Put these 43 books set in New Hampshire on your reading list

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By Stacker

October 17, 2023
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 New Hampshire 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.

Book images via Goodreads

A Separate Peace

– Rating: 3.59 (206,657 ratings)
– Author: John Knowles
– Published: January 1, 1959
– Genres: Classics, Fiction, Young Adult, Historical Fiction
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A Prayer for Owen Meany

– Rating: 4.24 (305,199 ratings)
– Author: John Irving
– Published: March 28, 1989
– Genres: Fiction, Classics, Contemporary, Literature
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The Hotel New Hampshire

– Rating: 3.92 (62,465 ratings)
– Author: John Irving
– Published: January 1, 1981
– Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Literature, Classics
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Our Town

– Rating: 3.68 (49,079 ratings)
– Author: Thornton Wilder
– Published: January 1, 1938
– Genres: Plays, Classics, Drama, Fiction
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Nineteen Minutes

– Rating: 4.14 (336,378 ratings)
– Author: Jodi Picoult
– Published: March 5, 2007
– Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Adult
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The Weight of Water

– Rating: 3.65 (27,560 ratings)
– Author: Anita Shreve
– Published: January 1, 1997
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary
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The Angle of Flickering Light

– Rating: 4.24 (139 ratings)
– Author: Gina Troisi
– Published: April 6, 2021
– Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction, Health
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Wintergirls

– Rating: 3.96 (115,609 ratings)
– Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
– Published: March 19, 2009
– Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Mental Health
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Sea Glass

– Rating: 3.68 (25,709 ratings)
– Author: Anita Shreve
– Published: January 1, 2002
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance
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I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away

– Rating: 3.89 (64,746 ratings)
– Author: Bill Bryson
– Published: January 1, 1998
– Genres: Nonfiction, Travel, Humor, Memoir
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Fortune’s Rocks (Fortune’s Rocks Quartet, #1)

– Rating: 3.89 (29,868 ratings)
– Author: Anita Shreve
– Published: November 21, 1999
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Historical
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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

– Rating: 4.06 (380,673 ratings)
– Author: Bill Bryson
– Published: May 5, 1998
– Genres: Nonfiction, Travel, Memoir, Humor
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Poseidon’s Children (The Legacy of the Gods, #1)

– Rating: 3.46 (410 ratings)
– Author: Michael West
– Published: March 1, 2012
– Genres: Horror, Fantasy, Mythology, Urban Fantasy
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Spilled Coffee

– Rating: 3.85 (39 ratings)
– Author: J.B. Chicoine
– Published: June 4, 2013
– Genres: Fiction
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Dead Sand (Lewis Cole, #1)

– Rating: 3.92 (346 ratings)
– Author: Brendan DuBois
– Published: April 1, 1994
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller
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Miss Hickory

– Rating: 3.65 (3,901 ratings)
– Author: Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
– Published: January 1, 1946
– Genres: Childrens, Fantasy, Fiction, Animals
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The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman, #1)

– Rating: 3.78 (31,418 ratings)
– Author: Ben H. Winters
– Published: July 10, 2012
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Science Fiction, Crime
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Freak the Mighty (Freak The Mighty, #1)

– Rating: 4.01 (49,381 ratings)
– Author: Rodman Philbrick
– Published: January 1, 1993
– Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Middle Grade
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A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-32

– Rating: 3.55 (7,990 ratings)
– Author: Joan W. Blos
– Published: September 1, 1979
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Young Adult, Childrens
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Countdown City (The Last Policeman, #2)

– Rating: 3.85 (14,456 ratings)
– Author: Ben H. Winters
– Published: July 13, 2013
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Science Fiction, Crime
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Consigned to Death (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery #1)

– Rating: 3.66 (1,371 ratings)
– Author: Jane K. Cleland
– Published: January 1, 2006
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller
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The Night Strangers

– Rating: 3.18 (16,934 ratings)
– Author: Chris Bohjalian
– Published: October 11, 2011
– Genres: Horror, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
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Labor Day

