books | 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.

  • 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
      • The English Major by Jim Harrison *****
      • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov ****
      • The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty ****
      • America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
      • Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane
      • The Wangs vs the World by Jade Chang
    • Staying at home or stay-cations
      • This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick
      • Adventures in Stillness: The Art of Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer
  • 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 (currently reading)
      5. Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor
      6. The Song of the Lark (Great Plains Trilogy #2) by Willa Cather
      7. Arizona: Kicks on Route 66.  Text by Roger Naylor, Photographs by Larry Lindahl
      8. Crossers by Philip Caputo
      9. The Turquoise Ledge: A Memoir by Leslie Marmon Silko
      10. Light Changes Everything by Nancy E. Turner
      11. Gallatin Canyon by Thomas McGuane
      12. Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral (Doc Holliday #2) by Mary Doria Russell
      13. These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 by Nancy E. Turner (Arizona Territory)
    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. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
      32. The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
      33. Failure to Zigzag: A Novel by Jane Vandenburgh
      34. The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling
      35. A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
      36. Delayed Rays of a Star by Amanda Lee Koe
      37. Homebase: A Novel by Shawn Wong
      38. The Forgetting Tree by Tatjana Soli
      39. The Whip by Karen Kondazian
      40. The Other Americans by Laila Lalami
      41. The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander (also Soviet Union)
      42. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
      43. The Tortilla Curtain by T. Coraghessan Boyle
      44. Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz
      45. Bone by Fae Myenne Ng
      46. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
      47. Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
      48. Big Sur by Jack Kerouac
      49. The Octopus: A Story of California by Frank Norris
      50. This Wicked World by Richard Lange
      51. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
      52. The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
      53. Ask the Dust by John Fante
      54. Telegraph Avenue: A Novel by Michael Chabon
      55. Perfidia by James Ellroy
      56. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
      57. The Mountains of California by John Muir
      58. West of Eden by Jean Stein
      59. Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub
      60. My Hollywood by Mona Simpson
      61. Farm City by Novella Carpenter
      62. The Circle by Dave Eggers
      63. The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
      64. The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson
      65. The Midnights by Sarah Nicole Smetana
      66. Another Side of Paradise by  Sally Koslow
      67. The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison
      68. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
      69. The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding
      70. The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin
      71. Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
      72. There There by Tommy Orange
      73. Golden State by Stephanie Kegan
      74. Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
      75. The Party by Robyn Harding
    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 Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
      11. The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard
      12. Orange Mint and Honey by Carleen Brice
      13. The Shining by Stephen King
      14. The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (non-fiction)
      15. Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country by Pam Houston
      16. Ill Wind by Nevada Barr (Mesa Verde)
      17. Centennial by James A. Michener
      18. Long Way Gone by Charles Martin
      19. 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
    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
      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. Lost Man’s River by Peter Matthiessen
      9. Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
      10. Cross Creek by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
      11. The Body in Question by Jill Climent
      12. Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett
      13. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
      14. The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel (Colombia & Cuba)
    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 Atlas of Reds and Blues by Devi S. Laskar
        4. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
        5. Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn by Gary M. Pomerantz
        6. The Temple Bombing by Melissa Fay Greene
        7. Peachtree Road by Anne Rivers Siddons
      5. Savannah
        1. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt ****
    12. Hawaii
      1. Hawaii by James A. Michener
      2. From Here to Eternity by James Jones
      3. Moloka’i (Moloka’i #1) by Alan Brennert
      4. Honolulu by Alan Brennert
      5. Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
      6. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
      7. Paradise News by David Lodge
      8. East Wind, Rain by Caroline Paul
      9. He Mele A Hilo by Ryka Aoki
      10. Wild Meat and Bully Burgers by Lois-Ann Yamanaka
      11. Democracy by Joan Didion
      12. The Winds of War by Herman Wouk
      13. Song of the Exile by Kiana Davenport
      14. Sleeping Beauties by Susanna Moore
      15. The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar
      16. Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn
    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 ****
      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. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
