We picked the top books about New England or written by local authors.
Rate the titles, mark “want to read” to add to your reading list, and see how you stack up against other readers. What's your favorite locally grown book?

Text by Chuck Leddy | Globe Correspondent

1.
Book cover for The Autobiography of Malcolm X

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

by Malcolm X, 1965

Much of it set in Boston, where Malcolm X lived and spent time in jail, “The Autobiography” tells the gripping story of how this great man transformed himself from a petty criminal into a martyred, still-inspiring leader of the African-American community.

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1 people have read
0 people want to read
2.
Book cover for Walden

Walden

by Henry David Thoreau, 1854

Perhaps the most important nonfiction book in all American literature. On July 4, 1845, Concord philosopher and curmudgeon Thoreau set out to live in a cabin on Walden Pond, where he sought to “live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

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1 people have read
1 people want to read
3.
Book cover for The Secret Life of Lobsters

The Secret Life of Lobsters

by Trevor Corson, 2005

Boston-based journalist Corson herein tells the story of why Maine’s lobsters were disappearing in the 1980s, focusing on the dual perspectives of lobstermen and marine biologists. Corson entertainingly tells his readers more about lobsters, including their unusual anatomy and unique sex lives, than they’ll learn anywhere else.

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2 people have read
0 people want to read
4.
Book cover for The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar

by Sylvia Plath, 1963

In Boston-born Plath’s semi-autobiographical classic, a talented but deeply troubled young woman returns home to the Boston suburbs, where she descends into mental illness. Plath’s novel has become a feminist classic, and a landmark of confessional-style writing.

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1 people have read
2 people want to read
5.
Book cover for Little Women

Little Women

by Louisa May Alcott, 1868

Loosely based on the author’s own Concord childhood, Alcott’s beloved novel follows the lives of the four March sisters as they struggle to find love and meaning in their lives.

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5 people have read
1 people want to read
6.
Book cover for The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter

by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850

A perennial New England classic about the clash between conscience and community standards in Puritan Massachusetts, as Hester Prynne hides the dark secret of her baby’s father and is publicly condemned for it, while Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale suffers inner torment about his own secret guilt.

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1 people have read
0 people want to read
7.
Book cover for The Old Patagonian Express

The Old Patagonian Express

by Paul Theroux, 1979

The Medford-born travel writer (who graduated from UMass-Amherst) embarks from Boston’s South Station to begin a whirlwind journey south by railway through Mexico, Central and South America. The people Theroux meets and the places he sees are vividly rendered in this absorbing, horizon-extending masterpiece of travel writing.

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1 people have read
0 people want to read
8.
Book cover for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

by Mark Twain, 1889

Written while the legendary humorist was living in Hartford, this classic novel is the story of Hank Morgan, a citizen of Hartford, who awakens one morning to find himself inexplicably transported back in time by over 13 centuries, to the era of legendary King Arthur.

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4 people have read
2 people want to read
9.
Book cover for Three Junes

Three Junes

by Julia Glass, 2002

In the Boston-born Glass’s debut novel, which earned her a National Book Award in 2002, we follow the lives of the McLeod family across the years, as its members grapple with loss, illness, and the challenges of relationships. Glass’s prose is sublime, and her story is structured with the craftsmanship of a master.

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1 people have read
0 people want to read
10.
Book cover for The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Storm

by Sebastian Junger, 1997

Boston-born investigative journalist Junger’s dramatic bestseller follows the ill-fated fishing boat Andrea Gail, and its crew, as she sails out of Gloucester and runs into a lethal nor’easter off the coast of Nova Scotia. A wonderful true-life adventure later made into a terrific film.

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1 people have read
0 people want to read
11.
Book cover for Unaccustomed Earth

Unaccustomed Earth

by Jhumpa Lahiri, 2008

The author grew up in Kingston, R.I., and attended Boston University (where she later taught). “Unaccustomed Earth,” named one of the “ten best books of 2008” by “The New York Times Book Review,” is a gorgeously written collection of short stories that examines the challenges of cross-cultural understanding as characters move between India, Europe, and the United States.

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1 people have read
0 people want to read
12.
Book cover for The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

by Eric Carle, 1969

Beloved by tens of millions of children (and their parents) around the world, Massachusetts resident Carle’s wonderfully illustrated story is about what one extremely hungry caterpillar eats before transforming into a butterfly.

