books & novels | u.s.a. |

Before and during my travels, and sometimes after, I read literary fiction or memoirs set in my destination. Sometimes I also read historical accounts. I enjoy the process of immersing myself in a place before I go, getting a feel for the culture and what defines a place. Reading ignites my imagination about a place and its inhabitants. Reading once I return home extends my travel time.

The following list of books set in the United States is a work in process.  I invite readers to suggest additional books set in these locales in the comments below. I’m most interested in including memoir, literary fiction, historical accounts or essays, not guidebooks.  Links to Goodreads and my Star ratings (1-5) are provided for books I’ve actually read.  The books in green bold are ones I already own but haven’t yet read.

  1. Iconic American Road Trip Books
    • Non-fiction
      • Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck *****
      • On the Road by Jack Kerouac ****
      • Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian’s Guide to Traveling in Style by Andi Eaton ****
      • American Nomads: Travels with Lost Conquistadors, Mountain Men, Cowboys, Indians, Hoboes, Truckers, and Bull Riders by Richard Grant ***
      • Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon (begins & ends in Missouri)
      • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
      • Road Trip USA: Cross Country Adventures on America’s Two-Lane Highways by Jamie Jensen
      • Postcards from the End of America by Linh Dinh
      • The Great American Road Trip by Eric Peterson
      • Charles Kuralt’s America by Charles Kuralt
      • The Cruise of the Rolling Junk by F. Scott Fitzgerald
      • The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America by Bill Bryson
      • Cross Country: Fifteen Years and Ninety Thousand Miles on the Roads and Interstates of America with Lewis and Clark by Robert Sullivan
      • Trip of the Tongue: Cross-Country Travels in Search of America’s Languages by Elizabeth Little
      • A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins
      • Trespassing Across America: One Man’s Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland by Ken Ilgunas
      • Wild by Cheryl Strayed
      • The Best American Travel Writing 2000, Ed. Bill Bryson
      • The Best American Travel Writing 2015, Ed. Andrew McCarthy
      • The Best American Travel Writing 2016, Ed. Bill Bryson ***
    • Fictional road trips
    • Staying at home or stay-cations
      • This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick
      • The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer
  2. U.S. States (& the District of Columbia)
    1. Alabama
      1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee *****
      2. The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
      3. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
      4. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (& Ghana)
      5. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
      6. Four Spirits by Sena Jeter Naslund
      7. A Walk Through Fire by William Cobb
      8. Hell at the Breech by Tom Franklin
      9. All Over but the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg
      10. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
      11. The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton
      12. Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter
      13. The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter by Kia Korthron
      14. Forrest Gump by Winston Groom
    2. Alaska
      1. The Cloud Atlas by Liam Callanan
      2. My One Square Inch of Alaska by Sharon Short
      3. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
      4. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
      5. The Fugitive Wife by Peter C. Brown
      6. The Memory Thief by Emily Colin (?)
      7. Into the Wild by John Krakauer
      8. Alaska by James Michener
      9. Coming Into the Country by John McPhee
      10. The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
      11. The Unpassing by Chia-Chia Lin
    3. Arizona
      1. Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver ****
      2. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
      3. The Woman Lit by Fireflies by Jim Harrison *****
      4. Inland by Téa Obreht ***
      5. The Turquoise Ledge: A Memoir by Leslie Marmon Silko ***
      6. Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor
      7. The Song of the Lark (Great Plains Trilogy #2) by Willa Cather ***
      8. Arizona: Kicks on Route 66.  Text by Roger Naylor, Photographs by Larry Lindahl
      9. Crossers by Philip Caputo
      10. Dinosaurs: A Novel by Lydia Millet
      11. Light Changes Everything by Nancy E. Turner
      12. Gallatin Canyon by Thomas McGuane
      13. Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral (Doc Holliday #2) by Mary Doria Russell
      14. These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 by Nancy E. Turner (Arizona Territory)
      15. Dories Ho! by Matt and Karen Smith
    4. Arkansas
      1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (also Louisiana & California)
      2. A Painted House by John Grisham
      3. Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
      4. Elkhorn Tavern by Douglas C. Jones
      5. True Grit by Charles Portis
      6. Norwood by Charles Portis (also Texas)
      7. Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany by Charles Portis
      8. Victory over Japan: A Book of Stories by Ellen Gilchrist
      9. The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield
      10. The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks by Donald Harington
      11. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Green
    5. California
      1. China Dolls by Lisa See **
      2. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan *****
      3. The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan (& China) ****
      4. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck ***
      5. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck ****
      6. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
      7. The Physics of Sunset: A Novel by Jane Vandenburgh ****
      8. The Monk Downstairs by Tim Farrington ****
      9. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan ***
      10. The Infinite Plan by Isabel Allende ****
      11. The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende ***
      12. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
      13. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (& N.Y. & Nevada)
      14. An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender
      15. The Book of Dead Birds by Gayle Brandeis
      16. The Metaphysical Touch by Sylvia Brownrigg
      17. Slouching Towards Bethlehem (Essays) by Joan Dideon
      18. Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion
      19. Where I Was From by Joan Didion
      20. Blue Nights by Joan Didion
      21. The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
      22. Queen of Dreams by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
      23. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
      24. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
      25. White Oleander by Janet Fitch
      26. Abandon by Pico Iyer
      27. The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin
      28. Like Family: Growing Up in Other People’s Houses by Paula McLain (memoir) ***
      29. Song of the Seals by Christy Yorke
      30. The Library Book by Susan Orlean
      31. The Bad Muslim Discount (Kindle) by Syed M. Masood (San Francisco)
      32. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
      33. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
      34. The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond (San Francisco/Costa Rica) ****
      35. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
      36. The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
      37. Failure to Zigzag: A Novel by Jane Vandenburgh
      38. The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling
      39. A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
      40. Delayed Rays of a Star by Amanda Lee Koe
      41. Homebase: A Novel by Shawn Wong
      42. The Forgetting Tree by Tatjana Soli
