Best Books Set in Appalachia

If you aren't sure what area makes up Appalachia, check out this Wikipedia map.
1

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3.82 avg rating — 181,056 ratings
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2

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4.20 avg rating — 36,681 ratings
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3

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3.97 avg rating — 77,925 ratings
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4

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4.07 avg rating — 3,310 ratings
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5

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4.05 avg rating — 242,416 ratings
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6

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3.71 avg rating — 41,525 ratings
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7

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4.15 avg rating — 5,544 ratings
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8

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4.23 avg rating — 604,191 ratings
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9

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4.35 avg rating — 4,536,317 ratings
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10

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3.99 avg rating — 3,127 ratings
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11

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4.02 avg rating — 3,457 ratings
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12

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4.04 avg rating — 2,848 ratings
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13

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3.52 avg rating — 27,232 ratings
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14

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4.01 avg rating — 2,181 ratings
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15

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4.16 avg rating — 2,434 ratings
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16

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3.94 avg rating — 2,327 ratings
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17

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3.86 avg rating — 24,416 ratings
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18

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3.94 avg rating — 9,767 ratings
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19

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3.76 avg rating — 6,811 ratings
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20

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4.06 avg rating — 2,977 ratings
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21

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4.16 avg rating — 2,501 ratings
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22

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3.80 avg rating — 1,778 ratings
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23

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3.64 avg rating — 9,663 ratings
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24

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4.09 avg rating — 1,167 ratings
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25

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3.90 avg rating — 1,969 ratings
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26

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4.08 avg rating — 11,325 ratings
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27

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3.87 avg rating — 20,611 ratings
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28

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4.06 avg rating — 2,340 ratings
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29

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3.92 avg rating — 1,466 ratings
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30

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4.01 avg rating — 10,284 ratings
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31

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3.92 avg rating — 11,032 ratings
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32

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3.75 avg rating — 23,303 ratings
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33

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3.86 avg rating — 35,171 ratings
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34

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4.02 avg rating — 632 ratings
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35

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3.93 avg rating — 16,284 ratings
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36

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4.06 avg rating — 318 ratings
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37

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3.76 avg rating — 3,132 ratings
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38

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4.04 avg rating — 1,499 ratings
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39

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4.24 avg rating — 5,440 ratings
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40

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3.68 avg rating — 33,411 ratings
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41

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4.10 avg rating — 15,625 ratings
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42

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4.19 avg rating — 506 ratings
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43

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4.17 avg rating — 11,922 ratings
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44

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4.16 avg rating — 3,426 ratings
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45

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4.04 avg rating — 695 ratings
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46

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3.60 avg rating — 2,080 ratings
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47

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3.87 avg rating — 1,010 ratings
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48

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3.78 avg rating — 800 ratings
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49

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4.03 avg rating — 591 ratings
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50

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4.01 avg rating — 148 ratings
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51

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4.37 avg rating — 175 ratings
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52

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4.08 avg rating — 30,758 ratings
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53

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4.32 avg rating — 460 ratings
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54

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4.11 avg rating — 3,144 ratings
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55

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4.21 avg rating — 4,545 ratings
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56

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3.83 avg rating — 16,842 ratings
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57

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3.76 avg rating — 770 ratings
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58

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3.93 avg rating — 14,091 ratings
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59

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3.84 avg rating — 1,825 ratings
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60

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4.25 avg rating — 855 ratings
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61

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3.94 avg rating — 2,763 ratings
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62

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4.09 avg rating — 683 ratings
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63

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4.33 avg rating — 1,217 ratings
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64

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4.08 avg rating — 2,075 ratings
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65

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4.21 avg rating — 13,667 ratings
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66

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3.70 avg rating — 427 ratings
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67

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3.58 avg rating — 1,205 ratings
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68

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4.06 avg rating — 20,734 ratings
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69

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4.02 avg rating — 1,541 ratings
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70

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3.89 avg rating — 8,231 ratings
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71

