Pour Yourself a Glass of Pop and Open a Midwestern Book

By Kaley

Like a lot of the people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in the Pacific Northwest, I’m a transplant from the Midwest​. Around this time of year I’m usually thinking of my family and pals back home. Mostly because of the tumultuous weather they are toughing through during the transition of winter to spring. That tough weather is worth it to see miles of corn fields and grassy plains waving at you in the summer after the lightning bugs return. I’m thankful for making it through a milder winter and spring out here, but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t the perfect weather to stay inside with a warm drink and a book while thinking of your roots.

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Photograph by Spencer Black

I love sharing my former home with people who’re raised in different places and discovering stories from others who grew up in similar regions. If you’ve got a soft spot for the Midwest, too, I’ve got a few books set in the Midwest that you might want to browse.

One for SorrowOne for Sorrow by Chris Barzak. Adam McCormik’s life has already spiraled out of control after a drunk driver hit and paralyzed his mother, but now he struck up a friendship with the ghost of a classmate.


StonerStoner by John Edward Williams. William Stoner has found true love and happiness in English literature after his dirt poor Missouri upbringing. However, after embracing life as a scholar he continuously finds heartbreak around each corner and must find a way to heal.


God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Or, Pearls Before SwineGod Bless you, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut. I couldn’t resist Vonnegut’s lure, here! This is a tale of Eliot Rosewater: volunteer fireman and heir to a fortune. He’s strange, and his behavior is constantly questioned by the people of his town as they wonder what he will do with his Sum of Money. Satire comes with a Vonnegut novel, though, so as long as you enjoy some tongue in cheek critical interpretations of humanity, you’ll dig this, too.

There’s even more in the book list below! Do you have a favorite book that’s set in the Midwest? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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3 responses to “Pour Yourself a Glass of Pop and Open a Midwestern Book”


    Please don’t forget Willa Cather’sbook, Song of the Lark. the transformation of a rural girl to a world renown Opera singer who learns to LISTEN while she is in the South West I can not forget. It has given me encouragement are various times in my life.

  2. Lindsey says:

    Yay, another Midwestern transplant! There are a lot of us out here. I’m from the Chicago area and I’ll say “pop” until the day I die. I really miss lightning bugs, too. I’m definitely adding some of these to my TBR pile. Really looking forward to The Night Birds!

  3. Kaley Costello says:

    Excellent suggestion, Melanie!
    Lindsey I am clinging onto pop for forever! I think we were all lured by those mountains 😉 Now if only we could have lightening bugs mixed in with our gorgeous views.

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