Appalachian Mountain High: A Book List

Appalachians reads for those who want to get lost in the mountains.


Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

“Greenville County, South Carolina, a wild, lush place, is home to the Boatwright family-rough-hewn men who drink hard and shoot up each other’s trucks, and indomitable women who marry young and age all too quickly. At the heart of this astonishing novel is Ruth Anne Boatwright, known simply as Bone, a South Carolina bastard with an annotated birth certificate to tell the tale. Observing everything with the mercilessly keen eye of a child, Bone finds herself caught in a family triangle that will test the loyalty of her mother, Anney. Her stepfather, Daddy Glen, calls Bone “cold as death, mean as a snake, and twice as twisty,” yet Anney needs Glen. At first gentle with Bone, Daddy Glen becomes steadily colder and more furious-until their final, harrowing encounter, from which there can be no turning back.”

Whisper Hollow by Chris Cander

Dangerous Undertaking (Buryin’ Barry series) by Mark de Castique

Deliverance by James Dickey

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

Reluctant Midwives: a Hope River Novel by Patricia Harman

A Parchment of Leaves by Silas House

“It is the early 1900s in rural Kentucky, and young Saul Sullivan is heading up to Redbud Camp to look for work. He is wary but unafraid of the Cherokee girl there whose beauty is said to cause the death of all men who see her. But the minute Saul lays eyes on Vine, he knows she is meant to be his wife. Vine’s mother disapproves of the mixed marriage; Saul’s mother, Esme, has always been ill at ease around the Cherokee people. But once Vine walks into God’s Creek, Saul’s mother and brother Aaron take to her immediately. It quickly becomes clear to Vine, though, that Aaron is obsessed with her. And when Saul leaves God’s Creek for a year to work in another county, the wife he leaves behind will never be the same again. The violence that lies ahead for Vine, will not only test her spirit, but also her ability to forgive–both others and herself. . . .”

Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy

Gap Creek by Robert Morgan

The Cove by Ron Rash

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Chris Scotton

Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith

Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe


Far Appalachia: Following the New River North by Noah Adams

Ava’s Man by Rick Bragg

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

“The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).”

The Devil is Here in These Hills: West Virginia Coal Miner’s and Their Battle for Freedom by James R. Green

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls


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