The best books about Connecticut

2 authors have picked their favorite books about Connecticut and why they recommend each book.

Soon, you will be able to filter by genre, age group, and more. Sign up here to follow our story as we build a better way to explore books.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

A Naturalist Buys an Old Farm

By Edwin Way Teale,

Book cover of A Naturalist Buys an Old Farm

“For us it is a farm with a different kind of harvest,” Teale describes of how his aging Trail Woods farm yields observations, memories, and adventures. Teale has been called a “20th-century Thoreau” for his work as a naturalist, writer, and nature photographer. But in chapters titled A Hammock in the Woods, Stone Fences, The Man in the Brushpile, and more, his expression of love for living things transcends scientific observation; he shares his relationships with stones, plants, and animals so that we recognize they are made not only of earth, but of spirit, too.


Who am I?

Journalistic interviewer Jacqueline Raposo has created hundreds of stories discussing the human condition for magazines, websites, podcasts, and her book, The Me Without—a personal growth memoir exploring the science and spirit of habit change. Chronically ill and disabled, she’s never uncovered a new app, product, or study as directly beneficial to emotional health as time spent observing the natural world.


I wrote...

The Me, Without: A Year Exploring Habit, Healing, and Happiness

By Jacqueline Raposo,

Book cover of The Me, Without: A Year Exploring Habit, Healing, and Happiness

What is my book about?

At the age of thirty-four, journalist Jacqueline Raposo finds herself chronically sick, single, broke, and wandering in a fog. Weary of trying to solve her problems by adding things to her life, she attempts the opposite and subtracts habits including social media, shopping, sugar, and negative thoughts over the course of one year. In this intimately curated search for self-improvement, Raposo confesses to the sometimes violent and profound shifts in her social interactions, physical health, and sense of self-worth. With the input of doctors, psychologists, STEM experts, and other professionals, she offers fascinating insights into how and why our brains and bodies react as they do to habits, and sheds light on the impact of everyday choices on our mental state. Part memoir, part case study, this book offers an inspiring example of how to forge your own journey, expose your wounds, and help yourself heal. 

Death Overdue (A Haunted Library Mystery Book 1)

By Allison Brook,

Book cover of Death Overdue (A Haunted Library Mystery Book 1)

I liked the unique addition of a library ghost in this book. The main character, Carrie Singleton, is hired as a program director in the small town of Clover Ridge, Connecticut. During her first event at the library, she witnesses a murder and is later aided by the library ghost in discovering the killer. I enjoyed the mystery, the characters, and, as a cat lover, I also loved Smoky Joe, the library cat who “adopts” Carrie and also helps her. Great start to a fun, paranormal cozy series.


Who am I?

I enjoy reading and writing cozy mysteries, especially ones that feature libraries and cats because I’m a librarian and have three cats of my own. I like cozies because they focus on characters who can become your fictional friends as you learn more about them with each book. I like the fact that there’s a minimum of violence and even though there may be romance, there are no explicit sex scenes. I’ve always enjoyed reading stories with twists and secrets that are revealed slowly to the reader. These are the type of books that you can savor along with a cup of tea seated next to a purring cat. 


I wrote...

A Stone's Throw (Cobble Cove Mysteries)

By Debbie De Louise,

Book cover of A Stone's Throw (Cobble Cove Mysteries)

What is my book about?

The first of the Cobble Cove cozy mysteries featuring Alicia the librarian and Sneaky, the Siamese library cat. In this book, Alicia, a widowed librarian, searches for answers about her dead husband’s strange hit-and-run accident. Her search leads her from her home on Long Island to the fictional upstate New York town of Cobble Cove where her husband grew up.

Befriending a few of the small town’s quirky residents including the local innkeeper and the handsome yet mysterious newspaper publisher and his father, a librarian at the Cobble Cove Library, she discovers that her husband’s death might not have been an accident and that the man she’s now attracted to may be connected.

Out of the Briars

By A.H. (Alexander Herritage) Newton,

Book cover of Out of the Briars: an Autobiography and Sketch of the Twenty-ninth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers

When civil war threatened to destroy the American form of government and the liberty and freedom it represented, Alexander Herritage Newton rallied to the cause. “My bosom burst with the fire of patriotism for the salvation of my country and my people.” His people were millions of enslaved Black families who had toiled for generations in service of the white majority population. Early in the war, Newton was not allowed to serve because of the color of his skin. But as the laws changed, he joined the 29th Connecticut Infantry. He tells the story of his journey in a vivid autobiography, Out of the Briars.


Who am I?