      43. The Whip by Karen Kondazian
      44. The Other Americans by Laila Lalami
      45. The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander (also Soviet Union)
      46. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
      47. The Tortilla Curtain by T. Coraghessan Boyle
      48. Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz
      49. Bone by Fae Myenne Ng
      50. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
      51. Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
      52. Big Sur by Jack Kerouac
      53. The Octopus: A Story of California by Frank Norris
      54. This Wicked World by Richard Lange
      55. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
      56. The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
      57. Ask the Dust by John Fante
      58. Telegraph Avenue: A Novel by Michael Chabon
      59. Perfidia by James Ellroy
      60. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
      61. The Mountains of California by John Muir
      62. West of Eden by Jean Stein
      63. Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub
      64. My Hollywood by Mona Simpson
      65. Farm City by Novella Carpenter
      66. The Circle by Dave Eggers
      67. The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
      68. The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson
      69. The Midnights by Sarah Nicole Smetana
      70. Another Side of Paradise by  Sally Koslow
      71. The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison
      72. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
      73. The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding
      74. The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin
      75. Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
      76. There There by Tommy Orange
      77. Golden State by Stephanie Kegan
      78. Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
      79. The Party by Robyn Harding
      80. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
      81. What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma by Stephanie Foo (Malaysia)
    6. Colorado
      1. Plainsong (Plainsong, #1) by Kent Haruf *****
      2. Eventide (Plainsong, #2) by Kent Haruf *****
      3. Benediction (#3) by Kent Haruf *****
      4. The Tie That Binds by Kent Haruf *****
      5. Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
      6. Where You Once Belonged by Kent Haruf
      7. The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
      8. The Song of the Lark (Great Plains Trilogy #2) by Willa Cather ***
      9. Descent by Tim Johnston
      10. The Last Chairlift by John Irving
      11. The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
      12. The Magic of Ordinary Days: A Novel by Ann Howard Creel
      13. Orange Mint and Honey by Carleen Brice
      14. The Shining by Stephen King
      15. The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (non-fiction)
      16. The Painter by Peter Heller
      17. Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country by Pam Houston
      18. Ill Wind by Nevada Barr (Mesa Verde)
      19. Centennial by James A. Michener
      20. Long Way Gone by Charles Martin
      21. Wait Until Spring, Bandini (The Saga of Arturo Bandini #1) by John Fante
    7. Connecticut
      1. Brass by Xhenet Aliu
      2. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
      3. The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames
      4. The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin
      5. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
      6. The Children by Ann Leary
      7. A Good School by Richard Yates
      8. The Ice Storm by Rick Moody
      9. Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
      10. Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg (Kindle)
    8. Delaware
      1. The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez (& Mexico) ****
      2. Shattered: Reclaiming a Life Torn Apart by Violence by Debra Puglisi Sharp & Marjorie Preston (memoir) ****
      3. The Saint of Lost Things by Christopher Castellani ****
      4. Beloved by Toni Morrison (also Ohio & Kentucky)
      5. West of Rehoboth by Alexs D. Pate
    9. District of Columbia – Washington, D.C.
      1. Breaking her Fall by Stephen Goodwin ****
      2. The Sea of Tears: A Novel by Nani Power *****
      3. plum & jaggers by Susan Richards Shreve
      4. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (& N.C. & Mexico)
      5. That Summer’s Trance by J.R. Salamanca
    10. Florida
      1. The Problem with Murmur Lee by Connie May Fowler (St. Augustine) ***
      2. Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh (also Virginia) ****
      3. Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
      4. Digging to Indochina by Connie Brewald ****
      5. Love Warrior by Blennon Doyle Melton (memoir) (?)
      6. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Tallahassee)
      7. When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton ***
      8. The Last Train to Key West (The Cuba Saga #3) by Chanel Cleeton
      9. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (Everglades) ****
      10. Killing Mister Watson (Shadow Country Trilogy #1) by Peter Matthhiessen (Kindle)
      11. Lost Man’s River (Shadow Country Trilogy #2) by Peter Matthiessen
      12. Bone by Bone (Shadow Country Trilogy #3) by Peter Matthiessen
      13. Cross Creek by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (Kindle)
      14. The Body in Question by Jill Climent *****
      15. The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel (Colombia & Cuba) ****
      16. Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett
      17. With Teeth by Kristen Arnett
      18. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
      19. Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen
      20. Razor Girl by Carl Hiassen
      21. Paper Towns by John Green (Orlando)
      22. Best State Ever by Dave Barry
      23. Ninety-Two in the Shade by Thomas McGuane
      24. South Florida Fodor’s Travel ****
      25. Miami
        1. Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
        2. Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet *****
        3. Miami by Joan Didion ***
        4. Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy by Carlos Eire ***
        5. Stiltsville by Susanna Daniel (Kindle) ****
        6. Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia ***
        7. Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard
        8. 15 Views of Miami (essay collection), ed. Jaquira Díaz
        9. Miami Babylon: Crime, Wealth and Power: A Dispatch from the Beach by Gerald Posner
        10. The Year of Dangerous Days by Nicholas Griffin
        11. Miami Blues by Charles Willeford
      26. Keys
        1. The Road to Key West by Michael Reisig
        2. Hemingway’s Girl by Erica Robuck
        3. Key West by Lynn Coleman
    11. Georgia
      1. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
      2. A Childhood by Harry Crews
      3. The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson
      4. Atlanta
        1. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
        2. Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones
        3. The End of October by Lawrence Wright
        4. The Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi S. Laskar
        5. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
        6. Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn by Gary M. Pomerantz
        7. The Temple Bombing by Melissa Fay Greene
        8. Peachtree Road by Anne Rivers Siddons
      5. Savannah
        1. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt ****
    12. Hawaii
      1. Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn
      2. Hawaii by James A. Michener
      3. From Here to Eternity by James Jones
      4. Moloka’i (Moloka’i #1) by Alan Brennert
      5. Honolulu by Alan Brennert
      6. Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
      7. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
      8. Paradise News by David Lodge
      9. East Wind, Rain by Caroline Paul
      10. He Mele A Hilo by Ryka Aoki
      11. Wild Meat and Bully Burgers by Lois-Ann Yamanaka
      12. Democracy by Joan Didion
      13. The Winds of War by Herman Wouk
