Washington State Books: 2024’s Collection of 20 Must-Reads

Are you looking to explore the beauty and history of Washington State through the pages of a book? Look no further! Whether you’re a local wanting to delve deeper into your state’s culture or a traveler seeking to learn more about the Evergreen State, these 20 best books about Washington State are sure to captivate and enlighten you. From captivating narratives to insightful non-fiction, these books on Washington State offer a rich tapestry of stories and information about this diverse and fascinating region.

20 Best Books About Washington State

The Boys in the Boat

by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat is a captivating book on Washington State, written by Daniel James Brown. This non-fiction narrative follows the incredible journey of the University of Washington’s rowing team as they strive for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Brown masterfully weaves together the personal stories of the young oarsmen with the historical backdrop of the Great Depression and rise of Nazi Germany, creating a poignant and inspiring tale of resilience and triumph. Readers will be swept away by the vivid descriptions of the team’s arduous training, the exhilarating race sequences, and the deep camaraderie that propels them forward. With its rich detail and powerful storytelling, this book about Washington State is a must-read for anyone seeking an inspiring and uplifting true story of determination and unity.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

by Maria Semple

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple is a humorous and heartfelt book set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. The story follows Bernadette Fox, a quirky and brilliant architect living in Seattle, who suddenly disappears, leaving her family and friends to piece together the mystery of her whereabouts. Through a series of emails, letters, and documents, the reader is taken on a wild adventure through the eccentric world of Bernadette and her unconventional life in the state of Washington. With witty humor and poignant moments, this book about Washington state captures the essence of the region’s landscape and culture, while also delving into themes of family, creativity, and identity. Maria Semple’s unique storytelling and vivid characters make Where’d You Go, Bernadette a captivating and unforgettable read.

Snow Falling on Cedars

by David Guterson

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson is a captivating book about the complexities of human nature set in the picturesque landscape of the Pacific Northwest. This gripping novel, set in the lush and atmospheric backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, tells the story of a small coastal town in Washington State and its inhabitants. The novel delves into themes of love, loss, prejudice, and the lingering effects of World War II. Through the lens of a murder trial, Guterson skillfully weaves together the lives of the town’s residents, exploring their secrets and the tensions that arise between different communities. The book offers a compelling and evocative portrayal of the people and the landscape of the area, making it a must-read for anyone interested in a compelling book about Washington State.

The Art of Racing in the Rain

by Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the Rain is a heartwarming novel by Garth Stein that takes readers on an emotional journey through the life of Enzo, a wise and loyal dog who belongs to a race car driver in the Pacific Northwest. Set in the beautiful landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, this book on Washington state explores themes of love, loss, and the indomitable spirit of the human-animal bond. Enzo shares his insightful observations and reflections on life, love, and the art of racing, providing a unique perspective on the human experience. With its poignant storytelling and memorable characters, this book about Washington state is a must-read for animal lovers and anyone seeking a touching and inspirational tale set in the scenic backdrop of the Pacific Northwest.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

by Jamie Ford

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford is a poignant and heartwarming novel set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. This book on Washington state follows the story of Henry Lee, a Chinese-American boy who befriends a Japanese-American girl, Keiko, during World War II. As their friendship blossoms, they navigate the racial tensions and hardships of wartime Seattle. Decades later, Henry, now an elderly man, is drawn back to the Panama Hotel, where the belongings of Japanese families were stored during the war. This emotional journey prompts Henry to confront his past and the lost love of his youth. This compelling and bittersweet tale of love, friendship, and the impact of war is a must-read for anyone interested in a deeply moving story set in Washington state.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a coming-of-age novel set in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. It tells the story of a young Native American boy, Junior, who leaves his reservation to attend an all-white high school in a nearby town. The book, set in the state of Washington, provides a raw and honest portrayal of the challenges faced by Indigenous people in contemporary society. It addresses themes of identity, belonging, and the pursuit of a better future, all against the backdrop of the beautiful and rugged landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Sherman Alexie’s powerful and humorous writing style brings a unique perspective to the experiences of Native American youth in a predominantly white environment, making it a must-read for anyone interested in a poignant and thought-provoking washington state book.

Wilderness

by Lance Weller

Wilderness by Lance Weller is a captivating book about the Pacific Northwest region. Set in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest, this novel follows Abel Truman, a Civil War veteran, as he navigates the rugged terrain and encounters the wild inhabitants of the area. Weller’s prose beautifully captures the untamed wilderness of the region, and the story delves into themes of survival, resilience, and the impact of war on the human spirit. The novel is a poignant exploration of the unspoiled beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and the indomitable human will to endure in the face of adversity. Wilderness is a must-read for anyone who appreciates a book on the Pacific Northwest that is rich in historical detail and evocative storytelling.

