SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (STACKER) — 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 South Dakota 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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By the Shores of Silver Lake (Little House, #5)

– Rating: 4.17 (74,791 ratings)
– Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
– Published: October 1, 1939
– Genres: Classics, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Fiction
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Little Town on the Prairie (Little House, #7)

– Rating: 4.19 (86,508 ratings)
– Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
– Published: January 1, 1941
– Genres: Classics, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Fiction
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These Happy Golden Years (Little House, #8)

– Rating: 4.19 (71,887 ratings)
– Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
– Published: January 1, 1943
– Genres: Classics, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Fiction
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The Long Winter (Little House, #6)

– Rating: 4.15 (83,810 ratings)
– Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
– Published: January 1, 1940
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Classics, Childrens, Fiction
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The First Four Years (Little House, #9)

– Rating: 3.87 (39,049 ratings)
– Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
– Published: January 1, 1971
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Classics, Childrens, Fiction
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The Personal History of Rachel DuPree

– Rating: 3.95 (3,861 ratings)
– Author: Ann Weisgarber
– Published: May 28, 2008
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Adult Fiction
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Black Hills

– Rating: 3.58 (2,883 ratings)
– Author: Dan Simmons
– Published: January 1, 2010
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Fantasy
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Prairie Lotus

– Rating: 4.34 (6,655 ratings)
– Author: Linda Sue Park
– Published: March 3, 2020
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Historical, Fiction
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61 Hours (Jack Reacher, #14)

– Rating: 4.11 (82,601 ratings)
– Author: Lee Child
– Published: March 18, 2010
– Genres: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Crime
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Deadwood

– Rating: 4.01 (3,737 ratings)
– Author: Pete Dexter
– Published: January 1, 1986
– Genres: Westerns, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical
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An Obvious Fact (Walt Longmire #12)

– Rating: 4.25 (10,509 ratings)
– Author: Craig Johnson
– Published: September 13, 2016
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Westerns, Audiobook
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The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge: A Lakota Odyssey

– Rating: 4.32 (244 ratings)
– Author: Joe Starita
– Published: April 19, 1995
– Genres: History, Nonfiction, Biography, American History
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In Calamity’s Wake

– Rating: 3.29 (197 ratings)
– Author: Natalee Caple
– Published: September 17, 2013
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Westerns, Canada
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Nearly Departed in Deadwood (Deadwood, #1)

– Rating: 3.95 (7,368 ratings)
– Author: Ann Charles
– Published: January 15, 2011
– Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Cozy Mystery
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Hour Glass

– Rating: 4.30 (574 ratings)
– Author: Michelle Rene
– Published: February 20, 2018
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Westerns, Fiction, Historical
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Buried Truth (South Dakota Badlands, #2)

– Rating: 4.19 (80 ratings)
– Author: Dana Mentink
– Published: January 1, 2011
– Genres: Love Inspired, Christian, Love Inspired Suspense, Suspense
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The Jumping-Off Place

– Rating: 4.07 (221 ratings)
– Author: Marian Hurd McNeely
– Published: January 1, 1929
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Young Adult, Childrens
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The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher, #22)

– Rating: 4.08 (72,236 ratings)
– Author: Lee Child
– Published: November 7, 2017
– Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Crime
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Quiet Until the Thaw

– Rating: 3.50 (1,215 ratings)
– Author: Alexandra Fuller
– Published: June 27, 2017
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary
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Any Other Name (Walt Longmire, #10)

– Rating: 4.24 (10,883 ratings)
– Author: Craig Johnson
– Published: May 13, 2014
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Westerns, Audiobook
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The Work of Wolves

– Rating: 3.95 (968 ratings)
– Author: Kent Meyers
– Published: June 7, 2004
– Genres: Fiction, Westerns, Animals, Adult Fiction
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Giants in the Earth

– Rating: 4.01 (5,373 ratings)
– Author: O.E. Rølvaag
– Published: January 1, 1925
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classics, Literature
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Prairie Winter

– Rating: 3.69 (45 ratings)
– Author: Bonnie Geisert
– Published: January 1, 2009
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade
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The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood

– Rating: 3.89 (243 ratings)
– Author: Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve
– Published: August 12, 2011
– Genres: Christmas, Picture Books, Childrens, Holiday
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The Little Bride

– Rating: 2.95 (1,419 ratings)
– Author: Anna Solomon
– Published: September 6, 2011
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Jewish, Historical
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Leaving the Land

