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 writer 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 Kansas 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.

1 / 49Goodreads

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1)

– Rating: 3.99 (420,894 ratings)
– Author: L. Frank Baum
– Published: May 17, 1900
– Genres: Classics, Fantasy, Fiction, Childrens
– Read more on Goodreads

2 / 49Goodreads

In Cold Blood

– Rating: 4.08 (603,687 ratings)
– Author: Truman Capote
– Published: January 1, 1965
– Genres: Nonfiction, Classics, True Crime, Crime
– Read more on Goodreads

3 / 49Goodreads

Little House on the Prairie (Little House, #3)

– Rating: 4.20 (278,501 ratings)
– Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
– Published: January 1, 1935
– Genres: Classics, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Fiction
– Read more on Goodreads

4 / 49Goodreads

The Virgin of Small Plains

– Rating: 3.87 (6,807 ratings)
– Author: Nancy Pickard
– Published: April 18, 2006
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Adult Fiction
– Read more on Goodreads

5 / 49Goodreads

The Persian Pickle Club

– Rating: 3.79 (18,513 ratings)
– Author: Sandra Dallas
– Published: September 15, 1995
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Chick Lit
– Read more on Goodreads

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6 / 49Goodreads

The Good Lord Bird

– Rating: 3.90 (29,338 ratings)
– Author: James McBride
– Published: August 20, 2013
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, African American
– Read more on Goodreads

7 / 49Goodreads

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

8 / 49Goodreads

Moon Over Manifest

– Rating: 4.03 (33,135 ratings)
– Author: Clare Vanderpool
– Published: October 12, 2010
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction, Middle Grade
– Read more on Goodreads

9 / 49Goodreads

Under the Rainbow

– Rating: 3.78 (2,696 ratings)
– Author: Celia Laskey
– Published: March 2, 2020
– Genres: Fiction, LGBT, Queer, Contemporary
– Read more on Goodreads

10 / 49Goodreads

The Topeka School

– Rating: 3.50 (22,562 ratings)
– Author: Ben Lerner
– Published: October 1, 2019
– Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Novels
– Read more on Goodreads

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11 / 49Goodreads

Not Without Laughter

– Rating: 4.22 (2,733 ratings)
– Author: Langston Hughes
– Published: January 1, 1930
– Genres: Fiction, Classics, African American, Historical Fiction
– Read more on Goodreads

12 / 49Goodreads

The Chaperone

– Rating: 3.87 (61,216 ratings)
– Author: Laura Moriarty
– Published: January 1, 2012
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Audiobook
– Read more on Goodreads

13 / 49Goodreads

The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs

– Rating: 3.33 (453 ratings)
– Author: Janet Peery
– Published: September 19, 2017
– Genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Adult Fiction, Adult
– Read more on Goodreads

14 / 49Goodreads

Caroline: Little House, Revisited

– Rating: 3.79 (10,771 ratings)
– Author: Sarah Miller
– Published: September 19, 2017
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Adult
– Read more on Goodreads

15 / 49Goodreads

Make Me (Jack Reacher, #20)

– Rating: 4.00 (67,525 ratings)
– Author: Lee Child
– Published: September 8, 2015
– Genres: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Crime
– Read more on Goodreads

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16 / 49Goodreads

The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals

– Rating: 3.65 (769 ratings)
– Author: Becky Mandelbaum
– Published: August 4, 2020
– Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Animals, Adult
– Read more on Goodreads

17 / 49Goodreads

Hearts Unbroken

– Rating: 3.67 (1,999 ratings)
– Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith
– Published: October 9, 2018
– Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
– Read more on Goodreads

18 / 49Goodreads

A Dog Named Christmas (A Dog Named Christmas #1)

– Rating: 4.15 (4,915 ratings)
– Author: Greg Kincaid
– Published: January 1, 2008
– Genres: Christmas, Animals, Fiction, Dogs
– Read more on Goodreads

19 / 49Goodreads

Cloudsplitter

– Rating: 3.91 (4,507 ratings)
– Author: Russell Banks
– Published: February 17, 1998
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical, Civil War
– Read more on Goodreads

20 / 49Goodreads

Violet

– Rating: 3.56 (2,128 ratings)
– Author: Scott Thomas
– Published: September 24, 2019
– Genres: Horror, Fiction, Thriller, Adult
– Read more on Goodreads

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21 / 49Goodreads

Kansas Troubles (Benni Harper, #3)

– Rating: 4.01 (2,457 ratings)
– Author: Earlene Fowler
– Published: May 1, 1996
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Quilting
– Read more on Goodreads

22 / 49Goodreads

Dark Places

– Rating: 3.95 (675,333 ratings)
– Author: Gillian Flynn
– Published: January 1, 2009
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller
– Read more on Goodreads

23 / 49Goodreads

A Wanted Man (Jack Reacher, #17)

– Rating: 4.04 (72,685 ratings)
– Author: Lee Child
– Published: August 30, 2012
– Genres: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Crime
– Read more on Goodreads

24 / 49Goodreads

The Great Unknowable End

– Rating: 3.62 (288 ratings)
– Author: Kathryn Ormsbee
– Published: February 19, 2019
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism
– Read more on Goodreads

25 / 49Goodreads

Letters Never Sent

– Rating: 4.35 (608 ratings)
– Author: Sandra Moran
– Published: August 6, 2013
– Genres: LGBT, Historical Fiction, Historical, Fiction
– Read more on Goodreads

