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
    • 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. 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. Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor
      5. The Song of the Lark (Great Plains Trilogy #2) by Willa Cather
      6. Arizona: Kicks on Route 66.  Text by Roger Naylor, Photographs by Larry Lindahl
      7. Gallatin Canyon by Thomas McGuane
      8. Crossers by Philip Caputo
      9. The Turquoise Ledge: A Memoir by Leslie Marmon Silko
      10. Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral (Doc Holliday #2) by Mary Doria Russell
      11. These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 by Nancy E. Turner (Arizona Territory)
      12. Inland by Téa Obreht
    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. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (& N.Y. & Nevada)
      9. An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender
      10. The Book of Dead Birds by Gayle Brandeis
      11. The Metaphysical Touch by Sylvia Brownrigg
      12. Slouching Towards Bethlehem (Essays) by Joan Dideon
      13. The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
      14. Queen of Dreams by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
      15. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
      16. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
      17. White Oleander by Janet Fitch
      18. Abandon by Pico Iyer
      19. The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin
      20. Like Family by Paula McLain (memoir)
      21. Song of the Seals by Christy Yorke
      22. The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
      23. Failure to Zigzag: A Novel by Jane Vandenburgh
      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
      30. The Other Americans by Laila Lalami
      31. The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander (also Soviet Union)
    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
      17. Long Way Gone by Charles Martin
    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 Children by Ann Leary
      6. A Good School by Richard Yates
      7. The Ice Storm by Rick Moody
      8. Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
    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
    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
    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. 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 Girl in the Photograph by Gabrielle Donnelly
        7. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
        8. I Sailed with Magellan (stories) by Stuart Dybek
        9. The Coast of Chicago (stories) by Stuart Dybek
        10. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
        11. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
        12. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
        13. Native Son by Richard Wright
        14. Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
        15. Chicago: A Novel by Brian Doyle
        16. Noon in Paris, Eight in Chicago by Douglas Cowie (+Guatemala, Mexico, Paris)
        17. Ramshackle by Elizabeth Reeder
        18. Building Stories by Chris Ware
        19. Oh, Play That Thing by Roddy Doyle
        20. The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
        21. An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz (non-fiction)
        22. Make Me a City: A Novel of Chicago by Jonathan Carr
        23. The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown (& Paris)
        24. The Walls Came Down by Ewa Dodd
        25. The World in Half by Cristina Henríquez (& Panama)
    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. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver ****
      4. Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith ***
      5. In Country by Bobbie Ann Mason
      6. Eli the Good by Silas House (Kindle) – YA?
      7. Baptisms and Dogs: Stories by Brian L. Tucker
      8. The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz
      9. The Sisters by Nancy Jensen
      10. River of Earth by James Still
      11. Kinfolks: The Wilgus Stories by Gurney Norman
      12. Hunter’s Horn by Harriet Simpson Arnow
      13. 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. Madeleine’s Ghost by Robert Girard (also New York)
      7. Louisiana Power & Light by John Dufresne
      8. Welding with Children (stories) by Tim Gautreaux (& other books by this author)
      9. Last Things by Jenny Offill (& Vermont)
      10. Audubon’s Watch by John Gregory Brown
      11. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (also Arkansas & California)
      12. 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 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. Julie and Romeo by Jeanne Ray
      3. A Reckoning by May Sarton
      4. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (?)
      5. Chances Are… by Richard Russo
      6. Claire Marvel by John Burnham Schwartz
      7. Happy All the Time by Laurie Colwin
      8. Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman
      9. Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman
      10. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
      11. The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman
      12. The Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate
      13. Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken
      14. Boston
        1. The Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey
      15. 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. The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
      14. Detroit
        1. Eight Mile High by Jim Daniels
        2. The Dollmaker by Harriet Arnow
        3. Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
    24. 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. 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. 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 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 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. 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. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
      2. Drown by Junot Díaz
      3. Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
      4. Bad Haircut: Stories of the Seventies by Tom Perrotta
      5. The Lay of the Land (Frank Bascombe #3) by Richard Ford
      6. Palisades Park by Alan Brennert
      7. Paterson by William Carlos Williams
      8. The Pine Barrens by John McPhee (non-fiction)
      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. Juniper Tree Burning by Goldberry Long
      5. The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob (& India & Seattle)
      6. The Spell of New Mexico by Tony Hillerman (essays)
      7. The Wailing Wood by Tony Hillerman
      8. Cities of the Plain (#3) by Cormac McCarthy
      9. Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
      10. Night at the Fiestas (stories) by Kirstin Valdez Quade
      11. The Sea of Grass by Conrad Richter
      12. The Milagro Bean Field War by John Nichols
      13. The Nirvana Blues by John Nichols
      14. Georgia O’Keefe: 100 Flowers
      15. The Woman at Otowi Crossing by Frank Waters
      16. The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook
      17. Banana Rose by Natalie Goldberg
      18. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
      19. The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages (Manhattan Project)
      20. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
      21. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
      22. Red Sky in Morning by Paul Lynch
      23. Los Alamos by Joseph Kanon
      24. Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone
    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. 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. 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. Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn
      27. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
      28. 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