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1 people have read
0 people want to read
13.
Book cover for Catcher in the Rye

Catcher in the Rye

by J.D. Salinger, 1951

The greatest novel about adolescence ever, as New Hampshire resident (and famous recluse) Salinger describes the tribulations of Holden Caulfield as he seeks a place in a world of loss and pain. Salinger’s young narrator is funny, tender, and among the greatest characters in American fiction.

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1 people have read
0 people want to read
14.
Book cover for Waiting

Waiting

by Ha Jin, 1999

Boston-resident Jin’s novel, which won the 1999 National Book Award, is about the love between a married doctor and an unmarried nurse, who first meet in China and are forced to wait 18 years before the doctor can gain a divorce and marry his beloved nurse.

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1 people have read
0 people want to read
15.
Book cover for Love Story

Love Story

by Erich Segal, 1970

A mammoth success as both a novel and a film, “Love Story” is an all-time tearjerker about the young love between a Harvard man and a Radcliffe woman who’s doomed to die young. The classic film line, “love means never having to say you’re sorry,” came from the Harvard-educated Segal’s screenplay.

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0 people want to read
16.
Book cover for A Civil Action

A Civil Action

by Jonathan Harr, 1996

Northampton-resident Harr tells the true story of an epic civil lawsuit concerning the toxic drinking water of Woburn. The bereaved parents of deceased children and their determined lawyer Jan Schlictmann tirelessly pursue the dark truth from two huge companies they accuse of polluting the Woburn water supply.

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3 people have read
1 people want to read
17.
Book cover for On Beauty

On Beauty

by Zadie Smith, 2005

British novelist Smith spent a year teaching at Harvard, helping her create the New England college setting for this award-winning and often-hilarious novel about a British academic and his family. Like much of Smith’s work, “On Beauty” humorously examines the difficulties of cultural identity and the challenges of cross-generational understanding.

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1 people have read
0 people want to read
18.
Book cover for Moby Dick

Moby Dick

by Herman Melville, 1851

Setting sail from Nantucket, the whale ship “Pequod” and its obsessed Captain Ahab cross the globe hunting for the white whale Moby Dick. Melville’s 1851 novel is more than a profound exploration of the New England whaling industry, but also an existential journey into the one man’s dark soul as he grapples with good and evil.

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6 people have read
1 people want to read
19.
Book cover for Mountains Beyond Mountains

Mountains Beyond Mountains

by Tracy Kidder, 2004

This compassionate, inspiring 2003 biography tells the story of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Cambridge resident and physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Farmer, a specialist in infectious diseases, sacrifices his time, his money, and more to bring world-class healthcare to impoverished nations like Haiti.

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1 people have read
0 people want to read
20.
Book cover for All Souls

All Souls

by Michael Patrick McDonald, 2000

A gut-wrenching memoir about the author’s anguished, tragedy-filled childhood in the housing projects of South Boston. McDonald’s simply-crafted story, as good a rendering of the Irish-American experience as anything ever written, achieves a haunting, lyrical grace through the unadorned way it depicts the tragedies of drug abuse, alcoholism, loss, survival and, ultimately, redemption.

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1 people have read
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21.
Book cover for A Prayer For Owen Meany

A Prayer For Owen Meany

by John Irving, 1989

New Hampshire novelist Irving tells the story of John Wheelwright and his boyhood best friend Owen Meany as they grow up in a New Hampshire town in the 1950s and '60s. Irving's engaging novel explores, with a vivid New England setting, the subjects of tragedy and redemption, loss, and family.

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1 people have read
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22.
Book cover for Friends of Eddie Coyle

Friends of Eddie Coyle

by George V. Higgins, 1972

The Brockton-born Higgins, a former Boston Globe writer and top Boston lawyer, herein tells the story of Boston’s Irish-American underworld through the experiences of small time gangster Eddie Coyle. Higgins’s acclaimed 1972 novel was turned into a gritty 1973 film starring Robert Mitchum (as Coyle) that remains the best movie ever made about Boston.

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1 people have read
2 people want to read
23.
Book cover for Requiem, Mass.

Requiem, Mass.

by John Dufresne, 2008

Born in Worcester, novelist Dufresne takes us to the fictional Requiem, Mass., where he tells the hilarious and tenderhearted story of a son's attempts to save his crazy family.

