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 Texas 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.

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1 / 46Goodreads

Lonesome Dove (Lonesome Dove, #1)

– Rating: 4.50 (170,631 ratings)
– Author: Larry McMurtry
– Published: January 1, 1985
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Westerns, Classics
– Read more on Goodreads

2 / 46Goodreads

Holes (Holes, #1)

– Rating: 3.99 (1.1 million ratings)
– Author: Louis Sachar
– Published: August 20, 1998
– Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade
– Read more on Goodreads

3 / 46Goodreads

All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1)

– Rating: 4.01 (105,960 ratings)
– Author: Cormac McCarthy
– Published: May 11, 1992
– Genres: Fiction, Westerns, Historical Fiction, Classics
– Read more on Goodreads

4 / 46Goodreads

Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

– Rating: 4.04 (57,013 ratings)
– Author: Erik Larson
– Published: August 24, 1999
– Genres: History, Nonfiction, Science, Biography
– Read more on Goodreads

5 / 46Goodreads

23337

– Rating: 4.32 (485,512 ratings)
– Author: Stephen King
– Published: November 8, 2011
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Time Travel
– Read more on Goodreads

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6 / 46Goodreads

No Country for Old Men

– Rating: 4.12 (174,885 ratings)
– Author: Cormac McCarthy
– Published: July 1, 2005
– Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Crime, Westerns
– Read more on Goodreads

7 / 46Goodreads

The Last Picture Show

– Rating: 3.99 (16,712 ratings)
– Author: Larry McMurtry
– Published: January 1, 1966
– Genres: Fiction, Classics, Westerns, Coming Of Age
– Read more on Goodreads

8 / 46Goodreads

The Son

– Rating: 4.01 (33,162 ratings)
– Author: Philipp Meyer
– Published: May 28, 2013
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Westerns, Historical
– Read more on Goodreads

9 / 46Goodreads

Like Water for Chocolate

– Rating: 3.95 (347,454 ratings)
– Author: Laura Esquivel
– Published: January 1, 1989
– Genres: Fiction, Magical Realism, Romance, Historical Fiction
– Read more on Goodreads

10 / 46Goodreads

Giant

– Rating: 4.02 (3,051 ratings)
– Author: Edna Ferber
– Published: January 1, 1952
– Genres: Fiction, Classics, Historical Fiction, Westerns
– Read more on Goodreads

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11 / 46Goodreads

Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, #2)

– Rating: 3.96 (246,478 ratings)
– Author: Charlaine Harris
– Published: March 26, 2002
– Genres: Fantasy, Vampires, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
– Read more on Goodreads

12 / 46Goodreads

News of the World

– Rating: 4.09 (97,594 ratings)
– Author: Paulette Jiles
– Published: October 4, 2016
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Westerns, Historical
– Read more on Goodreads

13 / 46Goodreads

Texas

– Rating: 4.10 (17,883 ratings)
– Author: James A. Michener
– Published: January 1, 1985
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Westerns
– Read more on Goodreads

14 / 46Goodreads

Miss Nelson Is Missing! (Miss Nelson, #1)

– Rating: 4.30 (106,204 ratings)
– Author: Harry Allard
– Published: September 9, 1977
– Genres: Picture Books, Childrens, Fiction, School
– Read more on Goodreads

15 / 46Goodreads

Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream

– Rating: 4.14 (55,911 ratings)
– Author: H.G. Bissinger
– Published: January 1, 1988
– Genres: Sports, Nonfiction, Football, History
– Read more on Goodreads

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16 / 46Goodreads

Streets of Laredo (Lonesome Dove, #2)

– Rating: 4.01 (16,123 ratings)
– Author: Larry McMurtry
– Published: January 1, 1993
– Genres: Westerns, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical
– Read more on Goodreads

17 / 46Goodreads

Send More Idiots

– Rating: 3.77 (239 ratings)
– Author: Tony Perez-Giese
– Published: December 30, 2014
– Genres: Fiction, Crime, Contemporary, Mystery
– Read more on Goodreads

18 / 46Goodreads

The Gates of the Alamo

– Rating: 4.06 (1,562 ratings)
– Author: Stephen Harrigan
– Published: January 1, 2000
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Westerns, Historical
– Read more on Goodreads

19 / 46Goodreads

Blue-Eyed Devil (Travises, #2)

– Rating: 4.19 (35,841 ratings)
– Author: Lisa Kleypas
– Published: March 25, 2008
– Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit
– Read more on Goodreads

20 / 46Goodreads

Comanche Moon (Lonesome Dove, #4)

– Rating: 4.08 (14,049 ratings)
– Author: Larry McMurtry
– Published: January 1, 1997
– Genres: Westerns, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Adventure
– Read more on Goodreads

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21 / 46Goodreads

Goodbye to a River: A Narrative

– Rating: 4.23 (1,340 ratings)
– Author: John Graves
– Published: January 1, 1959
– Genres: Nonfiction, History, Nature, Travel
– Read more on Goodreads

22 / 46Goodreads

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (Calpurnia Tate, #1)

– Rating: 3.98 (33,529 ratings)
– Author: Jacqueline Kelly
– Published: January 1, 2009
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Fiction
– Read more on Goodreads

23 / 46Goodreads

Dead Man’s Walk (Lonesome Dove, #3)

