Best Books Set in Appalachia
If you aren't sure what area makes up Appalachia, check out this Wikipedia map.
1 Cold Mountain
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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 139,428 ratings
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2 Christy
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 26,983 ratings
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3 She Walks These Hills (Ball...
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 2,721 ratings
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4 Prodigal Summer
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 63,064 ratings
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5 Fair and Tender Ladies
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 4,225 ratings
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6 Gap Creek
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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 31,778 ratings
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7 A Walk in the Woods: Redisc...
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 161,782 ratings
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8 The Hangman's Beautiful Dau...
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 2,849 ratings
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9 The Rosewood Casket (Ballad...
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 2,283 ratings
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10 The Hunger Games (The Hunge...
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4.4 of 5 stars 4.40 avg rating — 2,973,045 ratings
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11 The Ballad of Frankie Silve...
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 2,518 ratings
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12 The Dollmaker
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 1,887 ratings
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13 The Glass Castle
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 455,555 ratings
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14 The Songcatcher (Ballad, #6)
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 1,766 ratings
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15 Clay's Quilt
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 1,772 ratings
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16 Serena
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 15,126 ratings
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17 Deliverance
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 19,740 ratings
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18 Look Homeward, Angel
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 7,420 ratings
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19 Bloodroot
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 5,668 ratings
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20 Oral History
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 2,300 ratings
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21 Storming Heaven
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 856 ratings
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22 Ghost Riders (Ballad, #7)
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 1,203 ratings
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23 A Parchment of Leaves
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 1,786 ratings
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24 Thirteen Moons
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 7,799 ratings
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25 Where the Lilies Bloom
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 1,323 ratings
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26 A Death in the Family
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 8,372 ratings
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27 Ellen Foster
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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 16,769 ratings
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28 Saving Grace
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 1,531 ratings
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29 Child of God
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 13,603 ratings
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30 The Education of Little Tree
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 8,887 ratings
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31 Charms for the Easy Life
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 8,200 ratings
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32 Stumbling Thru: Hike Your O...
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 156 ratings
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33 River of Earth
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 428 ratings
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33 Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's ...
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 1,629 ratings
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35 Wish You Well
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 11,600 ratings
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36 Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 11,942 ratings
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37 When I Was Young in the Mou...
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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 3,957 ratings
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38 On Agate Hill
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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 2,522 ratings
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39 Black Mountain Breakdown
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 786 ratings
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40 Icy Sparks
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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 26,186 ratings
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41 The Stories of Breece D'J P...
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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 2,356 ratings
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42 My Old True Love
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 481 ratings
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43 The Unquiet Earth
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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 407 ratings
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43 The Coal Tattoo
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 1,142 ratings
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45 Strange as This Weather Has...
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 600 ratings
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46 One Foot in Eden
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 2,070 ratings
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47 Cry of My Heart
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 37 ratings
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48 Thread that Runs so True
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 445 ratings
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49 The World Made Straight
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 1,057 ratings
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50 Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Ga...
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 26,070 ratings
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51 The Ballad of Tom Dooley (B...
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3.55 of 5 stars 3.55 avg rating — 1,585 ratings
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52 Burning Bright: Stories
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 1,370 ratings
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53 If Ever I Return, Pretty Pe...
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 2,225 ratings
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54 Cataloochee
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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 504 ratings
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55 Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 50,127 ratings
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56 Follow the River
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 10,097 ratings
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57 Rocket Boys
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 8,295 ratings
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58 All the Living
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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 890 ratings
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59 Trail of Tears: The Rise an...
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 1,595 ratings
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60 The Big Stone Gap Trilogy: ...
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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 669 ratings
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60 The Foxfire Book, Foxfire 2-3
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4.36 of 5 stars 4.36 avg rating — 146 ratings
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62 Velva Jean Learns to Drive
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 2,553 ratings
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63 Heaven (Casteel, #1)
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 14,377 ratings
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64 The Glass Castle: A Memoir
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 455,555 ratings
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65 Home to Big Stone Gap (Big ...
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 6,418 ratings
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66 Bastard Out of Carolina
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 24,525 ratings
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67 Ain't No Grave: The Life an...
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 16 ratings
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68 Sewerville: A Southern Gang...
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 67 ratings
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69 The Tall Woman
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 288 ratings
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70 Ghost on Black Mountain
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 961 ratings
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71 Ava's Man
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 3,463 ratings
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72 Crazy Ladies
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 2,347 ratings
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73 Kinfolks: The Wilgus Stories
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 147 ratings
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74 Salvation on Sand Mountain:...
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 1,786 ratings
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75 A Land More Kind Than Home
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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 10,495 ratings
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76 Missing May
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 8,091 ratings
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77 Saints at the River
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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 1,664 ratings
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78 The Beans of Egypt, Maine
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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 1,968 ratings
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79 Heart in the Right Place
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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 1,386 ratings
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80 Winter's Bone
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 14,920 ratings
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81 Big Cherry Holler (Big Ston...
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 10,990 ratings
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82 Across Five Aprils
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3.4 of 5 stars 3.40 avg rating — 6,873 ratings
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83 Signs in the Blood (An Eliz...
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 255 ratings
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84 Our Southern Highlanders: A...
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 176 ratings
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85 Safeword Quinacridone (Safe...
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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 296 ratings
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86 The Orchard Keeper
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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 3,947 ratings
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87 Coal River
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 134 ratings
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87 The Last Sin Eater
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 15,785 ratings
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89 Fireflies in December
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 2,723 ratings
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90 Brighten the Corner Where Y...
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 319 ratings
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90 The Midwife of Hope River
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 4,573 ratings
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92 A Parchment of Leaves
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 1,786 ratings
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93 If I'd Killed Him When I Me...
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 1,528 ratings
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94 The Coal Tattoo
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 1,142 ratings
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95 Mountain Voices: A Legacy o...
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4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 12 ratings
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96 The Relatives Came
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 8,942 ratings
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97 Lost Mountain: A Year in th...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 356 ratings
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98 The French Broad (Rivers of...
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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 52 ratings
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99 Stand Up That Mountain: The...
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 176 ratings
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100 Appalachia: The Southern Hi...
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3.33 of 5 stars 3.33 avg rating — 3 ratings
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JG (The Introverted Reader)
JG (The Introverted Reader)
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Libby
Libby
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Steven
Steven
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Jessica
Jessica
2066 books
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Melissa
Melissa
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R.
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Wendy
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DB
DB
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Comments (showing 1-26 of 26) (26 new)