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1 people have read
0 people want to read
24.
Book cover for Make Way For Ducklings

Make Way For Ducklings

by Robert McCloskey, 1941

This wonderful, award-winning children’s picture book tells the story of a family of ducks that decide to make their home on an island in the middle of the lagoon in the Boston Common. A bronze statue of these determined ducks is today among the most popular attractions in the Boston Common.

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4 people have read
3 people want to read
25.
Book cover for Empire Falls

Empire Falls

by Richard Russo, 2001

Set in the fictional town of Empire Falls, Maine, an old mill town that’s seen better days, Russo’s Pulitzer-winning novel centers on Miles Roby, manager of the Empire Grill, who watches his business, his town, and his family deteriorate around him.

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4 people have read
0 people want to read
26.
Book cover for Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web

by E.B. White, 1952

Inspired by his time spent in the barn near his Maine farmhouse, White’s beloved children’s classic tells the story of a plucky spider determined to save a pig from getting slaughtered by the farmer. The 1952 book, like everything White wrote, is a masterpiece of simple, elegant prose.

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2 people have read
0 people want to read
27.
Book cover for The Weight of Water

The Weight of Water

by Anita Shreve, 1997

Shreve’s bestselling historical novel speculates about what really happened in the case of the Smuttynose Island murders of 1873, when two New Hampshire women were murdered on the island. The Longmeadow author is a graduate of Dedham High School and Tufts University.

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2 people have read
1 people want to read
28.
Book cover for A Separate Peace

A Separate Peace

by John Knowles, 1959

Knowles's semi-autobiographical debut novel tells of a prep school friendship between two boys that is psychologically complex and hauntingly told. The Devon School of the novel is based on Knowles’ alma mater, Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.

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1 people have read
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29.
Book cover for Strong Motion

Strong Motion

by Jonathan Franzen, 1992

The author’s second novel, this 1992 book centers on an unusual topic, earthquakes in Boston. Louis Holland arrives in the Hub in time for seismic mayhem, with one of the quakes killing his grandmother, and then falls in love with a Harvard seismologist.

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0 people have read
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30.
Book cover for Revere Beach Boulevard

Revere Beach Boulevard

by Ronald Merullo, 1999

Born in Boston and raised in Revere, Merullo’s gripping novel tells the story of mobster and loan shark Eddie Crevine, who probably faces as much danger from his real Italian-American family (especially his TV reporter sister trying to expose him) as from his mob associates.

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0 people have read
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31.
Book cover for The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code

by Dan Brown, 2003

Born in Exeter, N.H., Brown has become one of the giants of contemporary fiction. In this wildly popular mystery novel, Brown’s plot describes the efforts of Robert Langdon, professor of religious symbology at Harvard University, trying to solve the murder of renowned curator Jacques Saunière of Paris’s Louvre Museum.

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0 people have read
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32.
Book cover for The Enormous Room

The Enormous Room

by e.e. cummings, 1922

The legendary Cambridge-born and Harvard-educated poet wrote this great novel largely based upon his experiences as a captured ambulance driver who spent months in a World War I prison camp.

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0 people have read
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33.
Book cover for Welcome to the Monkey House

Welcome to the Monkey House

by Kurt Vonnegut, 1968

The late, great novelist formerly lived in Barnstable, on Cape Cod, where he once ran a Saab auto dealership. This 1968 short story collection includes some of Vonnegut’s most experimental and finest fiction.

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0 people have read
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34.
Book cover for The Bostonians

The Bostonians

by Henry James, 1886

In the prolific author’s famous 1886 novel, Mississippi lawyer and Civil War veteran Basil Ransom visits his cousin Olive Chancellor in Boston, where the conservative southerner falls in love with a beautiful Boston feminist.

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0 people have read
0 people want to read
35.
Book cover for The Good Mother

The Good Mother

by Sue Miller, 1986

Smith College professor and Oprah-approved author Miller wrote this inspiring 1986 novel about divorced mother (and Boston-resident) Anna Dunlap, who fights against her ex-husband for custody of their daughter Molly.

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0 people have read
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36.
Book cover for Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha

by Arthur Golden, 1997

In this mega-bestselling novel later adapted for Hollywood, Brookline resident Golden takes us inside the mysterious world of Japanese geisha girls working in Kyoto before World War II.

