Books about Rural Life

  1. A Year Down Yonder

    by Richard Peck
    Young girl moves to her grandmother's for a year, discovering life's hard lessons and unexpected joys.

    The year is 1938, and the Great Depression has hit the Dowdel family hard. 15-year-old Mary Alice is sent downstate to live with Grandma Dowdel while her mother and father remain in Chicago. Her ... (Wikipedia)

  2. All Things Bright and Beautiful

    by James Herriot
    A heartwarming memoir of a veterinarian's journey in the Yorkshire countryside.

    A tie-in to the upcoming PBS Masterpiece series and Christmas special., The second volume in the multimillion copy bestselling series. Millions of readers have delighted in the wonderful storytelling ... (Barnes & Noble)

  3. The Round House

    by Louise Erdrich
    A teenage boy seeks justice for a crime committed against his mother in a Native American community.

    The novel opens with Joe Coutts and his father, Judge Bazil Coutts, pulling out saplings from their house's garden and foundation. They realize Joe's mother and Bazil's wife, Geraldine Coutts, has ... (Wikipedia)

  4. Gap Creek

    by Robert Morgan
    A rural family's struggles with poverty and hardships of life in the Appalachians.

    Gap Creek's main character is a young girl, Julie, who does everything she possibly can to help her family and her new husband, Hank. Julie works hard to help her family when they need it, some even ... (Wikipedia)

  5. Opened Ground: Selected Poems, 1966-1996

    by Seamus Heaney
    A collection of poems spanning three decades, exploring themes of nature, history, and the human experience.

    As selected by the author,, Opened Ground, includes the essential work from Heaney's twelve previous books of poetry, as well as new sequences drawn from two of his landmark translations,, The Cure ... (Barnes & Noble)

  6. A Month in the Country

    by J.L. Carr
    A man's journey of personal and spiritual redemption, set in rural England during WWI.

    In J. L. Carr's deeply charged poetic novel, Tom Birkin, a veteran of the Great War and a broken marriage, arrives in the remote Yorkshire village of Oxgodby where he is to restore a recently ... (Goodreads)

  7. Jayber Crow

    by Wendell Berry
    An exploration of life and faith, set in a small Kentucky town.

    "This is a book about Heaven," says Jayber Crow, "but I must say too that . . . I have wondered sometimes if it would not finally turn out to be a book about Hell." It is 1932 and he has returned to ... (Goodreads)

  8. Winter's Bone

    by Daniel Woodrell
    A teenage girl's struggle to save her family from poverty and despair in the rural Ozarks.

    In the rural Ozarks of Missouri , seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly looks after her mentally ill mother, twelve-year-old brother Sonny, and six-year-old sister Ashlee. She makes sure her siblings eat and ... (Wikipedia)

  9. Hannah Coulter

    by Wendell Berry
    A rural family's struggles to survive both the trials of life and the destruction of their beloved land.

    Hannah Coulter is Wendell Berry’s seventh novel and his first to employ the voice of a woman character in its telling. Hannah, the now–elderly narrator, recounts the love she has for the land and for ... (Barnes & Noble)

  10. The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl

    by Ree Drummond
    Collection of home-style recipes from a modern-day homesteader and mother of four.

    #1 New York Times Bestseller Paula Deen meets Erma Bombeck in, The Pioneer Woman Cooks,, Ree Drummond’s spirited, homespun cookbook. Drummond colorfully traces her transition from city life to ranch ... (Barnes & Noble)

  11. All Creatures Great and Small

    by James Herriot
    A charming tale of a veterinarian and his animal patients in the Yorkshire Dales.

    The classic multimillion copy bestseller Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic ... (Goodreads)

  12. Cold Comfort Farm

    by Stella Gibbons
    A young woman moves to the countryside to bring order to the chaotic lives of her relatives.