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4.13 avg rating — 2,330 ratings
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72

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3.76 avg rating — 10,187 ratings
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73

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3.90 avg rating — 3,502 ratings
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74

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4.01 avg rating — 17,555 ratings
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75

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3.82 avg rating — 2,908 ratings
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76

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3.85 avg rating — 359 ratings
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77

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3.55 avg rating — 5,552 ratings
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78

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4.16 avg rating — 206 ratings
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79

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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80

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3.88 avg rating — 652 ratings
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81

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 9,488 ratings
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82

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3.80 avg rating — 1,924 ratings
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83

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3.92 avg rating — 2,377 ratings
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84

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3.42 avg rating — 8,918 ratings
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85

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4.20 avg rating — 12,271 ratings
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86

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4.02 avg rating — 845 ratings
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87

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3.94 avg rating — 365 ratings
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88

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4.11 avg rating — 445,649 ratings
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89

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3.95 avg rating — 3,577 ratings
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90

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3.78 avg rating — 2,463 ratings
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91

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3.58 avg rating — 2,497 ratings
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92

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3.85 avg rating — 1,863 ratings
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93

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3.81 avg rating — 363 ratings
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94

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3.73 avg rating — 79 ratings
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95

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4.15 avg rating — 309 ratings
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96

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3.50 avg rating — 4 ratings
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97

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3.84 avg rating — 49 ratings
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97

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3.95 avg rating — 167 ratings
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99

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4.53 avg rating — 58 ratings
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100

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4.04 avg rating — 306 ratings
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117 likes · 
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JG (The Introverted Reader) 2644 books
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Libby 1402 books
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Steven 15976 books
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Jessica 2419 books
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Melissa 58 books
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R. 1110 books
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Wendy 757 books
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DB 330 books
12 friends

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Comments (showing 1-35 of 35) (35 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.


message 27: by Mickb (new)

Mickb Great List. Am visiting NC/SC/TN (from the UK)in March/April. I am tired of reading about beaten-up pick-up trucks, 12-bore toting bullies and non-functional families. What in the above fiction list build upon the beauty of the seasons, the hard graft of the settlers, the tight knit families, the role of faith, the compromises facing those not wanting to enter the "progress race" etc. etc. And (not a literary question) how do I find all that when we get there?


message 28: by Loretta (new)

Loretta Creech If you are interested in stories about Appalachia you should read the true story I wrote about the murder of my father who was shot during a coal mine strike in 1965. The book is called "No tears for Ernest Creech"


message 29: by Sara (new)

Sara Brown "Winter's Bone" is a fantastic novel, but it takes place in the Ozark mountains of Missouri, not the Appalachian mountains. There are certainly some similarities between these 2 mountain regions, but they're separated by approximately 250 miles. Can this be corrected?


JG (The Introverted Reader) Sara wrote: ""Winter's Bone" is a fantastic novel, but it takes place in the Ozark mountains of Missouri, not the Appalachian mountains. There are certainly some similarities between these 2 mountain regions, b..."

You're right. I've deleted it.


message 31: by Laurie (new)

Laurie "Mother of Pearl" is set in Mississippi which is not Appalachia. Also, the book "Unbroken" which I read a couple of years ago is not set in Appalachia either.


JG (The Introverted Reader) Laurie wrote: ""Mother of Pearl" is set in Mississippi which is not Appalachia. Also, the book "Unbroken" which I read a couple of years ago is not set in Appalachia either."

I've deleted both.


message 33: by Billie (new)

Billie 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 li..."
I agree!!!!


message 34: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty Just a note, Death Without Company, Junkyard Dogs and The Dark Horse take place in Wyoming. Kindness Goes Unpunished takes place in Philadelphia.


JG (The Introverted Reader) Lexxi Kitty wrote: "Just a note, Death Without Company, Junkyard Dogs and The Dark Horse take place in Wyoming. Kindness Goes Unpunished takes place in Phila..."

Deleted.


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