– Rating: 3.74 (115 ratings)
– Author: Douglas Unger
– Published: February 1, 1984
– Genres: Fiction, Novels, United States
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Prairie Whispers

– Rating: 3.23 (172 ratings)
– Author: Frances Arrington
– Published: January 1, 2003
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical, Young Adult, Juvenile
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A Creek Called Wounded Knee

– Rating: 3.76 (33 ratings)
– Author: Douglas C. Jones
– Published: January 1, 1978
– Genres: Fiction, American History, Historical Fiction
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Peder Victorious: A Tale of the Pioneers Twenty Years Later

– Rating: 3.80 (289 ratings)
– Author: O.E. Rølvaag
– Published: January 1, 1928
– Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classics, Literature
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Dakota! (Wagons West, #11)

– Rating: 4.07 (501 ratings)
– Author: Dana Fuller Ross
– Published: July 1, 1983
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Westerns, Fiction, Romance
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From the Black Hills

– Rating: 2.83 (24 ratings)
– Author: Judy Troy
– Published: June 7, 1999
– Genres: Fiction
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The Prodigal Cowboy

– Rating: 3.47 (74 ratings)
– Author: Kathleen Eagle
– Published: September 1, 2012
– Genres: Romance, Westerns, Harlequin, Contemporary
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Strange Girl

– Rating: 3.55 (933 ratings)
– Author: Christopher Pike
– Published: November 17, 2015
– Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery
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Rattling the Heat in Deadwood (Deadwood, #8)

– Rating: 4.46 (1,385 ratings)
– Author: Ann Charles
– Published: September 27, 2017
– Genres: Paranormal, Mystery, Romance, Fantasy
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Winter Counts

– Rating: 3.86 (17,087 ratings)
– Author: David Heska Wanbli Weiden
– Published: August 25, 2020
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller
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Home Sweet Home

– Rating: 3.42 (479 ratings)
– Author: April Smith
– Published: January 31, 2017
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Mystery
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A Long Time Coming

– Rating: 4.00 (63 ratings)
– Author: Phyllis A. Whitney
– Published: January 1, 1954
– Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Romance
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Not My First Rodeo: Lessons from the Heartland

– Rating: 4.59 (519 ratings)
– Author: Kristi Noem
– Published: June 28, 2022
– Genres: Nonfiction, Politics, Biography, Memoir
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M is for Mount Rushmore: A South Dakota Alphabet (Discover America State By State Alphabet Series)

– Rating: 3.93 (28 ratings)
– Author: William Anderson
– Published: April 1, 2005
– Genres: Picture Books, American History
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Sod Houses on the Great Plains

– Rating: 3.58 (26 ratings)
– Author: Glen Rounds
– Published: January 1, 1995
– Genres: History, Picture Books, Nonfiction
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Funeral Food (Tory Bauer Mystery, #1)

– Rating: 3.71 (289 ratings)
– Author: Kathleen Taylor
– Published: January 1, 1993
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller
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The Man Who Was Taller Than God (Carl Wilcox, #9)

– Rating: 3.50 (56 ratings)
– Author: Harold Adams
– Published: January 1, 1998
– Genres: Mystery, Historical Mystery
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The Killing Season

– Rating: 3.90 (2,682 ratings)
– Author: Mason Cross
– Published: April 24, 2014
– Genres: Thriller, Crime, Mystery, Fiction
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Dead Case in Deadwood (Deadwood, #3)

– Rating: 4.18 (4,557 ratings)
– Author: Ann Charles
– Published: March 1, 2012
– Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Cozy Mystery
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Hatchet Job (Carl Wilcox, #13)

– Rating: 3.68 (31 ratings)
– Author: Harold Adams
– Published: November 1, 1996
– Genres: Mystery
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Black Hills

– Rating: 4.13 (38,412 ratings)
– Author: Nora Roberts
– Published: July 2, 2009
– Genres: Romance, Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Fiction
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Optical Delusions in Deadwood (Deadwood, #2)

– Rating: 4.13 (5,111 ratings)
– Author: Ann Charles
– Published: May 8, 2011
– Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Cozy Mystery
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Red-Tailed Rescue (Red-Tailed Rescue #1)

– Rating: 4.47 (94 ratings)
– Author: John Irby
– Published: January 26, 2014
– Genres: Fantasy, Animals, Young Adult, Childrens
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