The most recommended books about Boston

Who picked these books? Meet our 222 experts.

222 authors created a book list connected to Boston, and here are their favorite Boston books.
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Book cover of He Said He Would Be Late

Nicole Hackett Author Of The Perfect Ones

From my list on the non-Instagrammable parts of motherhood.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was pregnant for the first time, I knew exactly the sort of mother I was going to be. I had read all the articles, bookmarked all the tastefully filtered Instagram posts. But then I had my son, and I realized almost immediately how little I knew. It turns out that while those tender Instagram moments do happen (and they truly are magic), there are just as many moments that can only be described as: WTF? My novel, The Perfect Ones, goes deep behind the screens of two Instagram influencers and their messy, conflicting, and fundamentally human feelings on motherhood. Here are five more books about the parts that don’t make the Instagram grid.

Nicole's book list on the non-Instagrammable parts of motherhood

Nicole Hackett Why did Nicole love this book?

This novel does the very scary thing of looking postpartum directly in the eye.

It follows new mom Liz Bennet along her increasingly unhinged search for clues about her husband’s suspected infidelity. Most moms (hopefully!) won’t relate to Liz’s specific situation, but Justine Sullivan paints a terrifyingly realistic portrait of the madness of those first years of new motherhood.

By Justine Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked He Said He Would Be Late as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Liz Bennett knows that she is one of the lucky ones. Wealthy and charming, Arno is a supportive husband to Liz and a doting father to their daughter, Emma. A rising banker at a top firm in the Boston area, he is the picture of perfection, rounding off their idyllic New England life. But when Liz sees a text on Arno's phone with a kissy-face emoji, her anxiety kicks into overdrive and she begins to worry that her luck has run out.

Plagued by persistent skepticism and countless sleepless nights, Liz decides she must uncover the truth about her husband…

Book cover of Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin

Gregg Hecimovich Author Of The Life and Times of Hannah Crafts: The True Story of the Bondwoman's Narrative

From my list on recovering lost histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a biographer and literary scholar who loves to resurrect stories otherwise lost to history. I first felt this calling on football Saturdays at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, when I would sneak into the Rare Book Room to pore over old records, while my friends all went to the game. There I checked out manuscript boxes that told stories of the communities I inhabited. On these Saturdays, I started to see the invisible forces that created my physical world and marked my presence. Every book I picked below does the same precise work—they make visible a past that shapes our present.

Gregg's book list on recovering lost histories

Gregg Hecimovich Why did Gregg love this book?

Everyone knows the life and times of Benjamin Franklin, but what about the extraordinary experiences and opinions of his beloved sister, Jane Franklin?

“Gabby, frank, and vexed,” Jane’s life story demonstrates a smart, witty, and hardworking woman who birthed 12 children and survived the death of all of them but one. The hidden history of women in early America comes alive through Lepore’s sleuthing arts in this compelling nugget of forgotten history.

By Jill Lepore,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Book of Ages as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


NPR • Time Magazine • The Washington Post • Entertainment Weekly • The Boston Globe


From one of our most accomplished and widely admired historians—a revelatory portrait of Benjamin Franklin's youngest sister, Jane, whose obscurity and poverty were matched only by her brother’s fame and wealth but who, like him, was a passionate reader, a gifted writer, and an astonishingly shrewd political commentator.

Making use of an astonishing cache of little-studied material, including documents, objects, and portraits only just discovered, Jill Lepore…

Book cover of Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood

Craig Melvin Author Of Pops: Learning to Be a Son and a Father

From my list on for families dealing with addiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Craig Melvin and I’m an anchor on NBC’s Today show. I’m also a father to my two young kids, Delano and Sybil. Being a dad is so important to me because when you’re a parent, you’re charged with shaping and molding a solid human being whose empathetic, compassionate, and responsible. I don’t take the responsibility lightly. Of the many jobs I have, it’s the most important.  

Craig's book list on for families dealing with addiction

Craig Melvin Why did Craig love this book?

