Question of the week: favorite book with a local angle

Jeremy Aldrich -- January 23rd, 2009

You may not feel like you have much time for reading lately, but if you did, here are some books by local authors and/or with some connection to the area:

Stain the Water Clear is a collection of essays by Luanne Austin, who still writes occasional columns for the DNR under the “Rural Pen” name (used to be “Yankee Doodlin”).  Luanne is a thoughtful, introspective writer (and a great friend for those who know her) whose open mind and bedrock Christian faith have been inspiring readers for years.

Ekeland County: A Novel in Stories is a Garrison Keillor-esque look at life in a fictional setting that will feel very familiar to local readers.  My former colleague Wendell Shank co-wrote the book with his friend Austin Jenkins.  Alternately funny and poignant, it makes a great bedside book.

And for those who prefer books with lots of pictures, the Images of America series has photographic histories of several area locales.  I highly recommend the book covering Harrisonburg’s history.

What other books by local authors or which are set in local places are on your list of must-reads?

9 Responses to “Question of the week: favorite book with a local angle”

  1. JGFitzgerald says:

    I’ve heard good things about “The Red Flannel Rag: Memories of an Appalachian Childhood” by Peggy Ann Shifflett, set in Hopkins Gap. I confess to not reading it yet.

  2. unlikelystory says:

    It’s set kind of south of here, but David Baldacci’s _Wish_You_Well_ is fun fiction set in Appalachian Virginia.

    http://www.amazon.com/Wish-You-Well-David-Baldacci/dp/0446699489/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232859320&sr=8-1

  3. cc says:

    “See you in A Hundred Years” is worth the read. It is the story of a young family that moved from New York (I think) to Swoope. They choose to live on a farm like it is 1900s pre electricity and modern conveniences.

  4. Laura says:

    I second “See you in a Hundred Years”. Fascinating!

  5. JNafziger says:

    Battlefield: Farming a Civil War Battleground by Peter Svenson. It’s an extremely interesting account of his move (I think in the 1980s) to a farm on the Cross Keys battlefield and a recounting of the history of that Civil War battle and the one the next day at Port Republic, not to mention Svenson’s eventually successful attempts to grow and cut hay. It was nominated for a National Book Award in 1993 or so.

  6. Sarah says:

    Two beautiful children’s books by local authors: I Bet She Called Me Sugarplum by Joanne Gabbin, and Jeremy the Wonderer by Nancy Bondurant Jones. Both are illustrated by local artist Margot Bergman.

    http://www.amazon.com/Bet-She-Called-Sugar-Plum/dp/0976071606/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1233022520&sr=8-1
    http://www.benchmarkwebsites.com/nancybondurantjones/jeremy.html

  7. Barnabas says:

    Luanne Austin, I think I’ve met her on several occasions.

  8. Josh says:

    I’ve heard that some of Brian Keene’s zombie novels have a local connection.

  9. rachel says:

    I read and enjoyed “Ekeland County” mentioned above.

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