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Books, North America, United States, Washington

Books Set In Washington State: Washington Novels

Located in the Pacific Northwest, Washington state has an abundance of inspiring settings. Home to cities such as the capital of Olympia and the largest of Seattle, through to natural wonders including glaciers, deep fjords, mountain ranges and rainforests. This list of books set in Washington state aims to capture the diversity of the region, and transport you to the evergreen state.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Books Set in Washington State: Introduction

There are a plethora of books set in Washington State and many iconic locations are represented in the titles below, including Seattle, Puget Sound and Mount Rainier (an active volcano and the highest point in the state).

Some of the most loved and widely read books set in Washington State include historical fiction titles Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, along with bestselling comedy novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

Books Set in Washington State: Shortlist

If you’re short on time, these are my personal picks for books set in Washington State:

  1. The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald
  2. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
  3. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie
  4. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
  5. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  6. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
  7. The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
  8. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  9. Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio
  10. The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes

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Books Set in Washington State


Books Set in Washington State: The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

1. The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald, 1945

When Betty MacDonald married a marine and moved to a small chicken farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, she was largely unprepared for the rigors of life in the wild. With no running water, no electricity, a house in need of constant repair, and days that ran from four in the morning to nine at night, the MacDonalds had barely a moment to put their feet up and relax. Note: this is a memoir.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Plague and I by Betty MacDonald. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

2. The Plague and I by Betty MacDonald, 1948

Tuberculosis. A terrifying word, as terrifying then as cancer is now. It meant entering a sanatorium for treatment, leaving her family, her children. And what if she did not recover? Hardly the basis for comedy, one would suppose. And one would be wrong. Betty MacDonald always had the ability to face up to adversity – and heaven knows she had enough in her life – so after the initial shock had passed, she proceeded to laugh at her illness, the other patients, the nurses, the doctors, and chiefly herself. 
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Books Set in Washington State: Anybody Can Do Anything by Betty MacDonald. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

3. Anybody Can Do Anything by Betty MacDonald, 1950

One would suppose that during the Depression there wasn’t much to laugh about in America. But one would be wrong. This book takes up Betty’s story before she’d had any success as a writer – when she went back to live with her mother. With a failed chicken farm and marriage behind her, Betty was desperate to make a living in a country without any jobs.
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Books Set in Washington State: Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

4. Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins, 1971

What if the Second Coming didn’t quite come off as advertised? What if ‘the corpse’ on display in that funky roadside zoo is really who they say it is – what does that portend for the future of western civilization? And what if a young clairvoyant named Amanda reestablishes the flea circus as popular entertainment, and fertility worship as the principal religious form of our high-tech age? Another Roadside Attraction answers those questions and a lot more.
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Books Set in Washington State: Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

5. Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins, 1980

Still Life with Woodpecker is a sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes. It reveals the purpose of the moon, explains the difference between criminals and outlaws, examines the conflict between social activism and romantic individualism, and paints a portrait of contemporary society that includes powerful Arabs, exiled royalty, and pregnant cheerleaders. Note: set in Hawaii and Seattle.
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Books Set in Washington State: Where I’m Calling From: The Selected Stories by Raymond Carver. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

6. Where I’m Calling From: The Selected Stories by Raymond Carver, 1988

Shortly before he died, America’s laureate of the dispossessed made his own selection from his short stories, revised the texts and published them in this authorative edition. The stories in Where I’m Calling From are selected from the full range of the author’s work including Furious Seasons, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, What We Talk about When We Talk about Love, and Cathedral. Note: Carver grew up in Yakima, Washington and spent much of his life in the state.
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Books Set in Washington State: Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

7. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, 1980

A modern classic, Housekeeping is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. The family house is in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck, and their mother drove off a cliff to her death.
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Books Set in Washington State: A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

