DENVER (Stacker) — 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 writerly 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 Colorado 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.

Plainsong (Plainsong, #1)

– Rating: 4.02 (69,823 ratings)
– Author: Kent Haruf
– Published: October 4, 1999
– Genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Novels
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The Shining

– Rating: 4.25 (1.3 million ratings)
– Author: Stephen King
– Published: January 28, 1977
– Genres: Horror, Fiction, Thriller, Classics
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The Stand

– Rating: 4.34 (701,666 ratings)
– Author: Stephen King
– Published: January 1, 1978
– Genres: Horror, Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction
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Father and I Were Ranchers (Little Britches, #1)

– Rating: 4.25 (13,511 ratings)
– Author: Ralph Moody
– Published: January 1, 1950
– Genres: Classics, Biography, Nonfiction, Childrens
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Centennial

– Rating: 4.25 (41,341 ratings)
– Author: James A. Michener
– Published: January 1, 1974
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Westerns
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Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West

– Rating: 3.42 (6,431 ratings)
– Author: Dorothy Wickenden
– Published: June 21, 2011
– Genres: Nonfiction, History, Biography, Memoir
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Columbine

– Rating: 4.28 (83,640 ratings)
– Author: Dave Cullen
– Published: March 1, 2009
– Genres: Nonfiction, True Crime, History, Crime
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The Tie That Binds

– Rating: 4.09 (8,224 ratings)
– Author: Kent Haruf
– Published: January 1, 1984
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Literature
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All Rhodes Lead Here

– Rating: 4.36 (69,052 ratings)
– Author: Mariana Zapata
– Published: April 1, 2021
– Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Adult
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Angle of Repose

– Rating: 4.24 (57,316 ratings)
– Author: Wallace Stegner
– Published: March 1, 1971
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classics, Westerns
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The Silver Baron’s Wife

– Rating: 3.87 (271 ratings)
– Author: Donna Baier-Stein
– Published: September 15, 2016
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, 19th Century, Historical
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Catering to Nobody (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, #1)

– Rating: 3.83 (20,520 ratings)
– Author: Diane Mott Davidson
– Published: January 1, 1990
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller
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Benediction

– Rating: 4.00 (19,599 ratings)
– Author: Kent Haruf
– Published: February 26, 2013
– Genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Family, Contemporary
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The Song of the Lark (Great Plains Trilogy #2)

– Rating: 3.90 (9,609 ratings)
– Author: Willa Cather
– Published: January 1, 1915
– Genres: Fiction, Classics, Historical Fiction, Literature
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Ill Wind (Anna Pigeon, #3)

– Rating: 3.91 (9,043 ratings)
– Author: Nevada Barr
– Published: January 1, 1995
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Crime
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The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1)

– Rating: 4.26 (57,537 ratings)
– Author: Kristen Ashley
– Published: April 18, 2011
– Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary, Adult
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Misery

– Rating: 4.20 (603,930 ratings)
– Author: Stephen King
– Published: January 1, 1987
– Genres: Horror, Fiction, Thriller, Suspense
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Breathe (Colorado Mountain, #4)

– Rating: 4.34 (36,401 ratings)
– Author: Kristen Ashley
– Published: January 1, 2012
– Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
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Where You Once Belonged

– Rating: 3.92 (5,856 ratings)
– Author: Kent Haruf
– Published: January 1, 1990
– Genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Literature, Americana
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The Hour I First Believed

– Rating: 3.81 (61,063 ratings)
– Author: Wally Lamb
– Published: October 28, 2008
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Adult Fiction
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The Diary of Mattie Spenser

– Rating: 4.02 (10,605 ratings)
– Author: Sandra Dallas
– Published: June 1, 1997
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Westerns
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Our Souls at Night

– Rating: 3.92 (69,474 ratings)
– Author: Kent Haruf
– Published: May 26, 2015
– Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Literary Fiction
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A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains

– Rating: 3.97 (2,723 ratings)
– Author: Isabella Lucy Bird
– Published: January 1, 1879
– Genres: Nonfiction, Travel, History, Biography
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Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3)

– Rating: 4.41 (38,145 ratings)
– Author: Kristen Ashley
– Published: October 22, 2011
– Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
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Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2)