      14. Song of the Exile by Kiana Davenport
      15. Sleeping Beauties by Susanna Moore
      16. The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar
    13. Idaho
      1. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson ****
      2. Idaho: A Novel by Emily Rukovich
      3. Educated by Tara Westover ****
      4. All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki
      5. Iona Moon by Melanie Rae Thon
      6. Coeur d’Alene Waters by Ned Hayes
      7. The Big Burn by Timothy Egan
      8. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
      9. In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in Unknown Country by Kim Barnes
    14. Illinois
      1. Barn Blind by Jane Smiley ****
      2. The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg (2005) ****
      3. The Fall of a Sparrow by Robert Hellenga *****
      4. Anything is Possible (stories) by Elizabeth Strout *****
      5. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout ****
      6. Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout
      7. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
      8. Ruby & Roland by Faith Sullivan
      9. The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder
      10. The Nix by Nathan Hill
      11. Dandelion Wine by Rad Bradbury
      12. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
      13. Reliance, Illinois by Mary Volmer
      14. The Speed of Light by Javier Cercas
      15. The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai
      16. Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah
      17. So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell
      18. Chicago
        1. Chicago by Alaa al Aswany ****
        2. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros *****
        3. Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
        4. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger ***
        5. I Sailed with Magellan by Stuart Dybek ****
        6. The Coast of Chicago (stories) by Stuart Dybek
        7. The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo ***
        8. The Girl in the Photograph by Gabrielle Donnelly (starts in Chicago, but mostly in L.A.) ****
        9. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai ****
        10. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
        11. The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
        12. Alone with You in the Ether by Olivie Blake
        13. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
        14. Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life by Christie Tate
        15. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
        16. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
        17. Native Son by Richard Wright
        18. The Man Who Lived Underground by Richard Wright
        19. Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
        20. Chicago: A Novel by Brian Doyle
        21. Noon in Paris, Eight in Chicago by Douglas Cowie (+Guatemala, Mexico, Paris)
        22. Ramshackle by Elizabeth Reeder
        23. Building Stories by Chris Ware
        24. Oh, Play That Thing by Roddy Doyle
        25. The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
        26. An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz (non-fiction)
        27. Make Me a City: A Novel of Chicago by Jonathan Carr
        28. The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown (& Paris)
        29. The Walls Came Down by Ewa Dodd
        30. The World in Half by Cristina Henríquez (& Panama)
        31. An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz
        32. Fodor’s Chicago by Fodor’s Travel Guides ****
        33. Walking Chicago: 31 Tours of the Windy City’s Classic Bars, Scandalous Sites, Historic Architecture, Dynamic Neighborhoods, and Famous Lakeshore by Ryan Ver Berkmoes ****
    15. Indiana
      1. The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel
      2. A Girl Named Zippy (Zippy #1) by Haven Kimmel (memoir)
      3. The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf
      4. Zorrie by Laird Hunt
      5. All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers
      6. Indianapolis
        1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green ****
    16. Iowa
      1. Gilead (Gilead, #1) by Marilynne Robinson ***
      2. Home by Marilynne Robinson
      3. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley ****
      4. Some Luck by Jane Smiley
      5. An Ocean in Iowa by Peter Hedges
      6. The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
      7. The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf
      8. Squashed by Joan Bauer
      9. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
      10. Bottomland by Michelle Hoover
      11. Alice’s Tulips by Sandra Dallas
    17. Kansas
      1. The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty *****
      2. The Removes by Tatjana Soli
      3. The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
      4. Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes
      5. The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
      6. The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
      7. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
      8. Bleeding Kansas by Sara Peretsky
      9. The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas
      10. Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
      11. Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
      12. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
      13. PrairieErth by William Least Heat-Moon
      14. The Unplowed Sky by Jeanne Williams
      15. Pioneer Women: Voices from the Kansas Frontier by Joanna Stratton
    18. Kentucky
      1. The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett ***
      2. Shiloh and Other Stories by Bobbie Ann Mason ****
      3. In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason *****
      4. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver ****
      5. Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith ***
      6. Eli the Good by Silas House (Kindle) – (YA)
      7. A Parchment of Leaves by Silas House
      8. Baptisms and Dogs: Stories by Brian L. Tucker
      9. The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz
      10. The Sisters by Nancy Jensen
      11. River of Earth by James Still
      12. Kinfolks: The Wilgus Stories by Gurney Norman
      13. Hunter’s Horn by Harriet Simpson Arnow
      14. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
    19. Louisiana
      1. The Awakening by Kate Chopin *****
      2. Nine Women by Shirley Ann Grau ****
      3. The House on Coliseum Street by Shirley Ann Grau
      4. The Hard Blue Sky by Shirley Ann Grau
      5. Roadwalkers by Shirley Ann Grau
      6. The Condor Passes by Shirley Ann Grau
      7. Madeleine’s Ghost by Robert Girard (also New York)
      8. Louisiana Power & Light by John Dufresne * (DNF)
      9. Welding with Children (stories) by Tim Gautreaux (& other books by this author)
      10. Last Things by Jenny Offill (& Vermont)
      11. Audubon’s Watch by John Gregory Brown
      12. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (also Arkansas & California)
      13. The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate
      14. The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
      15. American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment by Shane Bauer
      16. New Orleans
        1. Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen
        2. The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
        3. A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
    20. Maine
      1. Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine by Ann Hood ****
      2. Cider House Rules by John Irving ****
      3. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
      4. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
      5. Olive, Again (Olive Kitteridge #2) by Elizabeth Strout (linked stories)
      6. The Guest Book by Sarah Blake
      7. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
      8. The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve
      9. Colony by Anne Rivers Siddons
      10. The State We’re In: Maine Stories by Ann Beattie
      11. Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark
