My Favorite Books About New England

West Quoddy Head Light in Lubec, Maine

West Quoddy Head Light in Lubec, Maine

I was thinking as I posted my old high school reading list for English class that I should start a few lists of my own.  Here’s my first attempt at a book list for one of my favorite subjects – New England!  I’ll add more titles as I think of them.

Adult Fiction:

  • The Running of the Tide by Esther Forbes – Life by the sea in Salem, Massachusetts.
  • Joy Street by Frances Parkinson Keys – Boston life on Beacon Hill.
  • Look to the Mountain by LeGrand Cannon Jr. – Life in New Hampshire during the colonial period.
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville – New England whalers encounter a great white whale.
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton – Thwarted love amid a New England backdrop.  Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount, is open to the public in Massachusetts.
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne – A woman’s sin in the early days of the Massachusetts colony.
  • The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne – A very intriguing (real) house in Massachusetts.  Currently open to the public as a museum.  You’ll learn the definition of a gable on the tour.
  • The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett – Stories about a woman who lives in a seaside town in Maine.
  • The Crucible by Arthur Miller – Witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts.  A sad time in history!

Adult Non Fiction:

  • In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick – The real story that led to Herman Melville’s Moby Dick!
  • The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favorite Crustacean by Trevor Corson – Way more than you ever wanted to know about lobsters, but VERY interesting.  Visit the Maine Lobster Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine, to see the creatures at all stages of their life.
  • John Adams by David McCullough – Life of Massachusetts patriot John Adams and his contributions to the creation of the U.S.A!  John Adams’ home is National Historic Park in Massachusetts.


  • There’s a Porcupine in My Outhouse by Michael J. Tougias – Very fun memoir about buying a Vermont cabin and learning to love the outdoors.
  • My Life in the Maine Woods: A Game Warden’s Wife in the Allagash Country by Annette Jackson – A woman’s life in the backwoods of Maine.
  • One Man’s Meat by E.B. White – Daily life on a Maine farm.  Farm life isn’t as easy as one may think!
  • When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine by Monica Wood – Growing up in a mill town.

Young Adult:

  • My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier – Young boy serving in the American Revolution.
  • Sam The Minuteman by Nathaniel Benchley – Life for a young boy at the Battle of Lexington
  • Six Silver Spoons by Janette Sebring Lowrey – Young boy and girl on the eve of the American Revolution
  • Children of the Mayflower by Elfrida Vipont – Young kids traveling on the Mayflower


  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey – Ducklings in Boston.
  • Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – The well-known poem about the New England patriot Paul Revere.


  • Nautilus 90 North by Commander William R. Anderson, U.S.N. – A memoir by the man who commanded the submarine Nautilus to reach the North pole.  I’ve included this one because the Nautilus is on display at the Submarine Force Museum in Groton, Connecticut.

2 thoughts on “My Favorite Books About New England

  1. I’ll have to see if I can find some of the books on your young adult list for my (almost) 14 yr. old grandson Sam. Will look for myself off the adult list too. Thanks!
    ((I’m catching up on your blog news).

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