Books set in Arizona

Written by:
September 27, 2022
Goodreads

Books set in Arizona

Every state has its hallmark writers. Mississippi has William Faulkner and his incomparable (fictional) Yoknapatawpha County and Missouri can lay claim to Mark Twain. The state of Maine is gifted with Pulitzer winner Richard Russo and horror icon Stephen King. Rural Pennsylvania is the playground of the much-heralded (and occasionally maligned) John Updike, and when many bibliophiles think of New Jersey, they also think of Richard Ford's series of novels featuring recurring Everyman character Frank Bascombe. Illinois can lay claim to William Maxwell, Sandra Cisneros, and Adam Langer, among numerous others. And what reader can think of Washington State without contending with the sparkle-vampire yarns of Stephanie Meyer?

What makes authors like these inextricably associated with a particular state is not simply the matter of their having been born there or choosing to live there. The connection, from a writerly standpoint, is deeper than that—their work, nearly all of it, is set in "their" state.

Of course, there are certainly exceptions. Whether a writer sets a tale in the town where they went to college or spent part of their childhood—like Donna Tartt's "The Secret History" and its New England arts school setting and the almost-factual small town of Jo Ann Beard's "In Zanesville," respectively—or crafts a story that follows a social or political theme to a location they know little about but lay narrative claim to anyway, the world is rife with books known, loved, and respected that also capture the essence of place—books where setting itself is one of the strongest characters.

Stacker compiled a list of books set in Arizona from Goodreads. Whether you're looking for a good read set in the state you call home, or you're looking to expand your curiosity with a writer you're already familiar with, we've got you covered.

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Goodreads

The Bean Trees (Greer Family, #1)

- Rating: 3.98 (144,321 ratings)
- Author: Barbara Kingsolver
- Published: December 1, 1988
- Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Novels
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Goodreads

Animal Dreams

- Rating: 4.06 (70,008 ratings)
- Author: Barbara Kingsolver
- Published: September 1, 1990
- Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Novels
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Goodreads

Pigs in Heaven

- Rating: 3.98 (59,181 ratings)
- Author: Barbara Kingsolver
- Published: January 1, 1993
- Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Adult Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

The Wild Birds

- Rating: 3.95 (303 ratings)
- Author: Emily Strelow
- Published: March 13, 2018
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, LGBT, Historical
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Goodreads

The Monkey Wrench Gang (Monkey Wrench Gang, #1)

- Rating: 4.08 (24,019 ratings)
- Author: Edward Abbey
- Published: January 1, 1975
- Genres: Fiction, Nature, Environment, Classics
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901

- Rating: 4.34 (70,399 ratings)
- Author: Nancy E. Turner
- Published: February 3, 1998
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Romance
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Goodreads

Desert Heat (Joanna Brady, #1)

- Rating: 4.01 (12,826 ratings)
- Author: J.A. Jance
- Published: January 1, 1993
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller
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Goodreads

A Thief of Time (Leaphorn & Chee, #8)

- Rating: 4.10 (12,526 ratings)
- Author: Tony Hillerman
- Published: June 1, 1988
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

- Rating: 4.31 (22,839 ratings)
- Author: Dusti Bowling
- Published: September 5, 2017
- Genres: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Mystery
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

24 Hours in Nowhere

- Rating: 4.14 (2,234 ratings)
- Author: Dusti Bowling
- Published: September 4, 2018
- Genres: Middle Grade, Adventure, Realistic Fiction, Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Vanishing Acts

- Rating: 3.71 (102,698 ratings)
- Author: Jodi Picoult
- Published: March 5, 2005
- Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Drama
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Goodreads

Skinwalkers (Leaphorn & Chee, #7)

- Rating: 4.07 (12,509 ratings)
- Author: Tony Hillerman
- Published: December 1, 1986
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
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Goodreads

Brighty of the Grand Canyon

- Rating: 4.06 (8,750 ratings)
- Author: Marguerite Henry
- Published: January 1, 1953
- Genres: Fiction, Animals, Childrens, Horses
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Goodreads

The Fool's Progress

- Rating: 4.22 (3,428 ratings)
- Author: Edward Abbey
- Published: January 1, 1988
- Genres: Fiction, Novels, Nature, Environment
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Goodreads

The Host (The Host, #1)

- Rating: 3.85 (964,144 ratings)
- Author: Stephenie Meyer
- Published: May 6, 2008
- Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Rattlesnake Crossing (Joanna Brady, #6)

- Rating: 4.08 (6,833 ratings)
- Author: J.A. Jance
- Published: August 1, 1998
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Audiobook
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)

- Rating: 4.09 (84,001 ratings)
- Author: Kevin Hearne
- Published: May 3, 2011
- Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

The Ghostway (Leaphorn & Chee, #6)

- Rating: 4.11 (10,510 ratings)
- Author: Tony Hillerman
- Published: January 1, 1984
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Westerns
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Goodreads

Stargirl (Stargirl, #1)

- Rating: 3.77 (317,353 ratings)
- Author: Jerry Spinelli
- Published: June 30, 2000
- Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
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Goodreads

Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus

- Rating: 4.35 (5,240 ratings)
- Author: Dusti Bowling
- Published: September 17, 2019
- Genres: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult, Audiobook
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Epitaph

- Rating: 4.13 (5,667 ratings)
- Author: Mary Doria Russell
- Published: March 3, 2015
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Westerns, Historical
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Goodreads

In the Heart of the Canyon

- Rating: 3.74 (1,817 ratings)
- Author: Elisabeth Hyde
- Published: January 1, 2009
- Genres: Fiction, Adventure, Thriller, Adult Fiction
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Goodreads

The Shape Shifter (Leaphorn & Chee, #18)

- Rating: 4.02 (8,540 ratings)
- Author: Tony Hillerman
- Published: November 21, 2006
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

A Series of Small Maneuvers

- Rating: 4.10 (133 ratings)
- Author: Eliot Treichel
- Published: November 1, 2015
- Genres: Young Adult, Family
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Doc

- Rating: 3.98 (16,042 ratings)
- Author: Mary Doria Russell
- Published: May 3, 2011
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Westerns, Historical
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Timeline

- Rating: 3.86 (199,884 ratings)
- Author: Michael Crichton
- Published: November 16, 1999
- Genres: Science Fiction, Fiction, Thriller, Time Travel
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Almanac of the Dead

- Rating: 3.96 (2,811 ratings)
- Author: Leslie Marmon Silko
- Published: January 1, 1991
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Novels
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Goodreads

Listening Woman (Leaphorn & Chee, #3)

- Rating: 4.14 (13,330 ratings)
- Author: Tony Hillerman
- Published: April 1, 1978
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Mystery Thriller
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Goodreads

Tombstone Courage (Joanna Brady, #2)

- Rating: 4.05 (8,702 ratings)
- Author: J.A. Jance
- Published: January 1, 1994
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Shoot Don't Shoot (Joanna Brady, #3)

- Rating: 4.03 (6,852 ratings)
- Author: J.A. Jance
- Published: January 1, 1995
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Skeleton Man (Leaphorn & Chee, #17)

- Rating: 3.99 (7,605 ratings)
- Author: Tony Hillerman
- Published: November 1, 2004
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Dance Hall of the Dead (Leaphorn & Chee, #2)

- Rating: 4.02 (13,732 ratings)
- Author: Tony Hillerman
- Published: January 1, 1973
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Mystery Thriller
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Dead to Rights (Joanna Brady, #4)

- Rating: 4.04 (6,308 ratings)
- Author: J.A. Jance
- Published: October 1, 1996
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Suspense, Mystery Thriller
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Hexed (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #2)

- Rating: 4.22 (59,464 ratings)
- Author: Kevin Hearne
- Published: June 7, 2011
- Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Magic
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Damage Control (Joanna Brady, #13)

- Rating: 4.05 (6,481 ratings)
- Author: J.A. Jance
- Published: January 1, 2008
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Crossers

- Rating: 3.58 (707 ratings)
- Author: Philip Caputo
- Published: January 1, 2009
- Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Crime, Contemporary
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Paradise Lost (Joanna Brady, #9)

- Rating: 4.04 (5,574 ratings)
- Author: J.A. Jance
- Published: August 7, 2001
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Dead Wrong (Joanna Brady, #12)

- Rating: 4.08 (6,154 ratings)
- Author: J.A. Jance
- Published: January 1, 2006
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Mystery Thriller
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

The First Eagle (Leaphorn & Chee, #13)

- Rating: 4.08 (6,602 ratings)
- Author: Tony Hillerman
- Published: July 1, 1998
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Mystery Thriller
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

P.S. I Like You

- Rating: 4.05 (54,334 ratings)
- Author: Kasie West
- Published: July 26, 2016
- Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Exit Wounds (Joanna Brady, #11)

- Rating: 4.04 (6,074 ratings)
- Author: J.A. Jance
- Published: July 22, 2003
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Mystery Thriller
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Skeleton Canyon (Joanna Brady, #5)

- Rating: 4.05 (6,026 ratings)
- Author: J.A. Jance
- Published: August 1, 1997
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Modern Ranch Living

- Rating: 3.80 (200 ratings)
- Author: Mark Jude Poirier
- Published: September 8, 2004
- Genres: Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

A Diamond in the Desert

- Rating: 3.82 (958 ratings)
- Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice
- Published: February 1, 2012
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Sports, Middle Grade, Baseball
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Sizzle

- Rating: 3.40 (107 ratings)
- Author: Lee McClain
- Published: October 1, 2011
- Genres: Teen, Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

The Arizona Kid

- Rating: 3.61 (322 ratings)
- Author: Ron Koertge
- Published: January 1, 1988
- Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, LGBT, Banned Books
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

The Homework Machine (The Homework Machine, #1)

- Rating: 3.85 (8,915 ratings)
- Author: Dan Gutman
- Published: March 1, 2006
- Genres: Fiction, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Childrens
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

A Matter of Heart

- Rating: 3.93 (760 ratings)
- Author: Amy Fellner Dominy
- Published: May 12, 2015
- Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Romance
- Read more on Goodreads

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