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This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

After several years in the Subsidiary Rights Department at Atria Books, Hilary Krutt now works as an editor at L&T, a brand publishing company. A former member of the Off the Shelf editorial board, Hilary continues to be an avid consumer (and sometimes reviewer) of contemporary fiction and memoir. She hails from Boston but currently calls Brooklyn home.

We’re kicking off the summer season with a literary road trip from the lush forests of Maine, to the small towns of the Midwest, to the expansive plains of Wyoming. Each of these thirteen books celebrates a distinct microcosm of the American landscape. Choose your own destination and let’s hit the road!


Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine
by Ann Hood

In 1969, three young women are on the cusp adulthood, but their life stories unfold quite differently than they had planned. SOMEWHERE OFF THE COAST OF MAINE is their journey—the dreams and the choices they make when they are young, and the changes brought about by the passing of time.

Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine
Ann Hood

In 1969, three young women are on the cusp adulthood, but their life stories unfold quite differently than they had planned. SOMEWHERE OFF THE COAST OF MAINE is their journey—the dreams and the choices they make when they are young, and the changes brought about by the passing of time.

MENTIONED IN:

This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

By Hilary Krutt | May 24, 2016

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Brewster
by Mark Slouka
Set in small town Brewster, New York, in 1968, this novel tells the story of two boys who find solace in their close friendship as they confront feelings of powerlessness, navigate hardships at home, and dream of an escape from their dead-end town.

MENTIONED IN:

This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

By Hilary Krutt | May 24, 2016

Finding Bromance in 1960’s Upstate New York

By Brianne Sperber | June 26, 2014

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Leaving Rock Harbor
by Rebecca Chace

Hoping for a fresh start, fourteen-year-old Frankie Ross and her parents move to the booming mill town of Rock Harbor, Massachusetts, on the eve of World War I. This unforgettable coming-of-age story of family, love, and loss is told against the backdrop of a dramatic era of American history.

Leaving Rock Harbor
Rebecca Chace

Hoping for a fresh start, fourteen-year-old Frankie Ross and her parents move to the booming mill town of Rock Harbor, Massachusetts, on the eve of World War I. This unforgettable coming-of-age story of family, love, and loss is told against the backdrop of a dramatic era of American history.

MENTIONED IN:

This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

By Hilary Krutt | May 24, 2016

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Sag Harbor
by Colson Whitehead

Benji Cooper is one of the few black students at his elite Manhattan prep school. But every summer, Benji escapes to Sag Harbor, where a small community of African American professionals have built a world of their own in the Hamptons. And although he’s just as confused about this all-black refuge as he is about the white world he negotiates the rest of the year, he thinks that the summer of ’85 might be one for the ages.

Sag Harbor
Colson Whitehead

Benji Cooper is one of the few black students at his elite Manhattan prep school. But every summer, Benji escapes to Sag Harbor, where a small community of African American professionals have built a world of their own in the Hamptons. And although he’s just as confused about this all-black refuge as he is about the white world he negotiates the rest of the year, he thinks that the summer of ’85 might be one for the ages.

MENTIONED IN:

This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

By Hilary Krutt | May 24, 2016

10 Beachy Reads to Fight the Winter Blues

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 19, 2015

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Winesburg, Ohio
by Sherwood Anderson
In this moving collection of interrelated stories, Ohio-born Sherwood Anderson (1876–1941) illuminates the loneliness and frustration—spiritual, emotional, and artistic—of life in a small American town.
Winesburg, Ohio
Sherwood Anderson

If you enjoyed the array of personalities in the podcast—the troubled young man, the suspicious distant relatives, the crew at the tattoo parlor, and the outsider observing it all—pick up Sherwood Anderson’s moving collection of interrelated stories, WINESBURG, OHIO. Ohio-born Anderson illuminates the loneliness and frustration—spiritual, emotional, and artistic—of life in a small American town.

Read a review of WINESBURG, OHIO here.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | May 4, 2017

This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

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By Off the Shelf Staff | November 3, 2015

One of the Greatest Portraits of American Life

By Stuart Roberts | February 23, 2015

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Close Range : Wyoming Stories
by Annie Proulx

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning and bestselling author of THE SHIPPING NEWS and ACCORDION CRIMES comes one of the most celebrated short-story collections of our time. Annie Proulx's masterful language and fierce love of Wyoming are evident in these breathtaking tales of loneliness, violence, and the wrong kinds of love.

Close Range : Wyoming Stories
Annie Proulx

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning and bestselling author of THE SHIPPING NEWS and ACCORDION CRIMES comes one of the most celebrated short-story collections of our time. Annie Proulx's masterful language and fierce love of Wyoming are evident in these breathtaking tales of loneliness, violence, and the wrong kinds of love.

MENTIONED IN:

This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

By Hilary Krutt | May 24, 2016

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Windigo Island
by William Kent Krueger

When the body of a missing teenage girl washes up on the shore of a Minnesota island in Lake Superior, the residents of the nearby Bad Bluff reservation whisper that it was the work of the deadly mythical beast, the Windigo. Private investigator Cork O’Connor has taken on the case to determine how to save another missing girl, before it’s too late.

