Books set in North Dakota

Written by:
September 27, 2022
Goodreads

Books set in North Dakota

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 North Dakota 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 Beet Queen

- Rating: 3.89 (13,169 ratings)
- Author: Louise Erdrich
- Published: January 1, 1986
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Novels, Literary Fiction
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Goodreads

Love Medicine (Love Medicine, #1)

- Rating: 4.01 (24,383 ratings)
- Author: Louise Erdrich
- Published: January 1, 1984
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Short Stories, Novels
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Goodreads

Paradise Valley (Highway Quartet #4)

- Rating: 4.19 (9,903 ratings)
- Author: C.J. Box
- Published: July 25, 2017
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime
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Goodreads

Tracks (Love Medicine. #3)

- Rating: 3.94 (12,171 ratings)
- Author: Louise Erdrich
- Published: January 1, 1988
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, School
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Goodreads

Giants in the Earth

- Rating: 4.01 (5,373 ratings)
- Author: O.E. Rølvaag
- Published: January 1, 1925
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classics, Literature
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The Night Watchman

- Rating: 4.13 (52,417 ratings)
- Author: Louise Erdrich
- Published: March 3, 2020
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical, Literary Fiction
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Goodreads

The Round House

- Rating: 3.96 (107,786 ratings)
- Author: Louise Erdrich
- Published: October 2, 2012
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Literary Fiction
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Goodreads

The Grass Dancer

- Rating: 3.95 (2,827 ratings)
- Author: Susan Power
- Published: January 1, 1994
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Fantasy
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Goodreads

Jubal Sackett

- Rating: 4.22 (7,405 ratings)
- Author: Louis L'Amour
- Published: May 1, 1985
- Genres: Westerns, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Adventure
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Goodreads

The Missing Place

- Rating: 3.37 (855 ratings)
- Author: Sophie Littlefield
- Published: September 2, 2014
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Adult
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Goodreads

The Watermelon King

- Rating: 3.81 (140 ratings)
- Author: Daniel Royse
- Published: July 20, 2015
- Genres: Fiction, Travel, Africa, Ethiopia
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Goodreads

The New Wild West: Black Gold, Fracking, and Life in a North Dakota Boomtown

- Rating: 3.95 (175 ratings)
- Author: Blaire Briody
- Published: September 26, 2017
- Genres: Nonfiction, History, American History, Journalism
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Goodreads

Without Fail (Jack Reacher, #6)

- Rating: 4.16 (97,108 ratings)
- Author: Lee Child
- Published: May 13, 2002
- Genres: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Crime
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Goodreads

Tales of Burning Love

- Rating: 3.87 (2,618 ratings)
- Author: Louise Erdrich
- Published: January 1, 1996
- Genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Novels, Literature
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Goodreads

Peace Like a River

- Rating: 3.99 (87,040 ratings)
- Author: Leif Enger
- Published: January 1, 2001
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Book Club, Literary Fiction
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The Children's Blizzard

- Rating: 3.90 (11,269 ratings)
- Author: David Laskin
- Published: November 1, 2004
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, American History, Historical
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Goodreads

Fly Away

- Rating: 3.89 (792 ratings)
- Author: Patricia MacLachlan
- Published: March 1, 2014
- Genres: Realistic Fiction, Middle Grade, Family, Childrens
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Goodreads

Oh My Stars

- Rating: 3.90 (6,529 ratings)
- Author: Lorna Landvik
- Published: January 1, 2005
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Chick Lit, Adult Fiction
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Goodreads

The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse

- Rating: 4.19 (11,616 ratings)
- Author: Louise Erdrich
- Published: April 3, 2001
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Historical
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Goodreads

Ill Wind (Anna Pigeon, #3)

- Rating: 3.91 (9,043 ratings)
- Author: Nevada Barr
- Published: January 1, 1995
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
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Goodreads

Apple in the Middle

- Rating: 3.72 (458 ratings)
- Author: Dawn Quigley
- Published: January 1, 2018
- Genres: Young Adult, Middle Grade, Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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Goodreads

The Master Butchers Singing Club

- Rating: 4.06 (23,762 ratings)
- Author: Louise Erdrich
- Published: January 1, 2003
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical, Literary Fiction
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Goodreads

The Bingo Palace

- Rating: 3.87 (4,536 ratings)
- Author: Louise Erdrich
- Published: January 1, 1994
- Genres: Fiction, Novels, Literary Fiction, Literature
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Goodreads

