Reading New England: Check-in and Giveaway Announcement

Posted June 21, 2016 by Lory in challenges / 6 Comments


It’s hard to believe, but the year is already half over and so is the year-long Reading New England Challenge. I’ve had such a wonderful time so far with this challenge; how about you? If you’re participating, do you feel the challenge has been a positive experience? What do you still want to accomplish this year? Would you like to give us a recap of what you’ve read so far? Even if you’re just watching from the sidelines, are there any New England titles that you have read or want to read that you’d like to suggest?

So far, I have read 21 books and reviewed 7. I’ve enjoyed my encounters with classics like Our Town and A Separate Peace, as well as discovering new gems like Hidden View and New England Bound. I’m looking forward to another six months of exploring the region through books, and hopefully doing some actual traveling to some of the many literary locations that surround me as well.

I was also delighted that I managed to organize a New England Book Blogger Meet-up, and hope we can have another before the end of the year.

Here I’d like to announce my giveaway plan: at the end of the year, I’ll list all the titles I have read for the challenge (reviewed or not), and the giveaway winner can choose a book or books from my list. You do not have to be participating in the challenge to enter, but here’s the incentive for participants:

  • If you win and have linked up 0-3 reviews, you can choose ONE book from my list.
  • If you’ve linked up 4-8 reviews, you can chose TWO books.
  • If you’ve linked up 9-12 reviews, you can choose THREE books.

Visiting and commenting on other posts will also earn you extra entries, so be sure to check out the Genre Post and State Post linkup pages. This giveaway will be international (to countries served by Book Depository).

I enjoyed looking back to see what I’ve read so far. New Hampshire was my state of choice to begin with, it seems, but I had quite a run of Vermont books at the end. Massachusetts has not gotten much play yet, but that’s about to change soon, and Rhode Island has been neglected completely, which is a shame – I must do something about that.

  • 2016-05-22 15.48.54
    New England book shelf at Harvard Book Store

    A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos (New Hampshire)

  • A Separate Peace – John Knowles (New Hampshire)
  • Amos Fortune, Free Man – Elizabeth Yates (New Hampshire)
  • Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout (Maine)
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving (New Hampshire)
  • Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House – Eric Hodgins (Connecticut)
  • The Country of the Pointed Firs – Sarah Orne Jewett (Maine)
  • Long Day’s Journey into Night – Eugene O’Neill (Connecticut)
  • The Evil Wizard Smallbone – Delia Sherman (Maine)
  • Galvanized – Leland Kinsey (Vermont)
  • Our Town – Thornton Wilder (New Hampshire)
  • The Inn at Lake Devine – Elinor Lipman (Massachusetts/Vermont)
  • Pollyanna – Eleanor H. Porter (Vermont)
  • Ah, Wilderness! – Eugene O’Neill (Connecticut)
  • Idyll Banter – Chris Bohjalian (Vermont)
  • Hidden View – Brett Ann Stanciu (Vermont)
  • The Children – Ann Leary (Connecticut)
  • Soup – Robert Newton Peck (Vermont)
  • Understood Betsy – Dorothy Canfield Fisher (Vermont)
  • Life Among the Savages – Shirley Jackson (Vermont)
  • New England Bound – Wendy Warren (multi-state/general) Review coming on Friday

I’ve sampled poetry, drama, children’s books, and fantasy, along with a goodly helping of adult fiction. Still, there’s so much more on my list I would like to read — what’s on yours?






6 responses to “Reading New England: Check-in and Giveaway Announcement

  1. “Reading New England” has introduced me to a lot of books I never otherwise would have read. And it’s added to the list of books that I really want to read. 🙂 I’ve had a lot of fun with this challenge, and hope to finish reading a book from all six states, as well as a few others that you’ve read and posted about. Thanks for hosting this awesome challenge!!

    • Yay, I’m so glad you are enjoying it! I want to read many of the books you’ve posted about too.

  2. Thoughts from your list….Pollyanna! OMG, one of my favorite books from childhood. I remember reading it to my 2nd grade class. I was so proud of myself for being able to read it all with only a little help from the teacher 🙂 I also read The Inn at Lake Devine and enjoyed it.

    As for what’s next: I just finished Little Women and the post goes up tomorrow. I am really looking forward to The Heathen School, which I am starting on Saturday, The Haunting of Hill House (I hope it’s as scary as the movie!) and my first HP Lovecraft, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

    Btw, I got a map of the New England states from AAA which I put up on my study wall!

    • Great idea – it would be fun to mark the locations of the books I’ve read on a map!

      Your upcoming titles all sound so intriguing – Little Women is an old favorite but I’ve never read the others. I was unable to determine whether The Haunting of Hill House is actually set in New England (it seems it might have been inspired by a house in California) so I’ll be interested to see what your take on it is.

  3. I really like the idea of reading New England–so many wonderful authors and locations, classics and contemporary, poetry and fiction to choose from.

    I’ve never read or seen a production of Our Town, which is remarkable when you think about it! If you’re still looking for authors, there’s always Louisa May Alcott and Mark Twain to dip into

    I do like reading themes and lists–helps me focus.

    • Our Town is performed every day somewhere in the world, and yet I’ve never seen it live. I guess I just haven’t been in the right place at the right time.