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26 / 49Goodreads

Still Life With Crows (Pendergast, #4)

– Rating: 4.19 (36,230 ratings)
– Author: Douglas Preston
– Published: July 1, 2003
– Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Horror
– Read more on Goodreads

27 / 49Goodreads

No Saints in Kansas

– Rating: 3.17 (532 ratings)
– Author: Amy Brashear
– Published: November 14, 2017
– Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Historical
– Read more on Goodreads

28 / 49Goodreads

The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut Universe, #1)

– Rating: 3.97 (29,053 ratings)
– Author: Mary Robinette Kowal
– Published: July 3, 2018
– Genres: Science Fiction, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Alternate History
– Read more on Goodreads

29 / 49Goodreads

The Chicken Sisters

– Rating: 3.41 (26,199 ratings)
– Author: K.J. Dell’Antonia
– Published: December 1, 2020
– Genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Audiobook
– Read more on Goodreads

30 / 49Goodreads

Bleeding Kansas

– Rating: 3.31 (1,903 ratings)
– Author: Sara Paretsky
– Published: January 1, 2007
– Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Adult Fiction
– Read more on Goodreads

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31 / 49Goodreads

While I’m Falling

– Rating: 3.47 (4,248 ratings)
– Author: Laura Moriarty
– Published: January 1, 2009
– Genres: Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Family
– Read more on Goodreads

32 / 49Goodreads

Caroline: Little House, Revisited

– Rating: 3.79 (10,771 ratings)
– Author: Sarah Miller
– Published: September 19, 2017
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Adult
– Read more on Goodreads

33 / 49Goodreads

The Roanoke Girls

– Rating: 3.72 (27,989 ratings)
– Author: Amy Engel
– Published: March 7, 2017
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller
– Read more on Goodreads

34 / 49Goodreads

Fallout (V.I. Warshawski, #18)

– Rating: 3.95 (4,650 ratings)
– Author: Sara Paretsky
– Published: April 18, 2017
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
– Read more on Goodreads

35 / 49Goodreads

Rifles for Watie

– Rating: 3.92 (10,183 ratings)
– Author: Harold Keith
– Published: January 1, 1957
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Young Adult, Civil War
– Read more on Goodreads

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36 / 49Goodreads

The Deepest Roots

– Rating: 3.94 (1,143 ratings)
– Author: Miranda Asebedo
– Published: September 18, 2018
– Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Magical Realism, Contemporary
– Read more on Goodreads

37 / 49Goodreads

A Constellation of Roses

– Rating: 4.14 (1,644 ratings)
– Author: Miranda Asebedo
– Published: November 5, 2019
– Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Contemporary, Magical Realism
– Read more on Goodreads

38 / 49Goodreads

Someplace to Call Home

– Rating: 4.01 (769 ratings)
– Author: Sandra Dallas
– Published: August 15, 2019
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Fiction, Historical
– Read more on Goodreads

39 / 49Goodreads

The Scent of Rain and Lightning

– Rating: 3.81 (18,250 ratings)
– Author: Nancy Pickard
– Published: May 4, 2010
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Suspense, Mystery Thriller
– Read more on Goodreads

40 / 49Goodreads

The Winter Widow (Susan Wren, #1)

– Rating: 3.60 (111 ratings)
– Author: Charlene Weir
– Published: February 15, 1992
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction
– Read more on Goodreads

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41 / 49Goodreads

The Center of Everything

– Rating: 3.68 (9,798 ratings)
– Author: Laura Moriarty
– Published: January 1, 2003
– Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Coming Of Age, Contemporary
– Read more on Goodreads

42 / 49Goodreads

Now It’s Time To Say Goodbye

– Rating: 3.64 (171 ratings)
– Author: Dale Peck
– Published: January 1, 1998
– Genres: Fiction, LGBT, Queer, Gay
– Read more on Goodreads

43 / 49Goodreads

Bum Steer (Jenny Cain, #6)

– Rating: 3.67 (421 ratings)
– Author: Nancy Pickard
– Published: January 1, 1990
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery
– Read more on Goodreads

44 / 49Goodreads

John Brown

– Rating: 4.26 (471 ratings)
– Author: W.E.B. Du Bois
– Published: September 1, 1909
– Genres: History, Biography, Nonfiction, Race
– Read more on Goodreads

45 / 49Goodreads

Red Menace

– Rating: 3.51 (87 ratings)
– Author: Lois Ruby
– Published: February 4, 2020
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Historical, Young Adult
– Read more on Goodreads

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46 / 49Goodreads

The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton

– Rating: 3.58 (2,594 ratings)
– Author: Jane Smiley
– Published: January 1, 1998
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Westerns, Novels
– Read more on Goodreads

47 / 49Goodreads

Kill Creek

– Rating: 3.78 (14,903 ratings)
– Author: Scott Thomas
– Published: October 31, 2017
– Genres: Horror, Fiction, Thriller, Paranormal
– Read more on Goodreads

48 / 49Goodreads

The Wolf Wants In

– Rating: 3.66 (2,365 ratings)
– Author: Laura McHugh
– Published: August 6, 2019
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller
– Read more on Goodreads

49 / 49Goodreads

The Reckless Oath We Made

– Rating: 4.00 (11,066 ratings)
– Author: Bryn Greenwood
– Published: August 20, 2019
– Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Literary Fiction
– Read more on Goodreads