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SUMMER / FALL 2019      © 2019 812 Magazine

8 must-reads for Hoosiers


Kick back, relax and pick up one of the books every Southern Indiana lover should read.


Looking for a good read close to home? Search no further. As Monroe County Public librarian Mark Blackwell said, the rolling hills and winding country roads that many of us call home have inspired countless warming stories, chilling tales and harrowing histories. This list will help you find a great story set right in your backyard.

Author Scott Russell Sanders, Blackwell and Luanne Dillon, Blackwell's colleague, helped handpick this list of books set in Southern Indiana just for your reading pleasure. Pick up one of these books, enjoy a lazy afternoon and read stories written by those who appreciate Southern Indiana as much as you do.

1. "Front Porch Tales: Stories of Family, Faith, Laughter and Love" (Philip Gulley) Quaker pastor and Danville native, Gulley shares his small-town tales that all started for his church's newsletter.

2. "Staying Put, Making a Home in a Restless World" (Scott Russell Sanders) Bloomington resident and IU professor, Sanders highlights the importance of digging your roots deeply into your community through a touching series of essays.

3. "Alive and Dead in Indiana" (Michael Martone) Fort Wayne's Martone looks at eight famous Americans, including James Dean and John Dillinger, with close connections to Indiana.

4. "Long Knife" (John Alexander Thom) Thom, an Owen County resident, details the adventures of famed soldier George Rogers Clark, who helped capture Vincennes in the American Revolutionary War.

5. "So Cold the River" (Michael Koryta) This suspenseful thriller pulses as we learn a town's dark past. Koryta, an IU alum, sets this story at the decadent, old West Baden Springs Hotel. Be prepared to re-think small-town charm.

6. "Crimes in Southern Indiana" (Frank Bill) The heartland isn't always so wholesome, as Bill shows with his colorful peaks into the darker side of rural Indiana.

7. "Backroads Indiana: Discovering the People and Places of Southern Indiana" (Wendell Trogdon, Martin Northway, Gary Varvel) This lively read takes readers through the backroads of Southern Indiana, introducing us to new places in a familiar territory.

8. "Tales from the Indiana Hoosiers Locker Room" (John Laskowski, contributor: Stan Sutton) Revisit the wins and losses of the heralded Hoosier basketball program over the past century with Laskowski, a former IU Hoosier who played under Bob Knight.