    21. Maryland
      1. A Map of Betrayal by Ha Jin (& China)
      2. Mason’s Retreat by Christopher Tilghman
      3. Baltimore
        1. The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler ****
        2. Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler ****
        3. Clock Dance by Anne Tyler ****
        4. Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler ****
        5. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler ****
        6. Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler
        7. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
        8. Digging to America by Anne Tyler
        9. Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler
        10. Morgan’s Passing by Anne Tyler
        11. Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
        12. The Clock Winder by Anne Tyler
        13. Celestial Navigation by Anne Tyler
        14. A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler
        15. The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler
        16. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
        17. The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler
        18. French Braid by Anne Tyler
        19. An American Summer by Frank Deford
        20. Ten Indians by Madison Smartt Bell
        21. Charm City by Madison Smartt Bell
        22. Charm City: A Walk Through Baltimore by Madison Smartt Bell
        23. Charm City by Laura Lippman
        24. The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood by Ta-Nehisi Coates
        25. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
        26. The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton (1965-2010)
        27. The Corner by David Simon and Ed Burns
        28. Chesapeake by James A. Michener
        29. 111 Places in Baltimore That You Must Not Miss by Allison Robicelli
        30. Walking Baltimore: An Insider’s Guide to 33 Historic Neighborhoods, Waterfront Districts, and Hidden Treasures in Charm City by Evan Balkan
    22. Massachusetts
      1. Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella ****
      2. Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs ***
      3. A Reckoning by May Sarton *****
      4. Chances Are… by Richard Russo ****
      5. Claire Marvel by John Burnham Schwartz ****
      6. Happy All the Time by Laurie Colwin ****
      7. Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman ****
      8. Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman ***
      9. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri ***
      10. Bodies of Water by T. Greenwood *****
      11. Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood
      12. The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman
      13. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
      14. The Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate (& Ohio)
      15. Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken
      16. Love Story by Erich Segal
      17. Writers & Lovers by Lily King
      18. Boston
        1. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie *****
        2. Julie and Romeo by Jeanne Ray ****
        3. Something Wild by Hanna Halperin
        4. The Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey
        5. Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian
        6. Fodor’s Boston ****
      19. Cape Cod & Provincetown
        1. The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken ****
        2. The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
        3. Goodnight Stranger by Miciah Bay Gault
        4. The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess
        5. Any books by Mary Oliver, the poet
          1. House of Light ****
          2. A Thousand Mornings
          3. Felicity
          4. New and Selected Poems, Volume 1
          5. New and Selected Poems, Volume 2
          6. Upstream: Selected Essays
          7. A Poetry Handbook
    23. Michigan
      1. The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter ***
      2. A Relative Stranger (stories) by Charles Baxter ****
      3. Pears on a Willow Tree by Leslie Pietrzyk ***
      4. True North by Jim Harrison
      5. Off to the Side: A Memoir by Jim Harrison
      6. The Great Leader (Detective Sunderson #1) by Jim Harrison
      7. Beach Read by Emily Henry ****
      8. The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
      9. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Toronto & Great Lakes Region) ****
      10. The House of Deep Water by Jeni McFarland
      11. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
      12. Ursula, Under by Ingrid Hill
      13. A Mentor and her Muse by Susan Sage
      14. Act of Grace by Karen Simpson
      15. Moon Michigan by Paul Vachon ****
      16. Detroit
        1. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
        2. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
        3. Eight Mile High by Jim Daniels
        4. The Dollmaker by Harriet Arnow
        5. Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
    24. Minnesota
      1. Love Among the Ruins: A Novel by Robert Clark *****
      2. the sun collective by Charles Baxter ****
      3. Night of the Radishes by Sandra Benítez ***
      4. Virgil Wander by Leif Enger ****
      5. Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg (1994)  ***
      6. Ordinary Life: Stories by Elizabeth Berg (2001) ****
      7. The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg (2004) ****
      8. The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal ****
      9. The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
      10. This Tender Land: A Novel by William Kent Krueger
      11. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
      12. Wintering by Peter Geye
      13. The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang
      14. In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien
      15. The Things They Carried (stories) by Tim O’Brien *****
      16. July, July by Tim O’Brien
      17. Northern Lights by Tim O’Brien
      18. Sacred Wilderness by Susan Power
      19. Rainlight by Alison McGhee
      20. Moon Minnesota by Trisha Cornell ****
    25. Mississippi
      1. Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall *****
      2. Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes
      3. Jewel by Brett Lott
      4. Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
      5. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
      6. Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
    26. Missouri
      1. The Awakening by Kate Chopin *****
      2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain *****
      3. the obituary writer by Porter Shreve
      4. Stoner by John Williams
      5. William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life by Steve Almond
      6. Joy School by Elizabeth Berg
      7. The Story of Arthur Truluv (Mason #1) by Elizabeth Berg
      8. Night of Miracles (Mason #2) by Elizabeth Berg
      9. The Confession Club (Mason #3) by Elizabeth Berg
      10. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
      11. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
      12. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
      13. The Twenty-Seventh City by Jonathan Franzen
      14. The River Wife by Jonas Agee
      15. Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles
      16. The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton
      17. Claire de Lune by Jetta Carleton
      18. Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg
      19. Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! by Fannie Flagg
      20. The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton by Jane Smiley
      21. Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
      22. Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell
      23. The Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell
      24. The Outlaw Album by Daniel Woodrell
      25. Woe to Live On by Daniel Woodrell
      26. Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell
      27. Mr. Bridge by Evan S. Connell
      28. Finn by Jon Clinch
      29. A Good American by Alex George
      30. Torn Away by Jennifer Brown
      31. The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
      32. Juliet’s Moon by Ann Rinaldi