      29. 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
      30. 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. Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen
        8. The Book Borrower by Alice Mattison
        9. Surrender, Dorothy by Meg Wolitzer
        10. The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash
        11. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
        12. The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
        13. Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
        14. Hex by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight
      31. 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. The World Made Straight by Ron Rash
      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. Ducks, Newberryport by Lucy Ellmann
      7. Stay and Fight by Madeline Ffitch
      8. 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
      9. Northeastern Ohio
        1. Ohio by Stephen Markley
      10. 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
        5. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
      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 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
    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. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
      9. Sullivan’s Island (Lowcountry Tales, #1) by Dorothea Benton Frank (currently reading)
      10. Isle of Palms (Lowcountry Tales, #3) by Dorothea Benton Frank
      11. Pawley’s Island (Lowcountry Tales, #5) by Dorothea Benton Frank
      12. Plantation by Dorothea Benton Frank
      13. All the Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank
      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.  A Long Way from Home by Tom Brokaw
      6. Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog, Richard Erdoes
      7. In the Spirit of Crazy Horse: The Story of Leonard Peltier and the FBI’s War on the American Indian Movement by Peter Matthiessen
      8. The Bones of Plenty by Lois Phillips Hudson
    43. Tennessee
      1. The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard
      2. The Children by David Halberstam
      3. Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline
      4. taft by Ann Patchett
      5. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
      6. i hate to see that evening sun go down (collected stories) by William Gay
      7. The Long Home by William Gay
      8. Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
      9. The Good Dream by Donna VanLiere
      10. Summer in the South by Cathy Holton
      11. The Orchard Keeper by Cormac McCarthy
      12. The Lost Saints of Tennessee by Amy Franklin-Willis
      13. Rooted by Idabel Allen
      14. 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
        7. The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove by Susan Gregg Gilmore
    44. Texas
      1. The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr ****
      2. All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy #1) by Cormac McCarthy ****
      3. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
      4. Dead Man’s Walk (Lonesome Dove prequel #1) by Larry McMurtry
      5. Comanche Moon (Lonesome Dove prequel #2) by Larry McMurtry
      6. Lonesome Dove (Lonesome Dove) by Larry McMurtry *****
      7. Streets of Laredo (Lonesome Dove sequel #4) by Larry McMurtry
      8. Moving On by Larry McMurtry
      9. Terms of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
      10. All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers by Larry McMurtry
      11. The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry
      12. Horseman, Pass By by Larry McMurtry
      13. Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtry
      14. Crazy Horse by Larry McMurtry
      15. In a Narrow Grave by Larry McMurtry (essays)
      16. News of the World by Paulette Jiles
      17. The Color of Lighting by Paulette Jiles
      18. Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
      19. Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros
      20. Doc by Mary Doria Russell
      21. The Promise by Ann Weisgarber
      22. Old Buildings in North Texas by Jen Waldo
      23. Why Stuff Matters by Jen Waldo
      24. Faith Bath Darling’s Last Garage Sale by Lynda Rutledge
      25. The Way Back to Happiness by Elizabeth Bass
      26. Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin
      27. Jam on the Vine by LaShondra Katrice Barnett
      28. Texas by James A. Michener
      29. Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler
      30. The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook
      31. The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel
      32. Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place by Susan Wittig Albert
      33. Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
      34. Goodbye to a River by John Graves
      35. Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce
      36. The Gates of the Alamo by Stephen Harrigan
      37. Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
      38. Friendswood by René Steinke
      39. Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation by John Phillip Santos
      40. Armadillos and Old Lace by Kinky Friedman
      41. The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale
      42. Ruby by Cynthia Bond (Oprah Book Club)
      43. The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black
      44. The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt
      45. Getting Mother’s Body by Suzan-Lori Parks
      46. All the Land to Hold Us by Rick Bass
      47. Black Water Rising by Attica Locke
      48. Brownsville by Oscar Casares
      49. The Gay Place by Billy Lee Brammer
      50. George Washington Gómez by Américo Paredes
      51. The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña by Dagoberto Gilb (around El Paso)
      52. Strange Peaches by Edwin Shrake
      53. The Time It Never Rained by Elmer Kelton
      54. Nothing Happened and Then It Did by Jake Silverstein
      55. Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson
      56. Stardust by Carla Stewart
      57. The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy
      58. The Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock
      59. The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese
      60. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (memoir)
      61. Before the Rain Falls by Camille Di Maio
      62. Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls (non-fiction)
      63. Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart
      64. Houston
        1. Towelhead by Alicia Erian ****
      65. Austin
        1. Waterloo by Karen Olsson
    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
      8. The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber
      9. Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey
    46. 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. The Honey Wall by Karen Latuchie (& New York)
      6. In the Fall by Jeffrey Lent
    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 (& 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. The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-boats by William Geroux ****
      20. 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 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
    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. Little Faith by Nickolas Butler
    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
  • 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 ****
    • 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:
      • 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 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
      • 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 Pacific Northwest
      • Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
    • Route 66
      • EZ 66 Guide for Travelers by Jerry McClanahan
    • Civil War
      • I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe

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