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0 people have read
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37.
Book cover for Death at an Early Age

Death at an Early Age

by Jonathan Koziol, 1967

First published in 1967, Kozol's book describes how segregation damaged the lives of African-American students in the Boston Public Schools. It would have a major impact on the school desegregation crisis of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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0 people have read
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38.
Book cover for The Varieties of Religious Experience

The Varieties of Religious Experience

by William James, 1905

The renowned psychologist and philosopher, and older brother of novelist Henry, spent his entire academic career at Harvard. In this his most famous work, James used science to interpret religious experience, exploring the fascinating interconnections between psychology and faith.

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0 people have read
0 people want to read
39.
Book cover for Profiles in Courage

Profiles in Courage

by John F. Kennedy, 1955

This Pulitzer-winning history tells the stories of several courageous American statesmen who did the right thing even in the face of unpopularity. Written when he was a freshman senator from Massachusetts, Kennedy’s 1955 book focuses on, among others, New England political giants such as John Quincy Adams and Daniel Webster.

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0 people have read
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40.
Book cover for The Call of Cthulhu

The Call of Cthulhu

by H.P. Lovecraft, 1928

Providence-born Lovecraft’s creepy short story follows a trail of manuscripts in order to unwind a frightening truth. This one will scare you and keep you in its scarifying grip until its final sentences.

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0 people have read
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41.
Book cover for A Walk In The Woods

A Walk In The Woods

by Bill Bryson, 1998

The author, a longtime New Hampshire resident, describes his hilarious adventures hiking the Appalachian Trail with a friend. Like all of Bryson’s work, this account is elegantly written, meticulously detailed, and will leave you laughing so hard your stomach will hurt.

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0 people have read
1 people want to read
42.
Book cover for One L

One L

by Scott Turow, 1997

Turow’s bestselling account describes his experiences as a first year law student (a 1L) at Harvard Law School, where he’s forced to compete with the best while continually seeking to understand his own motivations for becoming a lawyer.

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0 people have read
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43.
Book cover for The Emperor's Children

The Emperor's Children

by Claire Messud, 2006

Somerville resident and Yale graduate Messud wrote this bestselling, critically acclaimed 2006 novel about three privileged friends in their early thirties, living in Manhattan in the months before Sept. 11, 2001, and their struggles to achieve lofty expectations in their personal and professional lives.

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0 people have read
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44.
Book cover for Looking Backward

Looking Backward

by Edward Bellamy, 1888

The author lived in western Massachusetts and wrote this 1888 utopian novel (really Bellamy’s vision of an ideal socialist future) about a man who wakes up in the Boston of 2000, a century after going to sleep in 1887.

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0 people have read
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45.
Book cover for Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road

by Richard Yates, 1961

Bostonian Yates, surely among America’s most woefully under-appreciated novelists, tells the story of a married couple, Frank and April Wheeler (played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett in the recent film adaptation) trapped in the spiritual wasteland of 1950s suburban Connecticut.

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0 people have read
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46.
Book cover for Massachusetts

Massachusetts

by Nancy Zaroulis, 1991

A massive historical novel with epic ambitions, Massachusetts resident Zaroulis tells the story of the Revells family, from their arrival on the Mayflower, to their participation in the first Thanksgiving, the Salem witch trials, the American Revolution, and beyond.

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0 people have read
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47.
Book cover for Not Without Peril

Not Without Peril

by Nicholas Howe, 2000

The author, a resident of Jackson, N.H., offers breathtaking profiles of 22 climbers who found danger on New Hampshire’s Presidential Range (in the White Mountains) from 1849 to 1994.

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0 people have read
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48.
Book cover for The Rise of Silas Lapham

The Rise of Silas Lapham

by William Dean Howells, 1884

A longtime editor at the then Boston-based Atlantic Monthly magazine, where he edited Mark Twain, Howells also had a distinguished writing career. In his 1885 novel about Boston during the Gilded Age, he tells the rags to riches (and back to rags again) story of the title character, who must choose between wealth and doing what’s right.

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49.
Book cover for Bringing Down the House

Bringing Down the House

by Ben Mezrich, 2003

Boston-resident and Harvard graduate Mezrich here tells the exciting true story of a group of MIT students who used their mathematical genius to beat the Las Vegas casinos at blackjack.

