If you’re yearning for an escape to the picturesque landscapes of the Appalachian Mountains, what better way to immerse yourself in their rich history and charm than through a book? Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking captivating stories set in this breathtaking region, we’ve curated a list of the 20 best books about the Appalachian Mountains. From spellbinding memoirs to gripping fictional tales, these books on Appalachian mountains will transport you to a world where rugged beauty meets profound human experiences.
- 1 Hillbilly Elegy
- 2 The Glass Castle
- 3 The Last Castle
- 4 The Unquiet Earth
- 5 The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
- 6 The Devil’s Dream
- 7 The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
- 8 The Weight of Blood
- 9 The Ballad of Tom Dooley
- 10 The Road to Bittersweet
- 11 The Line That Held Us
- 12 The Cove
- 13 The Orchardist
- 14 The Little Friend
- 15 The Coal Tattoo
- 16 The Memory of Old Jack
- 17 The Dollmaker
- 18 The Missing
- 19 The Good Lord Bird
- 20 The Nightwood
- 21 Conclusion
by J.D. Vance
Hillbilly Elegy is a captivating memoir that delves into the fascinating and often misunderstood world of the Appalachian Mountains. Written by J.D. Vance, this book offers a firsthand account of growing up in a working-class family in the heart of Appalachia. Vance shares his experiences and explores the unique challenges faced by those living in this region, offering valuable insights into the struggles and triumphs of the people who call these mountains their home. Through his poignant storytelling, Vance paints a vivid picture of a culture shaped by poverty, addiction, and the pursuit of the elusive American Dream. Hillbilly Elegy is a powerful and thought-provoking read that sheds light on a largely overlooked corner of America.
The Glass Castle
by Jeannette Walls
The Glass Castle is a captivating memoir that takes readers on a remarkable journey through the rugged and untamed landscapes of the Appalachians. Jeannette Walls, the author, paints a vivid portrait of her unconventional childhood, growing up in poverty-stricken and chaotic circumstances. This powerful tale showcases the resilience and strength of human spirit, as Walls and her siblings navigate their way through a tumultuous upbringing. The book delves deep into the beauty and challenges of life in the Appalachian Mountains, offering readers a glimpse into a world filled with both struggle and triumph. With its raw honesty and compelling narrative, The Glass Castle is a must-read for anyone seeking an inspiring story of resilience in the face of adversity.
The Last Castle
by Denise Kiernan
The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan is a captivating book that delves deep into the history and grandeur of one of America’s most iconic landmarks, Biltmore Estate. Nestled amidst the majestic beauty of the Appalachian Mountains, this extraordinary estate serves as the backdrop for a tale of ambition, love, and resilience. From the visionary mind of George Vanderbilt to the extraordinary efforts of the workers who brought his dream to life, Kiernan paints a vivid picture of the castle’s creation. With meticulous research and a keen eye for detail, she explores the intricate architecture, lavish parties, and the tumultuous times that shaped this masterpiece. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply intrigued by the allure of the Appalachian Mountains, The Last Castle is a must-read.
The Unquiet Earth
by Denise Giardina
The Unquiet Earth is a riveting novel that delves deep into the haunting history of the Appalachian Mountains. Set against the backdrop of West Virginia’s coal mining industry, this powerful book immerses readers in a world of turmoil, resilience, and untold secrets. With its vivid storytelling and captivating characters, it unearths the hidden narratives of those who have been shaped by the rugged beauty and untamed spirit of the Appalachians. Through the author’s skillful prose, readers will embark on a journey that illuminates the struggles and triumphs of a region that is as fierce and unyielding as the mountains themselves. Prepare to be captivated by this spellbinding Appalachian Mountains book that will leave you craving for more.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
by Kim Michele Richardson
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a captivating tale set in the rugged and enchanting landscapes of the Appalachian Mountains. This mesmerizing book follows the journey of Cussy Mary Carter, a young woman with a deep love for books and a unique blue skin tone. In her role as a pack horse librarian, Cussy braves treacherous weather and hostile communities to deliver books and spread the joy of reading to isolated families in the mountains. As she faces discrimination and personal hardships, Cussy’s determination to make a difference and fight for her own happiness shines through. This poignant and beautifully written novel explores the power of literature, the resilience of the human spirit, and the strength of community in the face of adversity. If you’re seeking a heartwarming and thought-provoking book about the Appalachian Mountains, this is a must-read.
The Devil’s Dream
by Lee Smith
The Devil’s Dream by Lee Smith is a captivating book that takes readers on a journey through the rugged and enchanting terrain of the Appalachian Mountains. This spellbinding novel delves deep into the heart of the mountainous region, exploring its rich history and complex characters.
Through vivid storytelling, Smith paints a vivid picture of the Appalachian Mountains, immersing readers in the beauty and harshness of its landscape. From its lush forests to its rocky peaks, the mountains become a character in their own right, offering a backdrop that is as breathtaking as it is treacherous.