      7. Ruby & Roland by Faith Sullivan
      8. The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder
      9. The Nix by Nathan Hill
      10. Dandelion Wine by Rad Bradbury
      11. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
      12. Reliance, Illinois by Mary Volmer
      13. The Speed of Light by Javier Cercas
      14. The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai
      15. Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah
      16. So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell
      17. 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. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
        12. Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life by Christie Tate
        13. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
        14. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
        15. Native Son by Richard Wright
        16. Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
        17. Chicago: A Novel by Brian Doyle
        18. Noon in Paris, Eight in Chicago by Douglas Cowie (+Guatemala, Mexico, Paris)
        19. Ramshackle by Elizabeth Reeder
        20. Building Stories by Chris Ware
        21. Oh, Play That Thing by Roddy Doyle
        22. The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
        23. An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz (non-fiction)
        24. Make Me a City: A Novel of Chicago by Jonathan Carr
        25. The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown (& Paris)
        26. The Walls Came Down by Ewa Dodd
        27. The World in Half by Cristina Henríquez (& Panama)
        28. An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz
        29. Fodor’s Chicago by Fodor’s Travel Guides ****
        30. 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. 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. Gilead (Gilead #1) by Marilynne Robinson ***
      3. The Removes by Tatjana Soli
      4. The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
      5. Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes
      6. The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
      7. The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
      8. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
      9. Bleeding Kansas by Sara Peretsky
      10. The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas
      11. Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
      12. Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
      13. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
      14. PrairieErth by William Least Heat-Moon
      15. The Unplowed Sky by Jeanne Williams
      16. 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
      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. The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
        2. 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. Fates & Furies by Lauren Groff (??)
      4. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
      5. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
      6. Olive, Again (Olive Kitteridge #2) by Elizabeth Strout (linked stories)
      7. The Guest Book by Sarah Blake
      8. The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve
      9. Colony by Anne Rivers Siddons
      10. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
    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. An American Summer by Frank Deford
        19. Ten Indians by Madison Smartt Bell
        20. Charm City by Madison Smartt Bell
        21. Charm City: A Walk Through Baltimore by Madison Smartt Bell
        22. Charm City by Laura Lippman
        23. The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood by Ta-Nehisi Coates
        24. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
        25. The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton (1965-2010)
        26. The Corner by David Simon and Ed Burns
        27. Chesapeake by James A. Michener
        28. 111 Places in Baltimore That You Must Not Miss by Allison Robicelli
        29. 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. Julie and Romeo by Jeanne Ray
    4. A Reckoning by May Sarton
    5. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (?)
    6. Chances Are… by Richard Russo
    7. Claire Marvel by John Burnham Schwartz
    8. Happy All the Time by Laurie Colwin
    9. Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman
    10. Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman
    11. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
    12. The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman
    13. The Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate
    14. Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken
    15. Love Story by Erich Segal
    16. Writers & Lovers by Lily King
    17. Boston
      1. The Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey
    18. Cape Cod & Provincetown
      1. The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken ****
      2. Goodnight Stranger by Miciah Bay Gault
      3. The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess
      4. 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
    1. Michigan
    1. The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter ***
    2. A Relative Stranger (stories) by Charles Baxter
    3. Midnight Champagne by A. Manette Ansay
    4. Pears on a Willow Tree by Leslie Pietrzyk
    5. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
    6. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
    7. Ursula, Under by Ingrid Hill
    8. A Mentor and her Muse by Susan Sage
    9. True North by Jim Harrison
    10. Off to the Side: A Memoir by Jim Harrison
    11. The Great Leader (Detective Sunderson #1) by Jim Harrison
    12. Act of Grace by Karen Simpson
    13. The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
    14. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Toronto)
    15. Detroit
      1. Eight Mile High by Jim Daniels
      2. The Dollmaker by Harriet Arnow
      3. Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
    1. Minnesota
    1. Love Among the Ruins: A Novel by Robert Clark *****
    2. Night of the Radishes by Sandra Benítez
    3. Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
    4. The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg
    5. Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg (?)
