The Greatest "Minnesota" Books of All Time

Click to learn how this list is calculated.

This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 305 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

Filter by: Genres Dates Countries
Follow on:



Add additional genre filters


Date Range


Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!


If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

  1. 1. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

    The book is a philosophical novel that explores the protagonist's journey across the United States on a motorcycle with his son, during which he delves into questions about life, philosophy, and the nature of "Quality". The narrative is interspersed with flashbacks to the protagonist's life before the journey, including his time as a university professor and his struggle with mental illness. The book aims to reconcile the dichotomy between classical and romantic understandings of the world, ultimately arguing for a holistic approach that integrates both perspectives.

    The 367th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

    This novel is a satirical critique of small-town life, following the story of a young, ambitious woman who moves from the city to a quiet, conservative town in the Midwest with her new husband. Despite her attempts to bring culture and progress to the town, she is met with resistance and ostracism from the closed-minded locals. The protagonist's struggle against traditional norms and her ultimate disillusionment highlight the stifling conformity and lack of intellectual stimulation in rural America.

    The 409th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Freedom: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen

    This novel is a multi-generational saga that explores the lives of the Berglund family. It delves into their personal struggles and relationships, and how they navigate through the complexities of life in contemporary America. The narrative explores themes of freedom in various forms, including personal freedom, societal freedom, and the freedom of choice. The book also examines the impact of these choices on the family’s dynamics, their relationships, and their identities.

    The 1899th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Nickel And Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

    The book is a firsthand journalistic account of the author's experiment to survive on minimum wage jobs in America. She gives up her middle-class life to understand the reality of low-wage workers, working as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing home aide, and a retail chain employee. The book reveals the harsh and often overlooked conditions of the working poor, highlighting the struggle to afford even basic necessities, the lack of job security, and the physical toll of such work.

    The 2208th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    "The Song of Hiawatha" is an epic poem that tells the story of Hiawatha, a Native American hero and his love for Minnehaha, a Dakota woman. The narrative follows Hiawatha's life from his miraculous birth, through his childhood, his exploits, and his courtship and marriage to Minnehaha. It also portrays his efforts to improve the lives of his people, his prophetic teachings, and his eventual departure to the Isles of the Blessed. The poem also includes numerous references to Native American legends and geography.

    The 2898th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

    "Ordinary Grace" is a coming-of-age novel set in a small Minnesota town in the 1960s. The story follows Frank, a thirteen-year-old boy, as he navigates the complexities of family, friendship, and the harsh realities of life and death. When a series of tragic events befall the community, Frank is forced to confront the fragility of life and the power of forgiveness, ultimately learning valuable lessons about love, loss, and the importance of cherishing ordinary moments.

    The 5435th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

    The book is a controversial memoir that details the author's intense struggle with addiction, chronicling his experiences from the depths of substance abuse to the painful path of recovery. It vividly portrays his time in a rehabilitation facility, the colorful characters he meets there, and the personal demons he battles along the way. The narrative delves into themes of redemption, the harsh realities of addiction, and the complex journey towards self-forgiveness and healing, despite later being revealed to contain fabrications and embellishments of the author's experiences.

    The 5851st Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. The Shame Of The Cities by Lincoln Steffens

    "The Shame of the Cities" is a collection of articles that exposes the corrupt political machines controlling American cities in the early 20th century. The book details the author's investigations into municipal corruption in several major U.S. cities, including St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia. Through vivid descriptions and meticulous reporting, the author reveals how political graft and business interests have compromised the effectiveness and fairness of local governments, highlighting the deep-seated issues of urban politics and the urgent need for reforms to restore civic integrity and public trust.

    The 5947th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. North Star Country by Meridel Le Sueur

    "North Star Country" explores the rich tapestry of the American Midwest through a blend of history, folklore, and personal narrative, focusing particularly on Minnesota. The book delves into the lives of the region's diverse inhabitants, including Native Americans, fur traders, and immigrants, weaving their stories into a broader examination of the social and economic forces that have shaped the Midwest. Through vivid storytelling and lyrical prose, the narrative captures the spirit and struggles of the people who have called this part of America their home, reflecting on themes of community, hardship, and resilience.

    The 5947th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. Bull Cook by George Leonard Herter, Berte Herter

    This book is a unique and eclectic compilation that blends cooking recipes with personal anecdotes, historical facts, and unconventional wisdom. It serves as both a cookbook and a guide to various aspects of life, offering a wide range of recipes alongside tips on hunting, fishing, and general knowledge. The authors infuse their work with a distinctive voice, making it a memorable read for those interested in cooking and lifestyle tips delivered in an unconventional and straightforward manner. The content, while informative, is presented in a style that is both practical and entertaining, reflecting the authors' extensive experiences and personal views.

