10 books like Clueless in New England

By Michael C. Dooling,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Clueless in New England. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Devil in the White City

By Erik Larson,

Book cover of The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

The Devil in the White City transported me back in time, to the 1893 World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago. I love the way the author wove together the history of the exposition and the story of a serial killer who got away with murder, just miles away from the lavish world’s fair. Erik Larson is a skillful storyteller and the juxtaposition of art, history, and horror made this book hard to put down.   

The Devil in the White City

By Erik Larson,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Devil in the White City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Chicago World Fair was the greatest fair in American history. This is the story of the men and women whose lives it irrevocably changed and of two men in particular- an architect and a serial killer. The architect is Daniel Burnham, a man of great integrity and depth. It was his vision of the fair that attracted the best minds and talents of the day. The killer is Henry H. Holmes. Intelligent as well as handsome and charming, Holmes opened a boarding house which he advertised as 'The World's Fair Hotel' Here in the neighbourhood where he was once…

In Cold Blood

By Truman Capote,

Book cover of In Cold Blood

Always on the Top 100 Lists of Best Books Ever, Capote's masterpiece tells the story of the senseless, brutal killing of a rural Kansas farming family in 1959. It is beautifully written from start to finish, and in a somewhat understated way. He defines his book as a “nonfiction novel,” employing fictional storytelling devices based on actual facts of the murder investigation and the various colorful town characters. Gripping and unrelentingly emotional, this book will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

In Cold Blood

By Truman Capote,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked In Cold Blood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The chilling true crime 'non-fiction novel' that made Truman Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative published in Penguin Modern Classics.

Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly…


The Man From the Cave

By Colin Fletcher,

Book cover of The Man From the Cave

Mysteries also are a part of historical true crime, including people who were (or still are) missing and/or those who lived under changed identities. In the Nevada desert in 1968, Fletcher literally bumped into a trunk filled with decades-old possessions. Whose were they? Fletcher then documented his own investigation as he managed to find newspaper articles and National Archive records to piece together an old prospector's life. Armchair sleuths and others who are proficient in searching the internet today will find this book is a real eye-opener, as it shows what it was like to reconstruct a person's hidden life, without even getting online. For Fletcher, the process evolved a bonus –– a spiritual adventure of his own.

The Man From the Cave

By Colin Fletcher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Man From the Cave as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

By John Berendt,

Book cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

On an early trip to Savannah, I stayed a block from the mansion where the murder at the heart of John Berendt’s bestselling book took place and where the movie was filmed. I wrote much of my own book in another apartment not far away. In my writing, I was inspired by the way Berendt included himself in his story and I decided to incorporate some of my own struggles to uncover the truth about the brutal murder of William K. Dean.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

By John Berendt,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Genteel society ladies who compare notes on their husbands' suicides. A hilariously foul-mouthed black drag queen. A voodoo priestess who works her roots in the graveyard at midnight. A morose inventor who owns a bottle of poison powerful enough to kill everyone in town. A prominent antiques dealer who hangs a Nazi flag from his window to disrupt the shooting of a movie. And a redneck gigolo whose conquests describe him as a 'walking streak of sex'.

These are some of the real residents of Savannah, Georgia, a city whose eccentric mores are unerringly observed - and whose dirty linen…


The Wendy Project

By Melissa Jane Osborne, Veronica Fish (illustrator),

Book cover of The Wendy Project

Although shorter than the other books on my list, I think the story and art is none the less impactful. The Wendy Project deals with grief, especially grief in younger readers with a gentle understanding. I loved the unique approach to the whole book as well. The book is the journal of the main character Wendy, who receives it and starts to draw in it during the events of the story. I found The Wendy Project in my hands at a time when I was struggling to acknowledge my own grief, and it certainly nudged me to face it.  

The Wendy Project

By Melissa Jane Osborne, Veronica Fish (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wendy Project as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

16-year-old Wendy Davies crashes her car into a lake on a late summer night in New England with her two younger brothers in the backseat. When she wakes in the hospital, she is told that her youngest brother, Michael, is dead. Wendy, once a rational teenager, shocks her family by insisting that Michael is alive and in the custody of a mysterious flying boy. Placed in a new school, Wendy negotiates fantasy and reality as students and adults around her resemble characters from Neverland. Given a sketchbook by her therapist, Wendy starts to draw. But is The Wendy Project merely…

The Condition

By Jennifer Haigh,

Book cover of The Condition

Jennifer Haigh's novel is a family saga that reads like a post-mortem. With alternating narration, each of the five family members gives their perspective on what led to the family's demise and current state. The novel's title, The Condition, seems to refer specifically to one child in the family who has been diagnosed with a rare medical condition called Turner's Syndrome. But throughout the book, it becomes clear that each family member has developed their own "condition" or way of existing that is just as much a part of their identity.

The Condition

By Jennifer Haigh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Condition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Ghosts of the Northeast

By David J. Pitkin,

Book cover of Ghosts of the Northeast

Pitkin writes in a very accessible style. What drew me into this book, in particular, is that he starts the book off with a personal experience. He writes of the incident that turned him from a skeptic into a believer in the paranormal. Intriguing stuff, to be sure ... but this revelation also changed his attitude towards teaching, making him more tolerant of other cultures, and more open to sharing different worldviews with his students. Whereas prior to this experience, he had been dismissive of what he saw as "primitive" beliefs (regarding African belief in witchcraft and the afterlife), he was now more willing to explore alternative belief systems with his students.

Ghosts of the Northeast

By David J. Pitkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ghosts of the Northeast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Good Wives

By Laurel Thatcher Ulrich,

Book cover of Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750

Ulrich, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for A Midwife's Tale, first wrote this ground-breaking study of women in early New England. With her characteristically elegant prose and inspired organization, she details the varied roles women played in family, community, and religious life. An illuminating work, and a page-turner.

Good Wives

By Laurel Thatcher Ulrich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Good Wives as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Our Beloved Kin

By Lisa Brooks,

Book cover of Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip's War

Our Beloved Kin is a unique account of King Philip’s War that centers on the history of Native resistance and their experience of the conflict. Drawing on early documents and information often overlooked in previous studies, the author, a member of the Missisquoi Band of Abenaki, presents an in-depth chronicle of the war and the events leading up to it. I wish this book had been in print when I was researching my book. While it wouldn’t have changed the basic arc of the novel, it would have given me a more complete understanding of James Printer’s perspective.

Our Beloved Kin

By Lisa Brooks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Our Beloved Kin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2019 Bancroft Prize: A compelling and original recovery of Native American resistance and adaptation to colonial America

"By making what we thought was a small story very large indeed-Ms. Brooks really does give us 'A New History of King Philip's War.'"-The Wall Street Journal

"Provides a wealth of information for both scholars and lay readers interested in Native American history."-Publishers Weekly

With rigorous original scholarship and creative narration, Lisa Brooks recovers a complex picture of war, captivity, and Native resistance during the "First Indian War" (later named King Philip's War) by relaying the stories of Weetamoo, a…

The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night

By Peter Spier,

Book cover of The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night

This old classic still holds its charm. Sing along all the way and enjoy the autumn farmland illustrations as a fox runs through a tobacco barn and across the moonlit countryside bringing the farmer’s grey goose back to his young ones for dinner. Spoiler alert, they do pick the bones clean.  

The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night

By Peter Spier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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