    6. The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
    7. Shadow Baby by Alison McGhee
    8. Rainlight by Alison McGhee
    9. This Tender Land: A Novel by William Kent Krueger
    10. In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien
    11. July, July by Tim O’Brien
    12. Northern Lights by Tim O’Brien
    13. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
    14. Sacred Wilderness by Susan Power
    15. The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal
    1. 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
    1. 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
    1. Montana
    1. The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans *****
    2. The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans
    3. The Cadence of Grass by Thomas McGuane
    4. Perma Red by Debra Magpie Earling
    5. The Ploughman by Kim Zupan
    6. Where the Sea Used to Be by Rick Bass
    1. 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 (Sarah has)
    6. Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos
    7. The Echo Maker by Richard Powers
    8. Devils in the Sugar Shop by Timothy Schaffert
    9. The Plain Sense of Things by Pamela Carter Joern
    10. The Floor of the Sky by Pamela Carter Joern
    11. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
    12. In the Land of Second Chances by George Shaffner (& all other novels set in Ebb, Nebraska)
    13. Worth Dying For (Jack Reacher) by Lee Child
    14. Goodnight, Nebraska by Tom McNeal
    15. Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas by Mari Sandoz
    16. Old Jules by Mari Sandoz
    17. Nebraska: Stories by Ron Hansen
    18. Moving Out: A Nebraska Woman’s Life by Polly Spence
    19. The Big Empty: Contemporary Nebraska Nonfiction Writers, ed. by Ladette Randolph and Nina Shevchuk-Murray
    20. My Nebraska: The Good, the Bad, and the Husker by Roger Welsch
    21. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
    22. Nebraska Off the Beaten Path by Diana Lambdin Meyer ****
    1. 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
    1. 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
    1. 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. Bad Haircut: Stories of the Seventies by Tom Perrotta
    6. The Lay of the Land (Frank Bascombe #3) by Richard Ford
    7. Palisades Park by Alan Brennert
    8. Paterson by William Carlos Williams
    9. The Pine Barrens by John McPhee (non-fiction)
    10. The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet by Kim Adrian
    11. Cape May by Chip Cheek
    12. Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth
    13. Newark
      1. American Pastoral (The American Trilogy #1) by Philip Roth
      2. Indignation by Philip Roth
    1. 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 Sea of Grass by Conrad Richter
    13. The Milagro Bean Field War by John Nichols
    14. The Nirvana Blues by John Nichols
    15. Georgia O’Keefe: 100 Flowers
    16. The Woman at Otowi Crossing by Frank Waters
    17. The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook
    18. Banana Rose by Natalie Goldberg
    19. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
    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
    1. 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. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
    7. Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
    8. Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream by John Derbyshire
    9. The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards
    10. Madeleine’s Ghost by Robert Girard (& Louisiana)
    11. The Honey Wall by Karen Latuchie (& Vermont)
    12. The Usual Rules by Joyce Maynard
    13. Charming Billy by Alice McDermott
    14. The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott
    15. Improvement by Joan Silber
    16. Running to the Mountain: A Midlife Adventure by Jon Katz
    17. the light we lost by Jill Santopolo
    18. More Than Words by Jill Santopolo
    19. For Kings and Planets by Ethan Canin
    20. Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo
    21. Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo
    22. Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
    23. Look at Me by Jennifer Egan
    24. Weather by Jenny Ofill*
    25. The Fall of Saints by Wanjiku wa Ngugi
    26. In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende (& Guatemala, Chile & Brazil)
    27. Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda (& Dominican Republic)
    28. The Travelers by Regina Porter
    29. Montauk by Nicola Harrison
    30. Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn
    31. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
    32. Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
    33. Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman (Sag Harbor)
    34. Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo (U.K.)
