What’s better than a good book? A good book written by your neighbor (or former neighbor). Brew up a batch of your favorite ARTEAO tea 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.
- “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.
- “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 tale of possible murder.
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.
- “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.
- “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.
Expand your worldview
- “27 Views of Raleigh” by Wilton Barnhardt| Release date: September 2013 | Written 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
- “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 + kidnapping.
- “The Secret, Book & Scone Society” by Ellery Adams | Release date: October 2017 | This series follows a quirky club in small-town NC.
- “Calypso” by David Sedaris | Release date: May 2018 | These humorous essays discuss middle age, mortality, and David’s experience growing up in Raleigh.
- “Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in your Life” by Clay Aiken | Release date: November 2004 | The pop musician details life before and since his stardom on American Idol.
- “Mergers and Acquisitions” by Cate Doty | Release date: May 2021 | This memoir takes readers behind-the-scenes of the weddings section of The New York Times.
Need more recommendations? Stop by Quail Ridge Books, Read With Me, 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. 📚