    Following the death of her parents, the book's heroine, Flora Poste, finds she is possessed "of every art and grace save that of earning her own living". She decides to take advantage of the fact ... (Wikipedia)

  13. An Irish Country Doctor

    by Patrick Taylor
    A humorous look at the lives of a small Irish town and the country doctor who cares for them.

    The Irish Country Novels are an ongoing series of historical fiction books written by Patrick Taylor and published by Forge Books . , The first book in the series, An Irish Country Doctor , was ... (Wikipedia)

  14. Brokeback Mountain

    by Annie Proulx
    Forbidden love between two cowboys exploring their sexuality and emotions in a hostile environment.

    Annie Proulx has written some of the most original and brilliant short stories in contemporary literature, and for many readers and reviewers, "Brokeback Mountain" is her masterpiece. Ennis del Mar ... (Goodreads)

  15. The Dry

    by Jane Harper
    A small town in rural Australia is rocked by a murder, leading a local detective to uncover secrets and lies.

    A small town hides big secrets in this atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper. In the grip of the worst drought in a century, the farming community of Kiewarra is ... (Goodreads)

  16. My Own Country: A Doctor's Story

    by Abraham Verghese
    A doctor's journey of medical care given to AIDS patients in small-town America.

    My Own Country traces the story of a young infectious-disease physician in the mid-80s in Johnson City, Tennessee , who began to treat patients with a then unknown disease. Because of the seemingly ... (Wikipedia)

  17. A Painted House

    by John Grisham
    A young boy's journey of growing up on an Arkansas cotton farm, learning life lessons along the way.

    "The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with three weeks to go, and the season looked ... (Goodreads)

  18. Farmer Boy

    by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    Story of a young boy's life on a farm in 19th century America.

    The novel is based on the childhood of Wilder's husband, Almanzo Wilder , who grew up in the 1860s near the town of Malone, New York . It covers roughly one year of his life, beginning just before ... (Wikipedia)

  19. Réquiem por un campesino español (Contemporánea)

    by Ramón J. Sender

    The story is narrated by a third-person omniscient narrator who has insight into Mosén Millán's thoughts and feelings. Three distinct planes of narration exist in the novel: the present, Millán's ... (Wikipedia)

  20. The Long Valley

    by John Steinbeck
    A collection of short stories set in the Salinas Valley, exploring the lives of its inhabitants and their struggles.

    This classic collection of short stories serves as the ideal introduction to Steinbeck's work. Set in the idyllic Salinas Valley in California, where simple people farm the land and struggle to find ... (Goodreads)

  21. Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía

    by Chris Stewart
    A humorous memoir of an Englishman's move to a remote Spanish village, where he learns to farm and embrace the laid-back lifestyle.

    No sooner had Chris Stewart set eyes on El Valero than he handed over a check. Now all he had to do was explain to Ana, his wife, that they were the proud owners of an isolated sheep farm in the ... (Goodreads)

  22. Close Range: Wyoming Stories

    by Annie Proulx
    A collection of short stories set in the rural landscape of Wyoming, exploring the lives of its inhabitants.

    From the Pulitzer Prize-winning and bestselling author of The Shipping News and Accordion Crimes comes one of the most celebrated short story collections of our time. Annie Proulx's masterful ... (Barnes & Noble)

  23. Growth of the Soil

    by Knut Hamsun
    A story of a man's life in rural Norway, his struggles, and his relationship with the land.

    The novel begins by following the story of Isak, a Norwegian man, who finally settled upon a patch of land which he deemed fit for farming. He began creating earthen sheds in which he housed several ... (Wikipedia)

  24. Wish You Well

    by David Baldacci
    A family's journey to reclaim their heritage in the Appalachian Mountains.

    The story starts out with the Cardinal family going on a trip to relieve them from some unknown stress. On the way back, it is revealed that the Cardinal family plans to move to California, due to ... (Wikipedia)

  25. The Plain in Flames

    by Juan Rulfo
    A series of stories depicting the struggles and hardships of rural Mexican life.

