Books set in Kentucky

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September 27, 2022
Goodreads

Books set in Kentucky

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 Kentucky 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 Last MacKlenna

- Rating: 4.33 (2,303 ratings)
- Author: Katherine Lowry Logan
- Published: September 11, 2013
- Genres: Romance, Time Travel, Historical Fiction, Mystery
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Goodreads

The Ruby Brooch (Celtic Brooch #1)

- Rating: 4.06 (5,127 ratings)
- Author: Katherine Lowry Logan
- Published: January 1, 2012
- Genres: Time Travel, Romance, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
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Goodreads

Uncle Tom's Cabin

- Rating: 3.89 (215,069 ratings)
- Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe
- Published: January 1, 1852
- Genres: Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literature
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Goodreads

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

- Rating: 4.23 (159,737 ratings)
- Author: Kim Michele Richardson
- Published: May 7, 2019
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Audiobook, Historical
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Goodreads

The Patron Saint of Liars

- Rating: 3.85 (42,676 ratings)
- Author: Ann Patchett
- Published: January 1, 1992
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Adult Fiction
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Goodreads

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson, #1)

- Rating: 3.90 (25,750 ratings)
- Author: Molly Harper
- Published: March 31, 2009
- Genres: Vampires, Paranormal, Romance, Paranormal Romance
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Goodreads

In Country

- Rating: 3.59 (2,632 ratings)
- Author: Bobbie Ann Mason
- Published: January 1, 1985
- Genres: Fiction, War, Historical Fiction, Novels
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Goodreads

The Giver of Stars

- Rating: 4.28 (342,256 ratings)
- Author: Jojo Moyes
- Published: October 3, 2019
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Audiobook, Historical
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Goodreads

Icy Sparks

- Rating: 3.70 (41,078 ratings)
- Author: Gwyn Hyman Rubio
- Published: January 1, 1998
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Adult Fiction, Contemporary
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Goodreads

Walk Two Moons

- Rating: 3.98 (162,503 ratings)
- Author: Sharon Creech
- Published: January 1, 1994
- Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction
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Goodreads

The Taking of Jemima Boone: The True Story of the Kidnap and Rescue That Shaped America

- Rating: 3.65 (1,583 ratings)
- Author: Matthew Pearl
- Published: October 5, 2021
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, True Crime, American History
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Goodreads

Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1)

- Rating: 4.03 (122,539 ratings)
- Author: Kim Harrison
- Published: April 1, 2004
- Genres: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Paranormal, Vampires
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Goodreads

Wormwood (China Bayles, #17)

- Rating: 3.85 (2,371 ratings)
- Author: Susan Wittig Albert
- Published: March 9, 2009
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Adult
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Goodreads

Clear Springs: A Family Story

- Rating: 3.89 (350 ratings)
- Author: Bobbie Ann Mason
- Published: January 1, 1999
- Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography, Biography Memoir
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Goodreads

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

- Rating: 3.89 (379,229 ratings)
- Author: J.D. Vance
- Published: June 28, 2016
- Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir, Biography, Audiobook
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Groundskeeping

- Rating: 3.59 (4,520 ratings)
- Author: Lee Cole
- Published: March 1, 2022
- Genres: Fiction, Romance, Audiobook, Contemporary
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Goodreads

The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings, #1)

- Rating: 3.88 (21,283 ratings)
- Author: J.R. Ward
- Published: July 28, 2015
- Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Fiction
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Goodreads

Southern Harm

- Rating: 4.25 (32 ratings)
- Author: Travis Casey
- Published: March 14, 2019
- Genres: Contemporary
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Goodreads

And One Last Thing ...

- Rating: 4.03 (7,407 ratings)
- Author: Molly Harper
- Published: July 8, 2010
- Genres: Romance, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary
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Goodreads

Death By A HoneyBee (Josiah Reynolds Mysteries, #1)

- Rating: 3.59 (4,873 ratings)
- Author: Abigail Keam
- Published: March 23, 2010
- Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Crime
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

The Queen of Kentucky

- Rating: 3.75 (1,316 ratings)
- Author: Alecia Whitaker
- Published: January 1, 2012
- Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
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Goodreads

Manhunting

- Rating: 3.78 (15,619 ratings)
- Author: Jennifer Crusie
- Published: January 1, 1993
- Genres: Romance, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary
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Goodreads

Wonderland Creek

- Rating: 4.27 (7,964 ratings)
- Author: Lynn Austin
- Published: January 1, 2011
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Fiction, Christian
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Goodreads

First Blood

- Rating: 4.02 (8,270 ratings)
- Author: David Morrell
- Published: January 1, 1972
- Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Action, War
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Goodreads

