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Books written by authors with ties to Raleigh

Whether you’re looking for your next leisure read, a book for the whole family, or a thrilling fictional novel, we’ve got a list of books written by local authors in Raleigh.

Bookshelves at So & So books.

So & So Books is an independent bookstore in downtown Raleigh.

Photo by RALtoday

Table of Contents

What’s better than a good book? A good book written by your neighbor (or former neighbor). Brew up a batch of your favorite Tin Roof Tea blend or Black & White coffee and get ready to meet your next read, because we’re talking about locally written books + stories with ties to the Raleigh area.


  • “The Accidental Tourist” by Anne Tyler | Release date: August 1985 | This Pulitzer Prize finalist follows a writer and father’s bout with grief and his family.
  • “Big Fish” by Daniel Wallace | Release date: October 1998 | This story of a man’s life, told from father to son, was adapted into a film by Tim Burton.
  • “Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier | Release date: January 1997 | An enthralling adventure and a stirring love story about a Confederate deserter traveling home through the NC mountains after being injured in the Civil War.
  • “Life Without Water” by Nancy Peacock | Release date: November 1996| Take a trip through the ‘60s and ‘70s cultural scene in this powerful novel.
  • “The Moon and the Other” by John Kessel | Release date: April 2017 | This matriarchal utopia is set on the moon and is on the brink of a destructive civil war.
  • “The Truth About Forever” by Sarah Dessen | Release date: April 2006 | In this young adult romance, teenager Macy Queen struggles to get over her father’s death and finds love and friendship in unexpected places.
  • “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens | Release date: August 2018 | Set in a quiet town on the NC coast, this is a coming-of-age story + surprising murder mystery. Plus, watch the movie.

For the family

  • “100 Things to Do in Raleigh Before You Die” by Alli Hurley | Release date: April 2022 | A lifelong local outlines her Raleigh bucket list. Don’t miss: Our interview with Alli.
  • “Dovey Coe” by Frances O’Roark Dowell | Release date: May 2000 | Taking place in the 1920s in NC, this story follows a mountain girl setting the record straight about a recent murder.
  • “Give This Book Away!” by Darren Farrell | Release date: October 2022 | This picture book is about what happens and how you feel when you give to someone else.
  • “The Museum Lives in Me” by Victoria Scott-Miller | Release date: May 2022 | In this picture book illustrated by Raleigh-based artist JP Jermaine Powell, a group of students explore the NCMA and make meaningful connections to art. Plus, head to Scott-Miller’s groundbreaking bookstore, Liberation Station.
  • “Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky” by Kwame Mbalia | Release date: October 2019 | This fantasy adventure novel focuses on African American folktales + West African Mythology, intended for middle-grade readers.

Expand your worldview

  • “27 Views of Raleigh” by Wilton Barnhardt | Release date: September 2013 | Made up of works by 27 writers, this prose and poetry book focuses on NC’s capital city.
  • “Native Places: Drawing as a Way to See” by Frank Harmon | Release date: September 2018 | This Raleigh architect paired watercolor sketches with mini-essays about the delight found in ordinary places.
  • “The 1619 Project” by Nikole Hannah-Jones | November 2021 | In this book, essays, poems, and works of fiction are woven together to explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America and illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance.

Part of a series

  • “The Beautiful” by Renée Ahdieh | Release date: October 2019 | Follow a tale of 1870s New Orleans and its seedy underbelly — and read all four books in the series.
  • “Bootlegger’s Daughter” by Margaret Maron | Release date: May 1992 | This is book one of 20 in this mystery series set in NC.
  • “Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind” by Ann B. Ross | Release date: August 2000 | This fast-paced story set in the Tar Heel State features a robbery and kidnapping.
  • “The Secret, Book & Scone Society” by Ellery Adams | Release date: October 2017 | This series follows a quirky club in small-town NC.

Personal stories

Need more recommendations? Stop by Quail Ridge Books, Blackbird Books and Coffee, or So & So Books to get expert advice from Raleigh’s local booksellers. If you’re looking to read with others, check out these local book clubs.

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