    Desde su aparición en 1953, este libro de relatos del mexicano Juan Rulfo se ha traducido a más de veinticinco lenguas y ha dado lugar a múltiples y permanentes reediciones en los países de lengua ... (Goodreads)

  26. The Dark Vineyard

    by Martin Walker
    A murder investigation in a small French village uncovers dark secrets and corruption.

    Just before dawn one late-summer morning, Bruno is pulled from sleep by the wail of the town siren atop the Mairie, summoning the volunteer firemen of St Denis. A large barn and the fields ... (Goodreads)

  27. Tobacco Road

    by Erskine Caldwell
    A poor white family in rural Georgia struggles to survive during the Great Depression, resorting to immoral and desperate measures.

    Lov Bensey, a friend of the Lesters, walks to his home at the train yard coal chute . He has walked seven and a half miles to get a sack of winter turnips for 50 cents, which is half of his daily ... (Wikipedia)

  28. A Week in Winter

    by Maeve Binchy
    A tale of friendship, love, and unexpected connections in a small Irish village.

    Stoneybridge is a small town on the west coast of Ireland where all the families know one another. When Chicky Starr decides to take an old, decaying mansion set high on the cliffs overlooking the ... (Goodreads)

  29. Father and I Were Ranchers

    by Ralph Moody
    A boy's coming-of-age story, learning the values of hard work and perseverance while growing up on a ranch.

    Ralph Moody was eight years old in 1906 when his family moved from New Hampshire to a Colorado ranch. Through his eyes we experience the pleasures and perils of ranching there early in the twentieth ... (Barnes & Noble)

  30. Strawberry Girl

    by Lois Lenski
    A young girl and her family face the challenges of living on a rural farm in the 1940s.

    The land was theirs, but so were its hardships Strawberries – big, ripe, and juicy. Ten-year-old Birdie Boyer can hardly wait to start picking them. But her family has just moved to the Florida ... (Goodreads)

  31. English Creek

    by Ivan Doig
    A coming-of-age story set in Montana during the 1930s, exploring the complexities of family, love, and loss.

    In this prize-winning portrait of a time and place—Montana in the 1930s—that at once inspires and fulfills a longing for an explicable past, Ivan Doig has created one of the most captivating families ... (Goodreads)

  32. Jamaica Inn

    by Daphne du Maurier
    A young woman's unraveling of dark secrets in a remote and mysterious Cornish inn.

    Mary Yellan, 23 years old, was brought up on a farm in Helford . After her mother's death, Mary goes to live with her only surviving relative: her mother's sister, Patience Merlyn, in a coaching inn ... (Wikipedia)

  33. Cider with Rosie

    by Laurie Lee
    A poetic account of an idyllic childhood in the English countryside.

    At all times wonderfully evocative and poignant, Cider With Rosie is a charming memoir of Laurie Lee's childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a world that is tangibly real and yet reminiscent of a ... (Goodreads)

  34. Prodigal Summer

    by Barbara Kingsolver
    Three interconnected stories of nature, romance, and family in the Appalachian Mountains.

    Prodigal Summer tells the story of a small town in Appalachia during a single, humid summer, when three interweaving stories of love, loss and family unfold against the backdrop of the lush wildness ... (Wikipedia)

  35. The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake

    by Breece D'J Pancake
    A collection of short stories set in rural West Virginia, exploring the lives of working-class people and their struggles.

    Breece D'J Pancake cut short a remarkably promising writing career when he took his own life in 1979 at the age of 26. In 1983 Little, Brown and Company's posthumous publication of this book ... (Goodreads)

  36. Benediction

    by Kent Haruf
    A story of compassion and redemption in a small Colorado town.

    When Dad Lewis is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he and his wife must work together, along with their daughter, to make his final days as comfortable as possible, despite the bitter absence of their ... (Goodreads)

  37. Every Living Thing

    by James Herriot
    A journey through rural England and the stories of the animals and their owners.