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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert I was pleased to see that a search on "southern" garnered some hits. "Regional Fiction" and simply "Regional" got nothing. I'd be interested in locating lists of books about areas that capture my interest. New York State history or historical fiction would be one. List sources for history and historical fiction from other areas of the country more specific than simply "Westerns" would also be appreciated. Anyone out there?


message 2: by Kim (new)

Kim Dorothea Benton Frank's books do not belong on this list! South Carolina is not typically considered Appalachian, but southern coastal.


JG (The Introverted Reader) You're right. I went in and deleted them. There are a few others that look questionable. I'll have to check those out later.


message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol I read almost every book I can find set in Appalachia.
I have read most of these books. The best books I've ever read set in this region are from a self published author name Peggy Poe Stern who lives in Boone,NC. Google her and order her books if you love Appalchia set books!!


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Thanks for the list. I will definitely check out Peggy Poe Stern. If you are into some of the straight history of the area, Robert Trotter has a 3-volume set about the Civil War in North Carolina. The Appalachia volume is entitled Bushwhackers, and is a highly readable albeit creditably scholarly account, which was a major source for Sharyn McCrumb's "Ghostriders," cited as #38 above in the list.


message 6: by Derek (new)

Derek Johnson I really was happy to see this list posted, too! Some great ones on here.


message 7: by Rebekah (last edited Apr 16, 2011 04:50PM) (new)

Rebekah Kim wrote: "Dorothea Benton Frank's books do not belong on this list! South Carolina is not typically considered Appalachian, but southern coastal."

However, if it takes place in the Appalachian Mountains, it is Appalachian. Just as Va, NC, Maryland, Ky, Ga, AL and TN all have areas outside of the Appalachian chain, in fact most of the these states are not in Appalachia. Appalachia is not a group of particular States. It is a Mountain chain whose people have a common culture and heritage. If you include Northern Appalachia that would include Pa,Me, and more. Are you going to say the Appalachian Trail is not Appalachian becaiuse it runs through New England or Mid-Atlantic Coast States. What you said Makes Jeff Bigger's case for hainvg a separate Sate of Appalachia in his book The United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture, and Enlightenment to America


