivation. We’re grownups, right? We can motivate ourselves simply by saying “I’m going to read tonight.” Sometimes, though, it doesn’t really work out that way. I thrive on lists. Working my way through them, ticking off completed items- lists give me purpose!
So in honor of the upcoming patriotic holiday, I thought it would be fun to create a summer reading across the US list, with famous writers from each state. That way, you can choose one from every state (or even just every region) and make your own summer reading list! Let’s get started!
Summer Reading Across the US
The links below are affiliate links. I tried to include a mix of classic and modern writers from big publishers and indies across all genres. One author per state, even though every state has tons of great authors. There is no rhyme or reason to why I picked who I picked. Sometimes it was totally random. The authors were either born or died in the states next to their name OR were well-known for writing while living in that state. Example: I was born in Colorado. I grew up in PA and lived here most of my life. Someday, though, I may die in another state. I think PA should still get to claim me. Make sense?
- Alabama: Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
- Alaska: Sherry Simpson, The Accidental Explorer
- Arizona: Emily Jane Trent, Touched by You series. Steamy reads for fans of hot romance! You can get the first four books for $0.99 right now.
- Arkansas: Melissa Francis, Bite Me! California: Horst Christian, Loyal to a Degree. Absolutely amazing WWII fictionalized account based on a true story of a young teenage boy growing up in Hitler Youth. I edited later books in the series and am just fascinated with Horst’s stories.
- Colorado: Barbara O’Neil, The Secret of Everything
- Connecticut: Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games
- Delaware: Robert Gover, The $100 Misunderstanding Florida: Carl Hiaasen, Hoot. Yes, it’s a kid’s book, but I kind of liked it!
- Georgia: Iris Johansen, Eve Duncan series.
- Hawaii: Allegra Goodman, Intuition.
- Idaho: Kelly Jones, The Woman Who Heard Color
- Illinois: William Goodwin, The Princess Bride Indiana: John Green, Paper Towns. With the movie coming out, I thought he deserved the Indiana spot this time around
- Iowa: Rebecca Hahn, A Creature of Moonlight
- Kansas: James Gunn, The Toy Collector
- Kentucky: Janna McMahan, Calling Home.
- Louisiana: Nancy A. Collins. I picked her over Anne Rice because her characters kicked Anne’s character’s butts for a living!
- Maine: Stephen King, no-brainer there!
- Maryland: Edgar Allen Poe. Although he was born in MA, MD claims him as their own because he lived and died in Baltimore. Massachusetts: Louisa May Alcott, Little Women <– Love the cover on this copy!
- Michigan: Aimee Carter, The Goddess Test Minnesota: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
- Mississippi: Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire
- Missouri: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie
- Montana: Christopher James Paolini, Eragon Nebraska: Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl
- Nevada: Nevada Barr, Anna Pigeon series
- New Hampshire: J. D.” Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye. He was born in NY, but died in NH, so they can claim him.
- New Jersey: Judy Blume, Summer Sisters is a great one for grownups! Or go back and read all your favorites from childhood!
- New Mexico: Robert Crichton, The Camerons
- New York: Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
- North Carolina: Quinn Dalton, High Strung
- North Dakota: Louis L’Amour Ohio: Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
- Oklahoma: Tim Tingle, How I Became a Ghost
- Oregon: Kate Gray, Carry the Sky
- Pennsylvania: Dean Koontz, born and raised here, although I think he lives out west now. I was a HUGE fan of all his earlier works, although I haven’t been loving his recent books.
- Rhode Island: H. P. Lovecraft, creepiest writer that ever lived, if you ask me! He wrote The Necronomicon, among other horror stories.
- South Carolina: Robert Jordan, Wheel of Time series
- South Dakota: Heather Gudenkauf, These Hidden Things
- Tennessee: Amy Green, Full Moon Rising
- Texas: Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson series Utah: Ally Condie, Matched
- Vermont: Julia Alvarez, In the Time of the Butterflies
- Virginia: William Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive
- Washington: Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
- West Virginia: Jennifer L. Armentrout, Scorched
- Wisconsin: Peter Straub, horror novelist
- Wyoming: C.J. Box, Joe Pickett series
Phew! Wow. My carpal tunnel is killing me! That took FIVE hours to research and write! I so need to go take a nap now. But there you have it, a summer reading list of writers from all 50 states. Let me know which ones you read! Or recommend a writer from YOUR state for me to check out!
For more fun patriotic entertainment ideas visit a few of my favorite bloggers.
- Patriotic Board Games by In Our Spare Time
- Best Family Movies to Watch on the 4th of July by Our Family World
- Outdoor Games to Play at Your 4th of July BBQ by Mom Does it All
- Games for Canadians by Gaggle of Gamers
- Top 10 US History Movies by Upstate Ramblings
- Popular Patriotic Songs for 4th of July Parties by Mom on the Side
- Patriotic Movies to Enjoy at Home by Day by Day in Our World
- Patriotic Picture Books by Better in Bulk
This would be a fun challenge for older kids – try to read a book by an author from each state. I’m from Massachusetts, so I love that we’re represented by Louisa May Alcott on this list!
I’ve never read In the Time of the Butterflies. Being from Vermont, I need to check that one out.
Wow! What an extensive list, this is awesome! I have never even heard of the one from my state, WV!! Thanks!
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