Small Town Stories (Adult)
It’s a place where everyone knows everyone’s business, for better or worse. When a stranger walks into town, curtains twitch and the grapevine starts humming. Young folks might itch to get out, but older ones settle in, knowing your neighbor’s always happy to lend a hand. Celebrate the ups and downs of small-town life and strong sense of community with these books set in close-knit settings with plenty of characters. Many of these authors set a series of books in the same town, so you can have the pleasure of visiting again and again.
- Mark Dunn – Welcome to Higby
- Fannie Flagg set several books in Elmwood Springs, Missouri; try Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!
- Eileen Goudge’s series set in Carson Springs, California, starts with Stranger in Paradise.
- Jan Karon’s series set in Mitford, North Carolina, starts with At Home in Mitford.
- Billie Letts – Where the Heart Is
- Bernice McFadden – Sugar
- Richard Russo – Empire Falls
- D. E. Stevenson – Miss Buncle’s Book
- Patrick Taylor’s series set in Ballybucklebo, Ireland starts with An Irish Country Doctor.
- Adriana Trigiani’s series set in Big Stone Gap, Virginia starts with Big Stone Gap.
A Mystery’s Afoot, or Possible Something Spooky
- M. C. Beaton’s Hamish MacBeth series set in Lochdubh, Scotland starts with Death of a Gossip.
- Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple series set in St. Mary Mead, Hampshire, England starts with Murder at the Vicarage.
- Beth Gutcheon – More than You Know
- Stephen King – Needful Things or Salem’s Lot
A Little Romance
- Toni Blake’s series set in Coral Cove, Florida starts with All I Want is You.
- Robyn Carr’s series set in Thunder Point, Oregon starts with The Wanderer.
- Beverly Jenkins’ series set in Henry Adams, Kansas starts with Bring on the Blessings.
- Carla Neggers’ series set in the New England town of Swift River Valley starts with Secrets of the Lost Summer.
- Debbie Macomber’s series set in Cedar Cove, Washington starts with 16 Lighthouse Road. Her Rose Harbor series also takes place in Cedar Cove, and starts with The Inn at Rose Harbor.
- Sherryl Woods’ series set in Chesapeake Shores, Maryland starts with The Inn at Eagle Point.
- Sherwood Anderson – Winesburg, Ohio
- Wendell Berry’s books set in Port William, Kentucky; try Jayber Crow .
- Olive Ann Burns – Cold Sassy Tree
- William Faulkner’s books set in Yoknapatawpha, Mississippi; try Absalom, Absalom, or Light in August.
- Larry McMurtry – The Last Picture Show
True Stories with Small Town Flavor (Nonfiction)
- Bill Bryson - The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America
- Tracy Kidder – Home Town
- Vicki Myron - Dewey: Small-Town Library Cat
- Nick Reding - Methland: the Death and Life of an American Small Town
- Karen Valby - Welcome to Utopia: Notes From a Small Town (due to be republished in January 2016)