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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3.86 avg rating — 220,426 ratings
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2

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4.23 avg rating — 49,316 ratings
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3

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 97,126 ratings
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4

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4.06 avg rating — 344,463 ratings
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5

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4.09 avg rating — 3,970 ratings
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6

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3.74 avg rating — 50,027 ratings
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7

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4.17 avg rating — 6,982 ratings
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8

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4.28 avg rating — 896,042 ratings
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9

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4.04 avg rating — 4,029 ratings
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10

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3.99 avg rating — 3,760 ratings
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11

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3.53 avg rating — 33,486 ratings
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12

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4.05 avg rating — 3,434 ratings
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13

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3.93 avg rating — 12,733 ratings
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14

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3.97 avg rating — 3,086 ratings
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15

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3.88 avg rating — 29,649 ratings
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16

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4.16 avg rating — 3,201 ratings
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17

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4.07 avg rating — 3,680 ratings
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18

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4.04 avg rating — 2,587 ratings
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19

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3.78 avg rating — 7,715 ratings
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20

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4.18 avg rating — 3,608 ratings
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21

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3.85 avg rating — 42,346 ratings
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22

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4.06 avg rating — 3,199 ratings
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23

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3.83 avg rating — 2,301 ratings
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24

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3.70 avg rating — 12,780 ratings
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25

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3.76 avg rating — 34,211 ratings
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26

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4.12 avg rating — 1,639 ratings
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27

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3.78 avg rating — 28,198 ratings
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28

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4.12 avg rating — 14,489 ratings
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29

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3.93 avg rating — 1,730 ratings
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30

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3.92 avg rating — 2,315 ratings
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31

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3.91 avg rating — 13,999 ratings
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32

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4.02 avg rating — 950 ratings
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33

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4.02 avg rating — 12,053 ratings
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34

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3.99 avg rating — 22,637 ratings
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35

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4.09 avg rating — 21,845 ratings
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36

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4.24 avg rating — 6,816 ratings
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37

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4.14 avg rating — 4,812 ratings
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38

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4.05 avg rating — 448 ratings
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39

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3.77 avg rating — 3,591 ratings
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40

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3.70 avg rating — 39,669 ratings
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41

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4.05 avg rating — 1,999 ratings
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42

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4.12 avg rating — 38,714 ratings
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43

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4.03 avg rating — 1,023 ratings
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44

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3.83 avg rating — 1,087 ratings
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45

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4.23 avg rating — 633 ratings
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46

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4.32 avg rating — 749 ratings
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47

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4.20 avg rating — 17,359 ratings
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48

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3.92 avg rating — 17,270 ratings
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49

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4.06 avg rating — 809 ratings
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50

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3.63 avg rating — 2,583 ratings
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51

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4.24 avg rating — 6,082 ratings
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52

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3.87 avg rating — 1,251 ratings
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53

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4.41 avg rating — 207 ratings
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54

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3.86 avg rating — 23,381 ratings
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55

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4.13 avg rating — 4,533 ratings
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56

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4.22 avg rating — 17,946 ratings
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57

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3.98 avg rating — 207 ratings
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58

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3.88 avg rating — 2,578 ratings
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59

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4.11 avg rating — 1,048 ratings
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60

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3.79 avg rating — 1,135 ratings
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61

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4.33 avg rating — 1,556 ratings
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62

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4.26 avg rating — 1,018 ratings
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63

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3.94 avg rating — 3,300 ratings
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64

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2,049 ratings
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65

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3.93 avg rating — 296,934 ratings
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66

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4.11 avg rating — 751,669 ratings
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67

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3.55 avg rating — 7,749 ratings
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68

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4.10 avg rating — 26,370 ratings
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69

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4.15 avg rating — 3,452 ratings
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70

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3.91 avg rating — 4,335 ratings
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70

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3.79 avg rating — 12,291 ratings
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72

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4.09 avg rating — 2,933 ratings
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73

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3.75 avg rating — 517 ratings
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74

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3.61 avg rating — 1,565 ratings
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75

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4.21 avg rating — 15,606 ratings
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76

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3.90 avg rating — 10,017 ratings
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77

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4.03 avg rating — 21,793 ratings
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78

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3.83 avg rating — 3,333 ratings
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79

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3.49 avg rating — 11,611 ratings
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80

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3.77 avg rating — 618 ratings
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81

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3.62 avg rating — 12,382 ratings
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82

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4.01 avg rating — 14,607 ratings
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83

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4.13 avg rating — 503 ratings
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84

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3.86 avg rating — 2,682 ratings
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85

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3.78 avg rating — 82,185 ratings
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86

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4.14 avg rating — 270 ratings
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87

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4.04 avg rating — 1,014 ratings
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88

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4.13 avg rating — 30 ratings
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89

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3.91 avg rating — 796 ratings
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90

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 453 ratings
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91

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3.58 avg rating — 3,139 ratings
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92

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4.07 avg rating — 508 ratings
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93

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3.94 avg rating — 3,319 ratings
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94

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4.15 avg rating — 482 ratings
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95

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4.09 avg rating — 8,452 ratings
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96

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3.86 avg rating — 1,776 ratings
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97

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3.98 avg rating — 4,179 ratings
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98

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3.81 avg rating — 3,450 ratings
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99

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4.31 avg rating — 2,923 ratings
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100

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3.85 avg rating — 2,206 ratings
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JG (Introverted Reader) 3042 books
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Libby 1574 books
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Steven 2144 books
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Jessica 5605 books
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Melissa 58 books
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Rob 1512 books
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Wendy 921 books
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DB 362 books
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Comments Showing 1-40 of 40 (40 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 (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 (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 [deleted user] (new)

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 (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 [deleted user] (new)

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 (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 Henderson "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 (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 (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.


message 36: by Vicki (new)

Vicki I love Suspect, by Robert Crais, but I believe it is set in the Los Angeles, California, area, not in Appalachia.


JG (Introverted Reader) Vicki wrote: "I love Suspect, by Robert Crais, but I believe it is set in the Los Angeles, California, area, not in Appalachia."

I haven't read it but the synopsis appears to agree with you. Deleted.


message 38: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah David wrote: "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 ..."

I have! My father and sister and a whole clan of kinfolk live there!


message 39: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah Loretta wrote: "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 f..."

Sounds good. I knew of some Creeches near Cumberland Gap


message 40: by Rebekah (last edited Nov 27, 2018 11:54PM) (new)

Rebekah #206 The Drop - book description states setting is L.A.
#206 Knockemstiff - book description says it takes place in the Mid West
#210,211,212,213 books by James Lee Burke take place in Louisiana
#273 Walk of the Spirits takes place in Louisiana
#306 - The Bayou Trilogy: Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, and The Ones You Do takes place in Louisiana
#344 The Devil's Punchbowl takes place in Mississippi
#350 -The Heaven of Mercury takes place in Mississippi
#419 The Silver Tattoo doesn't even take place in the USA but in Ireland
#442 Wayfaring Stranger takes place in Texas
#455 The Big Beautiful takes place in an oceanside town in N C


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