Two boyhood experiences inspired my fascination with the Civil War: a family trip to Gettysburg and purchasing original photographs of soldiers at flea markets. Captivated by the old photos, I became an avid collector of Civil War-era portrait photography. Curiosity about identified individuals in my collection led me on a lifelong journey to tell their stories. In 2001, I started a column, Faces of War, in the Civil War News. Since then, I’ve profiled hundreds of participants in the column, and in six books. In 2013, I became the fourth editor and publisher of Military Images, a quarterly journal that showcases, interprets, and preserves Civil War photography.


I wrote...

African American Faces of the Civil War: An Album

By Ronald S. Coddington,

Book cover of African American Faces of the Civil War: An Album

What is my book about?

Discover real-life accounts of Black men who fought for freedom during the American Civil War. You’ll read short stories of 77 individuals, each revealing details of their lives and military experiences, and illustrated with their original wartime portrait photographs. These non-fiction stories are based on National Archives records, period newspapers, books, and other documents. Many of the men had escaped their enslavers or gained freedom following President Abraham Lincoln’s release of the Emancipation Proclamation. They enlisted in the U.S. military or served in support roles. Those who survived faced a new war of prejudice that continues today. Some rejoined the army as Buffalo Soldiers. These micro-histories are unique entry points into the most perilous period in U.S. history.

Cormac

By Sonny Brewer,

Book cover of Cormac: The Tale of a Dog Gone Missing

This is a well-written story about a dog named Cormac, a Golden Retriever, who went missing from his home due to fireworks and the extensive search his guardian made in his attempts to recover his best friend. The owner following leads that came in and how he recovered his dog are an amazing read.


Who am I?

Kat Albrecht-Thiessen is a police detective-turned-pet detective and is the founder / director of the Missing Animal Response Network (MARN). Since 1997, Kat has worked search dogs trained to find lost pets. She is widely known as the leading authority on lost pet recovery training. Kat is a regular speaker at animal welfare conferences. She and her search dogs have appeared on Animal Planet and articles about her work have appeared in People, Reader’s Digest, Parade and many other publications. In 2005, Kat launched the first-ever pet detective academy and since that time has trained over 800 volunteer and professional pet detectives from across the world.


I wrote...

Pet Tracker: The Amazing Story of Rachel the K-9 Pet Detective

By Kat Albrecht,

Book cover of Pet Tracker: The Amazing Story of Rachel the K-9 Pet Detective

What is my book about?

Pet Tracker is the remarkable story of Kat Albrecht, the nation’s first police detective-turned- pet detective. Her pioneering experiences are astonishing, revealing, and time-tested lost pet recovery methods that could one day help you, too.

Disillusioned by a police career where her bloodhound-tracking techniques and brilliant search dogs rarely got a chance to shine, Kat started training her retired Weimaraner, Rachel, to search for lost pets—with unbelievable results. To the amazement of her colleagues, Kat decided to make her unconventional use of search dogs a full-time career, in spite of being mocked and told she was “having a pipe dream” if she thought she could make a living as a pet detective.

Ninth House

By Leigh Bardugo,

Book cover of Ninth House

Ninth House is not a light, fun read. If you’re interested in picking it up because you’re a fan of Ms. Bardugo’s other work, be warned: This book is dark. Trigger warnings include sexual assault, drug use, overdoses, violent homicide, and more. 

The story follows a scarred and emotionally bruised young woman named Alex who narrowly escapes a world of violence and drug abuse when she is recruited to join one of the prestigious secret societies at an Ivy League university, Yale. While there, Alex learns that these secret societies are involved in occult activities, violent crimes, and more. As you read through the story, you’ll find that all the characters are riddled with flaws. No one is the “good guy,” but I definitely rooted for—and against—several characters, and the mysteries of the story kept me turning pages furiously. 


Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by morally grey characters. One of the things I find so fascinating about them is their unpredictability. You can always count on a knight in shining armor to do the right thing. Captain America will always make the sacrifice play. That doesn’t mean they’re not great characters… it just makes it a little harder for them to surprise us. When everyone is kind of a “bad guy” in a story, it makes things doubly fascinating because you simultaneously want to root for everyone and no one. That was my goal in writing Among Thieves: for readers to have no idea who they wanted to “win” in the end. 


I wrote...

Among Thieves

By M.J. Kuhn,

Book cover of Among Thieves

What is my book about?

Ryia ‘the Butcher’ Cautella has earned her reputation as the deadliest blade in the city – not to mention the sharpest tongue. But Ryia Cautella is not her real name.

A deadly secret has kept Ryia on the run, doing whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of the formidable Guildmaster – sovereign ruler of the five kingdoms. But even the most powerful men can be defeated. One last job stands between Ryia and her freedom – but she can’t do it alone. She teams up with a crew of miscreants, smugglers, and thieves to attempt an impossible heist on the most tightly guarded island in the kingdoms – the Guildmaster’s stronghold. Unfortunately for Ryia, her new allies are all planning betrayals of their own...

One for the Murphys

By Lynda Mullaly Hunt,

Book cover of One for the Murphys

Lynda Mallaly Hunt is one of my favorite Middle-Grade authors. She is a fantastic storyteller. She creates authentic and relatable characters, and I would recommend all of her books, but One for the Murphys is the one that best fits the theme of this list. I connected deeply with Carely’s struggles with missing her mom but feeling betrayed by her and mistrusting the seeming perfection of her foster family and yet desperately wanting to belong in their world. This book is a powerful look at what it means to be a family of any kind. 


Who am I?

An act of kindness from a stranger when you’re having a bad day can totally change your mindset, it can even change your life. I believe there are few things more important than trust, friendship, and making genuine human connections. Those are some of the main themes of my novel Which Way is Home? and themes that appear in each of the books on my list. You never know when someone is going to come into your life and change it for the better. I always want to be open to those experiences in my life and reflect them in my writing. Reading these books has only reinforced that desire.


I wrote...

Which Way Is Home?

By Maria Kiely,

Book cover of Which Way Is Home?

What is my book about?

Anna’s father disappeared months ago. He had to flee the country because the cruel new Communist government wanted to arrest him. The Communists may have arrived like heroes at the end of World War II, saving Czechoslovakia from the Nazis–but since then, things have changed. Now Anna’s whole family feels threatened and doesn’t know whom to trust, so she and her mother and sister set out to escape, hoping to reunite with Papa. During their dangerous journey, they have to hide from the authorities and navigate through the wilderness, constantly relying on people they’ve never met for help. They have no way to contact Papa and they’re running out of options, so putting their lives in the hands of strangers might be their only hope of seeing him again.

Books Can Be Deceiving

By Jenn McKinlay, Jenn McKinlay,

Book cover of Books Can Be Deceiving

The first Library Lover’s Mystery, Books Can Be Deceiving is set in a small New England town where the main character, Lindsey, has recently taken over as director of the public library. She takes on the role of amateur sleuth to help her friend and co-worker, a children’s librarian, who has been accused of killing her boyfriend after they broke up. Clues lead Lindsey to discover some secrets in the murdered man’s past that now pose a threat to her safety. I liked the way the suspense was built and how the characters were portrayed. As a librarian at a public library, I also identified with the way the library and its staff were described. 


Who am I?

I enjoy reading and writing cozy mysteries, especially ones that feature libraries and cats because I’m a librarian and have three cats of my own. I like cozies because they focus on characters who can become your fictional friends as you learn more about them with each book. I like the fact that there’s a minimum of violence and even though there may be romance, there are no explicit sex scenes. I’ve always enjoyed reading stories with twists and secrets that are revealed slowly to the reader. These are the type of books that you can savor along with a cup of tea seated next to a purring cat. 


I wrote...

A Stone's Throw (Cobble Cove Mysteries)

By Debbie De Louise,

Book cover of A Stone's Throw (Cobble Cove Mysteries)

What is my book about?

The first of the Cobble Cove cozy mysteries featuring Alicia the librarian and Sneaky, the Siamese library cat. In this book, Alicia, a widowed librarian, searches for answers about her dead husband’s strange hit-and-run accident. Her search leads her from her home on Long Island to the fictional upstate New York town of Cobble Cove where her husband grew up.

Befriending a few of the small town’s quirky residents including the local innkeeper and the handsome yet mysterious newspaper publisher and his father, a librarian at the Cobble Cove Library, she discovers that her husband’s death might not have been an accident and that the man she’s now attracted to may be connected.

My Brother Sam Is Dead

By James Lincoln Collier, Christopher Collier,

Book cover of My Brother Sam Is Dead

I’ve included the Colliers’ classic because it was one of the first historical fiction novels that I ever read.  Over forty years later, I can still remember the magic. Upon reading the first page, I was transported instantly from my desert home in Las Vegas to a Tory tavern in Redding, Connecticut. The enchantment in the pages worked a magic over me that I never forgot  In some ways, this led me to write my own historical fiction novel. The title is simple – My Brother Sam is Dead. The meaning, the message, and the Meeker Family’s pain profound. You will not soon forget the Meeker family’s terrible misfortunes and the unimaginable unfairness of war. In the end, you will question all wars... even our very war for independence.  


Who am I?

I have loved American history all my life. I thought I knew the events and key figures in the American Revolution. Then, in 2001, I learned about Dr. Joseph Warren. The more I learned, the more I wanted to tell his story. I travelled to Boston. I walked the Freedom Trail. I followed the red bricks that wind through historic Boston until they end at Bunker Hill. I saw the marble statue of Dr. Warren at Bunker Hill honoring his death. His influence and footprints are on every location along the Freedom Trail. My passion is to tell his story; my hope is that all Americans can remember his sacrifice.


I wrote...

Saving Dr. Warren... "A True Patriot"

By Jeffery McKenna,

Book cover of Saving Dr. Warren... "A True Patriot"

What is my book about?

Steve O'Dell loves to write and does it well. But as an eighth-grade student at Needham Middle School, his talent sometimes seems more an embarrassment than a blessing. Then, on Veterans Day 2001, Steve’s award-winning essay propels him into an adventure twisting through Revolutionary battles and bloodshed. Thanks to the bizarre bequest of a manuscript and a musket ball from a long-lost family war hero, Steve’s journey with Dr. Joseph Warren experiencing the Revolutionary War and true patriotism begins.

Join Steve as he races through time trying to save one of America’s most forgotten Founding Fathers!

Reservation Road

By John Burnham Schwartz,

Book cover of Reservation Road

One of the common reactions to the death of a loved family member–especially any death we perceive to be unnecessary or unnatural–is extreme anger. We have to blame someone, and yes, there’s plenty of reproach and self-recrimination in John Burnham Schwartz’s novel, Reservation Road. But there’s a clear culprit–a hit and run driver–and it seems the police are hardly bothering to investigate, and in a case like that, anyone would have a target for their helpless rage. We see Ethan, a father who witnessed his ten-year-old son killed, become obsessed with tracking down the perpetrator himself to accomplish some justice. I understand that kind of anger and frustration, and I know many others do, too. I think it’s useful to both accept that it’s normal, but to look at how destructive it can become to carry it, and to consider how to let it go. 

Reservation Road is also…


Who am I?

All my work--as a novelist and a licensed clinical therapist--deals with what happens in families, which sometimes includes overwhelming grief. But now, it hasn’t been long since I lost my own son. In these novels, I recognize a piece of myself as I, like any survivor, have struggled to cope. Like few other events in our lives, death has the possibility of completely derailing us with its brutality, and often surviving family cast about blindly, searching for sense, for meaning. Sometimes we can’t find any; sometimes we do, and sometimes we create it ourselves. These novels put different approaches into story, and that, too, is a way to search out direction--and hope.


I wrote...

The Testament of Harold's Wife

By Lynne Hugo,

Book cover of The Testament of Harold's Wife

What is my book about?

After Louisa's grandson, Cody, was killed walking home from football practice, and her husband, Harold, unable to cope, died six months later, Louisa was in a fog of mourning, barely aware of her rage at the unpunished drunk driver who took Cody’s life. Now she sees two choices: either fade away on her Indiana family farm, where her companions are four aging chickens and an argumentative cat, or take up Harold’s failed quest for revenge and concoct a plan. Louisa, a retired schoolteacher who’s smart, sassy, and irreverent as ever, isn’t the fading away type.

But even the most perfect plan can go awry. The wild creatures on Louisa’s land are being killed. Is the mystery of human connection at work? When human law fails, is there any justice?

Revolutionary Road

By Richard Yates,

Book cover of Revolutionary Road

Don't see the movieread the book first; I always tell people that, when I recommend this book. It's truly an extraordinary piece of literature, and if I may be so bold, I feel like it's one of the best books written about how trapped people feel in their lives, their marriages, their choices. Every single part of this book is written in exquisite detail, the dialogue bristles with passion and contempt, and the way Yates writes the environment around the characters... he just makes every element shine, no matter if it's joyous or miserable. It's truly one of the most incredible books I have ever read in my whole life, and no joke, I've read it at least 7 times, and I always find something new.


Who am I?

I've always been a natural storyteller, and as an only child of Ukrainian immigrants, I carry all the stories with me. I realized as an adult that if I didn't write them down, they would dissipate and vanish. So, I wanted to write stories not only for myself, but in order to connect to others and inspire them to learn about their own family stories. We're all connected on this planet like a giant village, and I've always loved talking to people and learning about who they are. The core of my work centers around humans and loss and hope, and seeing how each of those things are affected by the environment around them.


I wrote...

The Child of Ukraine

By Tetyana Denford,

Book cover of The Child of Ukraine

What is my book about?

Based on true events, this book is an epic story of love, loss, betrayal, and hope... one Ukrainian family's search to find their place in the world after escaping Ukraine during WWII.

Or, view all 15 books about Connecticut

New book lists related to Connecticut

All book lists related to Connecticut

Bookshelves related to Connecticut