Literary Travel :: To New England

I can’t quite describe what pulls me to New England, I’m not from there – nor is any of my family – but I love it. I love to visit, to read about it, and to watch films from there. Maybe it’s the relaxed preppy vibe, the history, or even the cool blue Atlantic that could tell a thousand stories about the journeys that have taken place across it.

Place: New England. Lobsters, sailing, islands, whale printed pants, history, and so much more!

What to Pack: Preppy casual with a jacket for cool evenings. Boat shoes that you can slide in and out of (and not worry about getting dirty), and a small purse will make things easier. A sailor striped e-reader case and nautical-knot necklace are too cute not to bring! (Click below for more details about the items.)

New England : To Pack

What to Do:

Boston: There is so much to see in this historic, beautiful town. Favorite bookstore? Harvard Bookstore. This is a privately owned bookstore with a very friendly staff, and wonderful selection tables. I also enjoy Salem, and a trip to Massachusetts without a visit to Concord would be sacrilege for a bookworm! Martha’s Vineyard is accessible by bus and ferry – and is worth a trip!

New Hampshire: Portsmouth is such a sweet town. Stay at The Governor’s House. It has a wonderful library and it’s a short distance from the main drag of town (Congress Street), eat at Friendly Toast (because it’s cute… andy yummy), and make sure you stop by River Run Bookstore and say hi to Liberty (aka The Demon Bookseller of Fleet Street, and also my colleague at BookRiot)… take a chance and buy whichever book she recommends; russian roulette for book geeks!

Maine: Kennebunkport… Anywhere you go in this picturesque town is going to thrill you. It’s quintessential coastal Maine. Make sure you try the blueberry pie at Bartley’s Dockside Restaurant. It’s a hole in the wall, but yummy nonetheless!

What to Read:
  • Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead: Preppy wedding on a preppy island combining two preppy families. Mixes humor and depth in a well-written story.
  • Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan: The story of a New England family told through the eyes of three generations of its women. A wonderful, intricate story about family, traditions, and the significance of being a woman. This is a fantastic read.
  • Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup: Amazing non-fiction about an atheist Unitarian chaplain of the Maine Game Warden Service. Incredibly wise, poignant, and breathtaking – it’s a testament to the fact that we humans all have a common thread, no matter where we live or what we believe. You might not want to go backpacking through the Maine wilderness after reading it, but you’ll always remember it from the stories in this book. (One of my favorite books of all time.)

Have you read these titles? What other ones would be New England-y?

9 thoughts on “Literary Travel :: To New England

  1. One of my dreams is to visit the Emily Dickinson Museum (which was her home) in Amherst MA. I even picked out the bed and breakfast I want to stay at :) We were shooting for early November when the leaves are at their most glorious, but now with my new little cat – not sure I can leave him quite yet!

  2. Wallace, Diane Keaton’s house in Something’s Gotta Give makes me want to go to New England. How could it not? That house is gorgeous – talk about a dream home!

  3. We feel the same way…but we love Camden…Richard Russo…and Portland..

    Gelato Fiasco is my fave place for…gelato!

    Camden…is just peaceful and breathtaking…stay at the Grand Harbour Inn…eat at Fresh, Atlantica, and Bistro Francine!
    Go to the Camden Book Store…you might just run in to Richard Russo….
    Trek to Primo’s in Rockland…amazing restaurant and gardens!

  4. I read and loved the Kate Braestrup book, too–such an honest and moving book about her life and work. I was in the Portland/Brunswick area of Maine last month– if you are up that way, there’s a charming independent bookstore in Brunswick called Gulf of Maine. I wish it would move to my neighborhood :)

  5. Pingback: Literary Travel: Where To? | Unputdownables

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