      33. This is Graceanne’s Book: A Novel by P.L. Whitney
      34. The Tender Land: A Family Love Story by Kathleen Finneran
      35. A Bad Day for Pretty by Sophie Littlefield
      36. The Farther Shore by Matthew Eck
      37. The King of Kings County by Whitney Terrell
      38. The Huntsman by Whitney Terrell
    27. Montana
      1. The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans *****
      2. The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans
      3. The Center of Everything by Jamie Harrison
      4. Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison
      5. The Ancient Minstrel: Novellas by Jim Harrison
      6. The Cadence of Grass by Thomas McGuane
      7. Kingdomtide by Rye Curtis
      8. Perma Red by Debra Magpie Earling
      9. The Ploughman by Kim Zupan
      10. Where the Sea Used to Be by Rick Bass
    28. Nebraska
      1. O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy #1) by Willa Cather ****
      2. My Ántonia (Great Plains Trilogy #3) by Willa Cather ****
      3. Dalva (Dalva #1) by Jim Harrison *****
      4. The Road Home (Dalva #2) by Jim Harrison
      5. The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett 
      6. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
      7. Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos
      8. The Echo Maker by Richard Powers
      9. Devils in the Sugar Shop by Timothy Schaffert
      10. The Plain Sense of Things by Pamela Carter Joern
      11. The Floor of the Sky by Pamela Carter Joern
      12. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
      13. In the Land of Second Chances by George Shaffner (& all other novels set in Ebb, Nebraska)
      14. Worth Dying For (Jack Reacher) by Lee Child
      15. Goodnight, Nebraska by Tom McNeal
      16. Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas by Mari Sandoz
      17. Old Jules by Mari Sandoz
      18. Nebraska: Stories by Ron Hansen
      19. Moving Out: A Nebraska Woman’s Life by Polly Spence
      20. The Big Empty: Contemporary Nebraska Nonfiction Writers, ed. by Ladette Randolph and Nina Shevchuk-Murray
      21. My Nebraska: The Good, the Bad, and the Husker by Roger Welsch
      22. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
      23. Nebraska Off the Beaten Path by Diana Lambdin Meyer ****
    29. Nevada
      1. Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje
      2. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (& N.Y. & California)
      3. A Prayer for Travelers by Ruchika Tomar
      4. Girl Child by Tupelo Hassman
    30. New Hampshire
      1. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving *****
      2. The Cider House Rules by John Irving ****
      3. The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving
      4. Sea Glass by Anita Shreve ****
      5. Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve
      6. The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve
      7. All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve
      8. The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve
      9. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
      10. Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult
      11. Edson by Bill Morrisey
      12. As We Are Now by May Sarton
      13. Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett
      14. The Golden Hour by T. Greenwood
    31. New Jersey
      1. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
      2. Drown by Junot Díaz
      3. Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
      4. Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
      5. 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster
      6. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
      7. Bad Haircut: Stories of the Seventies by Tom Perrotta
      8. The Lay of the Land (Frank Bascombe #3) by Richard Ford
      9. Palisades Park by Alan Brennert
      10. Paterson by William Carlos Williams
      11. The Pine Barrens by John McPhee (non-fiction)
      12. The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet by Kim Adrian
      13. Cape May by Chip Cheek
      14. Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth
      15. The Plot Against America: A Novel by Philip Roth
      16. Newark
        1. American Pastoral (The American Trilogy #1) by Philip Roth
        2. Indignation by Philip Roth
    32. New Mexico
      1. Loving Pedro Infante by Denise Chavez ****
      2. The Professor’s House by Willa Cather ****
      3. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
      4. Night at the Fiestas (stories) by Kirstin Valdez Quade *****
      5. Juniper Tree Burning by Goldberry Long **
      6. The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob (& India & Seattle)
      7. The Spell of New Mexico by Tony Hillerman (essays) ***
      8. A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman
      9. The Wailing Wood by Tony Hillerman
      10. Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
      11. Cities of the Plain (Border Trilogy #3) by Cormac McCarthy
      12. The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church
      13. The Sea of Grass by Conrad Richter
      14. The Milagro Bean Field War by John Nichols
      15. The Nirvana Blues by John Nichols
      16. Georgia O’Keefe: 100 Flowers
      17. The Woman at Otowi Crossing by Frank Waters
      18. The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook
      19. Banana Rose by Natalie Goldberg
      20. The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages (Manhattan Project)
      21. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
      22. Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko
      23. Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford
      24. Los Alamos by Joseph Kanon
      25. Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone
      26. American Elsewhere by Robert Bennett
      27. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
      28. The Last Beautiful Days of Autumn by John Nichols
      29. Bone Horses by Lesley Poling-Kempes
      30. Moon New Mexico: Outdoor Adventures, Road Trips, Local Culture (Travel Guide) by Steven Horak
      31. Moon Santa Fe, Taos, & Albuquerque by Steven Horak
    33. New York
      1. The Good Husband by Gail Godwin ***
      2. Arabian Jazz by Diana-Abu Jaber ****
      3. What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt *****
      4. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (& California & Nevada)
      5. The Sunday Tertulia by Lori Marie Carlson **
      6. Shadow Baby (Adirondacks) by Alison McGhee ****
      7. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
      8. Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
      9. Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream by John Derbyshire **
      10. The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards
      11. Madeleine’s Ghost by Robert Girard (& Louisiana)
      12. The Honey Wall by Karen Latuchie (& Vermont)
      13. The Usual Rules by Joyce Maynard
      14. Charming Billy by Alice McDermott
      15. The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott
      16. Improvement by Joan Silber
      17. Running to the Mountain: A Midlife Adventure by Jon Katz
      18. the light we lost by Jill Santopolo
      19. More Than Words by Jill Santopolo
      20. For Kings and Planets by Ethan Canin
      21. Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo
      22. Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo
      23. The People We Keep by Allison Larkin
      24. Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
      25. Look at Me by Jennifer Egan
      26. Weather by Jenny Offill
      27. The Fall of Saints by Wanjiku wa Ngugi
      28. In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende (& Guatemala, Chile & Brazil)
      29. Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda (& Dominican Republic)
      30. The Travelers by Regina Porter
      31. Montauk by Nicola Harrison
      32. Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn
      33. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
      34. Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
      35. Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman (Sag Harbor)
      36. Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo (U.K.)