    The 5947th Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. Rules Of Prey by John Sandford

    In this gripping thriller, a cunning and ruthless killer, known as "The Maddog," is on the loose, meticulously planning and executing a series of murders across the city, each accompanied by a chilling verse that outlines his twisted rules for the deadly game he's playing. The case falls into the hands of a seasoned detective, who is as unorthodox as he is determined. With a sharp mind and a penchant for bending the rules, the detective engages in a high-stakes cat-and-mouse chase to stop the killer before he strikes again, all while navigating the political pressures and personal demons that come with the territory of his perilous profession.

    The 6479th Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 12. Morte D'Urban by J. F. Powers

    "Morte D'Urban" is a novel that follows the story of Father Urban, a charismatic yet ambitious Catholic priest in the mid-20th century Midwest. Despite his dreams of building a golf course monastery and his struggles with the conservative and bureaucratic church hierarchy, Father Urban remains committed to his faith and his calling. The novel explores themes of faith, ambition, and the tension between modernity and tradition within the Catholic Church.

    The 6508th Greatest Book of All Time
  13. 13. Betsy Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

    The book follows the adventures of two young girls, Betsy and Tacy, who meet on Betsy's fifth birthday and become inseparable friends. Set in the early 1900s in the small town of Deep Valley, Minnesota, the story captures the whimsical and heartfelt moments of childhood as the pair navigates the joys and sorrows of growing up. Through their imaginative play and exploration, Betsy and Tacy's friendship blossoms, illustrating the enduring power of friendship and the beauty of a simple, happy childhood.

    The 8726th Greatest Book of All Time
  14. 14. The Broken Cord by Michael Dorris

    This book is a poignant memoir of a single man who adopts a three-year-old American Indian boy, only to discover several years later that his son suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome, a condition that was not well understood at the time. The narrative chronicles the man's journey to understand and cope with his son's condition, while also shedding light on the devastating effects of alcohol abuse on unborn children. The book also delves into the broader social issues surrounding Native American communities and the systemic problems that contribute to alcoholism among these populations.

    The 9004th Greatest Book of All Time
  15. 15. The Girl by Meridel Le Sueur

    "The Girl" is a novel that delves into the harsh realities of urban poverty and exploitation during the Great Depression. It follows the life of a young woman known only as "the girl," who struggles to survive and find her identity in a male-dominated, capitalist society. Living in the margins of a Midwestern city, she navigates through various jobs, relationships, and tumultuous experiences, including involvement with criminals and the labor movement. The narrative powerfully explores themes of gender, class, and social injustice, offering a poignant critique of the societal structures that marginalize the vulnerable.

    The 9079th Greatest Book of All Time
  16. 16. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser

    This book presents a deeply researched biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the "Little House on the Prairie" series. It provides an in-depth look into Wilder's life and the historical context in which she lived, from the westward expansion to the Great Depression and beyond. The narrative explores the complex relationship between Wilder and her daughter, the hardships they faced, and the ways in which these experiences shaped Wilder's writing. It also delves into the myths and realities of American frontier life, challenging the often-romanticized view of pioneer life.

    The 9121st Greatest Book of All Time
  17. 17. The Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich

    The novel weaves a complex tapestry of Native American life, blending contemporary realism with mystical elements. It explores themes of love, family, and cultural identity through the interwoven stories of multiple generations affected by a legacy of trauma and healing. The narrative centers around two Ojibwe families in Minneapolis and the titular Antelope Wife, a mysterious woman with a profound connection to the spiritual and natural worlds. The book delves into the characters' struggles with their pasts, the power of storytelling, and the intricate bonds that tie them together, revealing the resilience and transformations that occur within their community.

    The 10581st Greatest Book of All Time
  18. 18. His Name Is George Floyd by Robert Samuels, Toluse Olorunnipa

    This book provides an in-depth look into the life and tragic death of George Floyd, whose killing by a Minneapolis police officer sparked a global movement against systemic racism and police brutality. Through meticulous research and interviews, the authors explore Floyd's personal history, struggles, and the societal factors that shaped his life, offering a comprehensive portrait that goes beyond the viral video of his death. The narrative not only delves into Floyd's impact on the world but also examines America's deep-seated racial issues, making it a significant contribution to the ongoing conversation about justice and equality in the United States.

    The 10874th Greatest Book of All Time
  19. 19. Lindbergh by A. Scott Berg

    This biography provides a comprehensive look at the life of Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator who made the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927. The book delves into his personal life, including his marriage to Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the tragic kidnapping and murder of their son, his controversial views on race and his involvement with the America First Committee, which opposed U.S. entry into World War II. It also explores his scientific contributions, such as his work in the field of aviation and his involvement in the development of the artificial heart.

    The 11279th Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!


If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.