The Orchardist

by Amanda Coplin

The Orchardist is a compelling novel set in the Pacific Northwest, focusing on the life of a solitary orchardist in the rugged landscapes of Washington State. Amanda Coplin’s debut novel weaves a captivating tale of loss, love, and redemption against the backdrop of the untamed beauty of the Washington State countryside. The story follows the orchardist’s quiet existence as it is disrupted by the arrival of two runaway teenage girls, and the unexpected bond that forms between them. Coplin’s vivid prose brings the landscape of Washington State to life, immersing readers in the lush orchards and wild forests of the region. The Orchardist is a poignant and evocative exploration of human connection and the enduring power of nature, making it a must-read for anyone seeking a captivating book about the Pacific Northwest.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

by Sherman Alexie

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is a collection of interconnected short stories by Sherman Alexie, a renowned author from the Pacific Northwest. Set in the state of Washington, the book vividly portrays the struggles and triumphs of Native Americans living on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Through a blend of humor and poignancy, Alexie explores themes of identity, culture, and the effects of historical trauma on contemporary Native American communities. The stories are filled with gritty realism and magical surrealism, offering a unique and captivating glimpse into the lives of the characters. This compelling washington state book provides a powerful and thought-provoking exploration of the human experience, offering readers a deeper understanding of the complex social and cultural landscape of the Pacific Northwest.

The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest

by Timothy Egan

The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest by Timothy Egan is an evocative exploration of the lush and diverse landscape of the Pacific Northwest. This captivating book delves into the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of the region, offering a compelling portrait of the land and its people. Egan’s lyrical prose and keen insights paint a vivid picture of the rugged coastlines, towering forests, and misty mountains that define the Pacific Northwest. With a deep appreciation for the interconnectedness of nature and human experience, The Good Rain is a captivating journey through the heart of the Pacific Northwest. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply fascinated by the unique charm of the region, this book is a must-read for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the essence of the Pacific Northwest.

The Egg and I

by Betty MacDonald

The Egg and I is a delightful memoir by Betty MacDonald, chronicling her experiences as a city girl who marries a chicken farmer and moves to a remote farm in the Pacific Northwest. Set in the rural countryside of the Pacific Northwest, this book on Washington State is filled with humor, charm, and vivid descriptions of the natural beauty of the region. MacDonald’s witty and engaging writing style brings her adventures to life as she navigates the challenges of farm life, from raising chickens to tending to the land. This book about Washington State provides a unique and entertaining glimpse into the culture and lifestyle of the rural Pacific Northwest. With its endearing characters and lighthearted tone, The Egg and I is a timeless classic that continues to captivate readers with its portrayal of life in the Washington State countryside.

The Highest Tide

by Jim Lynch

The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch is a captivating coming-of-age novel set in the lush and vibrant Pacific Northwest. The story follows 13-year-old Miles O’Malley as he navigates the complexities of adolescence amidst the backdrop of the rich and diverse marine life of the Puget Sound. As he explores the tidal pools and beaches of his Washington state home, Miles stumbles upon a series of extraordinary and mysterious sea creatures, setting off a chain of events that will forever alter his perception of the world around him. This beautifully written book about Washington state not only delves into the wonders of the natural world, but also delves into the complexities of human relationships, making it a must-read for anyone who appreciates a thought-provoking and lyrical narrative.

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America

by Timothy Egan

The Big Burn by Timothy Egan is a captivating book on Washington State that tells the story of the largest wildfire in American history and its impact on the conservation movement. The book delves into the personal stories of the people involved, including President Teddy Roosevelt and the forest rangers who fought the fire. The author vividly describes the devastation of the fire and its aftermath, painting a compelling picture of the challenges faced by the early conservationists. Egan’s storytelling brings to life the rugged beauty of the Washington State wilderness and the fierce determination of those who sought to protect it. The Big Burn is a gripping and informative book about Washington State that will leave readers with a deeper understanding of the importance of conservation and the legacy of the fire that saved America.

The Boys of Everest: Chris Bonington and the Tragedy of Climbing’s Greatest Generation

by Clint Willis

The Boys of Everest is a gripping book about Washington State that delves into the lives of the climbers who attempted to conquer the world’s highest peak. Author Clint Willis explores the triumphs and tragedies of the “greatest generation” of climbers, focusing on the legendary mountaineer Chris Bonington and his team as they take on the daunting challenge of Mount Everest. Through vivid storytelling and meticulous research, Willis paints a vivid portrait of the climbers’ determination, camaraderie, and the harsh realities of high-altitude climbing. The book offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of extreme mountaineering, while also examining the impact of the climbers’ experiences on their lives. Whether you’re a seasoned mountaineer or simply fascinated by tales of adventure, The Boys of Everest is a compelling book on Washington State that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Curve of Time

by M. Wylie Blanchet

The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet is a captivating memoir that takes readers on a remarkable journey through the coastal wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. Set in the stunning landscape of the Pacific Ocean, this book on Washington State follows Blanchet and her five young children as they embark on a series of daring and adventurous expeditions aboard their small boat, Caprice. As they navigate the waters and explore the remote islands and fjords, Blanchet’s vivid and evocative writing brings the beauty and challenges of the region to life. With themes of resilience, courage, and the bond between mother and children, this book about Washington State is a timeless classic that continues to inspire and enthrall readers with its tales of exploration and discovery.