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0 people have read
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50.
Book cover for The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood, 1985

Born in Canada but educated at Radcliffe College and then Harvard, Atwood tells the story of a futuristic society that subjugates women with its totalitarian brand of Christianity. In addition to winning her numerous awards, the popular novel has also garnered Atwood a great deal of controversy.

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0 people have read
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51.
Book cover for Team of Rivals

Team of Rivals

by Doris Kearns Goodwin, 2005

The perennially bestselling Massachusetts historian, and huge Red Sox fan, herein describes how our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, brilliantly led the nation with the help of a Cabinet filled with his former political rivals.

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52.
Book cover for The City Below

The City Below

by James Carroll, 1996

Boston resident and longtime Boston Globe columnist Carroll, in his award-winning 1994 novel, tells the compelling saga of two Boston Irish brothers, Nick and Terry Doyle, working to move beyond the working-class streets of Charlestown in order to find success in the wider world.

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53.
Book cover for Blue Hill Avenue

Blue Hill Avenue

by Mark Mirsky, 1972

Born in Boston and a Harvard graduate, novelist Mirsky wrote this humorous and scathing portrait of the Jewish community around Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester in 1972, as one of three novels about that same community.

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54.
Book cover for The Wapshot Chronicle

The Wapshot Chronicle

by John Cheever, 1957

Born in Quincy, Cheever spent his career writing about suburban WASPs from New England and New York. In this 1957 novel, which won him a National Book Award, Cheever tells the story of an eccentric family living in a Massachusetts fishing village.

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0 people have read
1 people want to read
55.
Book cover for Einstein's Dreams

Einstein's Dreams

by Alan Lightman, 1992

MIT professor Lightman’s 1992 novel is a fictional account of young Albert Einstein as he was developing his groundbreaking theory of relativity. The book consists of 30 chapters, each exploring one dream of Einstein’s during this crucial period.

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56.
Book cover for Girl, Interrupted

Girl, Interrupted

by Susanna Kaysen, 1993

In this 1993 bestselling memoir, Cambridge’s Kaysen tells of her own experiences as a young patient in a psychiatric hospital, Belmont’s McLean Hospital, in the 1960s. Winona Ryder played Kaysen in the film adaptation.

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57.
Book cover for The Secret History

The Secret History

by Donna Tartt, 1992

Started while she studied at Bennington College in Vermont, Tartt’s dark 1992 novel is set in a New England college and centers on a close-knit group of six students and their professor of classics. A murder radically changes their relationships.

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58.
Book cover for Blanche Cleans Up

Blanche Cleans Up

by Barbara Neely, 1999

Blanche White, the character upon whom Jamaica Plain novelist Neely has based a series of addictive mysteries, is both amateur detective and a queen-sized, middle-aged, working-class black woman. In this mystery, complications ensue after Blanche gets suckered into standing in as cook-housekeeper for Allister Brindle, a Boston Brahmin politician, and his do-gooder wife.

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59.
Book cover for Two Years Before The Mast

Two Years Before The Mast

by Richard Henry Dana, 1940

Dana’s classic maritime story details his real-life adventures as a common sailor during a two-year voyage that began in Boston. The Cambridge-born and Harvard-educated Dana would go on to become one of the great lawyers in American history.

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60.
Book cover for The Late George Apley

The Late George Apley

by John P. Marquand, 2004

Through the memorable character of the Harvard-educated George Apley, Marquand satirizes the upper-class pretensions of Boston’s Beacon Hill Brahmins. The popular novel won the author (an alum of Newburyport High School and Harvard) a Pulitzer Prize in 1938.

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61.
Book cover for Couples

Couples

by John Updike, 1968

The late novelist, and longtime Massachusetts resident, tells the story of adultery in a small Massachusetts town, as Protestant traditions clash with 1960s-style sexual liberation. The then-controversial 1968 novel earned Updike a place on the cover of Time magazine, wherein he discussed changing American sexual mores.

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62.
Book cover for Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge

by Elizabeth Strout, 2008

Set in Crosby, Maine, Strout's one-of-a-kind novel offers 13 inter-related stories about the life and times of the title character, a sometimes curmudgeonly retired math teacher who bemoans the failings of her students, her town, and those around her. Yet Strout (born in Portland, Maine) humanizes Olive, making us sympathize with her sense of loss and sadness.