    35. 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
    36. 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
    37. New York City
      1. Three Junes by Julia Glass ****
      2. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss ****
      3. Crawling at Night by Nani Power *****
      4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith ****
      5. The Book Doctor by Esther Cohen ***
      6. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert ****
      7. The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright (Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Afghanistan, New York) *****
      8. Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen
      9. The Book Borrower by Alice Mattison
      10. Surrender, Dorothy by Meg Wolitzer
      11. The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash
      12. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
      13. Severance by Ling Ma
      14. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
      15. The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
      16. Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
      17. Hex by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight
      18. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
      19. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
      20. The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy (& Mongolia)
    38. Syracuse
      1. Origin by Diana Abu-Jaber
    1. 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
    1. 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 Grass Dancer by Susan Power ***
    11. The Horizontal World: Growing Up in the Middle of Nowhere by Debra Marquart *****
    12. Beyond the Bedroom Wall by Larry Woiwode
    13. Those Days by Richard Critchfield
    1. 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. Sula by Toni Morrison
    6. Ducks, Newberryport by Lucy Ellmann
    7. Stay and Fight by Madeline Ffitch
    8. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
    9. 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
    10. Northeastern Ohio
      1. Ohio by Stephen Markley
    11. 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)
    1. Oklahoma
    1. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann ****
    2. Solar Storms by Linda Hogan
    3. Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls
    4. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
    5. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    6. Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
    7. Paradise by Toni Morrison
    8. Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
    9. Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
    10. The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts
    11. Made in the U.S.A. by Billie Letts
    12. Harpsong by Rilla Askew
    13. The Mercy Seat by Rilla Askew
    14. Strange Business by Rilla Askew
    15. Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew
    16. Fire in Beulah by Rilla Askew
    17. Cimarron by Edna Ferber
    18. August: Osage County by Tracy Letts
    19. Four Freedoms by John Crowley
    20. Shell Shaker by LeAnne Howe
    21. Marked by Fire by Joyce Carol Thomas
    22. Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson
    23. The Edge of Nowhere by C. H. Armstrong
    24. Maud’s Line by Margaret Verble
    1. Oregon
    1. The Memoir Club by Laura Kulpakian
    2. All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung
    3. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
    1. Pennsylvania
    1. Heat & Light by Jennifer Haigh
    2. In Sunlight, in a Beautiful Garden by Kathleen Cambor
    3. Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
    4. Philadelphia
      1. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
      2. Third and Indiana by Steve Lopez
      3. Birdy by William Wharton
      4. Black Girl/White Girl by Joyce Carol Oates
      5. In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
    5. 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. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    1. 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
    1. 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
    1. 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
    1. 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. all we ever wanted by Emily Griffin
      4. Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
      5. A Place to Come To by Robert Penn Warren
      6. Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson
      7. Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro
      8. The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove by Susan Gregg Gilmore
    1. 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. Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros ***
    6. All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy #1) by Cormac McCarthy ****
    7. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
    8. Dead Man’s Walk (Lonesome Dove prequel #1) by Larry McMurtry
    9. Comanche Moon (Lonesome Dove prequel #2) by Larry McMurtry
    10. Lonesome Dove (Lonesome Dove) by Larry McMurtry *****
    11. Streets of Laredo (Lonesome Dove sequel #4) by Larry McMurtry
    12. Moving On by Larry McMurtry
    13. Terms of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
    14. All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers by Larry McMurtry
    15. The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry
    16. Horseman, Pass By by Larry McMurtry
    17. Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtry
    18. Crazy Horse by Larry McMurtry
    19. In a Narrow Grave by Larry McMurtry (essays)
    20. God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright
    21. Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore
    22. Doc by Mary Doria Russell
    23. The Promise by Ann Weisgarber
    24. Old Buildings in North Texas by Jen Waldo
    25. Why Stuff Matters by Jen Waldo
    26. Faith Bath Darling’s Last Garage Sale by Lynda Rutledge
    27. The Way Back to Happiness by Elizabeth Bass
    28. Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin
    29. Jam on the Vine by LaShondra Katrice Barnett