This book follows a dad’s written record of what happened immediately after each of his three children was born. His retelling of the tantrums and the way that your world becomes turned upside down with young kiddos is captured in a way that’s extremely funny, but also relatable. This book is honest and doesn’t sugarcoat what being a dad is really like.

By Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Michael Lewis became a father, he decided to keep a written record of what actually happened immediately after the birth of each of his three children. This book is that record. But it is also something else: maybe the funniest, most unsparing account of ordinary daily household life ever recorded, from the point of view of the man inside. The remarkable thing about this story isn't that Lewis is so unusual. It's that he is so typical. The only wonder is that his wife has allowed him to publish it.

Book cover of Tag Team: El Toro & Friends

Jay Cooper Author Of Styx and Scones in the Sticky Wand: Ready-to-Read Graphics Level 2

From my list on silly early graphics readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I take “silly” graphic books quite seriously: I’m a firm believer that encouraging young people to read for pure enjoyment creates lifelong readers. Originally a reluctant reader myself, it was primarily graphic books that strengthened my reading skills, my vocabulary, and that ultimately turned me into a fierce advocate for literacy. Now a professional creative, I try to share my love of books and graphic books by paying it forward and creating my own books that I hope will resonate with readers and turn them into strong readers as well! 

Jay's book list on silly early graphics readers

Jay Cooper Why did Jay love this book?

Though not a graphic book per se, El Toro & Friends (a spin-off series of Raul the Third’s bilingual Richard Scarry-inspired Vamos books) has wonderful messages of friendship and working together, but with the added fun of masked luchador wrestlers!

El Toro and his wrestling friend La Oink Oink have marvelous, exciting adventures together. Raul’s illustrations, and Elaine Bay’s colors, will have readers coming back to these books over and over.

By Raul the Third,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tag Team as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Luchadores El Toro and La Oink Oink are the perfect tag team as they clean up together in this playful and visually stunning early reader! Perfect for fans of Elephant and Piggie, comic book fans, and kids looking to practice both Spanish and English. After last night's match, the stadium is a mess! There is so much work to be done and Mexican wrestling star El Toro feels overwhelmed. Enter... La Oink Oink! With the collaborative spirit they have in the ring, El Toro and La Oink Oink tackle the cleaning up together. La Oink Oink sweeps and El Toro…

Book cover of The Secret of Sarah Revere

Karen Meyer Author Of Secrets in the Sky Nest

From my list on a peek into the life of real historical figures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a history nut since junior high trips to prehistoric Indian Mounds in Ohio. I transcribed an early town settler’s diary as a high school project. Traveling with my Air Force hubby gave me a window into faraway places. Allan Eckert’s narrative history of pioneer times grabbed my imagination. My children would love these gripping tales of settler versus Shawnee, yet they’d never crack the two-inch thick volume. I tried writing historical fiction on their level by bringing a young protagonist into the story. I had no idea I’d follow that first book with eight more, delving into the history of various famous Ohioans. 

Karen's book list on a peek into the life of real historical figures

Karen Meyer Why did Karen love this book?

Paul Revere’s name is famous, but I loved how this book made his home life real. Sarah, the middle child in a large family, reflects the whispering, the suspicions, and the taking sides among their friends as the British take over Boston. Sarah fears for her father when he begins to ride to warn nearby towns; now he’s a marked man. More than the history, Sarah’s regret at waiting too long to make up with a dear friend warns modern readers to learn from her.

By Ann Rinaldi,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Secret of Sarah Revere as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Thirteen-year-old Sarah Revere knows her father is a hero. But she also knows that Paul Revere guards a secret about the start of the Revolutionary War that he'll tell no one--not his new wife, not his best friend, not even his trusted daughter. It seems everyone in her family has secrets. Sarah's even got one of her own--and it's tearing her apart.
Reader's guide included.

Book cover of Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists

Tim Maleeny Author Of Hanging the Devil

From my list on planning an art heist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by art, not just the paintings themselves but their historical significance, the personalities behind the canvas, and the seemingly arbitrary value placed on one artist’s work versus another. Writing my latest novel, Hanging the Devil, was a chance to delve into the illicit side of the art world, where forgers and smugglers consort with organized crime. I’ve been an award-winning mystery author for more than a decade—this is my sixth novel—and the great thing about writing crime fiction is the chance to get lost in the research and learn something new, so writing this novel was a great excuse to visit museums, talk to experts, and plan a heist!