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63.
Book cover for Boston Boy

Boston Boy

by Nat Hentoff, 1986

This is journalist and free speech advocate Hentoff's searing, self-deprecating memoir about growing up in Roxbury in the 1930s and '40s, where he faced bullying and anti-Semitic taunting. And where Hentoff also developed his lifelong devotion to jazz music.

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64.
Book cover for She's Come Undone

She's Come Undone

by Wally Lamb, 1992

Raised by a working class family in Norwich, Conn., novelist Lamb tells the unlucky coming-of-age story of Dolores Price from childhood to middle age. Dolores confronts divorced parents, obesity, and worse, but fights hard for something better.

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65.
Book cover for Cod

Cod

by Mark Kurlansky, 1997

A huge bestseller about the history and impact of cod and the cod fishing industry on the world, especially on New England. The Hartford-born Kurlansky shows in his highly accessible account how this "fish that changed the world" has triggered wars, provided jobs to generations of people, and impacted global cuisine.

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66.
Book cover for The Prince of Providence

The Prince of Providence

by Mike Stanton, 2003

A compelling biography of former Providence mayor Buddy Cianci who, despite being haunted by corruption and criminal charges, revitalized the Rhode Island capital city through hard work and his "colorful" political style in the mold of James Michael Curley's.

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67.
Book cover for Self-Reliance

Self-Reliance

by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841

The clearest, best-known statement of Emerson’s Transcendentalist philosophy, “Self-Reliance” commands its readers to follow the dictates of their own consciences, no matter the consequences of opposing convention. The Concord sage’s wisdom still resonates: “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”

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68.
Book cover for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

by Junot Diaz, 2007

Fiction master Diaz, who’s a professor at MIT, paints an immigrant family’s saga on a broad canvas, spreading from the Dominican Republic to New Jersey. At times hilarious, experimental, and always gripping, Diaz’s one-of-a-kind, Pulitzer-winning novel has been described as “astoundingly great” by Time magazine.

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69.
Book cover for Summer of '49

Summer of '49

by David Halberstam, 1989

The late, great journalist tells the story of the dramatic 1949 American League pennant race, as the Red Sox and Yankees slugged it out for baseball supremacy. Halberstam focuses on the two rival superstars, showing how Boston’s Ted Williams and New York’s Joe DiMaggio drove their teams forward with stunning individual brilliance.

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70.
Book cover for The Rascal King

The Rascal King

by Jack Beatty, 2000

A thoroughly researched and eye-opening biography of James Michael Curley, former mayor of Boston and paragon of a bygone style of Irish-American politics. In Bostonian Beatty's fine rendering, the fascinating Curley was both a scoundrel and master of populist politics.

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71.
Book cover for Affliction

Affliction

by Russell Banks, 1989

In Banks's novel, a has-been New Hampshire sheriff named Wade Whitehouse moves from disappointment into outright criminality. Narrated by Wade's equally troubled brother, Banks's disturbing story is a spellbinding masterpiece of contemporary American noir.

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1 people want to read
72.
Book cover for Common Ground

Common Ground

by J. Anthony Lukas, 1985

This exhaustively researched, wonderfully written account of the Boston school desegregation crisis of the early 1970s is investigative reporting at its all-time best. The inexhaustible Lukas followed the story from every angle, from City Hall to the Federal Courthouse to the lives of the children and families (black and white) impacted by the passionate divisions over federally mandated school desegregation.

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0 people have read
2 people want to read
73.
Book cover for Ethan Frome

Ethan Frome

by Edith Wharton, 1911

Wharton spent much of her childhood in Newport, R.I. This 1911 novel explores a tragic love triangle, as a poor New England farmer endures a miserable marriage, but everything changes when his wife’s beautiful sister arrives.

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74.
Book cover for Infinite Jest

Infinite Jest

by David Foster Wallace, 1996

Amherst College graduate Wallace published this voluminous, cult favorite novel in 1996. Set in Boston, the novel "Infinite Jest" is the story of the addictive film “Infinite Jest,” particularly how it affects a halfway house for recovering addicts and a nearby tennis academy, and the many organizations trying to obtain the film for their own purposes.