JG (The Introverted Reader) Dorothea Benton Frank's books take place on the SC coast, nowhere near the Appalachians. I don't think she meant to question the inclusion of any books set in SC itself, but the fact that these particular books are set on the coast.


message 9: by Kim (new)

Kim @JG (The Introverted Reader):

You are exactly right!


message 10: by David (new)

David What a great list! I grew up in Greensboro, NC, with roots in East Tennessee. (Anyone heard of Etowah?) The Appalachian mountains have always had special signiificance for me. This will be a great list to print and keep. If anyone enjoys photography books, check out two wonderful collections by Shelby Lee Adams - Appalachian Portraits and Appalachian Legacy.


message 11: by Kim (new)

Kim Thanks for the suggestions David. The Appalachian Mountains also have a special significance for me! I have heard of Etowah and am an alum of ETSU, which has a wonderful Appalachian studies program.


message 12: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Taylor Woodall How do I get "It's Not My Mountain Anymore" on this list? It's a dose of pure Appalachian living reality. Great reviews on the website: www.itsnotmymountainanymore.com and 5 star on Amazon



Thanks,
Barbara


message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol Do a manual add


message 14: by David (new)

David Barbara, thanks for the recommendation! Hope and George are well! if you haven't found it yet, there's a tab at the top of this list to add books. Ron at the library can probably show you, too.


message 15: by Janie (new)

Janie In Country is set very near my hometown, but I'd have to disagree that its Appalachia. Mayfield/Paducah, KY are at the extreme western end of the state, only about 30 miles or so from Missouri, bordering Illinois, and due north of Memphis. Though Kentucky is certainly an Appalachian state, I've never claimed to have an Appalachian upbringing. It was mostly Southern with a large dose of Midwestern/Heartland culture added to the mix. Though I (we) love our fellow Kentuckians in the East, we speak differently, vote differently, worship differently, farm differently, and and thrive differently. I'd never call what we are "Appalachian." I've also lived in Eastern Kentucky, the high mountains of North Carolina, and my current home is in East Tennessee, so I do know my Appalachian culture. In Country is not a story about Appalachia.


JG (The Introverted Reader) I don't know anything about the book, but you've made a strong case. I removed it from the list.


message 17: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Taylor Woodall Carol wrote: "I read almost every book I can find set in Appalachia.
I have read most of these books. The best books I've ever read set in this region are from a self published author name Peggy Poe Stern who l..."


Check out "It's Not My Mountain Anymore." Real and honest. Kindle Prime members borrow for FREE!


message 18: by Robert (new)

Robert I haven't read her books yet, but some of the titles and descriptions look really interesting. Here is a link to her website

http://peggypoestern.tripod.com/


message 19: by Lin (new)

Lin Stepp Titles to add to this list in the Smoky Mountain series by Goodreads author Lin Stepp:
THE FOSTER GIRLS - set in picturesque Wear's Valley
TELL ME ABOUT ORCHARD HOLLOW - set in Townsend
FOR SIX GOOD REASONS - set in little-known Greenbrier
DELIA'S PLACE - set in Gatlinburg
...In major bookstores, on Amazon, and in ebooks.


message 20: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Very late on this, but where is Lee Smith?? Fancy Strut, Family Linen, Oral History, Saving Grace, Fair and Tender Ladies? I've loved all of her books..


message 21: by Andrea (new)

Andrea ...ohhh, sorry I do see several of hers on the list afterall. She is great.


message 22: by David (new)

David Lee Smith is WONDERFUL!! I met her once years ago and she is a lovely person. Saving Grace is one of my favorite novels, period, and certainly my favorite of hers.


message 23: by Robert (last edited Mar 18, 2013 05:52PM) (new)

Robert Andrea wrote: "Very late on this, but where is Lee Smith?? Fancy Strut, Family Linen, Oral History, Saving Grace, Fair and Tender Ladies? I've loved all of her books.."
I'm with you on "Oral History." It was a wonderful read and conveyed a real feel of generational life and changes in the mountains. I really liked the book. This was my review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 24: by Katharine (new)

Katharine Jennifer Lawrence will have been(or will be) in 3 movies set in Appalachia: Hunger Games, Serena, and The Glass Castle. Just thought that was funny. And 'Where the Lillies Bloom' is definitely my favorite on the list!


message 25: by MomToKippy (new)

MomToKippy Fabulous list! So many highly rated books.


message 26: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Coal tattoo was a great book! So is parchment of leaves. I could so clearly hear that language and accent in my head.


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