8. A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris, 1987

Michael Dorris has crafted a fierce saga of three generations of Indian women, beset by hardships and torn by angry secrets, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of kinship. Starting in the present day and moving backward, the novel is told in the voices of the three women: fifteen-year-old part-black Rayona; her American Indian mother, Christine, consumed by tenderness and resentment toward those she loves; and the fierce and mysterious Ida, mother and grandmother whose haunting secrets, betrayals, and dreams echo through the years. Note: set in Washington and Montana.
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Books Set in Washington State: This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

9. This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff, 1989

This unforgettable memoir, introduces us to the young Toby Wolff, by turns tough and vulnerable, crafty and bumbling, and ultimately winning. Separated by divorce from his father and brother, Toby and his mother are constantly on the move, yet they develop an extraordinarily close, almost telepathic relationship. As Toby fights for identity and self-respect against the unrelenting hostility of a new stepfather, his experiences are at once poignant and comical. Note: this memoir is mostly set in Washington and Utah.
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Books Set in Washington State: Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

10. Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler, 1991

When black cloaked Sarah Canary wanders into a Chinese labor camp in the Washington territories in 1873, Chin Ah Kin is ordered by his uncle to escort “the ugliest woman he could imagine” away. Far away. But Chin soon becomes the follower. In the first of many such instances, they are separated, both resurfacing some days later at an insane asylum. Chin has run afoul of the law and Sarah has been committed for observation.
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Books Set in Washington State: Just Desserts by Mary Daheim. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

11. Just Desserts (Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries #1) by Mary Daheim, 1991

When the garishly grotesque clan of wealthy carpet-sweeper magnate Otto Broadie sweeps down upon Judith McMonigle’s Hillside Manor Inn, it looks like there’ll be a wild night of drinking, dining, and fortune-telling in the offing. But when their soothsayer-for-hire Madame Gushenka drops dead after someone douses her tea leaves with bug killer, harried hostess Judith and her irrepressible cousin Renie are left to clean up the mess.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Living by Annie Dillard. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

12. The Living by Annie Dillard, 1992

Ninety miles north of Seattle on the Washington coast lies Bellingham Bay, where a rough settlement founded in the 1850s would become the town of Whatcom. Here, the Lummi and Nooksack Indian people fish and farm, hermits pay their debts in sockeye salmon, and miners track gold-bearing streams. Here, too, is the intimate, murderous tale of three men.
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Books Set in Washington State: Shampoo Planet by Douglas Coupland. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

13. Shampoo Planet by Douglas Coupland, 1992

Shampoo Planet is the rich and dazzling point where two worlds collide – those of 1960s parents and their 1990s offspring, ‘Global Teens,’ the generation after Generation X. Tyler Johnson is a twenty-year-old MTV child. Once a baby raised in a hippie commune, he now sells fake Chanel T-shirts, collects shampoo and studies hotel/motel management in a small northwest city saddled with a dying mega-mall and a collapsed nuclear industry.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Alpine Advocate by Mary Daheim. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

14. The Alpine Advocate (Emma Lord #1) by Mary Daheim, 1992

After a year as publisher-editor of the Alpine Advocate, Emma Lord feels fine about her move to this small town in the foothills of Washington’s Cascade Mountains. What she really needs for her paper, though, is a big story. And she gets it – when handsome Mark Doukas, grandson of rich, old Neeny Doukas is murdered. Emma discovers that trying to get straight answers out of Neeny and his thin-lipped son is like poking a nest of sleeping rattlesnakes. 
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Books Set in Washington State: The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

15. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie, 1993

In this darkly comic short story collection, Sherman Alexie, a Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian, brilliantly weaves memory, fantasy, and stark realism to paint a complex, grimly ironic portrait of life in and around the Spokane Indian Reservation. These 22 interlinked tales are narrated by characters raised on humiliation and government-issue cheese, and yet are filled with passion and affection, myth and dream.
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Books Set in Washington State: Disclosure by Michael Crichton. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

16. Disclosure by Michael Crichton, 1994

Thomas Sanders’ world collapses in just 24 hours – he is passed over for promotion, his new woman boss comes on to him during a drink after work, then, the next morning, he learns that she has accused him of sexually harassing her. She demands his transfer, thereby threatening to cut him off from the millions he would have made when his high-tech company was floated on the stock market.
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Books Set in Washington State: Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

17. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, 1994

San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man’s guilt.
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Books Set in Washington State: Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

18. Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie, 1995

The life of Spokane Indian Thomas Builds-the-Fire irrevocably changes when blues legend Robert Johnson miraculously appears on his reservation and passes the misfit storyteller his enchanted guitar. Inspired by this gift, Thomas forms Coyote Springs, an all-Indian Catholic band who find themselves on a magical tour that leads from reservation bars to Seattle and New York – and deep within their own souls.
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Books Set in Washington State: Who in Hell Is Wanda Fuca? by G.M. Ford. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

19. Who in Hell Is Wanda Fuca? (Leo Waterman #1) by G.M. Ford, 1995

A soft-hearted sleuth with a rebellious streak left over from the ’60s, Leo Waterman seems to get entangled in, every oddball situation from Seattle to Puget Sound. So when he’s hired to locate Caroline Nobel, an errant mob heiress with an environmentalist’s heart, Leo goes with the flow – leaving behind the familiar sights of Pioneer Square to follow the landscape-loving activist into the rain-soaked Washington woods.
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Books Set in Washington State: Absolutely, Positively by Jayne Ann Krentz. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

20. Absolutely, Positively by Jayne Ann Krentz, 1996

Unconventional Molly Abberwick, trustee of her late father’s scientific foundation and owner of Seattle’s Abberwick Tea & Spice Company, was mad enough to fire her new consultant, Dr. Harry Stratton Trevelyan. She’d hired him when the foundation had needed the advice of the best expert in America on new inventions. Brilliant, tall, and unexpectedly handsome Harry was the best – at getting under her skin.
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Books Set in Washington State: East of the Mountains by David Guterson. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

21. East of the Mountains by David Guterson, 1999

When he discovers that he has terminal cancer, retired heart surgeon Ben Givens refuses to simply sit back and wait. Instead he takes his two beloved dogs and goes on a last hunt, determined to end his life on his own terms. But as the people he meets and the memories over which he lingers remind him of the mystery of life’s endurance, his trek into the American West becomes much more than a final journey.
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Books Set in Washington State: Bread Alone by Judi Hendricks. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

22. Bread Alone (Bread Alone #1) by Judi Hendricks, 2001

Thirty-one-year-old Wynter Morrison is lost when her husband leaves her for another woman. Desperate for a change, she moves to Seattle, where she spends aimless hours at a local bakery sipping coffee and inhaling the sweet aromas of freshly-made bread. These visits bring back memories of the time she aprenticed at a French boulangerie, when her passion for bread-making nearly led her to leave college and become a baker.
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Books Set in Washington State: Train Dreams by Denis Johnson. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

23. Train Dreams by Denis Johnson, 2002

Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams is an epic in miniature, one of his most evocative and poignant fictions. It is the story of Robert Grainier, a day laborer in the American West at the start of the twentieth century – an ordinary man in extraordinary times. Buffeted by the loss of his family, Grainer struggles to make sense of this strange new world. Note: mostly set in Idaho, Washington and Montana.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

24. The Shop on Blossom Street (Blossom Street #1) by Debbie Macomber, 2003

Bestselling romance author and ardent knitter Debbie Macomber combines both her skills in this novel about a newly opened Seattle yarn shop and the knitting class that brings four women together to make baby blankets. The owner of the shop and her three students produce more than blankets, knitting together bonds of solidarity, friendship, love, hope, and renewal.
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Books Set in Washington State: Our Lady Of The Forest by David Guterson. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

25. Our Lady Of The Forest by David Guterson, 2003

The story of a teenage girl who sees a vision of the Virgin Mary. Ann Holmes seems an unlikely candidate for revelation. A sixteen-year-old runaway, she is an itinerant mushroom picker who lives in a tent. Her past has been hardscrabble. Then one November afternoon, in the foggy woods of North Fork, Washington, the Virgin comes to her, clear as day. Note: this one has some conflicting reviews.
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Books Set in Washington State: Waxwings by Jonathan Raban. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