Tim's book list on planning an art heist

Tim Maleeny Why did Tim love this book?

Rembrandt was incredibly prolific and well known in his lifetime, unlike so many artists whose fame only followed their deaths.

Both his reputation and the value of his paintings have continued to grow in the centuries since he died, so the combination of ubiquity and name recognition makes Rembrandt’s paintings particularly attractive to art thieves.

Quickly recognizable and easily appraised, a stolen Rembrandt is exactly the kind of black market currency professional criminals value most, whether using it for collateral during a deal, holding it for ransom until the museum pays, or selling it illicitly to a private collector.

One of the stolen masterpieces in my novel is a Rembrandt, so this book was invaluable in understanding the ambition and scope of modern art crimes. The problem of profiting off something that everyone knows is stolen turns out to be a minor challenge if you know the perfidious players working…

By Anthony M. Amore, Tom Mashberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Art security expert Anthony M. Amore and award-winning investigative reporter Tom Mashberg reveal the actors behind the major Rembrandt heists in the last century. Through thefts around the world - from Stockholm to Boston - the authors track daring entries and escapes from the world's most renowned museums. There are robbers who coolly walk off with multimillion dollar paintings; self-styled art experts who fall in love with the Dutch master and desire to own his art at all costs; and international criminal masterminds who don't hesitate to resort to violence.

Book cover of Damnation Alley

Justin Oldham Author Of Search for Haven

From my list on post-apocalyptic showcasing humanity’s drive to survive.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lifelong fan of all things post-apocalyptic. Books, movies, television, games – I have enjoyed all of it. I knew I wanted to write post-apocalyptic fiction before I was ten years old. I had to wait almost three decades before life gave me the opportunity to do it. I’ve always been fascinated by the many different ways people can survive these kinds of catastrophes. As dark and visceral as the genre can sometimes be, I will always look for the elements of hope.

Justin's book list on post-apocalyptic showcasing humanity’s drive to survive

Justin Oldham Why did Justin love this book?

This might be the ultimate post-apocalyptic road trip. I enjoyed the fast pacing and irreverent humor. The urgency of the task at hand is there from start to finish. I liked the plot and the pacing. This story made me appreciate the lighter side of the genre. Even though the world has gone to pot, people are still people, and fun is part of the human experience.

By Roger Zelazny,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Hell Tanner isn't the sort of guy you'd mistake for a hero: he's a fast-driving car thief, a smuggler, and a stone-cold killer. Facing life in prison for his various crimes, he's given a choice: Rot away his remaining years in a tiny jail cell, or drive cross-country and deliver a case of antiserum to the plague-ridden people of Boston, Massachusetts. The chance of a full pardon does wonders for getting his attention. And don't mistake this mission of mercy for any kind of normal road trip-not when there are radioactive storms, hordes of carnivorous beasts, and giant, mutated scorpions…

Book cover of Faith

Christine Carbo Author Of The Wild Inside

From my list on crime that won’t have you skipping description.

Why am I passionate about this?

When my family moved from sunny Florida to the cold, rugged mountains of Montana when I was in eighth grade, I thought I would hate it. Instead, I fell in love with Montana and its arresting landscape, especially Glacier National Park, which was only about a half-hour drive from our small town. When I began writing crime novels, I considered setting before plot or character because landscape was so central to me. I decided to place my stories in and around Glacier National Park where the backdrop is stunning, stark, and sometimes haunting. The following books allow you to luxuriate in atmosphere while being propelled by dynamic characters and interesting plots.

Christine's book list on crime that won’t have you skipping description

Christine Carbo Why did Christine love this book?