With a blend of mystery, folklore, and family drama, The Devil’s Dream is a must-read for anyone fascinated by the Appalachian Mountains. Smith’s expert storytelling and her deep understanding of the region make for an unforgettable reading experience that will transport you to the heart of the mountains.
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
by Christopher Scotton
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth is a captivating book about the Appalachian Mountains that will transport you to the rugged beauty of the region. Christopher Scotton weaves a tale of loss, healing, and the power of nature in this unforgettable story. When 14-year-old Kevin witnesses a tragedy, his mother sends him to stay with his grandfather in the Appalachian wilderness. As Kevin explores the mountains, he discovers the healing power of nature and the secrets they hold. With rich descriptions and vivid characters, Scotton brings the Appalachian Mountains to life, immersing readers in a world of adventure and self-discovery. This book on the Appalachian Mountains is a must-read for anyone seeking an unforgettable journey through this majestic and mysterious landscape.
The Weight of Blood
by Laura McHugh
The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh is a riveting book set in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. This dark and atmospheric thriller takes readers on a journey through the haunting secrets of a small, close-knit community where the past and present collide. With its breathtaking descriptions of the rugged landscape and its compelling characters, McHugh captures the essence of the Appalachian Mountains like never before. As the story unfolds, readers will find themselves immersed in the raw beauty and harsh realities of this captivating setting. With its gripping plot, richly drawn characters, and atmospheric storytelling, The Weight of Blood is a must-read for anyone seeking a book about the Appalachian Mountains that will keep them on the edge of their seat from beginning to end.
The Ballad of Tom Dooley
by Sharyn McCrumb
Experience the haunting tale of The Ballad of Tom Dooley, a mesmerizing novel by Sharyn McCrumb that delves into the dark depths of the Appalachian Mountains. This gripping book about the Appalachian Mountains takes you on a journey through time, exploring the true story behind the infamous murder ballad that has captivated generations.
The Road to Bittersweet
by Donna Everhart
Discover the enchanting world of the Appalachian Mountains in Donna Everhart’s captivating novel, The Road to Bittersweet. Set against the backdrop of this rugged and majestic landscape, this book takes readers on a heart-wrenching journey filled with resilience, love, and the pursuit of freedom.
The story follows Wallis Ann Stamper, a young girl who finds herself swept away by the tumultuous events unfolding in her small Appalachian community. With her family torn apart by tragedy, Wallis must navigate the harsh realities of life while holding onto her dreams and the hope of a brighter future.
As she embarks on a treacherous journey, Wallis is faced with numerous challenges that test her strength and determination. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, forming unlikely friendships and discovering the power of family bonds.
The Road to Bittersweet is a poignant and atmospheric tale that explores themes of resilience, sacrifice, and the indomitable spirit of the Appalachian people. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of this captivating book about the Appalachian Mountains, and let Wallis’s story resonate with you long after you turn the final page.
The Line That Held Us
by David Joy
The Line That Held Us is a gripping and visceral tale set in the rugged and untamed terrain of the Appalachians. This powerful novel by David Joy takes readers on a heart-wrenching journey through the dark and violent underbelly of a small mountain community. When a tragic accident sets off a chain of events, a tight-knit group of friends find themselves caught in a web of guilt, revenge, and desperation. With its lush descriptions and raw emotions, this book about the Appalachian Mountains explores the depths of human nature and the lengths people will go to protect those they love. Prepare to be captivated by Joy’s vivid storytelling and the haunting beauty of the Appalachians in this unputdownable Appalachian Mountains book.
by Ron Rash
The Cove by Ron Rash is a captivating novel set in the rugged wilderness of the Appalachian Mountains. This enthralling book about the Appalachian Mountains takes readers on a journey of mystery, love, and survival. The story revolves around Laurel, a young woman living in an isolated cove, who encounters a mysterious stranger named Walter. As their lives intertwine, secrets are revealed, and the consequences of their actions ripple through the close-knit community. Rash’s exquisite writing beautifully captures the raw beauty and harsh realities of the Appalachian Mountains, painting a vivid portrait of a forgotten world. This Appalachian Mountains book is a must-read for anyone seeking a compelling tale that explores the complexities of human nature and the enduring power of nature itself.
by Amanda Coplin
The Orchardist, a captivating novel by Amanda Coplin, takes readers on a mesmerizing journey through the rugged and enchanting landscapes of the Appalachians. Set in the heart of these majestic mountains, the story unfolds against a backdrop of orchards and untamed wilderness. This evocative tale follows the life of a solitary orchardist, as he tends to his beloved fruit trees and navigates the challenges of love, loss, and redemption. Coplin’s lyrical prose and vivid descriptions transport readers to the very heart of the Appalachian Mountains, immersing them in a world of beauty and hardship. With its richly woven narrative and unforgettable characters, The Orchardist is a must-read for anyone seeking a captivating book about the Appalachian Mountains.