      37. Buffalo
        1. Broke Heart Blues by Joyce Carol Oates (Willowsville, NY – 11 mi. east of Buffalo)
        2. Buffalo Lockjaw by Greg Ames
        3. Buffalo Gal: A Memoir by Laura Pedersen
      38. Niagara Falls
        1. The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates ****
        2. The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
        3. Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildner
        4. Cataract City by Craig Davidson
        5. The Odds: A Love Story by Stewart O’Nan
        6. City of Light by Lauren Belfer
        7. Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power and Lies by Ginger Strand
      39. New York City
        1. Three Junes by Julia Glass ****
        2. Park City: New & Selected Stories by Ann Beattie *****
        3. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss ****
        4. Crawling at Night by Nani Power *****
        5. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith ****
        6. The Book Doctor by Esther Cohen ***
        7. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert ****
        8. The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright (Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Afghanistan, New York) *****
        9. If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
        10. Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen
        11. The Book Borrower by Alice Mattison
        12. Surrender, Dorothy by Meg Wolitzer
        13. The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash
        14. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
        15. The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam ****
        16. The Street by Ann Petry (Harlem)
        17. Joan Is Okay by Weike Wang
        18. Olga Dies Dreaming by Xóchitl González
        19. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
        20. Severance by Ling Ma
        21. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
        22. The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
        23. Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
        24. Hex by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight
        25. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
        26. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
        27. The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy (& Mongolia)
      40. Syracuse
        1. Origin by Diana Abu-Jaber
    34. North Carolina
      1. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier **** (& Virginia)
      2. The Hotel Alleluia by Lucinda Roy (?)
      3. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (& D.C. & Mexico)
      4. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
      5. At Home in Mitford (Mitford Years #1) by Jan Karon
      6. A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler
      7. The World Made Straight by Ron Rash
      8. The Secrets She Carried by Barbara Davis
      9. In West Mills by De’Shawn Charles Winslow
      10. If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss
    35. North Dakota
      1. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (1984) **
      2. The Beet Queen by Louise Erdrich (1985) ***
      3. The Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich (1998)
      4. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich (2000)
      5. The Master Butcher’s Singing Club by Louise Erdrich (2003)
      6. The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich (2008)
      7. The Round House by Louise Erdrich (2012)
      8. LaRose by Louise Erdrich (2016)
      9. The Bingo Palace by Louise Erdrich (2017)
      10. The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich (2020)
      11. The Grass Dancer by Susan Power ***
      12. The Horizontal World: Growing Up in the Middle of Nowhere by Debra Marquart *****
      13. Beyond the Bedroom Wall by Larry Woiwode
      14. Those Days by Richard Critchfield
    36. Ohio
      1. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance (Middletown) ****
      2. House Under Snow by Jill Bialosky ***
      3. The Truth of the Matter by Robb Forman Dew ***
      4. Beloved by Toni Morrison (Ohio and Kentucky)
      5. A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
      6. Sula by Toni Morrison
      7. Ducks, Newberryport by Lucy Ellmann
      8. Stay and Fight by Madeline Ffitch
      9. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
      10. Cincinnati
        1. Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler ****
        2. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield ***
        3. Walking Cincinnati: 32 Tours Exploring Historic Neighborhoods, Stunning Riverfront Quarters, and Hidden Treasures in the Queen City by Katie Meyer & Danny Korman ****
        4. Fading Ads of Cincinnati by Ronny Salerno
      11. Northeastern Ohio
        1. Ohio by Stephen Markley
      12. Cleveland
        1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
        2. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
        3. The Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate (& Massachusetts)
        4. Bride of the Sea by Eman Quotah
    37. Oklahoma
      1. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann ****
      2. Rites: Stories by Savannah Johnston
      3. Solar Storms by Linda Hogan
      4. Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls
      5. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
      6. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
      7. Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
      8. Paradise by Toni Morrison
      9. Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
      10. Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
      11. The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts
      12. Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts
      13. Harpsong by Rilla Askew
      14. The Mercy Seat by Rilla Askew
      15. Strange Business by Rilla Askew
      16. Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew
      17. Fire in Beulah by Rilla Askew
      18. Cimarron by Edna Ferber
      19. August: Osage County by Tracy Letts
      20. Four Freedoms by John Crowley
      21. Shell Shaker by LeAnne Howe
      22. Marked by Fire by Joyce Carol Thomas
      23. Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson
      24. The Edge of Nowhere by C. H. Armstrong
      25. Maud’s Line by Margaret Verble
    38. Oregon
      1. The Memoir Club by Laura Kulpakian
      2. The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James
      3. All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung
      4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
    39. Pennsylvania
      1. Heat & Light by Jennifer Haigh
      2. In Sunlight, in a Beautiful Garden by Kathleen Cambor
      3. The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough
      4. The Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan
      5. Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
      6. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff *
      7. Philadelphia
        1. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (Kindle)
        2. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
        3. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
        4. Third and Indiana by Steve Lopez
        5. Birdy by William Wharton
        6. Black Girl/White Girl by Joyce Carol Oates
        7. In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
        8. We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride, Jo Piazza
      8. Pittsburgh
        1. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon ****
        2. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards ****
        3. An American Childhood by Annie Dillard ****
        4. American Seoul: A Memoir by Helena Rho
        5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    40. Rhode Island
      1. The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty (Kindle) ****
      2. The Edge of Winter by Luanne Rice
      3. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
      4. The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore
      5. A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
      6. Finding Mrs. Ford by Deborah Goodrich Royce
    41. South Carolina
      1. Beach Music by Pat Conroy *****
      2. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy *****
      3. The Great Santini by Pat Conroy
      4. The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy
      5. The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy
      6. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd ****
      7. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd ****
      8. Sullivan’s Island (Lowcountry Tales, #1) by Dorothea Benton Frank ****
      9. Isle of Palms (Lowcountry Tales, #3) by Dorothea Benton Frank
      10. Pawley’s Island (Lowcountry Tales, #5) by Dorothea Benton Frank
      11. Plantation by Dorothea Benton Frank
      12. All the Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank
      13. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
