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Books written by authors with Columbia connections

Whether you’re looking for your next leisure read, a book for the whole family, or a thrilling fictional novel, we’ve got a list of books written by local authors in Columbia.

Table of Contents
Local authors section at Richland Library

The local authors section at Richland Library is located at the first floor entrance. | Photo by COLAtoday

What’s better than a good book? A good book written by your neighbor. Brew up a batch of your favorite cup of tea or Indah coffee and get ready to meet your next read, because we’re talking about locally written books in Columbia.


  • The Lower Quarter by Elise Blackwell | Release date: Sept. 21, 2015 | Valuable art goes missing in this murder mystery set in post-Katrina New Orleans
  • Let the Glory Pass Away by James D. McAllister | Release date: Jan. 17, 2017 | Columbia comes to life in this novel with fictionalized characters some may recognize from the Soda City cultural scene.
  • The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston | Release date: June 28, 2022 | A supernatural ghost romance novel set in the fictional town of Mairmont, SC.
  • The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston | Release date: June 27, 2023 | In this witty and wise novel by the New York Times bestselling author of “The Dead Romantics,” Clementine, an overworked book publicist with a carefully planned future, faces an unexpected challenge when she falls in love with her temporary roommate.
  • The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown | Release date: Nov. 15, 2019 | This spooky ghost story for young adults begins when a young girl stumbles upon a crumbling gravestone in an abandoned cemetery.

Part of a series

  • Amari and the Night Brothers by BB Alston | Release date: Jan. 4, 2022 | The first in a trilogy, this young adult novel tells the supernatural story and adventures of Amari Peters.
  • Heroes and Heroines of the American Revolution by Idella Bodie | The series of twelve biographies portray the lives of individuals who lived in SC or in some way served in the 137 battles fought in SC.
  • Summoning Up Love – Heart and Soul Book 1 by Synthia Williams | April 26, 2022 | The first in the new series of spicy Southern romance novels, this book tells the story of Vanessa Steele’s recovery from losing her job and her fiancé.
  • Amari and the Night Brothers #3 by B.B. Alston | Release date: February 6, 2024 | This is the third installment in the Supernatural Investigations series from the Lexington-based author who was the No. 1 Kids’ Indie Next pick.
  • Bittersweet Motives by Tyora Moody | May 11, 2019 | The first in a series, former reporter Serena “Rena” Manchester uses her investigative skills to solve murders.

Learn something new

  • University of South Carolina in Focus by Chris Horn | Release date: Aug. 2, 2022 | This book paints a rich and vivid history of SC’s flagship university charted in 1801.
  • Hootie!: How the Blowfish Put Pop Back Into Pop Rock by Mike Miller | Release date: Jan. 1, 1997 | Former music writer for The State, Mike Miller, takes you on a journey with local band Hootie and the Blowfish, from Five Points to one of the top-selling albums of all time.
  • Kugels and Collards by Rachel Gordin Barnett, Lyssa Kligman Harvey, III, John M Sherrer | Release date: August 29, 2023 | This book is a flavorful exploration of SC’s Jewish community through its diverse culinary traditions.
  • Injustice in Focus: The Civil Rights Photography of Cecil Williams by Cecil Williams, Claudia Smith Brinson | Release date: January 9, 2024 | This book is a collaboration between Southern Black photojournalist Cecil Williams and journalist Claudia Smith Brinson, offering a firsthand account of SC’s civil rights movement.

For the family

  • Sunday Week by Dinah Johnson (Author) Tyrone Geter (Illustrator) | Release date: July 4, 2023 | The celebratory picture book takes young readers through the daily chores and activities of each weekday.
  • Dear America: I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly by Joyce Hanson | Release date: Oct. 1997 | Part of the Dear America series, this historical fiction is set in Mars Bluff, SC, and tells the story of a young freed slave after the Civil War.
  • Black Magic by Dinah Johnson | Release date: Jan. 18, 2010 | This children’s book illustrated by R. Gregory Christie is a celebration of the African American spirit and paints a picture of the color black.

Personal stories

  • Swimming with the Blowfish: Hootie, Healing, and One Hell of a Ride by Jim Sonefield | Release date: June 28, 2022 | A memoir from Hootie and the Blowfish drummer Jim “Soni” Sonefield, telling the inside story of the band’s humble beginnings, meteoric rise, sudden fall, and ultimate rebirth.
  • How to Be Human: An Autistic Man’s Guide to Life by Jory Fleming |Release date: April 20, 2021 | UofSC grad, and Rhodes Scholar Jory Fleming examines what it means to be human through a series of conversations with writer Lyric Winik.
  • Pops: Learning to Be a Son and a Father by Craig Melvin | Release date: June 15, 2021 | This memoir from Columbia native + news anchor of NBC’s Today show is an exploration of fatherhood and race.
  • My Vanishing Country by Bakari Sellers | Release date: May 19, 2020 | This memoir tells the story of growing up in rural Denmark, SC, and the life lessons that shaped the local lawyer and CNN analyst.
  • True Story: A Faith Journal by Greg Adalane | Release date: May 29, 2023 | This heartwarming collection of stories chronicles Greg’s journey from an unlikely broadcasting start to everyday experiences. Originally shared on Facebook during the COVID-19 pandemic, the well-received writings inspired Greg to compile them into this book.

Need more recommendations? Stop by Richland County Library, Odd Bird Books, or Ed’s Editions to get expert advice from Cola’s librarians and booksellers. 📚

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