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75.
Book cover for Paul Revere's Ride

Paul Revere's Ride

by David Hackett Fischer, 1995

A renowned American historian, and Brandeis professor, examines what really happened on that fateful Massachusetts night of April 18, 1775, separating legend from fact, and uncovering truths far more interesting than the myths created by the likes of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and others.

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76.
Book cover for Carrie

Carrie

by Stephen King, 1974

Maine horrormaster King’s stunning 1974 debut novel tells the dark tale of teenage misfit Carrie White, who’s tormented by her mother and Maine high school classmates until one day she transforms into a vengeful demon who makes them all pay for her humiliation.

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77.
Book cover for John Adams

John Adams

by David McCullough, 2001

A brilliant and entertaining biography of Quincy's own John Adams, exploring his New England upbringing and his central role in moving the American colonies toward independence. The unique relationship between Adams and wife Abigail is also a fascinating focus of McCullough's narrative.

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78.
Book cover for Blues

Blues

by John Hersey, 1987

On Martha's Vineyard, an old fisherman befriends a young man and they discuss life, nature, and fishing. For anyone who loves the outdoors in New England, especially Cape Cod, this wondrous book is a must-read.

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79.
Book cover for Breath, Eyes, Memory

Breath, Eyes, Memory

by Edwidge Danticat, 1994

Having earned her MFA from Brown University in Providence, the brilliant Danticat has become a leading literary voice concerning the pains of exile. Danticat's debut novel tells the unforgettable coming-of-age story of Sophie Caco, as she grows up in her native Haiti and later moves to New York.

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80.
Book cover for Mayflower

Mayflower

by Nathaniel Philbrick, 2006

Nantucket-resident Philbrick, in this bestselling account, tells how it all started with the voyage of the “Mayflower” and the difficult early decades of Plymouth Plantation. Philbrick makes it clear that the idyllic vision of Pilgrims and Indians living in harmony was not the reality, as he concludes his page-turning narrative with the brutality of King Philip’s War waged across New England in the late 17th century.

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81.
Book cover for Mystic River

Mystic River

by Dennis Lehane, 2001

Dorchester-born Lehane’s gritty 2001 crime novel about three boyhood friends from Boston caught in a web of tragedy also became an Oscar-winning film starring Sean Penn. Mystery master Lehane has recently begun crossing genres, and his latest novel, “The Given Day” (historical fiction) may be his best work yet.

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82.
Book cover for The Last Hurrah

The Last Hurrah

by Edwin O'Connor, 1956

The classic 1956 story by the Providence-born O’Connor is about old-style Boston politics as practiced by the likes of former Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, when showing up at Irish wakes, pressing the flesh, and knowing every ward boss’s name were keys to political success.

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83.
Book cover for Tuesdays With Morrie

Tuesdays With Morrie

by Mitch Albom, 1997

This mega-bestselling memoir describes the author’s time spent with his dying former professor, Morrie Schwartz, who taught at Brandeis University and who inspiringly shared his wisdom about life, love, spirituality, and death.

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84.
Book cover for Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel

Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel

by Virginia Lee Burton, 1939

Published in 1939, this classic story by the Gloucester-based author has delighted generations of children. Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and help build cities.

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85.
Book cover for Our Town

Our Town

by Thornton Wilder, 1938

First performed in 1938, Wilder’s masterpiece is set in the quintessentially American town of Grover’s Corners, N.H. and follows the lives of its inhabitants. Wilder wrote much of this classic, much-performed play in New Hampshire’s MacDowell Colony for artists.

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86.
Book cover for Hackers

Hackers

by Steve Levy, 1984

In his informative and hugely entertaining 1984 book, Levy (who lives in western Massachusetts) describes the history and unique subculture of hackers, showing how they’ve helped the development of computer technology. Needless to say, much of Levy’s gripping tale is set at the center of the hacking universe, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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87.
Book cover for Nineteen Minutes

Nineteen Minutes

by Jodi Picoult, 2007

Hanover, N.H. novelist Picoult, educated at Harvard, here describes the fictional town of Sterling, N.H., where not much ever happens until one shocking act of violence occurs. In Picoult’s wildly popular novel (a book club favorite), Sterling's residents then seek justice, understanding, and healing.

