Today I’m excited to announce the launch of an idea I’ve been mulling over for some time: Reading New England, a year-long challenge intended to draw attention to the wonderful writers and books of the six New England states, along with publishers, booksellers, literary locations, and more. Each month will have a special focus, and readers will be encouraged to choose books from those twelve categories if they wish, but there are no requirements other than to read at least one title that falls within the general theme.
Why “read New England”? I was born and grew up far to the west, but since moving back to the land of my fathers (literally — my father’s hometown is 1 hour away and he went to school and summer camp in my state) I’ve been inspired to learn more about the past and present of this beautiful, historic region. Whether you live in the United States or elsewhere, I hope you’ll find that focusing our attention on the authors and books of New England can be a fascinating window into a place with a long and proud literary history.
Some possibilities for your reading consideration:
- New Hampshire: Amos Fortune Free Man, A Separate Peace, Our Town
- Maine: The Country of the Pointed Firs, The Secret Life of Lobsters, Carrie
- Vermont: The Secret History, Understood Betsy, Midwives
- Massachusetts: Mayflower, Nightbirds on Nantucket, The Wapshot Chronicle
- Rhode Island: The Witches of Eastwick, Theophilus North, The Great Hurricane 1938
- Connecticut: The Witch of Blackbird Pond, I Know This Much Is True, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
An official sign-up post will go up on December 1st, with further information. Since a giveaway is always a fun incentive for challenge participants, I can assure you that there will be one or more — details to come!
I’ll also be hoping to incorporate posts from guest bloggers who live in or have a connection to the various New England states and would love to hear from you if you’re interested. I’d also love to gather suggestions of books and authors that you think should be included on our reading lists. Use #ReadNewEngland on Twitter, feel free to grab the button, and start getting ready!
Are you as excited for this event as I am? Any reading plans, ideas for guest posts, or other suggestions?