“Living in a small town…is like living in a large family of rather uncongenial relations. Sometimes it’s fun, and sometimes it’s perfectly awful, but it’s always good for you. People in large towns are like only-children.” -Joyce Dennys, Henrietta Sees It Through
River Season by Jim Black: In a small Texas town in the summer of 1966, thirteen-year-old Jim befriends an older African American man who relates his experiences as a Negro League baseball player and as a black man in a racially strained community.
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury: Boyhood, summer, and small town living makes this novel a delight to read. Douglas Spaulding is twelve years old; it is 1928; and summer has arrived in Green Town, Illinois.
A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas: When her husband is institutionalized after an accident, the woman tells of her efforts to rebuild her life in a small country town with three dogs. She struggles with the very different relationship she now has with her husband while she seeks comfort in friendships.
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns: When the proprietor of the general store in a small Southern town elopes with a Yankee woman half his age, it causes quite a stir in town!
Porch Talk by Philip Gulley: A nostalgic collection of personal anecdotes reflects on a time when porch-centered lives enabled greater family and community connections, remembering such simple pleasures as lemonade, chirping crickets, and bonding with a pet dog.
Correcting the Landscape by Marjorie Kowalski Cole: A local newspaper editor of a small Alaskan community fights against big business to save the environment and the town that he loves.
Population 485: Meeting your Neighbors One Siren at a Time by Michael Perry: The reader travels with the paramedics and is introduced to the town’s people in a unique way.
All the Way Home by Eileen Cooney: The women of a small town demoralized by declining industry are brought together and brought to life when they form a softball team to protect one woman’s son from his father’s murderous impulses.
Bet Your Bottom Dollar by Karin Gillespie: The local general store may soon be out of business unless Elizabeth and her friends can save the store from a rival. The story has all the fun and fury you can expect from the women in a small town in South Carolina.
If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska by Heather Lende: Lende writes the social notes and the obituaries for the local paper in the small Alaskan town of Haines. This collection of twenty three essays will endear the people of Haines to the reader.