    30. Texas by James A. Michener
    31. Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler
    32. The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook
    33. The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel
    34. Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place by Susan Wittig Albert
    35. Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
    36. Goodbye to a River by John Graves
    37. Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce
    38. The Gates of the Alamo by Stephen Harrigan
    39. Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
    40. Friendswood by René Steinke
    41. Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation by John Phillip Santos
    42. Armadillos and Old Lace by Kinky Friedman
    43. The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale
    44. Ruby by Cynthia Bond (Oprah Book Club)
    45. The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black
    46. The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt
    47. Getting Mother’s Body by Suzan-Lori Parks
    48. All the Land to Hold Us by Rick Bass
    49. Black Water Rising by Attica Locke
    50. Brownsville by Oscar Casares
    51. The Gay Place by Billy Lee Brammer
    52. George Washington Gómez by Américo Paredes
    53. The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña by Dagoberto Gilb (around El Paso)
    54. Strange Peaches by Edwin Shrake
    55. The Time It Never Rained by Elmer Kelton
    56. Nothing Happened and Then It Did by Jake Silverstein
    57. Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson
    58. Stardust by Carla Stewart
    59. The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy
    60. The Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock
    61. The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese
    62. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (memoir)
    63. Before the Rain Falls by Camille Di Maio
    64. Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls (non-fiction)
    65. Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart
    66. Norwood by Charles Portis (also Arkansas)
    67. Giant by Edna Ferber
    68. Houston
      1. Towelhead by Alicia Erian ****
    69. Austin
      1. Migratory Animals by Mary Helen Specht ****
      2. Waterloo by Karen Olsson
    1. Utah
    1. The Never Open Desert Diner by James Anderson ****
    2. Lullaby Road by James Anderson
    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
    1. Vermont
    1. Testimony by Anita Shreve ***
    2. breathing water by T. Greenwood
    3. Last Things by Jenny Offill (& Louisiana)
    4. The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian
    5. Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
    6. Water Witches by Chris Bohjalian
    7. The Buffalo Soldier by Chris Bohjalian
    8. The Honey Wall by Karen Latuchie (& New York)
    9. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (& Wisconsin)
    10. The Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller
    11. In the Fall by Jeffrey Lent
    12. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    13. Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris
    14. Second Glance by Jodi Picoult
    15. House Rules by Jodi Picoult
    16. A Stranger in the Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher
    17. Where the Rivers Flow North by Howard Frank Mosher
    18. Disappearances by Howard Frank Mosher
    19. Points North by Howard Frank Mosher
    20. Wandering Home by Bill McKibben
    21. Witness by Karen Hesse
    22. Go With Me by Castle Freeman Jr.
    23. All the Best People by Sonja Yoerg
    24. Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson
    1. 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 (& Florida)
    13. This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick
    14. Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
    15. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    16. The House Girl by Tara Conklin
    17. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
    18. Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
    19. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
    20. The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-boats by William Geroux ****
    21. Richmond
      1. The Language of Good-bye by Maribeth Fischer *****
    1. Washington
    1. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
    2.  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
    1. 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
    1. 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. Little Faith by Nickolas Butler
    6. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (& Vermont)
    7. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
    8. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
    1. 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
  • U.S. Territories
    1. American Samoa
    2. Guam
    3. Northern Mariana Islands
    4. Puerto Rico
      1. The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico by Sarah McCoy (Kindle)
      2. The House on the Lagoon by Rosario Ferré (Kindle)
      3. Eccentric Neighborhoods by Rosario Ferré
      4. When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
      5. Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Díaz
    5. U.S. Virgin Islands
      1. 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 *****
    • The Overstory by Richard Powers
    • 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
    • Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen
    • One Day: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America by Gene Weingarten
    • Four Corners:
      • A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman
    • American West:
      • Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
      • 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
      • 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
    • The Pacific Northwest
      • Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
      • The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
    • 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 Ofill 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. 🙂