Hemingway once said that a writer should “convey everything to the reader so that he remembers it not as a story he had read but something that happened to himself.” As a reader, I don’t always need to feel like the story has happened to me, but when a book is written in first-person narrative, I do enjoy feeling like it really happened to the narrator. I love it when the main character sounds authentic and the author fades to the background, making it seem like a memoir. Such a book is Faith, by Jennifer Haigh. Although Faith isn’t categorized as crime-fiction, it involves an Irish Catholic family in Boston in 2002 during the height of the church’s pedophile scandals. As the narrator navigates her family dynamics after her half-brother is accused of sexual assault, she becomes a woman caught between faith and doubt, and she explores this limbo…

By Jennifer Haigh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One woman's search for the truth after scandal rocks her family, and the explosive family secrets she uncovers, in this complex, moving novel from award-winning author Jennifer Haigh.

In Faith, Jennifer Haigh explores the repercussions of one family's history of silence, when a priest's sex scandal forces his family's untold past to surface. Art, Sheila, and Mike are siblings in a large extended Irish-American family from the Boston suburbs. Though their father is a non-believer, their mother is lace curtain Irish-Catholic, having raised her children to keep family secrets just that - secret - in a home where most subjects…

Book cover of Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden

Kari Cornell Author Of Dig In! 12 Easy Gardening Projects Using Kitchen Scraps

From my list on gardening for inspiration.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m not an expert gardener, but I’ve been gardening for half my life. Each spring I can’t wait to start all over again. I love deciding what vegetables to plant in our community garden and tucking flowers into the flower boxes. The perfect Saturday? Lingering at my local gardening center and perusing the seedlings at the farmer’s market—the possibilities are endless! As temperatures warm, I begin daily tours of my garden, looking for signs of life, pulling weeds, and tidying up. I marvel as the tulips bloom, scatter zinnia seeds, plant dahlia tubers, water, and wait. Gardening is perfectly predictable, yet I’m captivated by it every year.

Kari's book list on gardening for inspiration

Kari Cornell Why did Kari love this book?

After a long day spent digging in the dirt, I like to treat myself by going to bed early to read Diane Ackerman’s Cultivating Delight.

Ackerman is known for going deep on the topics of the five senses, love, and, in this case, her garden, through the seasons.

With meandering musings about what’s growing in her backyard and meditations on the everyday tasks involved in maintaining her plot, Ackerman transports me to a lush, verdant place, providing just the rejuvenation I need to return to my garden the next day.

By Diane Ackerman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Ackerman has done it again … one of the most buoyant and enjoyable garden reads … uplifting, intelligent.” — Boston Globe

In the mode of her bestseller A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman celebrates the sensory pleasures of her garden through the seasons.

Whether she is deadheading flowers or glorying in the profusion of roses, offering sugar water to a hummingbird or studying the slug, she welcomes the unexpected drama and extravagance as well as the sanctuary her garden offers.

Written in sensuous, lyrical prose, Cultivating Delight is a hymn to nature and to the pleasure we take…

Book cover of Graceland

Karen Samuelson Author Of Weaving Dreams in Oaxaca

From Karen's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Adoptive mother Dancer Lover of Latin America Dog person

Karen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Karen Samuelson Why did Karen love this book?

I loved this book by Nancy Crochiere because I read it at a time this past year when I needed a lift. It has a light-hearted, humorous tone but also has depth.

It centers around the fraught relationship between a zany grandmother, a ready-to-please mother, and an off-beat daughter. Their road trip from Boston to Memphis is filled with hilarity and poignant moments as secrets are revealed, causing them to bond in new ways. 

By Nancy Crochiere,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Graceland is a sparkling, warm-hearted, witty debut. I so enjoyed joining these three generations of women on their action-packed road trip to Memphis!" -Liane Moriarty, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Hope Robinson can't seem to please anyone lately, especially not her mother, the flamboyant soap star Olivia Grant. Olivia loves Elvis more than Jesus and, convinced she's dying, insists on a final visit to Graceland. Unfortunately, that's the one place Hope can't take her. Hope fled Memphis years ago with a shameful secret and a vow never to return.

Olivia, though, doesn't understand the word no. Instead, she wrangles…