What’s your state’s book?

Here’s the Most Famous Book Set In Every State, according to Business Insider.
Most Famous Books Set In Every State_Larger

There’s plenty to argue about. Stephanie Myer’s Twilight is the most famous book set in Washington state? A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks is the North Carolina book, beating out Look Homeward Angel. I guess it depends on the definition of “famous.”

I grew up in Illinois (Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle) and live in California (John Steinbeck’s not-very-famous East of Eden).

Of course, a few are right on, such as Willa Cather’s My Antonia (one of my mother’s favorites) for Nebraska.

About Joanne


  1. GoogleMaster says:

    For Texas, I would put Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment, or Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry, who was born in, grew up in, went to school in, taught in, and still lives in Texas ahead of No Country for Old Men. Granted, some of those start out in Texas and migrate elsewhere, but IMHO they are all “more famous” than No Country.

    Maybe this is a list of “books set in state X that are the most famous to people with short attention spans”.

  2. East of Eden? I’ll go with John Steinbeck, fine, but how about Grapes of Wrath?

    I don’t think The 19th Wife is all that famous. Much more so (and much more scurrilous!) is Riders of the Purple Sage. I mean it’s an awful book, but then so is Twilight…

    Someone oughta do a similar list but with no trashy books allowed. Then you could make a project of it and read all of them. I am NOT reading Interview With the Vampire, though.

  3. Michigan: Anatomy of a Murder, by far.

  4. Stacy in NJ says:

    Jersey should be This Side of Paradise.

  5. Mark Roulo says:

    Joanne: “I guess it depends on the definition of ‘famous.'”


    It also depends on the definition of “set in” a state.


    Wikipedia says that “The Catcher in the Rye” has sold more than 65M copies and continues to sell about 250K copies per year. ‘Famous’ probably applies. The book is set in Pennsylvania *and* New York. But it doesn’t show up on the list. Maybe because it isn’t set in only one state?


    [Clearly having action outside a single state is okay because in “The Wizard of Oz” most of the action takes place outside Kansas]

  6. Michener, __Hawaii__: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books).
    Jones. __From Here to Eternity__. Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) .
    So there’s an objective measure, at least (sales). __From Here to Eternity__ is also a better book, according to critics. It makes “Top 100” lists, which __Hawaii__ does not. Michener mistakes “tedious” for “serious”.

  7. I don’t see that Riders of the Purple Sage is “scurrilous,” nor its sequel, Rainbow Trail. Both treat of an important issue to people living in 1871 and Zane Gray was very familiar with the subject.