Keli Gwyn
The State of Your Favorite Book

I saw a link to a post from Business Insider on Facebook recently, Most Famous Book Set in Every State, and had to to click through.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck takes the honors for California.

East of Eden

I haven’t read that classic, but seeing the map in the post got me thinking about how I enjoy reading stories set in my native Golden State. I have a list of some of those I’ve enjoyed on my website’s California-set Romances page.

What’s even more fun is discovering a story set in my hometown of Placerville, which is where my fellow Northern California writer friend Candace Calvert set Critical Care, the first book of her Mercy Hospital series


Critical Care


Questions for you. . .

Does the most famous book set in your state
as listed in Business Insiders article surprise you?

What are your favorite stories set in your state, province, or local area?

Keli Gwyn


  • My home state scored The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum. 🙂 My adopted state got Main Street by Sinclair Lewis…a book I’ve been meaning to read. I much like Wisconsin’s Little House in the Big Woods. I’ve read that one more than a few times over the years.

    • Keli Gwyn says:


      There are many of the books I’ve never heard of on the list, but The Wizard of Oz and Little House in the Big Woods are well known to me. Such memorable and beloved stories.

      I didn’t realize Steinbeck’s East of Eden had been made into a movie not once but twice, first with James Dean and later with Jane Seymour. Methinks I will be adding both versions to my Netflix queue, if they’re available.

  • Melissa Tagg says:

    Ooh, mine surprised me. I was guessing it was going to be Bridges of Madison County. Not that I’m a huge fan of that book…but since it spawned a movie, I figured it would make the list. 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:


      I think a many people will be surprised by the book chosen as the most famous in their states. I wonder what criteria was used–sales or something else?

  • Tammi T. says:

    I’ve never heard of the book for my state. I searched our county library, (which includes the state capital). They didn’t have it. I searched the shop feature on my Nook and they didn’t have it either. Seriously, how popular can it be?

    Has anyone else heard of “Shiloh” by Phillis R. Naylor?

  • This is cool. I live in Canada but only an hour away from Washington State. I wasn’t surprised that Twilight was chosen. I also have family in Arizona and was very pleased to see Barbara Kingsolver’s Bean Trees listed. Thye should do something like this here too.