The Jump-Off Creek

by Molly Gloss

The Jump-Off Creek by Molly Gloss is a captivating book about life in the Pacific Northwest, specifically in the untamed wilderness of Oregon. The story follows Lydia Sanderson, a widow who moves to a remote homestead in the mountains of Oregon to start a new life. As she navigates the challenges of homesteading, she also grapples with personal loss and the struggle for independence. The novel beautifully captures the rugged beauty of the landscape and the resilience of the human spirit. Gloss’s writing is evocative and immersive, transporting readers to a different time and place. This book on Washington State is a poignant exploration of solitude, survival, and the bonds that connect us to the land. It’s a must-read for anyone looking for a compelling and richly drawn story set in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.

The Collector of Lost Things

by Jeremy Page

The Collector of Lost Things by Jeremy Page is a captivating book set in the lush, rugged landscape of the Pacific Northwest, a treasure trove of natural wonders. This compelling book on Washington State follows the journey of a young man named Robert who becomes an apprentice to a collector of lost items. As he navigates the untamed wilderness and encounters a cast of intriguing characters, Robert uncovers long-buried secrets and grapples with the complexities of human connection. Page’s evocative writing vividly brings to life the stunning beauty of the Washington State and the poignant stories of loss and redemption. The novel is a moving exploration of the human spirit and the enduring power of nature, making it a must-read for anyone seeking a thought-provoking and immersive book about Washington State.

The River Why

by David James Duncan

The River Why is a captivating book on Washington State that follows the journey of Gus Orviston, a young fly fisherman who embarks on a quest for solitude and self-discovery. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, this novel is a heartfelt exploration of nature, love, and the human spirit. As Gus immerses himself in the beauty of the rivers and lakes, he encounters a diverse cast of characters who shape his understanding of life and relationships. David James Duncan’s lyrical prose and vivid descriptions bring the landscapes of the Evergreen State to life, making it a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper connection to the natural world. This book about Washington State is a timeless tale that resonates with readers who appreciate the transformative power of the great outdoors.

The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America

by Langdon Cook

The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America by Langdon Cook is a captivating book about foraging for wild mushrooms in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. This immersive non-fiction work takes readers on a journey through the hidden world of mushroom hunting, revealing the thrill of the hunt, the environmental impact, and the culture that surrounds this underground economy. Set in the lush and diverse landscapes of the Evergreen State, this book on Washington state explores the interconnectedness of nature and human society, as well as the passion and obsession of those who seek out these elusive fungi. With vivid descriptions and insightful storytelling, Langdon Cook brings to life the high-stakes world of mushroom foraging, making this a must-read for anyone interested in the natural beauty and cultural richness of the Pacific Northwest.

Sons of the Profits: There’s No Business Like Grow Business: The Seattle Story, 1851-1901

by William C. Speidel

Sons of the Profits: There’s No Business Like Grow Business: The Seattle Story, 1851-1901 by William C. Speidel is a captivating book about Washington state that delves into the early history of Seattle. Speidel takes readers on a journey through the city’s formative years, exploring the colorful characters, ambitious entrepreneurs, and larger-than-life personalities that shaped the burgeoning metropolis. From the gold rush to the Great Seattle Fire, this washington state book offers a rich tapestry of anecdotes, scandals, and triumphs that paint a vivid picture of Seattle’s evolution. With a blend of humor, wit, and meticulous research, Speidel brings to life the struggles and successes of the city’s pioneers, making Sons of the Profits a must-read for anyone interested in the history of the Pacific Northwest.

Conclusion

Exploring the diverse and rich history of Washington State through literature is a rewarding experience. The 20 best books about Washington state offer a compelling and comprehensive look at the region’s culture, landscapes, and people. From captivating memoirs to gripping historical accounts, these books provide an immersive journey through the Evergreen State. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply looking for a good read, these books offer something for everyone. Dive into the world of Washington state with these captivating and informative reads.

Which Washington State book is best?

The best book on Washington State can vary with personal preference, but three widely recommended titles are:

  1. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown,
  2. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple,
  3. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson.

Each offers valuable insights and could be a great starting point.

What are the best books to learn about Washington State?

What are the best books on Washington State?

The best books on Washington State include:

Each offers unique insights into the subject. While these books on the topic of Washington State are highly regarded, it’s important to note that any list of ‘best’ books is subjective and reflects a range of opinions.

What are the best Washington State books of all time?

Choosing the best Washington State books of all time can vary depending on who you ask, but seven titles that are often celebrated include