      14. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
      15. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
      16. Some Sing, Some Cry by Ntozake Shange, Ifa Bayeza
      17. The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd
      18. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
      19. The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis
      20. Flies on the Butter by Denise Hildreth Jones
      21. Grace at Low Tide by Beth Webb Hart
      22. The Memory Thief by Rachel Keener
      23. A Tangled Mercy by Joy-Jordan Lake
      24. Breaking and Holding by Judy Fogarty
      25. Dreams of Falling by Karen White
    42. South Dakota
      1. Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris ****
      2. Black Hills by Nora Roberts ***
      3. The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber *****
      4. The Removes by Tatjana Soli (also Kansas)
      5.  Starting from Scratch by Susan Gilbert-Collins
      6. A Long Way from Home by Tom Brokaw
      7. Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog, Richard Erdoes
      8. In the Spirit of Crazy Horse: The Story of Leonard Peltier and the FBI’s War on the American Indian Movement by Peter Matthiessen
      9. The Bones of Plenty by Lois Phillips Hudson
      10. Peace Like A River by Lief Enger
    43. Tennessee
      1. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
      2. The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard
      3. The Children by David Halberstam
      4. Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline
      5. i hate to see that evening sun go down (collected stories) by William Gay
      6. The Long Home by William Gay
      7. The Good Dream by Donna VanLiere
      8. Summer in the South by Cathy Holton
      9. The Orchard Keeper by Cormac McCarthy
      10. The Lost Saints of Tennessee by Amy Franklin-Willis
      11. Rooted by Idabel Allen
      12. A Death in the Family by James Agee
      13. Southernmost by Silas House
      14. Wash by Margaret Wrinkle
      15. Memphis
        1. taft by Ann Patchett ****
      16. Nashville
        1. Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall *****
        2. Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson ***
        3. Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson
        4. all we ever wanted by Emily Giffin
        5. Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
        6. A Place to Come To by Robert Penn Warren
        7. Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro
        8. The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove by Susan Gregg Gilmore
    44. Texas
      1. The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr ****
      2. News of the World by Paulette Jiles ****
      3. The Color of Lighting by Paulette Jiles
      4. Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
      5. God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright
      6. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
      7. Doc by Mary Doria Russell
      8. Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore (Odessa, TX) *****
      9. Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros ***
      10. All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy #1) by Cormac McCarthy ****
      11. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
      12. Dead Man’s Walk (Lonesome Dove prequel #1) by Larry McMurtry
      13. Comanche Moon (Lonesome Dove prequel #2) by Larry McMurtry
      14. Lonesome Dove (Lonesome Dove) by Larry McMurtry *****
      15. Streets of Laredo (Lonesome Dove sequel #4) by Larry McMurtry
      16. Moving On by Larry McMurtry
      17. Terms of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
      18. All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers by Larry McMurtry
      19. The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry
      20. Horseman, Pass By by Larry McMurtry
      21. Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtry
      22. Crazy Horse by Larry McMurtry
      23. In a Narrow Grave by Larry McMurtry (essays)
      24. The Promise by Ann Weisgarber
      25. Old Buildings in North Texas by Jen Waldo
      26. Why Stuff Matters by Jen Waldo
      27. Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale by Lynda Rutledge
      28. The Way Back to Happiness by Elizabeth Bass
      29. Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin
      30. Jam on the Vine by LaShondra Katrice Barnett
      31. Texas by James A. Michener
      32. Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler
      33. The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook
      34. The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel
      35. Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place by Susan Wittig Albert
      36. Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
      37. Goodbye to a River by John Graves
      38. Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce
      39. The Gates of the Alamo by Stephen Harrigan
      40. Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
      41. Friendswood by René Steinke
      42. Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation by John Phillip Santos
      43. Armadillos and Old Lace by Kinky Friedman
      44. The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale
      45. Ruby by Cynthia Bond (Oprah Book Club)
      46. The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black
      47. The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt
      48. Getting Mother’s Body by Suzan-Lori Parks
      49. All the Land to Hold Us by Rick Bass
      50. Black Water Rising by Attica Locke
      51. Brownsville by Oscar Casares
      52. The Gay Place by Billy Lee Brammer
      53. George Washington Gómez by Américo Paredes
      54. The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña by Dagoberto Gilb (around El Paso)
      55. Strange Peaches by Edwin Shrake
      56. The Time It Never Rained by Elmer Kelton
      57. Nothing Happened and Then It Did by Jake Silverstein
      58. Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson
      59. Stardust by Carla Stewart
      60. The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy
      61. The Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock
      62. The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese
      63. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (memoir)
      64. Before the Rain Falls by Camille Di Maio
      65. Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls (non-fiction)
      66. Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart
      67. Norwood by Charles Portis (also Arkansas)
      68. Giant by Edna Ferber
      69. Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann (east Texas)
      70. Lonely Planet Texas (2014)
      71. Houston
        1. Towelhead by Alicia Erian ****
      72. Austin
        1. Migratory Animals by Mary Helen Specht ****
        2. Waterloo by Karen Olsson
    45. Utah
      1. The Never Open Desert Diner by James Anderson ****
      2. Lullaby Road by James Anderson (Ben Jones #2) ****
      3. The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber***
      4. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka *****
      5. Junction, Utah by Rebecca Lawton ****
      6. Basin and Range by John McPhee (non-fiction)
      7. Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer
      8. Mormon Country by Wallace Stegner
      9. Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey
      10. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
    46. Vermont
      1. Testimony by Anita Shreve ***
      2. breathing water by T. Greenwood
      3. Where I Lost Her by T. Greenwood
      4. Two Rivers by T. Greenwood
      5. The Forever Bridge by T. Greenwood
      6. The Hungry Season by T. Greenwood
      7. Last Things by Jenny Offill (& New Orleans, La.) ***
      8. The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian
      9. Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
      10. Water Witches by Chris Bohjalian
      11. The Buffalo Soldier by Chris Bohjalian
      12. The Honey Wall by Karen Latuchie (& New York)
      13. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (& Wisconsin) *****
      14. The Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller
      15. In the Fall by Jeffrey Lent
      16. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
      17. Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris
      18. Second Glance by Jodi Picoult
      19. House Rules by Jodi Picoult
      20. A Stranger in the Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher
      21. Where the Rivers Flow North by Howard Frank Mosher
      22. Disappearances by Howard Frank Mosher
      23. Points North by Howard Frank Mosher
      24. Wandering Home by Bill McKibben
      25. Witness by Karen Hesse
      26. Go With Me by Castle Freeman Jr.
      27. All the Best People by Sonja Yoerg
      28. Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson
    47. Virginia
      1. Father Melancholy’s Daughter by Gail Godwin *****
      2. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier **** (& N.C.)
