‘Burgh Books

There was recently an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette titled “25 novels use Western Pennsylvania as a setting in 2009” that caught my eye.  I’ve never read any novels that used Pittsburgh as a setting, although I’ve seen a bunch of movies that have (I’m on a kick – my Netflix queue is filled with Pittsburgh movies right now).  When I put this link out on Twitter, I was informed that one of the ones on the list, “American Rust“, was definitely worth a read.  Some of the others on the list look interesting to me, especially the ones written by local doctors.  If you’re a local music fan, you may be interested in the two novels written by singer-songwriter Bill Deasy.

There have been popular books in the past that were based in Pittsburgh, such as “Mysteries of Pittsburgh“, which became more well known when the actress Sienna Miller came to Pittsburgh to film the movie and said some lovely things about the town.  I haven’t read the book (or seen the movie), but someday would like to.

If you just type the word “Pittsburgh” into the Amazon book search bar, over 144,000 results come up (many are about Pittsburgh history or are photo books, but there is definitely something for everybody).  I’m sure that there are so many good books in that list that have gone under the radar.  What books have you read that are either by a Pittsburgh author or are set in the Western Pennsylvania area?  If it’s something you liked, pass the word along… support your local authors and read local!

  • http://www.burghliving.com ErinMarton

    A recommendation recently came to me from my Uncle. “An American Childhood” by Annie Dillard. Just downloaded to my Kindle, but according to him, it is a picturesque depiction of growing up in the ‘Burgh in the 50′s. I also recommend the biography of Rachel Carson, called “Witness for Nature”, by Linda Lear. The first section of the book talks about her childhood in Pittsburgh and her experiences at Chatham University.
    Good stuff!!

  • http://www.carpetbaggery.com Carpetbagger

    Fellow Kindle-head here. Found a list of novels set in Pittsburgh that somebody listed on Amazon.

    Was surprised to find that Mysteries of Pittsburgh is not available on Kindle.

  • http://www.carpetbaggery.com Carpetbagger

    Hmmm… might not have linked that correctly. Let me try again. Here it is.

  • Kristen

    The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is a great book and partially set here in Pgh. It was quite a compelling story. I read it long before I moved back here, after growing up in Pgh, then living in the Northwest for 13 years. Anyhow, just found your site and I think we enjoy a lot of the same books. Also, I did just watch the ‘Time Traveler’s Wife’ and I liked it a lot more than I usually like movies made from books. Almost nothing is ever as good as the book, but this came close.

  • http://fortheloveoflit.com Jaci

    Kristen – thanks for visiting! I put “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” on my to-read list, so I’ll be sure to write about it when I’m done. I did end up watching the movie version of “Time Traveler’s Wife” and totally cried. I agree that it’s one of the better book-to-movie adaptations that I’ve seen!

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