How refreshing that there is a literary prize awarded to "a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place". That's the Ondaatje Prize, and you can see a list of previous winners here, while the shortlist for this year's award has just been announced and comprises:
Thin Paths: Journeys in and around an Italian Mountain Village by Julia Blackburn
Edgelands by Michael Simmonds Roberts and Paul Farley
The Sly Company of People Who Care by Rahul Bhattacharya
Open City by Teju Cole
To the River: A Journey Beneath the Surface by Olivia Laing
Connemara: A Little Gaelic Kingdom by Tim Robinson
I can't say I've read any of the above, but Mr. C. speaks very highly of To the River, Olivia Laing's account of her walk following the Ouse from source to sea one week at midsummer, and it's a book which certainly attracts me. As to other books evoking the spirit of place, I'd offer Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain and The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett for starters. What would you put in that category?