I finished Maryland on my reading tour of the US — three books set in each state and written by an author from that state — and as I do every time I finish a state, as soon as I finished Maryland, I made a list of books from the next state I plan to read.
My list for Massachusetts is 14 books long. All of them look compelling. Several of them I am excited about. Many have been on my life-long To Read list. All of them meet my criteria of being set in Massachusetts and written by an author who was either born there ore lived a significant amount of time there (except The Crucible — Arthur Miller only travelled to Salem for research, he did not live there. So I guess that helps me eliminate one from my list).
I’ve read several of these. I read them long ago, though, and I kind of wanted to revisit them. With so many other options of new books to read, I don’t think I’ll be doing any re-reading, though.
I’m going to read Judith Guest’s Ordinary People while I decide. If you have any strong recommendations from this list, please let me know.
- The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
- Secret Harmonies by Andrea Barrett
- Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
- The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass
- The Crucible by Arthur Miller
- The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever
- The Wedding by Dorothy West
- The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O’Connor
- Walden by Henry David Thoreau (read a long time ago)
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (read in recent years)
- The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne (read in recent years)
- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (read in high school; I wrote a paper on it: the first piece of writing I was proud of)
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville (read in recent years)
I think I’ve got the list narrowed to five, but I’m curious to hear from folks who’ve read any of these. Thank you!
2 thoughts on “I’m about to read Massachusetts, and I’m overwhelmed by the possibilities”
I read The Bell Jar recently and it was kind of meh (but is I suppose basically a rite of passage, which is why I read it maybe 20 years later than I ought to’ve). I’ve thought recently about going through The Scarlett Letter again (I had a similar experience with it to yours in high school, so I’ve got a soft spot for it). I’ll always +1 Moby-Dick. 🙂
What interesting way to learn about states. I would particularly enjoy comparing cultures in this way.
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