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. It also 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.

  • 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
      • 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
      • Postcards from the End of America by Linh Dinh
      • 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
      • 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. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
      4. Four Spirits by Sena Jeter Naslund
      5. A Walk Through Fire by William Cobb
      6. Hell at the Breech by Tom Franklin
      7. All Over but the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg
      8. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
      9. The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton
      10. Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter
    2. Alaska
      1. My One Square Inch of Alaska by Sharon Short
      2. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
      3. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
      4. The Fugitive Wife by Peter C. Brown
      5. The Cloud Atlas by Liam Callanan
      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. Crossers by Philip Caputo
      5. Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor
      6. Gallatin Canyon by Thomas McGuane
      7. The Song of the Lark (Great Plains Trilogy #2) by Willa Cather
      8. The Turquoise Ledge: A Memoir by Leslie Marmon Silko
    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. California
      1. China Dolls by Lisa See **
      2. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan *****
      3. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck ***
      4. The Physics of Sunset: A Novel by Jane Vandenburgh ****
      5. The Monk Downstairs by Tim Farrington ****
      6. The Infinite Plan by Isabel Allende ****
      7. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
      8. Failure to Zigzag: A Novel by Jane Vandenburgh
      9. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (& N.Y. & Nevada)
      10. The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
      11. An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender
      12. The Book of Dead Birds by Gayle Brandeis
      13. The Metaphysical Touch by Sylvia Brownrigg
      14. Slouching Towards Bethlehem (Essays) by Joan Dideon
      15. The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
      16. Queen of Dreams by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
      17. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
      18. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
      19. White Oleander by Janet Fitch
      20. Abandon by Pico Iyer
      21. The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin
      22. Like Family by Paula McLain (memoir) (?)
      23. Song of the Seals by Christy Yorke
      24. The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling
      25. A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
      26. Delayed Rays of a Star by Amanda Lee Koe
      27. Homebase: A Novel by Shawn Wong
      28. The Forgetting Tree by Tatjana Soli
      29. The Whip by Karen Kondazian
    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 Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard
      11. Orange Mint and Honey by Carleen Brice
      12. The Shining by Stephen King
      13. The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (non-fiction)
      14. Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country by Pam Houston
      15. Ill Wind by Nevada Barr (Mesa Verde)
      16. Centennial by James A. Michener
    7. Connecticut
      1. The Children by Ann Leary
      2. Brass by Xhenet Aliu
      3. The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin
      4. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
      5. A Good School by Richard Yates
      6. The Ice Storm by Rick Moody
      7. Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
      8. The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames
    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. Lost Man’s River by Peter Matthiessen
      2. The Problem with Murmur Lee by Connie May Fowler
      3. Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh (also Virginia)
