Books set in Utah

Written by:
September 27, 2022
Goodreads

Books set in Utah

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 Utah 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

Desert Solitaire

- Rating: 4.19 (45,550 ratings)
- Author: Edward Abbey
- Published: January 1, 1968
- Genres: Nonfiction, Nature, Memoir, Travel
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Goodreads

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

- Rating: 4.00 (185,845 ratings)
- Author: Jon Krakauer
- Published: October 17, 2006
- Genres: Nonfiction, Religion, History, True Crime
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Goodreads

A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1)

- Rating: 4.14 (395,848 ratings)
- Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
- Published: November 1, 1887
- Genres: Classics, Mystery, Fiction, Crime
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Goodreads

The Executioner's Song

- Rating: 4.06 (20,177 ratings)
- Author: Norman Mailer
- Published: October 30, 1979
- Genres: True Crime, Nonfiction, Crime, Biography
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Goodreads

The Great Brain (Great Brain, #1)

- Rating: 4.17 (16,899 ratings)
- Author: John D. Fitzgerald
- Published: January 1, 1967
- Genres: Fiction, Childrens, Historical Fiction, Young Adult
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Goodreads

The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family

- Rating: 3.80 (11,670 ratings)
- Author: Josh Hanagarne
- Published: May 2, 2013
- Genres: Biography, Nonfiction, Memoir, Biography Memoir
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Goodreads

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place

- Rating: 4.17 (9,358 ratings)
- Author: Terry Tempest Williams
- Published: January 1, 1991
- Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction, Nature, Environment
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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
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Goodreads

My Story

- Rating: 3.85 (39,134 ratings)
- Author: Elizabeth Smart
- Published: October 7, 2013
- Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction, True Crime, Biography
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Mormon Country

- Rating: 3.93 (669 ratings)
- Author: Wallace Stegner
- Published: January 1, 1942
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, Religion, Westerns
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Goodreads

Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders with a New Afterword

- Rating: 3.88 (427 ratings)
- Author: Linda Sillitoe
- Published: January 1, 1988
- Genres: Nonfiction, True Crime, Religion, History
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Goodreads

Massacre at Mountain Meadows

- Rating: 3.99 (1,061 ratings)
- Author: Ronald W. Walker
- Published: January 1, 2008
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, Religion, Lds
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Goodreads

The 19th Wife

- Rating: 3.64 (58,063 ratings)
- Author: David Ebershoff
- Published: August 5, 2008
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Historical
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Goodreads

The Christmas Box (The Christmas Box, #1)

- Rating: 3.96 (26,927 ratings)
- Author: Richard Paul Evans
- Published: January 1, 1993
- Genres: Christmas, Fiction, Holiday, Inspirational
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Goodreads

When the Emperor Was Divine

- Rating: 3.78 (22,350 ratings)
- Author: Julie Otsuka
- Published: January 1, 2002
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Japan, Historical
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Goodreads

Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West

- Rating: 4.06 (3,682 ratings)
- Author: Wallace Stegner
- Published: January 1, 1954
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, Biography, Westerns
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Goodreads

The Rope (Anna Pigeon, #17)

- Rating: 3.87 (7,939 ratings)
- Author: Nevada Barr
- Published: January 17, 2012
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Thriller
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Goodreads

Journey to Topaz: A Story of the Japanese-American Evacuation

- Rating: 3.84 (1,381 ratings)
- Author: Yoshiko Uchida
- Published: January 1, 1971
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Fiction
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Goodreads

Basin and Range

- Rating: 4.20 (3,488 ratings)
- Author: John McPhee
- Published: April 1, 1981
- Genres: Science, Nonfiction, Geology, Nature
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Goodreads

Recapitulation

- Rating: 3.86 (1,286 ratings)
- Author: Wallace Stegner
- Published: January 1, 1979
- Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, American Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

True Sisters

- Rating: 3.68 (4,352 ratings)
- Author: Sandra Dallas
- Published: April 1, 2012
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Adult Fiction
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Goodreads

I Walked to Zion: True Stories of Young Pioneers on the Mormon Trail

- Rating: 4.22 (644 ratings)
- Author: Susan Arrington Madsen
- Published: November 1, 1994
- Genres: Nonfiction, History, Lds, Religion
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Goodreads

The Actor and the Housewife

- Rating: 3.15 (9,315 ratings)
- Author: Shannon Hale
- Published: January 1, 2009
- Genres: Romance, Fiction, Adult Fiction, Humor
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Goodreads

Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith

- Rating: 3.84 (4,046 ratings)
- Author: Martha N. Beck
- Published: January 1, 2005
- Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction, Religion, Biography
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