      3. Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap #1) by Adriana Trigiani ****
      4. Big Cherry Hollow (Big Stone Gap #2) by Adriana Trigiani
      5. Rescuing Patty Hearst: Growing up Sane in a Decade Gone Mad (memoir) by Virginia Holman *****
      6. Feed the Hungry: A Memoir with Recipes by Nani Power ****
      7. The Good Remains by Nani Power
      8. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
      9. The Known World by Edward P. Jones
      10. On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon by Kaye Gibbons
      11. Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons (?) ****
      12. Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh (also Florida) ****
      13. This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick
      14. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
      15. Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
      16. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
      17. The House Girl by Tara Conklin
      18. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
      19. Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
      20. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
      21. The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-boats by William Geroux ****
      22. Richmond
        1. The Language of Good-bye by Maribeth Fischer *****
        2. Razorblade Tears: A Novel by S.A. Cosby
    48. Washington
      1. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
      2. The Coast of Good Intentions by Michael Byers ****
      3. The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
      4.  Seattle
        1. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford ****
        2. Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford ***
        3. Long for This World by Michael Byers
        4. The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob (& India & New Mexico)
        5. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
        6. Bread Alone (Bread Alone #1) by Judi Hendricks
        7. The Baker’s Apprentice (Bread Alone #2) by Judi Hendricks
        8. Baker’s Blues (Bread Alone #3) by Judi Hendricks
    49. West Virginia
      1. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls *****
      2. Gloria by Keith Maillard
      3. Alison’s Automotive Repair Manual by Brad Barkley
      4. Oral History by Lee Smith
      5. The Stories of Breece D’J Pancake by Breece D’J Pancake
      6. Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips
    50. Wisconsin
      1. The Dive from Clausen’s Pier by Ann Packer ****
      2. A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton ****
      3. Vinegar Hill  by A. Manette Ansay ****
      4. Midnight Champagne by A. Manette Ansay ****
      5. Read This and Tell Me What It Says: Stories by A. Manette Ansay ***
      6. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (& Vermont) *****
      7. Little Faith: A Novel by Nickolas Butler
      8. Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff
      9. Echoes Among the Stones by Wright
      10. The Story of Edward Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski
      11. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
      12. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond *****
      13. Moon Wisconsin by Thomas Huhti ****
    51. Wyoming
      1. Close Range (Wyoming Stories #1) by Annie Proulx
      2. Bad Dirt (Wyoming Stories #2) by Annie Proulx
      3. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
      4. All Walt Longmire books by Craig Johnson
      5. The Legend of Colton H. Bryant by Alexandra Fuller
      6. The Laramie Project by Moíses Kaufman (non-fiction)
      7. Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center
      8. Open Season (Joe Pickett #1) by C.J. Box
      9. American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee
      10. Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote
      11. Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • *********
  1. U.S. Territories
    1. American Samoa
    2. Guam
    3. Northern Mariana Islands
    4. Puerto Rico
      • The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico by Sarah McCoy (Kindle)
      • The House on the Lagoon by Rosario Ferré (Kindle)
      • Eccentric Neighborhoods by Rosario Ferré
      • When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
      • Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Díaz
    5. U.S. Virgin Islands
      • How to Escape from a Leper Colony (stories) by Tiphanie Yanique


  • Memoirs or books about the general American experience, books that take place in regions, or books of short stories with various locations.
    • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls *****
    • a visit from the goon squad: a novel by jennifer egan ****
    • In the Loyal Mountains by Rick Bass *****
    • Tortured Skins and Other Fictions by Maurice Kenny ***
    • The Overstory by Richard Powers **
    • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
    • my only story by Monica Wood
    • Apprentice to the Flower Poet Z by Debra Weinstein
    • A Ship Made of Paper by Scott Spencer
    • Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America’s Wild Frontier by Stephen E. Ambrose *****
    • One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni
    • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
    • Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder
    • The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter
    • One Day: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America by Gene Weingarten
    • Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood
    • Grace by T. Greenwood
    • Four Corners:
      • A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman
    • American West:
      • Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
      • How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang (gift from Sarah)
      • Cruising Paradise: Tales by Sam Shepard ****
      • Small World: A Novel by Jonathan Evison
      • Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
      • Crossing Purgatory by Gary Schanbacher
      • Lasso the Wind: Away to the New West by Timothy Egan
    • The Midwest:
      • The Abundance by Amit Majmudar
      • Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg (1993) *****
      • What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg (1998) *****
      • Open House by Elizabeth Berg (2000) ****
      • The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West by David McCullough
      • Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen
    • The Southwest:
      • Flight and Other Stories by José Skinner *****
      • Cities of Gold: A Journey Across the American Southwest in Pursuit of Coronado by Douglas Preston
      • The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantú
    • The South:
      • The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds
      • the song reader by Lisa Tucker
      • Waiting for the Evening News: Stories of the Deep South by Tim Gautreaux
      • Spying on the South: Travels with Frederick Law Olmsted in a Fractured Land by Tony Horwitz
      • The Dog of the South by Charles Portis
      • Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads by Paul Theroux
      • The End of the World as We Know Know It: Scenes from a Life by Robert Goolrick
    • Appalachia
      • Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
    • The Pacific Northwest
      • Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot (& British Columbia)
    • Route 66
      • EZ 66 Guide for Travelers by Jerry McClanahan
    • Civil War
      • I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe
      • Days Without End: A Novel by Sebastian Barry

Here’s a resource for finding fiction set in different locales:

* I listened to an interview with Jenny Offill on Seth Meyers in March 2020, and she said she liked to walk through the library shelves and pick out random facts to put in her novels.