      4. Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
      5. Digging to Indochina by Connie Brewald (??)
      6. Love Warrior by Blennon Doyle Melton (memoir) (?)
      7. Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
      8. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Tallahassee)
      9. Cross Creek by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
      10. The Body in Question by Jill Climent
      11. When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
    11. Georgia
      1. A Childhood by Harry Crews
      2. The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson
      3. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
      4. Atlanta
        1. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
        2. Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones
        3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
        4. Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn by Gary M. Pomerantz
        5. The Temple Bombing by Melissa Fay Greene
        6. 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
    13. Idaho
      1. Idaho: A Novel by Emily Rukovich
      2. Educated by Tara Westover
      3. All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki
      4. Iona Moon by Melanie Rae Thon
      5. Coeur d’Alene Waters by Ned Hayes
      6. The Big Burn by Timothy Egan
      7. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
      8. 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. The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder
      8. The Nix by Nathan Hill
      9. Dandelion Wine by Rad Bradbury
      10. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
      11. Reliance, Illinois by Mary Volmer
      12.  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. The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
        6. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
        7. The Girl in the Photograph by Gabrielle Donnelly
        8. The Coast of Chicago (stories) by Stuart Dybek
        9. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
        10. Native Son by Richard Wright
        11. Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
    15. Indiana
      1. The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf
      2. The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel
      3. A Girl Named Zippy (Zippy #1) by Haven Kimmel (memoir)
      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 by Marilynne Robinson
      3. Not Without Laughter by Langston Hughes
      4. The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
      5. The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
      6. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
      7. Bleeding Kansas by Sara Peretsky
      8. The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas
      9. Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
      10. Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
      11. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
      12. PrairieErth by William Least Heat-Moon
      13. The Unplowed Sky by Jeanne Williams
      14. 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. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver ****
      4. Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith ***
      5. In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason
      6. Baptisms and Dogs: Stories by Brian L. Tucker
      7. The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz
      8. The Sisters by Nancy Jensen
      9. River of Earth by James Still
      10. Kinfolks: The Wilgus Stories by Gurney Norman
      11. Hunter’s Horn by Harriet Simpson Arnow
      12. 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. Roadwalkers by Shirley Ann Grau
      5. The Condor Passes by Shirley Ann Grau
      6. Audubon’s Watch by John Gregory Brown
      7. Madeleine’s Ghost by Robert Girard (also New York)
      8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (also Arkansas & California)
      9. Last Things by Jenny Offill (& Vermont)
      10. Louisiana Power & Light by John Dufresne
    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. The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve
    21. Maryland
      1. An American Summer by Frank Deford
      2. A Map of Betrayal by Ha Jin (& China)
    22. Massachusetts
      1. Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
      2. Happy All the Time by Laurie Colwin
      3. Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman
      4. Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman
      5. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
      6. Julie and Romeo by Jeanne Ray
      7. A Reckoning by May Sarton
      8. Claire Marvel by John Burnham Schwartz
      9. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (?)
      10. The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman
      11. The Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate
      12. Boston
        1. The Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey
      13. 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
    23. 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. Detroit
        1. Eight Mile High by Jim Daniels
        2. The Dollmaker by Harriet Arnow
    24. Minnesota
      1. Love Among the Ruins: A Novel by Robert Clark *****
      2. Night of the Radishes by Sandra Benítez
      3. The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg
      4. Range of Motion (?) by Elizabeth Berg
      5. Shadow Baby by Alison McGhee
      6. Rainlight by Alison McGhee
      7. In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien
      8. July, July by Tim O’Brien
      9. Northern Lights by Tim O’Brien
      10. Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
      11. Sacred Wilderness by Susan Power
    25. Mississippi
      1. Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall *****
      2. Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes
      3. Jewel by Brett Lott
      4. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
    26. Missouri
      1. The Awakening by Kate Chopin *****
      2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain *****
      3. Stoner by John Williams
      4. William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life by Steve Almond
      5. Joy School by Elizabeth Berg
      6. The Story of Arthur Truluv (Mason #1) by Elizabeth Berg
      7. Night of Miracles (Mason #2) by Elizabeth Berg
      8. the obituary writer by Porter Shreve
      9. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
      10. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
      11. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
      12. The Twenty-Seventh City by Jonathan Franzen