    The #1, New York Times,–bestselling author of, All Creatures Great and Small, reflects on the rewards of training the next generation of veterinarians. As an aging James Herriot begins to see more ... (Barnes & Noble)

  38. O Pioneers!

    by Willa Cather
    A tale of a family's struggles and triumphs, as they pioneer a new life in a changing landscape.

    The book is divided into five parts, each of which has numerous chapters. On a windy January day in Hanover, Nebraska, Alexandra Bergson is with her five-year-old brother Emil, whose little kitten ... (Wikipedia)

  39. Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander

    by Phil Robertson
    An inspirational autobiography of the founder of Duck Commander, sharing his journey of success.

    From the TV smash hit Duck Dynasty ® comes a no-holds-barred autobiography of Phil Robertson and the three things that matter most to him: Faith, family, and ducks. It isn’t often that a person can ... (Barnes & Noble)

  40. A Country Doctor's Notebook

    by Mikhail Bulgakov
    A young doctor's struggles to practice medicine in a small rural village.

    Brilliant stories that show the growth of a novelist's mind, and the raw material that fed the wild surrealism of Bulgakov's later fiction. With the ink still wet on his diploma, the ... (Goodreads)

  41. The Shepherd's Life: A People's History of the Lake District

    by James Rebanks
    A chronicle of life in the Lake District of England, exploring the traditional way of life of shepherds.

    Some people's lives are entirely their own creations. James Rebanks' isn't. The first son of a shepherd, who was the first son of a shepherd himself, he and his family have lived and worked in and ... (Goodreads)

  42. The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love

    by Kristin Kimball
    A woman's journey of self-discovery, finding purpose and love in the farming life.

    From a “graceful, luminous writer with an eye for detail” (,Minneapolis Star Tribune,), this riveting memoir explores a year on a sustainable farm. When Kristin Kimball left New York City to ... (Barnes & Noble)

  43. The Orchard Keeper

    by Cormac McCarthy
    Three lives intersect in a small Tennessee town, revealing the dark underbelly of rural life. McCarthy's debut novel.

    The Orchard Keeper is set during the inter-war period in the hamlet of Red Branch, a small, isolated community in Tennessee. Its story revolves around three characters: Uncle Arthur Ownby, an ... (Wikipedia)

  44. Some Luck

    by Jane Smiley
    A saga tracing five generations of a farming family in midwestern America.

    On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different yet equally remarkable children: Frank, the brilliant, stubborn ... (Goodreads)

  45. Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle

    by Mary J. MacLeod
    A memoir of a nurse's experiences on a remote Scottish island, providing insight into the island's culture and way of life.

    For fans of James Herriot and, Call the Midwife,. A, Wall Street Journal, Bestseller. Over 100,000 sold. Gaelic fortitude meets a nurse’s compassion in these wonderful true stories from rural ... (Barnes & Noble)

  46. So Big

    by Edna Ferber
    A young woman struggles to find her place in the world as she navigates love, loss, and the challenges of being a single mother.

    The story follows the life of a young woman, Selina Peake De Jong, who decides to be a school teacher in farming country. During her stay on the Pool family farm, she encourages the young Roelf Pool ... (Wikipedia)

  47. Letters of a Woman Homesteader

    by Elinore Pruitt Stewart
    A collection of letters from a woman who moves to Wyoming to homestead, detailing her struggles and triumphs in the American West.

    "Peopled with the kinds of characters most novelists only dream of"(Christian Science Monitor), this classic account of American frontier living captures the rambunctious spirit of a pioneer who set ... (Goodreads)

  48. Wonderland Creek

    by Lynn Austin
    Alice journeys to the Appalachian Mountains to deliver books, but finds herself caught up in a mystery and a love triangle.

    Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But the happily-ever-after life she's planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend breaks up with her, accusing her of ... (Goodreads)

  49. Red Sorghum

    by Mo Yan
    A story of love, war, and tradition in rural China, told through the eyes of a young woman.

