New England Book List

This list is a work in progress. A book’s presence on the list is not necessarily a recommendation — I have not read most of them! Nor is it an exhaustive catalog; many authors listed have written other books set in New England as well, so I hope you will use these suggestions as a basis for your own exploration. Additional recommendations are very welcome.

Unless otherwise indicated, books are contemporary (or near-contemporary) fiction. Abbreviations used are C=Children’s, D=Drama, HF=Historical Fiction, M=Mystery, NF=Nonfiction, SF=Speculative Fiction, YA=Young Adult. Links are to Goodreads (except for drama, which are mostly from Wikipedia).

New Hampshire



Massachusetts: Fiction

Massachusetts: Nonfiction

Rhode Island




  • Anne Bradstreet
  • Phillis Wheatley
  • James Russell Lowell
  • Edwin Arlington Robinson
  • Celia Thaxter
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Robert Frost
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Elizabeth Bishop
  • Adrienne Rich
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Amy Lowell
  • Robert Lowell
  • Mark Doty
  • Jane Kenyon
  • Marge Piercy
  • Stanley Kunitz
  • Anne Sexton
  • Mary Oliver
  • Donald Hall
  • Maxine Kumin

6 thoughts on “New England Book List

  1. A few suggestions for readers of speculative fiction like me 🙂
    I really like Marked by Sarah Fine (Servants of Fate #1) which is set in Boston.
    I highly recommended. I hope to finish the series this year.
    I would like to read Guards of the Shadowlands series, also by Sarah FIne (parts of the series are set in Providence, RI)
    Paranormal romance Providence (Providence #1), by Jamie McGuire is set up in RI
    Another book I started that I’d like to finish is After Days (After Days Trilogy #1) by Scott Medbury set up in RI, MA and NH
    an old but beautiful classic: Love Story, by Erich Segal set up in RI and MA


  2. Just discovered your wonderful blog and this list of many new (to me) treasures. Thank you, Lory.

    Here are a couple of suggestions for additions to the Maine list. Mary Ellen Chase wrote several novels set there, my favorite of which is Windswept. Ms. Chase taught at Smith College and was a respected author in the early 20th century. Elisabeth Ogilvie wrote adult and young adult novels set in Maine. Her series about the Bennett family, the first of which is High Tide at Noon, describes the lives of coastal fishermen and their families.


  3. I love this list. It is a joy to me that my Spider in a Tree is on it, since it’s so very much a New England book. When I first moved from Colorado, where I grew up, to Boston in 1983, I was a bit lonely. I carried Moby Dick with me everywhere, trying to get to know New England. It kind of worked — and I’ve lived in Massachusetts ever since. It’s been Northampton for decades, and I was just reading passages in Moby Dick again this morning. Good to have my work on the list with it and all of these other good books. Thrive. Susan


    1. Thank you for visiting, Susan! I love Small Beer Press and I found your book by poking around on their site. I have not yet read it, but after reading New England Bound I’m even more interested to explore that time in New England history.


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