– Rating: 3.59 (32,469 ratings)
– Author: Joyce Maynard
– Published: January 1, 2009
– Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Coming Of Age
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Hidden History of New Hampshire

– Rating: 3.48 (31 ratings)
– Author: D. Quincy Whitney
– Published: August 1, 2008
– Genres: Nonfiction, History, Travel
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Frindle

– Rating: 3.83 (113,623 ratings)
– Author: Andrew Clements
– Published: September 1, 1996
– Genres: Realistic Fiction, Childrens, Fiction, Middle Grade
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The House on Primrose Pond

– Rating: 3.60 (182 ratings)
– Author: Yona Zeldis McDonough
– Published: February 2, 2016
– Genres: Fiction, Womens Fiction, Novels, Contemporary
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Pale Highway

– Rating: 4.24 (82 ratings)
– Author: Nicholas Conley
– Published: October 20, 2015
– Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adult Fiction
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Lost Nation

– Rating: 3.99 (1,042 ratings)
– Author: Jeffrey Lent
– Published: January 1, 2002
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Westerns
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The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

– Rating: 3.68 (4,163 ratings)
– Author: Kelly O’Connor McNees
– Published: April 1, 2010
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Romance
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Murder is Binding (Booktown Mystery, #1)

– Rating: 3.68 (11,505 ratings)
– Author: Lorna Barrett
– Published: April 1, 2008
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Books About Books
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Christmas at Eagle Pond

– Rating: 3.97 (273 ratings)
– Author: Donald Hall
– Published: November 1, 2017
– Genres: Christmas, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Holiday
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The Wild Path

– Rating: 4.19 (170 ratings)
– Author: Sarah R. Baughman
– Published: September 1, 2020
– Genres: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Juvenile
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Before and After

– Rating: 3.35 (934 ratings)
– Author: Rosellen Brown
– Published: January 1, 1992
– Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Novels
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Mother-Daughter Book Camp

– Rating: 4.28 (1,849 ratings)
– Author: Heather Vogel Frederick
– Published: May 3, 2016
– Genres: Middle Grade, Fiction, Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
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The Big Bad Wolf (Alex Cross, #9)

– Rating: 4.01 (53,352 ratings)
– Author: James Patterson
– Published: October 13, 2003
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime
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Summer at Meadow Wood

– Rating: 4.06 (272 ratings)
– Author: Amy Rebecca Tan
– Published: May 19, 2020
– Genres: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Audiobook
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Harmony

– Rating: 3.52 (6,265 ratings)
– Author: Carolyn Parkhurst
– Published: August 2, 2016
– Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Family, Literary Fiction
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Sarah Whitcher’s Story

– Rating: 3.99 (1,266 ratings)
– Author: Elizabeth Yates
– Published: January 1, 1971
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Childrens, School
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Absolutely Truly (Pumpkin Falls, #1)

– Rating: 4.00 (3,665 ratings)
– Author: Heather Vogel Frederick
– Published: November 4, 2014
– Genres: Mystery, Middle Grade, Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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Really Truly (Pumpkin Falls, #3)

– Rating: 4.13 (289 ratings)
– Author: Heather Vogel Frederick
– Published: June 30, 2020
– Genres: Middle Grade, Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Fiction
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A Week in the Woods

– Rating: 3.79 (5,981 ratings)
– Author: Andrew Clements
– Published: January 1, 2002
– Genres: Realistic Fiction, Childrens, Fiction, Middle Grade
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The Girl Who Fell

– Rating: 3.64 (1,637 ratings)
– Author: S.M. Parker
– Published: March 1, 2016
– Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
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The End of Alice

– Rating: 3.55 (8,054 ratings)
– Author: A.M. Homes
– Published: January 1, 1996
– Genres: Fiction, Horror, Contemporary, Mystery
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  • Stacker

    We’re a team of entrepreneurial thinkers, media-minded nerds, and advocates of tech-forward journalism bringing compelling, research-driven features that contextualize our world. Read more at www.stacker.com.

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