    Spanning three generations, this novel of family and myth is told through a series of flashbacks that depict events of staggering horror set against a landscape of gemlike beauty, as the Chinese ... (Goodreads)

  50. This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind

    by Ivan Doig
    A memoir of growing up in Montana, exploring the landscapes and people that shaped the author's identity.

    Ivan Doig grew up in the rugged wilderness of western Montana among the sheepherders and denizens of small-town saloons and valley ranches. What he deciphers from his past with piercing clarity is ... (Goodreads)

  51. Cross Justice

    by James Patterson
    A man returns to his rural hometown to confront the family secrets that were hidden from him.

    Alex Cross and his family, who live in Washington, D.C. , travel to Starksville, North Carolina, so Alex and his wife Bree can help clear Alex's cousin Stefan Tate of a murder they suspect he did not ... (Wikipedia)

  52. Sang Pemimpi

    by Andrea Hirata
    A story of friendship, hardship, and ambition, set against the backdrop of a rural Indonesian village.

    Sang Pemimpi adalah sebuah lantunan kisah kehidupan yang memesona dan akan membuat Anda percaya akan tenaga cinta, percaya pada kekuatan mimpi dan pengorbanan, lebih dari itu, akan membuat Anda ... (Goodreads)

  53. Lake Wobegon Days

    by Garrison Keillor
    A nostalgic and humorous portrayal of small-town life in Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, where the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

    "Filled with warmth and humor, sadness and tenderness, songs and poems, Lake Wobegon Days is an unforgettable portrait of small-town American life, of why 'we are what we are' and why 'smart doesn't ... (Goodreads)

  54. Memed, My Hawk

    by Yaşar Kemal

    Memed, a young boy from a village in Anatolia , is abused and beaten by the villainous local landowner, Abdi Ağa. Having endured great cruelty towards himself and his mother, Deune, Memed finally ... (Wikipedia)

  55. That Old Ace in the Hole

    by Annie Proulx
    Bob Dollar, a young man from Denver, is sent to the Texas Panhandle to scout out land for a hog farm. He discovers a world of eccentric characters and a vanishing way of life.

    Bob Dollar was abandoned by his parents and was brought up by his eccentric uncle. , Dollar is sent by his employer, the multinational "Global Pork Rind Corporation", to scout for locations for ... (Wikipedia)

  56. Moo

    by Jane Smiley

    Moo contains over a dozen overlapping plot lines and multiple protagonists and is therefore very difficult to summarize. The following summary includes the plot lines that are clearly resolved in the ... (Wikipedia)

  57. The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers: An Unconventional Memoir

    by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
    A humorous memoir of a couple's journey from Manhattan to a farm in upstate New York, filled with challenges and unexpected joys.

    “I adore the Beekman boys’ story. Their unlikely story of love, the land, and a herd of goats is hilariously honest. If these two can go from Manhattan to a goat farm in upstate New York, then I ... (Barnes & Noble)

  58. Pather Panchali: Song of the Road

    by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay
    A young boy's coming-of-age story in rural Bengal, India, exploring the joys and sorrows of family life and the beauty of nature.

    Horihor Ray, not a very well-to-do Brahmin , lives in the village of Nischindipur. Indir Thakrun, an old widowed woman, who had nobody to look after her, takes shelter in the house of Horihor to whom ... (Wikipedia)

  59. Dairy Queen

    by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
    A teenage girl's journey of self-discovery, learning to find her place in the world.

    15-year-old girl Darlene Joyce (D.J.) Schwenk lives on a farm in Red Bend, Wisconsin, where she and her family own a dairy farm. When D.J.'s father hurts his hip, leaving him unable to work, D.J. ... (Wikipedia)

  60. A Lost Lady

    by Willa Cather
    A portrait of a beautiful and charming woman, Marian Forrester, as seen through the eyes of a young boy.

    The novel is written in the third person, but is mostly written from the perspective of Niel Herbert, a young man who grows up in Sweet Water and witnesses the decline of Mrs. Forrester, for whom he ... (Wikipedia)

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