      13. The River Wife by Jonas Agee
      14. Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles
      15. The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton
      16. Claire de Lune by Jetta Carleton
      17. Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg
      18. Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! by Fannie Flagg
      19. The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton by Jane Smiley
      20. Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
      21. Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell
      22. The Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell
      23. The Outlaw Album by Daniel Woodrell
      24. Woe to Live On by Daniel Woodrell
      25. Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell
      26. Mr. Bridge by Evan S. Connell
      27. Finn by Jon Clinch
      28. A Good American by Alex George
      29. Torn Away by Jennifer Brown
      30. The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
      31. Juliet’s Moon by Ann Rinaldi
      32. This is Graceanne’s Book: A Novel by P.L. Whitney
      33. The Tender Land: A Family Love Story by Kathleen Finneran
      34. A Bad Day for Pretty by Sophie Littlefield
      35. The Farther Shore by Matthew Eck
      36. The King of Kings County by Whitney Terrell
      37. The Huntsman by Whitney Terrell
    27. 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
    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 Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
      6. Worth Dying For (Jack Reacher) by Lee Child
      7. Goodnight, Nebraska by Tom McNeal
      8. Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas by Mari Sandoz
      9. Old Jules by Mari Sandoz
      10. 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
    30. New Hampshire
      1. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving *****
      2. The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving
      3. Sea Glass by Anita Shreve ****
      4. Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve
      5. The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve
      6. All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve
      7. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
      8. Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult
    31. New Jersey
      1. Bad Haircut: Stories of the Seventies by Tom Perrotta
      2. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
      3. Drown by Junot Díaz
      4. The Lay of the Land (Frank Bascombe #3) by Richard Ford
      5. Palisades Park by Alan Brennert
      6. Paterson by William Carlos Williams
      7. The Pine Barrens by John McPhee (non-fiction)
      8. Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
      9. The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet by Kim Adrian
      10. Cape May by Chip Cheek
      11. 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. Cities of the Plain (#3) by Cormac McCarthy
      5. Juniper Tree Burning by Goldberry Long
      6. The Sea of Grass by Conrad Richter
      7. The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob (& India & Seattle)
      8. The Spell of New Mexico by Tony Hillerman (essays)
      9. The Wailing Wood by Tony Hillerman
      10. The Milagro Bean Field War by John Nichols
      11. The Nirvana Blues by John Nichols
      12. Georgia O’Keefe: 100 Flowers
      13. The Woman at Otowi Crossing by Frank Waters
      14. The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook
      15. Banana Rose by Natalie Goldberg
      16. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
      17. The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages (Manhattan Project)
      18. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
      19. Night at the Fiestas (stories) by Kirstin Valdez Quade
      20. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
    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. For Kings and Planets by Ethan Canin
      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. the light we lost by Jill Santopolo
      17. More Than Words by Jill Santopolo
      18. Improvement by Joan Silber
      19. Running to the Mountain: A Midlife Adventure by Jon Katz
      20. Look at Me by Jennifer Egan
      21. The Fall of Saints by Wanjiku wa Ngugi
      22. In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende (& Guatemala, Chile & Brazil)
      23. Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda (& Dominican Republic)
      24. The Travelers by Regina Porter
      25. Montauk by Nicola Harrison
      26. 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
      27. 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
      28. 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. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
        7. Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen
        8. The Book Borrower by Alice Mattison
        9. Surrender, Dorothy by Meg Wolitzer
        10. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert ****
        11. The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
        12. Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
      29. Syracuse
        1. Origin by Diana Abu-Jaber
    34. North Carolina
      1. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier **** (& Virginia)
      2. The World Made Straight by Ron Rash
      3. At Home in Mitford (Mitford Years #1) by Jan Karon
      4. The Hotel Alleluia by Lucinda Roy (?)
      5. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (& D.C. & Mexico)
      6. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
      7. The Secrets She Carried by Barbara Davis
      8. In West Mills by De’Shawn Charles Winslow
      9. 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 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
    36. Ohio
      1. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance (Middletown) ****
      2. Beloved by Toni Morrison (Ohio and Kentucky)
      3. House Under Snow by Jill Bialosky
      4. The Truth of the Matter by Robb Forman Dew
      5. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
      6. Stay and Fight by Madeline Ffitch
      7. 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 ****
      8. Northeastern Ohio
        1. Ohio by Stephen Markley
      9. 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)
    37. Oklahoma
      1. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann ****
      2. Solar Storms by Linda Hogan
    38. Oregon
      1. The Memoir Club by Laura Kulpakian
      2. All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung
    39. Pennsylvania
      1. Heat & Light by Jennifer Haigh
      2. In Sunlight, in a Beautiful Garden by Kathleen Cambor
      3. Philadelphia
