This Tool Will Show You the Books That Are Set Closest to Your Neighborhood

published May 1, 2022
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Credit: Liz Calka

I don’t know about you, but I think there’s something extra special about reading a book that’s set in your city. The familiarity of it allows you to get lost in the pages even further, but if you live in a small town or somewhere that’s generally unheard of, it can be hard to find a book that takes place local to you.

If you’re keen to devour a book that sees the main character fall in love, solve a murder mystery, or get caught up in some drama in your hometown, Crossword Solver has created an innovative new tool that rounds up all of the books set closest to your neighborhood.

Simply enter your ZIP code to discover the nearest fiction novel in six bookworm-favorite genres—romance, history, fantasy, thriller, mystery, and sci-fi. Using Goodreads data, the tool will pull up the most popular reads that are set closest to your location. It’ll show the title, author, rating, and cover art, along with a detailed synopsis so you can get a feel of the story.

As well as creating the interactive tool, the Crossword Solver team also looked at which states have the most books set in them.

It may not come as a surprise that New York has been ranked as the most popular book setting, with 4,887 novels taking place in The Empire State. In second place is California, which has 4,505 books sets in the state, including classics such as John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” and TikTok-trending novels like “Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

The third most popular book setting is Texas. 2,064 books are set here, including “The Martian” by Andy Weir and “Kulti” by Mariana Zapata.

In fourth place is Illinois, with popular tales like “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn, “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger, and “It” by Stephen King all being set in Chicago.

Rounding out the top five is Washington, made popular among readers thanks to books with a cult following such as “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer and “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James.