Jake's Orphan

- Rating: 3.82 (207 ratings)
- Author: Peggy Brooke
- Published: March 17, 2000
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction, Childrens
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Goodreads

LaRose

- Rating: 3.90 (21,660 ratings)
- Author: Louise Erdrich
- Published: May 10, 2016
- Genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Contemporary
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

The Plague of Doves

- Rating: 3.80 (15,771 ratings)
- Author: Louise Erdrich
- Published: April 29, 2008
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Literary Fiction
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Goodreads

Beyond the Bedroom Wall

- Rating: 4.18 (195 ratings)
- Author: Larry Woiwode
- Published: September 1, 1975
- Genres: Fiction, Novels, Literature, Contemporary
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Goodreads

Dakota Born (Dakota, #1)

- Rating: 4.00 (7,888 ratings)
- Author: Debbie Macomber
- Published: January 1, 1999
- Genres: Romance, Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
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Goodreads

The Emigrants

- Rating: 4.02 (57 ratings)
- Author: Johan Bojer
- Published: January 1, 1924
- Genres: Fiction
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Goodreads

Young Pioneers

- Rating: 3.96 (3,536 ratings)
- Author: Rose Wilder Lane
- Published: January 1, 1932
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Classics, Young Adult
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Last Child

- Rating: 3.36 (33 ratings)
- Author: Michael Spooner
- Published: January 1, 2005
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Native Americans
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Goodreads

A Promise for Ellie (Daughters of Blessing, #1)

- Rating: 4.17 (3,519 ratings)
- Author: Lauraine Snelling
- Published: January 1, 2006
- Genres: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Christian, Romance
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Spring for Susannah

- Rating: 3.88 (780 ratings)
- Author: Catherine Richmond
- Published: June 14, 2011
- Genres: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Historical
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Goodreads

Codename Zero (The Codename Conspiracy #1)

- Rating: 4.10 (1,454 ratings)
- Author: Chris Rylander
- Published: February 4, 2014
- Genres: Middle Grade, Mystery, Adventure, Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Badlands (Highway Quartet #3)

- Rating: 4.02 (11,972 ratings)
- Author: C.J. Box
- Published: July 28, 2015
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime
- Read more on Goodreads

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Girl Gone Missing

- Rating: 3.98 (1,016 ratings)
- Author: Marcie R. Rendon
- Published: May 14, 2019
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Yellow Earth

- Rating: 3.63 (167 ratings)
- Author: John Sayles
- Published: January 7, 2020
- Genres: Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Naya Nuki: Shoshone Girl Who Ran

- Rating: 4.14 (1,994 ratings)
- Author: Kenneth Thomasma
- Published: January 1, 1983
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Childrens
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Goodreads

Young Water Protectors: A Story About Standing Rock

- Rating: 4.34 (132 ratings)
- Author: Aslan Tudor
- Published: January 1, 2018
- Genres: Nonfiction, Picture Books, Childrens, History
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere

- Rating: 3.76 (502 ratings)
- Author: Debra Marquart
- Published: January 1, 2006
- Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography Memoir, Nature
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

The Fire Duke (Keepers of the Hidden Ways, #1)

- Rating: 3.80 (491 ratings)
- Author: Joel Rosenberg
- Published: May 1, 1995
- Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, High Fantasy, Science Fiction Fantasy
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Downtown Owl

- Rating: 3.56 (12,076 ratings)
- Author: Chuck Klosterman
- Published: September 16, 2008
- Genres: Fiction, Humor, Contemporary, Novels
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

The Murdered Family

- Rating: 3.43 (216 ratings)
- Author: Vernon Keel
- Published: April 1, 2010
- Genres: Nonfiction, True Crime
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

The Bones of Plenty

- Rating: 3.98 (150 ratings)
- Author: Lois Phillips Hudson
- Published: March 15, 1984
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

The Bitterroots (Highway Quartet #5)

- Rating: 4.05 (11,566 ratings)
- Author: C.J. Box
- Published: August 13, 2019
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

A Fireproof Home for the Bride

- Rating: 3.54 (1,270 ratings)
- Author: Amy Scheibe
- Published: March 10, 2015
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Adult, Historical
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Sod Houses on the Great Plains

- Rating: 3.58 (26 ratings)
- Author: Glen Rounds
- Published: January 1, 1995
- Genres: History, Picture Books, Nonfiction
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

P Is for Peace Garden: A North Dakota Alphabet

- Rating: 3.96 (28 ratings)
- Author: Roxane Beauclair Salonen
- Published: April 1, 2005
- Genres: Picture Books, Childrens
- Read more on Goodreads

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