Blood and Treasure: Daniel Boone and the Fight for America's First Frontier

- Rating: 4.08 (1,857 ratings)
- Author: Bob Drury
- Published: April 20, 2021
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, Biography, American History
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Fidelity: Five Stories

- Rating: 4.37 (2,222 ratings)
- Author: Wendell Berry
- Published: January 1, 1992
- Genres: Fiction, Short Stories, Historical Fiction, Classics
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Goodreads

Jayber Crow

- Rating: 4.38 (15,479 ratings)
- Author: Wendell Berry
- Published: September 5, 2000
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classics, Novels
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Goodreads

Calling Me Home

- Rating: 4.24 (40,483 ratings)
- Author: Julie Kibler
- Published: August 20, 2012
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Romance, Historical
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Goodreads

Feather Crowns

- Rating: 3.69 (763 ratings)
- Author: Bobbie Ann Mason
- Published: September 1, 1993
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Southern, Historical
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Goodreads

A Place on Earth

- Rating: 4.33 (2,588 ratings)
- Author: Wendell Berry
- Published: November 30, 1966
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Novels, Audiobook
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Goodreads

Kentucky Straight: Stories

- Rating: 4.01 (1,436 ratings)
- Author: Chris Offutt
- Published: January 1, 1992
- Genres: Short Stories, Fiction, Southern Gothic, Americana
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Goodreads

O is for Outlaw (Kinsey Millhone, #15)

- Rating: 3.95 (27,274 ratings)
- Author: Sue Grafton
- Published: September 1, 1999
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Detective
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter

- Rating: 3.96 (4,956 ratings)
- Author: Loretta Lynn
- Published: May 1, 1976
- Genres: Music, Nonfiction, Biography, Memoir
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

The Dollmaker

- Rating: 4.17 (3,478 ratings)
- Author: Harriette Simpson Arnow
- Published: January 1, 1954
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classics, Literary Fiction
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Goodreads

The Time of Man

- Rating: 3.84 (148 ratings)
- Author: Elizabeth Madox Roberts
- Published: January 1, 1926
- Genres: Fiction, Classics, Historical Fiction, Coming Of Age
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Baptisms & Dogs: Stories

- Rating: 4.06 (35 ratings)
- Author: Brian L. Tucker
- Published: June 20, 2014
- Genres: Short Stories
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

My Heart and Other Black Holes

- Rating: 3.98 (53,382 ratings)
- Author: Jasmine Warga
- Published: February 10, 2015
- Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mental Health
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

The Bourbon Thief

- Rating: 4.01 (6,026 ratings)
- Author: Tiffany Reisz
- Published: June 28, 2016
- Genres: Romance, Mystery, Fiction, Historical Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

That Book Woman

- Rating: 4.23 (2,324 ratings)
- Author: Heather Henson
- Published: October 7, 2008
- Genres: Picture Books, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Books About Books
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

The Sisters

- Rating: 3.32 (3,889 ratings)
- Author: Nancy Jensen
- Published: November 1, 2011
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Audiobook, Chick Lit
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Bluegrass State of Mind (Bluegrass Series, #1)

- Rating: 4.02 (13,919 ratings)
- Author: Kathleen Brooks
- Published: June 25, 2011
- Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

To Come and Go Like Magic

- Rating: 3.58 (143 ratings)
- Author: Katie Pickard Fawcett
- Published: January 1, 2010
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Spence and Lila

- Rating: 3.61 (272 ratings)
- Author: Bobbie Ann Mason
- Published: January 1, 1988
- Genres: Fiction, Literature, Marriage, Southern
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Goodreads

The Great Meadow

- Rating: 3.94 (62 ratings)
- Author: Elizabeth Madox Roberts
- Published: January 1, 1930
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Classics
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Fire in the Hole (Raylan Givens, #2.5)

- Rating: 3.92 (6,665 ratings)
- Author: Elmore Leonard
- Published: January 1, 2001
- Genres: Fiction, Short Stories, Crime, Mystery
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Needlework

- Rating: 4.42 (105 ratings)
- Author: Julia Watts
- Published: October 5, 2021
- Genres: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, Queer
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

The Captive Witch

- Rating: 3.80 (40 ratings)
- Author: Dale Van Every
- Published: January 1, 1951
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Tail Spin (FBI Thriller, #12)

- Rating: 4.08 (9,578 ratings)
- Author: Catherine Coulter
- Published: June 24, 2008
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Romance, Thriller
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Oh, Kentucky!

- Rating: 4.31 (281 ratings)
- Author: Betty Layman Receveur
- Published: October 10, 1990
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Fiction, Westerns
- Read more on Goodreads

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