top 100 New England books

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top 100 New England books

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Redigerat: jun 14, 2009, 4:49pm

Thought this might be of interest to the group... quite a few on this list that I did not even realize were written by local authors. :-)


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?


jun 14, 2009, 5:29pm

You have an impressive list.

Standout New England books for me (but not just fiction):

Howard Mansfield, In the memory house. Essays on how New Englanders really live.

RailTrails New England a manual of abandoned rail lines for the rail buff who isn't always sure about their new life. (Can't we support twice as many trains as now run in NewEngland!)

Inns of New England and the Maritimes by Peter Andrews. This book is inscribed by a former owner of the Homestead in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire.

Rhode Island Dictionary -- a funny book about the way people talk in the state I was born in.

R. A. Scotti, Sudden Sea: the great hurricane of 1938 - significant disaster that hit Rhode Island badly.

Fanny Howe, In the Middle of Nowhere - finally a novel set in RI, also Holy Smoke

I've read "Hackers" and the "Da Vinci Code". The latter is in my library, and the former should be. Also Angels and Demons, which I liked better than the Da Vinci Code and whose movie was also better.

aug 5, 2009, 10:15pm

Nice list; however, it's extremely Massachusetts-centric.

I'd add Jeffrey Lent's In the Fall
Burning Marguerite by Elizabeth Inness-Brown
Why the Devil Chose New England for his Work by Jason Brown.
They seem to have ignored Carolyn Chute's work (can't ignore Strout though now she has a Pulitzer).

aug 6, 2009, 7:49am

I can't believe how many of those I've read.
But where's The Ice Storm?

I was wondering why the touchstone for #87 didn't work properly, and then I saw the Freudian typo. :o)

aug 6, 2009, 9:30am

This list caused a good deal of giggling in my office when we saw first saw it, due in large part to the broadness of the criteria for inclusion: is being written by an author with a vague connection to New England really enough to call something a "New England book"? A list of books by New England authors (however you define that!) would be interesting to see, but calling Sophie's Choice or Memoirs of a Geisha or, indeed, The Da Vinci Code New England books seems pretty silly.

And of course, as with all Top {whatever} lists, the selection of particular books can be argued ad infinitum -- out of the entire King oeuvre, is Carrie really the most representative of New England? And where's Emily Dickinson?

aug 6, 2009, 5:50pm

>7 UPNE: Yes, I was amused with how many entries there were from authors who only went to college in New England. Apparently their definition of "New England Books" is any successful book with even the slightest connection to NE whether it is about NE or not.

aug 6, 2009, 7:51pm

Other omissions:
* Devil and Daniel Webster
* On Golden Pond
* Dogs of March

And while poetry is almost always in the eye of the beholder, hasn't New England had a few poets laureate (Maxine Kumin, Donald Hall, and Charles Simic most recently, but also Louise Bogan, Robert Lowell, and Stanley Kunitz could be counted as they spent a part of their formative years in New England)?

Redigerat: aug 6, 2009, 8:09pm

>9 legallypuzzled: Were they even covering poetry? If so, they would have to include Longfellow's Evangeline which so many of us had to read in school.

Catharine Maria Sedgewick's A New England Tale and Hope Leslie...

These kinds of lists are always controversial and usually designed just to get people talking...and it worked, didn't it? :-)

aug 7, 2009, 6:56pm

Along with "Evangeline" is Paul Revere's Ride. I'm sure I had to read this in school. I see that David Hackett Fischer has a book by the same name (undoubtedly non-fiction). I have his Albion's Seed: four British folkways in America, which is excellent.

aug 8, 2009, 8:58pm

>11 vpfluke: I read the first section (i think it was the 1st) of Albion's Seed in my research last winter.

Redigerat: aug 8, 2009, 11:16pm

Yes, the first part of the book is entitled: EAST ANGLIA TO MASSACHUSETTS: The Exodus of the English Puritans, 1629-41.

I went ahead and put the Table of Contents listing (from LOC) on the book description section.

aug 8, 2009, 11:18pm

For those that are interested, this is the whole Table of Contents for Albion's Seed:

Table of Contents (LOC):
INTRODUCTION The Determinants of a Voluntary Society, 3
EAST ANGLIA TO MASSACHUSETTS: The Exodus of the English Puritans, 1629-41, 13
THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND TO VIRGINIA: Distressed Cavaliers and Indentured Servants, 1642-75, 207
NORTH MIDLANDS TO THE DELAWARE: The Friends' Migration, 1675-1725, 419
BORDERLANDS TO THE BACKCOUNTRY: The Flight from North Britain, 1717-1775, 605
CONCLUSION Four British Folkways in American History: The Origin and Persistence of Regional Cultures in the United States, 783
Acknowledgments, 899
Abbreviations, 903
Sources for Maps, 907
Index, 911