26. Waxwings by Jonathan Raban, 2003

Jonathan Raban’s powerful novel is set in Seattle in 1999, at the height of its infatuation with the virtual. It’s a place that attracts immigrants. One of these is Tom Janeway, a bookish Hungarian-born Englishman who makes his living commenting on American mores on NPR. Another, who calls himself Chick, is a frenetically industrious illegal alien from China who makes his living any way he can.
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Books Set in Washington State: Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

27. Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff, 2003

Andy Gage was born in 1965 and murdered not long after by his stepfather. It was no ordinary murder. Though the torture and abuse that killed him were real, Andy Gage’s death wasn’t. Only his soul actually died, and when it died, it broke in pieces. Then the pieces became souls in their own right, coinheritors of Andy Gage’s life. Note: travels from Washington State to Michigan.
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Books Set in Washington State: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

28. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, 2005

In the first book of the Twilight Saga, internationally bestselling author Stephenie Meyer introduces Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, a pair of star-crossed lovers whose forbidden relationship ripens against the backdrop of small-town suspicion and a mysterious coven of vampires. This is a love story with bite. Note: Mostly set in Washington State, but also in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Baker's Apprentice by Judi Hendricks. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

29. The Baker’s Apprentice (Bread Alone #2) by Judi Hendricks, 2005

Having found her calling, Wynter Morrison is blissful about her new career in Seattle as a baker – cherishing the long days spent making bread and the comforting rhythms of the Queen Street Bakery. Still, she struggles with the legacy of her failed marriage and with her new boyfriend Mac’s reluctance to share his mysterious past.
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Books Set in Washington State: A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

30. A Good Yarn (Blossom Street #2) by Debbie Macomber, 2005

In the year since it opened, ‘A Good Yarn’ has thrived and so has Lydia Hoffman, the owner. A lot of that is due to Brad Goetz. But when Brad’s ex-wife reappears, Lydia is suddenly afraid to trust her newfound happiness. Elise Beaumont joins one of Lydia’s popular knitting classes. Living with her daughter, Aurora, Elise learns that her onetime husband plans to visit and that Aurora wants a relationship with her father, regardless of how Elise feels about him.
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Books Set in Washington State: Citizen Vince by Jess Walter. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

31. Citizen Vince by Jess Walter, 2005

Eight days before the 1980 presidential election, Vince Camden wakes up at 1:59 A.M. in a quiet house in Spokane, Washington. Pocketing his stash of stolen credit cards, he drops by an all-night poker game before heading to his witness-protection job dusting crullers at Donut Make You Hungry. This is the sum of Vince’s new life: donuts and forged credit cards – not to mention a neurotic hooker girlfriend.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

32. The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch, 2005

One moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles O’Malley sneaks out of his house and goes exploring on the tidal flats of Puget Sound. When he discovers a rare giant squid, he instantly becomes a local phenomenon shadowed by people curious as to whether this speed-reading, Rachel Carson obsessed teenager is just an observant boy or an unlikely prophet. Note: this is a young adult title.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

33. The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen, 2006

Deep in the mist-shrouded forests of the Pacific Northwest is a small mill town called Commonwealth, conceived as a haven for workers weary of exploitation. For Philip Worthy, the adopted son of the town’s founder, it is a haven in another sense – as the first place in his life he’s had a loving family to call his own. And yet, the ideals that define this outpost are being threatened from all sides.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

34. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, 2007

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Note: this is a young adult title.
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Books Set in Washington State: Lottery by Patricia Wood. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

35. Lottery by Patricia Wood, 2007

Perry’s IQ is only 76, but he’s not stupid. His grandmother taught him everything he needs to know to survive: She taught him to write things down so he won’t forget them. She taught him to play the lottery every week. And, most important, she taught him whom to trust. When Gram dies, Perry is left orphaned and bereft at the age of thirty-one. Then his weekly Washington State Lottery ticket wins him 12 million dollars, and he finds he has more family than he knows what to do with.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Other by David Guterson. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

