This is a post in my 50 Nifty series, in which I’m reading through 50 books that embody each of the 50 United States. Find out why I’m doing this and which books I’m reading when (so you can read along) by checking out my first 50Nifty post, or else browse all 50Nifty posts by clicking here!
The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
I read this book at the end of September, just as the Cubs were clinching their spot in the playoffs for the year (although we all know how that ended, right? :/), so baseball was in the air (I even went to a game the day after I finished the book). The novel interweaves the stories of several characters involved in different ways with a small liberal arts college in eastern Wisconsin as they navigate big changes in their lives: impending graduations, new loves, new jobs, ending relationships, etc. I enjoyed the book, and it felt like a quick read, even though it was over 500 pages. I think part of the reason I liked it so much is because I could relate to many of the elements in the book. I’m from Wisconsin and I went to a small liberal arts college (albeit in Michigan), so many of the parts seemed familiar (almost familial, actually).
As a Wisconsin native, there were parts of the book that did feel like home to me (descriptions of the weather, supper clubs in the middle of nowhere, etc.), and so I think this is a good choice for the 50Nifty list. To be honest, though, I haven’t read many “Wisconsin” books (should I feel bad about that?) so I don’t have much to compare it to!