Windigo Island
William Kent Krueger

When the body of a missing teenage girl washes up on the shore of a Minnesota island in Lake Superior, the residents of the nearby Bad Bluff reservation whisper that it was the work of the deadly mythical beast, the Windigo. Private investigator Cork O’Connor has taken on the case to determine how to save another missing girl, before it’s too late.

MENTIONED IN:

15 Books to Read Around the Campfire

By Christine Carbo | June 19, 2017

This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

By Hilary Krutt | May 24, 2016

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By the Iowa Sea
by Joe Blair

As a young man, Joe Blair was determined that he would never settle down. Fifteen years later, he finds himself working as a repairman in Iowa and spending his free time taxiing his children. When the Iowa River floods, transforming the town’s streets into a terrible and beautiful sea, Joe begins to question the path that led him to this place.

By the Iowa Sea
Joe Blair

As a young man, Joe Blair was determined that he would never settle down. Fifteen years later, he finds himself working as a repairman in Iowa and spending his free time taxiing his children. When the Iowa River floods, transforming the town’s streets into a terrible and beautiful sea, Joe begins to question the path that led him to this place.

MENTIONED IN:

This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

By Hilary Krutt | May 24, 2016

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Crazy in Alabama
by Mark Childress

Comic, tragic, tender, and outlandish, CRAZY IN ALABAMA is the story of two journeys that converge in the deep south in 1965. Twelve-year-old Peejoe spends the summer at his grandmother’s where he witnesses violent racial conflict firsthand. Meanwhile, his aunt Lucille murders her husband, drops her six kids at her mother’s house, where Peejoe is staying, and heads to Los Angeles to audition for “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

Crazy in Alabama
Mark Childress

Comic, tragic, tender, and outlandish, CRAZY IN ALABAMA is the story of two journeys that converge in the deep south in 1965. Twelve-year-old Peejoe spends the summer at his grandmother’s where he witnesses violent racial conflict firsthand. Meanwhile, his aunt Lucille murders her husband, drops her six kids at her mother’s house, where Peejoe is staying, and heads to Los Angeles to audition for “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

MENTIONED IN:

This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

By Hilary Krutt | May 24, 2016

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Montana 1948
by Larry Watson

When twelve-year-old David’s uncle Frank—a war hero and respected doctor—is accused of molesting his female Indian patients in the summer of 1948, David is forced to make the impossible choice between family loyalty and justice.

Montana 1948
Larry Watson

When twelve-year-old David’s uncle Frank—a war hero and respected doctor—is accused of molesting his female Indian patients in the summer of 1948, David is forced to make the impossible choice between family loyalty and justice.

MENTIONED IN:

This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

By Hilary Krutt | May 24, 2016

Close

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
by Hunter S. Thompson

This cult classic of gonzo journalism is the tale of a long weekend road trip that has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest, most drug-soaked, and addlebrained journeys ever undertaken.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Hunter S. Thompson

This cult classic of gonzo journalism is the tale of a long weekend road trip that has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest, most drug-soaked, and addlebrained journeys ever undertaken.

MENTIONED IN:

This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

By Hilary Krutt | May 24, 2016

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California
by Edan Lepucki

The sunshine state lies in darkness, Los Angeles in ruins. This gripping and provocative debut novel imagines a frighteningly realistic near future, in which clashes between mankind’s dark nature and irrepressible resilience force us to question how far we will go to protect the ones we love.

California
Edan Lepucki

The sunshine state lies in darkness, Los Angeles in ruins. This gripping and provocative debut novel imagines a frighteningly realistic near future, in which clashes between mankind’s dark nature and irrepressible resilience force us to question how far we will go to protect the ones we love.

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This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

By Hilary Krutt | May 24, 2016

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By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | March 31, 2016

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The Oregon Trail
by Rinker Buck

At once a majestic journey, a significant work of history, and a moving personal saga, this is the journey of a lifetime: an epic quest to travel the length of the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned way, in a covered wagon with a team of mules. A wildly ambitious work of nonfiction, it is a book with a heart as big as the country it crosses.

The Oregon Trail
Rinker Buck

At once a majestic journey, a significant work of history, and a moving personal saga, this is the journey of a lifetime: an epic quest to travel the length of the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned way, in a covered wagon with a team of mules. A wildly ambitious work of nonfiction, it is a book with a heart as big as the country it crosses.

MENTIONED IN:

These 9 Stories of Immersive Journalism Will Broaden Your Perspective

By Julianna Haubner | May 9, 2017

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By Off the Shelf Staff | August 16, 2016

This Land is Your Land: 13 Literary Pit Stops Across the USA

By Hilary Krutt | May 24, 2016

10 Must-Reads That Celebrate the Expanse of the American West

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | July 7, 2015

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