The Little Friend
by Donna Tartt
The Little Friend is a captivating novel by Donna Tartt that takes readers on a thrilling journey through the mysterious and enchanting world of the Appalachian Mountains. Set in a small town in Mississippi, this book unravels a haunting tale of a twelve-year-old girl named Harriet who becomes obsessed with solving the murder of her brother. With its richly detailed descriptions and vivid storytelling, this book dives deep into the dark secrets and hidden dangers lurking beneath the surface of the idyllic Appalachian Mountains. Tartt’s masterful prose and intricate plot make this a must-read for anyone seeking a gripping and atmospheric tale of suspense and discovery in the heart of the Appalachian wilderness.
The Coal Tattoo
by Silas House
The Coal Tattoo by Silas House is a captivating novel that delves into the heart of the rugged and mesmerizing world of the Appalachian Mountains. This remarkable book immerses readers in a rich tapestry of family, love, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of the people who call these mountains home.
Set against the backdrop of the coal mining industry, House weaves a poignant and evocative story that explores the deeply rooted connections to land, community, and heritage. The novel follows the lives of sisters Anneth and Easter, as they navigate the complexities of love, loss, and the search for identity in a region shaped by both beauty and hardship.
With lyrical prose and deep insight, The Coal Tattoo is an extraordinary exploration of the human spirit and the enduring power of the Appalachian Mountains. This is a must-read for anyone seeking a profound and unforgettable journey into the heart of this captivating region.
The Memory of Old Jack
by Wendell Berry
The Memory of Old Jack, by Wendell Berry, is a captivating book about the rugged and timeless beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. This poignant novel takes readers on a journey through the life of Old Jack Beechum, an elderly farmer who reflects on his past and the changing landscape of his beloved mountains. With lyrical prose and a deep sense of place, Berry paints a vivid picture of a disappearing way of life and the resilience of the people who call these mountains home. The Memory of Old Jack is a heartwarming and bittersweet tribute to the Appalachian Mountains, their rich history, and the enduring spirit of its inhabitants.
by Harriette Arnow
The Dollmaker by Harriette Arnow is a captivating book set in the scenic and rugged landscape of the Appalachian Mountains. This powerful and poignant novel tells the story of Gertie Nevels, a strong-willed and determined woman who is uprooted from her Kentucky farm during World War II. As she moves to the bustling city of Detroit with her husband and children, Gertie faces numerous challenges and hardships. However, her unwavering spirit and love for her family drive her to navigate the unfamiliar urban environment and confront the harsh realities of war and industrialization. The Dollmaker is a must-read for anyone seeking a captivating and thought-provoking book about the Appalachian Mountains, as it explores themes of identity, sacrifice, and the timeless struggle between tradition and progress.
by Tim Gautreaux
Discover a captivating tale set amidst the rugged beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. ‘The Missing’ by Tim Gautreaux is an enthralling novel that takes readers on a journey through the untamed wilderness of this majestic range. Follow the story of Sam Simoneaux, a skilled carpenter and World War I veteran, as he embarks on a dangerous mission to find two missing children deep within the Appalachian wilderness. Filled with suspense, heartache, and the resilience of the human spirit, this book offers a thrilling exploration of the rugged terrain and the people who inhabit it. Prepare to be swept away by Gautreaux’s vivid descriptions and compelling storytelling as he brings the Appalachian Mountains to life in this captivating tale.
The Good Lord Bird
by James McBride
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride is a captivating book about the Appalachian Mountains. This historical novel takes readers on a thrilling journey through the tumultuous era of the mid-19th century, with the stunning backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains. McBride’s exquisite storytelling and richly drawn characters bring to life the struggles and complexities of the time, while also shedding light on the unique culture and landscape of the Appalachian region. Through the eyes of a young slave named Henry Shackleford, who is mistaken for a girl and called “Onion,” readers are immersed in an unforgettable tale of adventure, identity, and the pursuit of freedom. With its blend of humor, heart, and profound insight, The Good Lord Bird is a must-read for anyone seeking an enthralling book on the Appalachian Mountains.
by Robin MacArthur
The Nightwood, written by Robin MacArthur, is a captivating novel that immerses readers in the lush and rugged beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. Set against the backdrop of this enchanting wilderness, the story weaves together the lives of a diverse cast of characters, each grappling with their own personal demons and striving for a sense of belonging. MacArthur’s vivid prose evokes the untamed spirit of the mountains, painting a portrait of a community inextricably bound to the land. With its richly drawn characters and lyrical exploration of love, loss, and redemption, The Nightwood is a must-read for anyone seeking a powerful and immersive experience in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.
In conclusion, these 20 books about Appalachian Mountains offer a fascinating exploration of the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of this iconic region. Whether you are looking to learn about the Appalachian Trail, delve into the lives of its people, or simply escape into the beauty of its landscapes, there is something for everyone in this collection. From memoirs to historical fiction, these books will transport you to the heart of the mountains and leave you with a deeper appreciation for this unique corner of America.