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88.
Book cover for Science and Health With Key To The Scriptures

Science and Health With Key To The Scriptures

by Mary Baker Eddy, 1875

Born in New Hampshire and founder of the Boston-based Christian Science Church, Eddy wrote this 1875 book, which has become a “textbook” for Christian Scientists, to show the connection between Christianity and health.

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89.
Book cover for Practical Magic

Practical Magic

by Alice Hoffman, 1996

Cambridge-resident Hoffman’s 1996 novel, set in a Massachusetts town, is a complex story centered on Sally and Gillian Owens, a tale that combines magic and mystery to create something unforgettable.

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90.
Book cover for Sophie's Choice

Sophie's Choice

by William Styron, 1979

The great novelist lived his later years on Martha’s Vineyard and is buried there. In this his best-known novel, and one of the best novels about the Holocaust, readers learn of Sophie's anguished personal story, and how the sweep and brutality of history haunt one woman’s life.

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91.
Book cover for The House of Sand and Fog

The House of Sand and Fog

by Andre Dubus III, 2000

Massachusetts novelist Dubus grippingly tells the story of the American Dream gone wrong, as an Iranian immigrant, a single American woman, and a sheriff engage in an escalating struggle over possession of a house.

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92.
Book cover for Peyton Place

Peyton Place

by Grace Metalious, 1956

Manchester, N.H. novelist Metalious created a classic piece of entertainingly addictive, trashy fiction that shocked 1950s America. This epically popular 1956 novel tells the juicy story of behind-closed-doors sex, adultery, and murder in a small, “proper” New Hampshire town.

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93.
Book cover for The Education of Henry Adams

The Education of Henry Adams

by Henry Adams, 1918

Perhaps the best autobiography/memoir ever written, the Boston-born Henry Adams tells his own (and America’s) story of growing up in the mid to late 19th century with profound self-understanding, especially about the weight of his family’s famous history and the melancholy inevitability of technical change as a new century looms.

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94.
Book cover for The Promised Land (a Spenser novel)

The Promised Land (a Spenser novel)

by Robert B. Parker, 1992

The Springfield-born detective novelist, creator of the Spenser P.I. series, here offers his fourth Spenser novel. The 1976 book shows Spenser on Cape Cod but soon caught in the middle of a murder investigation involving his wife and the mob.

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95.
Book cover for The Crucible

The Crucible

by Arthur Miller, 1953

Playwright Miller’s legendary 1952 drama depicts the hypocrisy and injustice of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials in order to indirectly attack the hypocrisy and injustice of a 1950s America dominated by paranoid Cold Warriors such as Senator Joseph McCarthy.

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96.
Book cover for Little Children

Little Children

by Tom Perrotta, 2005

Belmont-resident Perotta’s acclaimed 2004 novel tells the dark, though often funny, tale of a suburban Boston town and its summer of sex, lies, and lurking danger. Perotta’s novel was adapted into an award-winning 2006 film starring Kate Winslet.

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97.
Book cover for Boston Adventure

Boston Adventure

by Jean Stafford, 1944

A fiction writer renowned for her exquisite prose style, Stafford lived in Boston, was married to Boston-born poet Robert Lowell, and wrote this her first novel about the city’s snobbery. Stafford’s protagonist is working-class immigrant Sonie Marburg, who searches for love and meaning in her life, while Boston’s conservative social structures barely recognizes her existence.

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98.
Book cover for On The Road

On The Road

by Jack Kerouac, 1957

Lowell-born Kerouac’s great road novel remains a monument of the entire Beat Generation. Kerouac’s improvisational, experimental writing style, and his unconventional way of living, is everywhere on display in this classic 1957 story about freedom, the open road, friendship, art, and adventure.

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99.
Book cover for One Boy's Boston

One Boy's Boston

by Samuel Eliot Morison, 1962

Born in Boston in 1887, Morison became a renowned maritime historian. This small volume tells about his early childhood in Boston, from 1887 to 1901, as Morison grew up in a family steeped in New England history.

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100.
Book cover for Housekeeping

Housekeeping

by Marilynne Robinson, 1980

A novelist who graduated from Providence’s Pembroke College and has taught creative writing at UMass-Amherst, Robinson has written three landmark novels in her three decades of writing. “Housekeeping” is the story, and the spiritual journey, of Ruth and her sister Lucille as they confront loss and seek their place in the world.

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