Are you always hunting for your next great read? Next time you are at the Great Falls Library or your favorite bookstore consider an author who has a connection to Great Falls. We’ve rounded up a handful of local authors that span genres. 

A Classic: “Montana: High, Wide & Handsome” by Joseph Kinsey Howard.

Goodreads describes this legendary book as “a classic history and delightful ode to the idiosyncratic personalities, restless landscape, unforgettable peoples, and lively history of the Treasure State.” Howard called Great Falls home for the vast majority of his life. He and his mother moved from Canada to Great Falls in 1919. Four years later, he graduated from high school in 1923.

Immediately after graduating, Howard landed a job as a reporter for the Great Falls Leader, one of the city's two daily newspapers at the time. He was promoted to news editor at the Leader in 1926, at age 20, a position he held until 1944. Many consider “Montana: High, Wide & Handsome” to be an approachable historical read. As a newspaperman, Howard had a knack for writing for the everyman. If you are interested in Montana history, but also appreciate a page turner, find this classic and give it a read!  

A Memoir: “Indian Creek Chronicles” by Pete Fromme.

As Montana winter turns to spring, we recommend you curl up with this memoir. “Indian Creek Chronicles” is a magnetic story that drops you into a solo wilderness experience. Fromme, a longtime Great Falls resident, recounts the seven months he spent as a young man in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, guarding salmon eggs. Goodreads sums it up as “a gripping story of adventure and a modern-day Walden.” It also describes Fromm as “one of the West's premier voices.” 

Once you’ve read his first memoir, you might be inclined to pick up his second, “The Names of the Stars, a Life in the Wilds,” in which Fromme tells another personal tale of his return to the wilderness (this time, the iconic Bob Marshall). From Fromme, you can expect the same great writing, but now the author recounts his immersive stint with the depth of lived experience and the perspective of being a father.  

A Biography: “Great Falls, MT: Fast Times, Post-Punk Weirdos and a Tale of Coming Home Again” by Reggie Watts.

It’s not often that Great Falls is featured in the title of a book penned by a Hollywood star. But, Reggie Watts, now bandleader of The Late Late Show with James Corden calls the biography “his love letter to the town that made him.” Watts credits growing up in Montana in the 80s as helping him “become the uniquely strange creative voice he is today.”

In an interview with KRTV he encourages the community to, “give it a read and see if it resonates. There’s something in there for everybody.”  

A Book-Club Pick: “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford.

If your book club hasn’t already added this to your list, it’s well overdue. “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” spent two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list and it was named the No. 1 Book Club pick in 2010 by the American Bookseller Association. What makes it a good read? This thoughtfully written novel helps its readers ponder questions of ethnicity, race, and social obligation in the wider context of a deeply troubling period in American history – the internment of Japanese-American citizens in the wake of the Pearl Harbour bombing. 

Ford calls Great Falls home and according to his personal website, he lives here with “his wife, a one-eyed pug and his imaginary friends.”  Do you call Ford one of your non-imaginary friends? If yes, perhaps he will make a special appearance at your book club’s discussion. If that’s not the case, you can fall back on these rich discussion prompts. 

A Series: “Territory” by Susan A Bliler.

Sometimes a series really hits the spot. Local author Susan Bliler describes her genre as “paranormal romance.” If your intrigue is piqued, you are in luck. She’s got seven books in the Territory series ready to be devoured, two of which can be checked out from the Great Falls Public Library.  

If you love her writing, you’re in luck. The prolific author has a 20-book series called “Skin Walkers” as well as three shorter series. Check out her full catalog here

When she’s not writing, Bliler enjoys hunting, reading, and watching MMA, hockey and boxing. With all those published books, we are impressed she has any free time at all! 

That’s our top five suggestions for reads by local authors. Want these suggestions delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter here. Have another local author you adore? Send us a note here and let us know who we should add to our next roundup.