36. The Other by David Guterson, 2008

John William Barry has inherited the pedigree – and wealth – of two of Seattle’s elite families; Neil Countryman is blue-collar Irish. Nevertheless, when the two boys meet in 1972 at age sixteen, they’re brought together by what they have in common: a fierce intensity and a love of the outdoors that takes them, together and often, into Washington’s remote backcountry, where they must rely on their wits – and each other – to survive.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

37. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, 2008

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast.
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Books Set in Washington State: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

38. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, 2009

In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. As the owner displays and unfurls a Japanese parasol, Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940s—Keiko Okabe, with whom he forged a bond of friendship and innocent love that transcended the prejudices of their Old World ancestors.
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Books Set in Washington State: The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

39. The School of Essential Ingredients (Essential Ingredients #1) by Erica Bauermeister, 2009

The School of Essential Ingredients follows the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian’s Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. Students include Claire, a young mother struggling with the demands of her family; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer learning to adapt to life in America; and Tom, a widower mourning the loss of his wife to breast cancer.
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Books Set in Washington State: True Colors by Kristin Hannah. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

40. True Colors by Kristin Hannah, 2009

The Grey sisters have always been close. After their mother’s death, the girls banded together, becoming best friends. Their stern, disapproving father cares less about his children than about his reputation. To Henry Grey, appearances are everything, and years later, he still demands that his daughters reflect his standing in the community.
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Books Set in Washington State: Border Songs by Jim Lynch. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

41. Border Songs by Jim Lynch, 2009

Brandon Vanderkool’s severe dyslexia and six-foot-eight height give him an unusual perspective on his new job with the American Border Patrol, along the Washington/BC border; just a long, grassy ditch, really, barely dividing neighbours who used to be as congenial as those in any small community.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Atlas of Love by Laurie Frankel. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

42. The Atlas of Love by Laurie Frankel, 2010

When Jill becomes both pregnant and single at the end of one spring semester, she and her two closest friends plunge into an experiment in tri-parenting, tri-schooling, and trihabitating as grad students in Seattle. Naturally, everything goes wrong, but in ways no one sees coming.
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Books Set in Washington State: West of Here by Jonathan Evison. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

43. West of Here by Jonathan Evison, 2011

At the foot of the Elwha River, the muddy outpost of Port Bonita is about to boom, fueled by a ragtag band of dizzyingly disparate men and women unified only in their visions of a more prosperous future. A failed accountant by the name of Ethan Thornburgh has just arrived in Port Bonita to reclaim the woman he loves and start a family. Ethan’s obsession with a brighter future impels the damming of the mighty Elwha to harness its power and put Port Bonita on the map.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Violets of March by Sarah Jio. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

44. The Violets of March by Sarah Jio, 2011

In her twenties, Emily Wilson was on top of the world: she had a bestselling novel, a husband plucked from the pages of GQ, and a one-way ticket to happily ever after. Ten years later, the tide has turned on Emily’s good fortune. So when her great-aunt Bee invites her to spend the month of March on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, Emily accepts, longing to be healed by the sea.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

45. The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin, 2012

At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, a solitary orchardist named Talmadge carefully tends the grove of fruit trees he has cultivated for nearly half a century. A gentle, solitary man, he finds solace and purpose in the sweetness of the apples, apricots, and plums he grows, and in the quiet, beating heart of the land – the valley of yellow grass bordering a deep canyon that has been his home since he was nine years old.
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Books Set in Washington State: Truth Like the Sun by Jim Lynch. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

46. Truth Like the Sun by Jim Lynch, 2012

A classic and hugely entertaining political novel, the cat-and-mouse story of urban intrigue in Seattle both in 1962, when Seattle hosted the World’s Fair, and in 2001, after its transformation in the Microsoft gold rush. Larger than life, Roger Morgan was the mastermind behind the fair that made the city famous and is still a backstage power forty years later, when at the age of seventy he runs for mayor in hopes of restoring all of Seattle’s former glory.
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Books Set in Washington State: Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

47. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, 2012

When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces. Bernadette Fox has vanished.
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Books Set in Washington State: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

48. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, 2012

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State – and she would do it alone. Note: set across multiple states.
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Books Set in Washington State: Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

49. Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio, 2012

Seattle, 1933. Single mother Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and departs to work the night-shift at a local hotel. She emerges to discover that a May-Day snow has blanketed the city, and that her son has vanished. Seattle, 2010. Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge, assigned to cover the May 1 “blackberry winter” storm and its twin, learns of the unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

50. The Lost Art of Mixing (Essential Ingredients #2) by Erica Bauermeister, 2013

Lillian and her restaurant have a way of drawing people together. There’s Al, the accountant who finds meaning in numbers and ritual; Chloe, a budding chef who hasn’t learned to trust after heartbreak; Finnegan, quiet and steady as a tree, who can disappear into the background despite his massive height; Louise, Al’s wife, whose anger simmers just below the boiling point; and Isabelle, whose memories are slowly slipping from her grasp.
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Books Set in Washington State: Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage by Molly Wizenberg. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

51. Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage by Molly Wizenberg, 2014

When Molly Wizenberg married Brandon Pettit, he was a trained composer with a handful of offbeat interests: espresso machines, wooden boats, violin-building, and ice cream–making. So when Brandon decided to open a pizza restaurant, Molly was supportive – not because she wanted him to do it, but because the idea was so far-fetched that she didn’t think he would.
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Books Set in Washington State: Goodnight June by Sarah Jio. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

52. Goodnight June by Sarah Jio, 2014

June Andersen is professionally successful, but her personal life is marred by unhappiness. Unexpectedly, she is called to settle her great-aunt Ruby’s estate and determine the fate of Bluebird Books, the children’s bookstore Ruby founded in the 1940s. Amidst the store’s papers, June stumbles upon letters between her great-aunt and the late Margaret Wise Brown – and steps into the pages of American literature.
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Books Set in Washington State: Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

53. Assault and Pepper (A Spice Shop Mystery #1) by Leslie Budewitz, 2015

After leaving a dicey marriage and losing a beloved job in a corporate crash, Pepper Reece has found a new zest for life running a busy spice and tea shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Her aromatic creations are the talk of the town, and everyone stops by for a cup of her refreshing spice tea, even other shopkeepers and Market regulars.
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Books Set in Washington State: Freaks I've Met by Donald Jans. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

54. Freaks I’ve Met by Donald Jans, 2015

Spokane, Washington, is nearly perfect for most people, but Jack Fitzpatrick is not one of them. Hours after graduation and armed with his final paycheck from his nemesis, Jack heads for Southern California. Dreams are a dime a dozen in the City of Angels. Broke, barely scraping by, and hating his life as a temp, L.A. is definitely not what Jack expected. Note: moves from Spokane to Los Angeles.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

55. The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes, 2015

Inara Erickson is exploring her deceased aunt’s island estate when she finds an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house. As she peels back layer upon layer of the secrets it holds, Inara’s life becomes interwoven with that of Mei Lein, a young Chinese girl mysteriously driven from her home a century before. Through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth that will shake her family to its core – and force her to make an impossible choice.
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Books Set in Washington State: The Obsession by Nora Roberts. washington books, books washington state, washington novels, washington literature, washington fiction, washington authors, best books set in washington state, popular books set in washington state, books about washington state, washington reading challenge, washington state reading list, seattle books, washington travel, washington history, washington travel books, washington books to read, novels set in washington, books to read about washington, books to read before going to washington

56. The Obsession by Nora Roberts, 2016

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.
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What do you think of these books set in Washington State?

Have you been to Washington State? Are you planning a vacation there soon? Do you call the state home? What are your favorite books set in Washington State? Do you know some great reads that are missing from this list? I’d love to hear more about your tips for books set in Washington State below! 😀

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