        1. Third and Indiana by Steve Lopez
        2. Birdy by William Wharton
        3. Black Girl/White Girl by Joyce Carol Oates
        4. In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
      4. 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
    40. Rhode Island
      1. The Edge of Winter by Luanne Rice
      2. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
    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. Sullivan’s Island (Lowcountry Tales, #1) by Dorothea Benton Frank
      8. Isle of Palms (Lowcountry Tales, #3) by Dorothea Benton Frank
      9. Pawley’s Island (Lowcountry Tales, #5) by Dorothea Benton Frank
      10. Plantation by Dorothea Benton Frank
      11. All the Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank
      12. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
      13. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
      14. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
      15. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
      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
    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.  A Long Way from Home by Tom Brokaw
      5. Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog, Richard Erdoes
      6. In the Spirit of Crazy Horse: The Story of Leonard Peltier and the FBI’s War on the American Indian Movement by Peter Matthiessen
      7. The Bones of Plenty by Lois Phillips Hudson
      8. The Removes by Tatjana Soli
    43. Tennessee
      1. The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard
      2. The Long Home by William Gay
      3. The Children by David Halberstam
      4. Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline
      5. taft by Ann Patchett
      6. Flight Behavior by Ann Patchett
      7. Nashville
        1. Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall *****
        2. All We Ever Wanted by Emily Griffin
        3. Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
        4. A Place to Come To by Robert Penn Warren
        5. Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson
        6. Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro
    44. Texas
      1. The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr ****
      2. All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy #1) by Cormac McCarthy ****
      3. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry *****
      4. Streets of Laredo (Lonesome Dove #2) by Larry McMurtry
      5. Dead Man’s Walk (Lonesome Dove #3) by Larry McMurtry
      6. Comanche Moon (Lonesome Dove #4) by Larry McMurtry
      7. Terms of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
      8. The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry
      9. Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler
      10. The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook
      11. The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel
      12. Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
      13. Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place by Susan Wittig Albert
      14. Houston
        1. Towelhead by Alicia Erian ****
    45. Utah
      1. The Never Open Desert Diner by James Anderson ****
      2. Lullaby Road by James Anderson
      3. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka *****
      4. Junction, Utah by Rebecca Lawton
      5. Basin and Range by John McPhee (non-fiction)
      6. Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer
      7. Mormon Country by Wallace Stegner
    46. Vermont
      1. In the Fall by Jeffrey Lent
      2. breathing water by T. Greenwood
      3. Last Things by Jenny Offill (& Louisiana)
      4. The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian
      5. The Honey Wall by Karen Latuchie (& New York)
      6. Testimony by Anita Shreve ***
    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 (memoir) by Virginia Holman
      6. Feed the Hungry by Nani Power (memoir) (?)
      7. The Good Remains by Nani Power
      8. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
      9. The Known World by Edward P. Jones
      10. The House Girl by Tara Conklin
      11. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
      12. Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
      13. On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon by Kaye Gibbons
      14. Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons (?)
      15. Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh (& Florida)
      16. This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick
      17. The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-boats by William Geroux ****
      18. Richmond
        1. The Language of Good-bye by Maribeth Fischer *****
    48. Washington
      1. 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 Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
        5. The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob (& India & New Mexico)
        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. Oral History by Lee Smith
      4. Alison’s Automotive Repair Manual by Brad Barkley
    50. Wisconsin
      1. The Dive from Clausen’s Pier by Ann Packer ****
      2. Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay
      3. Midnight Champagne by A. Manette Ansay
    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
  • U.S. Territories
    • American Samoa
    • Guam
    • Northern Mariana Islands
    • Puerto Rico
      • The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico by Sarah McCoy
      • The House on the Lagoon by Rosario Ferré
      • Eccentric Neighborhoods by Rosario Ferré
      • When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
    • U.S. Virgin Islands


  • 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 ****
    • my only story by Monica Wood
    • Apprentice to the Flower Poet Z by Debra Weinstein
    • A Ship Made of Paper by Scott Spencer
    • One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni
    • Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen
    • Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America’s Wild Frontier by Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Four Corners:
      • A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman
    • American West:
      • Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
      • Crossing Purgatory by Gary Schanbacher
    • The Midwest:
      • The Abundance by Amit Majmudar
    • The Southwest:
      • Cities of Gold: A Journey Across the American Southwest in Pursuit of Coronado by Douglas Preston
    • The South:
      • The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds
      • the song reader by Lisa Tucker
    • The Pacific Northwest
      • Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot