The best books about Cape Cod 📚

Browse the best books on Cape Cod as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod

The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod

By Henry Beston

Why this book?

The Outermost House was one of Rachel Carson’s favorite books about the sea, and it is little wonder why. Beston’s best-known work was inspired by a year he spent on a duney Cape Cod headland with the seasonal elements and the indigenous creatures of land, sea, and air. He had originally intended to stay a fortnight before the “beauty and mystery of this earth and outer sea so possessed and held” him. Having had his spirit shaken on the frontlines during the First World War, he was the better for the longer stay. So are we. The Outermost House is…

From the list:

The best books of placed-based nature writing

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Fools Rush in

Fools Rush in

By Kristan Higgins

Why this book?

This book was Higgins’ debut and holy moly does it deliver! It’s endearing but not in a sappy way, sweet but not to the point of annoyance, swoony but not in a “I need Lava Soap" way, and most importantly it’s laugh-out-loud funny! Just like her many other books since, her characters are perfectly flawed with makes them beyond relatable and oh-so addictive! A great book to get to know this author!
From the list:

The best books for a hearty laugh

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of That Quail, Robert

That Quail, Robert

By Margaret Stanger

Why this book?

Originally published in 1966, this charming illustrated tale continues to sell briskly. Written by the neighbor of a Cape Cod doctor who finds a quail egg abandoned in his yard and warms it with a table lamp until it hatches, it tells of how Robert, as the bird (later discovered to be female) is dubbed, imprints on “his” adopted family, who quickly realize that “far from having a bird in captivity, we were helplessly and hopelessly ensnared and enamored.” What follows is an interspecies love story between the “highly sociable,” housetrained, telephone-answering, sauerkraut-devouring fluffball and the humans she never ceases…

From the list:

The best books on birds and life

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Paper Palace

The Paper Palace

By Miranda Cowley Heller

Why this book?

Set in the physical and psychic landscape of Cape Cod, The Paper Palace is a fever dream of a novel, luminous with love and shot through with humor and heartbreak. It is a book that explores the indelibility of childhood, what it means to be shaped by place, and all that is unpredictable about the human heart. I couldn’t put it down.

From the list:

The best books that capture Cape Cod and the islands

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Upstream: Selected Essays

Upstream: Selected Essays

By Mary Oliver

Why this book?

Mary Oliver, as a poet and an essayist, writes with a lyric sword. Upstream is a collection of essays that reflect her willingness to lose herself in the mysteries and intricacies of the natural world. In this work, Oliver contemplates the joy of her work, her passionate eye for observation, her ability and responsibility to write and think about the flora and fauna, the flowers, the grass, the water, the sky, and how they connect us to the natural world, to each other, and to ourselves.

The sheer power of her writing and command of language has always drawn me…

From the list:

The best books about wine, love, and landscape

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Postmistress

The Postmistress

By Sarah Blake

Why this book?

There are a lot of World War II books out there, and in truth, I was growing tired of them until I read Sarah Blake’s. Partially located on my home turf of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the brush against our local history pre-World War II fascinated me. But Blake doesn’t stay local; she leaves the postmistress to do—or not doher job and flies off to London with a female war correspondent. How their stories cleverly intertwine is part of my fascination with this tale. Blake has a habit of dropping unforgettable characters on my doorstep, where they tease and…

From the list:

The best novels for her side of history

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Or, view all 10 books about Cape Cod

New book lists about Cape Cod

All book lists about Cape Cod

Bookshelves related to Cape Cod

Browse books by…