A couple of years ago, I was back home in Brooklyn between college semesters and reading Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy for my experimental fiction class (yes, yes, eye roll away). I had just been lamenting to a friend that, while an egregious amount of books take place in Brooklyn, no one ever talks about Gravesend, where I’m from. Of course, the next passage began in that very same neighborhood. Another friend told me that while she was reading this book on a bus in Manhattan, a character had been running down that exact same street. I, a nerd, live for this kind of uncanny coincidence. There’s something magical about taking your nose out of a book and finding yourself in the same setting as the characters.
Now readers can discover books set closest to their hometown with Books Around America, this cool Internet tool, developed by Crossword Solver using Goodreads data. It also spits out a bunch of fun facts, like: Bisbee, AZ, is home to the highest percentage of mystery novels. Bloomington, IN, is apparently where the romance happens. (It’s not perfect; there was no mention of The Secret History when I searched Bennington, VT, but to be fair, I guess that story was technically set at a generic liberal arts college in the Northeast.)
Anyway, have fun with it. Go find yourself in a book.