– Rating: 4.38 (47,307 ratings)
– Author: Kristen Ashley
– Published: April 23, 2011
– Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
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The Dog Stars

– Rating: 3.94 (58,991 ratings)
– Author: Peter Heller
– Published: August 7, 2012
– Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic, Dystopia
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Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry #2)

– Rating: 4.18 (86,945 ratings)
– Author: Simone Elkeles
– Published: April 13, 2010
– Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance
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Rock Chick (Rock Chick, #1)

– Rating: 4.17 (56,252 ratings)
– Author: Kristen Ashley
– Published: December 8, 2008
– Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary, Humor
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A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the aftermath of the Columbine tragedy

– Rating: 4.12 (35,924 ratings)
– Author: Sue Klebold
– Published: February 15, 2016
– Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir, True Crime, Biography
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White Fire (Pendergast, #13)

– Rating: 4.10 (25,383 ratings)
– Author: Douglas Preston
– Published: November 12, 2013
– Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Suspense
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Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

– Rating: 3.80 (31,921 ratings)
– Author: Matthew J. Sullivan
– Published: June 13, 2017
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Books About Books, Mystery Thriller
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Father Struck It Rich

– Rating: 3.57 (79 ratings)
– Author: Evalyn Walsh McLean
– Published: January 1, 1936
– Genres: Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography
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The Silver Shawl (Mrs. Meade Mysteries #1)

– Rating: 3.70 (144 ratings)
– Author: Elisabeth Grace Foley
– Published: October 1, 2012
– Genres: Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical, Cozy Mystery
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Theft

– Rating: 4.02 (383 ratings)
– Author: B.K. Loren
– Published: June 1, 2012
– Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Queer, LGBT
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High Wide and Lonesome

– Rating: 4.30 (544 ratings)
– Author: Hal Borland
– Published: January 1, 1956
– Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction, History, Biography
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Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Kitty Norville, #1)

– Rating: 3.67 (32,786 ratings)
– Author: Carrie Vaughn
– Published: November 1, 2005
– Genres: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Paranormal, Werewolves
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The Parting Glass (Mrs. Meade Mystery, #2)

– Rating: 4.10 (31 ratings)
– Author: Elisabeth Grace Foley
– Published: August 11, 2013
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery
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In the Heart of the Rockies: A Story of Adventure in Colorado

– Rating: 3.79 (353 ratings)
– Author: G.A. Henty
– Published: January 1, 1895
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Adventure, Fiction, Westerns
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Lone Star Trouble

– Rating: 3.64 (91 ratings)
– Author: Autumn Piper
– Published: September 13, 2009
– Genres: Westerns, Romance, Erotica, Erotic Romance
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Dark Ride

– Rating: 4.17 (12 ratings)
– Author: Angela Smith
– Published: August 7, 2018
– Genres: Romantic Suspense
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Trouble Won’t Wait

– Rating: 3.49 (195 ratings)
– Author: Autumn Piper
– Published: July 3, 2009
– Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Fiction
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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

– Rating: 4.03 (107,306 ratings)
– Author: Barbara Kingsolver
– Published: May 1, 2007
– Genres: Nonfiction, Food, Memoir, Gardening
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Affliction (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #22)

– Rating: 4.05 (20,772 ratings)
– Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
– Published: July 2, 2013
– Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Vampires, Fantasy
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The Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder That Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty

– Rating: 3.72 (363 ratings)
– Author: Philip Jett
– Published: September 26, 2017
– Genres: True Crime, Nonfiction, History, Crime
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Bellwether

– Rating: 3.92 (11,887 ratings)
– Author: Connie Willis
– Published: March 1, 1996
– Genres: Science Fiction, Fiction, Humor, Romance
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Hummingbird

– Rating: 4.06 (4,217 ratings)
– Author: LaVyrle Spencer
– Published: January 1, 1983
– Genres: Historical Romance, Romance, Historical, Westerns
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Prejudice Meets Pride (Meet Your Match, #1)

– Rating: 3.87 (4,421 ratings)
– Author: Rachael Anderson
– Published: April 18, 2014
– Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
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Billy Summers

– Rating: 4.24 (104,328 ratings)
– Author: Stephen King
– Published: August 3, 2021
– Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Horror, Mystery
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