– Rating: 3.99 (15,184 ratings)
– Author: Larry McMurtry
– Published: January 1, 1995
– Genres: Westerns, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Adventure
– Read more on Goodreads

24 / 46Goodreads

Brides of the Storm (Galveston Hurricane Mystery, #2)

– Rating: 3.96 (24 ratings)
– Author: Amanda Albright Still
– Published: September 8, 2011
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery
– Read more on Goodreads

25 / 46Goodreads

Sugar Daddy (Travises, #1)

– Rating: 4.01 (42,551 ratings)
– Author: Lisa Kleypas
– Published: March 6, 2007
– Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit
– Read more on Goodreads

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26 / 46Goodreads

Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

– Rating: 4.16 (128,918 ratings)
– Author: Cormac McCarthy
– Published: April 28, 1985
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Westerns, Classics
– Read more on Goodreads

27 / 46Goodreads

Terms of Endearment

– Rating: 4.15 (24,652 ratings)
– Author: Larry McMurtry
– Published: January 1, 1975
– Genres: Fiction, Classics, Romance, Contemporary
– Read more on Goodreads

28 / 46Goodreads

The Four Winds

– Rating: 4.31 (453,172 ratings)
– Author: Kristin Hannah
– Published: February 2, 2021
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Audiobook, Historical
– Read more on Goodreads

29 / 46Goodreads

Burn Down the Ground: A Memoir

– Rating: 3.74 (2,243 ratings)
– Author: Kambri Crews
– Published: February 28, 2012
– Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography
– Read more on Goodreads

30 / 46Goodreads

The Simple Soul of Susan

– Rating: 4.42 (295 ratings)
– Author: Noel Branham
– Published: October 11, 2017
– Genres: Romance, Fiction, Contemporary, Coming Of Age
– Read more on Goodreads

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31 / 46Goodreads

Restless Heart

– Rating: 3.23 (13 ratings)
– Author: T. William Phillips
– Published: June 7, 2010
– Genres: Westerns
– Read more on Goodreads

32 / 46Goodreads

Echoes of the Storm (Galveston Hurricane Mystery, #1)

– Rating: 3.40 (30 ratings)
– Author: Amanda Albright Still
– Published: November 28, 2011
– Genres: Cozy Mystery
– Read more on Goodreads

33 / 46Goodreads

Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises, #3)

– Rating: 4.14 (39,360 ratings)
– Author: Lisa Kleypas
– Published: January 1, 2009
– Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit
– Read more on Goodreads

34 / 46Goodreads

The Bottoms

– Rating: 4.18 (7,592 ratings)
– Author: Joe R. Lansdale
– Published: January 1, 2000
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Horror, Historical Fiction
– Read more on Goodreads

35 / 46Goodreads

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1)

– Rating: 4.34 (474,733 ratings)
– Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
– Published: February 21, 2012
– Genres: Young Adult, LGBT, Romance, Contemporary
– Read more on Goodreads

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36 / 46Goodreads

Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas, #1)

– Rating: 3.72 (34,435 ratings)
– Author: Charlaine Harris
– Published: January 1, 2014
– Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
– Read more on Goodreads

37 / 46Goodreads

All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers

– Rating: 3.87 (3,721 ratings)
– Author: Larry McMurtry
– Published: January 1, 1972
– Genres: Fiction, Literature, Novels, Humor
– Read more on Goodreads

38 / 46Goodreads

Valentine

– Rating: 3.78 (36,731 ratings)
– Author: Elizabeth Wetmore
– Published: March 31, 2020
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Audiobook
– Read more on Goodreads

39 / 46Goodreads

How to Walk Away

– Rating: 4.08 (67,218 ratings)
– Author: Katherine Center
– Published: May 15, 2018
– Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit
– Read more on Goodreads

40 / 46Goodreads

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

– Rating: 3.79 (29,731 ratings)
– Author: Ben Fountain
– Published: May 1, 2012
– Genres: Fiction, War, Literary Fiction, Contemporary
– Read more on Goodreads

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41 / 46Goodreads

Dumplin’ (Dumplin’ #1)

– Rating: 3.89 (83,975 ratings)
– Author: Julie Murphy
– Published: September 15, 2015
– Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
– Read more on Goodreads

42 / 46Goodreads

God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State

– Rating: 4.00 (5,721 ratings)
– Author: Lawrence Wright
– Published: April 17, 2018
– Genres: Nonfiction, History, Politics, Travel
– Read more on Goodreads

43 / 46Goodreads

Texasville

– Rating: 3.72 (4,504 ratings)
– Author: Larry McMurtry
– Published: January 1, 1987
– Genres: Fiction, Westerns, Contemporary, Novels
– Read more on Goodreads

44 / 46Goodreads

Daisy’s Back in Town

– Rating: 3.75 (7,875 ratings)
– Author: Rachel Gibson
– Published: January 1, 2004
– Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit
– Read more on Goodreads

45 / 46Goodreads

Durable Goods (Katie Nash, #1)

– Rating: 3.83 (9,523 ratings)
– Author: Elizabeth Berg
– Published: January 6, 1993
– Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Coming Of Age, Chick Lit
– Read more on Goodreads

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46 / 46Goodreads

In a Narrow Grave: Essays on Texas

– Rating: 3.90 (646 ratings)
– Author: Larry McMurtry
– Published: January 1, 1968
– Genres: Essays, Nonfiction, Westerns, History
– Read more on Goodreads