The Bishop's Wife (Linda Wallheim Mystery, #1)

- Rating: 3.14 (4,389 ratings)
- Author: Mette Ivie Harrison
- Published: January 1, 2014
- Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Religion, Mystery Thriller
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857

- Rating: 4.01 (569 ratings)
- Author: Sally Denton
- Published: June 17, 2003
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, Religion, True Crime
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Fire of the Covenant: The Story of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies

- Rating: 4.55 (7,985 ratings)
- Author: Gerald N. Lund
- Published: January 1, 1999
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Lds, Religion, Lds Fiction
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Goodreads

The Mountain Meadows Massacre

- Rating: 3.93 (662 ratings)
- Author: Juanita Brooks
- Published: October 31, 1967
- Genres: History, Religion, Nonfiction, Mormonism
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Goodreads

Roadside Geology of Utah (Roadside Geology Series)

- Rating: 4.04 (94 ratings)
- Author: Halka Chronic
- Published: January 1, 1990
- Genres: Geology, Travel, Nonfiction, Science
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Goodreads

The Lincoln Myth (Cotton Malone, #9)

- Rating: 3.87 (12,781 ratings)
- Author: Steve Berry
- Published: May 20, 2014
- Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Historical Fiction, Mystery
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Stone Canyons of the Colorado Plateau

- Rating: 4.20 (20 ratings)
- Author: Charles Bowden
- Published: April 1, 1996
- Genres: Nonfiction
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Arches National Park: Where Rock Meets Sky

- Rating: 4.00 (19 ratings)
- Author: Nicky Leach
- Published: April 1, 1997
- Genres: Travel
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Autoboyography

- Rating: 4.18 (47,410 ratings)
- Author: Christina Lauren
- Published: September 12, 2017
- Genres: Romance, LGBT, Young Adult, Contemporary
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Lonely Planet Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks

- Rating: 3.99 (115 ratings)
- Author: David Lukas
- Published: March 1, 2005
- Genres: Travel, Nonfiction, Reference
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Stolen Innocence

- Rating: 3.92 (28,232 ratings)
- Author: Elissa Wall
- Published: May 13, 2008
- Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir, Biography, Religion
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Indiana Jones #3)

- Rating: 4.23 (2,140 ratings)
- Author: Rob MacGregor
- Published: June 1, 1989
- Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Haunted Utah: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Beehive State

- Rating: 3.24 (67 ratings)
- Author: Andy Weeks
- Published: July 1, 2012
- Genres: Nonfiction, Horror, Ghosts
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Wet Desert: Tracking Down a Terrorist on the Colorado River

- Rating: 3.93 (905 ratings)
- Author: Gary Hansen
- Published: May 7, 2007
- Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

By Your Side

- Rating: 3.86 (47,514 ratings)
- Author: Kasie West
- Published: January 31, 2017
- Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary, Young Adult Contemporary
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land

- Rating: 3.79 (276 ratings)
- Author: Amy Irvine
- Published: February 19, 2008
- Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction, Nature, Environment
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

The Lonely Polygamist

- Rating: 3.52 (15,082 ratings)
- Author: Brady Udall
- Published: May 3, 2010
- Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Adult Fiction, Religion
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Goodbye to Poplarhaven

- Rating: 4.00 (20 ratings)
- Author: Edward A. Geary
- Published: October 1, 1985
- Genres: Biography
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

All Is Well (The Work and the Glory, #9)

- Rating: 4.32 (7,847 ratings)
- Author: Gerald N. Lund
- Published: July 10, 1998
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Lds, Lds Fiction, Religion
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese American Family

- Rating: 3.83 (679 ratings)
- Author: Yoshiko Uchida
- Published: January 1, 1982
- Genres: History, Nonfiction, Memoir, Biography Memoir
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Sunk Without a Sound: The Tragic Colorado River Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde

- Rating: 3.81 (432 ratings)
- Author: Brad Dimock
- Published: February 21, 2001
- Genres: Nonfiction, History, Biography, True Crime
- Read more on Goodreads

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Goodreads

A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention

- Rating: 3.82 (3,092 ratings)
- Author: Matt Richtel
- Published: September 23, 2014
- Genres: Nonfiction, Science, Psychology, True Crime
- Read more on Goodreads
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Goodreads

Lightning Tree

- Rating: 3.63 (126 ratings)
- Author: Sarah G. Dunster
- Published: April 10, 2012
- Genres: Historical Fiction, Lds Fiction, Lds, Young Adult
- Read more on Goodreads

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